Articles on Sustainable living

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A tiny house in the backyard appeals to some as a solution that offers both affordability and sustainability. Think Out Loud/flick

Interest in tiny houses is growing, so who wants them and why?

New research has found a marked increase in people, particularly among women over 50, who are building or want to build a tiny house. However, inflexible planning rules often stand in their way.
Soft Landing recycles the materials of mattresses that otherwise get dumped in landfill. Alan Stanton/flickr

What ethical business can do to help make ecocities a reality

City dwellers are individually starting to do their bit to live sustainably. Now pioneering businesses are aiming to make ecological and social sustainability part of their bottom line.
The uniquely weak regulation of high-rise, high-density development exemplifies the market-driven growth of Australian cities. Julian Smith/AAP

Market-driven compaction is no way to build an ecocity

Achieving the goal of sustainable cities depends on rolling back the market after decades of privatisation and deregulation.
The public and finance sectors – but not the government, it seems – are questioning the wisdom of investing in infrastructure for projects like the Adani coal mine. Lukas Coch/AAP

To get the ‘good debt’ tick, infrastructure needs to be fit for the future

If infrastructure is to meet the needs and challenges of an uncertain future, we need to move beyond the AAA ratings mindset and aim for net-positive social and ecological outcomes as well.
Brisbane cycle path signage: Slow! Michael Coghlan

We should create cities for slowing down

Smart cities are usually optimised like a business for speed and efficiency. Placemaking can slow down cities to improve health and wellbeing and promote more democratic engagement of citizens.
Think of all the resources needed to transform Shenzhen, a fishing town 35 years ago, into a megacity of more than 10 million people. Wikimedia Commons

Our cities need to go on a resource diet

Our cities need to become much more efficient not just to conserve precious resources but to improve the economy, wellbeing and resilience to environmental change and disasters.
A floral wreath made from vegan leather designed by Sofia Moreno-Marcos and York Hon John Liang in 2014. QUT media

Will we soon be growing our own vegan leather at home?

Conventional leather is fraught with ethical and environmental issues. But leather grown from fermented kombucha tea offers consumers a glimpse of a DIY, sustainable future.
Nne-star-rated ‘Catalyst’ houses built to maximise passive solar principles were evaluated against seven control houses built to DHHS standards. Trivess Moore

Sustainable housing’s expensive, right? Not when you look at the whole equation

Emerging research challenges the idea that sustainable housing is unaffordable. It shows sustainability and good design can be affordable when analyses include social, health and wellbeing benefits.

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