Adoshi: Where did the inspiration for Our Simple Cottage come from? Do you have any favorite recent posts?
Agnese: We always had people asking us questions on how we lived our lifestyle and what alternatives we would use to avoid plastic and waste. This lead us to want to create a platform where the answers to these questions were easily accessible; to give people incentives for being more sustainable, with a focus on Hong Kong. We also wanted to share with people all the information we wish we’d had when we first started our journey, and to educate on sustainability and the low waste movement.
Adoshi: We love your pieces on your experiences in Hong Kong. Can you describe the culture of sustainability there, and how this challenged and/or surprised you?
Agnese: When we first started we had no idea there even was an eco-community in HK, and have learnt so much since! It is amazing how many people are getting involved; the zero waste community and ideal are spreading like wildfire here in 2018 and we are so excited to be a part of that! I think the culture of sustainability is growing, and doing so fast. But, so much plastic is just aimlessly used and I still think a big problem is that as a society we generally lack the education on what happens to our trash, its effect, and where it goes. I love the saying “there is no ‘away’ when we throw away”, and definitely think in Hong Kong this isn’t something we understand. The fast-paced and highly consumerist society, and therefore a big part of modern HK culture, is not prone to not being sustainable. Luckily there are still a lot of traditional elements of HK culture that are sustainable though, such as bulk and wet markets, but a lot of change definitely has to happen and it feels as though it is starting!
Adoshi: Your blog features many posts focused on DIY items and "How to" lists. Why do you think it is important to teach people how to live sustainably?
Agnese: There are so many reasons, but I think the main one is that if people can see how to live sustainably on a day to day basis, they can begin to apply it on a larger scale to companies and business. Ultimately, our goal as “zero wasters” is to promote a circular economy, and being able to teach sustainability in the home allows people to want to adopt sustainability and a circular economy concept to industries! Conscious consumers are necessary for the future of our planet because we buy and consume way too much on a daily basis. Finally, on the simplest level: because our planet, in order to survive, needs us to live sustainably and be aware.
Adoshi: What is one small thing you do to reduce your carbon footprint?
Agnese: Simply consuming less, and focusing on quality and longevity in products! On top of that we try to source as much as we can locally, and if we are shipping from overseas we try to get as much as we need in one package so that we don’t have to again for a long time.
Adoshi: Are there any particular bloggers/blogs that inspire you?
Agnese: There are so many fantastic zero waste and eco blogs out there, and definitely a lot of people that want to share the same messages as us. I love @aintnoplanetb and @stevieyaaaay on Instagram. For reading mamaeatsplants, golitterless, and greenindyblog are all big favourites of mine.
Adoshi: Know any good jokes? We'd even accept you Googling one real quick.
Agnese: I’m going to give you a meme from @ZeroWasteMemes, which gives me absolute life!
Adoshi: Where do you get your news from?
Adoshi: Any words of advice or encouragement for those reading who think living an "eco-friendly lifestyle" would be too difficult for them?
Agnese: That’s what we all think! Nearly a year and a half in I always say the hardest time was the second and third week of taking on this lifestyle. Since then, not only has it easily become a habit, but it has also been an amazingly fun and informative journey. Don’t worry, you don’t need to start with anything extreme; take it slow and steady, and trust me it will get easier as you go along. People from all over the world, on all sorts of budgets, with all kinds of backgrounds and schedules are doing it, so can you!