Self care is super important

This week, I picked native flowers for myself. They even match my tattoo. Gush! Aww, how sweet of me. I shouldn’t have… Romance isn’t dead.

Switching accounts to ethical institutions

If I have to be attached to financial institutions, I want them to #giveashit about environmental sustainability. I don’t want my superannuation to be invested in the fossil fuel industry. I don’t want my bank to extend financial services to the defence sector, unsustainable agriculture and non-renewable energy.

***This is NOT an ad. I’m just keen to explore my own personal eco-friendliness beyond food, fashion and beauty.***

I’ve been doing a bunch of boring personal admin to switch my accounts over to ethical institutions. I’m trying to broaden the ways that I support environmental sustainability through the corporate sector. I found it a really frustrating onboarding process with @bankaust but I got there in the end. I feel like I’ve gained a few eco brownie points with this new account. I like what they stand for and who they support. I’m lucky to have them as an option amidst a sea of corporate bullshit.

I still have a bunch more changes to make but this is one small step that has unlocked momentum for my accounts. I’ve got my eyes on @australianethical as my next target…

If you have questions please look up their ethical creds online, read their disclosure statements and seek out the fine print. Finance is not my forte and this is most certainly NOT a sponsored post 😜 I’m also expecting to come across a controversial article about all the ethical institutions. Ain’t modern life a funny thing?

Second hand gadgets saves waste & cash

Buy nothing new: Even for gadgets! Just because I work in tech, doesn’t mean I have to buy brand new gadgets. This is a second hand MacBook Pro with touch bar. It was only a year old when I bought it. The nerdy part of me gets to enjoy the new interface, while the eco conscious part of me is happy to have taken this off someone else’s hands. It works perfectly and I think I saved about $700AUD. Banana and bulk buy nuts are essential zero waste additions to my work day.

Small wins. Tiny landfill. Happy doggo.

Rethinking the way we do things has helped us reduce our landfill waste. Instead of monthly liquid flea treatments and all the plastic packaging that comes with it, we give Toki a chewable tablet that covers him for 3 months. It’s mostly packaged in cardboard with a bit of plastic. If given by the vet, it comes in a reusable zip lock bag which we can opt out of.

Small wins. Tiny landfill. Happy doggo.

Observations on Kitchen & Dining behaviours

There is power in deliberation. Conscious inaction can be a good thing. At the beginning of my journey, I kept myself in a state of growing awareness. Mindfulness helped me know what to do and allowed me to set a plan that was tailored to my unique lifestyle and social situation.

Let’s break this down into small bite sized pieces. In this post, we can take a moment to observe our Kitchen & Dining behaviours:

  • Food waste: Are you finishing the meals you prepare? Do items go dormant in the fridge until they’re thrown away? Recognise patterns.
  • Animal consumption: Count the number of animal products used to make a meal i.e Ricotta + Chicken = 2. Take note of anything you could live without.
  • Dormant appliances: Consider that the items in your kitchen should work for the space they occupy. How often is each item put to work? Are they paying their way?
  • Disposables: Do you use plastic wrap, paper towels, disposable wipes or silicon-coated baking paper? Observe your reliance on these items.

This might seem like it’s only for zero waste beginners, but we can all take a moment to observe where we are at. None of us are perfect. There are insights and opportunities in observations. Be patient with yourself. A change is coming…

Prioritise “nothing time” and let your brain juices flow

Drinking my coffee in the sun before another intense day at work. Working towards environmental conservation has made a martyr of me. I’m a busy-body. I work all day every day on three separate projects. It’s apt how unsustainable my routine is.

I tell myself that after a big launch in 4 weeks, I’ll claw my way back to a healthy routine. The reality is that this is me always. Working, working, working… What am I working for? Money, environmentalism, people; but mostly something self-fulfilling. I like working. It makes me feel helpful. It gives me purpose. It’s a habit. It’s an addiction.

