| Media Information
About Sustainable Living
Sustainable Living - what's that?
'Sustainable development' involves caring for ecosystems and environment, whilst thinking about human society and economy too, on into the future. Sustainability is concern for ourselves, our children, grandchildren and beyond.
This practical education programme promotes sustainable living ideas and techniques to make a difference at home (and may be useful at work and school too). Retain a good quality of life whilst making practical changes that you know are needed, for example to reduce the amount of throw-away stuff you get through each year. It also applies in business and in government. There is only one planet Earth: we are wasting this one and do not have a spare!
Read our background 'issues' information and action guides on sustainability and note also that friends linked by banners on the right of this page can help you explore related themes and ideas. They in turn have endorsed our work.
If you'd like to read more, a publication proposing 'strong sustainability' directions for NZ is available on this link from SANZ.
Everybody knows the global environment is suffering and most people want to do something constructive about it. You are ready to start - and want to make a difference? Would you know how to cut 10% off your household's annual carbon footprint, if you sought to? (See link in box at the right)
How the programme works
The Sustainable Living programme is a practical, fun way to learn and try out actions that will reduce your environmental impact at home. It’s an opportunity to make a difference in many parts of New Zealand and maybe trim living costs along the way.
The charitable trust is managed from a base in Canterbury for many partner regional, city and district councils across NZ. Contact the coordinator (Rhys) at 03 693 8726 email@example.com and see our partner councils listed by region.
On the course, find out what could make your house a healthier living place, or how you can reduce your weekly waste. Other topics include transport, organic gardening, water saving, shopping choices, carbon footprints, energy, eco-building design and community resilience, all with a practical focus.
Interested? Then register for the newsletters and information on study groups, evening courses and to read extracts from past newsletters click here.
You can download 2010 edition action guides ready to print (or to enlarge for viewing on- screen, to save paper) from our actions page and a set of useful reading on environmental sustainability issues is available either from the issues or quiz pages.New editions are in preparation in 2013.
Media enquiries are welcomed by the coordinators - an information archive for editors is here.
We make a difference, research shows
Our course participant questionnaires have shown that the learning process and content has made a difference in their lives and the programme also compares well with international practice. Peer reviewed research papers are published independently on the web, in Innovation Journal 2008 and NZSSES Conference Proceedings 2007.
The programme and its partners
This education and action for sustainability programme has been developed across New Zealand since 2001 by local and regional Councils, titled initially 'sustainable households' by staff at Marlborough District and seven other councils and today known as 'sustainable living' by Christchurch City and up to 25 others, including all but one of the original eight councils. (Hamilton City subsequently set up a local version based on publications and newsletters, but without classes. The Environment Centre in their city continues to offer our course material.)
The programme had active involvement from high school community education, polytechnics, WEA, REAP, environment centres and other grass-roots providers. It was assisted for its first three years by the Ministry for the Environment's Sustainable Management Fund and more recently by the SMF in 2009-2010 for preparation of a new topic 'community resilience'. The partner councils are listed, many with web links, on our regional pages .
Sustainable Living programme was officially recognized as a NZ contributor to UNESCO Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, which ran through the past decade.
Sustainable Living Education Trust, NZ registered charity CC37224, manages the programme for the partner councils. Donations over $5 are tax deductable, receipted and welcome. Write to SLET at PO Box 13-121 Armagh Street, Christchurch 8141. The Trust would be interested in payroll giving from workplaces and in legacies as sources of strong, independent funding. We have a Give-a-Little website page for donations.