People may soon be able to save the planet from the comfort of their own living rooms.
As part of a council push to raise awareness of sustainable living, educator Natalie Hormann has begun offering workshops to participants in their own homes.
Natalie, who puts into practice her message at a two-acre property in Akatarawa Road, Upper Hutt, says the workshops are more effective when families, friends or neighbours gather in an informal setting – whether living room, kitchen, garden or, in some cases, local school or church hall.
It’s all very hands-on: participants get practical tips on saving money, reducing waste, eating healthily on a budget, spending less and wasting less, choosing products that are kind on the planet, wise water consumption, growing your own food, composting, environmentally friendly financial investments – even an audit of the home where groups gather.
Workshops consist of three two-hour sessions and cost $20 per person (a minimum of 10 people needed). The content can be tailored to participants’ preferences or existing knowledge.
Natalie has a wealth of practical experience to back up her advice. She and her partner and two children conduct what they call an “experiment in permaculture living” at their aptly named property, The Rabbit Hole.
She says they are trying to “turn their lives, land and community into a locally sufficient wonderland, a place with a lasting future”. However, she says the greatest change she personally can make is to bring about a mental shift among those at her workshops.
“Living off the land is not for everyone, though there is still a lot you can do to pursue sustainable living in the suburbs – small changes that, if implanted widely, can make a big difference.”