Quick Chats: Tamara DiMattina is the queen of sustainability hacks

Tamara Di Mattina.
Tamara Di Mattina. Photo: Simon Schluter

If the popularity of reality TV is any indication, people love getting an insight into how other people live, date, dress, cook and consume. Here at The Green List, we are incessantly curious about the lives of the sustainability-conscious, and think a sneak peek into their guiding principles and daily habits are great sources of inspiration!

Who better to restart our “quick chat” series with but Tamara DiMattina, who has been leading the charge on the sustainability movement in Australia as founder of The New Joneses and Buy Nothing New Month. She’s hard to beat for sustainable living inspiration!

What’s top of your wish list to live more sustainably?

Topping my list is systemic change making it easy for everyone to be zero-waste, renewable energy powered etc.

I want circular economies where nothing is wasted and all energy is renewable.
I want to walk into a waste free supermarket without everything in plastic.
Currently, it’s very bloody hard for ordinary folk to make good choices.

Are you a little envious of someone else’s sustainable home? Tell us a bit about it?

This would be a beautiful amalgamation of lots of places I’ve been to. I love what friends James Allston and Georgia Costello have done with their all-electric home in Hobart. This features in The New Joneses Road Trip. It’s stunning, comfortable, with no fossil fuels and hardly any energy costs. I’m a fan of homes based on biophilic design, bringing nature into the home, through natural light, loads of greenery, natural breezes etc.

Have you got any sustainability hacks you’d like to share? A tip for reducing waste in the kitchen, perhaps, or for saving energy

Are you kidding! Sustainability hacks are all I talk about! Check out thenewjoneses.com or our insta channel the_new_joneses We’ve taken the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and Project Drawdown and made them easy to understand and action with our TICK OFF TEN program. People can watch The New Joneses Road Trip (which has Stephen Curry, Nat’s What I Reckon and Yael Stone among others featured) for all our sustainability hacks. All episodes are less than ten minutes.

Probably my #1 life changing hack is to Buy Nothing New (check out Buy Nothing New Month, a campaign I created a decade ago) I buy everything second hand. Im living breathing proof this is totally doable. Everything we need is available second hand, from kitchen ware, to iphones, laptops, gorgeous homewares, clothing (even bathers, bras undies are available un-used but second hand through charity stores, Facebook marketplace, ebay etc).

What’s the one big sustainability mistake you see happening on repeat?

I think generally there’s a lack of connection between daily household consumption and climate change.

I’d love to see people feeling more empowered that what they do makes a difference, from not buying cheap fast fashion, to stuff in packaging to flying, voting etc.

Absolutely we need systemic change, governments, corporations taking massive action. But I see the drive from that coming from the grassroots up.

What’s one thing you can’t live without but probably should?

Massive TV series binges. Currently on TED LASSO. Superb.

And coffee. But I plunger at home to avoid the waste of pod machines or take away.