VIDEO: Dame Ellen MacArthur

This video clip is quite old but I just love it.  Listen to the surprising thing that Dame Ellen MAcArthur learned sailing solo around the world!

“What do you learn when you sail around the world on your own? When solo sailor Ellen MacArthur circled the globe – carrying everything she needed with her – she came back with new insight into the way the world works, as a place of interlocking cycles and finite resources, where the decisions we make today affect what’s left for tomorrow. She proposes a bold new way to see the world’s economic systems: not as linear, but as circular, where everything comes around.”

The change seems to be in your wallet!

A zero waste lifestyle (or the attempt at one), is not something that just happens, it happens as we educate ourselves, grow, motivate each other and grow even more!

Everywhere we look we are told we should recycle.  If we recycle, we are doing our bit for the planet. But you soon discover recycling is not actually the answer. Reducing the packaging you buy, that needs to be recycled, that is the answer. Just because something is recyclable doesn’t mean it gets recycled. We need to give more thought to what happens to things we purchase & consume not just when they are in our hands. What happens to that plastic bag or tin after you have placed it in the recycling bin?

greener-grassYou then start thinking further, about who is producing your food, how they are doing it and what effect their processes have on our planet.  Whilst we should be super conscious of what we eat, what we buy, our waste, our electricity, water and fuel consumption … what about the shops and organisations we support?  If they are not making careful and considerate choices behind the scenes and doing the best they can to care for the environment, should we be supporting them? For example, the restaurant that doesn’t even recycle, uses disposable cutlery, and sends tons of food waste to landfill and does who knows what else?! Should we be supporting them?

We have so much power in our wallets.  Give your support and hard earned money to the businesses who care; who care not just about you and giving you the best, but by doing their best for the environment at the same time. We each have the power to make a difference.  Most of the time, it doesn’t feel like we are making a difference – but trust me – we are!

The way we will make change is by being the change we want to see.  We need to not be discouraged when seeing other people using disposables, and by seeing all the litter. We need to just do our best with what we have.  Stay positive and just always do our best to vote with our wallets. It is so easy to get despondent when things don’t go as we hope, but this won’t benefit anyone.

I know, it is easier said than done.  I am not a crazy person who has taken leave of my corinthianssenses. But we really can make change by making better choices and voting with our wallets. Be brave. If your local store is not meeting your needs, let them know.  Don’t be a whinge bag about it, but just let them know that you love their products/service, and want to see them do well, and suggest some changes.  Don’t be disheartened when you don’t hear what you want to hear. Put yourself in their shoes, they might have thought they were doing fantastically (with what they knew). Just stay positive.  You have done your bit by letting them know, rather than just not supporting them without giving them a chance.

There is a South African website called Eco Atlas; a platform for ethical businesses to advertise their establishments or products, as long as they meet certain criteria. If you are going on holiday, why not choose a guest house who has proven to make good choices.  Also see what shops, products or restaurants are in your local area.  Maybe you know a business that should be listed, nominate them!

Eco Atlas is a great platform to help us seek out the organisations who are really doing their best to care for our earth and it’s people and animals.  Help Eco Atlas grow to make it easier for people all over the country to educate and motivate each other and vote with their wallets. Also check out their Facebook page, lots of info to educate and inspire change.

No I am not saying you mustn’t recycle – I am saying stop buying so much stuff that needs to be recycled.  I am saying you must reduce your single use packaging, especially plastic.

Save

Reduce Waste to Landfill – South Africa

I created a group on Facebook called Reduce Waste to Landfill – South Africa, because I wanted a one stop spot for sharing tips on where & how to shop in SA to reduce waste. Also a place to share ideas and motivate each other, some might even choose to collaborate on various projects.


Whether you are a zero waste guru, or whether you have only just started using reusable shopping bags, whether you are vegan or a meat eater; all are welcome. It is only specific to South Africa.

