Pics from Less Is More Festival 2013

Back in February I was a presenter at what is fast becoming a stalwart of the Perth Sustainable Calendar: the Less Is More Festival. I ended last years (see the round-up here) and had no idea that a year later I would be asked to give a talk at the next one – to say I was flattered is an understatement. My topic of choice was indeed topical given the recent events of my life; Eco Babies! The presentation was an hour long and was chock-a-clock full of information and links so instead of creating one gigantic blog article I am going to post them over the next few weeks… I spoke about a whole range of things from nappies, to designing your nursery, homemade baby products and toys.

For now though I will just share some snapshots of the day. It was really amazing… such a fun variety of workshops and activities all focused around the idea that less can be more. Less waste, more fun. Less shallow, more fulfilling. Less materialistic, more creative. The way it should be.

The gorgeous setting - The Grove library in Peppermint Grove.

The gorgeous setting – The Grove library in Peppermint Grove.

Right this way.

Right this way.

Beautifully apt quote to have in front of the library.

Beautifully apt quote to have in front of the library.

What a fun schedule of workshops!

What a fun schedule of workshops!

Me with my tables of goodies!

Me with my tables of goodies!

Talking about the moment I lost my head and bought some useless baby merch... a shower cap. What all babies need right?

Talking about the moment I lost my head and bought some useless baby merch… a shower cap. What all babies need right?

Talking with some of the people afterwards... showing my DIY products.

Talking with some of the people afterwards… showing my DIY products.

A mending station was set up, where people could mend and sew to their hearts content!

A mending station was set up, where people could mend and sew to their hearts content!

Great old sewing machine

Great old sewing machine

We need to replace Spending with Mending!

We need to replace Spending with Mending!

Funky old upcycled jeans

Funky old upcycled jeans

There was also a movie lounge screening eco documentaries. Love these denim jean bean bags!

There was also a movie lounge screening eco documentaries. Love these denim jean bean bags!

REALLY cool junk mail art by local artist Rob

REALLY cool junk mail art by local artist Rob

More cool art and sculptures!

More cool art and sculptures!

The busy foyer.

The busy foyer.

Info about Living Smart

Info about Living Smart

The main mode of transport for the day. Love that even the bike has been yarn bombed!

The main mode of transport for the day. Love that even the bike has been yarn bombed!

And ended the day with a big ol' love heart leaf. Doesn't get better than that! :)

And ended the day with a big ol’ love heart leaf. Doesn’t get better than that! :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Less IS More

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Well tomorrow is finally the day… The Less Is More Festival is back! A celebration of anti-consumerism!!!

It is an incredible day run by the Western Earth Carers which involves hands on DIY workshops that will show you how to buy less and live better! It is family friendly and of course in the spirit of anti-consumerism… is completely free.

I will be there running two workshops on Eco Babies (they run at 10am and 12pm) and there are so many more amazing workshops…

  • Make your own natural soap, toothpaste and deodorant (bring jars if you can!)
  • Fix your bike
  • Declutter your life
  • Live plastic free (with the amazing Simone)
  • Eat raw food (with one of my favorite Perth wellness goddesses A Foodly Affair)
  • Grow a native garden
  • Keep chooks and bees
  • Mosaic making
  • Make your own ginger beer, yogurt, preserves and sourdough

View the schedule here of the entire day here.

Saturday 16 February, 2013 from 9:30am until 5:00pm
The Grove Library, 1 Leake St, Peppermint Grove, WA 6011
If you decide to come along beware that parking will be very limited. BUT the good news is, the library and community centre have ample bike racks and lockers, and excellent public transport links! (See Public Transport Links here)
Would love to see you all there!
less-is-more
 

The Less Is More Write-Up

Earth Carers run yet another gorgeous community event.

Anyone that follows this blog, my Facebook or my Twitter would know that I was pretty damn excited about the Less Is More Festival that happened on Saturday. It has now been and gone and I can tell you all – I was not disappointed. It was a glorious day full of great people, ideas, food and workshops.

Festival organiser, Claire Litton, chats with arrivals

The festival organiser (hot-pink haired sensation, Claire Litton) should feel very proud to have fulfilled her objective; to show people how to consume less but enjoy more. I sat through a few workshops (and  poked my head into some too) and learnt something from each one. The classes were all buzzing with conversation with the presenter providing a framework but the crowd sharing their stories and tips. There was such a feeling of community.

Shani explains that you need to check your essential oil is food grade!

My fave class was definitely Shani Graham’s (from Ecoburbia and The Painted Fish) tutorial on DIY toothpaste and deodorant. Shani did a quick survey on why we were all there and it was lovely to hear so many people taking a stand against some of the unnecessary and downright unhealthy elements of modern day consumption. Too much packaging, animal testing, concerns for human health or a commitment to living organically.

"Is is meant to be this gooey?"

After the introductions Shani (like a mad scientist in her lab) started showing off the DIY ingredients. Bicarb soda, essential oils, corn flour, sea salt… no Sodium Lauryl Sulfate here! With recipe sheets in hand we all started shovelling salt and bicarb into our jars and dripping in coconut oils and glycerine. It was almost like year 8 science class and we were all testing out different concoctions and questioning whether we had the right consistency. Walking away from the class I realised something really nice – I now never have to give Colgate a cent of my money every again! (**I have been using my DIY cosmetics since the festival and I am absolutely loving it! For a recipe to make you own toothpaste click here).

