A podcast that puts eco-living at the heart of your life. Each episode we showcase sustainability superheroes who share their knowledge and tips that you can implement immediately to experience the joy of living simply and sustainably every day.
Sustainable Schools Network - Katie Norman
Educating our children and making them aware of how to live their lives sustainably is no mean feat. In this episode, I speak with Katie Norman about her business called the Sustainable Schools Network (SSN).
Katie is the chief steward for the organisation that has been in operation for almost two years. The SSN philosophy on Education for Sustainability (EfS) is to engage in an ongoing reciprocal dialogue that explores playful possibilities in our collective educational spaces. As much as this is an inward, and at times, personal journey for us all, it is very much about creating a shared path and a shared vision that engages curiosity, critical thinking and creative expression. Although they started this organisation with a focus on sustainability, the more they lived the experience of sustainability, the more they realised that sustainability is about learning.
In this interview, we discuss how:
the Sustainable Schools Network came aboutsustainability requires a whole-of-school approach that involves everyone from the kids to the teachers, school staff and parentsthe journal that they produce quarterly to educate students on a wide array of subjects around sustainability is becoming a great success and a useful toolthis program is available to all schools throughout Australiachildren can influence change, not just for themselves, but for the people around them, including their parentsschools that engage with this program and educate children about sustainability has a ripple effect, with 9,100 schools throughout Australia using it, shaping our future leaders change starts with us as individuals sustainability wasn't included in curriculum for student teachers as part of their core subjects.I really enjoyed this interview with Katie and am sure that you will too.
Sustainable Schools Network
Living Well, Dying Well - with Hermione Elliot
In this week’s episode I am excited to welcome guest presenter Andia Cally. Together, we interview Hermione Elliot, who shares her wisdom and wealth of experience and knowledge on a subject that eventually impacts us all—death. Based in the UK, Hermione is an End of Life Doula and the Director of Living Well, Dying Well, an organisation that pioneered (and continues to offer) the only certified end of life training in the UK, since 2009.
It was a rich and very rewarding conversation. Hermione’s compassion, experience and insight around the importance of preparing for, and creating, a positive end-of-life experience was humbling.
We touched on many topics, including that:
the role of a End of Life Doula is to create a calm, comforting, safe and loving space to help the dying person and their family let godeath itself is brief and much of their work is around supporting the preparation for death and what comes afterfor the dying it is often important to tie up loose ends and let go of attachments to things and peopleevery death is unique and often reflects how a person has livedend of life can be harder for the ones being left behind than the one dyingwe can rehearse for death by regularly ‘stopping to listen to the whispering of [our] soul’ rather than waiting for deathbed regretsdeath is a human, rather than a medical event, which is why hospitals and institutions don’t do death wellthe end of life is treated differently in various culturesdeath and permanent brain injury can affect people at any age, so it’s worth creating an advanced health care directive a.s.a.pCovid-19 has made people more aware of the importance of having loved ones with you as you dieevery person that does their training is doing a public service as they normalise and expand the conversation around deathincluding children in the conversations and experiences of death will help them to face the inevitable in the futurehealing rituals, like washing the body of a loved one, or bringing them home for a few days can be very healing.Death is a challenging topic for many of us, including me. I hope that like me, you find this interview enriching and feel reassured that it is possible to die well.
Bio of Hermione Elliot
After a career in nursing, midwifery, palliative care, training, health coaching and mentorship, Hermione brought all her interests and experience together to develop the End of Life Doula Training in 2009. She established Living Well, Dying Well as a not-for-profit organisation to further this work. She is passionate about engaging with people from all walks of life, encouraging them to become more informed and confident about being with death and dying – recognising it not as something to be feared, but as a natural and normal part of life.
Links to training and information
Home | Living Well Dying Well – End of Life Doula Training (lwdwtraining.uk)
Home End of Life Doula UK – Death Doula in the community (eol-doula.uk)
Repair, Reduce, Refuse, Reuse, Recycle with Justin Bonsey
To mark Plastic Free July, we go a little deeper and look at waste and recycling in New South Wales, Australia and beyond. I speak with Justin Bonsey who works in the waste industry.
