Give her clean water ... and you'll give her a healthy future

New Zealanders take on the fight against climate change

A major new campaign being launched tomorrow aims to get tens of thousands of New Zealanders active in tackling climate change.

The Be The Change campaign will be launched outside the Auckland Museum by personalities Robyn Malcolm and Francesca Price.

Spearheaded by Greenpeace, Oxfam and Forest & Bird, Be The Change will provide advice and encouragement to community groups and individuals from Bluff to Kaitaia, and from the cowshed to the boardroom, on reducing their personal impact on the climate.

There are already a number of great climate change initiatives happening around New Zealand. Be The Change aims to capture and showcase these initiatives and show there's a growing movement of people who care about climate change, in order to inspire others to take action.

Actress Robyn Malcolm will speak about personal efforts she’s made to reduce her contribution to the problem of climate change: "We are all able to do something. Sometimes the problem seems so big it feels hopeless, but if you take steps toward understanding the problem you see that even the small things can make a difference. It doesn't matter how busy life gets, it is possible for all of us to help keep this planet healthy for our children."

Francesca Price, host of TV3's “Wasted” and MC at tomorrow's launch, says she’s been lucky enough through her work to have meet people all over New Zealand who're trying to make a difference and do their bit to combat climate change.

“They may have started composting, having shorter showers, cycling to work, growing their own food or buying local products. Each of these actions not only has an impact in itself but also sends out a message to our neighbours, our children, our manufacturers and our government; it tells them that we care.”

Conor Roberts, National Carbon Reduction Action Group Coordinator (1), will also attend the launch. "It’s up to all of us to change the way we live on our planet. We have to find ways to live sustainably so we can save our precious environment for future generations," says Roberts.

A Be The Change Climate Rescue Bus will take the campaign message out to communities across New Zealand, beginning in Bluff on November 8th and ending in Kaitaia on December 12th.

The biodiesel-fuelled bus tour will include a mobile exhibition of impacts and causes of climate change, an opportunity to learn about everyday solutions we can all put to use in our own lives, and a web centre where people can sign up on the spot to Be The Change.

The campaign will spread through cyber space via a purpose built Be The Change community website

“The people of New Zealand, the Pacific and the world are not prepared to sit by and let their futures be destroyed by climate change,” says Greenpeace Executive Director Bunny McDiarmid.

“People understand the seriousness of what's happening, and some are already taking action. Be The Change is about enabling these active people to be joined by others. New Zealand is renowned for its clean green approach; let’s put that reputation into practice by being the change and helping stop climate change.”

Forest & Bird CEO Mike Britton says people often ask him how they can make a difference to help solve this massive global problem. “Be The Change will give people the information and support they need to make simple changes in their own lives and really make a difference. We're all in this together so we all need to be involved in the solutions.”

“We're concerned with the injustice posed by climate change, not only for future generations but for people in the developing world who’re suffering the worst impacts – especially those who are poor, vulnerable and least able to protect themselves,” says Barry Coates, Executive Director of Oxfam New Zealand.

“Be The Change is about supporting and mobilising individuals, organisations and communities to take action and persuading the government to live up to our responsibilities on this pressing challenge,” adds Coates.

What: Be The Change climate campaign launch

Where: Main entrance of the Auckland Museum

When: Friday 26th October at Midday

And: There’ll be a "big bulb swap". So bring a standard light bulb from your newsroom, and we'll swap it for a free, brand new, energy efficient "Eco-bulb”.

(1) Carbon Reduction Action Groups (CRAGS) are groups of citizens who come together to find ways of reducing their personal impact on the environment by reducing the amount of carbon they emit into the atmosphere. Members measure their personal carbon emissions, then agree on a target for reductions and work to reach that target.

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