top of page

Sustainable Living Stonnington: Follow our family’s journey to reducing our carbon footprint and living more sustainably.

This year, I embarked on a Sustainable Living course at the University of Tasmania, and it has been an incredibly enjoyable experience. In conjunction with my work in ecotherapy, I am actively seeking ways to integrate sustainable practices into both my personal life and professional endeavours. Our family, consisting of six members—two adults and four teenagers—resides in an urban setting in Glen Iris, Melbourne, Australia. While we acknowledge our privilege relative to global standards, we increasingly feel the importance of treading lightly on the land and actively preserving it.

For the past two years, we've been living in a charming Edwardian home, which has a modern back extension and an upstairs parent retreat. Upon moving in, we found the front and backyard minimally landscaped, featuring a simple cottage garden and no native plants. Our current aim is to enhance the sustainability of our home and transform the garden into a thriving habitat for indigenous flora and fauna.

Sustainable Living

Our journey began with the rewilding of our backyard. Initially featuring a significant grassed area and non-indigenous trees with few edible plants, we undertook landscaping changes, drastically reducing the grassed portion while introducing indigenous and edible plant species. Initially messy looking, the garden gradually flourished, attracting a diverse array of birds and insects. Notably, the increased foliage provided more shade and we facilitated soil enrichment through composting and nutrient supplementation.

We received a lot of indigenous plants through our local council for free which was a great initative. It was mostly tube stock so although these species started off quite small they have since grown and the native grasses are spreading. We also purchased some indigenous plants from Bunnings and Karunga nursery. We used the Sustainable Gardening Stonnington guide to help us know what plants to buy for our local area. The Smart Garden program also has a lot of great resources to help you design and plant your indigenous and edible garden.

Late last year, we got for an energy assessment of our house. Caroline Burgess from Be Comfy conducted the assessment, and we were impressed with her expertise and recommend her services. Currently, we're implementing the recommendations outlined in the assessment, which cover areas such as energy consumption, transition to renewable energy sources, improvements in building infrastructure, appliance efficiency, and solar battery integration. The comprehensive report we received not only evaluated our home's current sustainability but also provided predictive modelling, suggesting potential surplus energy generation—a testament to the transformative power of sustainable upgrades!

Sustainable Living Melbourne

We have already changed all the windows and doors upstairs to double glazed that have sound proofing quality and the material is Aluplast uPVC which has received the top-ranked European Passivhaus-Standard certification for energy efficiency. The company that we highly recommend is called Astellite. The next step is have block out blinds installed in all the bedrooms and we're getting some caulking done in to close up any leaks in the house including the fireplaces.

While systemic change may seem daunting, focusing on household and land-based initiatives can yield tangible results brining with it a sense of meaning and purpose beyond the individual self. The energy assessment serves as a roadmap toward sustainability, offering prioritisation strategies and long-term upgrade options. I urge others to embark on this journey by conducting their own assessments and initiating sustainable practices. For nature enthusiasts like myself, rewilding gardens or nature strips can foster biodiversity and serve as a rewarding endevour. In Stonnington, initiatives like Rewilding Stonnington have advocated for legislative changes that facilitate rewilding efforts on nature strips, contributing to local biodiversity conservation. Witnessing the return of diverse bird and insect species into our garden reaffirms our commitment to environmental stewardship and instills hope for future generations. Through sharing my experience with Sustainable Living via blogs, videos, and photos, I hope to inspire others to embrace sustainability as a wellbeing practice and join us on this transformative journey in Stonnington and beyond.


bottom of page