Small footprint advocates The New Joneses boast the totally charming mission statement of “taking green from mung bean to mainstream” – and that’s a cause we fully get behind. As the committed collective gear up for their appearance at the City of Stonnington’s delightful sustainability and gardening festival ‘Spring into Gardening’, the group’s Tamara DiMattina filled us in on their overall goal, as well as what they’ll be doing on the day.
Tell us about the work you do at The New Joneses…
Imagine if our daily habits could change our world. Guess what? They can. The New Joneses lifestyle pop-up shows the easy, everyday choices we can all make for happier people and a healthier planet. In our beautiful world of finite resources, we want to inspire people to live lighter – filling our lives, not our houses – and remind people that the best things in life aren’t things (it’s why we also created October’s Buy Nothing New Month.)
What are some simple ways we can lessen our impact on the earth?
We suggest buying less of everything, and researching the company behind the stuff you do buy. Are they a company you want to support with your dollar? From our bank to our dunny paper, these choices have an impact.
Choose an energy company like Momentum Energy, which supports and invests in renewable energy. Drive less, don’t use plastic and refuse to waste anything – most of all food! We just watched Cowspiracy, which says the biggest impact we have as individuals is our meat consumption. So if you’re really serious, that’s the place you can have the most impact. Electric vehicles are creating a fume-free future, so we need to buy those (when we’re not walking, riding or taking the bus).
What does an average week look like at The New Joneses? What kind of projects do you work on?
We live and breathe The New Joneses 24/7, 365. All we do is work on it – finding new ways to inspire us all to create a world we all want to call home, and experience the new normal of simple, lighter, healthier, happier living.
Everything we do (even little things, like being kind and having a conversation with the person at the checkout) has an impact. Let’s make our impact positive!
At ‘Spring into Gardening’ you’ll be displaying a pop-up home with a small carbon footprint. Can you tell us about the house?
The Sociable Weaver built us a Tiny House to show how to live big with a little footprint. With clever design and a wall bed, we doubled the use of the space – turning a spare wall into a desk and sleeping space. The Tiny House is really fun. Five of us slept in it at White Night in the middle of Fed Square! At Stonnington we’ll be chatting with visitors, explaining The New Joneses’ approach to life and inspiring more people to get on board.
What’s your advice for people who want to be kinder to our planet but don’t know where to start?
I think the first thing to realise is that it’s not about ‘saving the planet’– our planet is our home, and what we do to our planet we do to ourselves. So a mental shift is needed to understand that everything we do (even little things, like being kind and having a conversation with the person at the checkout) has an impact. Let’s make our impact positive!
We’re thrilled to be at Spring into Gardening at Stonnington, as everything starts from nature – healthy soils grow healthy food for us. Studies show hospital patients recover faster when looking at plants than at brick walls. We’re also hosting a talk on Monday 9th October with Gary Veale – Australia’s leading voice on biophilia. Humans need to connect to nature. Gary will be talking about why Apple spends billions on advertising that mostly uses images of nature, and how we can nurture nature to grow our business success. Nature literally feeds and supports us. We need to do the same back. Get into gardening people!
The New Joneses will appear at the City of Stonnington’s Spring into Gardening festival on Sunday 8th October. This one-day event is hosted by the ABC’s Gardening Australia presenter Costa Georgiadis, and features market stalls, sustainability and gardening demonstrations, children’s activities, roving entertainment, sustainable food and drink and an eco-friendly clothes swap.