Tasman & Nelson Sustainable Living Info

Access the Learning Guides

Welcome residents in Tasman District now and from July 2020 also Nelson City!
You have arrived at Future Living Skills local info page.

To enable free downloads of the learning guides on eight topics, register your email and the district name (use tasman and nelson) on the quick form linked here.

For information on living more sustainably - in addition to the page below:

Tasman, click here

Nelson, click here.  and on their sustainability at home page

Tasman District joined Sustainable Living Education Trust in July 2016 and were followed for a year by Nelson in January 2018.  Your two local contacts are Nichola Brydon at Tasman Council email: nichola.brydon@tasman.govt.nz and Karen Lee, Environmental Programs Supervisor at lesswaste@ncc.govt.nz  (03 546 0200) Tasman are still members and we understand Nelson aim to rejoin in July 2020.

Community Gardens

Join with others to develop your skills to grow the best vegetables, fruit and herbs for yourself and others. Please make contact using the links below:


Gardening more sustainably

Tasman Council website (scroll down page, for gardening) 

Nelson urban food growing guide (download PDF)

Nelson's autumn edible walk at Stoke (download PDF)

Permaculture in Nelson Group (P!NG), meet at Free House, fortnightly Tuesdays 7pm  Ted Howard 021 2386450  kitesfun@gmail.com or Myk Rushton 0213626564  MeetUp website.

Best Use of Resources

To make the best use of resources we value the resources that we already have and think about the consumer choices we make. If more of the resources we purchase and use are reusable, recyclable and support healthy social structures, we can reduce the need for unnecessary waste. We favour a circular economy.

Great ideas and information can be found around reducing, reusing and recycling on the Nelson Environment Centre’s website

For shopper guides to low waste purchases see the Rubbish Trip's pages on Nelson-Tasman and  Golden Bay

Recycling collections

In Nelson City for 'glass blue crate' and wheelie bin kerbside fortnightly collections.   Remember to exclude soft plastic packaging and bags, as they can't be recycled at present. Nelson City downloadabe kerbside recycling guide.

Within Tasman, a yellow-lidded mixed recycling bin is provided to each rated residence for recycling card, paper, hard plastics and metal cans; a blue bin is provided for glass collection. These are collected every two weeks.  More info on Tasman kerbside collections.  (includes downloadable Kerbside Recycling Guide pdf and the timetable).

There are public drop off recycling facilities and waste transfer stations run by Tasman Council at Richmond, Motueka -Mariri, Takaka, Collingwood and Murchison:

  • Collingwood Resource Recovery Centre (Transfer Station)
  • Motueka Resource Recovery Centre (Transfer Station)
  • Murchison Resource Recovery Centre (Transfer Station)
  • Richmond Resource Recovery Centre (Transfer Station)
  • Takaka Resource Recovery Centre (Transfer Station)

Richmond Resource Recovery Centre

By going through the kiosk, the Richmond Resource Recovery Centre will also take compact fluorescent and energy light bulbs, car batteries, small batteries, left over paint, clean fill or rubble to be recycled.  Also whiteware and car bodies can be dropped off for free if you follow requirements. A charge will be incurred if extra removal of items is required. Tyres can be dropped off for a small charge. The metal and sidewalls are removed so these can be then disposed of to landfill. The public drop off area will take used motor oil in sealed containers, empty gas bottles, oil-filled heaters and light and heavy gauge metal - to be recycled.

Electronic Waste is the fastest growing type of waste globally.  They contain dangerous substances that can be toxic if not handled correctly. PCs, printers, keyboards, TVs, monitors, cellphones and cameras can be dropped off to the Nelson Environment Centre for a fee. Tahunanui Nelson Re-use and Recycling Centre 6, Vivian Street.

In Tasman, items can be dropped off or bought from Motueka Recycle Depot (used to be Cee Gee’s) on Robinson Road, Mariri, Motueka. Phone: 03 5267000 or email MotRecycleDepot@kinect.co.nz

Selling and gifting

Surplus household items, giftware, tools, toys, books, etc, can find now homes via sales site on the net, or be donated to the Nelson Reuse and Recycling Centre.  Other options include: Brightwater community FB,    Nelson-Motueka Online Garage Sale  , Nelson Buy Sell Swap,   and offering free goods via Neighbourly. 

Waste free parenting

Find out about modern cloth nappies: The Nappy Lady  

Waste Free events:

Useful info for event organisers at Nelson City website and for enquiries email: lesswaste@ncc.govt.nz

Greenwaste to Zero

Green garden waste can be taken to 18 Cargill Place, off Beach Road in Richmond for a charge. Greenwaste to Zero sells this resource as fabulous compost on a 2-3 year composting cycle. Ph. 03 544 8857

If you cannot recycle or re-use it – use the transfer stations as above in Murchison, Collingwood, Takaka, Motueka (Mariri) and Richmond. All of these wasted resources go to the landfill in Eves Valley !

