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  • Gavin Smith

Good Curtains for Good Health

Sustainability Options in the Bay of Plenty are doing some great things with used sheets provided by Alsco. This is a classic win/win, diverting used linen, that would have previously ended up in landfill, into a second life within our communities.

In the village of Kaingaora, Sustainability Options have set up DIY workshops to help those in the community who are keen to learn how to keep their homes warm and dry.

Kaingaora is a small independent village in the Bay of Plenty, about 40 minutes drive from Rotorua or Taupo. The village was once a thriving forestry village with a flourishing community until the close down of local forestry businesses in the mid 1980's. It has been a struggle since.

Sustainability Options have been working alongside Te Puni Kokiri and also Te Arawa Whanau Ora, running a series of DIY (do it yourself) workshops to help those in the community who are keen to learn how to improve their own homes. The workshops cover a large range of house maintenance and repair activities including maintaining gutters and drains; fixing leaking taps; painting cladding; fixing windows; installing underfloor moisture barriers; draft proofing windows and doors; good ventilation and insulation practices; and installing 'secondary glazing' by making , improving and installing good curtains.

Good curtains are critical to maintaining healthy temperatures in the home. Every window is an easy avenue for valuable heat to escape from the home. Every window is essentially a hole in the wall, with a bit of glass to stop the wind. To help maintain a healthy home temperature, and to help lower the cost of heating, good curtains are essential. A good curtain needs good rails with no air gaps, and a good curtain needs 'layers' to trap the air and to help prevent heat escaping. Good curtains are also ideally quite long. At the curtain workshop, we asked the whanau to bring in their curtains to line them with layers of sheets. In this way, we are massively improving the performance of the curtains.

10-12 people attended the hugely popular curtain workshop in September. They lined a good number of curtains then installed them in to one home. Whanau were also given sheets to take home and to enable them to line their own curtains. The whanau that attended were amazed at the difference that good curtains make to the warmth of their homes.

Jo Wills from Sustainability Options has led the workshop series, teaching the team to make curtains, to repair windows, and even fix holes in walls. Her enthusiasm demonstrated to all those attending that DIY is truly something we can all do. Alsco is most happy to be associated with Sustainability Options, and to see our sheets being put to good use in this fantastic community initiative. Well done to all involved.


Sustainability Options

Sustainability Options is an altruistic business working with cold, at risk and vulnerable families throughout the Bay of Plenty. We help families who seek help to improve living conditions, housing performance, and sustainable living.


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