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Better Build workshop three

January 28, 2015

6 FEB UPDATE: We are fully booked out for this workshop. Please keep an eye on this blog or like our Facebook page to find out about future workshops.


And we’re back!

This time in Hurstbridge at the new Community Hub on Sunday, 8 Feb.

Book in for the workshop here:



SLF Program Highlights – week 2

February 17, 2014
MobileMuster Phone Recycling Transition Film Festival 2014

Finally got around to recycling my old 'no numbers' Nokia with MobileMuster at the Transition Film Festival.

The Big Weekend is over and we’re into the final Festival straight. But don’t despair, there’s still a whole lotta Festival love happening around Victoria and, dare I say it, events of a high calibre indeed:

Mon 17 Feb:

The Transition Film Festival guys have cultivated another tantalising crop of visual delights for this coming week. And I continue to enjoy their programming experiments such as crowd-funded film screenings and the mobile phone recycling discount.

Musicwood is my top pick of today’s Festival offerings. Given that it’s 6.30pm and I’m mid-post writing it’s unlikely I’m actually going to make it to the Bella Union film tonight. But you might!

Tues 18 Feb:

Project Wild Thing just totally tickles my fancy – one of the best trailers of the Transition Film Festival lineup.

Wed 19 Feb:

Thoroughly enjoyed bashing a few shipping pallets into a functional planter box with the Urban Bush Carpenters crew last year. So I’m keen to see what real artisans have done with this abundant, modern material at the Create from a Crate exhibition in Ivanhoe.

Thurs 20 Feb:

Northcity4′s Renew, Restore, Respect urban revitalisation seminar looks visit-worthy, as does ‘the establishment’ version Open Space at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre.

Regretfully, City of Melbourne’s first Look.Stop.Swap program totally passed me by at last year’s Festival. The irony of working on the Sustainable Living Festival production team is you don’t actually see much of this large multi-platform event.

But thought-provoking sustainability collaborations between CBD retailers and local change makers really shouldn’t be missed. Head to the Look.Stop.Shop Facebook page event listings for the full program of events and timings.

Or better yet, check out this little online map I made of the LSS retailers and pace out your own day tour of all the sites! Just to soothe my dark-corner-rocking inner geek I colour coded the map as follows: green = installations, blue = workshops/interactives, red = food/drink.  Click on the pins for more details. Most activities are on till the 23 Feb.

P.S. My top pick of the LSS program for this week is the Indigenous Garden Talk at Melbournalia, 6pm Thursday.

Fri 21 Feb:

A quick stop in at the Grow Show for a small container garden workshop and then on to the screening of the renewables love story – The Future of Energy. Oh, and maybe some ‘money work’ to pay the bills in between…

Sat 22 Feb

With almost two weeks of Festival action I’ve got to admit am fearing by Saturday…I’ll be a bit knackered! So I was more than a little relieved when I saw the Geelong North Better Block has been postponed to March 15. Highly sensible idea. So instead, I’m kicking back for Bringing It Home: a crowd-funded screening of a documentary on the history and future of hemp.

Sun 23 Feb

Finishing with a creative flourish, I’ll be heading to Sustainable Table’s Treasure from Trash workshop to make crafty good things out of plastic waste.

So there you have it.

Tally-ho chaps!


SLF 2014: Program Highlights – Big Weekend

February 13, 2014

It’s nearly the Festival (SLF) Big Weekend and it’s looking like very civilised, gentle conditions to head in and enjoy the Birrarung Marr delights along the Yarra. There may be a bit of classic four-seasons-in-one-day action so pack sunscreen, a water bottle AND an umbrella.

