On Saturday 23rd March 2013 Aotearoa celebrates Neighbours Day which coincides with Earth Hour.

Earth Hour is “an international event organised by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) which encourages people to turn off their lights between 8.30-9.30pm on this date each year to raise awareness about the need to take action on climate change.”

Tauranga is honouring Earth Hour & Neighbours Day through envirohub’s initiative – Big Dessert Night. which sees local communities hosting their very own al fresco picnic pudding evening.

DSC_1076So, motivated and dreamy for chocolate already, wild & grace (aka Emily) is co-ordinating a Big Dessert Night in the local Kings Ave Park, Matua, Tauranga. It’s a simple but green expansive space, complete with a brightly coloured park (sporting 3 swings where one can get all the way up to the sky) and two slides sitting side by side where one can race their child to the bottom (providing one’s bottom doesn’t get jammed like mine). The Kaimais can be seen on tiptoes and the salty air from the harbour tasted as one lounges on the thick emerald green grass. Bliss.

DSC_1073wild & grace’s vision for the night is to gather a whole lot of enthusiastic trestle tables and link them together, balloon some cotton tablecloths atop and have ‘the joyful neighbours’ sit at wooden chairs and benches and eat decadent puddings together in candlelight as the world plunges into navy-night to honour earth hour.

If you’re my neighbour and you’re thinking of coming and you need details or motivation:

Why: Let’s make the most of this warm summer. Dining al fresco – does it get any better than that? Once over the shyness it feels good to connect with ‘unfamiliar’ people. A chance to say a bigger hello to the people we pass in the park or when we walk the dog.

When: Gather at 8pm (eat at 8.30pm) at Kings Ave Park on Saturday 23 March 2013

DSC_0956What to bring: Bring a dessert, a wooden chair, a candle, matches, a reusable plate and spoon. This is a plastic free event folks.

Who: I have delivered about 80 invitations into letterboxes on the end of Levers Rd, into Kings Ave and a few houses close to the park on Manuwai Drive. Big Dessert Night is to honour Earth Hour and your neighbours, hence locals are invited rather than people who would drive their car to ‘the event’. Walkers, bikers or busers are welcome though cos I can’t turn any enthusiast away…

Can you lend? We need trestle tables, wooden benches and cotton tablecloths. Please contact me if you can contribute in this way or another?

RSVP:  E: wildandgrace@gmail.com 
include your name & phone number and how many you’ll be bringing along so I can endeavour to provide enough space at our giant table.

DSC_1359Big Dessert Night attendees will also be encouraged to make a community pledge of action to make their neighbourhood greener, safer, and more fun. There will be a range of prizes for the ‘biggest dessert’, the best ‘Big Dessert Night’ photo and best community pledge poster.

wild & grace and envirohub encourage you to unleash your own Big Dessert Night in your local community, be it a micro or macro event e.g. in a yard, park, cul-de-sac, or school.

TOP 10 TIPS TO KEEP YOUR BIG DESSERT NIGHT ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY
1. Turn off the power and keep with the theme of Earth Hour by holding your dessert
night by candlelight
2. Collect and reuse old candles and jars
3. Use local ingredients to make your desserts, find fruit trees in your neighbourhood
and share with your neighbours
4. Grow your own fruit for your desserts, strawberries are a delicious summer fruit that
are easy to grow and can be added to most desserts!
5. Try and come up with some creative ways to make your desserts without using any
electrical appliances
6. Avoid using disposable plates and cutlery and encourage everyone to bring their own
7. Borrow chairs, stools and tables from around the neighbourhood instead of buying
plastic ones for the night
8. Ask around to see if anyone can play an instrument and get some live acoustic music going on a guitar or ukulele
9. Use a battery radio or CD player for background music during your dessert night
10. At the end of the night clean up all the mess and where possible reuse and recycle. If you know someone in your neighbourhood that has a worm farm, bokashi bin or
chickens, ask them if they can bring a bucket to take away any food scraps.

To keep up with what wild & grace are doing LIKE us on facebook by clicking here www.facebook.com/wildandgrace. We’d love you to upload a photo of your favourite dessert there too.

If you liked this story you may like:
How to live with less plastic
My month without plastic

Posted by:media | events in Bay of Plenty & Beyond

Connector I Sharer Events-maker, Writer, Photographer, Teacher

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