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Journal - Interviews, Profiles, Stories

Journal: Emma Grace

A few months ago I was asked to do a Vox Pop on the question: “What do you do to make your life more sustainable?”

Being put on the spot, I gave a brief answer about recycling and The Treasury that left quite a bit out. Afterwards of course I thought of other things I could have said! Sustainability is such an integral part of my life and I’d like to use this blog post as a chance to share some examples of the personal side of sustainability… hopefully it might provide some food for thought.

People that know about my Treasury initiative, or The Repair Workshops will know I’m big on repairing instead of buying new stuff. That’s the same at home: I buy second hand furniture, home wares, clothes and, well, everything – I enjoy the thrill of the hunt and the pieces I find are interesting and unique. Check out Gertrude Street, or the Lost and Found Market for top-shelf vintage clothes and furniture, The Brotherhood for great bargains, and Outlook Environmental (otherwise known as the Tip Shop) for wonderful trash.

Opshoppic

Image courtesy of http://www.trishhunterfinds.com.au

Of all the ‘green’ initiatives I’ve set up at home, by far the most exciting a fulfilling is my veggie garden. We recently had a Permablitz, which is a “permaculture-inspired backyard makeover where people come together to share knowledge and skills about organic food production in urban gardens while building community and having fun”. Apart from the health and cost benefits, having your own veg garden means you’re helping to build food security in the suburbs. Oh, and it tastes good too!

Most of the rest of our food we buy in bulk (i.e. no packaging) at Friends of the Earth, or through Ceres’ Fair Food delivery service, which means we’re supporting local farmers and reducing food miles. Being vegetarian also goes a long way to reducing my ecological footprint – apart from the excess (ahem) ‘gas’ cattle emit, they’re also very water and feed intensive, so going vego is definitely the way forward!

Veges

People don’t often talk about the positives around sustainability but I find riding a bike to be one of the best ways to explore the beautiful city of Melbourne (check out Frocks on Bikes). Installing solar panels for hot water and water tanks to feed the garden, washing machine, toilet and hot water system brings me closer to natural systems and also makes me more resilient. Draft proofing and insulating the house (including ceiling insulation, double-glazed windows, door-seals and home-made door snakes) saves energy and makes it a more comfortable and pleasant space to be in.

Bike

Photo courtesy of http://antonykitchener.wordpress.com/

In fact, the further I go in making my work and life more sustainable, the more rewarding I find it and the more wonderful and inspiring people I meet. Those are some pretty positive outcomes I reckon!