Green is lean in campaign

By Lindy Laird

Not-for-profit organisations already have to run on an oily rag so it makes sense for them to get the real oil on how to be more eco-friendly and save money.

An ASB Community Trust grant will enable Eco-Solutions to do "sustainability audits" on about 20 not-for-profit organisations in Northland.

Eco-Solutions manager Monique Portegys said the audits will help the organisations save money as well as ease pressure on natural resources and reduce material going into landfills.

The audits will cover three aspects of sustainability at the organisations' premises - recycling waste produced there, electricity and water use.

"For example, we'll be able to give really practical advice and solutions to reduce landfill by making what are often very simple changes," Ms Portegys said.

The $20,000 grant package will also enable Eco-Solutions to provide materials such as compost or recycling bins to organisations which want to keep the workplace eco-friendly, she said.

The auditors will visit the workplaces for a walk-through analysis, research the water and power bills and then come up with a practical plan for achieving change. That might be as simple as shifting where the recycling bin is placed to make it more accessible or coming up with new work practices to cut electricity usage, she said.

"Some people do recycling or power and water reduction at home but work in a place that isn't geared up for it."

While some recommendations could be put into place instantly, such as turning off computers and lights, an audit could highlight a landlords' responsibilities, too.

Eco-Solutions has completed an audit at the CAB rooms in the old Town Hall in Whangarei. Having insulation installed at that site would mean power savings for tenants, make it a healthier place to be in and help preserve a heritage building, she said.

- Northern Advocate

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