Rubbish to landfill & hazardous wastes

 Tasman info on hazardous waste.

In Nelson: hazardous waste from your home must be taken to the Transfer Station instead of going out with your rubbish, including:

  • Plant and pest sprays
  • Waste oil
  • LPG bottles
  • Household chemicals
  • Paints and wood stains
  • Fluorescent light bulbs and batteries - refer to the manufacturers' advice

To find out if substances and wastes from households, commercial properties and businesses or farm or rural sites are hazardous and need careful disposal, do check out the Council options and services.  Also see Agrecovery.

Food choices

Love Food Hate Waste

The best ways to keep healthy are also good for our pockets and our environment. Here's some ideas links on making the most of your food budget and reducing waste:

Tasman Love Food Hate Waste webpage

Nelson Love Food Hate Waste webpage.

Nelson Environment Centre run Kai Rescue that collects unsellable but perfectly edible food and distributes it to the community

 Nelson Women's Centre - My Grandmothers Kitchen

Water Use and Impacts

Links for general information from Tasman District Council about water, including water saving tips

Water meter checking - find leaks, in town.

Nelson City tips on water use efficiency.

Help reduce water or stream pollution in Nelson streams and in Tasman  (not least to protect water quality for any abstractions)

Recipes for environment-friendly cleaners and household products you can make yourself - from Nelson Council.

Keep a watch on swimming water quality and on toxic Phormidium and other algae in Nelson streams, in summer.



Community Resilience & Emergency Preparedness

Civil Defence operations are jointly shared between Nelson City, Tasman District Council, Tasman Civil Defence.

Check out what you need and what you can do to be prepared for any emergencies  

Find out about what you can do for a range of different possible emergenies or events to 'get thru' during and afterwards.

Tsunami evacuation area maps are available online

Energy Efficiency at home

Home energy efficiency tips. See also the EECA Energywise website.

Nelson City  provides a free service to residents for building design and advice around energy efficiency, including how to keep your home warm and dry.  Contact Richard Popenhagen on 03 546 0251 or email: Richard.Poppenhagen@ncc.govt.nz.  Further information can be found at Nelson Eco-building design advisor

Tasman page on clean heating, good wood and air quality.

Solar power generation (photo-voltaics) is gaining popularity here, in the sunniest spot in New Zealand: do a site search on the internet for the many local companies and seek competitive quotes. NIWA have a calculator to estimate your solar PV potential. You can be grid-connected or at higher cost completely off-grid.(requires batteries and more care in power use).  Works best if you have a good area of north-facing roof slope.

Travelling around Nelson and Tasman

Cars pollute the atmosphere and waterways. Each moving car releases about 74 million cubic litres of polluted air in its lifetime. Pollutants include:

  • Smoke particles - soot is worse from desiel engines
  • Carbon monoxide and dioxide - global warming gases
  • Nitrogen and Sulphur dioxides - acidic gases
  • Ozone - combines with sulphur dioxide to make irritating summer smog
  • Tiny particles of rubber and brake lining (often includes copper) left on road surfaces, which wash into waterways.

So share car travel if you drive, and also check out alternatives:

Public transport options:
Tasman buses

Nelson buses

Other sustainable transport options:


Nelson City Council walking page.    'Top of the South' roads & routes map link. 

Tasman walking and cycling.


Find maps for great cycling paths to see around the district, on Tasman’s Great Taste Trail at 

Cycle safety information

Pedestrian safety

School travel planning in Nelson (Let's Go)


Extra info on Sustainability in Tasman and Nelson

Enviroschools is a facilitated Programme for schools and early childhood centres choosing a journey for their children and community, of becoming more sustainable. In Tasman this Programme has been supported by Tasman District Council since 2004.  Contact the Regional Coordinator and check out more about the Programme

Enviroschools in Nelson.

Info for parents of small children on sustainability. (download PDF for parents of preschoolers)


Check out the Council and Community Libraries in the Tasman District for reading material and videos which may help your efforts.

Similary, Nelson libraries

 Nelson Council sustainability at home webpage - for more links.

Community groups

There are many community groups which voluntarily support environmental efforts in Tasman District Council

Keep Richmond Beautiful

Keep Golden Bay Beautiful

Streamcare Tasman groups.   Nelson Nature - include stream groups

Nelson Environment Centre can help you connect with city-based groups

Environmental interest gatherings

TOTSEE – is the Top of the South Environmental Educators group,  usually meets once a term.

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 pandemic, flood or earthquake’s disruption? Practical skills offered in our Community Resilience guide.