News and tips

Wilkinson Primary School (Passive House certified) Photo: Juraj Mikurcik / Architype UK
Business, Events, Housing, Non-profit organisation, Otago, Schools, Upper Clutha, Wanaka

Passive House event in Wanaka

Southern Sustainable Building Network invites you to a public event on Passive House for School and Business in Wanaka.

Elrond.jpg

Elrond Burrell, Director of VIA Architecture has been invited to speak at a public event on Friday 18th August 2017 at Mt Aspiring College North Block between 7 and 9pm.

“Our children deserve healthy, warm learning environments as well as homes.” He says.

Passive House is a building standard that is energy efficient, comfortable and affordable at the same time. Passive House is not a brand name, but a tried and true construction concept that can be applied by anyone, anywhere, and is particularly valuable to educational and commercial premises.

The Passive House Standard is achieved by means of highly efficient building systems, careful planning and highly efficient components such as super-insulating window frames, highly efficient ventilation units, thermal bridge free connection details, glazing that allows solar gains.

Elrond says, “Too often keeping NZ schools warm in winter comes at a cost of the indoor air quality – windows are shut and the heating turned up. As a result CO2 and humidity builds up leading to drowsy inattentive children (and teachers).”

Elrond Burrell is one of Australasia’s most experienced Passive House specialists, having worked for leading UK sustainable architecture practice Architype for 10 years and has been instrumental in the design and delivery of some of the UK’s largest Passive House apartment buildings, several Passive House schools, as well as Passive House offices, community facilities and homes.

The event is organised by Southern Sustainable Building Network, an informal group of professionals and homeowners who are interested in sustainable construction in Central Otago /Lakes. 

Entry with kohā – Confirm attendance by email if possible to florencemicoud@gmail.com. For more information please call 021 0279 2481.

Header Photo credit
Wilkinson Primary School
(Passive House certified)  
Photo: Juraj Mikurcik / Architype UK
Wanaka

Greenhouse gas reporting

 

Greenhouse gas reporting is voluntary for businesses and organisations (while already systematic for primary industries).

4783937_orig
http://www.met-net.org.uk

As New Zealand is bound by international agreements, this reporting will sooner or later be compulsory and likely associated with taxes on CO2-equivalents produced. So we might as well anticipate, begin to measure and take steps to reduce our GHG emissions. This will benefit the planet too which in turn is good for us.

All the information is freely available online but unless it’s your hobby, it looks cumbersome. We know all about it so we can help you! Contact us to begin your voluntary greenhouse gas reporting.

 

 

Community, Community group, Ecosystem & Biodiversity, Education, Food & Health, Household / individual, Like-minded, New Zealand, Non-profit organisation, Oceania, Otago, Projects, Recycling & Waste, Schools, Upper Clutha, Wanaka, Water

Community Involvement

After working on ourselves and improving our households as much as we can, getting involved in our community is a powerful and accessible way to make a positive change. Over the years, I have volunteered in many groups depending on what’s on and the children’s activities. Unsurprisingly, I tend to focus on sustainability-related initiatives. Today, I am leading or committee member of these groups:

Aspiring Conversations - Cool It!
Meeting Tim Flannery with
Team Green students in 2016

MAC Team Green facilitator. For 10 years, I’ve been supporting, encouraging, coordinating students – always different over the years- in making a change in our college. Recycling, fair-trade, solar panels and energy-savings… are fantastic achievements! And we are starting water monitoring as part of the Touchstone project soon.

ALREC secretary. Alpine Lakes Research and Education Centre is an awesome project set up in 2015-16 by late Dr Maggie Lawton and taken forward by her daughter Ella, both my good friends.

PBFW17 Committee meeting
PBFW committee meeting

Plastic Bag Free Wanaka is Anna Van Riel’s initiative to phase out single-use plastic in our region. Her energy and enthusiasm has brought me into her team of uber-efficient women, having a lot of fun on the way too!

Local Food Wanaka started in 2014 to promote and support the relocalising of food production in the area. Its main event is the very successful  Autumn Apple drive.

Friends of Wanaka Wastebusters is a bi-monthly involvement role where we exert our role as guardians of the shares of Wanaka Wastebusters Ltd on behalf of the community.

Timebank secretary. I inherited this hat more than I wanted to have it… From 70  people really eager to create this initiative, it went progressively down to just 2! We are currently switching software and will do a lot more advertising when this is done.

Te Kakano Flo Gary Roys Bay 9 June 2012
Te Kakano Tree planting in Roys Bay, June 2012

I am also volunteering with Te Kakano as often as I can. Tree planting is the simplest most satisfying way to restore the future.

2 cups of tenacity, 2 cups of altruism, illimited adoration/admiration of nature and life, 1 cup of curiosity, 1 spoon of positive intention, 3000 spoons of time – extracted from super-organisation, 1 pinch of risk-taking and 1 pinch of idealism, this is how I end up with several -probably too many!- hats.

These volunteer activities satisfy five of my fundamental human needs. I feel part and connected to a network of great people. It has taught me a lot over the years, I contribute to positive change and defend what I stand for and most importantly, it is FUN!

Do you want to participate too? Feel free to contact any of these friendly groups.

Business, Energy, Otago, Recycling & Waste, Transport, Upper Clutha, Wanaka

New! Retail Eco-Makeover

There are many cheap, easy ways to improve your shop’s environmental sustainability. Changing your lighting can reduce your costs, adding eco-products in your display can attract clients, not giving away plastic bags can save the oceans and marine life… And so on! No small stuff!

We have designed the Retail Eco-makeover, a 10-chapter audit to look deeply into each area, we write an extensive recommendations report and provide help to implement them.

For just $550! You’ll get them back in just a few month in savings and more clients!

