Sustainable September

During these unusual times we are spending so much more time at home and are using our time and resources differently. This gives us perfect circumstances for thinking about and learning how to live sustainably, preserve our planet and, as a bonus, save some money.

Our only real option to learn and discover is to go online, where the amount of advice and information can be overwhelming, so let us help you narrow it down to good information, fun activities and local knowledge. Let’s start with the libraries themselves – we cover the councils of Nillumbik, Banyule and Whittlesea, and have two community gardens at Diamond Valley and Watsonia Libraries where we run the Food is Free, Food Share and Food Swap programs.

Diamond Valley Library is also a member of the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation to encourage children to enjoy positive food habits and focus on how to grow their own produce. Our worm farms and compost mean we can recycle food waste to enrich our garden spaces and future produce. We regularly offer workshops around sustainable living. Not right now of course, but we can show you how to make your own with online instructions. 

Interested in Sustainability? Why not join our regular group, add your details to the form at the bottom of this page.

What's on at YPRL for Sustainable September?

Our Science Club session on Wednesday 8 September will show the kids how to make their own compost balls and save seeds. On Thursday 17 September we will be featuring a session on How to Make Beeswax Wraps as part of grant received from Banyule City Council. On Wednesday 30 September a workshop with Jocelyn from Whittlesea City Council showing how to Recycle Right at Home.

There are so many other events in our area too:


Nillumbik council is having regular online workshops throughout September and also have numerous resources available on their website.

They have also partnered with Clean Energy Nillumbik to deliver Re-imagine Re-think Re-energise.

Sustainable House Day events on 19-20 September 2020 which will give participants an opportunity to hear directly from home-owners about their experiences with implementing sustainable measures in their homes.

  • The Nillumbik Trail – Saturday 19 September – 9:00am to 4:30pm. Join with other ‘visitors’ in a conversation via a half hour Zoom Q&A session with the home-owners of each Nillumbik home that interests you. Registrations open August 20.
  • National event – Sunday 20 September. In the lead up, view pre-recorded tours and post questions for home-owners. On the day join the live national webinar for virtual sustainable house presentations and panel Q&A sessions with homeowners and sustainability experts. Registrations are via this link.

Sustainable Greensborough is a relatively new group focussing on environment and sustainable issues. You can join their group here.


Banyule City Council a strong focus on environment and sustainability. The Banyule Environment Advisory Committee (BEAC) also provides advice to help us develop and implement long-term environmental policy, goals and strategies. Check out a full range of the online events offered on Banyule’s website.

Local transition groups in Montmorency and Greensborough have a focus on sustainable and resilient communities with the added bonus of making it an even nicer place to live and building community.

Sustainable Macleod are also part of the Transition Network and aim to build a resilient local community, encouraging residents to shop locally, produce and share their own food, use environmentally-friendly transport and undertake other activities to promote sustainability. Check out their facebook page for regular information updates.


Whittlesea Shire Council has some great advice on Living Green with links to resources and workshops for solar and energy saving tips, how to reduce your rubbish, gardening guides, composting and worm farming  and also an extensive list of environmental groups in the area. There are also numerous grants available for sustainable land management.

If your interest is in sustainable food practices Local Food Connect is a vibrant food culture, growing and eating local which covers all matters food across North East Melbourne.

If you are a local food producer, want to eat local food, grow veggies in your garden or just want to meet like-minded folks, Local Food Connect could be for you. 

Pip magazine online has a number of video tutorials covering everything from making your own bucket loo to simple guides to self-sufficiency. We love this online book review of “The Art of Frugal Hedonism” and of course this title is available to borrow when our libraries re-open.

NERP or North East Regional Permaculture is a network of people living in the north-eastern suburbs of Melbourne, who love learning about and practicing Permaculture in their lives. They meet regularly to share Permaculture skills, knowledge, seeds, surplus and enthusiasm and occasionally organise guest speakers.  They have a large range of online workshops available to check out on their website.

Bokashi bins and beyond

Do you have more food waste at present because you are cooking at home more?  Sustainability Victoria has some alternatives for you to recycle those scraps, no matter how much room you have.

Bunnings offers instructions on using bokashi bins and setting up a worm farm.  With click and collect, you can set yourself up quickly and safely.

Healthline gives tips on reducing kitchen waste  and Epicurious advocates using the whole vegetable when cooking.  No more throwing out your carrot tops!

There are some streaming videos on composting to enjoy since you can’t get books at this time. The ABC have a fact sheet to help even the least green thumbed of us set up a bin. So instead of binge-watching Wasteland on Netflix, try setting up a worm farm!

Of course we have some great resources on our catalogue too. Check out these great online titles and of course there is so much more in our physical collection to enjoy when we reopen!!

