An eco-organised life with eco-organiser, Tanya Lewis
Nestled in the beautiful back roads of Red Hill, Victoria, is a mud brick home lovingly built from natural and repurposed materials. It’s home to Tanya Lewis, Founder of Eco Organiser®, and her husband Brendan. We have been invited to take a tour around their eco-friendly property and to chat about all things ‘eco-organising’. Over a homegrown, homemade lunch no less!
For those of us who don’t know, can you explain the meaning of being eco-organised?
It’s about being clutter-free and considerate of the environment when making your daily choices.
Can you give us an example of an eco-friendly choice that you would make?
Instead of buying food produce that is grown and transported from overseas for example, l would always buy food that is in season and grown and sold locally. This cuts out the environmental impact of the transportation as well as supporting local producers.
You really do talk the talk and walk the walk when it comes to living in an eco-friendly way. Do you find living like this challenging?
No, not at all. I guess l’m very passionate about it so it doesn’t feel like a stress to me. I just make sure l allow myself the time l need to live this way. But no one is perfect and l’m certainly not. There are definitely days that are not so perfect. I just try and make the best of things, for example if someone brings plastic into the house l will try and reuse it in some way.
Lunch was superb! Do you grow your own food?
I try and grow a lot of our own fruit, herbs and vegetables. I make preserves and sauces that l can cook with throughout the year. It’s a great way to save money and lessen our footprint on this planet of ours.
I read on your website you follow the principles of The The 10R’s™. Can you explain this for us?
The 10R’s™ is essentially 10 key words that are a reminder of how l want to live my life… Rethink, Responsible, Refuse, Repurpose, Reorganise, Repair, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Reward. It reminds us of ways we can make simple changes to better our lives and the environment. For example, Refuse, Refuse to bring more stuff into our homes that creates clutter, like junk mail. Junk mail impacts the environment with its printing, materials used and transportation.
Getting rid of clutter can be a difficult process for a lot of people. Any tips for making it easier?
It’s all about asking yourself the right questions, do l need it? want it? love it? If the answer is no, no, no, it’s time to go!
It’s important not to buy stuff we don’t need, right? But it can be tricky sometimes!
Yes, it can be hard, especially with the marketing and flashy merchandise. I suggest writing a shopping list of what you need and sticking to it. If you see something that seems really practical, stop and think first… Do l really need this? Do l have something similar at home already? Then think of the eco side of things… Was it made locally? Is there an equivalent with less packaging? And never go shopping to make yourself feel better in some way! It’s like shopping when you are hungry! You will just buy stuff and regret it.
What are some other ways that you are eco-organised around your home?
Buying things l need locally from local producers. Walking where l need to go rather than always driving the car. Investing in quality, bespoke pieces for our home rather than mass produced items, or repairing and repurposing old pieces. Only keeping things that are useful, that we need or items we love. Enjoying our special things by displaying them around our home, rather than having them packed away in a box somewhere. Reducing waste by composting and buying items we need that have minimal packaging.
Are there some simple changes people can make today to get started?
Absolutely! 1. Always say no to plastic bags when you are shopping. Instead take your own reusable bags. 2. Pack a water bottle when going out instead of purchasing a drink in a plastic bottle. 3. Refill your containers before buying new. For example, I get my shampoo and conditioner refilled at the market and my peanut butter and honey refilled at my local store. 4. Buy locally grown and made produce when you can.
What about when you want to declutter stuff but your local charities won’t except them.
Yes, this can be frustrating! But don’t be discouraged there are so many places out there that will accept your bits and pieces. I have a page on my website, Recycling & Responsible Disposal Resources, with a list of some great places to drop items off.
What advice would you give to people out there wanting to make the change to a more eco-friendly lifestyle?
Just do what you can. Take little steps each day towards your goal. Most importantly, don’t put too much pressure on yourself!
Thanks so much for sharing your home with us and for the gorgeous home made, home grown lunch! A truly inspiring way to live.
Hope you all enjoyed my latest blog! Happy eco-organising!
Want to know more about how to be eco-organised? Click on the below links for Tanya’s website, speaking event details and to purchase her book, Stuff Off!
Speaking events: Click here for her latest speaking dates. Speaking at the Sydney Opera House, September 1st, 2018.
Other resources: Click here to purchase Tanya’s book Stuff Off!
Thank you to Rebecca Adler for her beautiful photography.
Hi, Tanya here.
Welcome to my blog, Declutterhome.
Where I share my tips, ideas and
love of organising. Hope you enjoy!