Sustainable Living Learning Guides

Practical information to build future living skills


In addition to an introductory reader, the eight Future Living Skills (or 'sustainable living') learning guides are on: 

  • energy efficiency: cut your power bill
  • eco-building: solar design and insulation
  • water use and river protection
  • organic veges & growing crops at home
  • waste minimising in your consumer choices
  • food: healthy choices, shopping & processing
  • travel options and their carbon impacts
  • community resilience (links with Civil Defence)

They have been designed to work both as independent topics and as a study series, learning/discussion group or a evening class led by a tutor. Tutored clases are available in a few locations, such as Timaru District, Christchurch and Upper Hutt, but the self help learning groups can be run anywhere that we have partner councils, across NZ. See our Districts page for what options are available in your local area, where if your Council is a member you can then register  free (which you can do at the top of that page) to get no-cost access to learning guides and accompanying education materials.

Individuals can subscribe (from anywhere in NZ that's not yet in a member District) for an annual fee of $39.  Email to arrange this.

For background reading which is public, and does not require password access, see the issues page.

Consider using our short survey to tell us what topics most interest you and how you like to learn, as it helps in further course deign.


 Evening classes

A few parts of New Zealand offer evening classes led by a paid tutor (such as a South Canterbury-based gardening tutor, pictured here), but in most areas a 'Sustainable Living' or 'Future Living Skills' self-help learning group is the way to go, with no tuition fees to pay! 

Would you like to host such a learning group for family and friends, street neighbours or workmates? Register, download the learning materials on your preferred topics from the eight choices to find practical help there on content and group learning activities, web video links, plus slide sets and extra readers.  Recruit from 8 to 16 people to make the group.

We are experienced in helping adults learn about sustainability.  Our education materials are peer-reviewed and independent of commercial advertising, unlike most print and web media sources. Suppport from local government makes this idependence possible.

See our info for tutors if you would like to run a class series within a subscribing Council district using this material, especially if you want our endorsement, in order to use the 'brand' (especially if you intend to charge a fee). Then email:


Over the past 17 years, our evening classes have attracted significantly more women than men (such as this early group of teachers and parents pictured at Freeville School in New Brighton), but otherwise Sustainable Living has attracted a great mix of ages, backgrounds and income levels. The mix of life-experience across generations makes such groups successful settings for learning. They are a good place to meet people with similar interests, from your locality.

Tackle one topic at a time, according to people's interests. The 'Actions you can take' page gives an overview and free background information, then go to the districts page for local information, which you will find grouped under the same topic headings. Download 'learning guide' files are grouped by topic - you'll have to register just once to use them, to get the password access.


Where are the learning groups and courses?  (link)