Sustainable Christchurch

Everyone can take steps to make sure that Christchurch remains an enjoyable place to live for generations to come. Sustainable Christchurch is about living and working smarter, making better choices, so that we can live today, looking forward to tomorrow.

Sustainability at home

Here are some practical ways you can take action at home:

Future Living Skills courses

Find out what practical steps you can take to make a real difference:

Be energy efficient

Being more efficient with your energy use will give you a warm, healthy home. Free, reliable and independent energy advice, together with financial support is available from:

Be energy wise

Grow your own food

Enjoy delicious fresh fruit and crisp vegetables grown at home.

Conserve water

Being waterwise means that you are making our precious water last by:

  • stopping drips
  • watering the garden only when necessary
  • only washing full loads
  • washing your car on your lawn with a bucket
  • choosing water efficient appliances, toilets and showers.

Reduce your rubbish

Reducing your rubbish is simple and is something that can involve the whole family.

Get a warmer, drier, more comfortable home

A sustainable home is healthy, energy efficient and more affordable to run.  By improving your home's insulation, ventilation, and heating you can live a healthier, more comfortable home:

Shop wisely

When shopping, look for products that are good for you and the environment:

Clean your home without nasty chemicals

Cleaning your home without chemicals is better for you and need not cost the earth:

Be climate friendly

You can help to cool the climate by being energy efficient, reducing waste, shopping wisely and using your car less:

Did you know?

  • Over 400 Christchurch households have signed on to the Sustainable Living Programme, where they learn how to enjoy life with less impact on the environment.
  • Over 12,000 homes in Christchurch are now warm, dry and smoke-less due to the financial support of the Environment Canterbury's Clean Heat Programme.
  • Saving water also saves energy. Pumping water to and from homes and businesses uses as much energy as powering all of the street lights in the city.
  • There are over 50 green grocers and farmers markets throughout the city selling fresh locally grown food.
  • There are 30 community gardens in the city producing food and sharing ideas on gardening and composting.
  • The three bin domestic kerbside collection service will help reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.
  • Christchurch residents take 53,000 bus trips each day, a hassle-free and cost-effective way to reduce congestion, parking worries and vehicle emissions.

Schools and sustainability

Schools can have a positive impact on their environment and community. They can reduce their rubbish, encourage walking or biking and reduce their water and energy use.

The Council's Learning Through Action education programme hosts evening classes on sustainability and home composting. Here are some ways schools can take action.

Reduce waste

  • Recycling: the Council provides free recycling services to schools and early childcare centres.
  • Composting: the Council provides free composting workshops for students, teachers and parents.

Plan your travel

Training events

Whole-school approach

Sustainable transport

There are environmentally friendly options for smart and safe travel. Save costs and hassles by walkingcyclingcar pooling and catching the bus.

If you need to take the car be a fuel saver(external link) by doing multiple jobs with each trip and by driving smoothly and slowly. Choose the right car(external link) to improve your safety and fuel performance.

Leave the car at home

  • Walk for fun and fitness. Christchurch has over 49 scenic short walks and over 70 walking groups helping you to explore and enjoy your surroundings.
  • Go by bike. Move around the city with ease on the 53km of on-road cycle lanes and enjoy the 73km of off-road cycle paths in and around the city. 
  • Go by bus(external link). Enjoy the journey and the destination. Buses can take you to most recreational areas in the city.

Sustainable communities

There are many ways to get involved in making your community more sustainable, from getting to know your neighbours or becoming a volunteer to having your say on things that affect you and your community.

Take action to help make your community and Christchurch a more enjoyable place to live.

  • Community funds are available to help individuals and organisations make a difference in their communities.
  • Our culture and community page lists other community activities, support and facilities. 

 With other organisations


Actions you can take
Sustainable Otautahi-Christchurch(external link) Attend a seminar to learn more about sustainability and network with knowledgeable people keen to share and influence the way the city develops
Project Lyttelton(external link) Be part of making Lyttelton a vibrant, fun-loving and caring community
Lincoln Envirotown(external link) Be part of making Lincoln a sustainable town of the future
Transition Town(external link)s Be part of moving communities to a low carbon future
CINCH(external link) Directory of community, sports, hobby and cultural groups and courses in Christchurch
Volunteering Canterbury(external link) Become a volunteer in Canterbury
Community Garden(external link) Help out and be rewarded with fruit, vegetables, friends and fun

Resource efficient Council

Find out what we are doing to make sure Council operates sustainably and how we measure our progress. Read about some of our successes.

Committed to sustainable operations

Christchurch City Council is recognised, both in New Zealand and overseas, as a local authority committed to sustainable operations. We can all be proud of what our city has achieved in recent years and our commitment to our clean and green future.

We are the only non-European member of Energy Cities(external link) and the first local authority to adopt a comprehensive energy action plan in New Zealand.

Our vision for Christchurch is that our energy supplies come from renewable sources and the city’s energy systems are affordable, efficient and secure, ensuring long-term sustainability and net zero impact on climate, local environment and public health. Fifty per cent of all energy consumed by the Council's operations now comes from local renewable energy sources.

How we report our progress

A vital part of the sustainability journey is measuring our progress to better manage our impacts and to celebrate our successes. Rather than having a separate sustainability report, the Council will include sustainability indicators within its Annual Report and within its monitoring of