Deciding to live a natural lifestyle can save you time, money and reduce your exposure to chemicals. You will also reduce the amount of plastic you consume and send to landfill, while supporting your wider community to become more sustainable. Here we share a range of ideas to kick-start your sustainable lifestyle.


At home

Natural cleaning & DIY toiletries

You will be amazed at how many simple household items such as bicarb and vinegar with the addition of your choice of essential oil, can create effective, natural cleaners. You can also create luxurious, chemical free toiletries and cosmetics. Visit your local Health Food Shop or online to purchase brown amber bottles to store your products to ensure the sunlight doesn’t damage the essential oils. Browse below to create your own products:


Native foods in your kitchen

The unique smell, taste and nutritional benefits of Australian Native Foods will reduce your food miles and introduce your family to a new culinary experience. Purchase them locally and enjoy in a range of dishes:

  • Aniseed Myrtle Spice: delicious as a rub for meats or in vegetarian dishes, pasta, stews and salads.
  • Strawberry Gum: taken from the eucalyptus, it's sweet lolly flavour can be used for desserts, jams, smoothies and more.
  • Quandongs (Wild peaches): Perfect for jams, salads, sauces and cakes.
  • Rosella and Lilly Pilly jams.

All of the above products and more are available at the Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden Nursery & Shop, 420 Mona Vale Rd, St Ives. Open 7 days a week.

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Start your Food waste journey in 2019 with our Love Food Hate Waste Program. Free workshops, prizes and more.

Did you know the average NSW household throws away $1,036 worth of food each year and that 35% of the average household bin is food waste?

Hot tips

  • Plan weekly meals, make a list and stick to it.
  • Shop smaller and more often to avoid waste.
  • Freeze food nearing its use by date.
  • Review your storage containers to keep food fresh for longer.
  • Feed scraps to your compost or worm farm.
  • Never waste food that could be eaten. Cook it, store it, share it.

*Thanks to OzharvestLove Food Hate Waste also provides great tips for cutting down on food waste and provides yummy nutritious recipes for your leftovers. Bon appetit!

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The ancient art of Japanese cloth wrapping (Furoshiki) uses fabric of different shapes, sizes and patterns to wrap a range of objects for gift giving and other reasons. Reducing waste and adding a beautiful personal touch to your gift-giving. 

Learn how to wrap wine bottles, books and much more to start creating your own sustainable gifts:

A great alternative to single use plastic cling wrap, these can be used them to cover bowls of food and wrap vegetables to stay fresh twice as long - plus they're reusable and can easily be washed in soapy water. Why not make your own! Instructions from One Million Women or purchase from any healthy living store.






In the garden

Edible gardens

Growing your own fresh fruit, herbs and vegetables is a great way to stay healthy, have fun and teach your family about nature. The ABC Gardening Australia Veggie Guide has a good guide for seasonal planting in Sydney which will help your garden and your recipes flourish. The Turramurra Lookout Community Garden is also a great place to visit and learn to grow your own plants and vegetables.



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Visit Grow me Safely and discover the best plants and learning features for growing kids and what not to plant (toxic). Help them build life skills, inspire creativity, grow and harvest food, role model  safe practices and a respect for nature. Developed by Kidsafe NSW.





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View the All About Worms fact sheet from the experts at Kimbriki House.

Ku-ring-gai residents receive up to 50% discount and free delivery of a range of compost bins and worm farms (including worms!) by joining the Compost Revolution program. Composting is an easy, fun and an important way of reducing the volume of valuable materials going to landfill, cutting down on the associated greenhouse gases and returning nutrients back into the soil. 

No compost? No worries

ShareWaste provides friendly neighbourhood drop-off points for your organic waste. Recipients will compost them for you (or give them to their chickens or worm farm!). Check your suburb now.


In the community

Sustainable purchasing

The Better Business Partnership supports businesses in Ku-ring-gai, North Sydney and Willoughby who are striving to be sustainable - giving you the power to choose to champion these businesses. Some of these include:

Please visit Better Business Partnership for a full list of businesses in your area.

Sustainable Transportcycling


Explore Ku-ring-gai the cheap, healthy and environmentally friendly way - by bike. Check out our popular cycleways maps, get safe cycling tips and download the bike riders handbook.


Enjoy Ku-ring-gai’s natural beauty by taking a bushwalk, or come to one of our walks and talks to learn more about our flora and fauna. Check out our bushwalking tracks now.



Our tendency towards fast fashion is creating a huge waste problem. Fashion Revolution are uniting people and organisations to work together towards radically changing the way our clothes are sourced, produced and consumed.

The Possibility Project is run by two passionate, local women who are pushing the boundaries of fashion working with local and international designer. They are spreading the message through school workshops, community mending sessions, fashion parades and more.

Watch their video supported by the Environment Levy Grants




Workshops and events 

Council hosts a range of practical workshops and events throughout the year designed to engage and educate the community around sustainable living in their homes and workplaces. Join one today!






Stay in touch

Keep up to date with our latest environmental news, programs and events:

  • Subscribe to our monthly sustainability e-newsletter.
  • Subscribe to our What's on Calendar every 6 months.
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