WHAT TO DO:

💚 Share positive tips on what you do to reduce your waste.
💚 Share tips on good places to shop packaging or reduced packaging free.
💚 Share useful websites and articles on reducing waste.
💚 Share your relevant blog posts.
💚 Businesses can promote their page/product no more than once a week.
💚 Ask for advice.
💚 Be sure to check out the files tab for info on useful products and links.
💚 Be nice.

WHAT NOT TO DO:

💙 Use bad language
💙 Make political or racist comments
💙 Post graphic pictures or videos
💙 No judgements of vegans, meat eaters, milk drinkers etc etc etc.

Spread the word and let’s all help each other reduce our waste to landfill and live healthier, happier lives in our beautiful country, South Africa.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/reducewastesouthafrica/

Why I love Resthaven Ministries

We found out about Resthaven Ministries  (NPO 013 389) through a very special couple we met through Riverside Community; Marcelle & Cory. Marcelle works for Door of Hope and Cory is involved at Resthaven Ministries, he runs Christian courses (parenting/caregiver, church planting, etc). Such an amazing couple.

It was late last year that we made our first trip to Resthaven.  Steve Rudd, the CEO, took us on a little tour and it didn’t take long for this organisation to creep into our hearts.

Resthaven was started in 1979 by the Saunders, and these days, Steve is now holding the reigns.  I don’t even know where to start to try and help you understand just how much they do! They are so busy looking after so many people, as well as other small organisations in their area, that there has just not been time for things like running projects to try get funds in, or updating social media and websites etc. I am in awe at how much they are achieving and the difference they are making to peoples lives.

There are 3 houses; Camelia, Jasmin and Rose, where elderly people live and are cared for.  These are people who either have no family, have been deserted and/or have nowhere to go.  They receive a government pension of R1500, and they pay R1200 to stay at Resthaven, but this doesn’t cover their costs. This includes a live in Caregiver, all their meals, utility bills, laundry etc.  Resthaven also has two mini buses which are used to transport residents to hospital appointment, the shops etc. There is such a lovely homely  atmosphere at these houses, they are not institutions for the elderly, they are homes, and they are run like homes.

Then there is David House, where 7 children live with their house mother, Ronel and 2 Aunties.  The children are all HIV+; they are so healthy and well and this is all thanks to the meticulous care they have been given by Ronel, from the day of their arrival. They attend schools locally, some attending a Christian School and a couple of them attending a special needs school. They are all doing so well in school and whilst this does come at a cost due to the school fees, Resthaven are determined to keep them in place so they can continue growing in character and academically.  They receive a discount on the school frees which are a huge help, but these are still R2800 per child per month! They are involved in extramural activities; they have been sponsored their classes with Dance Mouse Johannesburg. These kids have some pretty good moves! Again, David House was like walking into any other family home, the fridge and walls had kids artwork, reports and certificates pinned up, and they even have their own pet dog, Fifi. Their main supporter is Kibwe Kids, and they could not run as they do without this invaluable support.

They are in the process of re opening their Baby Sanctuary, where they hope to start off with up to 6 babies.  They have had the centre revamped and they are just awaiting final sign off from Health & Safety, etc etc etc!

In addition to all of this, every week they are feeding families and distribute food and donations to other like minded organisations in their area. So if anything is donated to them that they do not have a need for, they share it.

What I love about Resthaven, is they are not dealing with numbers or beds.  They care for each individual and want the absolute best for that person. Steve and his wife Jackie are dedicating so much of their lives to Resthaven, and have actually adopted two children who are now in their teens, one of these kids was actually from Resthaven.

Resthaven run at a loss every year! Their buildings are in need of maintenance, some of the roofs are leaking and the gutters are in need of repair.  The mini buses which are used to transport the residents are on their way out! Next years school fees are looming at a rapid rate. They need extra security installed, CCTV, electric fencing etc, as their unfortunately have been incidents. The list goes on. You can support their GivenGain Maintenance fund here.

