Sustainable Living Gets Festive

IMG_0782Despite the temperature pushing the point at which there was a good chance that one of our children may well have spontaneously burst into flames we still thought it would be worth heading into the Melbourne Sustainable Living Festival. In an ironic twist the train company had decided on this of all weeks to do some track work which made getting into this festival by public transport that much more difficult but it was still worth the effort. I’d love to give a full wrap up of everything that was going on but the talks are still a little mature for our family so this is simply a quick snap shot of some of the good ideas or just things that appealed in my heat addled state.

Car Next Door

I think we’ve already written about this but the core idea here is that rather than car shares purchasing a whole heap of new cars to share, this group will facilitate the sharing of peoples own cars. There’s a quick video below to explain more,

When we started this year we couldn’t believe our luck, here’s a great idea that started at exactly that same time that we were planning on starting our year. The fact that our car is low on resale and high on boring reliability made this even better. The downside came when they announced that they would be starting a ‘pilot’ in Bondi, NSW. So you can imagine my joy when I got the chance to mug them in person. I feel a little sorry for the guy since I think I had thought about our desire to get things going a bit more than he had thought that he might be hassled by an over-enthusiastic subscriber. That said the response was great and we may even have some exciting news to add to this. But this is still a great site to check out whether you have an under-utilised car or are thinking “I don’t use a car that much but still want one now and then”.


This is just a tease really since Nikki is going to write a dedicated post about our ongoing relationships with this stuff. What these guys are promoting is a wood like material made out of recycled plastic. It can be used in a whole heap of ways and you’ve probably already seen some of it in playgrounds, parks or other council groups since it’s super hard, immensely stable and requires no upkeep (like oiling or painting) so has been snapped up for park benches and bollards. It can also be used for decking for these same reasons. Like I said stay tuned to hear more or check out for more info.

Doing It For Ourselves

I thought I had already posted about this but it doesn’t look like I have. I had mixed feelings about this animation when I first watched it because it is REALLY powerfully written and the simplicity of the style is makes the start all the more confronting. I worried that the starkness of the message would put people off. I met the creator today and we talked about the need to jolt people into awareness of the size of the problem but not frighten them into hopelessness or denial. See what you think, it’s certainly an impressive example on how to get the message out on a very slim budget.

Tread and PedalsIMG_0777

There was loads of other good stuff there including ideas about raingarden construction, retrofitting draught stopping to old sash windows, volunteering, conservations and load, loads more. But my favorite find of the day has to be Tread and Pedals ( I’m a big fan of bikes and I like the idea of upscaling so this was bringing two faves into one. These guys make jewelery and other items from reclaimed bike bits. Now that’s pretty impressive in itself but the thing that made them jump out was both the quality and the shear ingenuity of some of these items. Feathered earings made from inner-tubes, clocks from sprockets, necklaces from bearings and belts from tyres even using break cables and spokes to make the buckle. This is some impressive stuff and if you know me personally then you may well be getting this stuff should you have a birthday coming up, so choose now at and let me know!

I’m sure there was loads more and I’m pretty sure that I’ll remember something more as soon as I hit publish. Did you go to this event or one like it. Have you seen anything that inspired you about how you can tread lighter?