In 2010, Jennifer Nini swapped her three-bedroom Melbourne house for a tent in regional Queensland. She began her journey into sustainable living & founded Eco Warrior Princess, a website which promotes conscious living, sustainability and ethical fashion. Now she lives off the grid on a farm, grows her own food & uses firewood to run her water heater. We asked her top tips to living greener.
ON HER SUSTAINABLE HOME:
“I live off-grid and the household is completed powered by solar energy. I co-own the home and permaculture farm property – which is also certified organic. At last count we grow about 40 edible plant varieties. We have five rain water tanks and collect rain water which means that we are mindful of how much we use and waste – particularly in times of drought. We compost of course and if we need hot water, we collect firewood in order to fire up our water heater.”
ON HER MOVE FROM MELBOURNE TO RURAL QUEENSLAND:
“When you live in the city, you live surrounded by concrete, in an artificial, man-made environment. You are also more disconnected from the natural world because you don’t see it as much, you don’t experience it as often and thus it’s easy to ignore the negative environmental impacts of your choices. Moving to rural Queensland has helped me connect with nature and taught me that you don’t need material items to create an identity or to be happy. Plus in the last three years we’ve experienced both flood and drought – so I never take our natural resources and environment for granted.”
HOW PEOPLE CAN START TO LIVE MORE SUSTAINABLY…
“Remember that it’s not about perfection, it’s about progress. Start by making a better choice each day as small decisions eventually add up and you’ll find that you’ve decreased your environmental impact substantially. It could be saying no to disposable coffee cups or bringing your reusable shopping bag. It could be giving up supermarkets and buying locally-grown organic produce from the farmers markets. If you need more inspiration, I encourage you to read blogs and websites such as Eco Warrior Princess that will give you the confidence to begin and continue your journey to greener living. You can also watch YouTube videos if you prefer.”
HER TOP 5 TIPS TO LIVING A LITTLE GREENER IN EVERYDAY LIFE:
1. Ditch disposables for reusables. For example, using your reusable coffee cup means you say no to disposable coffee cups and that means less of them end up in landfill.
2. Want a better, more ethical world? Vote with your wallet. Buy ethical and sustainable products and shop from ethical and sustainable brands.
3. Don’t throw out your food scraps or food waste as this adds to climate change. Instead, compost your food scraps.
4. Reduce your meat, fish and dairy intake or switch to sustainably farmed options. If you can, give them up. The global environmental impact of animal agriculture is huge and will only get worse as our world population is set to rise.
5. Purchase locally-grown organic produce. Conventional farms spray crops with synthetic chemicals and toxic pesticides. Not only do these chemicals affect the quality of the soil and perhaps the food, it pollutes the natural environment and impacts wildlife. It’s one of the reasons our global bee population is dwindling – they’re being killed by synthetic chemicals. So choose organic!
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