Jizzy Green of Katikati is living proof that you can live a sustainable lifestyle while living in the middle of town.
Jizzy and husband Mike‘s 1228 square metre backyard is a veritable supermarket – it’s bursting at the seams with 60 fruit and nut trees, a hot house and full vegetable gardens.
Grid-tied solar panels provide most of their power and heat their water.
They also harvest rainwater in case of emergencies.
Simply put, the Green’s backyard is a model example of Western Bay’s Sustainable Backyards programme run under the umbrella of Envirohub Bay of Plenty.
Envirohub, supported by Western Bay of Plenty District Council, works in Western Bay and Tauranga communities educating, informing and inspiring people to take part in sustainable environmental actions.
Envirohub manager Laura Wragg says Jizzy and Mike are proof that you don’t need a lifestyle block to achieve sustainable living.
“The Western Bay is home to many passionate environmentally-minded individuals who are only too willing to share their journey and skills.
“We encourage everyone to take that first step towards a more sustainable existence, start small, keep taking steps and see where they take you.’’
Jizzy is a great ambassador for Envirohub in Katikati, spreading the sustainable message through a variety of regular workshops.
These include the sustainable living workshop Growing GreenNZ, teaching environmental education at local Early Childhood centres and schools, Trash to Flash workshops which convert rubbish into useful day-to-day items and running Boomerang Bags Katikati where people sew donated fabric into reusable bags.
The programme is supported through Katikati College and Robyn Cameron who provide the sewing machines and Fabric Tech room.
The journey for Jizzy and Mike started 14 years ago.
They bought a quarter acre plot in town, built an eco-house and planted their entire backyard as a `green’ supermarket.
“We share with people that the first step to sustainable living is turning your backyard into your supermarket and that growing greens is the first step,’’ says Jizzy.
“Each step takes people to the next step – and before long it becomes a passion – and then an obsession!’’