Good Good Christmas presents

Gift trees: to the local community nursery Te Kakano or nationwide

Gift an experience: a guided garden tour, a cruise, a rental boat… so many things to do in Wanaka, to do together, or with their choice of companionship

Gift services: massages, carwash, house cleaning, garden tidy-up… you can do yourself or get a professional to do…

Plant a Christmas tree! eg. norwegian spruce

And if you really want to gift a thing, go to Wastebusters annual Sustainable Christmas Market is on 26th November 2022.

Follow Plastic Free Wanaka for tips about waste free christmas.


Calling for owners of beautiful gardens in Wanaka

All that is very well,” answered Candide, “but let us cultivate our garden.” -Voltaire 1759. 

Inspired by this quote and imbued by a love for nature, Florence Micoud is now sharing her passion by creating outstanding private garden tours in the Wanaka district. “Post covid-19 has opened up new opportunities and catering to the local and domestic market is where we now have to look as overseas tourism takes a back seat

Starting in spring and running to the end of Otagos’ flamboyant autumn, Beautiful Gardens of Wanaka will be offering guided narrative tours, to a maximum of 7 visitors per group, viewing 4 selected private gardens on a half-day tour.  This will create an inspiring visual experience, connecting people with nature while adding value and gratitude to the unique garden creations in the Upper Clutha district. 

I invite owners to submit their garden for consideration to be part of the tour”, Florence says. 

Garden owners will receive remuneration providing an income stream for garden caretakers to support their ongoing development and their labour of love.

More significantly, “the garden tours are the occasion to showcase and share your beautiful garden and your dedication” adds Florence. “Keep gardening as you do, no need to make it perfect, it’s a living garden.” 

Well-known for her community involvement for many things sustainable, Florence has a long experience and knowledge of gardening. For seven years, she worked as information manager for a French leading organic gardening company, producing a substantial magazine, publishing books and operating the visitor center; Terre Vivante. Florence led many guided tours at this centre featuring stunning gardens, eco-building, renewable energy and sustainable opportunities. 

Florence has enjoyed gardening ever since and the idea of a garden tour for local and national visitors came from the deep joy she experienced from visiting and sharing the stunning gardens locally in Wanaka. This new business venture contributes to the widening new experiences now coming on offer to visitors in the Wanaka area. It also creates networking opportunities to garden caretakers – eg. seed banks, plant swaps and sharing local plant knowledge. 

I will start with two tours per week and see how it grows, organically.” Now is the time to be part of the new Wanaka attraction! Florence invites local gardeners to submit their creations for consideration, ready for a start up with the emergence of springtime.

Visit for more information and contact details.

Welcome to 2020!

In 2020, New Zealand was supposed to be carbon neutral and organic!

In 2000, at the Soil and Health Association New Zealand Conference, more than 400 delegates designed a pathway for ‘making Aotearoa New Zealand organic by 2020’.
In 2007 was published  Carbon Neutral by 2020 , a book describing clearly and practically which steps New Zealand can take to tackle climate change. From home renovation, carbon neutral living, to transport, renewable energy, organic agriculture, politics, sustainable design, solutions exist.

However, not enough people followed these pathways, YET. And so today, the first day of 2020, we wake up to a hazed sky, due to climate change catastrophe happening in Australia. I see it as a message from the Earth, Gaia’s wake-up call. We need to act. We need to change.

We need to mitigate climate change (=reduce the speed of change) to give us (and as many beings as possible) the time to adapt to it.

Everyone, at home, at work, businesses, local and central government, organisations, each of us, we can decide to change the way we do things so that the planet can restore itself to continue to sustain us. We have lots to do to catch up. Small things, large things…

Small things can be to change the lightbulbs to LED and start saving on your energy bill or use real cups in the staff room and save on the rubbish volume (no more throwaway cups).

Bigger change could be to implement a transport policy for your company: choosing e-vehicles, rationalising staff commuting, practice video-conference instead of traveling to meetings… This improves your company transport impact (CO2 emissions, carpark needs, transport time, pollution), reduces your costs, improves staff well-being and helps the planet too.

These simple examples show how easy change is and how pleasing the results are. So go ahead, just decide to change. Change is good!

Embrace change! Have fun!

There are thousands of ways described in countless books and websites, or ask us for help.

What do you choose to change this year?

