Keen on going green

KARINA ABADIA
Last updated 05:00 29/11/2013
Jules Clark
GRASSROOTS INITIATIVE: Jules Clark is starting up a transition town in St Heliers.

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Jules Clark says if you want to create change you have to start at a community level.

The St Heliers man is inviting residents to join him in forming a transition town in the bay.

The concept is growing in popularity in New Zealand. Concerns over the depletion of non-renewable resources and climate change have prompted people to transition towards a more eco-friendly lifestyle.

Growing up on a farm in Warkworth taught Mr Clark a lot about sustainable living. When he came across the concept of transition towns on the internet, it resonated with him.

Being asked to come up with a big project idea for a self-development course was just the motivation he needed to start a transition town himself.

"For me it's about having communities be more resilient in the face of some of the issues we have to deal with this century."

The first meeting will be held next week. It will be an opportunity for anyone interested to share ideas and learn more about how a transition town works.

The focus is on St Heliers and Glendowie and residents will be invited to write down three project ideas that they would be excited to see happen.

Some of Mr Clark's ideas include getting rid of plastic bags in retailing, setting up a car pooling system and establishing a nikau grove at Dingle Dell Reserve.

"I think as communities we face some quite dramatic issues. It can seem daunting but we need to start locally."

Green Party member and Glendowie resident Dorthe Siggaard says it's a wonderful idea and she is excited to take part.

"I think it's important to connect local people in the community who have an interest in living a more green lifestyle. I know a few people who would like to start a community garden, for example."

Guest speakers will include a representative from the Pt Chevalier Transition Town as well as the founder of social website neighbourly.co.nz.

The site will be trialled in St Heliers and will enable residents to share information about such things as tradespeople and babysitters they would recommend.

The meeting will take place at St Heliers Church and Community Centre on December 3 at 7.30pm. A gold coin donation to go towards the cost of hiring the hall is appreciated. Call Jules Clark on 630 5442 or email julesvfx@gmail.com to register your interest.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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