Introducing Less Stuff: A book about changing our relationship with our things, with a zero waste perspective
Today is the day is the day (although actually, it might have been yesterday, I’m not entirely sure) that my new book Less Stuff officially makes its way into the world!
And to mark the occasion I wanted to tell you a little bit about it all.
What’s the book Less Stuff about?
Less Stuff: simple zero-waste steps to a joyful and clutter-free life (which is the full title) is a practical guide to changing our relationship with stuff for the better.
Here’s the blurb from the back of the book:
The clutter filling our spaces impacts on our productivity, stresses us out and keeps us stuck. Our stuff stands in the way of the lives we dream about.
But what about when it comes to throwing away all that stuff? After all, there is no ‘away’. Decluttering is great for our mental wellbeing, and when done right it can be good for the planet, too. When we rehome, repurpose or recycle the things we no longer need, we free up existing resources for others and reclaim our homes with less guilt.
Less Stuff is a guide for people who find it difficult to declutter and who don’t want to see things go to waste. Step-by-step, you’ll explore finding your ‘enough’, learn how to let go of your old possessions without sending them to landfill, and eventually break the cycle of stuff. The end result is a planet with less strain, a home with more peace and a life with more meaning.
When we think about zero waste or living with less waste, our first thoughts always go to grocery shopping, or consumables like personal care products. And this is a great place to start because we purchase these things often and use them often.
But at some point in the journey we need to move onto thinking about all the other stuff.
Less Stuff is a book to help navigate making the decisions about what is useful and necessary and what is actually going to waste – and then what to do with it to ensure it doesn’t end up in landfill. Because there are plenty of options, when you know where to look.
It’s a book about why, and it’s a book about how. It’s practical with a step-by-step approach.
Where you can buy Less Stuff
You can support your local independent bookstore, and that would be my first suggestion. Alternatively, here’s a list of some online stockists that sell my book:
Angus & Robertson | Booktopia | Dymocks | Rabble Books (the local bookstore where I held my book launch, they have signed copies)
Blackwell’s | Foyles | Hive Books | Waterstones
US and Canada Stockists:
Less Stuff is not released in the States until 6th August but you can pre-order here:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indigo | IndieBound
Wait…don’t I love libraries?
Yes! I absolutely love libraries. I pride myself on having a very small book collection because most of the books I read I borrow from library.
Most, but not all. I didn’t say my non-existent book collection. I own a few titles that possibly the library didn’t stock, or I wanted to own to be able to refer back to the content often, or because I wanted to support the author and their work.
We all know the kinds of books we like to own and the kinds we are happy to borrow. Do what whats for you. If you’d rather borrow Less Stuff than own a copy, that’s awesome and I’m honoured!
So absolutely, if libraries are your thing, please support your local library and borrow my book.
Even if you’re not convinced that Less Stuff is something that you’d like to read, if you’d still like to support my work you can request that your library stocks my book so others have the opportunity to read it.
Is writing a book a zero waste thing to do?
Yes, I do believe it is – well, at least I do for this book. Everything we do has an impact and a footprint, after all – and I still drink coffee and travel by car and wear clothes and use the heating when it’s cold.
We have a footprint but we can be mindful of what we do, and try to make the best choices that we can. If creating a book to help others rethink their waste and to support them in doing so can help with the big picture, then I’m all for that.
So yes, not writing a book at all would use less resources, but I’m not sure its always about the least amount of resources so much as the best use of those resources, and I think this is an important message to spread.
If one book means one less skip bin of useful stuff heading to landfill, then that is definitely a good trade-off.
And you know me and the content I like to write and share – I’ve made this book as practical and useful as possible. That’s the only way it could be.
If a publisher had contacted me and say, hey, we love your zero waste grocery shopping flatlays… how would you like to make a coffee table book for us? Well… that would have been a no.
What steps were taken to make the book zero waste?
Ah, I’m glad you asked!
I was pretty fortunate that Waste Not (an excellent zero waste book I reviewed earlier in the year) was published by Hardie Grant books last year, and the author (and my friend) Erin Rhoads had already been through the book-publishing process and asked a lot of the questions that needed asking.
By the time I was on board, the publisher already had answers and was happy to take a zero waste approach.
The cover does have a very thin plastic film. It is a feature most (if not all) flexibound books have – to protect the book and ensure longevity. Less Stuff is a book that is designed to be handled, thumbed through, put down and picked back up again often. A completely plastic-free cover might seem like a purist zero waste approach, but books with dirty fingerprints being pulped because they are deemed to be “damaged” before they are ever read is not.
It’s a balance. In my view, it is better to create a book that will last and can weather heavy handling than create a book that uses no plastic but creates more waste overall.
Why a book and not blog posts?
Books are different to blog posts. The content is different and we use them differently. It is not one or the other. They can both exist. For Less Stuff, I’ve written 42,000 words. Now my blog posts are long… but they are never that long! (More like 1000 – 1500 words).
And a 42-week blog post series might have been a bit dull…
This book is not an “instead of”. It’s an “as well as”. Not everyone who reads books reads blogs and vice versa. It’s a way to reach a different audience, and to share content (and a message) in a new way. That’s pretty exciting.
And finally, a big thank you… to you.
The fact that this book exists at all is in no small part thanks to you. You have been reading my blog, commenting on my posts, sending me emails, sharing your stories and ideas and giving your thoughts so freely for all these years. Not only have you been my audience, but you’ve also provided a lot of the inspiration and motivation.
My journey has been so enriched for having you join me along the way.
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