Conservation board walking the talk

Eugenie Sage
Eugenie Sage
The new West Coast Conservation Board - handpicked by Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage - is walking the talk with the green agenda with a move to vegetarian lunches, composting food waste and plant trees to offset carbon every time they have to travel.
Ms Sage put in place a new, greener board a few months ago.

The board said this week it had decided to adopt practices to reduce and offset carbon emissions resulting from board activities by way of vegetarian lunches, home composting of food waste, use of public transport, a focus on car pooling and use of lower emission shared accommodation such as marae and hostels.

As well as the purchase of carbon credits for flights, all fossil fuelled vehicle use will be offset through the purchase of credits or board members themselves tree planting.

Single-use plastic waste is also to be eliminated from lunches and snacks.

"As a board we wish to show leadership in climate change action and support the transition to a low carbon economy," the board said in a statement via member Suzanne Hills.

The Department of Conservation manages a raft of concessions, including aircrafts at the glaciers, and the board has these on its radar and whether the carbon should be offset. 

"It's been flagged by board members," chairman Keith Morfett said.

"If we really, really want to do something about being carbon-free by 2050, we should be looking at consents, but it's not something we have discussed in detail."

In contrast to the conservation board, Buller-based member of the West Coast Regional Council has previously used his helicopter to fly to meetings in Greymouth.

Some regional councillors also deny that climate change has been induced by humans.

One of those, Allan Birchfield, said today that if re-elected to the regional council he would not be moving to vegetarian lunches.

"It's getting ridiculous. It's just a complete waste of time - utter stupidity."

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