MM- Ingenuity vs Impact

by Inga Yandell

Zero Waste Living as popularised by Colin Beavan and epitomised in his real life documentary ‘No Impact Man’ has sparked a sustainable plight and encouraged crafty and cleaver, conservation-conscious families to create from what they have.

In the following example the Johnson Family show how old fashioned ingenuity can reduce human impact to challenge climate change.

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Five years ago, the Johnson family decided to move into a smaller home. Not only did they downsize their belongings but they took on a zero-waste style of living. Along the way, this family has found a balance, a way to maintain the lifestyle they enjoy, while drastically cutting down on waste.

Scott Johnson, was initially skeptical of the project, confessing, “I was just afraid that I’d be eating a bunch of granola or something all the time.” Instead, the family has focused on reducing the number of items in their home, without compromising their needs.

Inspiration on repurposing, recycling and reviving old fashioned human ingenuity and labor is liberating families from convenient-heavy lifestyle’s and the appeal is not just economics or environment but mental and physical health as well.

As we do more for ourselves the physical return is obvious in fitness, mobility and strength but mentally learning to resolve issues creatively as showcased by ‘mum turned Macgyver’ Mrs. Johnson, challenges the mind leaving you with a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.

Although the phrase is Zero Waste Living, I prefer to think of it as Nature Conscious Living— in that some waste is inevitable but the amount and how we off-set or indeed use our ‘biodegradable fertiliser’ is up to us.

The Mission this month will focus on Nature Conscious Living with the objective to ‘create more and make less’ (waste that is).

Resources
The Johnson’s offer inspiration for families living in residential areas, utilising their resources as applicable to their surroundings.

Should your lifestyle be part of a rural setting, I imagine your macgyver instincts are already in full swing. But just in case creativity is lacking consider renting the BBC series The Good Life. Characters in this charming comedy spend their days inventing contraptions and concocting self sufficient schemes which for the most part have potential to provide profit or increase work efficiency.

Another excellent BBC series to give you good green thoughts is The Edible Garden from Gardeners’ World regular Alys Fowler who’s recreating the self-sufficient Good Life in her Birmingham backyard. Or you could simply Google ‘Zero Waste’ and the web returns a wealth of renewable resources.

Despite location residential or rural this month is about mucking in and making the most of what we have so we…

Automatically reduce our expense — build it don’t buy it!

Create less waste — reuse, recycle and reinvent don’t reinvest in consumables!

Profit physically — do it yourself don’t drive, have it delivered or done for you!

Increase innovative and inspired thinking — solve it don’t stress about it! (the more you learn to rely on your creative genius the less dependant you become on mod CON’s.)

Creativity before convenience uses ingenuity to reduce impact and by default families are rewarded with confidence in themselves and the future of this earth.

As incentive for our Mum Macgyver’s and DIY Dad’s we are offering ten double-passes to the Eco Xpo happening from 6th to 8th May at the Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park, NSW.

For your chance to win email us a description of an ingenious idea or invention (subject title- My Great Idea).  The best 10 will feature in our magazine and enjoy eco utopia exploring the smart and sustainable showcase at Eco Xpo 2011.

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Inga Yandell
Explorer and photo-journalist, passionate about nature, culture and travel. Combining science and conservation with investigative journalism to provide educational resources and a platform for science exploration.
Inga Yandell

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