Justin is the Strategic Lead of Resource Recovery at the Southern Regional Organisation of Councils (SSROC), overseeing regional projects on infrastructure planning, waste data, regulatory reform and circular economy markets and has a long history working in various waste and recovery sectors.
Justin isn't one to stand still and is passionate about finding waste solutions, having co-founded Responsible Runners and Responsible Cafes.
In this interview, Justin speaks about how:
helping a friend in Northern Thailand sparked his interest in how to live more sustainablyhis experience of seeing a lot of waste while running on Bondi Beach gave him the idea for Responsible Runners, encouraging runners and walkers to pick up any litter they see on Sydney's beacheshe campaigned with Boomerang Alliance to introduce the container refund scheme in NSWthe impact of banning exported plastic waste and tyre waste to South East Asia meant local authorities had to find another, more sustainable solutionin NSW glass is being recycled and used for building roadsconsumers not knowing what is and isn't recyclable can contaminate a whole truckload of wastethe Responsible Cafes movement grew from 800—5000 cafes in a couple of months after the ABC's War on Waste aired.I really enjoyed the discussion with Justin and was grateful that he gave some of his time and shared his considerable expertise on a Sunday, proving how committed he is to reducing our waste consumption.
Bio of Justin Bonsey
Justin Bonsey is Strategic Lead, Resource Recovery at the Southern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (SSROC), overseeing regional projects on infrastructure planning, waste data, regulatory reform, and circular economy markets. Formerly a Boomerang Alliance campaigner for container deposits and bans on single-use plastics, he co-founded sustainability initiatives Responsible Cafes and Responsible Runners to address litter and marine debris, and help businesses improve their sustainability practices.
Responsible Runners Facebook
Justin Bonsey Interview Transcript
Plastic Free Alternatives - Nikki Beckinsale
This month we celebrate Plastic Free July, an important initiative that Rebecca Prince-Ruiz (the founder of the Plastic Free Foundation) started in Australia with the help of a small local government team in 2011. In this episode, I speak with Nikki Beckinsale about her business Plastic Free Alternatives, which promotes the idea that if we all take small sustainable steps, collectively, we can make a big positive impact. Plastic Free Alternatives offers a range of products that 'do not harm the planet or our bodies'.
During the interview Nikki and I chat about her personal journey towards plastic reduction and how:
the film A Plastic Ocean, along with the amount of waste her family of five was generating, inspired her to make personal changes around their waste management and eventually led to offering more sustainable alternatives to the public through Plastic Free Alternatives, a business she started with her Mumher and her Mum trialled every product they sell on their site so customers can be assured they workwe can start with changing one behaviour in Plastic Free July, such as having a plastic-free kids partymicro plastics are appearing in our soils and our foods she regularly shares recipes on her blog for DIY cleaning products that are really effective in cleaning toilets, washing clothes and cleaning surfacesreturning to some of the things our grandparents used, like soap savers, can better support the planetpart of the problem is seeing ourselves as separate from natureit can sometimes take a while to transition to some sustainable products, like shampoo bars, but that it's worth persisting when you think about the amount of plastic saved.SPECIAL OFFER FOR JULY
We are running a competition for Plastic Free July - go to Beaming Green for the details
In honour of Plastic Free July here are some little known facts about plastic:
Since the 1950s, around 8.3 billion tons of plastic have been produced worldwide.In some parts of the world, using plastic is already illegal.73% of beach litter worldwide is plastic.A million plastic bottles are bought around the world every minute.Worldwide, about 2 million plastic bags are used every minute.90% of plastic polluting our oceans is carried by just 10 rivers.Plastic is killing more than 1.1 million seabirds and. animals every year.The average person eats 70,000 microplastics annuallyThe average time that a plastic bag is used for is … 12 minutes.Over the past 50 years, world plastic production has doubled.I really enjoyed this very important discussion with Nikki and believe we all can do something to make a difference in our purchasing decisions and behaviours to help reduce our consumption of plastic. Remembering that there is no AWAY when it comes to plastic.
The Way of the Courageous Vulnerable with Matthew Harris
In this episode I speak with Matthew Harris about his first book, The Way of the Courageous Vulnerable – How to Find Meaning and Purpose From the 7 Stages of the Hero’s Journey in your daily life. The book centres on the hero's journey, the underlying template in stories from all around the world, as a way for people to understand and achieve their purpose in life.
