Sustainable living  |  16 Jan 2019

A fund aimed at encouraging innovation is helping finance a food rescue service in Christchurch, a tool library in Lyttelton, and a pest control initiative in Little River.

The three innovative projects are among more than 32 projects to have received grants from Christchurch City Council’s Innovation and Sustainability Fund since it was set up in September 2017.

Paul Dietsche from the Lyttelton Tool Library.

Paul Dietsche from the Lyttelton Tool Library. The library is one of the projects that has received money from the Innovation and Sustainability Fund.

"Christchurch is a city of opportunity and we want to be able to support the group and businesses in our community who have great ideas about how things can be done differently – and more sustainably. The city has a clear carbon neutral goal that it's working towards, so innovations that help  lead towards that are especially welcome," says Cr Vicki Buck, who chairs the Council’s Innovation and Sustainability Committee.

“Through the Innovation and Sustainability Fund we have given out $860,000 worth of grants to a wide range of projects that are making a difference in our communities and in our environment.’’

Projects that have received funding to date include:

  • City Harvest Food Rescue - A food rescue service that takes quality surplus food and redistributes it through agencies to families and individuals in need.
  • Lyttelton Library of Tools & Things – A library of tools for community use and a platform for workshops, supporting less waste and resourcefulness.
  • Little River Trap Library – Part of community conservation efforts, the library provides traps free of charge for three months with mentorship on use.
  • LiteClub Christchurch – A project that supports 10 local sports clubs to improve their resource efficiency and carbon footprint.
  • Project Sea Change – An app to help the community monitor the location, amoung and type of plastic litter in the environment.

Council Head of Urban Design, Urban Regeneration and Heritage, Carolyn Ingles, says the projects that have received funding were all chosen because of their potential to deliver tangible and long-lasting public benefits to Christchurch.

“We’re delighted by the calibre of applications coming through and constantly impressed by the innovative ideas people are coming up with. Our city is full of creative thinkers who want to make a positive difference and help make Christchurch a flourishing, vibrant city to live, work and play in,’’ Ms Ingles says.

“We welcome applications from community organisations, social enterprises, education and business groups at any point in the year. Preference will be given to Christchurch-based organisations or partnerships involving Christchurch organisations.

“Applicants will need to demonstrate how their project meets the fund’s criteria and how it aligns with the Council’s strategic vision and priorities,'' Ms Ingles says.

To find out more about the funded projects or to apply to the fund visit