There are so many simple pleasures gained from living a sustainable life that I don’t know why more of us aren’t doing it! In our race to achieve the elusive ‘dream’, we don’t realise what we have in abundance within reach daily through the sustainable lifestyle choices we make.
I’ve been reflecting a lot over the last couple of days as its been 12 months since I made some major changes in my life to live more sustainably.
I resigned from my corporate job in Melbourne to end the long commute each day, to establish a new career and business here in Daylesford after almost 10 years of living here.
Reflecting on the new lifestyle choices I’ve made or enhanced I thought I’d share what I’ve learnt and what I’ve gained as a result. Has it been a good idea? Overall absolutely but it didn’t come without its challenges and I’m sure it will continue that way. Changing behaviours is not an easy thing and old habits and thought processes die hard!
Sustainability is not just about making good choices to protect our environment, it also means addressing the social and economic aspects of your life too. I worked in Melbourne doing a job that was economically favourable but both the social and environmental impacts of that choice for me were compromised which led me to my decision. So what have I gained?
- Being around more for family & friends has been so rewarding particularly with my son who is navigating the teenage years
- More connected to the local community by getting to know more people who live in my neighbourhood
- Connecting with like minded people to explore other ways we can attain sustainable lifestyles without compromising our comfort levels
- My health and wellbeing has improved by being able to exercise a lot more regularly as I don’t travel so far to work and I’ve reduced the stress in my life from working in endless organisations where my values are not aligned
- Learnt to be more savvy at second hand clothes shopping. These 3 golden rules taught to me by my stylish op shopping friend has helped a lot:
- Look for quality designer labelled merchandise
- Garments are a good cut
- Avoid items that need alterations
- Joined Junked Up on Facebook our local buy-swap-sell site that helps you to avoid buying new all of the time and to pass on your pre-loved treasures to someone else
- Supporting local business by buying food that is locally produced
- Time to grow and enjoy the abundance of organic food from my own garden
- Transforming my nature strip to grow bush tucker food and regenerate it to its former glory reducing my mowing efforts
- Reduced energy usage of household to one person when we are a 3 person home and converting to a renewable energy source by reducing draughts
- Reducing household waste so that the landfill bin needs to be emptied every 2 – 3 weeks instead of weekly through recycling, chooks and composting
- Making time to help out at Cornish Hill to eradicate weeds and restore the native flora and fauna
There is still so much I want to implement like reducing my recycling by addressing product packaging, riding my bike more to reduce my car usage and helping others to make changes to improve the sustainability of our area. It isn’t always easy to make the changes but I focus on the many simple pleasures gained from the changes such as a hot water bottle warmed bed with a chamomile tea made fresh from the garden at the end of a cold wintery day.
Until next time…..