If you have interest in regular discussions around sustainability we are hoping to form an online group to meet once a month. You can register your interest by completing the form below.

Online Sustainability Group Expression of Interest

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YPRL presents Sustainable September

List created by booklab

Throughout September 2020 YPRL are highlighting local sustainability initiatives. Here is a tiny fraction of our sustainability titles to whet your appetite. You can read our ebooks and watch the videos online, or plan your reading for when we reopen our physical collection.

Live Green is a practical guide of 52 changes – one for each week of the year – you can make to your home and lifestyle to reduce your impact on the environment. Tackling all areas of your life from your cleaning routine, home furnishings, food shopping, fashion choices, natural beauty and Christmas, this book has all the ingredients to help you achieve a more sustainable year.

A Parent's Practical Guide to Consuming Less and Living Better. Sustainable Baby is a guide to making life easier on both your pocket and to help you live more sustainably. Re-discover the simple life with ideas to recycle, make your own toys, extend the life of children's clothes, fabulous ideas for children's parties and gifts, and tempt even the fussiest eaters with tasty recipes from finger food to meal suggestions.

Sustainability enthusiast and zero-waste advocate Christine Liu takes you on a tour through the rooms of your home - the living area, kitchen, bedroom and bathroom - offering tips, tricks and 17 step-by-step projects designed to help you lead a more low-impact lifestyle. This is an inspirational and practical guidebook to maintaining a more environmentally friendly household.

Organic Gardener magazine explores eco-living issues such as organic food, renewable energy, permaculture, organic farmers’ markets, environmentally friendly home products, and eco-travel. It provides inspiration, information and practical how-to advice and solutions on all aspects of organic gardening and a holistic lifestyle. Read online with YPRL via RB Digital.

This is Lonely Planet's guide to the world's best eco-friendly resorts and experiences. From eco-lodges with cutting-edge sustainability initiatives to tours designed to protect wildlife and empower communities, you'll discover remarkable places where you can feel good about spending your time and money. There are nearly 180 escapes to choose from, organised across five themes: Nature, Relaxation, Culture, Urban and Learning, to make it easy for you to find your perfect getaway.

Learn to buy, cook & eat sustainably with our collection of environmentally-conscious recipes & tips - discover sustainable storage methods, how to buy in season, minimise your kitchen wastage & make better ethical & organic shopping choices.

This series explores lots of things young readers can do to help save our planet. Suitable for lower to middle primary.

Sanctuary: modern green homes is Australia's premier magazine dedicated to sustainable house design.

A fabulous kit of equipment which allows you to find out what energy you are using in your home and to learn how you can improve your energy efficiency.

Renew magazine is the nation's premier magazine devoted to practical, cost-effective technologies for environmentally sustainable homes and lifestyles.

This is a good guide for a sustainable lifestyle. It's as simple as that. Would you like to live a bit more consciously, but don't know how? And rather not put much time, money or effort into it? Then this is the book for you. It's filled with practical and positive tips regarding fashion, beauty, food, home, work and leisure, and shows that stylish and sustainable go very well together.

We should cherish the things we own; preserve them, repair them, and then gift or sell them when we no longer need them. . At once a lucid explanation of a critical global issue and a stirring call to action, Curing Affluenza will change the way you think about your place in the world.

In this friendly guide you are shown how you can make changes in a positive and practical manner, and with some suggestions easier than others, there's a multitude of ways in which you can live more sustainably. The 50 ways are divided into Plastics, Energy, Cooking and Eating, Travel, In the Garden and Action, and include a range of options, such as buying plastic-free beauty products, upcycling your furniture, cutting down on meat and having greener celebrations.

I Quit Plastics is an inspiring and practical guide to reducing your use of plastics, packed with information, 'how-to's and tips to help you cook, clean, shop, wear and live plastic-free. It shows how to reduce your waste and live more simply and sustainably, no matter where you're starting from.

The guide for anyone who dreams of living the country life in the city by growing their own healthy, sustainable fruit and veg - and more! Producing our own fruit, vegetables, herbs, eggs and honey is perfectly possible in a suburban space, and this practical guide will help urban dwellers develop a more sustainable existence.

Tackle our ever-growing waste problem with all the information, advice, budget-friendly recipes and projects you'll need to start reducing waste in your life. A Family Guide to Waste-free Living makes it simple and sustainable for families to eliminate waste in the home, at work and out in the world. This is a practical and inspiring resource for anyone wanting to live more sustainably.

a Children's picture book. Jesse and Lewis want to grow their own fruit and vegies, just like people do on a farm. They're going to dig and build, plant and grow, and when they're finished they're going to have a feast!

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