The practice of environmental sustainability helps to ensure that the needs of today's population are met without jeopardising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. As individuals, we can make small adjustments to the way we run our households to avoid depletion or degradation of natural resources and maintain healthy ecosystems. A sustainable home also assists us with saving money and making us more resourceful with what we have.
On this page, we've listed valuable resources, links and tips on how to conserve energy and water, reduce waste and make smart choices when building or renovating your house.
Are you dreaming of building a sustainable home with environmentally friendly materials and a low energy consumption? It is not that difficult. Eco Design Advisor and Energywise offer extensive guides starting with how to position your house so it captures more sun light, to insulation and ventilation.
Green Star Design and HomeStar are New Zealand green rating and labelling systems for sustainable homes. Check out NZ Green Building Council for more information.
A well insulated home means using less electricity, or wood for your wood burner.
The NZ Green Building Council is a not for profit with a vision of healthy warm homes for New Zealand. They've created a free online tool to help check and guide you to a well insulated home. Visit HomeFit, answer some questions on the house (for example, depth of insulation, if it has extractor fans) and receive an impartial report to see what needs improving. The tool is independent and aligns with the healthy homes standard.
Here is some more information on insulation from the Eco Design Advisor.
Warmer Kiwi Home is a programme that offers grants to qualifying homeowners for heating. Find out more here
If you are heating your home with a wood burner, make sure it does not pollute the air. Here are some tips and tricks
Read more about adding solar power to your household.
Check the Energy Star rating before buying home appliances.
Select products without packaging or try to choose packaging that you can recycle. In Tasman, you can only put plastics 1, 2 and 5 in your recycling.
If the product you like is coming in different packaging, we suggest to call the manufacturer and suggest using other types of packaging. Customer pressure is the best driver to change a business.
Read the recycling guidelines.
Start composting and find out about worm farms and bokashi.
Watch the Nelson City Council video on composting.
Dispose of household chemicals correctly.
It is a good idea to design your garden in a way that attracts native birds. You can read more about how to do it here but the most important thing to consider is a selection of native trees. It's also not difficult to make your garden attractive to lizards.
Creating a wicking garden(pdf 857 KB) may be a good solution for small sections and will do well in dry areas.