Lifestyle changes

We can all help protect our environment by making changes, big and small, in the way we lead our lives – particularly in the areas of food, transport, waste and energy use.

Cut your food’s footprint

Every year, Kiwis send 157,398 tonnes of food to landfill – worth about $1.17 billion – according to research by Love Food Hate Waste New Zealand. The organisation has clever ideas and recipes to help you reduce your food waste and save money. See more at: lovefoodhatewaste.co.nz

Gen Less has some great guidance about how to fuel yourself with vibrant, healthy food that happens to have a low climate impact too. Find out more at: genless.govt.nz

Eat local – you can buy affordable, locally grown produce at growers and farmers markets around the region.

Reduce household waste and pollution

There are plenty of simple ways to reduce your waste, save water, be energy efficient, safely dispose of e-waste, and live more sustainably at home. Visit our 'For homes' section for details. 

Several community organisations make it possible to reuse and repair items, which is a great way to save money as well as reduce the number of things going to landfill. Search for repair cafes in your local area, or contact Tai Tokerau TimeBank to find out about trading skills, seeds and much more. Visit: taitokerau.timebanks.org

Create a more sustainable home

Smarter Homes provides up-to-date information for building smarter to make your home warmer, safer and drier – through finding cost–effective quality solutions. It’s useful for homeowners, tenants, and people looking to buy or build a house. The website is administered by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s (MBIE) Building System Performance branch. Go to: www.smarterhomes.org.nz

The New Zealand Green Building Council offers an independent rating tool called Homestar, which assesses the sustainability, efficiency and health of Kiwi homes. They also offer a free online tool called HomeFit, to help you learn if a home is a warm, dry and doesn’t use more energy than it should. Learn about both tools at: www.nzgbc.org.nz

Getting around

Public transport has many environmental benefits. It produces far fewer air pollutants per passenger mile than private car travel, and reduces the number of cars on the road, so less petrol is used (and therefore needed). Taking the bus or train also lightens your personal carbon footprint.

There are plenty of ways to get around Northland by public transport. You can read more about your options at: www.nrc.govt.nz/gettingaround

All cars are not created equal. Find out how your vehicle rates for fuel economy, safety, CO2 emissions and pollutants at Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency’s website: www.rightcar.govt.nz