Living Smart in Australia

The ‘Living Smart’ programme; Part 2

Marianne (our Wilmslow Transitioner currently living in Australia) gives us news of the second session of the ‘Living Smart’ programme she is attending.

Living Simply and Waste.

Australian research has shown that the greater our income the higher the level of our dissatisfaction.

Nearly two thirds of Australians say they cannot afford to buy everything they really need …….

……. and yet Australians are richer than ever and about three times better off than their parents in the 1950s!

Research also shows that people who focus on money and materialistic possessions are less happy and are more prone to negative mind states like depression.

In summary, material possessions are being used to communicate status and try to enhance our self-esteem. Our relationship with consumption is so complex we now buy things that we do not use!  Also high consumptive lifestyles have negative environmental consequences.  According to the Living Planet Report 2012 we are currently using 50% more resources than the earth can provide.

We discussed how to live more happily with less, the “buyerarchy” of needs and a (what I’ll call) “feel the fear” technique to counteract our reptilian brain that drives us to overconsume.  Think about the shop you find most irresistible, go to the shop, wander round and resist buying anything but be aware of what your “inner reptile” is saying.

buyerarchyStart from the bottom and take as few steps as possible up the ‘hierarchy’!!

Perth has some very big “waste and recycling” centres.  Our local one was explained to us.  Essentially we have all been doing it wrong!  The objective is “not to contaminate the compost/green waste bin with non-green waste” rather than “picking out the recyclables”.  The organic waste is turned into high quality compost for farmers, and the rest goes down a shoot that has a “magic eye” that can pick different kinds of plastic etc and send them off to different piles.  Apparently sometimes they can’t recycle e.g. glass depending on demand, so it becomes a “topper” for the landfill.  The crew are all set for “plastic free July” which is apparently an annual thing.  Much was discussed around this – too much to go into here but fascinating and useful (like how to cope in your bathroom – vinegar and bicarb make great shampoo)!

There is a website and you can enroll:  www.plasticfreejuly.org/

Next session is POWER!

Some books that were suggested reading:

Afluenza by Clive Hamilton,

Enough –  Breaking Free from the world of excess by John Naish

Voluntary Simplicity by Duane Elgin.

 

Advertisements