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Scripps College

Publication Date

Fall 2012

Program Name

Australia: Sustainability and Environmental Action


As we are faced with the gravity of climate change, fundamental lifestyle changes need to occur in order to achieve a sustainable future. The purpose of my creative project was to create an illustrated journal that promotes simple and sustainable living in Melbourne. This paper describes the process undertaken to complete this project. Initially, I discuss the power of art in transitioning to a post-growth society and the benefits of using an illustrated journal as an artistic medium. I also outline the background of the voluntary simplicity movement. In my Methods section, I discuss why Melbourne was a perfect location to base my journal, and continue with a description of the background research I conducted to include in my journal. Over the course of a three-week period in Melbourne I read many books, carried out directed observation research by visiting farmers markets, parks, gardens, a meditation class and more; and I interviewed four simple livers. After completing this research I organized my findings into eight main sections ranging from food to transportation, housing to happiness. Next, I illustrated the text and printed my journal. The journal is also a multipurpose tool that transforms into a bag, demonstrating the kind of creative thinking needed to transition to a sustainable future. Lastly, I left my final product on a park bench for a resident to find and use.

The rest of this paper describes the thought process behind my final piece, and evaluates the effectiveness of my project. It discusses the audience of my work, the influence my work had in terms of promoting sustainability, and what I would change if I were to do it all again. In my conclusion I argue my illustrated journal was successful and effective in communicating the benefits of simple living, but I would have needed to distribute many more copies to create real change.


Environmental Health and Protection | Family, Life Course, and Society | Growth and Development | Place and Environment | Sustainability


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