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Sustainability: Live Local

One of the easiest ways to live more sustainably is to live as locally as possible – which means supporting local businesses, buying locally produced fruit and veggies and leaving the car at home whenever you can. This can be tricky however, if you don’t know what is available in your local area, or how to find out more to inform your choices. I have come across some websites that I think are great resources and worth bookmarking – so I thought I’d share them with you!

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The first is a site called Local Harvest which won the 2012 Green Lifestyle Award for best online eco info and it’s not hard to see why! It’s an easy to navigate site that allows you to search for the best food choices in your area under a number of categories:

  • Eat Out
  • Buy Direct
  • Grow & Share
  • Learn & Participate
  • Meet the Farmer

As you can see from the categories it includes farmer’s markets, veggie box deliveries, workshops and community gardens as well as restaurants and organic food shops, so there’s options for everyone! It has listings across Australia and also allows you to add to the listings if you know of something that is missing.

The website also includes stories from growers as well as a whole learning section with resources on growing food, making your own produce and keeping animals.

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The next site is Sustainable Table which is a not-for-profit organisation that runs sustainability projects both in Australia and abroad but also has a key focus on empowering people to make more sustainable food choices. The website is choc-full of useful information on a broad range of food-related topics such as sustainable seafood, ethical meat suppliers, seasonal produce guides and other ways to green your life. There are also delicious recipes which they have turned into two cookbooks which are for sale to support the organisation. The site is definitely well worth a look!

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The final site I wanted to profile today is the Shop Ethical website (which is also an iPhone app and book). This website provides an invaluable resource about the track record of companies with regards to sustainability and animal testing and also highlights which products are Australian owned. It covers a huge range of products including clothes, food & drink, cleaning, pet supplies, toys and office supplies.

It’s simple to use, with a range of symbols for rating brands ranging from ‘Praise, no criticisms’ through to ‘boycott’. They are also very clear about where they source their information and any limitations of the assessments. It’s an excellent way to check up on the credentials of any products you’re thinking of buying.


Liz BrandtLiz is a mid-20s kiwi-born, Melbourne raised urban and environmental planner. She’s passionate about the environment and sustainability, loves cooking and baking (and eating!), going on picnics, wandering through markets, watching sport and learning new things.  Check out I Spy Plum Pie for great recipes and tips on sustainable living.