Growing a better world starts in your own backyard

"The Good Life: How To Grow A Better World" shares insights and tips on how to take take simple steps towards living a better life that benefits more than just our own needs. Pictures: Good Life Permaculture.

So I wrote a book! It's called The Good Life: How To Grow A Better World.

But it's not the gardening book that some people might expect it to be, it's about how to live a good life in the face of a climate emergency.

From growing your own food to composting, building a rocket stove to car sharing, this book is centred around showing people how living an ordinary life can make an extraordinary contribution to countering the climate emergency.

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Whether you have a large farm, a half-acre, a backyard, a tiny balcony or no balcony at all, there are tips and tricks to suit everyone.

I also want to say that writing this book was an incredible experience for me. It's been a steep learning curve (to say the least) and also an exercise in vulnerability and backing myself.

In a world which doesn't always foster either of those things, I'm equal parts stoked and terrified to stretch myself - to help grow a better world for all.

The Good Life: How To Grow A Better World by Hannah Moloney.

The Good Life: How To Grow A Better World by Hannah Moloney.

This book is a collection of my thoughts on how to live a good life and a snapshot of my thinking about how to transform the obsolete system we have now.

It highlights the connection between transforming our world collectively and how our daily lives and actions can play a key role in driving this change.

Our individual and collective good life will only happen if we all turn up, tune in and tackle this destructive system with joy, integrity, intelligence, commitment and what some refer to as "radical hope".

Radical hope is a verb, and in the context of the climate emergency, describes having hope in the face of huge uncertainty and knowing that what you do to bring about positive change might not work - but you do it anyway because there's a chance that it just might. It's not blind optimism - it is love and courage in action.

From growing your own food to composting, building a rocket stove to car sharing, this book is centred around showing people how living an ordinary life can make an extraordinary contribution to countering the climate emergency.

From growing your own food to composting, building a rocket stove to car sharing, this book is centred around showing people how living an ordinary life can make an extraordinary contribution to countering the climate emergency.

But in particular this book is about how to live a good life for all, not just for ourselves. The last chapter speaks to this idea, here's an excerpt:

Living a good life in the midst of the social and ecological tragedy that is the climate emergency is not only possible, it's essential.

The climate emergency is nipping at our heels with mind-boggling ramifications. But know this: from the bottom of my heart I can promise you that it is less helpful to dwell on the worldly problems and more helpful to dwell on the practical solutions.

Educate yourself about the problems, yes - be informed and pay attention - but please do not vague out. Focus on the solutions and wholeheartedly bring them into reality - in your own home, your community, your work, when shopping, at the voting booth, in every part of your life you have control over (which is a lot).

Confusingly, my next observation about what is needed suggests the opposite, which is to focus on your internal "problems". Tune into yourself and acknowledge your internal landscape: it needs as much attention as the outer world (perhaps more).

In order for us to be our fullest, free selves we need to heal any trauma and sadness we carry with us.

The internalised scepticism I'd inherited made it difficult for me to wrap my head around softening towards my true self, which I believe has a direct correlation to living from our true strength. I don't think this, I know this is deep down. Healing yourself and healing the world is the same action.

  • Hannah Moloney and Anton Vikstrom are the founders of Good Life Permaculture, a landscape design and education enterprise regenerating land and lifestyles.

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