Get inspired for living with less waste or maybe even zero waste with movies, podcasts, TED Talks, documentaries, books and more. There is a multitude of fun, interesting and thought provoking ways to inspire yourself or your friends and family to reduce, reuse, repurpose and recycle (and of course reduce your waste).
I love to curl up on the couch with a great book or a movie, especially when they provide me with entertainment, new ideas or a new view on the world.
We are well into the War on Waste Challenge (a challenge to help you go zero waste at home) and it's time to introduce a little more fun.
>Your Challenge this week is to choose ONE thing, so get hold of a movie, documentary, book, magasine, podcast or find something fun to inspire your journey to less waste. It doesn’t need to be in-depth, complicated or depressing and inspiration can come from unlikely sources. I’ve put a few of my favourites below, along with links, but there really are so many around, you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding something that interests you.
I should mention that we don't have a smart TV, iPads or up to date technology in our house, much to the horror or our friends! We usually borrow films from the library or watch them online, but I believe Netflix has some great documentaries to check out.
And....in the interest of preventing waste, try to borrow or find a non-physical way to get hold of books, movies and magasines. I have included some affiliate links for books below, but If it's not something you will read more than once, refer to frequently or be prepared to lend to friends, then it will just take up space and eventually become waste.
Sustainable Movies & Documentaries That Will Inspire You to Have Less Waste
Here are some great films to put on your ''To Watch'' List.
From ocean pollution, plastic bag impacts, sustainable food, why bottled water is a joke to sci-fi fiction. Movies can entertain, inform, literally move us into taking action and power our motivation levels. (For Kids, and the young at heart, you might want to check out The Lorax, Wall-E and Fern Gully).
(Links are in the titles)
This is one of my favourite movies. It is informative but fun as they use lots of animations to explain ''stuff'' and the impact of continuously purchasing items that are destined for landfill.
Another fun movie which is literally about an average guy who was worried about plastic bags. This can help anyone who is trying to come to terms with new bans on plastic shopping bags, or could even convince your family to quit them for good.
A behind the scenes look at the food industry and how it is tightly controlled and influenced. Fabulous film, a little serious at times and a real eye opener. The link above will take you to where you can watch it for free in Australia on SBS.
This film looks at the destructive effect of farming and environmental impacts you may never have considered. The water, soil erosion, habitat effects and sustainability issues. It didn't turn me vegetarian, but did motivate me and my partner to be very careful not to waste resource heavy foods like beef, and to make more sustainable choices.
This documentary is responsible for alerting so many people about the devastating effects of our trash and the sheer amount of plastic in the oceans is alarming. It is creating a plastic soup in the gyres where tides draw in the garbage. If you haven't seen it, you're missing out!
This documentary looks at the huge amount of trash created in America, why it's happening and the impact it is having. Half a billion tons of waste a year, it may redefine what you view as trash and will show you people that are pushing for a more sustainable world.
If you or your family are still getting sucked in to buying bottled water, then this is a must see. You'll learn that a lot of bottled water is actually tap water, and the ones that aren't are not necessarily better for your health. Get the facts on this pressing issue and skip the bottles.
A great Sunday afternoon film that is relaxing and positive, especially if you've had a long week. It has a positive focus on urban farming at an individual and community level and will inspire you to have at least one little pot plant growing something edible.
This should be top of the list if you're Australian. There have now been two seasons of this TV show and if you missed it, you can watch it for free on ABC view. The link above will take you to some of the topics and resources as well as the series.
Got too much stuff and wondering how that happened? Learn how corporations are pushing us to buy more stuff and more frequently and how this isn't making us happier. Living with less is a conscious choice and you don't need to be a fan of minimalism to enjoy this great film. I've watched this several times and it's one of my all time favourites.
If you're a fan of old movies, this fictional thriller from 1973 shows a disturbing view of a future where fresh food is scarce and soap is a luxury! The world is overpopulated, over polluted and resources are in short supply.
Books for Low Waste Living
I'm a huge fan of the written word and often prefer it to other mediums when I have the time to indulge.
I spend some time each week browsing the library shelves and discovering new things. Below are several books you might want to check out BUT don't limit yourself to these.
Head to the ''How To'' books for new skills in sewing, woodwork or urban farming, check out the gardening, craft or cook books and check out magazine titles available for loan. If you prefer to find a book you can enjoy with your kids and teens, head to this post.
If you like being frugal and thrifty you will love this AND if you're a bit of a shopaholic or are caught in the trap of spending more money than you have, then this will give you an appreciation for the fun and free things in life. Would you rather be working long hours or lying under a palm tree watching the clouds? Every time I pick up this book I'm reminded the best things in life really are free, it will make you question where you choose to spend your time and money and encourage you to choose hedonism over consumerism (yes there really is a huge difference).
I have a bit of a girl-crush on Rebecca Sullivan. She is so lovely and her books are absolutely gorgeous with lots of practical ideas and beautiful images. This type of book can help prevent waste rather than trying to deal with it by making better and more natural choices in your home.
A story of a man (and his family, which he probably should have mentioned in the title) who sets out to minimise his environmental impact on the world. The book is a good read, and you can see the movie if you prefer, although personally, I really disliked it, you can read why here.
