Trashtastic Tuesday with Tracey Smith

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  This week I got a chance to communicate with Tracey Smith, British journalist and author of the new Book of Rubbish Ideas.  I know, I know, it’s Wednesday already and not Tuesday.  The tardys are racking up and we’re not even through September…

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everydaytrash:    I see you’ve founded International Downshifting Week in England.  What is downshifting and what’s this holiday all about? 

Smith:  I put IDW together a few years ago following my own huge downshift back in 2002.  Downshifting for me is about giving a positive embrace to living with less and cutting back on your time and finance budgets too. 

Remember, the more money you spend, the more time you have to be out there earning it and the less time you get to spend with the ones you love. 

Downshifting can have a positive impact on your mental health and well being, your pocket, your relationships and of course, your bin!  Living more sustainably means you’ll be encouraged to cook from fresh and put those peelings in the composting bin, which will make a huge difference to what you throw away.

There’s a heap of information on the website – take a look at this site and don’t forget to read the Downshifting Manifesto!

everydaytrash:  The Book of Rubbish Ideas will be out soon with ideas for greening every room in the house.  Can you leak us a teaser?  We read a lot about our bathrooms and kitchens and their impact on the environment.  What can we do to downshift, say, our bedrooms?

Smith:  That’s really easy! If you take a look at the website for the book, you can read the entire Introduction, Kitchen and Study chapters via a clever magazine gadget thingie – techno really isn’t my bag, but even I could work out how to use it, so it must be simple!  

As for bedrooms, some of my favourite tips from the book include: 

Crocs have become one of the biggest-selling shoes. They have a successful recycling scheme in America, and will soon be starting a similar scheme in the UK. Your old Crocs are recycled back into new shoes and donated to people in need around the world. Visit their site for details of the American project.

• Soft glowing, low-energy LED lights are perfect for the whole house and particularly gorgeous in the bedroom. They will save you money and some come with lifetime guarantees on the bulbs/lamps. The oldstyle filament light bulbs or lamps are not recycled yet, but things could change, so check with your local recycling centre ormunicipal site to see what their protocol is and check out Vessel for details of their range of eco-lighting.

• Get your sewing kit out and customise some of your outfits. It’s great fun and easy to do. Find your nearest haberdashers and buy some patches, sequins, mirrors, crystals and braid to liven up your wardrobe.

everydaytrash:  What’s your next trash journalism project?

Smith:  Actually, I’m taking a short breather to a tour for the book and am talking to a couple of publishers about exploring other sustinable living topics, so I’m sure the pen won’t be out of my hand for long.

I wholehartedly believe that if we all start making small and simple changes to our everyday lives, we’ll be able to effect enormous change.  Not only that, but we’ll also be able to help our children find the right, green groove too.

To buy the book at a reduced rate and to read Tracey’s blog on more Rubbish Ideas, check the site.

Portrait provided by the author, book cover ripped from her site, Indonesian kids w/Crocs ripped from Croc’s Web site.  

Note: everydaytrash thinks recycling Crocs is a good idea, concedes that they are comfy for nurses, applauds the company for donating the product in countries where shoes are scarse but is still disturbed by the ubiquity of those strange rubber shoes around Brooklyn.  

 

2 Responses to “Trashtastic Tuesday with Tracey Smith”

  1. Roscom Says:

    crocs company destroyed my business by using my idea for crocs design competition without any gratefulness and by using my design of crocs shues for crocs dora flowers without any payment for the copyright design .

  2. everydaytrash Says:

    Very sorry to hear that.

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