Tag Archives: Tiny House Tour

Tiny house, big idea: UC alumni Kerry explains why she built a tiny house

As part of Eco Week 2016,  you can tour tiny houses built by UC alumni.

One of these tiny homes was built by Kerry Mulligan, who graduated from UC in 2007 with a PhD in Engineering. She shares her experience of building and living in a tiny house below.


I visited South America in 2014 and was so inspired by all the people there just getting on with things. I decided that I was not going to pay rent ever again. It’s so important to observe how you live and question whether this is the way you want to live, or whether it is just habit or what you think you should be doing. It is amazing what happens once you start this process. I love experimenting and I wanted a home that would work for me and be a place that is an expression of myself and enables me to be creative.

Building a tiny house has helped me to develop a confidence in approaching situations. I now believe that I can most likely figure it out, or find someone who can. I’ve enjoyed learning new skills, the feeling of accomplishment from doing something I hadn’t done before, and the people I have met during the process. I learned how to take calculated risks too – it is important to ‘go for it’, but I also made sure I knew what I was getting myself into.

Good quality shelter is one of the fundamentals of human life and should not cost the amount of financial and material investment that our current culture demands. There is huge potential for reducing the impact our housing system currently has on our social, economic and environmental sustainability.

I hope to share land IMG_3860 smallwith other tiny home people and share resources (for example the washing machine), knowledge and work. Ideally we would have a large vegetable garden, orchard and shared workshop. I don’t yet know what to call this idea. It’s not a commune as everyone still has their own place and can make decisions around that, but maybe it’s a community in the true sense of the word.


The Tiny House Tour will be held on Thursday 22 September, from 1.30pm – 4.00pm. Meet at Erskine/Science car park, Ilam Campus. Bookings are essential as there are seats available for 22 people only. To register, email ecoweek@canterbury.ac.nz or call 03 364 2025. Bring snacks, drinks and clothes suitable for the weather (footwear with closed toes, no jandals or sandals please).

ENGS5715_Eco_Week_WordPress_BNRTo learn more about tiny houses, read Living Big in a Tiny House.

The Tiny House Tour is part of UC Eco Week 2016, which runs from 19-24 September 2016. Eco Week is a festival of events that celebrates and promotes what you can do for the environment, your community and your life.

Monday: Launch: Free ice creams & coffee. Undercroft, 12–1.30 pm.
Tuesday: Food Waste Event: Doco ‘Just Eat It’ & speakers. C Block 6–8 pm.
Thursday: Tiny House Tour. Bookings essential, 1.30–4 pm.
Friday: Edible Campus Tour. Meet Jane outside 1894,  12 pm sharp.
Friday: Sustainability Awards Ceremony. Undercroft 101, 5.30-6.30
Saturday: Sustaina-ball. Bentley’s, 7.30 – late.                                  Sunday: Drayton Reserve Volunteer afternoon (by Geosoc), 2-4pm.

This message was brought to you by the UC Sustainability Office. Connect with us through Facebook or Instagram. Or email us: sustainability@canterbury.ac.nzSave

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How Eco Week came to be!

Eco Week snippit 2In less than two weeks, UC Eco Week 2016 is kicking off (19 – 24 September). The Sustainability Office will be bringing you a variety of awesome events that celebrate and promote what you can do for the environment, your community and your life.

A wee bit of history

Eco Week evolved out of Health Awareness Week. The Sustainability Office used to partner with the UCSA to deliver an annual programme of events in September to promote healthy living.

In 2010, when the UCSA decided not to run Health Awareness Week, the Sustainability Office launched Eco Awareness Week instead, which later became Eco Week. The first Eco Week in 2010 was of course affected by the September earthquakes and as a result we ran it as Eco Survival Week – focusing on practical sustainability skills for surviving in an uncertain environment.

ENGS5715_Eco_Week_WordPress_BNRTo begin with, Eco Week involved a series of small events that continued the theme of healthy living with an eco-twist: so we did things like vegan cooking and gardening workshops.

In 2011 we expanded the idea of Eco Week to really showcase all the sustainability programmes at UC and package them as a comprehensive whole. We also trialed the Sustainability Awards, which, for the first time, rewarded, members of the UC community for their sustainability efforts. After a hiatus in 2014-15, the awards are back in 2016.

They are so important because “lack of recognition” for sustainability efforts has been identified as one of the key barriers to people getting involved in activities that are not part of their work programmes or courses of study.

Growing Eco Week

In 2012 we experimented with a high profile, large scale event. Cycle Runway was a fashion show on bikes that was attended by 200 people, gained national media coverage and involved dozens of designers.

Since that time we focused events in Eco Week around a few high impact events, such as film nights (we are screening the award winning doco Just Eat It this year!), the tiny house tour, the edible campus tour and the fair trade banana ice cream and coffee launch (all free!),  which is always very popular and has now become a tradition.

