The Good Life – sustainable living

 Lady gardeningRemember the 70s British comedy The Good Life? The middle-class suburban couple, Tom and Barbara Good, turn their Surbiton home into a self-sufficient lifestyle block, growing their own food, keeping animals and making their own tools and equipment. (The library has this popular series on DVD). Here are some of the things you can do to live "the good life".

Organic Kitchen GardenGrow your own vegetables

Once your soil is healthy and fertile, you can consider growing your own vegetables. This is one of the key components of "good life" — being able to cook with products you have grown yourself. See our page about vegetable gardening for resources.

Composting is the best and easiest way to recycle organic matter in order to reduce your rubbish. Composted material added to the garden promotes soil fertility, moisture retention, and encourages plant growth. See our guide on waste and recycling.

Making your own clothes

There are books and magazines available on sewing and dressmaking to help you make your own clothes. Our community information databases CINCH lists sewing courses or check out our guide to wearable arts and costume design.


You may wish to become more independent by keeping your own animals. Read more about keeping poultry and get tips from poultry breeder Heather Cole. There are books about poultry to help you set up for keeping chickens, and websites such as Chickens by Design.

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