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 the 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, then register (which you can top at the top of that page) to get free access to education materials when your local council is a subscriber.  For background reading which does not require password access, see the issues page. Individuals can subscribe too for an annual fee.

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



A few parts of New Zealand offer evening classes led by a paid tutor (a South Canterbury-based occasional gardening tutor is pictured here), but in most areas the '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 rom the eight choices and find practical help there with content and process, including discussion and activity guides, video links, slide sets and activity sheets.

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, to use the 'brand' and 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 makes forming such groups successful settings for learning. And they are a good place to meet people with similar interests, from your locality.

Start with family and friends, invite them each to bring a guest such as a neighbour or work-mate and you'll soon have enough to get started: aim to assemble between 8 and 14 people. Take one topic at a time, according to people's interest. 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 topics. Download 'learning guide' files are grouped by topic - you'll have to register just once to use them, to get the password for your local member council area. 


Where are the learning groups and courses?  (link)