Small and mighty cleaning set

Minimalism is empowering. This small and mighty set can clean benchtops, windows, grout, carpet, upholstery, leather, wood and fabric stains. Past Zoe had a separate cleaning product for every kind of surface and stain. Today, I have a bicarb shaker and a simple multi-purpose spray made of vinegar + water with a dash of eucalyptus oil.

It now takes us 8 weeks to fill our recycling bin

Zero waste IRL. My partner and I looooove trying different beers and supporting local brewers. The top shelf of our fridge often has a selection of new and old favourites to sample. It’s one of the few remaining items in our lives where we allow ourselves to get excited about the packaging/name of a product.

We recognise that we have a long way to go if we want to be zero waste with beer. We could refill growlers at select outlets, we could make our own, we could drink at the pub and we could simply not drink so much!

Dispute our imperfections, this is an area where we are celebrating progress. It now takes us 8 weeks to fill our recycling bin, when it used to take 2. I’m proud of this progress and I’m so happy to have a partner who is willing to improve on this further.

Change the world by Educating Girls & Family Planning

Imagine if every single human was treated like a valuable resource. That’s truly zero waste, right?

Educating Girls and Family Planning rank 6th & 7th in @projectdrawdown’s 100 most substantive solutions to reverse global warming. Corrections of inequalities was so globally significant that ‘Women’ got its own category in the book. This makes my head spin. Treating people equally could really change the world.

“Suppression and marginalisation along gender lines hurt everyone, while equity is good for all… The difference between a woman with no years of schooling and with 12 years of schooling is almost four to five children per woman…” due to a lack of access to necessary contraception, there are “74 million unintended pregnancies each year” in lower-income countries. The need persists in high-income countries too. “[In US] 45% of pregnancies are unintended.” – Paraphrased from ‘Project Drawdown’

Look after women and girls. Educate them. Give them power. They just might change the world.

Food scraps can become so much more than compost.

The whole range of possibilities was overwhelming and took practice before i had a smooth system in the home. For instance, I’m saving Apple scraps to make homemade apple cider vinegar and after a bit of practice, the vinegar is working really well. But it wasn’t easy to save the scraps in the first place. I went through months of throwing apple cores in the compost and cussing because I’d forgotten that I wanted to save them. I had to ease into this habit.

I’m all about baby steps. My approach to food scraps is the perfect example of new habits growing into wholistic, systematic adoption. I now have 4 freezer bags and a vinegar bottle for saving different types of scraps. Obsessed much? 😂 Here’s how baby steps turned into something bigger:

  • I started by saving vegetable scraps for stock.
  • After that, I kept a bottle of vinegar in the cupboard for citrus peels. When full, it makes orange vinegar.
  • Then, I added a second freezer bag for fruit and mint leaves. When full, I make a batch of iced tea.
  • During apple season, I added a 3rd freezer bag to make apple cider vinegar from scraps. Pictured is the jar used for fermentation and the watered down ACV drink that makes my belly very happy.
  • Lastly, I added a 4th freezer bag for sad vegetables or leftovers that I could blend together to make soup. We’re pretty good at making the right amount of food but this was a good fall back just in case our eyes were bigger than our bellies.

It’s seems like an obsession but this all built up very slowly. It helped that the transition to zero waste left us with a surplus of zip lock bags that needed a permanent use. One freezer bag lasts about 2 years with this system.

It also helps that the result of these little steps are truly delicious drinks/food. My taste buds are stoked.

Curling hair with rags

Raggedy hair! I experimented with offcuts of fabric to curl my hair. It worked! I’ll keep this in mind for special occasions but I‘m waaaay too lazy to do this regularly. Ferk dat. The result wasn’t too far from my natural curls, just a little more structured. Kinda reminded me of my NooNoo’s frizzy curly hair in the 1930s.

Rags and fabric scraps have many uses. I have repurposed cotton rags for cleaning, hair curlers, filters and gift wrap. If big enough, I sometime sew a seam to make my own handkerchief. My mum likes to make patchwork quilts and cushions from offcuts of fabric. Got any other uses for fabric scraps? I’d love to hear more.

Bras Without Wires product review

Support without the wire? Ya huh. Ethical underwear? Oh my yes. Here’s my honest review of @braswithoutwires Marly bra and underwear set:

❤ This bra is supportive, comfortable and flattering. The straps are discreet enough to wear with a strappy singlet. The thick band offers most of the support. I danced all night at a wedding in one of these bras and it was the most reliable coverage. No #nipplegate! The underwear is flattering without being impractical. The little bow detail is adorable. This is a local (to me) brand so I feel very lucky to have a great Aussie label proving itself in a demanding international market.

