Deluxe Composting toilets for Kiwi Connect Festival

 Early 2015, GreenEarth was engage to design, build and manage 6 composting toilets for a festival in Upper Hutt. With a tight timeframe and specifications to use eco timbers and recycled materials we made it happen.

Here is a photo of the work:
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Forest Agriculture- Food Forest Wairarapa

GreenEarth is supervising the planting of a large scale food forest project in the South Wairarapa. This is a very unique project looking at innovative ways of food production for long term sustainability. 


The food forest concept seeks to mimic natural forest systems in:

  • Structure- Multiple layers like root crops, ground covers, shrubs, understory and canopy trees
  • Diversity- many plants make for multiple and spread harvests as well as providing support shelter and resilience to disease and climate extremes.
  • Symbiosis- Design is a key part of food forest implementation, various elements are carefully placed and spaced to create mutuallly beneficial relationships. What trees are companions and antagonistic. How do different  soil microorganisms function with different trees?

This project will be an example of implementing food forests on a large scale and will provide  a valuable education and learnings for other projects.

GreenEarth is really excited to be a part of this project. Photos and more details to come. Contact GreenEarth for more information.

Maori Home Injury prevention Project (MHIPI)

Green Earth has been engaged by the Sustainability Trust to provide construction and project management services for a research project conducted by the Otago School of Medicine.

The MHIPI project involves the assessment and remediation of 150 homes in the Wellngton region for slip, trip and fall hazards around the home. Green Earth assesses homes and undertakes remediations such as hand rails on stairs, lighting, decks and balustrades.

It is a great project that seeks to make a real difference to basic hazards around the homes and prevent nasty injuries.

This project is ongoing through 2014.

Contact GreenEarth for more information

SurfAid International Tsunami Recovery Project – Mentawai Islands 2012

GreenEarth will once again partner with SurfAid International in the Mentawai Islands, Indonesia, this time in a consultancy role to promote vegetable production in communities relocated after the devastating November 2010 earthquake and tsunami.

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It is a place that Matt King has spent a great deal of time and has a real connection with the people.GreenEarth will conduct site assessment and formulate a strategy to develop household vegetable production with a view to increasing incomes after the three years.

This is a 3 year project funded by the NZ Aid Program.

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Sustainability Trust Wellington Eco Hub

From November 2011 until July 2012 GreenEarth worked in partnership through the design, project management and construction of the Wellington Environment Centre in central Wellington.

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The construction involved the fitout of office space, warehouse storage and a space for community enducation and display in  900m2 warehouse. This was not the typical building project, the project had at its core several key paramenters in order of priority:

  1. Source salvaged materials that would otherwise go to landfill.
  2. Source recycled materials from building recyclers and other merchants
  3. Source new materials with a recognised sustability certification such as EnvironmentalChoice
  4. Minimise waste to landfill, recycle where possible
  5. Use only nontoxic materials- glues, oils, fillers etc.
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GreenEarth was tasked with:
  • developing the project budget and schedule.
  • Sourcing all materials in accourdance with building design specifications and code.
  • Managing the site construction staff and subcontractors including health and safety.
  • Liasing with Architect and client.

It is a challenging job to quanitify time and materials while using recycled materials. The quantity and quality are never assured.

Examples of recycled materials used included:

  • Framing from building recyclers and salvaved from the skip binns approx 2000 lineal metres
  • Glass for office partitions, salvaged from telcom building- 50 pieces approx value $15000
  • All carpet, doors, door hardware and flooring
  • Reused ceiling tiles from onsite demolition

In addition, the Sustainability Trust was gifted a substantial amount of old timber recycled off the Wellington waterfront and this was machined on site to crete detail exposed timber joinery.

See the Sustainability Trust_EcoHub Project_Brief for more infomation.

Developing a Composting Toilet Solution for Emergencies

Could a compost toilet be the institutional repsponse solution for councils and government in an emergency?

Following on from the great work of the Permaculture Emergency Respose Group’s work in Christchurch through 2010/11, running workshops, talking to stakeholders in council, community groups and individuals a model composting toilet was devised that is user freindly, safe, cheap and simple to use.

GreenEarth and has been in talks with emergency management representitives from the local councils in the Wellington region discussing the activites and lessons from Christchurch and how they may apply to the Wellington scenario.

Although initially the response was hesitant, the potential in the system was realised. GreenEarth also began a public awareness push to guage public interest from a population uninfluenced by the upheaveal of an emergency situation. So through a Tranistion Towns Lower Hutt presentation, Lower Hutt community centre emergency preparedness day (including having mayor Ray Wallace sit on the toilet!!) and a stall at the Kapiti Sustainable Home and Garden Show an poitive respose was guaged providing more momentum to push it along.

In early 2011 The Wellington Regional Council decided to submit a funding proposal for a pilot project to explore the feasibility of composting toilets in emergencies. In June 2012 the proposal has been accepted and work will commence inSeptember on a 4 month project.

GreenEarth along with Gary Williams from Waterscapes ( will consult on the design and implementation of the projectas well as facilitating workshops for council staff and participants.

Throughout this process Greenearth has been involved in:

  • Organising and running workshops on composting toilets.
  • Designing and building composting toilet protoype models.
  • Organising, presenting and discussing composting toilets with Wellington Council officials.

SurfAid International Post- Tsunami Shelter Project- Mentawai Islands, Indonesia.

As a result of the 7.4 magnitude earthquake and subsequent 2-3m tsunami destroy many villagers and killed 500 people on October 2010. Within days GreenEarth arrived in the area and began the project design to rebuild homes for 330 families, 1500 people. Using a community led approach and an asset based methodology, 330 homes were constructed in under 3 months- using earthquake resistant construction techniques developed during the construction of the Katiet Centre and  approx 40 recycled timber from damaged/ destroyed homes, new homes were built by community members that reflect their needs, significantly reduced trauma, and allowed  the rebuilding of livelihoods.

Strong emphasis was placed on the planning aspect of this project. through a thorough community engagement process, a clear vision and transparent process was developed that allowed individual families to rebuild accoording to their needs.  Monitoring played a key role in identify pronblems quickly, ensured quality construction and accounted for all materials provided by SurfAid.

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