Help keep our community warm!

Sustainability Options repairs/maintenance team member Teagan Gregg needs more heater donations. Photo: John Borren.

Residents in nearly 100 Bay of Plenty homes were kept toasty and warm last year thanks to Sustainability Options, which provides free sustainable living advice in the region.

And with temperatures starting to drop as winter inches closer, the altruistic business is calling out to the community again to donate unwanted heaters to families in need.

“The bulk of our heaters do go to young and vulnerable families who need heating.

"We see a lot of houses that don’t have a good form of heating,” says Lee Siegle from Sustainability Options.

“We’re all about environmental and social sustainability,” says Lee, who adds that the business has been working in the Bay of Plenty for more than 10 years.

“One part of our mahi [work] – and a big bulk of it – is working with the Healthy Homes initiative, which helps vulnerable and sick children.

"Last year we were able to provide heaters for 91 houses.”

Lee says Sustainability Options has an open goal of how many heaters they hope to collect this year – albeit, the more the better.

“We visit 1000 homes per year.

"If we are able to collect more than we need this winter, there will be more for whānau next year.

"We see more need than there is resource for.”

It’s important that children, elderly and people at risk of illness have a warm bedroom at night, says Lee.

“If it’s really cold, people all share a bed to stay warm which also contributes to more disease spreading … so there are multiple reasons why heating your room is important.”

Lee encourages families to heat their rooms to 20 degrees Celsius.

“The World Health Organisation says 18 is the bare minimum.

"Anything lower than 16 starts affecting your lungs, and anything lower than 12 starts affecting your heart because your blood thickens."

"So while you’re sleeping, if your blood thickens it puts extra strain on your heart.”

Sustainability Options takes each home case-by-case to show families how to most efficiently heat their rooms.

“That way they’re not just chomping through the power bills, which makes them not want to ever turn a heater on again.”

Heaters can be donated at 59 Seventh Ave, Tauranga City, or Sustainability Options can collect if necessary. For more information, visit:

Watch their video at:

To contact Lee email: or phone: 0220392782

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