Zero waste proponents place much of the blame for the Earth’s current woes on our “throw-away” society.

They have a point. Our focus on consumerism, resource commodification and materialism has certainly done a number on the ecology.

But what if humans could shift away from this mindset?

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Joel Zaslofsky on Simple LivingWhat is simple living and why are so many folks ditching the traditional American dream in pursuit of it?  Joel Zaslofsky of Smart and Simple Matters podcast joins me, Jenise, for a chat on the topic.

Joel shares about his transition from “working in the money industry purely for money” to embracing a simpler, more intentional life. He shares a bit about his average day now compared to then; his podcast, Smart and Simple Matters; and SimpleREV which helps people connect in-person about slowing down, being grateful, and nerding out about the simple life.

Making the Switch

For Joel, the switch wasn’t easy.  But learning that he was about to become a dad for the first time, kick-started him along the path.  How many of us began to feel the urge to make these changes when we became parents?  I know that becoming a mom was a real turning point for me.  But the journey to living a life that is mostly congruent with what my heart is saying, took a lot longer in my case.

And what is simple living all about?  Well according to Joel it’s, “homesteading, sustainability, meditation, mindfulness, minimalism, yoga, transition towns, tiny houses, slow food, slow parenting and more.

Joel Zaslofsky on Simple LivingAn Intentional Life

“I think the thread that runs through it for all these people is they want to live a more intentional life; they want to be more grateful; they want to see the world as an abundant place as opposed to a scarce place; they want to show compassion and patience and kindness,” says Joel, “..but for me its about loving the concept of enough.”

Intentional living – that sums it up for me too, Joel.  What a pleasure it was to meet this kindred spirit.  I think you will agree.

For a few ideas on steps you can take toward a more simple, intentional life, check out these 7 Steps to Start You on the Path to Simple Living.

 

Introducing Joan

Joan Green, owner of Artlabs, shares much about her work in a conversation with Marianne.  She creates art using clean recyclables which have a great chance to end up in the trash. Also many things found in nature become part of her creations. More importantly, she provides art spaces where she leads adults and children alike on a journey to turn trash into treasure. Joan Green

 

Joan was kind enough to compile a resource list with links to the organizations she mentioned in the Podcast and to send pictures to give a better idea what can be used – the sky and one’s imagination is the limit. Her web site is www.greenartlabs.com and her Facebook page is Green Art Labs.

Art Material Resource List

Algalita – Capt Charles Moore’s organization. He discovered the Pacific Garbage Patch and has done extensive research on plastic ocean pollution.
www.algalita.org

reInterpret – A local non-profit in Santee that collects and distributes reusable materials to the community. A great resource for artists and teachers.
www.reinterpret.org

Art Form – A local non-profit in Normal Heights that collects and distributes reusable materials to the community. A great resource for artists and teachers.
www.artformsandiego.org

Trash for Teaching – Collects and distributes reusable materials in LA.assortment
www.t4t.org

Art From Scrap – Collects and distributes reusable materials in Santa Barbara
www.exploreecology.org

SCRAP – Collects and distributes reusable materials in Portland.
www.scrappdx.org

Green Eco Services – A San Diego organization that blogs about sustainability. The founder collects beach trash and redistributes the reusable materials to artists via Craigslist.
www.greenecoservices.com

Remida – Part of the municipal waste stream in Reggio Emilia, Italy that collects and distributes reusable materials.
www.remida.org

Remida Day – The celebration of reusable materials in Reggio Emilia, Italy.
http://remida.reggiochildrenfoundation.org/remida-day/?lang=en

children art classroomGreenArtLabs logo hirezbag from coffee bags

Marianne interviews Courtney Walters of U.W. Trading Company. Courtney lived in a sustainable community in Peru.  Meditating in the jungle made her realize that community is very important to her and that her place is San Diego.  But she brought her jungle experience to her life in San Diego by starting a coffee importing company supporting farmers in Peru growing coffee in a sustainable way. Learn more about Courtney here.