About Me

About Me

Pippa in the kitchen and dining room
Me in my house
Credit: Em J Photography

Hello, and thanks for reading my blog about zero waste, self sufficiency and living a more eco friendly life.

Who am I?

I’m Pippa, and I live in rural New Zealand, with my husband and two children.

I’m passionate about reducing waste and living a more self sufficient life. These are pretty ambitious ideas, and I know it is a journey with lots of small changes over time. The new habits need to fit in with the usual juggles everyone has;

  • weighing up how much time and money I have to try new ideas,
  • commitments to my family, my work and my community,
  • not driving myself crazy with perfectionism or eco anxiety

“Time for a change of lifestyle”

In early 2019, I made the decision, with the support of my lovely husband and children, to quit my paid job. Pretty scary but exciting! I’m jumping further into living this lifestyle, to spend more time with my family, and have more time to make and grow food at home.

I’m planning to earn some money by blogging about my life, as well as other side hustles such as selling surplus plants, fruit, vegetables and eggs.

With my blog, I am combining my passion for living an eco life, along with spreading the word about zero waste, and developing my writing skills along the way.

Zero Waste living

I’ve always been a bit of a ‘greenie’, making sure I recycled what I could, growing vegetables in my garden, and trying not to buy things that would just end up in landfill.

However, in 2016, I noticed a change in the way many people were thinking about waste and what actually happens to the things we throw away. Around that time I joined a Facebook group about Zero Waste in New Zealand! which inspired me to make lots of changes to reduce waste.

As a result of hearing all the fantastic ideas that people were sharing, I have made many little changes, that add up to big results overall.

 

“Progress over Perfection”

While we are aiming towards zero waste, I know that it may not be totally achievable. However, it doesn’t have to be ‘all or nothing’. Better to do something, than become frozen by the idea that I can’t do it all. You pick your battles, and go for ‘progress over perfection’.

Image from https://permies.com/ , a permaculture and homesteading website

Self Sufficiency on a small lifestyle block

The general idea of ‘self-sufficiency’ is being able to supply your own needs without external assistance. Like Zero Waste, for me it is more of an ideal to aim for, rather than a reality to be totally self sufficient. Often, we have to buy in things that we can’t make ourselves.

We have a 2 acre lifestyle block (called a hobby farm or smallholding in other countries). Living only 20 minutes drive from the nearest city, we can pop out to the shops to buy what we need relatively easily. It’s not like we only go to town twice a year!

“Our brand of Self Sufficiency”

For us, being self sufficient includes:

  • Growing some fruit, vegetables and nuts,
  • Raising sheep to eat,
  • Keeping chickens for eggs, and to eat food scraps,
  • Collecting rainwater from the roof for all our water use,
  • Growing trees for firewood for heating the house, and some water heating,
  • Doing as much as we can around the property ourselves, including:
    • home renovations,
    • making food from scratch, and
    • mending and fixing things.
Wood pile
Credit: Em J Photography

Money saving and financial freedom

We are pretty careful with money, and have been for a long time now. When we moved to the countryside in 2006, we bought an affordable house that needed a lot of renovation work. Over the years, we have worked on the house room by room, as we could afford it. We saved up for each project, to keep debt low.

A few years ago, when me and my husband got into our forties, we started thinking seriously about how we wanted to live. We felt that working in office jobs for the next 25-30 years, to earn more money to buy more things, was not the right goal for us.

The ideas of living more frugally and in a more minimalist way, and aiming for financial independence from a 8-5pm job really appeals to us. We reviewed our budgets, and researched ways to achieve financial freedom. Websites such as Your Money or Your Life and Mr Money Mustache have helped us plan where we are going with our finances. We saw that I could afford to leave my paying job, and focus on things I could do to save us money at home. And of course, start my new venture of writing this blog about my lifestyle!

Messing about with autumn leaves
Credit: Em J Photography

Bringing this all together

The ideas of zero waste, self sufficiency, and financial freedom have all come together for me in the last couple of years.

After working in an office job for many years, I needed to be brave and push myself to make a lifestyle change.

In February 2019, it was the right time to jump in with both feet, and live the way I’d been daydreaming about for years.

I’m looking forward to sharing my ideas, my success and failures along the way, and my passion for living in a way that treats our world kindly.

Thanks for coming along the journey with us!

Hydrangeas in winter
Credit: Em J Photography
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