By Xeepo (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Agriculture & gardening, Community, Community group, Food & Health, Like-minded, Otago, Upper Clutha, Wanaka

Bumper Apple Drive

With my Local Food Wanaka friends, I’ve been co-organising the Autumn Apple drive for several years. This year, there was a bumper apple crop and a huge turnout, showing the growing interest people have in local food, skills sharing, community building and resilience.

Great photo in the Otago Daily Times Online News today!

Business, Climate change, Ecosystem & Biodiversity, Governmental, World

Action for Positive Change

The Montreal Protocol is perhaps the most successful international agreement so far. It demonstrates (and gives hope) that with collective action and political will, catastrophic environmental trends can be reversed. The ozone layer depletion observed in the 1970’s was subsequently attributed to CFC gases (and others). In 1987, the Montreal Protocol was signed. Government policy makers, politicians, industry people, technologists and consumers contributed to making a change. And now, 10 years after reaching its worst in 2006, it is now confirmed that the ozone hole is reducing and projected to be “filled” by 2065. Whew!

ozone-hole-peak
Source:http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/WorldWithoutOzone/

Good news is always worth celebrating, but the point here is that major problems can be solved with global action. Solutions exist -if we start looking-, we just need to decide to make a change. This video, from the UNEP Youtube channel, explains this history of disruption and solution.

Let’s apply the same will and principles to the huge problems we face. All levels must collaborate, international organisations, policy makers, businesses, individuals… The climate crisis is multi-faceted but not impossible to solve. Specialists and scientists have been researching for decades to define, trial and refine many solutions. By aiming at sustainability, we stop contributing to the problem and become part of the solution.

The world is changing; either we choose to change with it or we are left behind. Change can be exciting!

  • Change before you have to” said Jack Welch, a great businessman
  • Everything is hard, before it’s easy” stated Goethe
  • Comply is not a vision” exclaimed visionary entrepreneur, Ray Anderson
  • The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it“, emphasizes explorer Robert Swan
  • If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.” warned U. S. Army Chief of Staff, General Eric Shinseki.

These quotes urge us: Stop procrastinating. Stop blaming others. Embrace our responsibilities.

All you need is to take the decision to become sustainable. We can help you change, enjoy the challenge and reap the benefits in the process.

Featured image: Largest Antarctic ozone hole ever recorded (September 2006), over the Southern pole, NASA, 2006
Business, Energy, Food & Health, New Zealand, Otago, Recycling & Waste, Upper Clutha, Wanaka

101 questions to green your office

Danaidae sp.
Thomas Bresson CC BY 2.0

Greening your office is a great start on your journey towards more sustainability because it is specific and visibly effective.

Right here in Wanaka and serving Queenstown and Central Otago, we go through your office with our exclusive 101 questions audit, taking less than 30 mn of your time.

Within a week, we deliver a report of recommendations for each aspect, energy and lighting, computers and printing,  procurement, waste etc.

You then decide if you want to proceed with the changes and if you need our help to do so.

Introductory offer : $250 for an office of 1 to 3 working stations ($450 for 4 or more)

Let’s talk and make a start!

Call 021 027 92 481 or email aimatsustainability@gmail.com

 

 

Wanaka

Mission, Vision, Goals and Values

Our business mission

Professional eco-consultant, we embed sustainability into the heart of our clients’ businesses, organisations or households.

We provide environmental audits (eg. Green Office Makeover), sustainability statements, help with certification, recommendations and action plans, and referrals to relevant professionals.

OSuccess - Chistopher Morleyur vision of success

Aim at Sustainability is a locally renowned eco-consultant and active part of a network of eco-professionals, leading Upper Clutha sustainability.

Our strategic goals

When our business is in the ideal future state, it will have achieved these goals:

  1. 80% of Wanaka businesses, organisations and households have significantly increased their sustainability and are nearing carbon neutrality by 2030.
  2. Local sustainability practitioners network and collaborate to accelerate change towards a sustainable and climate friendly life in Wanaka and people are proud of it.
  3. Wanaka is renowned for its sustainability. This is mentioned in external sources like Lonely Planet and other tourism publications. Other towns contact us to know how we do it.

Our values

The values and standards that underpin the way we operate are:  

  1. Effectively creating a positive impact on the client and the planet
  2. Using the scientific-based, non-judgmental Natural Step framework
  3. Sharing a huge environmental / sustainable / ecological knowledge
  4. Positive, inspiring, no-nonsense, grassroot and solution-focused
  5. Integrity, open and earnest

 

Do you want to increase your sustainability? 

Do you want to contribute to the network?

Contact us!

Business, Wanaka

Greening your business…

Gustav Klimt [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsIt doesn’t need to be complicated AND it can be very rewarding. There are obvious steps like recycling. And there are many little steps that yield more than they cost.

Changing your staff culture, having fair trade products in the break room with reusable cups, encouraging walking and cycling to work, all make a difference at no cost. And it improve the employees morale and purpose, therefore their involvement and productivity.

Using eco-friendly cleaning products minimise air pollution, waste water pollution and prevent harmful chemical entering in contact with people. Every bit counts!

Conserving energy and water, being mindful of what you use and produce, both deliberately and as byproducts… It all adds up!

It is our job to help you achieve that (and more) in your business, organisation or household. Contact us aimasustainability@gmail.com or phone 021 0279 2481: your step towards more sustainability!

Wanaka

Achieve governmental criteria

On its Sustainability page, the government is offering a range of support strategies and tools. Unless it is your passion, it may still be a bit daunting and time consuming to go through them. Well, it is my passion and I’ve read and understood all the details and am willing to help you or your business go through the process… A rewarding one!

Contact me to get started!