"The book brings a hopeful message, enabling one to more easily bear and even value the hard times. It is an approach that teaches patience, humility and the 'long view'. Matthew explains the steps in detail and shows how they have applied in his own life, which has involved a journey often marked by depression, illness and poverty. This enables the reader to see how the stages can apply in their own lives. The book includes exercises and questions at the end of each chapter to help you apply the'journey' to your own life." (Review by H Smart)
The hero's journey is a subject I'm really passionate about and I enjoyed hearing Matthew's take on:
the creative process of writing this book from a place of vulnerability, initially expressed in a collection of his personal Facebook postshow he transformed obstacles, like depression, into opportunities and inspiration for the hero's journey and the bookthe unsung everyday heroes, like his Mum, who have inspired himthe importance of eldership acknowledgement culturally in Australia and the role elders can play in holding space for young peoplethe feminine version of the hero's journey, as something more internal and how both genders experience the masculine and feminine expressions of the hero's journeyMatthew's future plans for workshops, seminars and retreats on this topic.I really enjoyed my discussion with Matthew, and I hope you enjoy this interview and reading his new book.
The book is available: www.courageousjourney.com.au or via Amazon for E -book
Go to Beaming Green to see more info about the author.
RiverTracks - creating a supportive community for youth
RiverTracks is a new Northern Rivers venture, inspired by the very successful BackTrack program that Bernie Shakeshaft created in Armidale, New South Wales to keep young boys 'alive, out of jail and get them back on track'.
Like BackTrack, RiverTracks will take an innovative approach to working with young people, 13-16 years giving them the skills and support so they can reach their full potential and have a positive impact in the communities they live in.
Despite limited government funding (5%), BackTrack is recognised across Australia and has an 87 per cent success rate of participants gaining full-time employment, training or education. The Tweed Valley community members who have established RiverTracks want to emulate the same community sponsored model to support their new program for young men.
RiverTracks will begin its local offering with a program that will run 1-2 days per week targeting disengaged young men in the Murwillumbah area. the program will connect them to a safe, supportive and inclusive community of mentors and peers who offer opportunities, including animal therapy, practical education and work skills development. The program will partner with training providers and focus on collaborative relationship building with participants to co-create the program.
In this interview I speak with a member of the RiverTracks team Roland Fraval, who talks about how:
the idea for the local project came about after local youth worker and co-founder, Ahri Tallon found out about the BackTrack program from a young fellow in living in residential care who said it was the best thing he'd ever donethe program is an early intervention program targeting young people that have disengaged from school and who are at risk of entering the juvenile justice systemone in four young people are dealing with a mental health issue and one in five are disengaged from school in some way and 28,000 are homeless or sleeping roughsuccessful the BackTrack venture has been, reducing severe psychological distress by half in young participants, reducing suicide ideation by 40%, resulting in a 70% drop in school suspensions and increasing school attendances by 66% and lowering drug usebeneficial animal training and therapy has been in the BackTrack program with dogs and how the local arm will use equine therapy to create similar outcomesthey want to ground the project within the local community and have already attracted support and interest from many local community members and some high-profile local businesses, including the Scouts, the Rural Fire Service, the Surf Lifesaving club, as well as the Murwillumbah bike shopthe program aims to be a social enterprise that creates real-world opportunities for young people to do things that interest them and make money in the processthe program will start with young men 13-16 and expand out to other age groups and girls once it gets more establishedyou can contribute to their fundraiser or through donating your time to skills like grant writing, cooking, mentoring etc.Visit RiverTracks website for more information.
To contribute financially or in kind to their fundraiser to get RiverTracks started click link here
Be inspired by the success of the BackTrack project through this inspiring documentary about the program https://backtrackboys.com.
I thought a knew a bit about bees but listening to the Beaming Green podcast really broadened my thinking. The discussion around the impact of honey bees on native species was fascinating and important.
Great show !!!
A great, sustainable, community centric podcast
Thanks Jeremy...such unique, interesting, motivated guests. I’ve really enjoyed your podcasts!!