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! 

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