Green roof tour at award winning home

Green roof and wall consultancy Do It On The Roof is hosting a tour to a Fern Tree Gully home on Sunday March 29. The house features an award winning series of water filtration gardens, energy efficiency measures and plants designed into the building.

The tour starts with discussion on the landscape and then moves on to the technical nuts and bolts. Owner and builder Anton is on hand to discuss the challenges he faced in construction, while Shelley talks all things green roof. Come and be inspired.

For more information on the tour head to or for bookings visit

Tiny house documentary launches this month

Small is Beautiful: A Tiny House Documentary explores the tiny house movement that has grown out of the USA. With a focus on smaller spaces and simplified living, the movement is a response to the housing affordability crisis, which impacts numerous people in the developed world today.

Originally inspired to build one for himself, director Jeremy Beasley was fascinated to learn what tiny house living was really like, which led him to create a feature length documentary about the movement instead. The film follows four characters in Portland, Oregon, each of whom are at various stages of building and living in their own tiny homes.

Ultimately this story proves that it’s not what’s inside the walls of a tiny house that counts, but rather it is the strong community of like minded people who support each other as they dare to be different.

Sanctuary will be at the world premiere on Thursday, March 26 as a proud advocate of small sustainable living and with discounted magazines and subscriptions. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with director Jeremy Beasley and producer Chris Kamen, as well as an opportunity to look through and explore a tiny house on display. Food and drink will be available for purchase throughout the screening and after party, which will feature DJ Richie1250 from PBS Radio.

When: Thursday, March 26. Doors open at 6pm with food and drink available to purchase. Screening commences at 8pm. There will be additional screenings on March 27, 28 and 29. Visit the Small is Beautiful website for screening times and tickets.

Where: Monster & Bear, 13 Leslie Street, Brunswick VIC 3056. Ride your bike to the premiere and present your helmet to receive a free Bicycle Beer from Temple Brewery!

Cost: Tickets available now from at a cost of $25 for adults, $20 for concession (includes booking fee).

Sanctuary magazine is a Small is Beautiful media partner.

Urban garden planters Sanctuary discount

Enter the code sanctuaryperks when you purchase a planter at the GlowPear website.

This self-watering lightweight planter from GlowPear offers an easy way to grow fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers in small urban spaces. Its modular form can stand alone or be interconnected with additional planters. It has an encapsulated water reservoir with a built-in drip tray to capture and release excess water gradually.

The planter is constructed from UV-stabilised and food grade HDPE which is 100 per cent recyclable. Price $199, with free delivery within Australia.

Induction cooktops – now we’re cooking!

If your household has already switched space heating and water heating from gas to efficient electric, adding all-electric cooking to your home could help you save further on bills and greenhouse gases. And, if you offset your emissions, buy 100 per cent accredited GreenPower, or install solar PV, you could reduce your emissions to zero.

The popularity of induction technology is on the rise, with celebrity chefs and reality TV cooking shows spruiking the flat shiny surfaces to prime time audiences. But, aside from the hip pocket and environmental impact, are induction cooktops a good product choice?

There has traditionally been a preference for gas hobs over conventional electric cooktops, particularly among the more culinary-minded. And it’s easy to see why: traditional electric stovetops are slow to respond and offer none of the subtlety needed for a risotto. That is, until induction technology, which can offer a wider range of settings, dramatically improved energy efficiency and halved cooking time when compared to conventional electric varieties.

What to look for when selecting an induction cooktop

While there is currently no energy rating system for cooktops, there are many energy efficiency features available that should be considered. Some models claim efficiency by using residual heat, but check with manufacturers, as this kind of functionality may rely more on the cook than an actual setting on the cooktop. How you cook and use your kitchen appliances impacts on your energy use – see ‘It’s heating up – Energy efficient cooking’, in ReNew 130 for more on saving energy while cooking.

  • Size – how many cooking zones do you need? Size appropriately to your cooking habits and compare the size of your cookware to the cooking zones’ shapes and areas
  • Electrical load – this may be quite high depending on the cooktop’s number and size of cooking zones (eg a 7kW four-zone cooktop will need a 30 amp connection, and larger cooktops may need up to 42 amp connection)
  • Standby power – check the rating, but remember you can turn it off at the wall if you have an isolation switch installed
  • Easy-to-use controls – does it have a separate control for each zone? If not, is it easy to switch between each zone? Touch button versus more responsive touch and slide?
  • ‘Stop & Go’ features – allow a pause when the cook is interrupted, resuming at the same power level
  • Safety features – such as child lock and auto-shutdown if a pan boils over or overheats
  • ‘Bridge’ function – to link two separate zones to allow large pans or griddles to be heated, and controlled together as one zone
  • Bevelled glass edge versus metal trim – bevelled is easier to clean but more vulnerable to damage if a pot is dropped on a corner or slid into an edge without the trim
  • Timers – improve cooking control and energy efficiency, and reduce risk of overcooking!
  • Residual heat – some models have the smarts to indicate different levels of residual heat that can be utilised after the zone is switched off.

Read the full article in Sanctuary 30 for the advantages and disadvantages of induction cooktops and an overview of the products available.