The Art of Sustainable Living Handbook



The number 5 refers to the number of principles in this category and the word SUSTAINABLE refers to the name of this category as the word is common to all 5 principles;

  1. SUSTAINABLE WATER - learn more about this principle here.
  2. SUSTAINABLE FOOD - learn more about this principle here.
  3. SUSTAINABLE ENERGY - learn more about this principle here.
  4. SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORT - learn more about this principle here.
  5. SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTS - learn more about this principle here.


Seasonal Food

Seasonal produce refers to the times of year when the harvest or the flavour of a given type food is at its peak. This is usually the time when the item is harvested. It appeals to people who prefer a low carbon diet that reduces the greenhouse gas emissions resulting from food consumption otherwise known as food miles.  To encourage seasonal eating you can follow a seasonal eating calendar. Learn more.

Sell it!

An important part of the waste hierarchy is reuse. One of the ways we can reuse items and prolong their life is to sell those items we no longer use OR purchase the items we need second hand instead of new.  There are many popular websites; 

  • Facebook Marketplace - Facebook Marketplace is a literal marketplace. It's an open exchange, where you can post stuff for sale or buy new and used items off people within your local area. ... When you find something of interest, just click to message the seller and you can work it out from there. Goods can be collected in person or posted.

  • Gumtree - is a British online classified advertisement and community website. Classified ads are either free or paid for depending on the product category and the geographical market. Goods can be collected in person (preferred) or posted.

  • Ebayis an American multinational e-commerce corporation that facilitates consumer-to-consumer and business-to-consumer sales through its website. You can list 1,000 items a month FREE of charge and then the cost is 35p per listing. The sales fee is 10% of the transaction value (including post and packaging and sale price) up to £250. There are a list of optional add-on fees hereGoods are posted.

  • Preloved - is an online classified ads and community website based in the UK. Ads can be paid for or free depending on the exposure desired. Goods can be collected in person (preferred) or posted.
  • Shpock - is the car boot sale app that allows users to buy, sell or give away items in your local area. Potential buyers can contact you to negotiate a price with you, despite you needing to set a sale price for your item. Goods can be collected in person (preferred) or posted. 

  • Amazon - is an American multinational technology company that focuses on e-commerce, cloud computing, digital streaming, and artificial intelligence. It is the world's largest online retailer. The sale fee is £0.75 per item sold (under the individual plan). Other fees are listed here. 
  • FridayAd - was launched in Sussex and was the UK’s first free classified paper. It is an online marketplace for buying and selling a vast range of second hand items. As a pricvate seller you can sell your goods for free. Goods can be collected in person (preferred) or posted. 

In addition to these on-line selling platforms for general items, there are also specialized websites focusing on particular categories;  

  • musicMagpie - buy and sell mobile phones, Technology, CDs, DVDs, games, LEGO, Books. The minimum value required to sell goods is £5. You can post, drop off or courier. 

  • Ziffit - buy and sell books, CDs, Games and DVDs. The minimum value required to sell goods is £5.You can drop off or courier. 

  • AbeBooks - buy and sell books, art and collectibles. Goods are posted.

  • WeBuyBooks - buy and sell books, CDs, DVDs and games. The minimum value required to sell goods is £5. Goods are posted or dropped off.

  • Momox - buy and sell books, CDs, DVDs and games. The minimum value required to sell goods is £10. Goods are posted.

  • Mazuma - buy and sell mobile phones. Goods are posted. Package is provided.

  • SellMyMobile - buy and sell mobile phones. Goods are posted. Package is provided.

  • Envirofone - buy and sell mobile phones. Goods are posted. Package is provided.



We are BIG on sharing. Check out Street Bank and find a way to share your possessions with neighbours and those in your local community.

Siobhan Wilson

Siobhan Wilson is a pioneer of ethical and sustainable fashion and founder of the FAIR shop – a curated clothing store on Queens Road in Brighton. Learn more.

Smarter Uniforms

Smarter Uniforms run by the Fair Shop, is a community organisation that provides affordable school uniforms in Brighton and Hove. Smarter Uniforms provide collection boxes in schools so that parents can drop in outgrown uniforms which are no longer needed. They collect and sort the uniforms in order to resell good quality uniforms back to other parents at about a third of the price of a new uniform.

