in good company

Posted on Updated on

Earlier this week I attended an inspiring forum addressed by Natalie Isaacs, CEO/Founder of 1 Million Women “a community of women determined to act on climate change”. The forum touted as being about climate change pleasantly surprised me by conveying ideas on the same page as I am about sustainability.

Natalie communicated a worthy message about collective power “As women we decide about 85% of household purchases. If 1 million women all make one better choice, however small, it leads to real change. We are a community of women determined to act on climate change. Together, our choices and how we live make us powerful! ”

If you would like find out more or be counted among the 1 Million Women, click on the link and join. It’s free and there’s much interesting information on the website, such as that outlined by Natalie describing 1 Million Women’s Six Ways to Live Simply. I’ve encountered via blogging the company of many people – women and men – on the journey making similar contributions to sustainable, ethical, good living. I’m not splitting hairs about labels. Whatever you call it, it makes sense.

Besides sharing a teabag, much to the bemusement of family & friends, here are our Six Ways…

Less is More81bedd4bf3b6148938033fb54cc20def
On the way home last night I detoured to Pitt St Mall “Australia’s busiest and most cosmopolitan shopping precinct” the closest stockist of Sodastream exchange gas cylinders which give fizz to the bubbly water we use to make wine spritzers. I dallied, enjoying the novelty of browsing the stores. The G.O. asked why I hadn’t indulged in some retail therapy. My reply, “Stuff I want but don’t need and can’t afford.”

Recycle, repair, share
Prior to purchasing a new item I assess what is on hand. I wait. You never know what will turn up. I returned the found bread maker to the recycling area but the very next week I found a stockpot that had been on my kitchen shopping wish-list. Before winter clothes shopping I gave last years’ jumpers a wash and boots a polish. They’ll do for another year.IMG_20140506_182434

Waste not, want not
I loathe throwing food out. Weekly I buy with an eye to feeding us and keeping our small but useful freezer stocked. That’s where even the minutest leftovers tend to end up if they don’t get taken for lunches. At the moment it’s groaning with homemade chicken stock and backup mashed potato.

Enjoy the journey and the destinationIMG_20140506_075510
I commute via foot and train. By necessity, the G.O. drives to work sites. Although the fuel provided by his employer costs him nothing, he fitted a Steinbauer Power Module and has his vehicle serviced regularly to optimise efficiency. We don’t drive on weekends unless we need to. We prefer ambulatory expeditions.

Switch off and switch on
Thanks to Meeks I know when our off-peak electricity periods occur, running the dishwasher and washing machine within those times. We don’t have a powered clothes dryer. Our clothes dry on the balcony. Does anything smell better than sun-dried clothes?489ea14989ffa22091ed77155f5186c9

Power of the Purse
My first food shop stop is farmers markets where I know stallholders and their products. Then as ethically as I can manage, local stores, and if I have to, supermarkets. My farmers market challenge is to just buy what I need not everything that looks good, so I carry limited cash.

Via 1 Million Women’s My Nana Says Campaign you can also share your tips to stop wasting food. My Nana Says tip is think before you purchase special-unusual ingredients you’ll never use again. Improvise or substitute. Otherwise, diligently use it to the last, such as the bottle of Madeira I bought to make delectable sausages with onion gravy. Yes, it’s all gone, creating tasty slow cooked casseroles during Autumn.

And, you can join 1 Million Women lending support to save the Great Barrier Reef by adding your name to the online petition at World Heritage in Danger.

Regardless of whether you sign up or simply live it, campaigns such as 1 Million Women spread the word & the appeal, and make a difference.

For me, it’s exciting, people feed into the process so there’s always something new to learn, and another step to take.

Advertisements

38 thoughts on “in good company

    dadirri7 said:
    May 8, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    super inspiring post EllaDee, all read aloud to S, who is grinning and agreeing with everything you say … Mister Farmer’s Market is hard to please but you did it!

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      May 8, 2014 at 6:43 pm

      Thank you. I’m honoured 🙂 It’s truly heartening seeing people making, taking opportunities for positive change. I think everyone in the room was expecting a classic big picture climate change talk but left feeling empowered to make a difference themselves.
      Natalie made some interesting but subtle points re the incumbent government’s attitude to climate change, that you’d enjoy. I hope you get a chance to hear her speak.

      Like

    davidprosser said:
    May 8, 2014 at 7:14 pm

    Any steps taken towards sustainability and towards climate change have got to be good. This is saving the world for the next generations a step at a time but if people gave it more thought it could be a leap at a time.
    A nicely hitting home piece Ella.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      May 8, 2014 at 7:44 pm

      Thank you. I hope the next generation, say Reuben’s, will only need to be keepers, nurturers of the earth, and grow up with a whole different attitude and skill set.

