Category Archives: Planet

Slow living is about looking after our planet, treading lightly and reducing our impact. Learn about ethical consumption and the importance of buying once, buying well. Or you could try green cleaning, turn your hand to gardening or reduce your plastic use.

Looking towards a ‘new normal’

“We could realise that what we thought was success, was just excess.”

As we begin to see some countries (like Australia) relax their pandemic restrictions and allow the general public back into society at varying levels, naturally our attention turns to what that new version of daily life might look like.

In this host-only chat, Ben and I discuss what we hope the ‘new normal’ might entail, whether we should simply be re-entering or re-booting society, and what each of us can do now in order to set that in motion. 

We also look at how Australia’s government is talking up a “snap back” to pre-virus ways of doing things, and how that seems to mean a re-entry to the old way of doing things and a return to old problems. Ben poses the question of what would happen if we instead rebooted back into society: rebooting the way we managed our finance, our view on the environment and even our values?

We have a juicy chat about what this means to us and our values, why we’ll spend the next couple of months reframing what success looks like and why we’re taking heart even amidst the pain and uncertainty. 

I also wanted to provide some journal/conversation prompts to help you question what our new normal might look like.

  • Picture a brighter, better future post-Covid
    • What does it look like?
    • How do I feel when I imagine it?
    • What excites me about it?
    • What about it feels aligned with my values?
    • Let this vision settle in to my heart, let it permeate the discomfort and uncertainty. Believe that it’s possible.
  • What specific experiences during isolation have I found positive?
    • What did they offer me that I want more of?
    • How can I make space for more of them post-lockdown?
  • What about ‘normal life’ am I not looking forward to?
    • What of those things are in my control?
    • How can I minimise them in my life?
  • Have my priorities changed as a result of lockdown?
    • What were they pre-Covid?
    • What are they now?
  • Has my idea of success changed as a result of the pandemic?
    • What was it pre-Covid?
    • What is it now?
  • Are there things in my life (worries, expectations, goals etc) that I can simply let go of in this new normal?
    • What are they?
    • How do I feel when I think about simply letting them go?
  • What’s one thing I can do today that will bring this vision closer?

I found this a really challenging, hopeful, cathartic conversation to have, and it really stirred a curiosity in me. If we could envision a better, post-Covid world, what would it look like?

Head over to iTunes to subscribe to the show and play the episode.

Or you can listen to the show directly, simply by hitting the Play button above. Enjoy!

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Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:

As always, thank you for listening.

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Loneliness and learning to look forward with Sarah Wilson

“In a crisis it is natural to want to be with one another in a messy collective…but for people living alone at the moment that is not possible.”

Sarah Wilson

Lots of airtime has been given to the stress that parents and carers of young families are currently under, juggling working from home or job loss with remote schooling and caring for kids too young to understand why everything is different. Amongst all of that there has been little time given to the question of how people in single-person households are faring, so in today’s episode I sit down with friend of the show, Sarah Wilson, to talk loneliness during lockdown.

You may already know a little about Sarah – she’s a former journalist, TV presenter, activist and author of one of the best books about anxiety and depression I’ve ever read, First We Make the Beast Beautiful. With her incredible depth of knowledge on living with anxiety, Sarah shares not only how she’s personally finding lockdown, but also why she thinks anxiety has given her an advantage to coping with and exploring what these strange times might mean as we move forward.

We also discuss how COVID-19 will impact Australia in terms of social, and economic issues, and given the work Sarah has done as a climate activist over the past few years, also dig in to the relationship between the pandemic and climate crises. There’s a lot of commonalities at play in both of them, and Sarah and I both believe it’s important to have challenging, uncomfortable conversations about how we might be able to create a better normal on the other side. Sarah offers her typically thought-provoking, status-quo challenging insights and shares why we need to be both “slow and outraged” as we move forward. 

There’s no doubt that the road ahead will be difficult. Resilience is something we’re going to need a lot of. The question really is, how do we build that kind of resilience, not only in ourselves, our friends, our families, but also in our communities and cities at large?

Head over to iTunes to subscribe to the show and play the episode.

Or you can listen to the show directly, simply by hitting the Play button above. Enjoy!

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Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:

As always, thank you for listening.

Love Slow? Support the show!

Permaculture in a crisis with Robyn Rosenfeldt

“Learn one new skill, something that will help you not be so reliant on the system.”

Robyn Rosenfeldt

It’s been a helluva a start to the year for all of us, and for many Australians, we’ve found ourselves living through the double-whammy of the devastating summer bushfire season, followed closely by the global Covid-19 pandemic.

It’s been interesting to see so many people using this time of upheaval to start thinking about community and its role in helping us navigate times of crisis, and today’s guest has so much to share on exactly that topic. Robyn Rosenfeldt is a permaculture expert, the editor and creator of Pip Magazine, and an all-round, stand-out friend of the show, and in today’s episode we have a fantastic conversation centred on the importance of coming together in difficult times.

