Today on the podcast, I'm talking with Sarah Wilson- author, activist and champion of the I Quit Sugar movement. Sarah is a passionate environmentalist and is currently in the final editing phase of her new book, This One Wild and Precious Life, due for release at the end of this month.
Sarah Wilson is who I turn to when I need guidance, an educated opinion or even just to make sense of my feelings. An author, journalist, editor, television host, entrepreneur, world traveller and activist, Sarah spends the bulk of her time trying to learn and better herself and, in turn, educate others (like you and I!) on things that really matter.
I first met Sarah back in the 90s in the Cosmo offices when I was working at Revlon. Our jobs might have changed, but I still consider myself a bit of an obsessive fan of Sarah's work! Sarah and I try to work together or at least catch up every few months, so this month I decided I needed to get her on the podcast to reconnect for a long overdue chat.
Sarah really does have a world of knowledge on so many things, and given everything going on in the world at the moment, I thought now would be a great time to chat to her about the state of the planet and what we can do to make the world a better place.
This One Wild and Precious Life
Sarah is currently finishing her new book, The One Wild and Precious Life. Sarah tells me that the book is a "path forward" and one written to help us make sense of complexities and bring us all together. The book was actually due for release earlier this year but, given everything that has happened so far in 2020, Sarah decided to keep writing as more and more important subjects were coming to the forefront of global consciousness. When we spoke, Sarah was just "hours away" from finally finishing!
Beyond the book, Sarah is currently working remotely on a few projects in the US, but travel restrictions have really changed the way Sarah usually works. Sarah tells me that the COVID-19 crisis has forced her into an "interesting way of creating," explaining that "the world demands a certain creative agility."
Crisis and the Environment
Having seen how agile Sarah has been this year, I took some time to ask her about the effect the current global health crisis has had, so far, on the environment. We've all talked about doing better by the planet for years, but now we've actually been forced to change our behaviours!
Sarah agrees, explaining to me that this year has given the world a moment to pause and really collect their thoughts. "You can't unsee shit," Sarah says, so now more than ever people are really questioning the system. Sarah tells me that COVID19 is as much an environmental issue as it is a health one, as a large part of its spread has come down to overpopulation and limited resources.
"Unfortunately," she explains, "the solution isn't something that you can just buy off a shelf." There are a few changes we can make, however, that Sarah says can make a huge difference.
1. Drive less. It's trick, but there are ways around driving- like public transport! Sarah personally doesn't drive, and instead relies on the train to take her on longer trips from Sydney to Canberra. For short trips, Sarah suggest walking or cycling, as small trips actually burn the most carbon emissions as it's the starting and shutting down of the engine the emits the most CO2!
2. Waste less food. Food waste produces CO2 emissions, and it's not the farmers or the supermarkets that are to blame- it's consumers, throwing out a third of our household food. I personally love Sarah's cookbooks for this reason, as they show you how you can use food scraps to create amazing meals and snacks!
3. Don't go to the shops. Sarah explains that "shopping begets shopping," so prolong any trips to the big shopping centres for as long as you can so you don't get sucked into the cycle. The example Sarah uses of a time she really does need to go to a shopping centre is when she needs new underwear- but I say if you order your bamboo underwear on Nourished Life, you won't need to go out to the shops for it!
4. Listen to and read the news. Sarah explains that being across the daily news cycle will empower you, as to really feel empowered to make positive change you do need to know what's going on in the world. Sarah's preferred news sources are the Guardian, as it's independently funded and therefore unbiased, the ABC's Radio National, as they're always held to account, and the New York Times and the New Yorker for global news.
Black Lives Matter
Given how in tune with global issues Sarah is, I took the opportunity to talk to her about the Black Lives Matter movement and how we can all help. Sarah has been interviewing a number of black activists, and she says the advice she's been repeatedly given is to "catch up." We need to make a really considered effort to rethink everything we've been taught, make no assumptions and really get to know what we're fighting for. Sarah recommends checking out the #passthemic hashtag on Instagram to find the profiles of people of colour who we can all learn from.
Links and resources:
Shop Sarah's I Quit Sugar books on Nourished Life
Beauty Pack on Nourished Life
Travel Pack on Nourished Life
Sleep Pack on Nourished Life
This One Wild and Precious Life
I Quit Sugar: Smoothies, Bowls & Drinks by Sarah Wilson
Sarah Wilson's reading and listening list to beat climate crisis overwhelm
Ibram X. Kendi's, "How to Be an Antiracist" "Stamped From the Beginning"and "Stamped"
Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor "From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation"
Ava Duvernay's film 13th
Andrea Ritchie Invisible No More: Police Violence Against Black Women and Women of Color"
Paul Butler Chokehold
Documentary Whose Streets
Visit Nourished Life