Stories of Sustainability

About the Anderson Family

When travelling the globe in the mid 90′s I had a vision. I knew what my life was about – the environment and creating a place for positive energy. I’m well into the journey and things are remarkably on track.

My days are spent in local rainforests and schools teaching kids about the things they can do to help the world go forward and why it matters.

Our personal ecological footprint is shrinking and in 2006 Sarah & I created EcoDepot. It’s been a blast and now we’re reformulating Eco Depot to become more education focused and there’s another little limb sprouting – Popes Produce. Goodness grown in our backyard is being distributed locally to nourish our community.

We now have two kids and a drive to help people make nourishing choices for their own homes and communities and for those who will follow.

A Brief history of EcoDepot

It’s 1995 and Ben’s doing the standard supermarket shop, fluorescent lights, shuffling feet, other people’s kids going nuts – you know the deal.

He grabs a bunch of bananas and a plastic bag to put them in when Sarah, his new-found love, asks him, “Why are you putting them in a bag? They’re already wrapped.”

He looks at the items in his hands, packed as nature intended, and suddenly WHACK – look out, here comes a whole new way of viewing the world. Now this guy’s no genius but he’s certainly not the bluntest tool in the shed, so why hadn’t he made the link between his choices and their effect on the environment before? It really stumped him. He realized in that one moment that helping the world around him simply involved thinking about his choices.

Sounds easy… the thing is, that there’s a stack of choices that have to be made every day and when you’re racing from the surf to Uni’ to a party to whatever else is happening, you just want to race. Who’s got the time to think?

But there they were, smiling away in his left hand, those damn bananas hermetically sealed in their own skin, whilst the right hand held that flaccid, empty and superfluous film of processed petroleum. The problem wasn’t the bag. It was what that clear, clean, lightweight and oh so versatile bit of plastic represented – waste.  So, eleven years later Ben & Sarah have travelled, researched, learnt a bunch of stuff, planned and then finally launched Eco Depot. It’s a small start with a big vision, just as it was a small shopping choice that led to a complete change in their lifestyle.

Their journey is far from over, that’s the thing with sustainability, there is always more you can do (which in some cases means doing less). Trying to have a modern urban lifestyle and a healthy, happy planet is something no one has truly figured out yet. There are a stack of simple ideas people can adopt to make a difference though, and right now heaps of interesting things are happening around the world in the name of Sustainability.


The growing fields of Pope’s rd. Produce