Open day for eco houses

GREEN LIVING: Anton Nguyen at his Billen Cliff property.
GREEN LIVING: Anton Nguyen at his Billen Cliff property.

THE North Coast's reputation as a Mecca for sustainable living will be on show as part of Sustainable House Day on Sunday, September 9.

Lismore Council's environmental strategy officer Anton Nguyen compared the event to the open gardens scheme, giving residents the chance to get a real-life look inside houses that have been designed, built or fitted out with sustainability in mind.

"Meeting the home owners means you can hear about their experiences and get unbiased advice on setting up a sustainable home," he said.

Cr Vanessa Ekins is encouraging people in the urban areas of Lismore to get involved and dispel the myth that it is just "the hippies in the hills" that are concerned about creating sustainable living environments.

"I don't get any bills because I've got solar hot water, solar panels for electricity, a rainwater tank plumbed into the toilet because that is the largest user of water in the house - all here in suburban Lismore", she said.

Anton Nguyen said since moving to his place at Billen Cliffs seven years ago they have installed a stand-alone solar system which runs the entire house, a waterless composting toilet and rain water tanks.

"We are also focusing on producing our own food with gardens based on permaculture principles combining fruit trees, vegetable gardens and chooks."

If you would like to participate in this event by opening your home or as a visitor, registrations are open at

To participate, homes must be insured, and open to visitors from 10am to 4pm. You can also hold your own ancillary event.

Lismore City Council and Rous Water will also host a free Sustainable House Day seminar and trade show in Lismore on the evening of Thursday, September 6. Guest speakers will include Dave Lawrence, an educator and energy efficient design consultant and business operator, and Leigh Davison, a DIY eco-home builder and senior lecturer in the School of Environment, Science and Engineering at Southern Cross University. A venue for the seminar will be announced closer to the date.

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