It has been a cruising start to the year with youth empowerment work in Malaysia, family and fun in Australia, creative conversations for Polio Points, dengue fever throughout my body and also in preparation for departure for Stop Transmission of Polio (STOP) program in South Sudan very soon…
This blog post is an attempt to pull all of my blogs into one central spot but to still maintain all the other blogs, each with their specific train of thought and purpose. So if you are a follower of any one of these blogs:
Therefore if you wish to follow all of these blogs at once I suggest you subscribe to the Teaspoons of Change blog ( https://teaspoonsofchange.wordpress.com/2015/02/02/putting-it-all-together-with-bumps/ )!
Lastly I was very lucky to be on a podcast interview with a great guy and purveyor of interesting people doing interesting things – Joel from Smart and Simple Matters and SimpleRev. Our nearly hour-long conversation was a nice chance for me to lay out the patchwork of diverse and passionate things I get to do in life from polio eradication to youth empowerment to living in tiny houses when possible and to anything and everything to ensure I do what I can to see an end to extreme poverty…
This is why I love the Happy, simply – a sustainable lifestyle model and education project. If we are overusing the planet there are wonderful alternatives. Happy, simply isn’t just about living simpler and better for people and the planet it is also about celebrating that kind of lifestyle that is richer for the soul, spiritually, for communities and of course for our finite resources…
Continued economic growth isn’t possible on our planet plus it doesn’t make us happier anyway… so why do we continue with this failed system…?
In personal news I have completed my Teaspoons of Change 1000km walk and 800km bike ride in Japan and will write a special Happy, simply reflection on the journey… but for now you can see some pics and posts here https://www.facebook.com/teaspoonsofchange
Last week the 2014 edition of the Living Planet Report was released. I’ve written about this annual report from WWF and the Footprint Network before. I’ve probably mentioned it just about every year that I’ve been writing the blog, because every year it updates this graph:
This is one of the most important graphs in the world. It’s worth looking at it every year.
It shows, in case you haven’t seen it before, humanity’s ecological footprint. That’s the red line, and it includes our drawdown of renewable natural resources such as timber and fish, and our use of the earth’s systems to absorb and process our waste.
The green line, or green area in this case, is the earth’s biocapacity. This is the amount of resources and services that the earth can sustainably provide.
It can provide more resources, as the line shows – you can overshoot biocapacity. You just…
A post here from my Happy, simply home ally in South Australia, Beau. He is keen to finish off the home in Aldinga so people can start staying there as there is a lot of interest around for people to experience the Happy, simply home and lifestyle. Please have a read and if there is anything or anyway you might be able to help that would be greatly appreciated by myself, Beau and anyone wanted to taste the Happy, simply home and lifestyle… Thanks Beau! Also see a little excerpt on Free Money Day that Beau and others partook in on Sustainable House Day…
Sustainable House Day
Sunday 14 September was Sustainable House Day (http://sustainablehouseday.com/). It’s a national event where homeowners open their doors to the public to showcase the sustainable features of their homes.
The Aldinga Arts EcoVillage had 5 homes open, as well as one tiny, happy, simple home :) We estimate that between 150-200 people visited the village. It was a great opportunity to get exposure for the project and promote the Happy, simply lifestyle model. A big thanks to Sam for helping out on the day. His beautiful, hand carved spoons added a lovely touch to the home, which you can check out here:
Although I was excited to be sharing the project with people, I felt a little sad to have to keep repeating the line, “When the home is officially completed….” almost 3 months after we ‘finished’ the build. Unfortunately I have been in and out of hospital in the past few months and not had the motivation or health to push things forward. This combined with d’Arcy being overseas has meant that things have stalled and we are unable to open the home to the public. I also want the volunteers who worked on the build to be able to spend a night in the home – something I remember many people looking forward to, particularly the Heathfield students.
So I’m calling on everyone out there reading this post to please consider if you can help us get the home to final completion.
The main tasks we need are:
Repair / replacement of the front door that smashed. It’s an odd shape and new glass will be very expensive, so we’re considering perspex, a new door or glass replacement. If you know of someone who has the skills and / or materials to fix the door, please email happysimplyhome(at)gmail.com – all suggestions and assistance welcome.
We may also need a blind / screen for this door come Summer, again suggestions and materials welcome.
Electrical work – we need to connect the solar panels to the battery system and then connect the lights.
A gas bottle for the outdoor stove
Installation of fly screen on the western window
Disassembly and disposal of a workbench that has an asbestos top
Installation of skirting and architrave
Please help to bring this project to a stage where it can be shared. The construction was a wonderful education project but the happy, simply home can’t really be appreciated until the guest book has a lot more names in it.
I hope to hear from lots of you in the near future.
