The Green Footprint Project enables YHA travellers to offset their environmental impact and reduce their carbon footprint by purchasing a native tree or shrub which is then planted in Canterbury or Wellington. The project kicked off in 2004 as a pledge for conservation and to support ecotourism. Since then almost 11,000 trees and shrubs have been planted! Wellington and Christchurch staff and volunteers hold planting days each spring where pokaka, totara, matai, kohikatea and more are planted to support biodiversity.
While hostelling itself is a perfect example of sustainable travel, as it encourages travellers to leave a smaller footprint by sharing rooms and communal spaces, YHA travellers can go the extra eco mile with the Green Footprint Project.
A joint initiative between YHA New Zealand, The Waihora Ellesmere Trust and Selwyn District Council, each year our Christchurch team takes a day to plant in reserve land south of Christchurch at Coes and Chamberlains Ford. This project aims to attract bellbirds back to the area and to enhance the local indigenous biodiversity.
In 2009 the project was extended to the North Island and we now have joint planting programmes with both the Greater Wellington Regional Council and the Wellington Zoo.