Australia’s leading international student news website

Sustainable Living Festival 2015 Highlights

Anthea Batsakis

Tue Feb 03 2015


WHAT better way to learn more about how you can better support the earth than by visiting the Sustainable Living Festival? Our environmental expert, Anthea Batsakis, has her highlights from this year’s event.

As some of the Earth’s resources dwindle, adopting a sustainable lifestyle has become increasingly important. The 2015 edition of the Sustainable Living Festival celebrates environmentally-friendly living through countless interactive events, workshops, and exhibitions, to name a few, attracting more than 150,000 visitors. The festival is supported by hundreds of organisations and individuals who hope to achieve the essential goal of inspiring, empowering, and improving the commitment to a sustainable lifestyle in Australia.

The time to embrace a sustainable lifestyle is now and the festival has never been more relevant, with the latest statistics from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) indicating Australia will be hit hardest in the world by climate change.

Commencing on February 7 and ending on March 1, this three-week festival will provide endless entertainment resulting in zero waste. Below, we provide our top picks international students should check out at the resourceful festival.

The Transitions Film Festival

The Transitions Film Festival returns for its fourth year, relaying the message of the importance of sustainability through the medium of film. The festival runs from February 13 until March 6 in three locations: Federation Square, Cinema Nova, and Testing Grounds.

Featuring more than 20 documentaries and a diverse range of shorts, the Transitions Film Festival will be showcasing documentaries and shorts that demonstrate just how rapidly our actions are developing a ‘new world’. With the world constantly changing through social and technological innovations, cultural influences, and ‘changemakers’, a very different future awaits us.

Notable films include Years of Living Dangerously – a nine-part in depth exploration of climate change as told from Hollywood stars and respected journalists, produced by James Cameron, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Jerry Weintraub; and Yes Men are Revolting – a hilarious portrait of the past five years of activist-pranksters, Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno, who track the word’s climate hotspots from Washington to Uganda.

Local Growers’ Feast

Melbourne’s biggest local grower’s feast innovated by community group Grow it Local will be hosted by the Sustainable Living Festival in Testing Grounds on March 1.

This unique festival event will have top chefs cooking food from locally grown veggie patches. Fifty of the most interesting registered veggie patches before February 27 on the Grow it Local map will be in the running to win two tickets to the feast!

Grow it Local is about inspiring, supporting, and celebrating small food farming, whether in a community, windowsill, balcony, or garden. What began in Sydney has now spread across the city and into Melbourne’s food scene. Food will be cultivated throughout February in preparation for the feast prepared by Vanessa from Pope Joan. So starting photographing those veggie patches for your chance to eat your food like never before!

Future Sands

A new thought-provoking exhibition at Fitzroy’s independent art gallery The Brunswick Street Gallery will be held from February 7 until February 19.

The exhibition is titled Future Sands, and the artist Jess Leitmanis will explore the extent of consumerism on the environment and on the individual, classifying it as an addiction. The pieces are a combination of sculpture comprising plastic debris from the beach and ink drawings. They create an echo of the lives of products reduced to plastic waste, and they force us as viewers to recognise the wastefulness of short-lived products.

For art lovers and nature lovers alike, don’t miss Jess Leitmanis’ creative exhibition at the Brunswick Street Gallery.

Sew to Reduce Your Fashion Footprint

Learn the lifelong skill of mending or refashioning your clothes at Thread Den’s informative workshop Sew to Reduce your Fashion Footprint.

Situated in Collingwood, Thread Den is a sewing lounge designed to teach total beginners and prospering sewers alike how to mend, craft, and create. Hosting an array of classes ranging from craft and sewing classes to vintage glamour workshops and pattern making, Thread Den will provide you will the skills to make or mend something you can be proud of!

The workshop as part of the Sustainable Living Festival will be held on February 11 in Thread Den. Registration to the event is vital to secure a spot.

Solar Supper

Pollinate Energy presents Solar Supper, a solar-lit food event at the iconic restaurant Young and Jacksons where you can learn about the company and its dedication to finding sustainable ways to tackle social issues.

Presently, Pollinate Energy is focused on providing energy to impoverished urban India. Discover how buying a solar light will help the cause of creating a better livelihood for the one-quarter of India’s population who live without access to electricity at this event. The group is comprised of young Australians trying to make a difference in a unique way, and by attending the Solar Supper you can support their mission.

Meet and greet the members of Pollinate Energy over dinner and discover local opportunities to help their cause. Solar Supper will take place at 6.30pm on February 16.