Show #139: Plastic Free South East Asia with Sarah Rhodes


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And onto this week’s show!

I love highlighting stories of people who woke up one day and started playing a bigger game to make a difference to health or our planet. This week’s guest could be any of us.

In June 2014, Sarah Rhodes, an Australian, attended an intensive training program on climate leadership, facilitated by Al Gore, former US Vice President and became part of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps. More inspired than ever and as part of her commitment to the program, Sarah set about engaging more people to take action against climate change.

In July a friend invited her to join a month long challenge called Plastic Free July – the quest to avoid all single-use plastics for a whole month. This was a huge eye-opener to how much of the main plastics we all use and especially where there is plastic that is less obvious.

In October of the same year, she moved to Siem Reap, Cambodia, where impacts of climate change are already felt – the time for action is now and now that she’s heading up Plastic Free July for South East Asia, the future is bright and we talk about her journey and what the plastic situation is like in Asia, as well as what we can do to keep focused on progress instead of ‘how bad it all is’.



The questions I asked Sarah:

  • So you attend the Al Gore climate change awareness training: What lead you there and what changed once you’d been through that training?
  • Starting out giving Climate change talks you quickly realised another clear and present danger: Plastics!
  • What did you learn that first month of doing plastic free July?
  • You then moved to Cambodia? What lead you there?
  • Now let’s talk about how on earth one might live a low waste lifestyle in a country with no recycling (and why that is easier than relying on a broken system) – Sharing experiences/realisations and wins…
  • What are some of the more shocking things you’ve seen in everyday consumer habits and in deeper, systemic environmental/plastics issues in Cambodia since living there?
  • Where does the stuff you throw ‘away’ really go? Do you feel like part of the problem is that we believe ‘surely someone’s organising all this ‘stuff’ somewhere?
  • Why we should be supporting Asia rather than blaming Asia for our plastic pollution issues (what it will take to take ownership of our own recycling as a country
  • Tips for reducing dependency on recycling in the first place
  • Tips for people in the community who want to ‘do more’ in their communities and beyond – how did you step into a more active ‘make a difference’ role yourself?
  • With a couple of months to go until Plastic Free July – what are you working on that could inspire us all to plan better and engage more people for this year’s plastic-free July?
  • What do you believe helps make people’s changes “STICK” beyond the month of focusing on reduction?

Other helpful links:

To find out more about Sarah Rhodes and her work check out:

Connect with her on Instagram @plasticfreeseaa  or on Facebook

Support Sarah’s work on PATREON

If you want to click through to iTunes from here to subscribe to the podcast and listen to this week’s show, and the episodes that have aired since our launch in July 2016, GO HERE

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Enjoy the show and thanks again for taking the time to rate and review the show on your app – it’s like tipping the bartender and it means the world.

Low Tox. Happy us. Happy planet

Comments 3

  1. Such a great podcast, I’ve signed up to the Plastic Free July and have even discussed with my son’s school about selling silicone zip lock bags to parents as well as using REDcycle or something similar for other soft plastics. This episode has definitely created a fire in my belly! Thanks Alexx and Sarah for the inspo!!!

    1. Post

      How fantastic. And what a great idea to get a RedCycle bin at school! So thrilled you enjoyed the episode and enjoy plastic free July! x

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