Since 2014 the communications around, and the reach of, Eco Week has improved dramatically, and every year more staff and students get involved. Every year students and student clubs volunteer at the Eco Week events, or organise their own events during Eco Week. (Check here to keep an eye out for the clubs are holding during Eco Week.)

What’s on

We have some awesome events lined up for you:

Monday 19 September, fair trade Eco Week launch: Come and enjoy free fair trade All Good banana ice creams and free shots of fair trade Jail Breaker coffee in the Undercroft, 12 noon – 1.30pm.

indexTuesday 20 September is about Food Waste. Come for a short food waste get-together with speakers and nibbles, followed by the award-winning doco ‘Just Eat It’ – 6pm to 8pm (C Block). It’s free and non-UC folk are welcome too.

Thursday 21 September, tour two Tiny Houses built by UC alumni. The Tour leaves at 1.30 (meet Katie at Science Road Car Park), back at 4pm. Booking essential, email ecoweek@canterbury.ac.nz. Later on Thursday, Cowspiracy screening by VCUC. Kirkwood, 6-8 pm.

Friday 22 September, learn about where to find free food on UC pears free to usecampus when you join the Edible Campus Tour! Meet tour guide and community gardener Jane Aistrope outside Café 1894 at 12 noon sharp. Later, come celebrate student and staff achievements in sustainability at the 2016 Sustainability Awards ceremony! Undercroft 101 – 5.30pm to 6.30pm.

Saturday, UC’s very first Sustaina-ball presented by the UC Eco Club Network, and the theme is Garden Party. Visit here for more information.

This message was brought to you by the UC Sustainability Office. Connect with us through Facebook or Instagram. Or email us: sustainability@canterbury.ac.nz

UC alumni Kyle on how his tiny house contributes to a more sustainable world

TinyhouseAs part of Eco Week 2016,  you can tour tiny houses built by UC alumni.

One of these tiny homes was built by Kyle Sutherland, who graduated from UC in 2011 with a Bachelor of Commerce. We spoke to him about his experience of building and living in a tiny house below.

What made you decide to build your own Tiny Home? 

I’ve always thought that working thirty years to pay an enormous amount of interest to the bank just to have a roof over my head was a crazy idea. When my good friend Bryce told me about the tiny house he was building and what they can enable, I was sold. From the lower carbon footprint of the build to the ability to generate and store all of my electricity completely off grid through solar panels, tiny houses give a whole lot more than just financial freedom.

What have you enjoyed the most during your Tiny House build?

My brother is a qualified builder currently living in Australia and was an absolute legend giving up three months of work to come help me build it. I enjoyed learning a new set of skills which I previously didn’t have and now have awesome memories working on it with my friends and family.

What advice would you give to somebody who wants to give it a go?

It’s a big commitment for those who aren’t as lucky to have family and friends who specialise in the necessary trades, but it is more than achievable with the amount of self-help information out on the Internet. My key piece of advice would be to do lots of research and ask lots of questions. The design of the house is one of the most crucial steps to successfully building a tiny home.

How do Tiny Houses contribute to a sustainable world?

Living in around 23m2 of space has a much smaller footprint than Ray of Light SMLthe average New Zealand home of 209m2. For example fewer resources are required to build a tiny house, and there is a much smaller area to heat in winter. Combine this with off-grid solar, thermally broken windows built with a north facing aspect, a composting toilet and rain collection, tiny houses are part of the housing solution to a more sustainable world.

The Tiny House Tour will be held on Thursday 22 September, from 1.30pm – 4.00pm. Meet at Erskine/Science car park, Ilam Campus. Bookings are essential as there are seats available for 22 people only. To register, email ecoweek@canterbury.ac.nz or call 03 364 2025. Bring snacks, drinks and clothes suitable for the weather (footwear with closed toes, no jandals or sandals please).

ENGS5715_Eco_Week_WordPress_BNRTo learn more about tiny houses, read Living Big in a Tiny House.

The Tiny House Tour is part of UC Eco Week 2016, which runs from 19-24 September 2016. Eco Week is a festival of events that celebrates and promotes what you can do for the environment, your community and your life.

Monday: Launch: Free ice creams & coffee. Undercroft, 12–1.30 pm.
Tuesday: Food Waste Event: Doco ‘Just Eat It’ & speakers. C Block 6–8 pm.
Thursday: Tiny House Tour. Bookings essential, 1.30–4 pm.
Friday: Edible Campus Tour. Meet Jane outside 1894,  12 pm sharp.
Friday: Sustainability Awards Ceremony. Undercroft 101, 5.30-6.30
Saturday: Sustaina-ball. Bentley’s, 7.30 – late.

This message was brought to you by the UC Sustainability Office. Connect with us through Facebook or Instagram. Or email us: sustainability@canterbury.ac.nz

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