Sustainable Design & Management

Whether it's your dream home, a tourist operation or developing a regional or national development strategy that's sustainable, this guide provides resources for individuals, businesses, communities and governments at all levels.

From your home and office through to commercial projects and undertakings of regional and national significance, incorporating environmentally friendly and sustainable development design, planning and management strategies for the natural and built environments is a win-win situation.

The Your Energy Savings Updated Information for Households; "Practical advice to reduce your home energy bills."  Businesses; "Advice to manage your business energy costs", and Government priorities; "Learn more about what the Australian Government is doing."

Your Home "is your guide to building, buying or renovating a home. It shows how to create a comfortable home with low impact on the environment – economical to run, healthier to live in and adaptable to your changing needs."  Get all you need from the web site, or purchase the hard copy.

War On Waste AU NEW An update on the Carbon Cops theme.  Take a quiz, take a survey, find new ways to reduce your carbon and waste footprint.  Reduce, reuse, refuse. NEW

Home/Office/Lifestyle - What can I do?


  • Australia's National Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development (1992). So you wanna be sustainable?  Here's the checklist, with lot's of common-sense solutions.  Everything you need to consider is here, no matter what kind of development or enterprise you're contemplating.  Now in its 27th year, it's interesting to wonder whether we'd be up the flooded/fire ravaged creek as badly as we are now, had this strategy been fully embraced from the start. See also >> ESD Index which includes links to additional federal and international ESD resources.
  • Sustainable House Michael Mobbs has been living in his own Sustainable House in inner city Sydney since 1996.
  • Carbon Cops This was compulsive TV viewing, with presenters showing the victims .... er volunteers, a load of simple, practical and easy changes that saved money and in all cases, reduced their household carbon emissions by more than 50% (without sacrificing their lifestyles), and you can too!
  • War On Waste AU NEW An update on the Carbon Cops theme.  Take a quiz, take a survey, find new ways to reduce your carbon and waste footprint.  Reduce, reuse, refuse.
  • ecoBiz Queensland "CCIQ ecoBiz is a free program that helps businesses save thousands of dollars across their power, water and waste bills. Through ecoBiz, businesses put sustainable ideas into practice. The free program consists of a number of tools and events including one-to-one coaching, site survey, tools to benchmark, workshops and webinars."
  • Greenfleet "Greenfleet's policy is to plant trees to create forests in areas of enviornmental concern, putting back the mix of native species that had been there originally. The trees are propagated from seed collected in the local area to provide maximum ecological benefits - reducing salinity and soil erosion, and providing essential habitat for native species. The majority of our plantings occur in winter because the rains help to get the trees off to a good start." An environmentlly friendly, ecologically restorative, feelgood way to offset your emissions from car, home and aircraft use.
  • The Griffith University EcoCentre "is nestled within the Toohey Forest on the Nathan campus of the university. ... The design and operation of the EcoCentre follow strict “eco-design” principles, and feature solar energy, ambient ventilation and lighting, rammed earth walls for temperature regulation, rainwater collection for “greywater” use, and wet composting toilets. All reflect domestic scale environmental technologies that can be used in the family home."
  • The Gumnut Awards Program "The Gumnut Awards is an environmental rating program for holiday parks caravan and RV dealers and manufacturers and suppliers to the industry. Developed by the Caravan and Camping Industry Association of NSW and independently assessed by the University of Western Sydney, the Awards recognise caravan and camping businesses who have demonstrated a commitment to environmental sustainability and socially responsible management
  • The Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF) “ a university research institute that creates change towards sustainable futures by conducting independent project based research for Australian and international clients.  We draw on a range of methods and tools from different disciplines, creating practical solutions to real world problems.”
  • Planet Ark "Your daily guide to helping the planet. ... Planet Ark's aim is to show people and business the many ways that they can reduce their day to day impact on the environment." Australian based environmental organisation offering recycling solutions for by-products of our current lifestyles, plus Planet Ark news
  • Your Home "is a suite of guides for home buyers and renovators to encourage the design, construction or renovation of homes to be comfortable, healthy and more environmentally sustainable."


