This page provides a summary of some of the books, podcasts, websites and documentaries that have inspired our exploration of small steps towards less things, less waste, slower living and eating mostly vegetables. It is continuously updated with more great resources for you to check out!
Project Drawdown is “the most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming”. It’s a compilation of the 100 most substantive, existing solutions to address climate change. The top five solutions include refrigerant management, onshore wind turbines, reduced food waste, plant-rich diet, and tropical forests. See more about Project Drawdown here, and my blog post about how to eat a diet more rich in plants and why it matters for climate change here.
“We have a problem with Stuff. We use too much, too much of it is toxic and we don’t share it very well. But that’s not the way things have to be”. The Story of Stuff is about the way we make, use and throw away all the Stuff in our lives. I particularly enjoyed the book, about how our obsession with stuff is trashing the planet, our communities, and out health – and a vision for change. There are also some great videos for people who watch rather than read. Check out the Story of Stuff website here, and my blog post about buying only what you really need here.
#minimalism #overconsumption #waste
Project 333 is the minimalist fashion challenge that invites you to dress with 33 items or less for 3 months. This includes clothing, accessories, jewelry, outerwear and shoes. It does not include sentimental jewelry, underwear, sleep wear, lounge wear or workout clothing (unless you wear the latter to brunch, then it counts!). I have done two rounds of Project 333 and it was truly not as challenging as I was expecting! I got more creative with combining outfits and getting dressed in the morning become quick and easy. I don’t limit myself to exactly 33 items anymore, as I find it is an arbitrary number, but going through the process has really helped me in the journey towards a smaller wardrobe! Find out more about Project 333 here.
#minimalism #sustainability #clothing #decluttering
The minimalists have a documentary, a website, a podcasts and books… all of which are worth a look. The focus of the minimalists is, unsurprisingly, on having fewer things. Whilst there are many benefits to this in my view, I think there is a trade off with sustainability here which is important but not necessarily a centrepiece in the minimalists message. For example, owning reusable cups, bags, straws etc means more things, but less waste. Start browsing the minimalists wide range of resources here, and check out my blog post about choosing less over more here.
This is a great blog about gut flora, good bacteria, scientific research and anti-inflammatory food. The focus is on what you should eat, rather than on what you should avoid eating, which I very much agree with in principle despite excluding things for myself! The website is most comprehensive in Swedish (including a free form podcast with chat and interviews), but the blog is also available in English here. Also check out my blog article about how to eat more vegetables here.
The Power of Habit is about understanding how habits work, and then making them work for us. Charles Duhigg writes about scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. That said, the information in the book does not provide a quick fix answer to losing weight, building great companies, exercising more or spending less time on your phone. But, it does provide some great insights into why we do what we do, and how we might go about changing these patterns. As an advocate for small changes, I find the discussion around “habit loops” (cue – routine – reward) particularly interesting, and how we can use loops we already have to replace one habit we have but don’t like with a healthier, more environmentally friendly or more productive one. Find out more about the Power of Habit here, and check out my blog article on tracking progress towards a goal here.
Gretchen writes and talks about human nature and happiness. I find Gretchen’s work around the four tendencies particularly interesting. She categorises people into for broad groups based on how they respond to expectations. Her categories include upholders, questioners, obligers, and rebels. I am a questioner. Questioners question all expectations, and meet mostly inner expectations, including outer expectations they have turned into inner expectations. I expect that is why I do so much research, to find justifications for all expectations! Take Gretchen’s quiz here to find out which tendency you are.
In a nutshell, the KonMari Method is an approach to decluttering based on Japanese values in order to surround yourself with items that “spark joy”. I read the book the life-changing magic of tidying up early on in my decluttering process, and really enjoyed it. The idea of keeping only the things that “spark joy” is a good one in my opinion, although sometimes of course we need things for practical reasons! Check out Marie Kondo’s website here, and my blog post about decluttering our wallets here.
Richard Deniss has written a book about how to buy less stuff and save the world.