I have wanted to be involved or help in some way, but logistically, they are in Johannesburg and we are in Heidelberg, and now moving to the North Coast.  But then I realised I run my business in England from South Africa- location doesn’t matter?!  So I offered to help them online, with a new website and assist with their social media accounts and trying to raise awareness for them.  We also have some exciting projects coming up! I am also thanking the Lord for bringing us Jackie de Paiva of Everlasting Photography, as she has donated her time and talent to take photos for our new website!

So please do visit the Resthaven Facebook page and give it a like. If you are interested there are so many ways you can help.

  • You could offer the obvious –  financial support!
  • You could offer your time as a skilled trades person
  • You could volunteer to go paint the ladies nails or play cards with the men or even just chat
  • You could volunteer to play games with the kids
  • Maybe you are an art student – offer your time to do art classes in the kids holidays
  • Maybe you are sporty – offer your time to play soccer or games with the kids
  • Maybe you don’t have time or money, but you could help spread the word by telling your contacts about Resthaven, and sharing their posts on social media.
  • Donate some treats like nice toiletries or boxes of chocolates to the elderly folk. When given a box of biscuits, one lady remarked how thrilled she was as she couldn’t remember when last she had her OWN entire box of biscuits.

We can make such a difference to these peoples lives.  If you want to help but don’t know how, drop me a line and I can assist with ideas to suit your time, skill and/or budget.

If you are interested in finding out more, please do get in touch with me on hope@resthavenministries.co.za.

 

 

All the changes.

I have been a bit quiet on the Life Lived Simply blog and social media.  Not because anything is wrong, more like everything has been mind blasting.

Last year, our first year of marriage, we had been hoping for an ex-pat opportunity somewhere amazing and warm and tropical like Zambia and Malawi where we could make loads of money and life would be awesome.  But the door continually closed.  Point taken.

So not all that long ago, February in fact, the plan was to go live a self sufficient life  and so we bought our plot on the Vaal. The idea was to share that space with those in need of breaks, for example, the kids or residents at Resthaven. I loved the idea of being on my own with loads of space, growing veggies and throwing chicken feed around.  It was going to be awesome. So that was all good.

Also, in the last few months, we decided that it was time to move on from doing a 100km round trip every week to go to the church we love, Riverside Community, and try a local church, so we can have fellowship and friends on our doorstep.  Well, in Heidelberg, pretty much all the churches are Afrikaans, and our understanding of Afrikaans is horrific. But we had decided to suck it up and give it a good go.  That we would adapt and Heidelberg would grow on us.  Not that there is anything wrong with Heidelberg, but we are like half-Brit Zululanders?!

Then we got back from our Botswana holiday, and conversations about kids started, and the thought of living out at the Vaal, potentially with a child or two, and still having to travel for church, was kind of freaking me out. Then, completely wham bam out the blue, my husband gets offered a job on the North Coast. Where we grew up, where his mother and family are, where my family are, where there are a gazillion English churches, where loads of our friends live, where the sea is and where the plants in your garden don’t get annihilated by frost. He obviously took the job!  We move September.

I cannot believe that in just a few months, we will be part of a new church, be able to attend cell groups and church functions without making a ten day camel ride, Erik promises he will catch fish.  Sigh.  It is almost all to good to be true, unbelievable really!?  Well, Erik catching fish; I know, that truly is unbelievable.  Shame. Apparently it is the lack of fishing ski.  So we shall see.

Looking back, I can totally see God’s plan in our life, and it is so reassuring.  He brought us to this area and to Riverside for a reason, without a doubt.  We have grown so much in ourselves, in our relationship with God and in our relationship with each other, and that is all through the friends we have made at Riverside.  We are so grateful.

We also plan to keep the land at the Vaal, as we believe that was part of God’s plan, and we want to continue to support Resthaven through it and possibly even other families and organisations. We are continuing to pray about it, and our friends are doing the same, and we trust God will guide us, as He always does.

So after that long ramble: We are moving to the North Coast!!!?? God is indeed good.

These are just some of the verses that have been so helpful to me over the last year; I am learning so much!

 

  • Disclaimer: I know some of you would have only seen the words “a child or two”, no decisions have been made. Calm down.