Timaru District Sustainable Living Info

Access the Learning Guides

Timaru District Council has been a member of Sustainable Living Education Trust since 2014. After some trial runs of evening class topics from the programme in Timaru and occasional evening series in Geraldine,  the programme's delivery in this District uses 'learning groups' hosted by interested individuals, meeting informally at private homes or workplaces (with no fee), and groups assisted by a tutor or facilitator (where a fee is charged, in oder to to pay the tutor). The tutored eight weekly evening sessions typically cost $45 and are part-subsidised by the Council. Enquiries to Rhys@sustainableliving.org.nz  (he's based in Geraldine)

To offer to host a learning group or to seek a tutor for a more formal group elsewhere within Timaru District, phone Rhys Taylor on 03 693 8726 and also use the link to register your own email as a free user at this website if you have not already done so, in order to download the learning materials and get an  occasional newsletter.   If you're interested to become a facilitator and may need access to more detailed materials, use this registration, also free.

The headings below  provide local web-links relevant to each of the topics in Sustainable Living programe.

Gardens and backyards

Timaru Community Garden - led by Community Crop (find them on facebook).  Film about an orchard pruning day at Transition Timaru's community orchard, Leckie Street.  A second community garden longer-term possibility is at Redruth on a coastal site - see EcoCentre website.

Geraldine Community garden- managed by volunteers on Thursday mornings, Talbot Street. (Tim Rimmer  021 2044951)

Timaru Botanic Gardens Information Centre - open Tues morning, Weds afternoon, Thurs morning. (Wayne 0276114336)

Food choices

Timaru Farmers Market - Saturdays, 27 Strathallen Street.

Geraldine Farmers Market, Saturday morning 9 - 12.30, St Mary's church car park, Talbot Street (Robyn Hart 03 693 7554) Oct to April.

Minimising Waste

Canterbury and NZ waste minimisation website, titled 'One Planet'  (free publicity bookmarks available 2019, email: rhys@sustainableliving.org.nz)

What to do with hazardous substances

How to save on solid waste fees & charges  includes link to brochure (pdf) about Timaru Eco Compost. 

More info on composting and green waste being turned into compost

Transfer station hours & locations for Timaru, Geraldine, Pleasant Point.

Waste minimisation events include "Waste-free Parenting workshops" (last run in mid-2019) with Kate Meads $25 or $30 for a couple. Book through wastefreeparenting.co.nz  website. 

Community resilience and emergency management

What hazards do we face in Timaru District and Canterbury?

Flood hazards, inc map (Jan 2014 newspaper report) - most recent example was Ragitata South Branch flood in 2019 which cut two main highways and the railway line.

Emergency preparedness at home  (click on ‘related information’ to download the checklist)

Building improvements for warm and dry homes

Winter air quality in Timaru and several other towns is affected by smoky home fires - there's a big clean up effort under way.

Background info on how to reduce smoke  and monitoring of high air pollution nights (Timaru, Geraldine)

More on air pollution in Canterbury. 

Guide to wood suitable for burning

Free insulation eligibility for some CSC & SuperGold card holders. EnergySmart  Call for an assessment 0800 777 111.  

Guides to renovation and new build with better insulation and use of sunshine (from Christchurch, post-quakes)

Water use and impacts

River quality (uses maps) search under timaru  http://maps.ecan.govt.nz/waterquality/

Beach sea-water quality for swimming: info  and maps.

Pollution hotline - to report observed water pollution. Ecan 24hr phone 0800 765588.

Using water wisely - how to be water efficient at home.  Timaru District Council info page.

Video on being water wise in summer gardens, 4 minutes.

Getting around the District

Local bus services metro, Timaru  (and for Geraldine look under Community Bus Services link.)


Be Active Programme (Green Prescription GRx) Email: Debbie@sportcanterbury.org.nz  03 9292501

Extra information sources

Timaru District Library catalogue 

Enviroschools in the district:
Geraldine Preschool Inc.;  Grantlea Downs School; Rhona Day Free Kindergarten;
St Joseph's School (Pleasant Point); St Joseph's School (Timaru); Waimataitai School.

Work is under way to fund and build a sustainability education centre (Eco-Centre) at Redruth, next door to the Crow's Nest reuse shop, Shaw Street.

Access the Learning Materials

Click here to access our online learning materials.


Become a Course Facilitator

Click here to apply to become a Sustainable Living course facilitator.

Existing course facilitators, log in here

Tip: After you ‘Get Thru’?
What would you do in the weeks after a flood or earthquake’s disruption? Practical skills offered in our Community Resilience guide.