      Like

    memoirsofahusk said:
    May 8, 2014 at 8:32 pm

    Thanks for this reminder that little things matter – sometimes I feel petty the small things I do but they do add up – I’ll share this on my FB page.

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      May 9, 2014 at 11:15 am

      Years ago, I thought I can’t make a difference, aside from choosing the appropriate recycling bin, but I started incorporating small simple changes. Comparing then with now we consume and live very differently.
      Via the popularity of farmers markets, the amount of pins on Pinterest devoted to recycling, upcycling, home grown/cooked food, permaculture gardening and so on, I see evidence that sustainability is creeping [back] into ordinary people’s lives. Not simply because of the threat of climate change but it offers integrity and satisfaction.

      Like

    Eha said:
    May 8, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    EllaDee -I did not expect this powerful post when I clicked on tonight: I did not expect to find my own quiet thoughts mirrored in a myriad of ways. Yes, I now am one of the ‘million women’ also and I have signed the letter of petition for the Great Barrier Reef. It feels good to be on a journey in which I so believe . . . Thank you for bringing up an opportunity of which I was not aware! I would so like to share this further by sending your whole post to some of my likeminded friends in Australia – I hope I may!

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      May 9, 2014 at 6:10 am

      Thank you 🙂 I’m happy you like the post, and for you to share it.
      I felt similarly about the forum, I think we all did, I could see people looking around quietly saying wow, we can do this. It was very cool.
      A few years ago, I was barely into sustainability, it was an abstract concept, climate change was about politicians, scientists and corporations…
      It’s real people who have made the difference 🙂

      Like

        Eha said:
        May 9, 2014 at 1:27 pm

        A local repost of the whole blog has gone out but could not get your ‘yahoo’ address to work for a courtesy copy! Just so you know 🙂 !

        Like

          EllaDee responded:
          May 9, 2014 at 2:23 pm

          Thank you for letting me know 🙂 And also for advising re the email. I tested the email address by clicking the hyperlink in the copyright section of the blog’s About page, and cutting and pasting the email address from the EllaDee blurb in RH sidebar into emails and sending them. Both ended up in my Yahoo in-box 🙂

          Like

    acflory said:
    May 8, 2014 at 11:17 pm

    Great post EllaD, and amongst other things you reminded me I should walk more! The 1 Million Women is a great idea and I’ll check it out in the morning. Night, night 🙂

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      May 9, 2014 at 11:00 am

      Good morning! We walk in the city because we can. At Taylors Arm we drive more. There are offsets to different lifestyles.

      Like

        acflory said:
        May 10, 2014 at 9:11 am

        Yeah, that’s very true. At Warrandyte we have a mixed lifestyle – not quite country, not quite city.

        Like

    philosophermouseofthehedge said:
    May 9, 2014 at 4:54 am

    Every little bit makes a difference. It’s not hard to live thoughtfully, we seem to have gotten complacent – it’s too easy to replace things. Some times “good enough” is all that’s needed and just as good as new. Great post – thanks for the links

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      May 9, 2014 at 10:56 am

      Thank you. I think retail therapy had become a balm of modern life but I’m reassured that people are returning to, valuing household arts, recycling, sustainability. Pinterest evidences this!

      Like

    diannegray said:
    May 9, 2014 at 10:41 am

    This is so inspiring, my dear. I’m definitely in!!! 😀

    I can’t stand waste and am a lot like you when I shop and I just love to recycle (hey – I recycled an entire house!) LOL 😀 I’ve said so many times to hubby ‘use what you’ve got!’ that I think I’m finally getting through to him because he’s starting to say it as well instead of running to the shop to buy a ‘new one’ 😉

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      May 9, 2014 at 10:48 am

      You certainly set the benchmark high when you recycled the RUC!
      Living sustainably is definitely helped by enjoying old stuff… your pantry cupboard mojo rubbed off and we found a slightly shabby, badly refurbished 50’s pantry cupboard (with stained glass intact) in a second hand shop. Perfect 🙂

      Like

        diannegray said:
        May 9, 2014 at 11:48 am

        YAY! Are you going to post a before and after shot at some stage?

        Like

          EllaDee responded:
          May 9, 2014 at 12:03 pm

          I forgot to take a pic of it when we were at TA, and there won’t be an after shot for quite a while… time, dust, etc will soften the dodgy varnishing job. We can’t make it look too nice or it will make all our other old stuff look out of place.

          Like

          diannegray said:
          May 9, 2014 at 1:38 pm

          I forgot to take a pic of mine ‘before’ – do’h!

