The Bay’s very first Climate Action Festival is being held this week, offering a variety of events for the community to get involved in – each celebrating what climate action is being taken in our own backyards.
It’s no secret that climate change is a hot topic in today’s world, but this festival is taking a slightly different approach. Envirohub, along with the event sponsors, have recognised that there is plenty of attention about what isn’t being done and not a whole lot about what positive actions are actually happening around us.
The festival is being brought to life by sponsors Envirohub, Tauranga City Council, Western Bay of Plenty District Council, Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Priority One. And with the help of local heroes willing to share their climate action journeys, they hope to encourage and inspire the community to join in on the action.
Daily events, from lunchtime webinars to local eatery promotions and movie screenings, will provide people with different ways to get involved.
The main event is a Speaker’s Forum on Friday 15 September at the University of Waikato – Tauranga Campus. The forum will provide an opportunity for people to hear real stories and hopefully get inspired by the climate action that’s already taking place, right here in the Bay.
Envirohub Project Coordinator and festival organiser, Milly McHardie, says that this is just the start, with plans to make it an annual event.
“We were originally inspired by the Auckland Climate Festival, and we wanted to bring something similar to the Bay of Plenty. We really hope to see it grow and become a key event in the region’s calendar for years to come.”
“It’s an important global issue that needs to be addressed on a local community level. Our aim is to do this in an uplifting and inspiring way, by bringing the community together and taking meaningful action.”
McHardie says they’re hoping this year’s festival will generate a feeling of hope within the community, and encourage individuals to reflect and plan for how they can take climate action in their own lives.
“It’s about changing the narrative a bit, making sure we are celebrating the action already underway in response to the climate crisis, and not just talking about the negatives.”
“It’s awesome to have members of the community on board, from eateries offering sustainable options throughout the week, to our guest speakers sharing their success stories of climate action, and of course our partners and sponsors who support the kaupapa. The collaboration is really special and it’s what has made this possible. It makes me really excited for what’s to come.”
McHardie says that they want the festival to be as accessible as possible for anyone and everyone, so the majority of the events are free, with the exception of some costing just $5.
Envirohub is currently working on an app, Green Team, launching in September. It will complement and support future climate action events, as well as provide ways to participate in climate action every day.
“We’re super excited about the Green Team app, it’ll be interactive and fun while challenging users to take steps towards improving their environmental impact. It will also help improve user experience for future events,” says McHardie.
Check out what’s on near you, book in to secure your spot and find out more information about Climate Action Festival 2023 at envirohub.org.nz
And if you’re a local eatery that would like to get involved, it’s not too late! Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.