The Sustainability Street ibook for iPad

The central idea of the Sustainability Street Approach  ... is that we come together as local communities, learn a little about ecological sustainability and then we do what we can to encourage, assist or ‘teach’ other individuals or other communities to join the groundswell. Above all, the basic goal of the Sustainability Street Approach, is that ‘sustainability’ is a lifetime journey.  It is a journey that will become easier and easier while becoming more and more fulfilling.

This book aims to be a primer in ecologically sustainable living for individuals, households and best of all, local communities working together.  It is an amalgam of science, the state of the global environment, threads of sociology and psychology, humour, as well as tips and information.  However, the main aim of this Approach is to trust Common Sense!  Common Sense is the major ingredient of living sustainably.  It is the big message.  These days, we all have a fair idea about what pollution and waste look like. As Einstein once said, “First thought - best thought!"  So, your first instinct about the sustainable option will more often than not be the right one.  Indeed, research shows that 30, maybe even up to 45% improvement in ecologically sustainable behaviour and outcomes can be achieved through basic ‘good eco-housekeeping’.  Basic common sense.

The Shortcut To Sustainability Street:    DIY!  … or ...  DIO!

DIY - Do It Yourself, infers that the task at hand is achievable without the input of ‘the expert’.  The Sustainability Street Approach is beyond DIY.  It is DIO - Do It Ourselves, as with the idea behind DIY, is replete with achievability because it is defined by and energised according its composition and the unique ideas, passions and experience of the particular community.  Like the DIY idea, the SSA is achievable but you don’t have to travel solo.  DIO - ‘Ourselves’ plural, provides not only company but more ideas, more energy and more people to bring cakes to meetings. 

DIO is about choosing our own adventure, making our own decisions and charting our own way to a sustainable future.  Charles Lane, Director of Community Strengthening for the Victorian Government said that the invaluable thing about Sustainability Street is that it calls on people to make decisions and forge their own direction. 

Similarly, respected Civil Rights Leader, Malcolm X once said, “I for one believe that if you give people a thorough understanding of what confronts them and the basic causes that produce it, they'll create their own program and when the people create a program, you get action."

Over the years, various Sustainability Street Villages have used terms like self directed and collective self management.  The SSA serves as a ‘Blank Canvas’ for the passions, ideas and energies of local communities.  One senior Villager once opined that the SSA is at first like having ‘trainer wheels’.  It’s true!  It is invaluable for getting started and then, within no time you are pedalling excitedly and turning whichever way you choose.

The Sustainability Street Institute Story

In 2002, after two years in development, the first Sustainability Street Village formed in Coburg, Melbourne.  Lives were changed, community was strengthened, fruit trees grown, vegies swapped, solar panels erected, drafts were stripped and the community was buzzing.  By 2006 there were 150 villages across three Australian states.  Now there are over 300 villages dispersed right across Australia as well as overseas in NZ and the USA. 

A three year longitudinal evaluation by Victoria University’s, Dr Colin Hocking, has substantiated United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) figures that 30% savings in water, waste and energy can be achieved via the use of plain old common sense.  The SSA is the basis for ensuring that increased savings are attained because of the community connections developed and the resultant rise in positive social indicators achieved.  The Approach has been tried, tested, reshaped, built upon and rewritten across a thirteen year period.  This ebook allows, anyone, anywhere, the chance to set up their own Sustainability Street and to change the world around them.   Aren’t you a bit excited by the possibilities?