According to Deniss “Affluenza is that strange desire we feel to spend money we don’t have to buy things we don’t need to impress people we don’t know…”. It’s an interesting take on the role of culture, marketing and perceived social status in driving consumerism and its mostly negative consequences (waste, climate change, feeling badly about ourselves etc), which is a far cry from the basic economics principle that a rational consumer only cares about price.
Denniss also points out, rightly in my opinion, that whilst individual actions have a significant role to play, “the best way to protect yourself from the consequences of Affluenza is not to take yourself off-grid and start prepping for the apocalypse, but to work effectively, and at multiple levels, to shift the shape of our economy in as many ways as possible”. Clare Press on the podcast Wardrobe Crisis has a great interview with Deniss on curing affluenza in an episode from 22 November 2017 here.
#minimalism #decluttering #overconsumption
The True Cost is a documentary about clothing and the impact of the clothing industry, which asks the question, who is really paying the price for our clothing? The documentary website has a great tips for shopping smarter and ‘brands we love’ to help us here. Also check out my blog post about buying only what you really need here.
#clothing #overconsumption #waste
Reneweconomy is a great Australian based website focusing on clean energy news and analysis and climate policy. The Energy Insiders podcast covers news and events of the week and interviews with industry insiders.
A movement of women and girls from all over the world building a lifestyle revolution to flight the climate crisis. See my article on the difficulties of throwing away trash published on the 1 Million Women blog.
Clare Press’ fashion podcast is about the effects of fashion on people and the planet. Clare and her guests talk about ethics, sustainability, overconsumption, activism and of course identity and creativity. I particularly enjoyed the episodes with Tim Flannery (3 October 2017) and Richard Denniss (22 November 2017).
#clothing #overconsumption #sustainability
A four-part series on the ABC about if Australia can do a little bit better in regards to waste, as “our waste is growing at double the rate of our population with 52 mega tonnes generated a year. Australia is ranked 5th highest for generating the most municipal waste in the world.” The ABC’s War on Waste website is a great resource for ideas on how to reduce our waste, available here. Also check out my article about how difficult it can sometimes be to “throw away” our trash, here, and on plastic oceans here.
Kathy Bowman’s idea is that we are not just missing movement, we are missing “nutritious movement”, or movement that includes all the right bends and squishes to ensure that your body works optimally. Bowman says that whilst it is clear that most people do not move enough, many people are “actively sedentary”. That is, people who move on average only 4% of the time and sit still the rest of the time. Our bodies are also becoming stiff because we cast our bodies in shoes, constrictive clothing and cultural expectations, and therefore our bodies are sedentary on a cellular level even when we are moving! Check out the nutritious movement website here, and listen to Kathy on the Slow Home podcast here.
An inspiring podcast about all things slow by Brooke McAlary and her husband Ben. I love this podcast because Brooke meanders through different slow living ideas, and takes a long term and bigger picture perspective. It’s about mindfulness, getting moving and getting outside, decluttering, looking after the planet and the environment, and being intentional in an overarching way in your life. Brooke has also written two lovely books on slow living. Find out more about Slow Home here.
#decluttering #habits #slowliving
Folk Rebellion is about living in the analogue world, as opposed to overwhelmingly in a digital world. It is about tangible things and real people, and the mindful use of technology. There is a great interview with the founder of Folk Rebellion, Jess Davis, on the slow home podcast, see here. Jess started Folk Rebellion after spending 10 years as plugged-in brand strategist, and realising she had helped create a society where we are not connected, nor present. In my view, technology has an important role to play in modern life, and it can make our lives a lot easier, but it can also be a huge distraction from the real world and do more harm than good sometimes. Check out Folk Rebellion here.
#habits #technology #slowliving
David Perlmutter’s book Brain Maker was one of my first introductions into using food as a way to influence my health and well-being. The book is broadly about the link between intestinal microbes and the brain, and how nurturing our gut health can alter the destiny of our brain. It’s both theoretical and practical in nature, and suggests steps we can take to improve out gut ecology. Read more about Dr. Perlmutter here.