Free Money Day
Monday 15 September is Free Money Day – an international event where people give money away to strangers on the street because sharing is fun and to perhaps engage in conversations about money and what it means to us.
We decided to celebrate a day early and incorporate Free Money Day into Sustainable House Day. We offered people two, one dollar coins. It was an interesting experience and a little weird. I found most people were quite taken aback by the concept and felt very awkward accepting money. Many wouldn’t accept it at all or offered to donate it back, some even wanted to contribute their own money to the pot. I was left wondering if free hugs or free muffins would have been met with the less resistance.
Amongst the looks of confusion and scepticism, we did manage to have a few genuinely interesting conversations and brought about quite a few smiles. About three people accepted the offering with gratitude and nothing more was said – my favourite response of all. We began the day with $180 and only managed to give away $60. Who would have thought giving away money would be so difficult? Thanks to Amy for contributing to the pot and helping out on the day.
I spent most of the day thinking about how $2 seems such a frivolous amount of money in our society. Meanwhile, there are billions of people in the world relying on that amount to live each day. To experience a glimpse of what that might be like, challenge yourself to Live Below the Line. https://www.livebelowtheline.com.au/
Editor note: I can vouch for both of these programs as I have helped design and participated in them often – great perspective and experience makers – Have a go!
And so I transition out of Happy, simply into Teaspoons of Change… I will try to put in the odd blog around happiness and simplicity (Happy, simply) but for the next few months I will dedicating my time, energy and certainly my efforts to a 1500km walk I will be doing in Japan called Teaspoons of Change – Personal choices, decisions and actions that have a positive impact on people and the planet creating teaspoons of change! Please see the about blog and follow along as you like and you can also jump on Facebook for a look if you like https://www.facebook.com/teaspoonsofchange Join me along the walk to see those little things that can make a difference (like living in a tiny self-sufficient home!)…
Teaspoons of Change – personal choices, decisions and actions that have a positive impact on people and the planet
Teaspoons of Change is designed to be a global awareness and advocacy resource where the focus is not so much on ‘helping’ others, but taking positive, significant and impacting; choices, decisions and actions in out own daily lives.
Through the sharing of ideas and experiences, Teaspoons of Change aims to promote small changes in our choices, decisions and actions that have a positive impact on people and the planet.
Change is challenging, but small ‘teaspoons’ of change are easier to swallow and quickly add up to create important and significant impact.
My focus will not just be on ‘helping the world’ but also how each of our choices, decisions and actions can minimise harm to have
Hi Folks. So this blog site will be kept up on an occasional basis from here on but I thought it would be nice to dedicate the second to last post on a pictorial look at the Happy, simply build in South Australia…
The next post (on the booking process for the Happy, simply home in SA) will be a last one in a little while as I am going on a 1500km walk in Japan for an idea I call Teaspoons of Change… which are personal choices, decisions and actions that have a positive impact on people and the planet one teaspoon at a time… http://teaspoonsofchange.wordpress.com/ https://www.facebook.com/teaspoonsofchange
Enjoy the photos from before to after of the Happy, simply home in South Australia!
The first guests and reviews are in for the Happy, simply home is South Australia. Have a read of a delightful sounding evening from Beau and his little family in the tiny home…
‘Last night the Summer family stayed in the Happy Simply home. We chose the windiest night of the year, which made for a good adventure. With no curtains in the home just yet, we had a great view of the trees outside being battered by the wild conditions. It made us realize how rarely we view the outdoors at night – normally huddled inside with blinds down and lights on. It was lovely to sit inside and eat dinner by candlelight and being able to see the moonlit surrounds.
Snug as bugs in a rug (very nice bugs though)
The home is still lacking some features such as door handles and lights, which doesn’t exactly make things simple. Jodie was installing a drop bolt on the door at 7pm using a head torch for light. The home was surprisingly warm considering the cold, windy conditions and because the doors still require proper seals. We actually thought it was warmer than our own bedroom at home but wondered if this was because we were coming from the cold conditions outside, whereas at home we are going from a warm lounge room to cold bedroom. The wind was powerful enough to make the home rock around a bit but there was no creaking or groaning – evidence of a sturdy frame!
We slept pretty well and all found the beds comfortable. Jodie and Gracie were up top on the double bed and I took the single. We enjoyed our stay in the Happy Simply home and think it will be even better once the finishing touches are applied. I think it will be best on balmy Summer nights, preparing meals out on the deck and watching the sunset. I look forward to more people staying in the home and sharing their experiences.
Note from d’Arcy: I kind of like an empty home, staying in it a little while and working out what exactly is a NEED and what is kind of a want… From this review it seems lights and door handles fall into the need category! There is still a bit to do but it is fine for now as an almost camping adventure…