Helping New Zealanders make the shift to Living Green
Monday, 17 November 2008
By Angelique Jurd
Green issues are hot, and they are here to stay. But making the changes needed to live green are not always as easy as we would like them to be and sometimes it all just ends up in the too hard basket.
Annmaree Kane and Christina Neubert decided a well researched and easy-to-read manual was needed. So they wrote one.
“This book is about providing information so that New Zealanders can make informed decisions,” Christina told Rural Living over home made date scones (made by Christina, not Rural Living).
A managing director/physiotherapist working as an occupational health worksite assessor, she and her husband live on a small lifestyle block in South Auckland with their two children and pets. “It’s about being more aware – so you know what is going on and what is available.”
The book is split into two sections. The first gives simple steps to greening your life, while the second contains factual back-up behind each of those steps.
On the way they cover a comprehensive spectrum of ecological issues, all of which are tailored to New Zealand readers. “We are challenging people to think, we don’t want to preach,” Christina said. “Sometimes when you get too passionate you can alienate people.”
Annmaree is an interior designer, and managing director of a small business, with a special interest in eco-friendly and sustainable building practices. She also lives on a lifestyle farm in South Auckland – which is currently under conversion to organic production – with her partner, two children and various animals.
Things the women started writing about two years ago are now mainstream products or ideas, indicating a shift in consumer thought and behaviour, Annmaree noted. “There has been an amazing turn around and a monumental shift to a simpler life,” she said.
When asked where they thought a good starting point was for someone trying to live green, there was no hesitation. “Personal care products and household cleaners,” Annmaree said.
“Personal care products and food,” Christina added.
The reasoning behind their responses was simple. “If you look after what is going in and what you are breathing in – most of the house is covered.”
The pair hopes the book will become the type of manual someone will keep on the bedside table or on their desk and refer to when they need to make informed decisions. “We want people to be happy they have made the right decision.”
Just as Rural Living was getting ready to go to print, Christina and Annmaree learned their publisher New Holland has decided to enter Living Green in the Montana New Zealand Book Awards. As Christina said – not bad for two weary, working mums.