I have always been interested and fascinated by tiny homes. So when I heard that Daina and her husband Jono built a tiny home I was so excited, curious and even a little bit envious. Daina is a gorgeous young lady. We have known Daina for a long time as she is a friend of our daughter, Rachel and we are friends with her family. I was so pleased when Daina agreed to be my special guest and was willing to share her simple living story with you.
Living simply looks different for different people. What does living simply look like for you?
To me, living simply looks like living intentionally. I strongly believe that the decisions we make shape the world we live in, so through making intentional decisions; whether that be the food we eat, the clothes we wear or the ‘stuff’ we buy, we can create change for the better.
Through living more intentionally, I naturally consume less and can focus on what’s most important in life to me – the simple things. We also live in a tiny house, so this has been helpful for me, as it has literally forced me to be more intentional… because we can’t fit much in the house!
Do you have a specific interest that you like to focus on in the area of simple living?
There are 2 main ones.
I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of ‘zero waste’ living and try to incorporate as little waste into my daily life as possible. This has been a slow transition, breaking old habits, using up what we already have first, shopping second hand and finding more sustainable alternatives to things I use everyday. My husband and I also love to grow some veggies and love collecting fresh eggs from our happy chickens! I don’t think anyone can truly live completely waste free, but there are so many little things that you can do!
I’m also interested in the ethics behind the ‘stuff’ we consume, and dedicate some time to learning what impact my decisions have on other people and things – such as garment workers, the environment and marginalised communities etc. I also think shopping with these things in mind can support living with less waste, by buying quality over quantity.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your journey toward living a simple life. Was there a catalyst that led you to follow this path?
The catalyst for me was learning about the human beings who make the ‘stuff’ that we consume. Learning about the ethics behind products and companies opened my eyes to a whole lot of injustice and corruption that I didn’t want to be a part of. I remember reading the quote: ‘Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want.’ So I started to make more intentional decisions with what I purchased, holding companies accountable for how they treated humans and the planet.
From there, I learnt more about the materials economy, which is the entire process from extraction to production, distribution, consumption and finally, disposal. Basically, everything we own had to come from somewhere, and the journey it had to take to get into our homes and the impact it has left on our planet is much larger than we often consider. Annie Leonard sums it up perfectly in the ‘Story of Stuff’ by pointing out ‘You cannot run a linear system on a finite planet indefinitely.’ This led me down the path of environmentalism and learning more about how our decisions impact our planet, wildlife, natural vegetation, and our future here.
What do you find challenging about trying to live simply?
I feel as though it has been a slow transition for me, so it has not been too challenging. I also accept that I am not perfect at sustainable living and do not aim to be. I think it’s far too easy to become obsessed with perfection which can lead to an unhealthy mindset. Whereas I think we all need to be a bit kinder to ourselves and do what we can, within our own capacity.
What are some of the benefits of this way of life for you?
I believe that living in alignment with your personal morals and values is truly rewarding and everyone should find something that they’re passionate about and pursue it.
There are obvious benefits for the planet and people that range from supporting liveable wages for garment workers to supporting local sustainable farmers.
For me personally, living simple helps calm my anxious mind and allows me to express my empathy in practical ways every day.
What simple pleasures bring you joy and help you to slow down?
Are there any podcasts, books, documentaries or websites that you have found helpful?
What is something new that you have done or learnt about in the last year?
This last year was the final year of my uni degree (Bachelor of Health Science & Nutrition), so most of my time has been dedicated to finishing that and working in the student clinic. It was a year of putting everything I had learnt into practise.
Throughout the year I really began to notice that so many patients weren’t meeting their basic needs of sleep, movement, relaxation, happiness and of course; nutrition.
Nutrition is complex and individualised; but what I realised is that for so many people, the first step in healing or overcoming a health condition was to actually just go back to basics first and ensure these needs are being met. Simple changes really can make a huge impact, and I think this can be applied to so many areas of life.
What would you like to learn about or do in the future?
I would like to learn more about growing our own seasonal food. We already grow some herbs and veggies, but there is just so much more to learn in the way of permaculture.
If money or time were no option what would you like to do?
I’d love to run my own nutrition clinic with likeminded practitioners in a centre that also caters to sustainability – nutrition, fashion, food, homewares… coffee! A girl can dream.
If people would like to learn more about you and what you do, how can people follow you online or get in contact with you?
I am currently in the process of developing a website and Instagram for myself as a nutritionist, so I will keep Margy posted and maybe she will be able to share that once it is up and running 😊
Hello! My name is Margy. I enjoy living simply, I am trying to slow down and I am learning how to be still. I would love you to join me on this exciting adventure.