Show #230 – Having Stuff Without Breaking the Planet With Prof Sandra Goldmark


Love our new show tune in the intro/outro? It’s talented Australian independent artist Melanie Horsnell’s song “Birds”. So proud to support this wonderful Aussie artist and have her grace the show with her wonderful words and song!

Low Tox Club – the place to bring your low tox life to life

Want to join a community of like minds and enjoy all the perks of being in the Low Tox Life inner circle such as an online membership platform, 50% off all our Low Tox courses, an awesome chat group, my monthly Q&A, and special guest star interviews for just $49AUD ($29USD/28EUR/23pounds) per YEAR? We have created a special place and set of resources to help you achieve your goals and it’s a wonderful place to be – more details and registration here:

And on this week’s show!

You won’t think this is tiresome when you’re having to canoe to work in midtown,” said today’s guest Professor Sandra Goldmark to a director she was working with who thought her ideas on using more sustainable materials for a show she was set designer for on Broadway, were a nuisance! She went on in her personal life to have 3 household things break one after the other, and, unable to get them easily repaired, it was another big wake up call. A Ted talk, creating pop up repair stores in NYC and a book “Fixation How to have stuff without breaking the planet” later, Sandra is a wonderful inspiration for how we can go more circular. Why can’t we easily get things fixed? Often we experience guilt and shame for needing to buy a new ‘something’ or frustration that there isn’t an easy pathway to getting it fixed. Today’s show is going to help you feel inspired to take the next steps towards a more circular world.

The questions I asked Sandra:

  • What was childhood like for you? Hippy parents, farmers, connected to nature or city life with a later epiphany? 
  • You’ve worked in set design – was this prior to or post small apartment broken appliance epiphany? 
  • Since that, have you thought about more workplaces that can radically reduce waste and transform their operations? (We can chat here because I’ve thought about and noticed many, and we could come up with a call to action for people listening and thinking about their local business/an industry that’s wasteful and start organising. 
  • And as an extension of the previous question… Sustainable Business in the Pandemic Era? How businesses might expand their definition of revenue to include service, maintenance, repair, and reuse (ie. businesses can and should make money more than once from the same product!) 
  • For people just jumping into the way of thinking we’re talking about with leading a low tox life, and with your work and latest book: What is a circular economy? 
  • How can we ensure economic security through circular thinking? (I think one reason we’re so resistant in terms of industries, the ways companies run etc, is that everyone’s terrified the alternative will leave them jobless or with no money… so how do we build that confidence up in this as a way of the future?)
  • I love the title of your new book – a woman after my own heart “Fixation: our relationship with our stuff, easy steps to a more sustainable and equitable pattern of consumption, and how our stuff “speaks!” – As an author, I’m always keen to hear from other authors: Why did you think this particular book needed to be born? 
  • It’s been a strange time… people are throwing all sorts of phrases and ideas around “new normal” “post-covid” “reset” –  What’s our big opportunity here? how should we, as consumers, spend our money post-COVID world in order to save the planet?
  • You have a pop-up repair shop Fixup in NYC: Where is it exactly? (featured in the New York Times, Salon, MSNBC, etc.) How has it created a movement for us to demand better “stuff”
  • What our “stuff” is telling us … and how to move past the fad stuff purges that have popularized the past decade

Other helpful links:

Know more about Sandra and her story here:

You can get Sandra’s wonderful book “Fixation” on Booktopia and the Book Depository.

You can also find her on Instagram @sandragoldmark and on Facebook

This week’s show Sponsors

My Green Pod

My Green Pod Ltd is an independent, family-run UK business, founded by Katie Hill and Jarvis Smith. We want to share the real stories behind the brands and people working tirelessly to offer ethical alternatives to mainstream products and services.

Unlike any other company we know, we meet and connect personally with the owners of the companies we work with. We do this because we believe that authentically ethical products and services can only be produced and supplied with conscious, heartfelt intent.

Plenty of businesses are cashing in on the trend towards natural and organic products, but if those companies are cutting corners to be the first to market – whether in their packaging, their supply chains, their ingredients, or their staff welfare – they won’t be featured here. This isn’t something you can check by visiting a website, so we go behind the scenes to investigate the company’s entire DNA.

Our Hero products and services are the most effective and enjoyable alternatives to mainstream options that we can find. We use them in our home and we use them on our family. They’re also from companies that are working in co-creation with the planet – intentionally operating in harmony with nature and in service to the wellbeing of their customers.

With your support, these companies could change the face of business and the health of our environment – and you could save some cash and discover some extremely effective ethical products along the way!

Every time you buy from our Marketplace, we’ll plant a tree in the tropics (through charity partner TreeSisters) as our way of saying thank you for helping to change the path of the future. Together, lots of small actions make a huge difference. #PutYourMoneyWhereYourHeartIs

Sign up and get a Free Digital Magazine HERE. Subscription is free; you’ll receive a weekly newsletter with a summary of our latest news, plus exciting products for sale on our ethical Marketplace and details of our latest competitions.

You’ll also receive a digital edition of My Green Pod Magazine, distributed quarterly with the Guardian.

Republica Organic

Australia’s No. 1 Organic Coffee Company!

Republica Organic pioneered and paved the way to sustainability. They’re an ethical company that ensures Third World coffee farmers are guaranteed a fair deal whilst not compromising on taste. They’re a multi-award winner due to their sustainable commitments and work including a Best for the World B Corp – since 2015.

Make your food choices delicious and ethical. –  Jacqueline Arias

GIVEAWAY: Win your custom-tailored year’s worth of coffee – 2 lucky winners will have the chance to jump onto the Republica Website and choose $200 worth of products from the Republica range. 


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 4

  1. I would love to win the Republica Organic prize! For health reasons, I need to switch to Decaffeinated coffee and Republica Organic ticks all the right boxes for me: taste, quality, and sustainability (not to mention the glass jar). Thank you

  2. My husband currently uses Nespresso capsules. If I can get him onto coffee that is better for him and the environment – that is a winner according to me.

  3. I would love to win the Republica Coffee prize! I was gifted a beautiful smeg espresso machine for my 40th and a years worth of ethical, tasty coffee would be a lovely bonus!

  4. I would love to win the Republica Coffee prize, as I would love to find a coffee where the beans don’t affect those who have been exposed to mould. I would love to switch and try an organic brand of beans!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *