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The Seventh Generation - Natural and Cultural History Tours. Photo by Robin + Andie.

Experience the Best – Carbon Neutral Tours New Zealand 

We are absolutely dedicated to abundance, beauty and a better world | Carbon Neutral Tours New Zealand.

The Seventh Generation has measured our carbon emissions to ensure that we are a carbon neutral tour in New Zealand. Offsetting our carbon through direct seed collection, native plant nursery, planting to regenerate native bush in fenced and protected areas working in collaboration with local schools and community conservation organisations to educate and work together for a better and more beautiful world.

Scientists agree that climate change is a real threat and that we all have to work to lower our carbon footprint. Tourism is recognised as a high emissions industry but it’s also always been acknowledged as an industry that can educate and expand worldviews.

The Seventh Generation is dedicated to providing carbon neutral tours New Zealand, by measuring our carbon footprint and planting to achieve carbon zero or carbon neutral tours New Zealand. Providing an option for those who want to travel with a low carbon footprint.

carbon neutral tours new zealand
Makomako/wineberry seedling ready to plant out into fenced native regeneration.

The Seventh Generation is a small environmentally friendly tourism business based in Akaroa in the South Island of New Zealand. Running private tours, Akaroa History and Nature Tours, School Aotearoa New Zealand History Curriculum educational trips.

Everything we do is based upon The Seventh Generation Principle – to act for the seventh generation after you, thinking of the generations that came before, in everything you do. Including running carbon neutral tours New Zealand.

Expert guide, Marie Haley, is the seventh generation from the first French settlers to Akaroa, she is also an avid storyteller, ecologist and historian and together this allows her to create an image of how New Zealand was seven generations ago, this is our baseline. If you can imagine how beautiful and abundant it was, then you can imagine how beautiful and abundant it can be again.

And we are here to do that mahi (work). What we can see we can believe, even if it is only in our minds eye. What we can believe we can create. It is our choice, how we want the world to be.

carbon neutral tours new zealand
Native seedlings potted up to grow healthy and strong.

So we measured, calculated, reduced and offset to become a carbon neutral tours New Zealand.

By our very nature we run a smooth ship, already living light on the land, but we needed to prove it. So we gathered our evidence and found we are already extraordinarily light, carbon neutral tours New Zealand.

Having now moved mostly to Aotearoa NZ History Schools tours since Covid-19, which are walking tours reduces our emissions.

Akaroa is UNIQUE in New Zealand for having 5 of the most important historic sites all clustered so closely together that you can tell a complete story, that provides a richer set of narratives than the Waitangi Grounds, this means we don’t have to drive very far to have enjoy a REMARKABLE tour!

Marie provides a homemade afternoon tea, in one of the most beautiful picnic spots in the world. This is homemade, with homegrown and homemade jam, and with tea and coffee. The waste (teabags – everything ALWAYS gets eaten!) goes in the worm farm. There is a minimal amount of waste to landfill, milk containers. We use an electric oven via a power company that is carbon neutral.

Based from a home office, with limited printed marketing material and not using printed tickets or paperwork.

All in all 2022 we have an estimated 0.91 tons of carbon tCO2e per FTE, using EKOS Business Lite Calculator. Not even a ton. Certainly we are heading in the right direction to be an authentic carbon neutral tours New Zealand.

carbon neutral tours new zealand
My greenhouse taken over by native seedlings and seed trays.

The most awesome offset? Collect the seeds, start a nursery, pot the plants, plant them out, with help from schools and conservation groups.

This is REAL carbon neutral tours New Zealand – this is doing the work and as we heal the land, we heal ourselves, especially after our devastating storm.

carbon neutral tours new zealand
Tree planting to benefit biodiversity and sequester for carbon neutral tours New Zealand

So, how much work is that? Well for Marie, it’s all part of the way she lives. It’s about as natural as breathing. Knowing already the names of all the native trees, and having spent her life observing them, collecting the seeds is just a natural step, popping them in soil is easy. When they come up as thick as the hair on your head (and for some people thicker than that!) then the work begins.

With a little help we spent a wet post-Christmas day potting them up into containers, ready to grow on, a few hundred of trees. We’ve planted already a hundred or so this year, and have another hundred ready to go into fenced and protected areas when it is wet enough conditions. But mostly we are just tinkering at the edges of the great and powerful regeneration that nature can do.

carbon neutral tours new zealand
In between the beautiful grass flowers are boxes and boxes of native seedlings ready to get in the ground, when the conditions are right.

Does this amount of planting cover our emissions?

Hell YES! Tāne’s Tree Trust National Carbon Calculator tells me that I just need to plant 2 trees per year, every year. Perhaps post Covid as tourism picks up I might need to recalculate and plant a few more, but really I do that without even trying.

See, it’s all about beauty to me, not calculation or emissions, it’s about the love of place and nature and wanting to live in a beautiful and abundant world, like our ancestors did, but probably hardly even noticed. Well, we miss it, the abundance, it calls to me in the very depth of my soul, that abundance is missing from my life and cannot be replaced by the abundance of stuff. SO I PLANT.

I plant so much that I have vegetables to feed to my cows.

Carbon neutral tours New Zealand here I come!

carbon neutral tours new zealand
Princess Moomie eating her daily greens. my beautiful house cow, providing an abundance of fresh milk and cuddles. She’s a naughty girl.
carbon neutral tours new zealand
From Tāne’s Tree Trust – based on these calculations I need to plant 2 trees every year. Well OK then!

Why isn’t The Seventh Generation certified carbon neutral tours New Zealand?

Because it costs quite a lot of money to certify and prove what we can already show. And by principle we do not want to pay to offset to a company for any emissions that may be created. Many of the carbon credits being sequestered in New Zealand today are from permanent pine forests, we believe that these are detrimental to the biodiversity of NZ as well as to the water and nutrient cycles.

As we can manage our own carbon emissions, reductions and offsetting we believe we should do, and entering into paying a company to do so for us would only be a marketing tool. We may consider paying for certification, but we would much rather just get on and do the work, while educating others at the same time. This is valuable for things that cannot be calculated, like the emotional, spiritual and aesthetic values, the mauri of the mahi (lifeforce of the work).

Exciting to be demonstrating that we are an option for carbon neutral tours New Zealand.

Marie is the driver of carbon neutral tours New Zealand for the seventh generation after us.

Carbon Neutral Tours New Zealand | The Seventh Generation

We don’t want to just be a carbon neutral tourism business, we want to be carbon zero – producing no emissions, or carbon positive. Regenerative, and producing a better tomorrow.

Marie Haley

I am your guide, Marie Haley, I was born and raised on Banks Peninsula. The seventh generation direct decedent of Akaroa’s very first French settler. I grew up on the family farm following in the footsteps of my Grandfather, and his Grandfather before.