In your Backyard: Living Lightly online extra resources


In Your Backyard: Living Lightly, is a guide to making small steps towards a lighter footprint.  We’ve compiled extra materials and videos here to help further your understanding of this exciting topic.

Video stories

A tiny house that includes upcycled parts of a state home is the first step towards sustainable living for an Auckland couple.


Video: Take a tour of Rory Harding’s George Street Orchard in Dunedin

An inventive landscape gardener has transformed a dull inner-city garden into an overflowing food forest.


Video: Dr Compost Ben Elms recipe for a good life and tips for top compost

As a champion of the health and happiness benefits of rich, rotting compost, nothing makes Ben Elms more content than the multitude of microscopic critters squirming in his soil.


CHAPTER 1 Little Living

Video: Sustainable living in a tiny house on wheels, take a tour of Cam and Amanda’s sweet tiny home

A little house on the apiary: Beekeeper Nathan Orr’s tiny house passion stemmed from a teenage illness

35sqm Raglan tiny home wows George Clarke

Eleanor Ozich’s recipes for the simple life

CHAPTER 2 Green Design

CHAPTER 3 Waste Not

Waste reduction inspiration

Take a tour of fabric upcycler Sarah Lancaster’s cute-as-a-button tiny house

Plastic free grocery shopping made easy: Eco experts share tips on how to cut down plastic waste

How a family of four ditched cling film for good

DIY project: Make your own fused-plastic tote bag

Make your own beeswax food wraps: updated recipe

How to make beeswax infused oil and healing beeswax salve

7 things to make with beeswax: Deodorant, lotion, vapour rub

CHAPTER 4 Grow Your Own

Design ideas

Video: How Kate Coughlan’s inner city courtyard garden became a 100% edible oasis

A food farm in the heart of Remuera: Take a tour of zero-waste gardener Peter Ng’s garden oasis

Video: Take a tour of Rory Harding’s George Street Orchard in Dunedin

Tips for healthy soil

Dr Compost Ben Elms recipe for a good life and tips for top compost

Pests and diseases

Organic methods to control codling moth

A Whitby gardener deep in mulch

Guest blog: Elien Lewis uses deep-mulching to grow a bounty of produce in her shady Whitby garden

Small space garden ideas

DIY project: Build a vertical Spud Stacker for growing potatoes for only $35

5 space-saving vegetables that can be trained to grow vertically

CHAPTER 5 Birds and the Bees

Become an egg producer in the city

Biosecurity in the backyard chicken flock: How to keep your chickens healthy when introducing new birds

 Chicken diet dos and don’ts

Feed your chicken flock fermented food

What to feed your chickens to keep them healthy

Getting started with beekeeping

3 common concerns about hosting beehives

Protein, fats and minerals: Why bees need pollen

Attracting beneficial insects

Plant phacelia to attract beneficial insects to your garden

Recipe: Kate’s favourite broad bean salad

CHAPTER 6 From Scratch

Additional vegetable based vegetables from thisNZlife.

Recipe: Soba Noodle, Wakame and Cucumber Salad

Recipe: Beetroot Salad with Horseradish Dressing

Bread making recipes

How to make the perfect sourdough bread

Recipe: 5 Seed Sourdough

On the BBQ: Grilled Flatbread with Spiced Yoghurt

Recipe: Stecca bread with roasted butternut dip

Recipe: Easy no-knead baguette

Fermentation recipes

Recipe: Forage & Ferment wild sauerkraut with turmeric, ginger and marigold

How to make tempeh: the high-protein, low-fat food you can ferment yourself

Recipe: Fermented beetroot

How to make homemade ginger beer

Preserving recipes

How to pickle and preserve zucchinis, courgettes and cucumbers

Recipe: Pear chutney and how to preserve pears

Recipe: Peach jam with fresh grated ginger

Recipe: Nicola Kawana’s Tomato and Horopito Chutney

CHAPTER 7 Energy Smart

Extra online resources
Solar energy

EECA has several tools to use to ascertain if solar is cost-effective.
Hot water:
Solar panels:
Solar calculator:

More stories you might like:
Room to flourish: Social connection at the heart of new Christchurch retirement village

Geothermal heating

Micro wind turbines

Micro hydropower systems

Water wisdom: greywater systemsand rainwater harvesting

Eco-friendly heating ideas

Energy-hungry appliances to avoid

Solar Dehydrator plans


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