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May 19, 2008 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]

Save Money (and save the environment too)

I have some good news: everyone can do their bit for the environment. AND it’s easy, can save you money and give you better health. “How?” you ask. There are two awesome programs by Sustainability Trust that is available to students. First, you can dob in your landlord to insulate your home at a subsidised rate and turn your damp, cold flat into a warm, dry cosy haven. Secondly, you can get free tips on how to make small, easy changes in your flat to reduce your impact on the environment with benefits to yourself:

Dob in your landlord for a Warmer Home!

Students who are finding their rental homes cold, damp and expensive to heat can now take a proactive step towards making the coming winter more comfortable by applying for a subsidised insulation retrofit via the Sustainability Trust. A retrofit involves putting insulation into the ceiling and under the floor, and project manager David Crichton says the scheme provides a win-win situation for everyone involved.

“We are currently offering subsidies of up to 50% to enable landlords to have quality insulation products installed in their rental properties. Installing ceiling and under floor insulation creates a warmer, drier environment for those who live there.”

“Tenants are happy because the house becomes healthier and more comfortable to live in, whilst landlords need only pay 50% of the cost of the retrofit (an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority grant pays the other 50%) increasing the value of their property and making it a more attractive home to sell or rent”.

The retrofit also includes other measures like applying draught strips to doors and thermal wrap to hot water cylinders. “The combination of these initiatives results in a reduction in both the tenants’ power bill and their demand for electricity from the national grid, 34% of which was generated using fossil fuels (coal and gas) in 2005”.

To apply, visit the

Alternatively, email David on or phone on 04 389 3400 for a friendly, confidential chat about your particular situation and how you’d like to proceed.

Ecokiwi – free advice that brings benefits to you and the environment

Ecokiwi is a free service that gives you advice and resources to help you make little changes in your household that will reduce your impact on the environment and bring benefits to yourself. For example, by simply turning your appliances on stand-by (microwaves, stereos, TVs, DVD players etc) off at the wall, you can save up to $180 a year on your power bill. A twelve pack of beer being around $11.99, saving $180 a year means an extra 180 beers a year! I’ve already done the maths for you!

Another Ecokiwi success story: one Ecokiwi participant was putting all of his food scraps into his council rubbish bag which by the end of each week was surrounded by flies and was creating a terrific aroma. He was keen to try composting but was worried about attracting more flies and mice, so Ecokiwi told him about the Bokashi closed composting system, including where to get one from and how to use it. He’s using less rubbish bags now and the area where he keeps the rubbish bag is far more pleasant. He also has some great compost for his garden.

Another person put a brick into their toilet cistern and is saving at least 1 litre of water per flush. A home of four tenants (approx 12 flushes per day) will reduce their water consumption by more than 4000 litres every year!

To have an Ecokiwi representative talk to you, your flat or a club that you are in, email Sarah, the Ecokiwi Project Coordinator on or call 04-389-3894

The Sustainability Trust is a non-profit charitable trust based in Wellington City. For more information visit

Ministry for the Environment, (2007) Environment New Zealand 2007


About the Author ()

Salient is a magazine. Salient is a website. Salient is an institution founded in 1938 to cater to the whim and fancy of students of Victoria University. We are partly funded by VUWSA and partly by gold bullion that was discovered under a pile of old Salients from the 40's. Salient welcomes your participation in debate on all the issues that we present to you, and if you're a student of Victoria University then you're more than welcome to drop in and have tea and scones with the contributors of this little rag in our little hideaway that overlooks Wellington.

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