Jaleesa Simpson from the Live for Less team shares what she learnt at PepTalks Brisbane, a sustainability event hosted by Peppermint Magazine with three powerhouse speakers.

Last month some of the Live for Less team attended PepTalks, Peppermint Magazine’s annual event that inspires and empowers their community with speakers who are making a difference in the world.

We were treated to incredible speakers which included environmentalist and actor Isabel Lucas, Food Connect founder Robert Pekin and minimalist change maker Carly Willoughby-Rolls.

Yes, three very different speakers from three very different backgrounds. But the one thing in common? They got us pepped to live a life of less (stuff, commitment, worry)!

Here are four key lessons the night left us with.

1. The life changing magic of letting go

Catchy, right? But this isn’t about adopting the KonMari method of throwing everything away (I’m sure overwhelmed op shops would agree we don’t need to throw out any more).

This is about letting go of having to do it all, buy it all, and being endlessly stuck on that treadmill.

Minimalist change maker Carly Willoughby-Rolls revealed that she’s on a mission to end the glorification of busy and the hustle and bustle lifestyle.

“The answer to having it all is learnt from minimalism: do less, have less and let go of anything that doesn’t serve you.”

Isabel also shared that she’s always practised surrendering and letting go. As someone who spends her life in Hollywood, she’s found that she needs to let go of anxiety and the need to control everything to appreciate and enjoy life.

If letting go doesn’t come naturally, you need to train your letting go muscle. By taking just 2% of your day (28 minutes) to learn to let go, you can change your life in a little way each and every day.

Which brings us to the next point…

2. Start small

Food Connect founder Robert Pekin’s journey to food boxes started small. A fourth generation dairy farmer, Robert lost everything when milk prices fell, forcing him to sell all his livestock and eventually his farm.

After dedicating years to learning and practising organic farming and regenerative agriculture, he moved to Tasmania to start over. What he found there was a community who bought local produce from farmers they knew.

This spurred him to rent a small six-acre paddock, which he worked on day and night to grow his first crops. He farmed in a way that replenished the soil, and as a result moved around Australia helping other farmers do the same.

It was in Brisbane that a local group of mothers encouraged him to start up Food Connect, a small business that allows local farmers to sell their produce to Brisbane residents.

Starting with six-acres has now led to 1,500 householders fed local, nutritious food weekly.

3. Learn from the best teacher

Environmentalist and actress Isabel Lucas talked about how nature is the best teacher. Her illustration? How trees are grounded with very deep roots, but are still relaxed enough to be able to sway in the breeze.

She spoke of a poignant childhood memory where she witnessed a school bully drowning a frog at her local pool. The knowledge that she could have stood up to that child to save a creature’s life has stayed with her.

She credits that experience as propelling her into activism and speaking out against injustice, rather than standing by the sidelines gripped by fear.

By learning from her own experiences and always looking to nature, she has developed a deep appreciation and concern for the planet.

4. Connect with people and the planet

A common theme throughout all three speakers was the importance of connection.

Minimalism gives you the time to connect meaningfully with your life because you’re focused on less things.

For Robert, a life changing moment was when he met and connected with the people that ate his food (which never happened for him as a dairy farmer).

For Isabel? She described herself as a professional empathiser. In a numb world, she encourages others to connect to people.

“We have to go to places that are unknown, but we have to all talk and we have to do it together.”

Learn more about the speakers


Image credits: Peppermint Magazine