Buy nothing new

Next year, I’d like to officially buy nothing brand new. As part of transitioning to zero waste, we’ve hardly bought any new goods. We bought a new @dyson vacuum cleaner after a series of second hand fails. We’ve also bought new metal containers and beeswax wraps to support our new zero waste lifestyle. All clothes purchased this year are second hand – more significantly is that I need less stuff in general.

Peddling to work

Riding a bike feels like flying. If I was going to fly to work, I had to overcome my insecurities about appearances. Do I wear my work clothes and rough them up? How do I handle wet weather? Do I need to wear sports attire and get changed? Where would I change? Am I going to get all sweaty? Do I feel comfortable with colleagues seeing me before I’ve had a chance to change? Are there showers at work? Do I feel comfortable using the showers? Am I fit enough?

Zero waste gets easier

Zero waste can be hard. I’m lucky to have so many stores to choose from, and even then, it’s really hard (but it does get easier). Well done to everyone making that little extra effort, changing 5 mins of your day, or just being conscious of where to improve. You’re on a path to an eco-centric life. You’re doing great.

Harriet Hubbard Ayer make up compact

Look what I found at an antique store! A compact make up case that perfectly suits the powdered foundation I’ve been wearing. Life without packaging can pose some practicality challenges… I’ve been getting powder ERRYWHERE!

I wish there was a greater representation of traditional cultures.

A little bit in love with this bush-dyed cotton tea towel. The dyes are created from native Australian plants, which makes me inspired to try it myself one day.

@aboriginal_bush_traders has the most incredible indigenous food, art & designs. It broadened my understanding of Aboriginal Art and built on my awareness of native bush foods. I took some quick snaps of the store but I forgot to get a shot of their teas and spices (which was mostly packaged in plastic). I wish there was more native bush tucker available at bulk food stores and a greater representation of Aboriginal cultures in general. I’m inspired by what we learnt.


Zero waste is an ideology, not an absolute

This is a message for my friends & lovers and for anyone that feels overwhelmed instead of inspired: I am not zero waste. No one is. I have only *reduced* my waste. Zero waste is an ideology, not an absolute. I am a climate change optimist but I still forget to say “no straw”. I still get uber eats when I’m too darn exhausted to cook or think. I still shop at @colessupermarkets when I can’t keep up with the level of organisation required to go to a package free shop. I still drink beer in cans and bottles because it makes me happy. I still eat burgers and fast food because friends come before ideologies. I still sneak some free food at work that is wrapped in plastic because I’m lazy. I still haven’t transitioned to plastic-free meat and dairy because it’s really really hard. I sometimes see rubbish on the ground and begrudgingly walk by. I still waste uneaten food because I’m a tiny human and servings are often way too much for me.
It’s been easy to feel overwhelmed. I need to remind myself that even with all these zero waste fails. I’ve reduced my waste significantly. I want you to feel inspired, rather than overwhelmed. Some people choose to focus on being ethical, vegan or humanitarian and this just happens to be my area of focus.If you’d like to also focus on zero waste, my advice is this: Change 5 mins of your regular day to zero waste. Take away coffee? Brushing your teeth? Travel? Change one thing, and settle with that until it feels normal. Then change another teeny tiny thing… Better yet, tell me about these tiny changes so we can celebrate them together.

Nobody should ever feel guilty about being brought up in a world where waste is normal. It’s not our fault and we can’t be expected to change without support from the wider community. You’re doing the best you can.

Big love, from little Z.

Something that should be talked about more

Something that should be talked about more is zero waste protective sex. How can we prevent getting pregnant without buying single-use plastic packaging or pumping our bodies full of hormones?
Motivated by zero waste and health reasons, I decided to go off the birth control pill. I’d been on the pill for almost 15 years. That’s half my life and basically all of my adult life. My hormones are slowly starting to balance out again, but I’m left with a lack of options for the sexy time… Bar in the arm? No way.

I’m done with hormones. Barbed wire in the snatch? There’s no way I’m putting a piece of metal in my taco. No thank you… Get the snip? Sure!! But that’s super invasive and doctors have tried to deter us because they believe we’re too young (we’re both 30). So, what do we do!? We play it as safe as possible for as long as we can and then finally resort to buying these… At this point, we’re seeing condoms as part of ‘medical’ plastics. I’d love to hear how others approach this.

Thanks to @simplyzerowaste for bringing up this topic earlier in the week.

Zero waste birthday tokens

This is an epic 30th birthday present of individual experiences from some truly generous, incredible people. @_jameslake has been working hard and deserves a holiday so we’ve all pitched in to give him a trip to the stunning red centre of Australia: Uluru, Alice Springs, Kings Canyon.

Each token is an experience/travel item given to him from different people (coordinated via a simple spreadsheet). These tokens were attached to props/clues (that we already had in the house) to add the element of mystery and give him something to unwrap.

The wrapping was made of paper bags that we had hoarded over the last couple of years + some sticky tape in lieu of string. He seemed to enjoy carefully unwrapping each gift and trying to guess what each experience was.

Happy birthday @_jameslake shine on you crazy diamond