Simple Local Life has grown a lot since its start it in 2015. My hope was to build and grow it into a platform that would allow me to add other voices that were a good fit for our readers. One of the highlights of 2017 for me, was when Vicki MacDonald joined us as a recipe contributor. Today, I am SO excited to introduce you to Simple Local Life’s latest contributor, Margaret Hoegg.
I met Margaret briefly at an event held at CO3 last year, but it was a picture she posted on her Instastories that actually started a conversation between her and I. (Social media can be such a great connector) Margaret is a writer and an editor who lives here on the South Shore, and I am just thrilled to have her as a contributor for a new series we are beginning on Simple Local Life.
I asked her to write a little introduction for everyone, which you can read below…
My New Year’s resolution this year was to reduce plastic in our household. With the Zero Waste movement gaining momentum both locally and globally, I decided to expand on that resolution and take on Zero Waste living as a personal challenge. A low waste lifestyle makes a lot of sense for my family, and I think it can work for almost anyone. Before I tell you how, I would like to share my story.
I was raised in a rural area in a frugal household. My parents had a huge garden and grew many of our vegetables, baked bread, kept a pantry, cold room and deep freeze full of bulk staples. We composted, reused, recycled and learned to be resourceful. Many of our clothes were from Frenchy’s and some even handmade by my talented mother.
My life today with my husband and two children resembles my childhood quite a bit. We live in a rural area, shop secondhand, compost, garden, raise chickens, homeschool, and live frugally. It is important to us that our children are environmentally aware and active. I love my life and my part-time work as a freelance writer and editor.
I took a pledge upon graduation from high school to always bring environmental awareness to my work and life (I still carry the card!). In high school I was part of a small group we called YEA! – Youth for Environmental Action. We advocated for Buy Nothing day, promoted environmental initiatives, picked up litter and published a magazine on environmental issues. It was short-lived, but it really influenced my mindset.
I traveled a bit and went on to complete an Undergraduate and Masters degree in English at the University of Victoria. My graduate essay was on Canadian poet Don McKay, specifically on his Ecopoetry. Living on the West Coast, I fell in love with the strong cycling culture, robust public transportation, compost education centre, and eco-friendly stores and restaurants. It was a great lifestyle and the culture there made it easier to remember cloth bags, bring a mason jar to the juice bar, and carry a travel mug in my bike panniers.
But, the East Coast called me back, and I envisioned these things for my home province.
When I returned to Nova Scotia (with my future husband), I worked as Communications Coordinator for the Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter, where I learned about top environmental concerns in the Maritimes. I lived for a time in Halifax, the Annapolis Valley, and finally put down roots on the South Shore, not far from St. Margaret’s Bay where I was raised.
When I reflect on my life to this point, I see a green thread that connects it all. With current environmental politics, never has it been more important to think globally and act locally.I, personally, feel strong urge to do more and be the change I want to see. I believe that the Zero Waste movement is an opportunity for us to make some urgent changes.
It’s time to shift away from a disposable culture. We are seeking something new, though it connects to an old way of thinking of living. We are beginning to shed our stuff, streamline, choose handmade, well made, buy less, live by our values, enjoy life more. We want good design, simplicity, style, minimalism, beauty – a new kind of abundance.
The Zero Waste movement offers all of these things. And it is possible to live this way here and now, in rural Nova Scotia, to support local businesses and enjoy a high quality of life. We can inspire others to be the change we want to see.
I am so excited to share what this looks like for my family, and I hope you’ll be inspired to join me in my journey to Zero Waste as I talk about the benefits and share practical ideas you can incorporate into your simple local life.
I really love Margaret’s story and understanding her passion for the life she has created for herself and her family. Watch for Margaret’s first post coming later this week! You can also follow along on her other channels.
Join me in warmly welcoming contributor Margaret Hoegg to the Simple Local Life community! 🙂