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The Earth’s climate changes continually, but what is referred to as climate change or global warming is a set of dramatic changes that have been primarily caused by human activity since the beginning of the Industrial revolution.

Life should be rich, enjoyable and fulfilling. Many people think that reducing our carbon footprint also means reducing our quality of life, but the facts do not support this. While some compromises may be required, overall we can lower our emissions while maintaining or even enhancing our wellbeing.

All over the world people and cities are joining the global transition towards embracing low carbon living and lifestyles. Achieving this, however, requires a joint effort from individuals, businesses, institutions, communities and governments at different levels.

The very first example is provided by Malmö, a city of around 300,000 inhabitants in southeast Sweden that has the world’s first carbon neutral neighbourhood. Formerly a shipyard, this area – called Western Harbour – has been transformed from an industrial wasteland to an eco-district, and acts as a great example of sustainable living.

Car use is going down in Australia, but we we are are not moving to sustainable transport modes nearly fast enough, and we can learn from cities  that are making drastic changes to their transport systems to enable more sustainable travel to take place.

In the area of waste reduction, and seeing waste as a resource, there are also many fantastic examples to draw inspiration from. San Francisco plans to achieve zero waste status  - that is, sending no waste to landfill - by 2020.


Livewell started as an action research project funded by the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Low Carbon Living, delivered through Curtin University and supported by the City of Yarra and Yarra Energy Foundation. Further funding was then provided by the CRC to produce the online Guide to running a ‘Livewell Group’


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