I suck at self care. I am trying to take 5 mins everyday to do ultra-mega-boring things that are good for me. A little “nothing time” is great for busy people who need more brain space for creativity and processing. It’s not quite meditation and it’s not quite exercise. It’s deliberately dull and unappealing. Want to hear how boring I am? Here goes…

Hello my name is Zoe and I like to feel the wind in my hair, gentle walks in the bushland and:

  • Just standing there
  • Just sitting there
  • Listening to my heartbeat
  • Feeling my breath entering my nostrils
  • Staring out the window

Sounds dull huh? You’re probably too busy for this too, yeah? Wrong! Prioritise “nothing time” and let your brain juices flowwwww

Observations on bathroom & hygiene habits

Eco-behavioural change begins with observation. We need to take time to observe our behaviour before we can step through gentle changes. Let’s take a look at our bathroom & hygiene habits:

  • Toiletries: Check your toiletries. Are there double ups? Is anything out of date? What do you use daily? Is anything designed for waste?
  • Ingredients: Are the ingredients mysterious or familiar to you? What’s essential to your needs? What’s going down the drain?
  • Thanks to the animals: Read the label of your favourite products and research their ethical standards. Are there any animal products in the ingredients? Is it tested on animals?
  • Shower time: A shower timer is a healthy reality check. Assess if your water is running for more than 4 mins at a time.

Everybody is different. This set of examples are based on my own personal journey. Is there something unique to you that you’ve observed? Has there been an area that you feel resistant to change? I’d love to hear from you.

Can I bury my face in your high tox shampooed hair?

Do you stink pretty? The further I go with diy and low maintenance beauty, the less perfumes I use. I now water wash my hair, moisturise with olive oil and wear a drop or two of essential oils on my wrists. Past Zoe would have a strong perfume associated with every beauty product. Today, I just smell clean.

I’ve noticed that I now have a visceral reaction to strong perfumes. If someone is wearing a lot of cologne, I get a bit squeamish and want to be as far away from them as possible. I never used to be this way but colognes can now make me cough, and if I’m surrounded by enough of it, a cloud of perfume can give me a migraine.

On the other hand, if someone has freshly washed sweet-smelling hair, it smells so damn good to me that I may hover in the air nose-first towards their delicious mane. Can I bury my face in your high tox shampooed hair? It reminds me of those old ‘Herbal Essence’ shampoos from the 90s. They might have been stripping my hair of its natural oils but it Smells. So. Good.

Rather than creeping out strangers on public transport, maybe I should invest in something to make me stink pretty? My first step is to add essential oils to my basic diy products. Let’s get smelly.

Last night, I fed 15 people a low waste vegan meal for $35

Today, I have an astounding hangover after a fun night away with new friends.

Last night, I fed 15 people a low waste vegan meal for $35. For those not in Australia, that’s *incredibly* cheap. I got a massive bag of field mushrooms, 6 large cans of tomatoes, 5 packets of spaghetti, 1 large jar of olives and a giant zucchini for the price of 10 takeaway coffees. In light of #fashionrevolutionweek, the low price of my food begged the questions #whomademyfood#whogrewmyfood? Were they paid and treated fairly? Nope.

It helps me grow and learn when I call out my own hypocrisy. I like to think that this mindfulness can balance me out and will prevent me from being too pious or evangelical about my lifestyle choices. My purchase was ethical in one way but not in another:
✅ Vegan
✅ Almost plastic free
✅ Some items entirely package free
✅ Meal was for staff and volunteers of a charity working to build resilience in the pacific in light of climate change.
❌ Food purchased at @colessupermarketswho (among other questionable business practices) subsidises their costs through pokie/slot machines
❌ Ingredients were not ethically sourced / Farmers may have not been treated fairly to produce this food
❌ Non organic / GMO food
❌ Spaghetti made by Barilla who also have reeeally messed up ethical standards.

One thing’s for sure: I did not let the red wine go to waste last night. Today, I meditated in the sun because I’ve forgotten to look after myself these past few weeks. Look after your planet, your body, your mind and others each and every day. Be patient with yourself. Forgive yourself. Nobody’s perfect. Especially not me

Earth Day marks the birth of the environmental movement in 1970

Earth Day, fo reals? Silly me, thought everyday was Earth Day.

The Earth Day celebration marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970. This day has had significant impact on uniting people across the political spectrum, raising awareness of environmental sustainability.

This year’s focus has been unsurprisingly, plastic pollution! Let’s work hard to inspire, educate and facilitate change. We got this.