The Tread Lightly Caravan is a mobile exhibition/classroom established by the Urban Ecoliving Charitable Trust to inspire 8-12 year old New Zealanders to live more sustainably.
Using interactive displays, the Caravan shows visitors how everyday choices such as what we buy, how we travel, what we eat, how we use energy in our homes and how we manage waste, can impact the natural environment. The key message to visitors is, ‘Your choices have environmental consequences’.
The key communication messages are:
- Our actions and choices have an effect on our environment.
- If we continue to use resources (water, materials, energy) as we do now, we will run out.
- Small changes in the way we live will help save resources, prevent pollution and protect our plants, animals and their habitats.
The Tread Lightly Caravan teaches students to communicate and champion sustainability to their families and communities in order to educate them and encourage better practice.
Since December 2010 the Caravan has hosted more than 21,000 students and visited more than 127 schools across the Auckland region. It is estimated that the key messages have in turn reached over 120,000 Aucklanders and more than 60 per cent of students have made long-term changes in their households and communities.
The Tread Lightly Caravan has been successful in targeting children to be the champions of change and demonstrating the importance of making environmentally-friendly choices part of everyday life.
Urban Ecoliving Charitable Trust is a finalist in the 2015 NZI Sustainable Business Network Awards in the Cadence Communicating Sustainability category.