by Lori Dwyer on July 5, 2011 · 33 comments

I find myself focusing more and more sustainability, saving money, reducing waste.

I’m not one hundred percent sure why. It’s always been something I’ve been a little bit into.

And it’s so much easier to do, here in Paradise, than it was in the ‘burbs.

Life is cheaper here, and requires more planning. There is no dropping into Woolies- and spending $30- every second day. You do one big shop every two weeks, and top up on fruit, bread and milk as needed.


Money is tight, and as we wait for house and super pay outs, getting tighter. The habits that I started back in the ‘burbs have grown and solidified themselves as I find myself with less cashflow and far more time.

Cloth nappies and a moon cup save us hundreds each month, and reduce the landfill we leave for the big, noisy garbage truck to crush and then dump in a massive tip, secluded by bushland, that has been in the same spot since I was a kid- we used to visit there regularly when I was tiny, as there was no council rubbish collection.

Snacks and biscuits are cooked from scratch, when I just can’t justify $5 for a packet mix cake. I use a reusabale wash ball, rather than powder that eats funds and dries our skin. Our scraps go into our thriving worm farm, to feed the giant, fat, squelchy worms that are living and breeding in the dark; or to supplement our new compost heap, that will eventually be used to mulch our garden.

Dinner leftovers are frozen or fed to the dog. Water run off is collected in buckets to use on Tony’s bonsai, which I treat with hesitant care- I’m terrified of killing them with kindness.

Life in Paradise just moves so slowly compared to that in the suburbs. The fifty kilometre speed limit actually means just that, no one rockets along at seventy clicks. Shops are closed on Sundays and Mondays, and sometimes Tuesday, Wednesday as well in the winter.

Op shops here are abundant, and most people frequent them. Garage sales run every weekend and most of the items are not only old and have great character, but are quality as well- I think it’s something to do with the older age of a lot of the residents here, and the difficulty in transporting larger goods, when the nearest furniture shop is a forty minute drive away. It’s easier to re-buy and re-use something locally, rather than make a long trek for cheap products.

It’s an acceptable culture of hand me downs and using something until it can longer be used that seemed harder to come by in the city, when everyone is so busy and convenience is the utmost priority.

With sustainability and wholesome living all around me, it feels as my soul is absorbing it by osmosis, like the plants in my garden suckling sun through their leaves, photosynthesizing it into pure energy. I draw from the peace of the people around me, and I find ways to fill my time with things that are practical, useful and worthwhile.

To quote Micheal, an awesome commenter of mine from few weeks back- it’s practicing being a human being, not a human doing.

An entirely satisfying way to live.

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{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Shellye July 12, 2011 at 8:28 am

It sounds positively engaging, simplicity. When my husband I moved from a house to a small, but modern, apartment, I was hoping to downsize, but my husband is a hoarder, and it comes naturally because both his parents are hoarders as well, like on the television. So, no downsizing for me. The useless artifacts are stuck in the basement…


MultipleMum July 10, 2011 at 10:10 pm

I missed this post but am very happy to read it tonight! Fabulous stuff. A woman after my own heart x


Lirio Jaguar July 8, 2011 at 9:17 pm

Woman after my own heart…as you ever were! Mooncup, I feel so, ummm, invisible to use one – and feel awesome that I don't have that rubbish to contribute any more. I'm also looking forward to my daughter using one, and my son teaching his future girlfriend about how and why to use one ;)


littleloulou July 8, 2011 at 2:54 pm


And about the sex thing, last time death was thrown into the lives of those I love, I noticed a whole lot of mindless fucking going on. It was kind of rampant. Everyone was doing it. I don't know whether or not it was escapism, or the opposite perhaps? The aching need to *feel* alive again..

But it's not just you. Others do it too. They just don't talk about it.



Cate July 8, 2011 at 11:55 am

It sounds perfect Lori.
Perfect & healing.


Kristy July 8, 2011 at 3:23 am

I get more into this as I get older too. It makes sense. It feels good. I feel that it is spiritual, in a way, to be mindful of the earth.


Krystyna July 7, 2011 at 7:40 pm

Very inspiring post.


Melody July 7, 2011 at 3:10 pm

Oh gosh, I waste too much. I am curving my ways though, pulling those purse strings a lot tighter than I did a year ago.


Suzi July 7, 2011 at 2:50 pm

It's amazing, the difference of country living. I have changed alot since being out here, I love it's simplicity, makes you enjoy and cherish things that used to be taken for granted. I couldn't ever go back to the suburbs.
As you said, an entirely satisfying way to live.


Miss Cinders July 7, 2011 at 1:30 pm

Heaven is what it is. Sounds like my kind of place.


