How we save 4 million litres of rain each year for less than $300

Cutting leaky drain to size Each year in Chippendale we save over 4 million litres of water to irrigate our road gardens.  We built the drains for this ourselves at a once-off cost of $300.  The story is here.  Read More

Making ice without electricity

An ice house in Iran - Image from Gardens of Persia, Penelope Hobhouse, photo by Jerry Harpur, published by Floriligium (yes, the same wonderful gardening bookshop in Glebe) Four hundred or so years ago Persian engineers made ice without electricity. Ice houses (yakhchal in Farsi, or icehouse) kept ice in the burning heat of the Iran plateau.  They’re rarely used today. They’re up to 20 metres high and 6 or so metres below ground.  A single door is insulated with thick,... Read More

Does my sewage system produce methane?

This question was put to me: ‘Mike, On  recent tour of your house with Ryde TAFE college, you told me the septic tank did not give off methane because of the anarobic bacteria. You asked me to ask the question on your blogg. Being an old fart, I do not know how to use these wiz bang electronic garbbage, so in search of knowledge, I am contacting you directly. My knowledge on septic tanks is limited to the anarobic bacteria break down the liquids; while airobic bacteria... Read More

All drains lead to Chippendale

Another day another drain, more digging, more diesel and petrol and silt and dust into the air and the drains and Sydney Harbour. ‘What is it now?”, you ask? The circular through my door today, announces “Night works in Abercrombie Street from Irving to Broadway”. For the next six months + – yes, ’ 6 – 7’ – the diggers, trucks, sludge, shouts, groans and tra la la-ing will happen seven night a week there.  It’s about 100 metres of Abercrombie that’s... Read More

  • Michael Mobbs

    Michael is a former Environmental Lawyer who is uniquely placed to consult in four main areas:

    • Sustainability Coach and Speaker,
    • Sustainable Urban Farm Design greening, watering and cooling the cityscape, roads, parks, suburbs,
    • Major Projects Consultant Commercial and Industrial,
    • Residential Sustainability Consultant.
    For permission to re-print any articles or to book Michael for a speaking engagement go to Contacts. Please ensure all quotes from Michael's blog include a reference to