Simple Living Guest Bites

September 18, 2015

It's Springtime…and a good time for a little simple living inspiration! This September, we're featuring a few of our favourite friends from across Australia, who are doing their bit to inspire positive change in our communities and travel a more sustainable path through life. Their sustainability journey began with one, small change that led to another, that led them to where they are now...inspiring us and others to make a difference.

This week, meet the lovely Bronte from 1 Million Women, sustainability guru Shani Graham from Ecoburbia and Sand Sculpture WA and photographer blogger, Michelle Cassar from Being PALL - Plastic a Lot Less. We asked them 'What's your favourite tip for those striving for simple living or to reduce their impact on the planet? or 'What's the one little (or big!) change you've made to become 'plastic-a-lot-less’? Here's what they said...

Bronte Hogarth, Head of Communications at 1 Million Women

Bronte is the Head of Communications at 1 Million Women and she blogs on everything from energy saving tips to healthy recipes. 1 Million Women is a huge social movement involving over 220,000 women and girls across Australia, sharing a mission to lead low carbon lifestyles. If you want to start making small changes to use less but aren't too sure where to begin, then connecting with the 1 Million Women movement is a great place to start. You can follow Bronte's blog posts here.

Bronte Hogarth with her cool reusable bags

What's your best piece of advice or your favourite tip for those striving for simple living or to reduce their impact on the planet?

Bronte says: People seem to get the idea that living more simply or reducing ones impact on the planet means reducing ones quality of life, whereas it’s actually the exact opposite. Living a low-impact life is enriching, and for me the simplest way to get started is by literally looking at the way you nourish yourself through food. It’s something that is a part of our everyday, and an area you can make so many small changes that will benefit yourself and our planet. From shopping locally and seasonally to support local farmers and get produce with more nutrients, to reducing food waste, to following a more plant-based diet - food is an area we can all identify with and implement changes on a daily basis. 

What's the one little (or big!) change you've made to become 'plastic-a-lot-less’?

Bronte says: I’m a big snacker throughout the day, so to reduce the plastic in my life I have stopped buying snacks in packaging (i.e. muesli bars, chocolates) and it’s really encouraged me to make my own at the start of the week. I now make my own no-bake slices which keep really well, and even my own raw chocolates. I feel great about being more organised, and happy that I can control exactly what ingredients are going into my food, as often packaged store-bought snacks aren’t that healthy for you anyway.  

 Bronte from 1 Million Women with her reusable cup and water bottle

Sharni Graham from Ecoburbia & Sand Sculpture WA

For ten years, Shani and her partner Tim, have been pioneering a sustainable living revolution from their home in Hulbert Street in Freo. Shani helped establish the popular Hulbert Street Sustainability Fiesta and has even shared her sustainability story on the TEDX stage in Perth - check it out here. She's now left Hulbert street and runs a number of businesses that continue bring communities together (like Sand Sculpture WA who doesn't love playing in the sand?!) and help others become more environmentally conscious and self-sufficient. And what started her sustainability crusade all those years ago? Well after 20 years as a teacher, she took some time out and did a sustainable living course called Living Smart that changed her life - she now teaches this course to others through her business Ecoburbia

Crazy cat Shani from Ecoburbia

What's your best piece of advice or your favourite tip for those striving for simple living or to reduce their impact on the planet?

Shani says: The one thing you can do that will have the most impact? Do a Living Smart course!

You'll meet inspiring people who are thinking like you, you'll learn from and teach each other, and you'll be part of a local community that will support you to make changes. It will give you hope for our future. 

Living Smart is what started me on my sustainable journey...

Here's Shani doing what she loves best…telling a good yarn and bringing people together to share and learn from each other. Rose at Ecolosophy did a Living Smart course with Shani and couple of years back and LOVED it. 

Shani Graham loves bringing people together

Michelle Cassar at Being PALL - Plastic a Lot Less

Michelle used a lot of plastics - water in plastic, microwave meals for work, plastic bags stashed under the sink plus a bathroom full of plastics. But whilst living and working as a photographer at a popular surf beach, Michelle began to see plastic waste everywhere, often washing up around her feet whilst she worked. So in 2008, she began to do something about it - firstly reducing her own plastic use and then helping other people reduce theirs. She blogs about all the small changes you can make that add up to being plastic a lot less at Being PALL - Plastic a Lot Less.

Michelle avoids plastic by baking bread at home

What's one little (or big!) change you've made to become 'plastic a lot less'?

Michelle says: It's a big change - I refuse single use plastics every time I shop and have been doing so for over six years. I know now, how individual actions add up massively.

The biggest change for me, had to be starting a blog and putting my words out there to help others. For someone who struggles with writing, it's been a huge challenge.  It took me six years, but the feedback I'm getting is incredible!

(Image: Michelle at Being PALL - baking bread to avoid plastic)

Thanks to our guests for their inspirational bites. Now go forth and make a difference today - plant a seed, refuse a plastic bag or give someone a big hug! Every little counts.

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