This book is a bit heavy and some parts may have you scratching your head at some of the things Bea does in pursuit of the zero waste obsession. It is an interesting story and it is nice to hear other people may go a little crazy and too far on occasion.
I think this is the modern bible for a zero waste home and is absolutely brilliant. I recently read it cover to cover and wrote a review on this book which you can read here.
This one is more the quick fix, time poor option that is light reading and could be very useful for beginners, but I felt it was slightly judgey and inaccurate at times. This is another book I reviewed in a recent post that explains my mixed feelings on it.
TED Talks That Will Make You See Waste Differently
You may love or hate Ted Talks, but there's no denying that they can be entertaining and often cover topics of interest. Here are a few I've watched recently that stayed in my mind, and I think are worth mentioning. If you only have 5 minutes to spare this week, then I've got you covered.
3 Creative Ways to Fix Fashion's Waste Problem (9 minutes)
Restyling opshop finds got this guy thinking about why it is so hard to recycle clothing. Fashion waste is a huge problem, especially when some companies are literally designing disposable fashion and are proud of it. The zips, buttons and fabrics can pose issues and I loved hearing about Amit's ideas to solve this problem (plus he wears a really cool shirt that he dyed with turmeric).
To Eliminate Waste, We Need To Rediscover Thrift (10 Minutes)
Reduce, reuse and recycle and seeing the potential second life of items is a huge way to avoid waste. This works at an individual level and a business level. We really do need to break up with the idea that because we can afford to throw things out, reusing and repurposing has so many benefits.
Why The Pencil Is Perfect (4 minutes)
I love pencils, and this short clip just makes me love them more. They last so much longer than pens, and are less wasteful and better for the environment. Find out why the pencil IS perfect, that's all I'm going to say, no spoilers!
Trash Cart Superheroes (5 minutes)
Learn about the Catadores in Brazil that collect abundant waste and trash to earn a living and are invisible superheroes. Mundano, who does this talk, is a graffiti artist, began a project to pimp up their collection carts, starting a global movement, will challenge you to see the invisible heroes in your city.
3 Thoughtful Ways To Conserve Water (8 minutes)
How much water do you use and how would you cope in a water crisis? You may not even know if you're home town is at risk of a water shortage and it is fast becoming a global issue. When we talk about waste, it is easy to forget invisible waste like fresh water. These 3 simple ways to save water come from places that have done it out of necessity but there's no reason it couldn't be done everywhere, including at home.
Websites To Reduce Your Waste
These make great lunch time reading, or fit them in during your commute, or while you're playing another game of hide and seek but the kids got distracted by something shiny and forgot to look for you (or does that only happen to me?).
An organisation setup by a 9 year old Aussie girl to get people to stop using so many straws. Learn about her and her mission, take a pledge, download resources or even start asking your local school or café to make a change.
Learn about seasonal eating, sustainable fish, composting, search recipes and lots more. Did you know Boxing Day is National Leftovers Day? If you're already planning Christmas (I'm definitely NOT at this stage yet), don't forget to plan the leftovers too.
This site is devoted to ethical and sustainable eating with interesting articles, shopping guides and resources such and you can check out their free to watch documentary called Waste Deep.
What is it and why is it important? If you're not sure, and want to know, head to their site to find out and see how your country rates.
They do so much more than endorse toilet paper and recycle Christmas cards. Check out news and tidbits and if you have time head to their offshoot site called Make It wood.
Check out Your Favourite Brands
Do a google search on your favourite brands and find out how they deal with waste or if they source locally.
Then do a google news search and make sure they aren't creating problems too. Companies are fabulous at putting a positive spin on their brand and sometimes they say all the right things, but finding specific actions taken can be impossible. If a company is doing the right thing, they will want to tell you about it and not make it hard to discover.
This is a really cute, down to earth blog that I'm mentioning, not just because it has some great instructions and ideas but one of the sisters is also taking part in the War on waste challenge. I loved reading Kylie's first post (you can find it here) and am looking forward to seeing her take on this challenge and following someone else's journey.
Podcasts That Will Make You Want to Waste Less
If you have a smart phone, podcasts can be downloaded and listened to for free. I use podcast addict, but there are lots of other apps that will do exactly the same. They can also be accessed from a PC so mum - if you're reading this, you have no excuse for not being able to find a podcast!
Hear interviews with zero waste authors Erin Rhoads (Waste not), Anita Vandyke (A Zero Waste Life in 30 Days) and Bea Johnson (Zero Waste Home), plus Tsh Oxenreider (The Art of Simple), Rob Greenfield (Environmental Activist) and a great episode on eco-anxiety. The creators are Australian Based and there are lots more topics all focussed on slow living.
Yes, it is different from the TV show, and I have loved every podcast episode. Wendy Harmer and Craig Reucassel cover some great stuff, and it never fails to make me think, laugh and remind me why I want to cut my waste. I just wish there were more of them!
Another Aussie based podcast, it ran for many years and although it has ended and there are no more new episodes, there are plenty that retain their relevance to living more sustainably and reducing waste. Also an interview with Erin Rhoads, Lindsay Miles (from Treading My Own Path) as well as podcasts devoted to overconsumption at Christmas, growing your own food for less waste, saving water, switching to solar and so much more.