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.

The imperfect reality of low-waste living

If you’ve ever tried to reduce the amount of plastic or food waste going in to your bin, if you’ve ever tried to cut back on packaging or unnecessary products in your shopping trolley, or if you’ve ever tried your hand at Plastic Free July and found yourself overwhelmed and frustrated at the lack of realistic low-waste options in your home town – this episode is for you.

Today we meet Amy, who lives in rural northern Maine, where recycling and low-waste resources are limited. Amy has been making progress in lots of different areas of slow living, but now finds herself at somewhat of a frustrating point where the lack of local services is making further progress tough.

She and I talk about the frustrations of living in a system that’s not set up for our success, and the importance of acknowledging when we’re doing the best we can given the situation we’re in. We also chat about the progress Amy has made already and I prove myself somewhat-useful (but mostly wrong) in offering compost advice.

Amy then asks me about another area of slow living that she’s working through at the moment: how to manage working from home/parenting/making low-waste choices while maintaining a semblance of balance. We have a really good chat about viewing life as seasonal, with some seasons offering us time to create new systems, while other seasons will be fuller, only giving us space to live with the systems that are already in place.

I’m then joined by Tammy Logan of Gippsland Unwrapped – an online community and activism platform that offers community-based and creative solutions to living a lower-waste life in rural areas. Tammy has some fantastic practical suggestions for how Amy could reduce the amount she needs to compost, as well as some solutions for those who might not have a typical compost set-up available. She also offers some hard-earned insight in to the pros and cons of making green changes in a small town, which are super helpful not only to Amy but also to me as I start to think more about the changes I’d like to help facilitate in our new home town.

This is an episode for anyone looking for realistic low-waste options, as well as inspiration to rethink what low-waste means. In a word, it’s encouraging!

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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How to make a difference

When we look around and see the myriad environmental crises facing the world it can be easy to slip in to despair, as we wonder, “What difference can I make? I’m only one person.”

In today’s episode we meet Georgi, who has made massive strides in changing the way she lives as an individual but is now looking at the bigger picture and wants to know:

“What are some bigger things I can do, outside my own home, to make a real impact?”

What follows is a really wide-ranging chat where Georgi and I look at both the highly practical changes we can make in our personal attempts to live a more sustainable life, as well as the broader issue of how to work out what we have to offer our community and how to begin delivering it.

A big part of this conversation is about acknowledging that we, as individuals, cannot fix every problem, and to constantly berate ourselves about that fact is a disservice to what we can offer. Georgi and I use this as a jumping off point to talk about the importance of hope and vision – of taking the time to visualise a better version of our community – and to use that as motivation for change.

We also look at the different ways we can make change in our communities. We can, of course, create new programs or services or conversations ourselves, but we can also lend our skills and gifts to those that already exist by way of financial support, volunteering, facilitation and spreading the word. Community isn’t just a place or a group of people, it’s also a way of connecting with those around us and coming together for a common purpose – we don’t need to go it alone.

After farewelling Georgi (hopefully armed with a whole heap of questions and ideas that will help bring her clarity on what comes next), I’m joined by another wonderful special guest. This week it’s Sarah Wilson, author of First, We Make the Beast Beautiful, who talks about the importance of starting where you are and using what you’ve got in order to make change.

We also talk about the current duality of online communities (ie you’re either with us or against us) and the problem with imagining that same division to be present in to our day-to-day conversations. Sarah also brings up the importance of hope, and reminds us that while our individual voice might not feel like it matters much, change can only happen when we join our voice to those around us to make a noisy, beautiful chorus.

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!

Emily Stochl on the planet-saving power of shopping second-hand

You may know by now that the fashion industry is one of the leading planet polluters,  and you also may know that fast fashion (cheap, poorly made fashion that’s created for very short-term wear) is a huge part of the problem. 

One of the best ways that we as individuals can begin to reduce our own carbon footprint and slow the impact we’re having on our home planet is to stop supporting the producers of fast-fashion (no matter how cute their current season is) and to start buying second-hand clothes.

But if you’re anything like me and a little clueless about how to become a good second-hand shopper, then maybe you need some guidance. I have found the occasional gem in a second-hand store and bought a few nice things online over the years, but whenever I find myself in a vintage store or an op-shop, chances are I’ll walk out feeling a bit deflated because I’ve gotten overwhelmed. Today’s guest is here to change all that and I personally couldn’t be happier!

In today’s poggie I chat with Emily Stochl, a passionate thrift shopper and host of the Pre-Loved Podcast – a show all about shopping second-hand, why it matters and what it means to us. Emily has the best advice on how to get started with second-hand shopping, how to make sure your bargain is money well spent and why it’s important to take it slow when thrifting. 

