Walking all parts of Melbourne before and after the pandemic hit was eye-opening. It brought home just how much change is possible if we wish for a better, more sustainable way of living.
Going from a single spore to a finished fungi-derived leather product takes a couple of weeks. But raising a cow to maturity for bovine leather can take several years.
Homes powered by renewable energy in Denmark.
Building a greener economy starts at home.
A climate action march in London, February 2020, before the onset of lockdown.
By self-isolating, people all over the world are acting for the collective good. That's encouraging for tackling climate change.
Used with permission of Natalie Mendham/Designful
Creating a simple, sustainable home isn't as easy as it sounds. But with some planning and hard work, it can be an exciting and fulfilling journey.
Earth-covered houses are not only highly fire-resistant, but sustainable features such as off-grid power and water supplies could also be life-saving in a bushfire.
Year 7 students at the International School of Helsinki, Finland, doing a sustainable development exercise with the author (top left) and fellow teacher Rachael Thrash.
My year of buying almost nothing saved me thousands of dollars – but also taught me valuable lessons as a teacher, including about the benefits of failure.
Plastic packaging isn't always the enemy and don't be fooled by organic labels.
Our smartphones are made by rare earth metals, and consume large amounts of electricity.
Katie McLean / Author provided
Last year, it was estimated data centres around the world generated the same amount of carbon emissions as created by the global airline industry's fuel usage.
The most thoughtful gifts can also be the most sustainable, and last long after Christmas has ended.
Ecological economics focuses on sustainability and development, rather than the traditional economic concerts of efficiency and growth.
Ecological economics focuses on sustainability and development rather than efficiency and growth. Cities, as home to 70-80% of economic activity, are at the heart of the challenge of being sustainable.
Cloud computing can play a crucial role in helping African countries reach sustainable development.
The costs of keeping a roof over our heads create a dependence on market growth that puts low-consumption, sustainable living out of reach for many of us.
The cost of land and, in turn, housing forces people to buy into the rules of market capitalism, making it very hard to 'downshift' from consumer lifestyles. But what if we rethink public housing?
One in 10 shops in the UK lies empty. These buildings could be put to good "meanwhile" use to benefit and sustain communities.
Although tiny houses take many forms, most are situated in rural or semi-rural areas.
Tiny houses aren't for everyone, but most people who live in them are positive about the experience. Yet planning laws still make this way of life harder and less secure than it could be.
Planning and design for healthy, liveable communities in the Australian tropics can involve quite different considerations from those that apply down south.
There's no such thing as a one-size-fits-all plan for sustainable, healthy urban living. Urban diaries help identify what works – and doesn't work – for tropical cities like Cairns or Townsville.
What does a green star rating – One Central Park apartments in Sydney
received five stars, for instance – actually mean?
Buildings are central to creating more sustainable cities, and green ratings are often used to assess how well a building measures up against this goal. But the current system has serious flaws.
The old Pratt Street power plant in Baltimore in the US is now home to commercial uses. But the heritage preservation is compromised by advertising that is not sympathetic to the building style and design.
Adaptively re-using buildings can preserve heritage while enabling new uses that help make cities more liveable and sustainable.
We need to look behind the sharing economy’s apparently informal, casual intent to consider the impacts on people’s lives.
In cities dominated by globalised market forces, how can we achieve social equity and justice? For any sharing economy idea, we need to ask what will it do to fix the big problems confronting us all.
Producing fresh fruit and vegetables year-round has a hidden cost.
Would you be shocked by a supermarket without carrots, potatoes or broccoli, at any time of year? But harvesting in the off-season does serious damage to our soil.