Australia’s largest sustainable living celebration is one of kind. To my knowledge, there is no other sustainability festival working with the following theory of change:


The Festival aims to create multiple ‘entry points’ for a broad audience to engage with sustainable living by -

The Guided Programming Stream (curated by the Festival core production team)
1. Presenting national and international sustainability thought leaders (the wisdom)
2. Celebrating the ‘disruptive’ sustainability pioneers (the innovation and ideas)
3. Showcasing sustainable living product and service solutions (the tools)
4. Providing thought provoking content in entertaining event formats using humour, art, music,
creative expression and fun (the emotions)

The Open ‘State of Sustainability’ Programming Stream (events staged by community members across Victoria…and beyond!)
5. Connecting like-minded individuals to local and international sustainable living networks (the

At no time is this model more evident than at the Festival’s Melbourne-centric Big Weekend, 14-16 Feb, 2014. Applying my personal selection criteria again, here’s my top picks of the jam-packed program offering:

Fri 14 Feb:

I’m volunteering at the Streetbank stall for most of Friday afternoon so there’s lots of events falling ‘below the fold’ unfortunately. But there’s a few I’m going try and squeeze in…

One of my favourite life delights is thoughtful design well applied, resulting in multiple positive outcomes. Instead of the triple bottom line I prefer framing it as ‘the triple wow factor’. (You know the feeling – you learn about something and immediately go, ‘wow…that just makes so much good sense!’) Learning how to create an edible forest garden has lashings of delicious wow in it for me.

Also dripping in wowfulness is the Treadlie Bike Projector Film Night. Films, bikes, veggie patches and a full moon illuminating your trail – what’s not to like? I’ll be there with my comfy, two-wheeled steed and slightly awkward helmet (it’s too big and black…making me look like a gumnut baby crossed with an SS trooper).

Sat 15 Feb:

A very busy day indeed! Attending even half these events would make me happy-chappy.

Evelyn Roth’s Nylon Zoo tickles my fancy – the giant, inflatable salmon is just so intriguing.

RMIT Green Inventors – love learning about RMIT’s latest student eco-edge walkers.

Chris Jordan at Deakin Edge – an international provocateur straddling the line between art and activism. Have admired his work for some years now. He’s an emotive speaker and I’m looking forward to hearing him deliver the Festival’s keynote presentation.

Battle of the Big – 10 minute ‘popcorn’ insights from some of our leading local change-maker luminaries.

Ok, now for a special last minute addition to the Big Weekend program! For the past week I’ve been in conversation with Ella Agren, creator of the Festival’s Gratitude Box. We’re keen to trial a little extension to her wonderful interactive art project.

At 6pm, Sat 15 Feb, you’ll find us collaborating with the delightful Steph Gesling and the Padmacahaya Melbourne folk for about an hour to deliver a special open heart meditation around the Gratitude Box: come join us for ‘a moment of stillness, joyfulness and collective gratitude’.

I have visions of this looking like some kind of ‘mini-mecca’ or a tiny version of those beautiful solar thermal plants…can you picture it? No? Well, maybe you just need to mosey on down and see it unfold in the analogue world…

Below the Fold

Have a feeling I’ll be too blissed out after meditating to make it to these events, but I would like to get to Art Climate Ethics and Undress Melbourne.

Sun 16 Feb

Backyard Beauties is a new feature of the Festival guided programming stream. I’m keen to get out and explore some of Victoria’s gardening goodness, so I’m aiming to check out this little permaculture farmlet.

Below the Fold

Too many to list, but I would recommend: dining at The Great, Local Lunch hosted by the ever lively Costa Georgiadis, getting some of your over-loved household items repaired at Fix It!and having a squiz at the Suitcase Rummage .

While you’re there, don’t forget to make use of facilities down near the Festival Greenhouse. I mean it. Make sure you go to the toilet! The Composting Toilet Systems (CTS) team will have their first mobile toilet caravan on-site for the day.

I’ve been waiting for the next iteration of sustainable event toilet infrastructure to enter the market for a while now. And, while I’m a big fan of the Natural Event service, it’s going to be interesting to see how the CTS guys build their business – a battle of the bog vans perhaps?

Finally, for those of you who feel the world is a just a little bit better when organised in a spreadsheet, here’s that SLF_personalmenu for you to download again.

See you tomorrow!