Summertime Simple Living Guest Bites

November 26, 2015

Summertime can play havoc with your eco-survival skills! What with holidays, gift giving and festivities, it can be a tad harder than normal to stick to plastic-free mantras and wholesome living. But have no fear - this week, we invited four fabulous ladies over to share their simple living tips on the run up to the silly season. Our guest line up today is Brydie Piaf from CityhippyfarmgirlSonia Singh from Tree Change Dolls, Sonia Donaldson from Natural New Age Mum and Ros Campbell from Tsuno. They're all sharing a quick tip for simple living or a tiny change they've made to become 'plastic-a-lot-less'. Here's what they said...

A Cityhippyfarmgirl: Brydie Piaf

Cityhippyfarmgirl baking bread      Home baking with Cityhippyfarmgirl      Beautiful bread by Cityhippyfarmgirl - Brydie Piaf

Brydie describes herself as a 'city girl with hippy tendencies and farm girl aspirations'. We totally dig that. Since realising that her dream of a farm house in the country, wasn't likely anytime soon, Brydie has focussed on living a simple city life instead and now blogs about it at Cityhippyfarmgirl. Her mantra is 'simple connected living, city style' and she's found a heap of things she can do to bring the country to the city - permaculture, real food and making huge quantities of kombucha and sour dough bread. She's a regular contributor to Earth Garden Magazine and Milkwood Permaculture. We asked Brydie 'what's the one little or big change you've made to become 'plastic-a-lot-less'?

Brydie says: Have I made a tiny plastic change? You betcha!

Lots of changes have been made over the years to decrease our families plastic use, good changes, and changes certainly for the better. During Plastic Free July this year I thought it was time to rejig things a bit more. Surely I could more? With thinking cap on, I actually landed at the local butcher. Turns out, it was a really easy place to start. I had my double layered stainless steel container, and as it turns out, that container? Well it holds a kilo of butcher snags just perfectly. Not a piece of plastic to be seen.

 Brydie Piaf's snags from the butcher in a sustain-a-stacker

Sonia Singh from Tree Change Dolls 

Sonia and her sisters grew up playing with second-hand dolls and home-made toys in beautiful Tasmania. Because she loved dolls as a kid, when she came across them in op shops, she could see their potential for a second life. After being made redundant from CSIRO, Sonia embarked on a little hobby to give neglected second-hand dolls a 'make under' and a new lease of life. She takes old dolls and swaps their high-fashion, scary hair and make-up, for a more 'down-to-earth' style.

Tree Change Dolls went viral on social earlier this year. There was a tidal wave of people who were touched by the story of these recycled dolls and their 'make-unders'. Sonia sells her recycled dolls, along with her mum's knitting patterns for their clothes, on Etsy and has a Tree Change Dolls You Tube channel that shows you 'how-to' recycle and make-under your own dolls at home.

Playing with recycled Tree Change Dolls   Sonia Singh with her Tree Change Dolls  Sonia's daughter playing with her Tree Change Dolls

We asked Sonia 'What's your favourite tip for those striving for simple living or to reduce their impact on the planet?'

Sonia says: Kids don't always need brand new toys. Buy second-hand and get creative! It's a great way to spend quality time with your children and make something really unique that they can be proud to have had a hand in creating. I love upcycling dolls with my daughter. Here she is playing outside with some of my re-styled Tree Change Dolls.

And if you're curious to see what a Tree Change Doll looks like check out Sonia's before and after creations on her Facebook and Tumblr pages…they are too cute! Thanks to Sonia for the images.

Tree Change Doll on the beachHand knitted clothes for Tree Change DollsTree Change Dolls after make under

Natural New Age Mum: Sonia Donaldson

Sonia runs Natural New Age Mum, a website and social network jam packed full of natural info for mums and families including healthy, whole-food cooking, eco-friendly products, natural health and beauty remedies and regular reviews and giveaways of natural products.

Sonia has a huge social following of 35,000 people on Facebook alone no less! Natural New Age Mum is a great place to start to pick up and share simple living tips for you and your family that will save you time and money as well as take care of you and the environment. We asked Sonia, 'What's the one little (or big!) change you've made to become 'plastic-a-lot-less'?  

Sonia D says: Our whole family has an assortment of glass and stainless steel drink bottles we use for hot and cold beverages. We endeavour to never buy bottled water! Not only are plastic water bottles a hazard to the environment, they are also hazardous to our health. Plastic can leach into the water and cause all sorts of health problems. Always go for glass or stainless steel.

Sonia from Natural New Age Mum

Ros from Tsuno

We're proud supporters of Tsuno - it would be an under statement to say that Ros is a sucker for a good cause and she actively supports Aussie charity's like Share the Dignity and the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre as well as donating 50% of profits from the sale of Tsuno products to the International Women's Development Agency. We asked Ros 'What's one little (or big) change you've made to become 'plastic a lot less'?'

Ros says: I now post all my orders through my business in recycled cardboard boxes, rather than pre-paid plastic satchels, which ends up costing my business more, but the environment less.

Ros at Tsuno uses recycled boxes for postage

We stock a sample selection of Tsuno products in the Ecolosophy Store or you can subscribe at Tsuno's website.

A big shout out to our lovely guests for dropping over to guest bite on Random Bites of Ecolosophy. Do share your summer simple living tips on comments below xox


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