Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Environmentality 3 December 2013, Paul Shelton, A Year of Treading Lightly

mobile phones, toothpaste, plastic food containers, paint, dvds, lip gloss, UV block out blinds, almost all products in a $2 shop, solar panels,  cleaning products, high chairs, flat screen tvs, upvc windows, bean bag fillings, lounge suites, microwaves,  bread bag ties, bread bags, most of your clothes if you shop like me, vegetable punnets, the list is almost endless - what am I talking about? All these things are made with bi products of petrochemicals!

Today's guest was Paul Shelton, check out Paul's blog. Thanks Paul for joining us, it was great to talk to you.  Paul has done a stirling job of trying not to buy or use anything that is derived from petrochemicals.

And guess what?  He, his wife and two children have done it!  And no they don't live in some idyllic country town with no food miles, farmers and greenies on every corner. They live in suburban Melbourne.  To hear their story and see how they taken living sustainably to another level Listen to the Show.

Why is it that in the here and now we are all excited to talk to people like Paul, no disrespect Paul!  We are amazed at his and his family's ability to get on and get back to basics.  Is it because we have essentially become so insular, so reliant on the big 24 hr one stop shop, is it because we are lazy these days?  It wasn't that long ago, 25 years maybe that my grandparents were self sufficient in a food sense.  They grew all their vegetables, had a small orchard and had lots of chickens and ducks, which they didn't name, but farmed and ate.

I guess I am preaching to the converted as whoever reads this blog and listens to the show is probably interested in sustainability in some form.  What Paul and his family have achieved is fantastic, but it is not something that everyone is going to want to achieve.  Maybe we could all start with something small.  Something like buying Australian, read the labels, where is your food coming from?

So what am I going to do?, because lets face it, I am one who could do a little more.  As my chickens have gone broody and the last of my broad beans eaten, I don't have anything apart from a few herbs to swap with neighbours, I am going to make a concerted effort not to use cling wrap.  That for me is a huge ask.  It means I will need to find all the lids to all those containers in the bottom draw!  

Now that is enough to make me cry!


  1. Thanks for the chance to chat and good luck with your own plans. My advice is find the joy in what has become mundane (maybe it's with the tupperware lids!). Cooking, eating, talking and engaging with your neighbours are not the bits we do between our lives but they are what makes us human. Take a random wander and talk to random people, stand at your gate and chat with your neighbours, smell fruit at the market, visit a food swap or just challenge yourself next time you are having a coffee to do nothing else than enjoy the coffee!
    I find it amazing that when you put yourself in this space you discover how much we are missing in our constant frantic rush to consume and how much our assumptions of what we like doing are actually the expectations of a marketing firm rather than our own desires.
    Keep up the great work guys.

  2. Thanks Paul, it was very inspiring to have you on the show!


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