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! :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nicole Foss – How To Prepare For The Upcoming Financial Crisis

Fremantle Town Hall

So, last Friday night at around 7:46pm my brain exploded. It happened without warning and hurt quite a lot. When I decided to attend a seminar starring world renowned Peak Oil and Finance Analyst Nicole Foss I, somewhat stupidly,  thought I was going to be delivered with a bit of hope! Instead I was handed the dirty, stinking truth. We are in big economic, social and environmental trouble – at both an individual and global scale.

The crowd... about to get their minds blown

I intended for this post to provide a really succinct summary of the presentation in my own voice. Unfortunately, due to the size of the issue it could not be whittled down any more than Nicole already did – it is incredible that she managed to explain such a gigantic problem and possible solutions within an hour! Either way – I have employed her skills again and embedded youtube videos of her explaining. They are somewhat lengthy but really are worth watching. I just wanted to explain that it wasn’t laziness… just inability.

Who Is Nicole Foss?

Sweet looking... but don't be fooled. She will give you nightmares.

Nicole (who also goes by the moniker Stoneleigh) is virtually a giant brain with legs. She has degrees in biology, neuroscience, psychology, international law and air & water pollution. Like I said… GIANT BRAIN. She was also the Editor of The Oil Drum Canada where she wrote about peak oil and finance and now spends her days as co-editor of The Automatic Earth. I hate to say it but with all those achievements under her belt I expected to be fronted with the stereotypical academic -pompous, stuffy and possibly a little bit detached. Nicole shattered any expectations. Despite her formidable intelligence Nicole managed to communicate complex problems in a fairly easy to understand way.

What Is The Problem?

Nicole started by explaining that we need to focus on the financial aspect of this global problem not because it was the most important aspect of the crisis but instead because it has the shortest timeframe to work with. In other words – the financial ‘bubble’ is going to burst very soon. She spoke a lot about ‘bubbles’ and it was the part of her talk that resonated with me the most – perhaps because it was the simplest concept to grasp. (*ten minutes passes). Maybe it is still not simple enough for me to explain but when Nicole says it, it at least sounds simple. So here she is to do exactly that…

How do we prepare ourselves?

Well, she didn’t mince words. I kept checking myself because I couldn’t believe this little lady in the flowy sleeves with the sweet Canadian accent was saying all these mean things. She broke the news that the only ‘solution’ to this problem was adequate preparation of our homes, our communities and ourselves. She asked everyone to consider how they fulfil the big needs of their lives i.e. how do you get your heat, power, water, transport and nutrition? For example do you have a water filter? Nicole said that she wasn’t saying that water was about to run out but that the quality may degrade – it takes a lot of systems all running smoothly to produce potable water! Do you have practical skills? It left me looking at my home and thinking “Wow! If I didn’t have a car, power supply or communication… I would really be stuffed”. Below Nicole explains what she has done to prepare and what she suggests that you could do also. Well worth a watch.

If You Want To See Her…

Even though I have painted the whole thing as a negative experience it really wasn’t. It was eye-opening that is for sure but you need to have the information (no matter how scary) to pick yourself up and get ready for action. Nicole will be presenting on Sunday, March 11th 10am – 4pm at an All Day Ecoburbia Conference and the Fremantle Town Hall. It will cost $20 and is well worth it.

If you would like to see Nicole Foss please RSVP to Shani Graham on stay@thepaintedfish.com.au or 0417 941 991

Shani rallying the crowd

Loved all the sustainable transport outside the Town Hall!