  • The Green Hotels and Responsible Tourism Initiative "is an educational resource designed to help travelers, hoteliers, and local communities develop and promote environmental, social, and cultural sustainability by increasing awareness of issues affecting tourism and showcasing best green practices for hoteliers."  From Hotels Combined.  Make of it what you will.
  • My Green Directory “started life as in 2006 as an eco directory supporting and promoting businesses with environmental ethics.  Listings of companies that sourced their products sustainably were difficult to find at that time and we wanted to provide readers with the chance to find businesses that genuinely followed an environmentally friendly ethos and provided ethical, fair-trade, organic, natural, sustainable and socially responsible products and services all in one place.”
  • "Sustainable Travel International Updated is committed to working with governments, companies, NGOs, and communities to support and help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.  For thirteen years, we have been developing, testing, and sharing our inclusive methodologies, tools and knowledge to enable self-directed sustainability for the travel and tourism industry."
  • EcoBusinessLinks Environmental Directory US based. "Looking for organic food, cheap solar energy, a sustainable house, organic cotton, a vegetarian date, an organic farm, a sustainable community or eco products?" Simple table based, fast loading design to manufacturers, retailers and organisations worldwide (with focus on USA), that can supply environmentally friendly goods and services, as well as links to important regional and global resources.
  • Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation "Dedicated to the protection and wellbeing of all Earth's inhabitants. We support projects around the world that build climate resiliency, protect vulnerable wildlife, and restore balance to threatened ecosystems and communities." Reports: New An extensive list of important resources related to climate change, biodiversity and the environment. These include white papers supported by the foundation and our partners as well as important scientific references.
  • No Impact Man Updated "A guilty liberal finally snaps, swears off plastic, goes organic, becomes a bicycle Nazi, turns off his power, composts his poop and, while living in New York City, generally turns into a tree-hugging lunatic who tries to save polar bears and the rest of the planet from environmental catastrophe while dragging his baby daughter and Prada-wearing, Four Seasons-loving wife along for the ride".  From little things big things grow*.  Originally linked to his typepad blog, the link has been updated to the "origin" post index on Colin's web site, which shows that even New Yorkers can live a lifestyle of minimal or no net environmental impact.
  • Rocky Mountain Institute "RMI advances market-based solutions, engaging businesses, communities, and institutions to cost-effectively shift to efficiency and renewables. We employ rigorous research, analysis, and whole-systems expertise to develop breakthrough insights. We then convene and collaborate with diverse partners—business, government, academic, nonprofit, philanthropic, and military—to accelerate and scale solutions." Updated
  • "We Help Green Businesses Grow. Sustainable businesses offer products and services that fulfill society's needs while contributing to the well-being of all earth's inhabitants." Updated
  • Sustainable Communities online Updated "There are many definitions and there are many different ways for communities to attain a more sustainable future. The sustainability of a community depends on creating and maintaining its economic and environmental health, promoting social equity, and fostering broad-based citizen participation in planning and implementation. Communities that engage citizens and institutions to develop sustainability principles and a collective vision for the future and that apply an integrative approach to environmental, economic, and social goals are generally likely to be more successful."  US centric, it's still a useful clearinghouse of articles, checklists, toolkits and audits, under Community, Economy, Environment, Living, Governance, and "Smart Growth" categories.  See also Local Government Commission.  New "LGC supports local policymakers through nationally recognized events, cost effective technical assistance, and policy guidance on climate change, energy, water, and community design."
  • Vancouver Electric Vehicle Association "VEVA started meeting in 1985 and formed as a non-profit society in 1987 to promote the development of clean alternative transportation with a focus on Electric Vehicles."  Great resources, even if many of them on one long scrolling home page!

See also Australian Government Agencies, Ecotourism Projects & Tourism Planning, Outdoor Recreation & Adventure Activities, Development and Environment and Ecologically Sustainable Development

*From little things big things grow

See Also:


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Personally selected Amazon books about sustainable building and design.

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