Team Green Term 4 update

Fair Trade

We had another successful fair trade bake sale, raising $150.
Fair trade.jpg

Worm farm

Our 3 worm farms are doing well, Please encourage your students to use the red food waste bins – no wrappers ; but do not open the worm farms themselves, worms do not like too much disturbance.

Tree planting

Thank you for a wonderful Tree Planting effort, 52 trees given a chance to strive in 30 minutes! Please note the love and care that was given in the action! Well done MAC! Long live Herbet and mates! 😉

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Thank you to Ziptrek, the sponsor of our trees!

Fundraisers & Christmas gifts

We are selling Plants, currently for sale in the teachers’s yard: Spider plants, Aloe Vera $5 each ~ More available soon
2019 Upper Clutha Calendars $20 each: Team Green receives $3 for each calendar sold, available in the staff room.



Monday and Tuesday lunchtime in the North Block:
Bag It movie: a fun and interesting documentary on what’s the problem with plastic and how to get rid of it. Come along with your lunch and enjoy!
Fair Trade Bake Sale lunchtime in the quad 
Team Green Scavenger hunt in long whanau: all students are invited to participate in this fast and fun event and it earns house points!

Measuring progress towards Sustainability

There are many tools to measure a company’s progress towards sustainability. We recommand and use the Future-Fit Business Benchmark® because it clearly and comprehensively defines when and how an activity or business will be sustainable.

Developed from The Natural Step principles and science, this audit measures the company’s state in regards of 21 future-fit goals to measure its progress towards 100% sustainability. It covers: Energy, water, procurement and supply chain, operations, products and customers, employees, community and governance.

A future-fit® business adds value to all stakeholders and in no way undermines – and ideally increases – the possibility that humans and other life will flourish on Earth forever.

Trained and experienced, we offer to help you begin to measure your sustainability position and pathway with the Future-Fit Business Benchmark®.

Future Fit Business Benchmark Sustainability Performance

Future-Fit Business content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Implementing a transport policy in your business or organisation

Is your staff arriving late apologizing they couldn’t find a parking place? Are the staff room conversations often moaning about the congestion in Wanaka?

Besides, transport makes up 20% of New Zealand’s CO2 emissions.

Therefore, each of us needs to take action. It will be fun and cost-effective.

We can help you write a transport policy adapted to your situation and create an internal campaign to establish it in your business culture.

Contact us for a free quote.

Passive House Event Report

More than 30 people turned up to Mount Aspiring College new building and became totally inspired and enthused about the Passive House concept. Introduced by Rafe MacLean – designer of the only certified Passive House in Central Otago, the evening started with a presentation of the passive house standard by local architect Jessica Eyers.
The standard consists in design and construction to ensure comfortable temperature year round with minimal energy inputs as well as excellent air quality, ensuring health and wellbeing as well as minimal ongoing costs.This is achieved with:
– uninterrupted insulation including windows, doors, with careful management of thermal bridges,
– airtight thermal envelope, yet breathable to prevent moisture
– using free heat from the sun, people and appliances
– continuous supply and monitored circulation of fresh air with recovery of heat from the stale air
In short a comfortable, well­ventilated building that needs very little energy.
The standard comes with measurement tools and performance tracking tools, including over time. For example, the graph below shows that 7 times a day, kids are breathing oxygen-deprived air in “normal” classroom, whereas Passive House standards keep the CO2 concentration low and fairly even. Stricking!
Classroom CO2 concentration
Despite its name, the standard applies not only to homes but also apartments, offices, hospitals and schools.
This is what Elrond Burrell set out to impress the audience with. Originally a Kiwi and back in New Zealand where he is director of VIA architecture, he spent 10 years working for Architype, UK leading passivehaus sustainable architects. There, he helped design 11 primary schools and one university block, each time improving the energy efficiency, usability and simplicity of the buildings. And two of these schools did not cost more to build than “normal” schools.
Elrond would “love to see the development of NZ schools to a higher standard of health, wellbeing and comfort, not to mention energy efficiency“. Considering the number of schools planned or forecasted in our area,  “the message of what is possible and desirable for NZ school buildings needs to get to governing bodies and school leadership teams” he says.
Some guests then visited the Wanaka certified passive house designed by Rafe Maclean.
For more information, here is a brochure about passive house or feel free to contact:

Passive House event in Wanaka

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

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


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 For more information please call 021 0279 2481.

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

Greenhouse gas reporting

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


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.

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