Sustainable Living in the Suburbs

Recently I was given the opportunity to present to my work colleagues about sustainable living.  Naturally I jumped at the chance, however to make things a little more challenging, I was only given a 10 minute time slot.

What type of message can one get across in 10 minutes, with so much stuff to talk about?  How do I cram in 7 years worth of life changing behaviour?

A challenge indeed, especially when my normal sustainable living talk is about 50 minutes long with at least 30 minutes of questions!

So, I crafted a PowerPoint presentation, with more pictures than words so as to increase the impact.  I rehearsed my spiel and manage to fit it into the slot, with an extra few minutes for questions.

It was so well received that I have reproduced it here on the blog for you all to see.  I recorded a narrative to go with the presentation, which was kind of similar to what I presented.  I am a lot funnier in front of an audience, so hopefully it doesn’t sound too droll. [].  The soundtrack goes a little weird about a minute before the end, but not enough to distract from the overall presso.

So, as you can see, this is the current state of play at my Suburban Food Farm, and I only touch on the highlights of what we have achieved during the last seven years of greening.  It doesn’t seem so long ago since we started, but upon reflection, we really have managed to squeeze a lot in.

A big thank you goes out to Hema for giving me the opportunity to show my colleagues how I live.  I realise that there is not much why in here, more the what, but you can only do so much with 10 minutes.

What do you think?  Did I manage to get the main points across convincingly?


  1. says

    Hi Gavin,

    wow, your cheese looks impressive! You said early on in the talk that you turn the fridge off to save energy – did you mean every day, or just when you go on holidays? I’ve wondered about switching mine off overnight as it’s such an energy guzzler, but not sure if that means the food won’t stay fresh for as long.

    Have a great day, Madeleine

    • says

      Hi Madeleine. The problem with a 10 min pressboard is that there is scant detail :-(

      I used to have an outdoor beer fridge that was always on, so I made the conscious decision to turn it off and sell it. Didn’t really need it anyway!

      Gav x

  2. says

    Hi Gavin a great presentation and for people who are into Eco /greening could listen to you for an hour, someone who may not be inclined would benefit from the short slide show with all the stats so you have done well to put the 10 mins slide show together. My friend and I just did a preserving course last Thursday so we are very excited to be able to have this skill and we also made soap for the first time last month. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia

  3. says

    Loved it, Like Linda said you kept it simple so everyone could relate to it. We need more talks like this as its not overwhelming I think it would encourage more people to become a little greener.

  4. says

    Well done Gavin!! I really enjoyed watching this! I always have the wheels turning with this topic but unfortunately very little spare money (and I have many children) BUT you have shown me that much can be done on a normal block of land! We have 926 square metres just think of the potential I tell myself! I would love to actually see your place one day! I am in Mt Evelyn

    • says

      Cheers Katherine. We have been known to open our yard up to the public once a year on Sustainable House Day in the past. Kim and I are yet to make a decision this year as it falls in spring (our busiest few months in the garden), but watch this space.

      Gav x

  5. says

    Great talk Gav. I think you covered everything and you kept it simple yet fully inclusive. Its important (i think that you are good at this) in speaking slowly, clearly and also not overwhelming your audience by coming across as being so so green that people switch off believing that they cant relate to you. You are “the guy next door”. I even imagine you as that guy who pops his head over the fence in that Tim Allen Tool show. There was something there that would appeal to everyone, especially the beer making for the men and the cheese making for the girls. (How sexist of me).

    • says

      Well, Hi ho, there neighbour! I never thought of myself as ‘Wilson’, but I can live with that. He was a wise man in the series.

      Not sure why beer is just for men and cheese for women. The beer and cheese don’t really mind which sex drinks or eats it!

      Gav x

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