Pick-up and drop off locations can be found in schools across the city. You can also drop off school uniform at the Green Centre stall in Brighton Open Market. For more details check out Green Centre Recycling in our Green Diary.  



Sound Seekers

Sound Seekers is a UK registered charity, established in 1959. They deliver practical solutions to support people with hearing loss to realise their rights by enabling access to healthcare and education. They currently work in Malawi, Zambia, The Gambia, Cameroon and Sierra Leone. Learn more.

Southern Water

Southern Water supplies water and wastewater services to more than four million consumers in Kent, Sussex, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. Their services run 24 hours-a-day, 365 days-a-year. 

  • Each day they supply 541 million litres of drinking water from 83 water treatment works along 13,905 kilometres of water mains to customers’ taps.
  • Nearly 70% of the water comes from underground sources, called aquifers, 23% from rivers and seven per cent from storage reservoirs.
  • Each day they treat and recycle 743 million litres of wastewater at 365 treatment works after it is pumped through a network of 3,321 pumping stations and 39,729 kilometres of sewers.

Learn more.

Standard Composting

Standard composters are the most common. You can take garden waste and some uncooked food and turn it into compost. 

They can be used all year round and can take:

  • garden waste, including grass cuttings, leaves, weeds and twigs
  • uncooked fruit and vegetable scraps
  • tea bags and coffee grounds
  • egg shells
  • paper and cardboard

Supplier Fuel Mix

Since 2005, suppliers have been required to publish information on how the electricity that they supply to domestic customers is generated, so you can make an informed choice about whether to buy nuclear power, renewable energy, or electricity from coal or gas power stations. Learn more.

Sussex Wildlife Trust

Sussex Wildlife Trust are a conservation charity for everyone who cares about nature in Sussex. They focus on protecting the wonderfully rich natural life that is found across towns, countryside and coast. Learn more.



Sustainable is a difficult word to define. In simple terms it means that something can be maintained at a certain rate or level indefinitely. In relation to the environment, sustainability means meeting our present needs in a way that does not compromise the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

Example: Solar energy from the sun is sustainable. As long as the sun keeps rising we have access to an indefinite source of energy. This is referred to as a renewable energy. On the other hand oil, gas and coal are not sustainable sources of energy as they will run out one day.





Sustainable Living

Sustainable living can be experienced as an art; the art of living heartfully and mindfully, paying close attention to how our habits and behaviours impact on the environment and one another. 


Sustrans began life as Cyclebag, a charity set up in July 1977 in response to an energy crisis that was encouraging the whole world to look at different ways of travelling. They aim to make it easier for people to walk and cycle. They are engineers and educators, experts and advocates. They connect people and places, create liveable neighbourhoods, transform the school run and deliver a happier, healthier commute. Sustrans works in partnership, bringing people together to find the right solutions. Learn more.

Sustainable Development Goals

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries - developed and developing - in a global partnership.

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals include:

  1. No Poverty (7 targets)
  2. Zero Hunger (8 targets)
  3. Good Health and Well-being (13 targets)
  4. Quality Education (10 targets)
  5. Gender Equality (9 targets)
  6. Clean Water & Sanitation (8 targets)
  7. Affordable & Clean Energy (5 targets)
  8. Decent Work & Economic Growth (12 targets)
  9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure (8 targets)
  10. Reduced inequalities (10 targets)
  11. Sustainable Cities & Communities (10 targets)
  12. Responsible Consumption & Production (11 targets)
  13. Climate Action (5 targets)
  14. Life Below Water (10 targets)
  15. Life on Land (12 targets)
  16. Peace, Justice & Strong Institutions (12 targets)
  17. Partnership for the Goals (19 targets)

At the Green Centre we use the 10 One Planet Living principles to guide our work. Incidentally the Sustainable Development Goals grew out of the One Planet Living Goals. We find the 17 SDG goals and 169 targets too difficult to remember and the 1,348 publications and 7,835 actions overwhelming. We prefer the simplicity of One Planet Living.