Green Team Column #4: The Plastic Pandemic and Animal Pests

Conservation Week – The Plastic Pandemic and Animal Pests

New Zealanders love getting outdoors, be it in their own backyard or the local park, beach or forest. This year we’re celebrating Conservation Week on 14-22 October with the theme of “Love my backyard!” We encourage all New Zealanders to get outdoors and show a little love for nature.

To mark the occasion, the Green Team and the Department of Conservation are running a few events. For those interested in learning about issues facing our marine environment, we’re hosting a special film screening of A Plastic Ocean in Hokitika’s Regent Theatre at 7pm on 15th of October.

The documentary follows journalist, Craig Leeson, on his search for the elusive blue whale. Leeson discovers an immense amount of plastic waste in the ocean so he teams up with free diver Tanya Streeter and an international team of scientists and researchers to investigate the plastic pandemic. They travel to twenty locations around the world to explore the fragile state of our oceans. Along the way they uncover alarming truths about plastic pollution, and reveal working solutions that can be put into immediate effect.

The Green Team hopes to make the event an enjoyable occasion with the screening of the documentary, followed by a cup of tea. There will also be the opportunity for conversation and to purchase useful household products that offer a sustainable solution to disposable plastics. These will include wax sandwich wraps and solid shampoo bars. In addition, Hokitika New World Owner/Manager and Green Team member, Marc Brokenshire, has promised a free reusable bag for everyone who attends, so we’re hoping that you’ll be able to start replacing plastic straight away!

The Department of Conservation is also running a “Build-Your-Own Backyard Trap” workshop at the Westland Industrial Heritage Park on 14th of October from 2-5pm. With materials generously donated by McMullan’s ITM, DOC staff and Westland Industrial Heritage Park volunteers will be on hand to help families and others in the community construct DOC150 stoat/rat traps to take home and catch backyard pests. Only last month, DOC staff found a male stoat weighing a whopping 414g, nearly 100 grams heavier than the national average male stoat! If you want to get involved in some local predator free initiatives, this event is for you! Please register in advance at the Westland District Library, Hokitika i-SITE or Hokitika New World to participate.

Conservation week is a great chance for everyone to get out into nature, get involved in the community and most importantly, “Love your backyard”!

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Green Team Hokitika