          I’m sure yours will fit in beautifully 😉

          Like

    anne54 said:
    May 9, 2014 at 9:21 pm

    A lovely post, EllaDee. It is so obvious that all of this comes from your huge heart. An overlooked aspect of doing these things is that it is not very time consuming. Those parts that are, such as walking rather than taking the car, allow you to see what is happening in your part of the world, and public transport = time to read.

    BTW, I like the look of your blog.

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      May 10, 2014 at 8:24 am

      Thank you. It did appeal to me. I’m not a ‘joiner’ but living sustainably is a club to which I’m happy to belong. I realize most of my blogging acquaintances are already in the club with me. Other than trying to navigate the web of ethical food, none of it takes much time or thought, other than not to succumb to the temptation of marketing-advertising.
      And thank you for the kind words, the look of the blog now feels more like me. I needed to live in it though for a while to know what it needed. Sort of like a house.

      Like

    Marianne said:
    May 10, 2014 at 1:57 am

    What an inspiration to have been at the forum, Ella 🙂 We must all do our bit!

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      May 10, 2014 at 8:27 am

      I nearly didn’t go. I thought climate change, it will be same same. I’m so glad I did, as I see it all the time in the blogging world but it was great to see it in real-time, real people and locally… and going international 🙂

      Like

    Glenda said:
    May 10, 2014 at 3:09 am

    Great post Ella, There are so many little things, we all can do.

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      May 10, 2014 at 8:30 am

      Thank you. And that is the message I missed before I started blogging. I thought living sustainably was for other people who have more time, space and resources. I didn’t think reducing MY footprint was going to make any difference. Because I hadn’t at that time connected with others and put together the picture of a lot of people doing it.

      Like

    ardysez said:
    May 13, 2014 at 7:19 am

    You have really inspired me, great post. I have been following a blog called Be More with Less that is along these same lines, and of course D and I have a similar list of priorities that you and the GO pursue. I wonder if we should get a thread going of individual posts where each of us outline our version of what you are doing? I may see if I can get my head around it in such a useful and concrete way as yourself. Thanks Ella!

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      May 13, 2014 at 12:13 pm

      Thank you – I just subscribed to Less is More, and reading their post 10 Things to Add to a Simple Life, #9 Congruence. Always be moving closer to acting, living and working in a way that aligns with your core values – really stood out. I’d love to see what your and other’s Six Ways are.
      While I was impressed by 1 Million Women, our blogging community has informally created our own networks. As is so often expressed on TheKitchensGarden, it’s wonderful how like-minded people have found [and support] each other. It’s inspiration that has changed my life, taken the seeds of ideas, and given me skills to nurture them to fruition.

      Like

        ardysez said:
        May 13, 2014 at 7:28 pm

        I so agree with you Ella. I’m going to go check out some of these links you’ve given us… a bit swamped at the moment… soon to be revealed! x

        Like

    Kourtney Heintz said:
    May 14, 2014 at 1:29 am

    Very inspiring post. When I lived in the city, I loved walking everywhere. 50-60 blocks was easy peasy. I miss that.

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      May 14, 2014 at 6:06 am

      Thank you. In the city it’s easier to walk than drive, although waiting to cross at traffic lights is a pain but not as painful as getting hit by a bus…

      Like

    Aquileana said:
    May 14, 2014 at 2:20 am

    Dixit: “Enjoy the journey and the destination”
    Very well pennned and truly uplifting… Thanks for the inspiration…
    Best wishes, Aquileana 😛

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      May 14, 2014 at 6:07 am

      Thank you. Inspiration is like that, it thrives on sharing 🙂

      Like

    Miss Alister said:
    May 15, 2014 at 7:55 am

    This is great stuff, EllaDee! Glad you found it and posted it : )
    I’ve bookmarked the 1 Million Women site and probably won’t be able to go as full bore as you but I will, at the very least, make that one better choice in addition to the usual things I do like recycling, using electrical appliances until they take their absolute last breath, and making clothes and boots last forever.

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      May 19, 2014 at 4:12 pm

      That’s all we can do… all I do. I thought I’d never make a difference, or even master choosing the right recycling bin – but I have and we like it that way now 🙂

      Like

    Miss Alister said:
    May 16, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    This is great stuff, EllaDee! Glad you found it and posted it : )
    I’ve bookmarked the 1 Million Women site and probably won’t be able to go as full bore as you but I will, at the very least, make that one better choice in addition to the usual things I do like recycling, use electrical appliances until they take their absolute last breath, and making clothes and boots last nearly forever.

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      May 19, 2014 at 4:15 pm

      There is no doubt, evidenced by the valiant efforts you make to comment even when thwarted by the Spam collector that you have the power to make a difference… I wouldn’t really think of what we do as full bore. It just happened by the by, and I seem to have a natural nanna inclination… who knew 😉

      Like

Comments welcome

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s