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

Free Screening: “Bag It – Is Your Life Too Plastic?”

This is a documentary about an ordinary guy who looked around one day and realised – ‘Wow. I have a lot of plastic in my life’. So he set himself a simple goal – to stop using plastic bags at the grocery store. This simple goal turned into an inspiring documentary that proves that you don’t need to be a scientist, politician or lawyer to use a little bit of knowledge to make a whole lot of difference. Take a look around. Is your life too plastic? How much are you wearing, touching, sitting on or at, typing on, chewing…

A quick lunchtime illustration on some old office paper

“Think about it, why would you make something that you’re going to use for a few minutes out of a material that’s basically going to last forever, and you’re just going to throw it away. What’s up with that?”

– Jeb Berrier

The great thing about this documentary (directed by Suzan Beraza) is that it is inspiring and simple and sometimes downright funny. The ordinary guy – Jeb Berrier – is so accessible. He is easy to like and easier to relate too. Check out the trailer…

Tonight (Tuesday 7th February) there will be a free screening of the multi-award winning Bag it at the City of Fremantle Town Hall from 6pm to 8pm (doors open at 5:30pm). There will be light refreshments and a relaxed positive vibe – as there always is at these amazing Freo community gatherings. It is a great place for all ages – my mum will be my date tonight – and it is a great place to meet likeminded people and learn a little at the same time.

Plastic Free Freo (along with City of Fremantle and Ecoburbia) have been huge supporters of this screening of Bag It. Plastic Free Freo is an amazing campaign that is currently working with the Fremantle community (both the retailers and consumers) towards a more sustainable town with a lower carbon footprint. If the campaign is successful Fremantle will hopefully resume the role of ecological trendsetters and become the first town in Western Australia to impose a ban on single-use plastic bags. If you want to get involved with the campaign contact Plastic Free Freo here.

This doco is equally important whether you are informed about the plastic problem or just starting out on your journey towards a plastic free life. I look forward to seeing you down there.

Bag It Flyer

Here is a map of how to get there –

A Calendar With A Cause

Well, we are at the beginning of the year. It is time to get organised and plan our dreams or maybe just dream about our plans. But before rushing out and just grabbing whatever glossy calendar grabs your attention first you should know about the People and Planet Calendar. Not only does this calendar have some of the most beautiful images I have seen it but it is also working towards a socially just and sustainable world.

"The Golden Fibre" - Bangladesh - by Jashim Salam

The People and Planet project was formed by a very forward-thinking Australian by the name of Michael Cebon (who also happens to be the brains behind Ethical Jobs). He knew that gorgeous calendars are great for fund-raising however it was a financially prohibitive idea for him to foot alone. So he formed a cooperative with a group of 25 Australian charities. 7 years on and 49 charities later and Michael still has stars in his eyes – and so he should.

(If you would like to see a list of all the charities involved please click here . I was happy to see a few of my favourites in there such as Australian Marine Conservation Society, Animal Rights Advocates inc., Oxfam Shop and Environs Kimberley).

The 49 Australian not-for-profits involved

The photographs (all selected through the People & Planet International Photo Competition) are heart-warming, funny and absolutely beautiful. For example the cover shot is of Arafat, a little Bangladeshi boy that lives in a slum and works in a cigarette factory. He is clutching his beloved cricket bat and smiling broadly and it is explained in the blurb that he dreams of winning the Cricket World Cup as part of the Bangladesh National Team.

"All Rounder" - Bangladesh - by Kazi Riasat Alve

The calendars are printed on Monza Satin recycled paper which is 55% recycled and 45% FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified. It is also 100% Carbon Offset.

Please help Michael reach his goal of raising $70,000 this year and treat yourself to some gorgeous images that give the hope of a better world.

To buy online click here – they also have diaries available! (Or just pop into an Oxfam store like I did).

There is also a great interview with Michael on one of my favourite blogs about boho vintage ramblings and sustainable adventurings –  Hunchy Piper.

"Catch 22" - Malaysia - By Kim Chong Keat

Foxes of Fancy – VIP Event

For me, my Thursdays are generally known as ‘Champagne Thursday’. I tend to get into my boxers and sit on the couch with a good book and bottle of bubbly (to myself – disugusting, I know). But not tonight! I was lucky enough to get invited to the Foxes of Fancy VIP night!

For those of you that haven’t already had the pleasure Continue reading