Green words, by Emma

How to lead a greener lifestyle, with Emma Bowen, our previous editor.

Creating sustainable communities

sustainable communities

Credit: iStockphoto

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It can be easy to feel overwhelmed by the challenges we face, but more than ever there is an encouraging wave of change: the power of community. Change starts at home with the individual, and as we embrace this communities of people thriving for sustainability are being created Australia (and world) wide.

Alongside this increasing interest in sustainable living, one thing that’s particularly encouraging and growing rapidly is the support and green vision from our local councils. With federal and state governments commonly tied up in bureaucracy and lack of substantial change, many local governments are taking it upon themselves to substantially initiate change for individuals and communities.

A thriving NSW example is City of Sydney’s Green Villages initiative. As the City of Sydney council plugs away at their Sydney 2030 vision of a sustainable and connected city, their Green Villages program is working to change things at home for residents with free workshops on anything and everything from installing solar, growing your own fruit and vegies, upcycling through learning basic upholstery, composting, natural cleaning and more.

They are working to inform residents on rebates for anything from solar to rainwater, keep them up to date on helpful green living advice and most importantly, connecting people to each other – an oft-forgotten key element of making our cities more sustainable.

Furthermore, they along with many other councils are encouraging communities to stake their claim on a bare patch of land and create community gardens, often backed up with grants for these (and other) sustainable projects.

Though City of Sydney are a shining example of a council working toward a more incorporated greener community, they are one of a huge number of others Australia-wide who are reaching out to their residents to green their lives. Jump on your local council website to check out what they have on offer. Take up the opportunity to be involved, learn a little, maybe even apply for a grant, and hopefully meet some great neighbours!

Is your council a great greenie or are they behind the times and offer little? We want to know! Leave a comment below or email us at