| 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. Keep a good quality of life alongside the other changes that you know are needed, for example to reduce the amount of stuff you and others chomp through each year. It also applies in business and in government. There is only one planet Earth: we 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 endorse our work.
If you'd like to read more, a publication on '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. But where do you begin, if you 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 'do ya bit' in many parts of New Zealand and maybe save on living costs along the way.
The charitable trust is managed from Christchurch and Auckland for the dozens of partner regional, city and district councils across NZ. Contact the South Island coordinator (Rhys) at 03 960 2656 firstname.lastname@example.org or North Island coordinator (Jennifer) at 09 6300 130 email@example.com and see our courses, events and 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 free quarterly newsletter alert and information on evening courses by email (or less frequently by post); and to read the latest online newsletter click here.
You can download 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.
Media enquiries are welcomed by the coordinators - an information archive for editors is here.
We make a difference
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, led initially as 'sustainable households' by staff at Marlborough District and seven others and today as 'sustainable living' by Christchurch City and 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 courses.)
The programme has 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 SMF in 2009-2010 for preparation of a new topic 'community resilience'. All partner councils are listed, many with web links, on our regional pages where you will find courses listed too.
Sustainable Living programme has been officially recognised as a NZ contributor to UNESCO Decade of Education for Sustainable Development.
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.