We can all make a difference at home by reducing waste, being energy and water efficient, shopping wisely, travelling smarter and by going on a carbon diet to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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:


Be energy efficient

Being more efficient with you energy use will give you a warm, healthy home. Free, reliable and independent energy advice, together with financial support is available from:

Being energy wise is easy:


Grow your own food

Enjoy delicious fresh fruit and crisp vegetables grown at home:


Conserve water

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 Transfer Station
  • Buy pre-loved items for a bargain from the Eco-shop located at 191 Blenheim Road
  • For new parents choosing washable nappies can halve your rubbish and save money.  Visit The Nappy Network for local suppliers of washable nappies.

Travel smarter


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  and Smarter Homes provide detailed information about home design and renovation
  • See how well your home performs against the Homestar assessment tool
  • EcoBob 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
  • 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 to receive free, independent expert advice.

Shop wisely

When shopping, look for products that are good for you and the environment:


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 938KB] 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 and Enviro-Choice logos.

Be climate friendly

You can help to cool the climate by being energy efficient, reducing waste, shopping wisely and using your car less:


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 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.