ABC Radio – turning food waste into farm soil

ABC Radio 702 Linda Mottram spoke to Mayor Sally Betts of Waverley council and I today about a ‘game-changer’ project at Bondi to turn food waste into farm soil. The 17 minute interview and background is  here: May the food waste, the soil and the hope this project offers bring a smile to your face,   M  Read More

Too many people, too little oil, too little soil . . .

Does this story sound like us: ” . . . Iran’s population in 1979 when the Islamic Revolution occurred was 37 million; today it’s 75 million. Egypt’s was 40 million; today it’s 85 million. The stresses from more people, climate change and decades of environmental abuse in both countries can no longer be ignored or bought off. On July 9, Iran’s former agriculture minister, Issa Kalantari, an adviser to Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, spoke to this reality... Read More

The Sustainable Communities Plan is on the web

Sydney City Council asked me to make a plan to make the whole suburb of Chippendale sustainable. It’s not just a plan for this suburb; it can be used to make any suburb sustainable – it’s free and you’re welcome to put it to work where you are. Now the Plan can be read on mobiles, kindles and is very easy to search, use and tweet.  Get it here:… Enjoy. You can see some of the folks who support the Plan. Please sign the... Read More

Another day, another composter

Got home tonight to find this lovely email:   Hi Michael, I’ve seen you today giving a presentation to Canon employees. It was a very good one and it certainly made people think about the energy and water being wasted in our everyday lives. Many thanks! I would like to let you know my thoughts on coffee grounds composting. Many small, local cafes do not produce enough coffee grounds to make farmers interested in reusing them (as in your example) so they need to pay... Read More

Great new vid about how to make Chippo Plan real for us all

Mikey Leung tells stories on video.  He’s just made a beaut vid about our plan to make Chippo sustainable and the people who love it so much they’ve spent hours and hours putting it on a new web page for anyone to use to make the place where they live and work sustainable, too:…   Thank you, Mikey – you’re terrific and so’s your vid. Join with us to make the Plan happen and watch the vid and go to the link there .... Read More

Using underground water

A reader has sent me this question: ‘Dear Michael I may have a spring (h2o) or some form of h2o course running through my front yard under the middle of my house & than exiting from the northern corner of the rear of the house. This has been confirmed by a builder who has taken the ‘levels’ to level the house where the house has ‘sank’ in these areas. The house is a 1950′s weatherboard constructed on piers whereby due to the land sloping... Read More

Vertical garden in an hour at $nil cost

Vertical garden with soil exposed Timber pallet vertical garden with soil in sacks Tafe Outreach students built this couple of vertical gardens in my back yard. It took a couple of hours to do the first one but it had to lie down flat for four weeks while the plants took in the soil. The other one was built and lifted up and the top planting done in about an hour; by containing all the soil in the sacks and cutting a notch in the sacks to insert the plants we greatly speeded up... 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

Food prices and weather extremes

The Sydney Morning Herald’s columnist, Paul Sheehan, has today written a column about food prices and weather extremes; see it here -… Speaking of gardening and food, there’s lots of rain forecast for the next few weeks so it’s a good time to be planting, mulching and composting, Michael  Read More

How to keep your compost from smelling

Compostworm instructions Seven compost bins in Peace Park, one for each day of the week A key tool we use to keep compost in our road compost bins from smelling is to turn it at least once a week with an augur. It’s called a ‘Compost Worm”.  The how-to-use for it is with this post. It’s a metal thing with a screw shaped end that we dig in and rotate around the sides of the bins to bring up the wetter material from the lower part of the compost pile and... 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