There is no ‘try’, just “do . . . or do not”

Yoda was right when he said to Luke Skywalker, ‘do . . . or do not’. The same goes for me, anyone wishing to be ‘sustainable’, and all of us seeking to sustain our lovely Earth. I’ve written about this in my column, Bathurst Burr, for The Fifth Estate.  Read More

Sustainable school in Ubud, Bali

At yesterday’s tour of Sydney’s Sustainable House I met two people from Indonesia and they sent me this email to provide more information about a sustainable school in Ubud: Hello Michael, How are you? I’m Andra, I visited your house yesterday with my girlfriend, Asela, Firstly, thank you for the tour, it was very entertaining and informative. This is the Green School near Ubud, Bali, that I talked about yesterday.… Last year I did... Read More

Boston Uni students tour Sydney’s Sustainable House and road gardens

Last week 21 students from Boston Uni toured Sydney’s Sustainable House and the road gardens. The teacher, Gordon Hinds, let me have this background note about the Boston Uni course being taught in Sydney: Boston University has a campus in Sydney near Central Station in Regent Street. The campus has about 120 students accommodated in a dormitory style high-rise building with lecture theatres below the accommodation tower. Boston University offers it students the chance... Read More

Solar panels increase re-sale value

A study of house sales in the US shows a clear increase in value when a house has solar electricity panels.   The study is reported in Reneweconomy this week.   The article says: “Installing rooftop solar panels boosts a home’s resiliency and green credentials while cutting utility bills, but does it also increase a home’s resale value? The answer according to Exploring California PV Home Premiums, a new Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) study,... Read More

Australia’s best gardening bookshop

Luckily for me my favourite gardening bookshop is in Sydney, about 15 minutes walk from where I live in Chippendale. It’s Floriligium at 65 Derwent St, Glebe. Inside the cool, quiet old sandstone building you’ll find a wonderful, complete coverage of all things that grow and if you ask for help your visit will be made richer by talking to the knowledgeable owner, Gil Teague. So I’m giving it a shameless and proud plug and suggesting that you either drop in or... Read More

Anyone can see how much electricity we use in Sydney’s Sustainable House

If anyone wishes to see how much electricity is used and how much is made from the sun each day at my house they can now do that any time, anywhere.   This website has a menu heading called, “My electricity“.  If you use it you can see the amount of electricity used and generated by the solar power system each day, month or year at Sydney’s Sustainable House.   By making energy data available to anyone I hope it may be used as a guide for those choosing... Read More

See Josh Byrne’s video about the Fremantle ecopops and his house

Josh Byrne, Michael Mobbs and Mayor Brad Pettit As Josh Byrne, the Western Australia presenter for ABC TV Gardening Australia‘s show, builds his ten star houses in Fremantle he is documenting it and making the plans, costs, data and details available for all to see. In the latest video Josh covers the ecopops as they were being built in Fremantle then takes the viewer to his houses. It’s a useful summary of both projects and you can see the 4 minute 40 second video... Read More

Sydney Standard article and video about bookshop conversation

The Sydney Standard was at the Berkelouw conversation with Costa and I last Tuesday and the article and a video is published today here.   The Berkelouw Bookshop in Oxford Street, Sydney, is one of the more civilised, civilising and well-lit bookshops around.  With beautiful timber floors, tall windows, high ceilings and timber shelving and desks it’s a relaxing place to read, have a meal or glass of wine and enjoy the world of books and ideas.   Recommended, M  Read More

Low, consistent bills that don’t keep rising

A measure of a sustainable place to live is whether the energy and water bills are consistent, low and don’t rise. Today in the first week of 2013, fifteen years after I made my house sustainable – November, 1996 –  and I’ve just received the latest electricity bill for the house and the four people who live here. The energy company owes me $22. The electricity bill for the period 21 sept to 18 Dec 2012 shows: the house has a credit of $22.20 the electricity... Read More

Looking for a vacant lot for my city tent

Please let me know if you see a vacant lot in the area from Sydney’s eastern beaches out to Marrickville, Newtown or so.   The lot can be soil and grass or concrete, residential or factory.   I want to put a tent on it to stay in temporarily.  More on the design, food, water and living plans later.   I can’t offer prizes or inducements for this information but would love to see you sitting on a pallet bench on the  lot outside my tent with a cold beer... 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