Get started on your sustainability journey

Mike and Jizzy Green, from 'Grow On Katikati', who are running the backyard garden tour. Photo supplied.

Some may feel we are constantly being bombarded with people telling us to be more sustainable and do our part to look after the environment.

With so many messages it’s easy to just push them aside and ignore the constant noise.

Sustainable backyards is a month long celebration that aims to get everyone involved to learn –- in our own time – about how to look after the environment.

“Every March the team at Sustainable Backyards collborates with local groups to bring a full calendar of events and activities to the community,” says Envirohub’s Sustainable Backyards project manager Te Ara Dirkse.

“Our kaupapa is all about helping people get started on their sustainability journey with simple steps.”

No ones expecting you to immediately install solar panels, bike everywhere and consume soley organic foods on the first day.

Sustainability doesn’t mean you have to switch to a vegan diet overnight, it's about taking small steps and making small choices every day.

This is what Sustainable Backyards is all about.

“Stretching across the Bay of Plenty from Waihī beach in the west, to Whakatāne in the east, and down to Rotorua, you can find something fun to do in your area,” says Te Ara.

“With a focus on low cost and free activities, Sustainable Backyards is all about inspiring and educating people in a way that is accessible and fun for all ages.

“If you are keen to become more kai resilient, regardless of your gardening skills, we have an acitivity for you.

“We have a mushroom growing workshop in Rotorua, an avocado grafting workshop in Tauranga and a backyard garden tour in Katikati.”

Being sustainable doesn’t need to involve immense societal pressure, and no matter what people say, there isn’t a “right way” of going about it.

“If reusing items to give them a second life is more your style you could learn how to carve jewellery from un- recyclable plastic in Tauranga, come along to a clothes swap in Katikati, or join a recylced textile workshop in Rotorua,” says Te Ara.

“We also have a range of amazing kōrero’s taking place to educate and uplift you, competitions for the kids to get involved with, a photo comp for amateurs and professionals and an amazing eco-accomodation giveaway that’s already up on our Facebook page.”

To check out these events mentioned, and so many more, head over to or check events out on

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