💛 It arrived in a polyester gift bag and a plastic postage satchel. The bag gave it a nice premium feel and I‘ve been assured that they are using up surplus before moving to a low waste option. On cut: I found the band wasn’t as stretchy as other bras, so I went up a size. I also need to fasten on the front and then spin it around. I have nothing truly negative to say about this product though. I’m really impressed and I intend to buy another soon.

Zero waste formal wear

Zero waste formal wear! I found this silk dress, silk shirt, suit jacket and suede boots second hand.

Dress codes make me comes to terms with my assigned gender. I dread the thought of having to wear a pretty cocktail dress. I feel pressure to buy a whole new outfit for weddings in the same circle of friends. My anxiety about attire has been so obvious that I’ve been warned to “conform to gender norms” for certain weddings. Ugh. It’s so much easier for cis dudes…

With practice and confidence, I have finally worked out how to dress up and still feel authentic. I love this simple silk dress, but I usually prefer to suit up for weddings. I love a suit because I can change the look by swapping the shirt. I even borrowed my friend’s tie for one occasion.

There’s a practical side to this. Wearing pants allows me to dance even more ridiculously than I already do. And that’s what newly-weds want at their wedding, right? A lively dance floor! I dance in a way that guarantees nobody else will feel like a fool if they let loose.

Not everything pictured here is second hand, ethical or zero waste. In contrast to my second hand silk and ethical bag, I’m wearing a fake leather jacket that is basically the epitome of fast fashion. I bought it on impulse 3 years ago. I rarely wear it. I’m not proud of it but I like it over a dress. I’ll hold onto it until I find someone I can pass it on to.

We don’t have to be perfect. Sometimes the best qualities are the desire for self improvement and the willingness to learn and grow… and of course, killer dance moves. Get those knees and elbows in the air.

In this podcast, we talk about behavioural change, Aussie bush, community and what I put in my vagina

Thank you A Sustainable Mind for the lovely chats. In this podcast, we talk about behavioural change, baby steps, growing up in the Aussie bush, the amazing Insta community and talking to relative strangers about what I put in my vagina. Hooray!

The kindest words from Marjorie at A Sustainable Mind:

Zoe and I have been fans of one another’s work for a while and I figured it was time to collaborate 🙂 In this episode we get to know Zoe Jazz, creator of and writer at Ain’t No Planet B, just a little bit better.

If you aren’t already familiar with her work, she is one of my faves for three big reasons:

  • She doesn’t think you are a terrible person if you eat burgers everyday, drive a Jeep or still buy all your clothes new.
  • She understands that all progress takes time and encourages incremental steps to improving your habits (we talk about this throughout the episode)
  • And she makes a point to discuss the psychology of making (eco-friendly) decisions (we also discuss this piece in the episode)

This is a woman that really gets it and I’m an even bigger fan now that I’ve been able to pick her brain.

Thanks Zoe, you rock!

Monbento lunchbox product review

[Product review + Discount code] Thanks @monbento for gifting me this lunch set. Here’s an honest review…

💚 It’s a pretty sleek design. The screw-top bowl is leak free, microwaveable and comes with a spoon that clips onto the lid. I tested it with soup and there were no drips. Very reliable.

💔 It’s plastic (BPA free) and was shipped from overseas wrapped in soft plastic. It’s also brand new which is the opposite of what I’m trying to focus my energy on right now #buynothingnew

💛 Functionally, this is something that can easily be found second hand. I’d recommend @monbento as a gift or for reinforcing personal habits like bringing your own lunch to work. Sometimes a special item can help make new habits stick.

They’ve given me a discount code if anyone would like to try. Type in “AINTNOPLANETB” coupon code to get 10% off on until April 30.

Going zero waste is a behavioural change.

In order to change our behaviour, we need to be self-aware. We gotta be mindful. With mindfulness comes the ability to manage ourselves when external factors come into play.

Let’s make some observations on how sociology impacts the way we behave:

  • Respectful language. Observe the way we talk about the environmental crisis. Is it productive? Are there bouts of anxiety or strain? Is anyone saying “you should…” instead of “have you considered…”?
  • Accept hypocrisy. Are you a vegan cat-owner, a chain-smoking environmental activist or a road-tripping zero waster? Take note of your own imperfections and accept others. We need to reduce polarisation if we’re going to work together.
  • Mental barriers. Do convenience or peer pressure play a part in your behaviour? Do you worry about appearing a certain way? Are you organised? What factors make you less likely to change?
  • Bias. Observe and listen to how we interact, then flip the genders, race or status. Would these individuals get the same response from their peers if they were born differently? Take note of all forms of bias.

Whoah there! We’re nowhere near solutions yet. It’s lovely if you’re eager to jump to actions but it might be counterproductive. I struggle big time with this discipline. I want to brainstorm instead of reflect. Be patient. We’ll get to actions in part 2 of my OOPS principles of behavioural change.

Spoiler alert: We won’t rid the world of discrimination. We won’t achieve world peace. I’m smart but I ain’t THAT smart.