Category

Good Reads

Good Reads, Life & Style

Sell Your Crap, Pay Your Debt, Do What You Love

Quite often, when I’m doing something in the kitchen, or editing images for the blog, or anything else when I can focus on two things at the same time, then I listen to TED talks while I work.  It’s a good way to listen, learn and be inspired when it feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day!

There’s this one TED talk that I keep coming back to again and again, by Adam Baker.  In it Adam shares his powerful and inspiring personal account of how him and his wife found “freedom” by defying the ‘status quo’ of how people often perceive success.  Adam and his wife sold most of their possessions, paying off their $18,000 consumer credit and student debts in the process.  They also restructured their lives to minimise debt and get the most out of life by focusing on experiences and living in the moment instead of relying on possessions to make them happy.

Adam’s key point of the whole twenty minute talk is so succinct it hurts: “sell your crap, pay your debt, do what you love“.

adam baker man vs debt

One of the parts of the talk where I find myself nodding furiously to is when Adam quotes Nigel Marsh (speaker of another great TED talk), when he says “There are thousands and thousands of people out there leading lives of quiet, screaming desperation, where they work long, hard hours at jobs they hate to enable them to buy things they don’t need to impress people they don’t like.”

Another great moment is when Adam says “if you don’t answer this question [what does freedom mean to me] then there is a corporation, company or product that is happy to answer it for you

While the main focus of the talk is debt reduction, I think there are some very very strong parallels with sustainable living, such as being happy living with less, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it – it’s incredibly engaging:

Sell Your Crap, Pay Your Debt by Adam Baker


If you can’t see the video, you can watch it here.

Enjoy!

 ps: the gist of the talk reminded me of the late comedian Bill Hicks.  I could watch his DVDs time and time again and never get bored!

Children, Families, Good Reads

Environmental Books for Kids Review

environmental books for kids

The kind people at Floris Books recently sent me two environmental books for kids to review: How Does My Garden Grow, by Gerda Muller, and The Tomtes of Hilltop Stream by Brenda Tyler.

My daughter is only two so is a bit below the recommended age for these books (3+) but we’ve had some good fun reading them nonetheless.

environmental books for pre-schoolers

How Does My Garden Grow is her favourite of the two environmental books for kids, and mine too actually.  It’s all about a little girl from the city called Sophie, who goes to stay in the countryside with her grandparents for the summer.  At her grandparents she prepares a plot and plants some seeds, helping them to grow, and learning all about gardening as she goes.  There’s a lot to this book, covering all the different aspects of preparing soil, planting, growing and harvesting, and I think three to seven year olds would get a lot out of this book.  It’s a great way to introduce the idea of gardening and where our vegetables come from, and even features an introduction to composting.

The message isn’t entirely lost on my daughter – she has fun pointing out all of the different vegetables, and I’m sure it’s going to be a favourite as she grows older.  I also love the retro style illustrations:

gardening books for kids

gardening books for preschoolers

The Tomtes of Hilltop Stream introduces children to the idea of environmentalism.  It tells the story of Emily and Jamie: two children who visit their favourite otter-filled stream to find it polluted, full of rubbish and devoid of wildlife, including their beloved otters.  The Tomtes (little gnomes/elves) appear, helping Emily and Jamie to clean up the river and restore the habitat, and even touches very briefly on the concept of activism!

tomtes of hilltop stream review

The message is great (although my bug bear is there’s no real message of how the rubbish got there) and it would probably be a handy book for teachers to introduce ideas of environmentalism as part of wider readings and activities.  As a fun book for kids to read at home though then I’m not so sure.  It might be hard to involve children in the story as it is very linear – all that happens is that they quickly and easily clean up the river; and there is little in terms of the characters or the plot to hold their attention.  It does provide plenty of talking points to expand on the environmental ideas discussed in the book though, so you can go into as much or as little detail as you like, making it good for kids up to around age 6.

eco-friendly books for kids

tomtes book brenda tyler

What are your favourite environmental books for kids?

Floris Books kindly sent me two books to review – all views, words and images are my own.  See my disclosure policy for more information.