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:
- Register at Sustainable Living(external link) for Future Living Skills courses in your area.
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
- Choose the right lighting(external link) for each location.
Grow your own food
Enjoy delicious fresh fruit and crisp vegetables grown at home.
- For great ideas and to see what's growing visit Edible Christchurch.
- Learn how to grow your own food by visiting a community garden(external link) near you.
- See guides for growing fruit trees(external link).
- Read tips for growing vegetables and herbs(external link).
- Learn about spray-free growing and organics(external link).
- Learn how to compost your organic waste at home:
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.
- Find out about the kerbside collection service.
- You can also recycle many household items and building materials at your local Eco-Drop(external link) Transfer Station
- Buy pre-loved items for a bargain from the Eco-shop(external link) located at 191 Blenheim Road
- For new parents choosing washable nappies can halve your rubbish and save money. Visit The Nappy Network(external link) for local suppliers of washable nappies.
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:
- Level(external link) (external link) and Smarter Homes(external link) provide detailed information about home design and renovation
- See how well your home performs against the Homestar(external link) assessment tool
- EcoBob(external link) has a directory of environmentally friendly building products, services and great tips
- The best way to get the home you want is to design and build in an integrated way, find out how at Right House(external link)
- Free home renovation advice is available through the Council's Build Back Smarter service
- Thinking about building a new home talk with the Council's Eco-Design Advisor(external link) to receive free, independent expert advice.
When shopping, look for products that are good for you and the environment:
- Look for the Green Tick(external link), or Environmental Choice(external link) labels
- Choose foods with the Heart Tick(external link), that are organic(external link) and not genetically modified(external link) and select sustainably harvested fish(external link)
- Buying New Zealand Made(external link) reduces the distance products travel and supports our local economy
- Selecting Fair Trade(external link) products helps to give people that grow or make the goods a fair deal.
Clean your home without nasty chemicals
Cleaning your home without chemicals is better for you and need not cost the earth:
- The Green Cleaning Guide [PDF, 937 KB] provides cheap, effective and easy to get eco-alternatives to most household cleaners and detergents
- To really know products you purchase are good for the environment look for the Green Tick(external link) and Enviro-Choice(external link) logos.
Be climate friendly
You can help to cool the climate by being energy efficient, reducing waste, shopping wisely and using your car less:
- Find out about the national(external link) and local impacts and responses to climate change
- Off-set any unavoidable carbon emissions at Trees for Travellers(external link).
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.