Our Invitation to use this Toolkit

The Wheel, in association with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has created an online toolkit for communities across Ireland. This toolkit aims to support local communities across Ireland to awaken an awareness, deepen understanding and activate participation in sustainable development with a view to living better by using less.

Through the reach of The Wheel’s network across civil society organisations in Ireland, this toolkit has been informed by, and thereby hopes to inform, local communities on how they can become more sustainable.

This toolkit seeks to shine a light on what is already there, validate and recognise this work and provide some frameworks for communities using this toolkit to draw on for your own organisation and community context.

Sustainable Communities

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) invite people to ‘think global and act local’ to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change. There is enormous potential for communities to drive this agenda at a local level, by nurturing what is working already and growing new ideas through innovation.

Have you got a story to tell about how your community is making a difference? We want to hear your stories of sustainability and help inspire other communities to follow suit.

Visit and let us know. Email:

Living Better Using Less:

a Sustainable Communities toolkit for community and voluntary organisations

How to use this Toolkit

Sustainable Communities will have different priorities depending on the community itself. So we invite you to start with what is already happening within your own community and use the toolkit as a framework to build on this.

As you work through the toolkit online, we suggest that you also prepare offline for some of the ideas and actions that will emerge:

  • Consider how you will practically bring the ideas into your community.
  • Consider what is possible with the available time and resources.
  • Consider who can get on board to begin to implement any actions that emerge.
  • Consider the longer term vision for sustainability within your community.

Each section includes:

  • A video to introduce the theme
  • Questions and activities to explore with your community
  • Examples from other communities
  • Action ideas for you to try in your own context

The sections of the toolkit:

Ecological Integrity

In a world of changing climate, over reliance on the earth’s resources and loss of biodiversity, communities can be part of a wider movement of change towards a sustainable future.

Health and Wellbeing

Everyone in our community should be able to flourish and thrive, feel connected, satisfied with services and able to cope with whatever knocks they encounter now and for future generations

Participation and Engagement

A sustainable community is one that puts its most vulnerable members at its centre. How do we ensure all voices are at the decision-making table and that services are as accessible as possible?

Culture and Heritage

Each community is unique in their own special way and we need to nurture this integrity of place so that when faced with difficult decisions, that communities will know what they are willing to accept

Economic Resilience

How can we make our communities more financially sustainable, while at the same time challenging unsustainable economic models of development and promoting a model of development that is good for people, good for planet?