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National Sustainable Living Festival - 2019 Highlights

Home > Melbourne > Environment | Exhibitions | Festivals | Free | Workshops
by Vicky Rae Ellmore (subscribe)
Proudly South African. Currently residing in amazing Melbourne. Lover of music, reading, animals and exploring. Vet nurse/freelance writer and editor. www.instagram.com/melbournetogo
Published January 29th 2019
12 must-attend eco events at SLF 2019
If you have any interest in sustainable living, you will be interested in the National Sustainable Living Festival in Melbourne, which has a large program that runs from the beginning to the end of February.

There's an exhibition, and tours and talks that cover topics as diverse as permaculture to dying your clothes using local weeds and kitchen off-cuts to making your super sustainable. The festival touches on everything sustainability and has something for everyone.

And, a lot of the events are free to attend.

I mean it when I say the program is large. It is seriously huge, so to help you discover some amazing events, I've picked out 12 brilliant events worth attending, although there are so many more, it is worth going through the whole program.



1. The Big Weekend

The main weekend of the festival is from 8 February to 10 February. There will be numerous eco-conscious happenings at Federation Square and Birrarung Marr aimed at challenging our thinking and inspiring action.

This includes exhibitors at Federation Square on Friday from 12pm to 8pm, Saturday from 10am to 6pm and Sunday from 10am to 6pm. There will be informational stands as well as products, so visit to learn how you can make a difference - even if it's one small change.

Exhibitors include Zero Waste Victoria, where you can learn how to join the war on waste, Beyond Zero Emissions, who you can chat to about creating zero carbon communities, and Permaculture Victoria, who will be sharing their knowledge of permaculture.

And, if you're dreaming of owning a tiny house, you'll want to come check out the Telsa tiny house and talk to Ted's Tiny Houses. These are only a few of the many inspiring exhibitors.

In addition to the exhibition, there are over 100 events over the Big Weekend alone! Many are free and non-ticketed so you'll need to get there early to get a seat.

Some brilliant talks that are taking place include:
Award-winning author, filmmaker and visionary, Helena Norberg-Hodge on The Economics of Happiness and how we can change the systems that we live by to create a better quality of life
At the Festival Great Debate, presenters will battle it out to convince you of the most effective form of disruptive change [ticketed $25]
Peter Andrews on how Australia's landscape can be saved and how Australia can become a world leader in climate restoration
Jo Nemeth on living off the grid and in a tiny house
Well Made Clothes, Oxfam, Finding Infinity and Sustainability Victoria on how the global fashion industry can transition to help support a safe climate
Financial adviser, author and environmentalist, Stuart Barry on how you can use your money to support a rapid transition to a safe climate future
Speed date an architect to learn how to improve sustainability in your home
Environmental Justice Australia, Market Forces and Ethical Investment Services on how to use your power as a super fund member to call on your fund to divest from fossil fuels

There are many more talks on how to tackle the biggest challenge earth currently faces - climate change. Check out the full program to see if there are any others you might want to attend.

2. Create Your Own Cleaning Products

Take part in this workshop to create your own cleaning products to reduce cost, environmental impact and damage to your health. Alex Kung of Reducing Our Footprint Inc, which aims to provide a practical journey for sustainable living, sharing it with the wider community to improve impact on the environment and personal health, will be running the workshop.


Create Your Own Cleaning Products
$5

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3. Mum's and Bubs Zero Waste Swap

Reduce your and your baby's fashion waste by swapping your clothing with like-minded individuals at this clothing swap. Everyone will be bringing up to six, good quality adult or children's items that are clean and undamaged to the swap, which is being hosted by The Clothing Exchange, Melbourne. It's a great opportunity to find your new fav outfit without contributing to fast fashion.

Mum's & Bubs Zero Waste Swap $25

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4. Northcote Productive Paradise

If you want to know how to produce your own food in a small space in an inner-city suburb, attend this event to see how a worker's cottage backyard has been transformed from just lawn into a fully productive patch complete with beehive, over 11 metres of vertical gardening space and potted fruit trees.


Northcote Productive Paradise
$15

5. Plogging

Join a plogging session to keep up your fitness and keep rubbish off Melbourne's streets! Plogging is jogging while picking up rubbish and this amazing new sport is a great way to help prevent plastic and other litter from reaching Port Phillip Bay.

Plogging Melbourne Free

6. Kinglake Earthship

If you're interested in biotecture and permaculture this one's for you! This is a detailed, three-hour tour on disaster resilience, biotecture principles and permaculture. There will be an extensive guided property tour of Kinship (Kinglake Earthship) and an in-depth Q&A. Practical information on property purchases, planning and building approvals, environmental health and energy ratings will also be covered.

Kinglake Earthship $70

7. Cooking with Food Waste

Food that would have been discarded at Queen Victoria Market is used to make two simple quick recipes at this cooking demonstration. Learn how you can do the same at home to reduce your food waste.

Cooking with Food Waste Free

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8. Composting at Home

Learn how to successfully and easily compost your food scraps at your home. Katrina Forstner, who processes scraps from over 30 households on her small Preston block, will share her compost system and show you the tips and tricks to succeed with compost in your own home. You'll learn about different composting methods, the best materials for compost, and common problems.

Composting at Home $30

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9. Mending and Hand Sewing Party

Learn how to mend and save clothing instead of replacing it! By teaching decorative and invisible mending techniques, this workshop will equip you with lots of creative possibilities for repairing and enhancing your clothes.

Mending and Hand Sewing Party $25

10. Natural Dyeing With Ilka White

Learn how to use local weeds and kitchen off-cuts to dye fibre and fabric. This hands-on workshop introduces a selection of local colour possibilities, as well as discussing fibre types, mordanting options and safety of dyes. Shibori techniques will also be used to produce patterned cloth.


Natural Dyeing With Ilka White
$110

11. Human-Powered Pedal Cinema

To keep this outdoor cinema carbon neutral, it will be pedal powered using specially designed, grid-connected pedal driven and rowing machine generators. You can pedal for prices like a latte, race a pedal-powered slot car or ride on a pedal-powered carousel.

Human-Powered Pedal Cinema Free

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12. Transitions Film Festival

A festival within a festival, Transitions Film Festival showcases environmental films that redefine what it means to be human in an age of environmental crises and exponential innovation. According to the festival, this year's selection of films shows us the urgency and opportunity for a new world.

Transitions Film Festival $20.50
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Why? Because our climate is in crisis and we can all contribute to change
When: Entire month of February
Where: Various venues around Melbourne
Cost: From free to $110
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