Sun's energy for free:
New house or major renovations?
If you're buying a hot water tank and new plumbing, invest
in solar water heating as a fuel-saving supplement to
electrical or gas-heated water. Solar water heating can
meet household needs for much of the year in at least the
northern two thirds of NZ.
More energy saving tips
Get closer to nature:
If you have some garden or yard space available it can meet many
needs at once - northern shade for outdoor relaxation, southern
shelter for the house in winter, beds to grow favourite veggies
or fruit, home for native plants, insects, lizards and birds.
Sustainable gardening tips
Don’t fight a head-wind:
Leave earlier and enjoy the drive more! Limiting your cruising speed on the
open road to about 90km per hour, where it is safe to do so, will save 20% on
fuel compared to driving close to 110km/hr.
More motoring cost-savers
Walk the talk:
Cycling and walking are zero-emission transport modes. Your legs are also
light on fuel demand. If your return-trip is less than 3km, consider walking.
If less than 8km, consider cycling or bus plus walk. If you have children,
find out if your local Council promotes the Walking School Bus (also known as
More on travel options
Why let rain go down the drain?
Create your own rainwater storage by placing a tank under your house’s down-pipe.
When it rains, roof-water will flow into your tank first instead of down the drains
(until it is full), and you’ll be able to use the store later to water your garden or
wash your car. It is also a handy household back-up for toilet flushes in times of
short supply, even if not safe drinking quality.
More water efficiency ideas
Building & Renovating
Replace your open fireplace:
If you like seeing a ‘living flame’ in winter-time, select a new glass front low-emission
wood-stove and burn it always with lively flames for maximum combustion of dry wood.
Alternatively, chose an automatic wood pellet fire or a log-effect gas fire. Keep the
heat in your home for longer too, with insulation.
House insulation guide
There’s gold in muck:
Turn kitchen and garden waste into valuable compost. A key to success is getting the
right proportions of green (high Nitrogen) and brown (high Carbon) ingredients. That
means mixing kitchen peelings and grass with twigs, raked leaves or pea-straw.
Home Composting Guide
Become a soap-o killer!
Avoid toxic chemical pesticides by spraying aphid-affected plants with soapy water,
using pure soap and garlic rather than detergent. You can also disorientate and distract
the little blighters by using a reflective mulch on the ground around your plants,
and encourage natural predators such as hoverflies by planting Phacelia, Buckwheat
Organic Gardening Tips
and Reduced Rubbish
Hang out the wash and help your health:
Tumble dryers create condensation, which if not vented is unhealthy for your
home and your family. The tumbling movement also speeds the wear of clothes,
so they have to be replaced sooner. Every time you dry outdoors you save energy,
and the sun's UV light helps to kill bacteria too! Why not also try some of the
traditional cleaners, available in bulk, to reduce packaging and your family's chemical
exposure, and save dollars too?
Reduce Your Waste