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


An environmentalist pet owner is an oxymoron

I am a domestic animal. I sleep in a bed inside a house. I have regulated meal times. I am well trained. I get anxiety. The council knows where I live. There is a system in place if I misbehave. I suppress my instincts. My population growth is out of control. There is a system for where my poo goes. I am not to allowed pee on everything.

I think an environmentalist pet owner is an oxymoron. Domestic animals create a major environmental impact in Australia. We are aware of our dog’s carbon footprint, meat-based dietary requirements, food/medical packaging and the native fauna that he terrorises or deters. We’re equally aware of the fur therapy, companionship, sense of purpose and mental wellbeing he gives us.

Our mental health is paramount. Early on, we assessed what aspects of our lives bring us joy. We decided not to change these things when going zero waste. Our dog, Toki, is here to stay. After this, we’ll probably get another dog. Let’s not be too hard on ourselves. Let’s just improve where we can with patience, forgiveness and mindfulness.

How we apply zero waste principles to our doggo:

  • Second hand / street find bed, toys and accessories.
  • Apply local context to meat consumption ie Kangaroo in Australia (we avoid beef/pig/lamb).
  • Reuse paper bags for poo and put the whole thing in the compost (we call this our ‘yucky’ compost which is not for growing food).
  • Favour toys that are indestructible such as Kong.
  • Put fur in compost after brushing/sweeping/vacuuming.
  • Package free peanut butter in a Kong toy for chew treats. – Use dog food pellets and bananas as training treats.
  • Share leftovers when it’s nutritionally beneficial.
  • Package free vegan ‘pigs ears’ for dental treats.
  • Favour 3 month worming/flea tablets over monthly skin treatment to avoid extra packaging.
  • Use package free dog wash.
  • Respect dog rules when bushwalking. – Manage/prevent breeding.
  • Invest in health / training.
  • Monitor closely or contain to our home.

Our species is partly defined by our creativity.

There was a time when humans would dine and draw together. We’d share stories, impart wisdom and teach the ways of the world.

My partner and I have introduced a bit of drawing into our evenings. We don’t have kids (or wisdom to impart), so creative play is a habit we try to consciously adopt. No Tv is fine by me. Instead, we draw plans for the future, explain concepts or creepishly draw each other drawing!

I truly believe all humans are capable of drawing (…as well as singing and dancing). Our species is partly defined by our creativity. We might not be the best illustrators, but most of us can demonstrate concepts through mark-making. It’s a good practice to exercise our abilities in cognition, problem-solving and innovation. If you’re lucky enough to have full mobility and people to dine with, try a shared drawing session. Flex these muscles! For extra brownie points, use scrap paper and a pencil.

Check out this inspirational Aboriginal rock art in Kakadu. The first pic is a cave drawing above a sitting area. Some of these drawings are up to 20,000 years old.

Long live this beautiful tradition.

Oh, how I wish to live in a cave…