A lot of my goals about this year relate specifically to people I admire. I admire people in my life and also people that make conscious choices. I read and talk to the people I admire when I feel weak and low in energy and motivation. These people helped me (without even knowing it) and so I wished to share that and have a list for myself for when those moods strike again (because they always do)
Bea Johnson from Zero Waste Home is a huge inspiration. I’ve read and reread her book many times (on my ereader – cutting down on paper books is part of my process!). She offers large amounts of content for free that is exceptionally easy reading. She is no nonsense and has been a really great guide for me about food – I just wished she lived nearby so I could shop at the same places and not have to find ones near my house instead!
Erin Rhoads from The Rouge Ginger is another great source of knowledge and much closer to home for me. She also planned her wedding zero waste – how bloody impressive is that?! She writes about many things and I’m lucky to have someone to follow that lives in the same city, so many of her suggestions are quite relevant to me.
Colin Beavan from No Impact Man. I read his book and have watched his documentary many times. Colin is a great example of what I want to be: someone who works both personally and on a societal level to try and create positive environmental change. He also includes some very interesting criticism of his project in his doco, which is also a great thing. Always respect someone who isn’t afraid to openly accept constructive criticism. Plus, he’s super active on twitter and is always up for a chat. What cool dude!
Gretchen Rubin wrote The Happiness Project. This book has had a huge influence on me and is one of the reasons I’m writing this down in a blog form to work on keeping accountability. I believe that making these changes to my life will result in becoming happier. She is more focused on the personal and as I have elements there I am working on regarding my own personal happiness, my mindfulness and my quick temper she’s still a relevant inspiration to me.
Naomi Klein has written extensively on capitalism, environmentalism and human rights. With books such as no logo and this changes everything she is a force of good speaking out against neo-liberalism. For me, it is impossible to remove the political from my plans and goals and so to not include Naomi would be disingenuous.
David Suzuki has worked on public education campaigns around the environment for his whole life. A wonderful and engaging public speaker and writer I’ve been lucky enough to see him twice and both times I have walked away feeling empowered about the impact I can make.
Leo Babauta from Zen Habits. He provides loads and loads of free content that is really motivating. He is a minimalist with 6 kids and that really makes me feel like I can do anything! This includes things like living car free, exercise, health, veganism, minimalism, meditation… He achieves so much through constant slow and consistent progress.
Marie Kondo of Kon Mari. I have done some minor Kon Mari-ing of my house and life, but I plan to continue to work through the process as 2017 continues. Plus my sock drawer has never looked happier.
Barbara Kingsolver who wrote Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. One of the most influential books I have ever read. Her food choices have influenced me since publication (even though I was a vegan when I first read it). Her choices around only buying fresh and in season produce, along with then growing all of her own food (including animals for slaughter) was eye opening and revealing. It also presented ideas that I thought were beyond me: I could learn to make cheese, I could learn to grow vegetables – then I can opt out of systems entirely.
And of course my mates. Do you ride your bike to work? Do you bring your lunch and carry a water bottle? Do you strive to make these sorts of positive environmental changes in your life? Well chances are I probably admire you greatly too – possibly even more than the people above as many of them are using these things as a career, to make money and to encourage people to spend in a different way. Do you do your thing quietly without expectations? Then I reckon I admire you most of all. Sappy, but true!