Emily also talks about the rise of ‘eco fashion’ on the high street and why we need to be cautious of greenwashing in the fashion industry, and shares why second-hand shopping is one of the most effective, fun, self-expressive ways to lower our personal carbon footprint. 

This is a really fun, action-oriented episode that will hopefully leave you feeling ready to take on the wonderful world of thrift next time you need to buy something.

Questions featured in this episode: 

  • What’s your primary motivation for thrifting? Is it environmental, the thrill of the hunt, finding things no-one else wears? 
  • What’s the first step to begin our second-hand shopping journey?
  • How can a devoted high-street shopper begin to slow their fashion habit? 
  • What do we need to be aware of when donating our unwanted clothes? 
  • What are your thoughts on the rise of eco fashion in the high street?

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!

Katie Patrick on how to save the world

“If we really want to change the world, we need to slow down.”

Katie Patrick

Often on the podcast we dance around the topic of technology – usually viewing it as something that gets in the way of our efforts to slow down and live a more mindful, sustainable life. But what if we embraced technology and viewed it as the greatest opportunity we have to change (or maybe even save) the world?

In this week’s episode I chat with Katie Patrick, an environmental engineer and designer who applies data-driven, gamification, and behavior-change techniques to solve the world’s environmental problems.

And upon reading that you might think, “What does that have to do with slow living?” but let me share with you that it has everything to do with slow living.

In our conversation today, Katie shares how it’s only possible to access our full creative potential (the same creative potential that we need to access if we want to create world-changing solutions) if we learn to slow down. (Yes I said “Woah,” out loud when I first heard this.)

And in further narrative-shattering news, Katie tells me that our brain does not function in its optimal, problem-solving state if we spend all of our time stressed out and rushing. So in that sense, day-dreaming and doodling and working on creative projects with no specific outcome attached is not only good for our health, but it’s good for our brains and the planet itself.

There are a lot of people who listen to this podcast who want to change the world in both big and small ways. Maybe you want to reduce plastic waste or encourage people to compost. Maybe you’re spreading peace throughout your neighbourhood by teaching meditation or simply being that oddball aunt or uncle who teaches young kids random facts about flowers in the hope that one day they will grow a love of nature and a desire to protect it.

No matter how you want to change the world, this episode is full of strategies and suggestions on how to do it. Not only in your own efforts, but in inviting others to join your efforts too. Because I think that’s one of the biggest hurdles we face right now in making big, world-changing efforts: how do we get others onboard?

Katie brings with her a completely new perspective on what it’s going to take to change the world, and it’s a refreshing, hope-filled, imagination-fuelled joy to listen to. This episode has so much juicy goodness for us to think about and I can’t wait to see what world-shaking changes it brings about in all of us.

Questions featured in this episode: 

  • What role does optimism play in our ability to change the world?
  • Why do we need to slow down in order to access our creative potential?
  • If we lead busy, full lives, how can we make space and time for creativity, particularly when it feels like a ‘nice to have’ rather than a necessity?
  • What’s the link between optimism and taking action?
  • Why do you think the current environmental, climate crisis messaging is falling flat for so many people? What can we do to change 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!

Christine Liu on how to green up your workplace

“It’s so much more powerful to have a group of people working towards something, rather than just myself as an individual.”

Christine Liu

When I was planning out this season of the podcast, I knew I wanted to spend time focusing on practical ideas – ones that we could apply in our own communities, homes and workplaces.

So when I discovered the work of today’s guest, Christine Liu, a zero-waste blogger and YouTuber who set up a green team network at her former employer, Cisco, I knew I wanted to dig deep in to how and why she decided to do so.

We chat about her experience at Cisco and Christine shares how the Green Teams initiative started small and grew throughout the entire organisation, as well as the impact it had on her own efforts to live more sustainably, and those of her colleagues.

I also talk to Christine about planning a wedding and becoming a pet owner – two areas of life that aren’t known for being zero-waste friendly – and she shares her tips and challenges for both of those in this episode too.

Questions featured in this episode:

  1. What is a Green Team?
  2. Why and how did you start it?
  3. Do you have any suggestions for where people can start making changes in their own workplace?
  4. Where did your personal zero-waste journey start?
  5. Any tips for where to start with zero-waste and pets?
  6. How has simplifying your life impacted your mental health?
  7. What were the reactions you received from friends and family around your zero-waste wedding?
  8. Any tips for people planning their wedding or big event who are keen to minimise waste?

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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!