Rafting the Franklin, 27 Dec 14 – 2 January 15

The island photographed by Peter Dombrovskis that became the image for the campaign to save the Franklin river from being flooded by a dam The only way to see the Franklin River close up is by raft or kayak.  You can fly over it, but to see it in all of its moods, to dwell along its shores, to see the platypus at play, you have but one choice and that is hop into a raft.   Alongside 11 other people led by three licensed guides, I rafted its rapids for seven days and camped... Read More

Are we responsible for our own excreta?

If we choose to be a citizen, to accept responsibility for our own needs, where we can meet them, what is the boundary between the duty we have to manage our own excreta and the duties of the state?   Some mo re questions and an answer in my latest Bathurst Burr column, here. Lots more questions and answers in my books, Sustainable House and Sustainable Food. Enjoy, M  Read More

Sustainable Tip 2 – From pools to ponds

After a fridge a pool will be the biggest, or it can be the bigger, energy user. An option is to change your pool to a pond and, in doing so, cut down the energy and pollution it causes due to the pump running 24/7 and the use of cleaning agents such as chlorine. How:   Put some plants in, change to a low power, low energy pump, or simply turn yours off. Why:   The water is easier to maintain, the yukky chlorine smell is gone, the plants do the cleaning for you, and if you do... Read More

What sewage system for me?

Rory has contacted me asking what sewage system he should buy.  Here’s Rory’s question:   “Hello Michael, I recently bought your book (which is brilliant) as I am in the process of planning a new house to be built on Bruny Island in Tassie, and I knew that I would learn a lot from your practical experiences in dealing with collecting water and dealing with waste onsite. I have long been a regular visitor to your website and blog, too. I have an acre of... Read More

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

What’s a good sewage system?

A beaut question lobbed into my inbox this week and here it is: ‘Hi Michael, First up let me tell you how much I have enjoyed your book.  It is a permanent coffee table fixture in our home at present as we are planning a new house and endeavouring to implement many of the same principles you have adopted.  Infact it has been so popular on the coffee table that three guests have asked to borrow it and all now have their own copies. We are currently building a home in... Read More

Sewage and more sewage

Several questions have come in about sewage. I like that.  We all excrete and the more of us who think about what to do with it the better, I hope, for our Earth’s water, soil and energy. Here’s one: “Hello Michael , A  very good book ………. a lot of information and I will try to do what you have done Yesterday  I  went  to  a home show …. they had a sewerage treatment system but it was only good enough for watering the garden. He... 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

Spectacular 2 min vid about water, muck and little critters

It’s by the wonderful film-maker Emma: www.bing.com…   Wow; how good is that! Thanks, Emma. May the little critters be with you, M  Read More

Over 100 signatures and 19 cities have signed up . . .

? @sustaintheplan Luke has tweeted that over 100 people from over 19 cities around Earth have signed the petition to make the Plan for a sustainable suburb. That’s in the  first week before we’ve widely publicised the petition and the new web site. Great to know, for example, that people in Copenhagen love the Plan and want it made – it applies to any city on Earth – if we can get it made here in Sydney anyone anywhere may use that example to more easily... 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 sustainablehouse.com....au.