Earth Hour gives peo­ple power

Central Leader - - News - By Rhi­an­non Hor­rell

SWITCH­ING off the lights to­mor­row evening will brighten the fu­ture for the en­vi­ron­ment.

Eco­s­tore chief ex­ec­u­tive Malcolm Rands and his fam­ily are among hun­dreds of peo­ple do­ing their bit to take part in Earth Hour, held at 8.30pm lo­cal time in cities all over the world.

“Peo­ple be­come over­whelmed about sav­ing the planet. It’s too hard. If we all take small ac­tions everyday it can make an enor­mous change.”

He says just turn­ing a light off when leav­ing a room, do­ing without heated towel rails dur­ing sum­mer, hav­ing good home in­su­la­tion and draw­ing the cur­tains to re­tain heat will make a dif­fer­ence.

Mr Rands says the ethos of Earth Hour fits per­fectly with Eco­s­tore, his en­vi­ron­men­tally- friendly busi­ness Free­mans Bay.

The store fea­tures eco-friendly house­hold prod­ucts and dur­ing Earth Hour, the Rands fam­ily’s six-piece ukulele band will per­form by can­dle­light.

“In 1986, I lived on a North­land prop­erty that backed on to land owned by the Depart­ment of Con­ser­va­tion. The wa­ter flow­ing on to the land was clean and it made me think about how clean it was flow­ing off the land again with all the house­hold prod­ucts.

“When I found out what was in the prod­ucts, I was out­raged,” he says.

“Most of the chem­i­cals in the prod­ucts are ab­sorbed through our skin. Our mouths test things and we have amaz­ing di­ges­tive sys­tems but our skin has no pro­tec­tion.”

He says staunch or-

in ganic gar­den farm­ers of­ten do not give any thought to their house­hold prod­ucts.

“I planted a gar­den in mum’s back­yard. As part of my re­search I picked up a book on or­ganic gar­den­ing and never looked back. I thought: ‘Why would you do it any other way’?”

The 54-year-old has re­ceived two en­vi­ron­men­tal awards from the Auck­land Re­gional Coun­cil and a green rib­bon from the New Zealand En­vi­ron­ment Min­istry.

Earth Hour aims to reach out to one bil­lion peo­ple in 1000 cities, which Mr Rands says is an achiev­able goal.

SkyC­ity chief ex­ec­u­tive Nigel Mor­ri­son says Earth Hour sup­ports a se­ri­ous global cause.

“You can see the Sky Tower from just about any­where in the Auck­land area, which will be a great re­minder for every­one to hope­fully join in them­selves.”

Eco-minded: Malcolm Rands.

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