Robyn talks about the devastation of the summer bushfires and how that crisis highlighted the issue of food security in her community, before sharing the similar impact the Covid-19 crisis is now having on local supermarket shelves. She also introduces us to the three pillars of permaculture – earth care, people care and a fair share – and speaks about what they each look like in daily life, and how everyone of us can harness them to create stronger communities – not only now, but also as we move forward in to whatever the ‘new normal’ will be.

We also have a chat about a topic I know many of you are curious about: how to live a values-aligned life while also raising independent-minded children. This includes Robyn’s thoughts on how to best pick your battles and why compromise is an important tool for everyone to have in their toolbox (a lesson I’m learning with increasing frequency as our kids get older!)

Finally Robyn and I talk about the rising instances of eco-anxiety in both adults and kids alike, and how we can move through it with grace and humanity in tact.

It’s a really wonderful chat that I’ve found myself referring back to a lot over the past few weeks and I hope you enjoy it!

Head over to iTunes to subscribe to the show and play the episode.

Or you can listen to the show directly, simply by hitting the Play button above. Enjoy!

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Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:

As always, thank you for listening.

Love Slow? Support the show!

Reducing Waste: A Slow Living Deep-Dive

“It’s not until you bring people together that change actually happens.”

In what feels like a natural progression from last episode’s theme of Stuff, this week Ben and I dig in to the efforts we’re making to reduce our waste. From food, to clothes, to cleaning, we discuss where we started our waste reduction journey and where we find ourselves now.

As we mentioned in last week’s episode on stuff, our philosophy has shifted somewhat away from our initial efforts to declutter and simplify, towards living more sustainably. We’ve been asked about it a lot so thought this week would be a good opportunity to dig in to what that actually looks like, in what we hope is a really practical way.

None of this is perfect, and as we discuss today, there is always going to be more we can do, but it’s really important to understand that we live within a system that is not necessarily set up for our success. So not only are we making changes against a lifetime of convenience, we’re also swimming upstream, against the food and packaging industries, governments and massive supermarket chains which all benefit from the current system remaining in place.

We talk a lot about food waste, given the statistic from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation which states that, “If global food waste was a country it would be the 3rd largest global greenhouse emitter,” but there are also lots of other kinds of waste to turn our attention to.

In today’s episode Ben and I dig in to the changes we’ve made, those we’re trying to make now, and the areas we feel overwhelmed by. We also discuss:

  • Where our shift from simple living and decluttering to reducing waste and being more sustainable came from
  • How we first started to reduce waste
  • Whether we believe we do ‘enough’
  • Where we’ve found new opportunities to reduce waste and what those opportunities look like
  • How we capture our plastic waste
  • Other than food, what other kinds of waste we’ve been trying to reduce, and how we’re going about it 

I then speak with Georgi from Season 4, who shares the practical and inspiring things she’s done since we last spoke. Not only has Georgi engaged with the communities she’s part of, but has also begun a conversation with her council to explore what changes they can begin to make in her local area.

Excitingly, Georgi also shares the project she’s working on – a handbook for action and optimism, written for young people – which she’s filling with practical and tangible (and accessible!) tips. I’m genuinely blown away by the progress she’s made over the past few months and walked away from our chat energised to keep making connections, keep working, keep creating.

There’s a lot of inspiration – both practical and heart-centred – in today’s episode, and Georgi shows us how much progress can be made when individuals step up and connect with their local communities. 

Enjoy! 

Head over to iTunes to subscribe to the show and play the episode.

Or you can listen to the show directly, simply by hitting the Play button above. Enjoy!

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Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:

As always, thank you for listening.

Love Slow? Support the show!

Stuff: A Slow-Living Deep Dive

Experiences over stuff 4eva.

Since returning to Australia and moving in to a new home, we’ve found there’s a lot of curiosity about our stuff. Or more specifically, whether we’ve accumulated a lot of it since settling down.

So in this episode we decided to dive deep in to our current relationship with stuff and how we view the accumulation or letting go of it through a slow living lens. We also answer some of the more common questions we receive about the things we own, including:

  • How has our relationship with stuff changed?
  • Have we rediscovered any old belongings since settling back in to a normal life? 
  • What sort of stuff have we bought?
  • Has our approach to buying things changed?
  • Have we have continued to declutter and if so, how we do it now?

Running through this entire deep dive is also a more general discussion of how we’ve moved away from a ‘traditional minimalist’ mindset to a more ‘lower waste living’ philosophy, as well as some thoughts on why we don’t really associate with a minimalist approach to life anymore. 

In the second half of the episode I then have the pleasure of speaking with Nancy from Season 4, who had been struggling to find her happy place on the socialising/slow living spectrum and was worried that living a slower life was causing her to feel lonely.

In this catch-up Nancy shares some of the incredible progress she’s made since her and I last spoke, and includes an epiphany all about hummus. (Yes, really!)

Nancy has come so far along her path of intentional living and it’s pure joy to hear her share the changes in her self-confidence, self-esteem and ability to embrace discomfort.

Enjoy! 

Head over to iTunes to subscribe to the show and play the episode.

Or you can listen to the show directly, simply by hitting the Play button above. Enjoy!

——

Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:

As always, thank you for listening.

Love Slow? Support the show!