Celebrating the 2023 Resident Led Sustainability Award Entrants

We wanted to take a moment to celebrate everyone who entered this year’s Retirement Villages Association Resident Led Sustainability Awards.

They are proof of our belief that we can all do things that make a difference to the world we live in.

Arvida St Albans: “Recycle what we can in an easy way” is the approach taken by residents at St Albans. Their various initiatives include changing from single-use to multi-use items; upcycling instead of buying new; stopping the use of single-use plastic bags, and starting a soft plastics collection.

Arvida Te Puna Waiora: The introduction of chickens has reduced food waste, with the added benefit of free-range eggs, and both sustainability and wellbeing benefits for residents in Te Puna Waiora. Residents drove the initial set-up and are responsible for the chickens and enclosure. The chickens contribute to residents’ sense of community, promoting physical activity, stimulating mental function and providing nutritional benefits.

Bupa Wattle Downs Retirement Village: Residents had a desire to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill. They introduced a soft plastic collection, compost and recycling bins, and one household bin for other items. The household waste for landfill has been significantly reduced because of the changes, proving that even a little village can have an impact on the environment.

Freedom Lifestyle Villages Cambridge Oaks: Establishing pest control around their village, has resulted in an increase in native bird-life and tree growth, and created a sense of place and connection to surrounding land for residents involved in the initiative.

Metlifecare Kapiti Village: The “Eco Warriors” group has been active in Kapiti Village since 2020. Their most recent sustainability project was establishing a food-waste collection, enthusiastically supported by residents. The initiative proved so successful the Eco Warriors had an abundance of food-scraps, so arranged for a local business to take the excess scraps and compost them for the use of growers and farmers.

Metlifecare Crestwood Village: The “Crestwood Green Team” wanted to create an environmental initiative that also engaged isolated residents. They established a food scrap collection, soft plastics bins, and arranged for an eco-homes expert to share insights and inspiration with residents. But what has had the most impact is the door-knocking, chats over a bit of tea, and other efforts of the Green Team to connect with other residents, and engage them in the initiatives.

Arvida Parklane Village: The transformation of a storage room into a craft space, has created an area where resident-led sustainability initiatives overlap with time to connect and unwind. Activities so far have included repurposing pre-loved clothing into items like tote bags, making reusable napkins, and fast fashion discussions and debates.