Maxabella July 7, 2011 at 12:46 pm

PS – although moon cups scare the bejeezus out of me! LOL. x


Maxabella July 7, 2011 at 12:45 pm

I love your last line "an entirely satisfying way to live". Ah, that makes me feel brighter and shinier just reading it.

This sort of living is the only way to arrive at that feeling too. x


theKatieKitten July 6, 2011 at 10:07 pm

Dude, I hate those worms. I can't get over how much Bump enjoys them and giggles as they squirm and buck on the veranda. I'm all for green is good, as long as I don't have to toucha-da-worms. And you know me, i'm not at all squeemish, working in ahospital and all, but worms…eeeeekk!


Hear Mum Roar July 6, 2011 at 5:59 pm

I can fully relate. We moved out of Sydney last year in January, and into a tiny country town in the middle of nowhere. Everything you've said here rings true for me too


River July 6, 2011 at 4:49 pm

This i a very smiley post Lori. You've certainly found Paradise!
You're going to be okay.


Denwise aka Denyse Whelan July 7, 2011 at 1:11 am

You are making" life" work as it does for you.
Balancing time & care with sustainability
You are writing with peace dwelling in your soul.
Tony is watching you water those plants…….. :-)
Love your contentment in Paradise xxxxx


In Real Life July 6, 2011 at 12:42 pm

It sounds like a wonderful lifestyle. :)


Crystal Cheverie July 6, 2011 at 10:07 pm

Sounds just awesome. Your Paradise sounds just like how I feel when I'm in Prince Edward Island – just away from the rat race, peaceful and free, nothing but simplicity. Enjoy!


juststopspeaking July 6, 2011 at 10:49 am

Sounds like baby steps turning into strides – well done Lori.

and Michael – he sounds like a good egg.



Hope’s Mama July 6, 2011 at 10:34 am

We live a very similar life, albeit in suburbia. We are in a pocket of suburbia though, where this way of living is the norm, thankfully. I take great delight in washing my cloth nappies each week. Might sound a bit sad, but it is one little way I can help.
Lovely post.


Simonee July 6, 2011 at 7:52 pm

hi Lori, i had to google mooncup, and i was so far outed i just bought one! what a great idea! i Hate buying pads!!! sooo much! and a mooncup made so much sense! thanks Loz xx Sim1


OurGangof7 July 6, 2011 at 9:52 am

This post has me sincerely wanting to move to "Paradise". That is precisely the kind of life I strive for, away from the rat race of suburbia.
I am so happy for you having found this little place to live, where life is truly slow and easy (I know not easy in the money sense but easy in the sense that there is no pressure).


Miss Pink July 6, 2011 at 9:34 am

Sounds wonderful!


Salamander July 6, 2011 at 9:00 am

Just reading this makes me smile. Not just because of your enviable sustainable habits, but because your posts are starting to sound more peaceful. I know that you would be a long, long way from feeling peaceful. But it's nice to hear tiny slivers of peace creeping into your life xxxx


Christie July 6, 2011 at 8:48 am

Well, ya know I'm a convert, so it makes me happy to hear you are living more thoughtfully. I hope it continues to inspire you and fill your days with productivity and joy.


Photographer Mum July 6, 2011 at 8:36 am

What a beautiful way to live. I have dreams of living the simple life, hopefully the will come to fruition one day soon.
Hope you and your babies are well


Andrea July 6, 2011 at 7:58 am

That it is. I am not quite so diligent as you, but I have ambitions to be! It's a very healthy way to live and full of great values for your kids to learn!


rosewendy July 6, 2011 at 1:30 am

Sounds like you live down the road from me. After a while living this kind of life you think "what's the rush?" And an urban life seems to generate such a lot of waste. There's no time to consider creative re-use or giving back to the soil. Sad.
Everyone should be as lucky as us.


mummabear1970 July 6, 2011 at 12:35 am

Lori, that sounds like a beautiful town & a lovely way to live. I am a fan of the simple stuff. I know from reading your blog that your life is far from simple – I am happy you are finding some solace in your new place.


Mum on the Run July 5, 2011 at 11:41 pm

A gorgeous post, mindset and lifestyle.


tatumwoodroffe July 5, 2011 at 11:37 pm

Love this, awesome soul nurturing way to live xxx


MaidInAustralia July 5, 2011 at 11:07 pm

I like it too. I've always been pretty environmentally friendly, but having no money has forced similar changes. And I'm loving it. It's amazing how little you can live on, how good it feels to give back to the earth and other creatures, and how satisfying it is to use and recycle. Nothing gets wasted at our place!


Good Golly Miss Holly! July 5, 2011 at 11:49 pm

Oh Lori, sounds so good for the soul xx


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