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25 Easy Steps Towards Sustainability

25 Easy Steps Towards Sustainability

'The Ministry for the Environment has created a document in order to help New Zealand households get more sustainable and reduce their environmental footprint. Entitled ’25 Easy Steps Towards Sustainability’, the downloadable booklet will inform readers not only how to become sustainable, but save money on expenses like fuel and power bills.

Research shows that 63% of Kiwis would like to have more information about what they can do to be actively taking care of the environment.


FACT SHEET


Kiwis can take easy steps to reduce their footprint

A new booklet available from the sustainability.govt.nz website gives some valuable tips for reducing your environmental footprint. Entitled ‘25 Easy Steps Towards Sustainability’, the downloadable booklet has practical insights to help you take action.

Results of research commissioned by the Ministry for the Environment indicate that 63% of Kiwis would like more information on what they can do to care for the environment and a further 28% actively look for this information.

The booklet, ‘25 Easy Steps Towards Sustainability’ provides this much-needed information in an accessible and engaging format. It covers the topics of rubbish, water, energy, building, and transport and features tips, facts, and case studies that will help you take sustainable action at home.

There are many steps we can take to protect the environment that also have other benefits. Actions like using eco bulbs, walking to work, and installing insulation can also save money and improve health and fitness.
Getting started is easy and there will be many benefits for you and the environment.

Switch appliances off at the wall

Start off with energy use. This is an area where New Zealanders can quickly realise substantial cost savings. By switching off appliances at the wall and turning off lights when leaving the room, a surprising amount of energy and money can be saved. This is because appliances in standby mode are still using electricity, even though they aren’t actively being used. Around $75 a year, or more, can be saved by taking this one easy step.

Carpool to save fuel costs and have fun socialising on the way to work

As petrol prices continue to rise, another great way to save money and fuel is to carpool. Whether it’s with your spouse, friends, or a work colleague who lives nearby, carpooling even some of the time will immediately start to show savings. Your fuel costs will be lower, carbon emissions will be cut back, and you might even find some unexpected social benefits.

Build a sustainable home and save on energy and maintenance costs

If you are designing and building a new home, think about its life cycle and whether it will meet your future needs. A sustainable, well-designed home will save you money in the long term by being more energy and water efficient and easier to maintain. You can also reuse and recycle your building and renovating materials to prevent construction waste going to landfill. It’s estimated that up to half of the waste that goes into New Zealand landfills comes from construction and demolition.

Fix leaky water taps and save water
A leaky tap or toilet cistern that drips every second can waste up to 10,000 litres of water a year. Simple actions such as fixing leaky taps and running washing machines and dishwashers on full loads rather than partial ones, are easy ways to save water around your home.

Reduce rubbish

Up to two-thirds of household rubbish can be reduced, reused, or recycled. Doing this can cut down on waste going to landfill, lower greenhouse gas emissions and save energy and resources. But how does this work in practice for a typical homeowner?

Ralph and Ali Hogan from Wellington set out to make some changes. By making a few simple decisions at the grocery store, they found that they could reduce packaging and save money by buying products in bulk. Reducing packaging means a reduction in greenhouse gases through less production and disposal. Between cutting back on packaging, scaling up their recycling, and starting to compost, the Hogan’s cut down their waste so much that they still hadn’t filled a single council rubbish bag after a period of six months.

No matter where you get started, it has never been easier to join the many New Zealanders who are changing their lives and helping the environment, one simple action at a time.
For more information visit www.sustainability.govt.nz.

25 Easy Steps Towards Sustainability:
1. Reduce waste
2. Reuse materials
3. Recycle
4. Compost or worm farm
5. By pre-loved or recycled products
6. Fix water leaks
7. Run appliances on full loads
8. Use water wisely
9. Save water in the garden
10. Choose water efficient products
11. Turn off appliances at the wall
12. Use hot water wisely
13. Monitor power use
14. Choose energy efficient products
15. Draught-proof your home
16. Insulate
17. Design for the sun
18. Reuse and recycle building materials
19. Use durable, non-toxic, efficient building materials
20. Build for the future
21. Maintain your car and improve driving style
22. Walk or cycle instead of driving
23. Car pool
24. Take public transport when you can
25. Choose a more efficient vehicle

ENDS

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