My finished product! Peppermint Toothpaste.

After that I went for a bit of a wander and saw people making their own ginger beer, mango ketchup (Wow – delicious!) and even sanitary pads. I ended up in a workshop that is close to my heart… how to live plastic free. Fremantle couple Nathan and Jess (find them at Plastic Freo) have decided to go one whole year without plastic and they spoke about the challenges that they had already encountered and gave tips on how to go about reducing your plastic intake. As a dairy addict, Jess now has to order her milk ahead of time from Perth Organics as it comes in a glass bottle. As yoghurt only seems to come in plastic they have also learnt how to make yoghurt from it. They were a bloody inspiring young couple and have certainly given me some ideas on how to eliminate plastic completely from the Ehlers household. All in all I know that it is going to take effort, discipline and some organisation but I feel confident that I am up for the challenge. (Apparently the Fremantle Council is too – check out the Plastic Free Freo campaign).

Jess from Plastic Free gives a presentation

There were loads more classes that I didn’t manage to get to. If you went to one that I didn’t and want to share it please leave a comment. All in all it was an absolutely fabulous festival that really showed creative ways to reduce your impact on the planet. Personally I have taken a lovely lesson from it – I have realised that I need to slow down a bit and get back to basics. So on that note, I had friends over for afternoon tea and they sat down to vegetables with two homemade dips (beetroot and capsicum & walnut) followed by a warm slice of banana and cranberry bread. It tasted all the better knowing that I made it myself.

Less packaging = More homemade

Scroll down for more pics of the festival.

Cute kids game - Instead of Snakes and Ladders it was "Worms and Shute's"

Making concoctions

My finished toothpaste... mmm Peppermint!

My deodorant and the ingredients

Cooking lessons to make...

... Mango Ketchup. Nom Nom Nom

Ginger Beer making class.

Less Is More Festival – Saturday 18th February

Illustration by Clare Long

I am absolutely loving how many amazing eco events are popping up around Perth nowadays. We have turned into a city of ‘doers’; people have stopped waiting for the action to come to them and are instead creating it for themselves. The community has become so proactive and so supportive of anyone that has a desire to do more; more recycling, more learning, more teaching, more green get-togethers! In accordance with this new movement (a revolution where knowledge is power), an amazing green actionist from Perth has addressed one of the weird paradoxes of sustainability: Sometimes to do a hell of a lot more you need to focus your attention on doing a hell of a lot less. Enter the ‘Less is More Festival’.

The hero of our story is Claire Litton who has organised this fabulous festival with an amazing point of difference… NO MONEY ALLOWED. Have you ever heard of an event organiser stipulating such a ridiculous caveat? But as Claire sums up beautifully on her blog;

“You can’t buy the things that are really important!”

This wonderful anti-consumerist festival is about teaching ways that we can all consume less and reuse more.  There will be a number of workshops from various inspirational Perth greenies showing practical ways to apply the three R’s to your daily life – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle (and yes, that is in order of importance).

You can find the full list of workshops here but here are a few of my favourites;

Living Plastic Free

A young couple (Jess and Nathan)  discuss how they went plastic free for a whole year. This is particularly pertinent to me as I have (today in fact) started my own 365 days of going completely plastic free *gulp*. I am also the Online Campaigner for Plastic Free Freo campaign so it will be great to meet some inspirational people that are leading a plastic free life.

Upcycling

We are a culture obsessed with throw-away fashion. A 2005 study found that Australians spent $10.5billion on clothes that are disposed of after a short amount of time because of passing fads or poor quality.  Learn how to create a completely new and fashionable wardrobe from your old clothes or op-shop finds. Agnes will have hands-on activities and an informal presentation. People can watch but are also encourage to bring something to upcycle. Look through your cupboard… be brutal.

MYO Toothpaste and Deodorant

One of Perth’s loudest voices for living sustainably (and a favourite of mine) Shani Graham from Ecoburbia will be showing everyone how to make your own toothpaste and deodorant with standard ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry! You must bring two small jars for this so you can take your DIY products home with you.

Homemade Ginger Beer

NOM! Learn how to make your own Ginger Beer with Ronan and Rebecca. Not only will this recipe save you the empty calories of your standard soda’s but will also save hundreds of plastic bottles every year.

Those are just a few of my faves but there are plenty more. To get the most out of the day see the timetable here and plan ahead.

Kids

This is a family friendly event but there will still be some workshops that are for the adults only – so best to check with Claire beforehand if you are curious. This being said there are also events specifically for the littlies. The fabulous Eco Faeries (possibly the cutest organisation in the world) will be wandering round provide fun for the kids and getting them involved in sustainable games, interactive art and even a sustainable children’s story time at 10:30am.

“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors;

we borrow it from our children”

~ Chief Seattle

Summary

I am so excited about this festival. I hope you are too. Here are the details;

10am – 4pm
Saturday 18 February 2012
The Grove Community Centre
1 Leake Street, Peppermint Grove