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.


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.

Quality flour + Clean water = Freedom

I want to fill my life with as much creative play as possible. Making, experimenting and trying new things is good for our souls. Doing this together strengthens bonds and has the potential to build ritual and knowledge from tasks.

Together is better. We’ve been practising making tortillas, mountain bread, sour dough and naan bread. By shifting dinner from a task to a shared ritual, we’ve change our mindset from “I can’t be bothered cooking” to “let’s cook together”. Being surrounded by modern conveniences, I had lost touch with this way of living.

Quality flour + clean water = freedom. If my partner and I can make these things well, then we‘ll no longer value convenience. Instead, we’ll value quality, core ingredients. It will be more affordable. It will be nutritionally better for us. It will help us tap into traditional cultures and connect with our collective history. It will enrich our lives. It’s a win win win.


Eating kangaroo for environmental reasons.

I haven’t eaten cow, pig or lamb in almost 10 years. Plus, I’ve hardly eaten any meat in the last couple of months. I’m practically vegetarian. I listen to my body and it rewards me when I feed it an occasional piece of quality meat. I’ll aim to eat anything that has a neutral-positive effect on the Australian environment but I still have much to learn. My approach comes with naive hope that Australia will:

  • Favour consumption of over-populated pests;
  • Build up the population of native wildlife through consumer demand; and
  • Reduce meat consumption overall.

No more binge eating 3-4 types of meat from animals that can’t withstand drought. No more “throw another shrimp on the barbie” or highly televised lamb advertisements in the lead up to Australia day. No more “you don’t make friends with salad”. Respect, diversity and control.

Introduced species such as rabbit, camel and water buffalo are over-populated and problematic for our native wildlife. If they were a popular meat, maybe our native flora and fauna would be slightly better off?

Australia has a lush selection of edible plants and tasty native meats such as emu, wallaby, kangaroo and crocodile. Cruelty aside, if we were farming more natives, surely that’s a better use of agricultural land compared to cattle, pig and sheep farming? It could reduce soil salinity, irrigation and land clearing. Maybe the cattle farmers would maintain employment. Maybe more of our land can be focused on re-wilding initiatives and greater biodiversity.

Supporting any form of monoculture (cow, cotton, soy, etc) can have detrimental effects on the environment. I’m not saying this approach is perfect. It’s just another way to look at conscious consumerism. 🙃

For Aussies: Kangaroo steak can be found at @colessupermarkets and @woolworths_au in the ‘Game meat’ section. Occasionally, we can find rabbit, duck and camel too. These are NOT sold package free. Markets and boutique butchers sometimes have alternative meats where you could try to byo container (still working up the courage to do this myself).

I believe that purchasing alternative food is a vote in favour of diversity. 🐄🐖🐑🐓


By demand: Why am I not vegan?

My dietary requirement is “vegetarian-preference / no onion”. By demand, here’s your “Why isn’t she vegan?” post 😜

Our household has three humans and a dog 😀🙃🤓🐺. One of us is diabetic. By eating more nuts, mushrooms and leafy greens, all three humans have reduced their meat/dairy intake significantly. I take a non-pious, anti-evangelical approach to environmentalism. This is why I will never tell a friend what they should/shouldn’t eat or how their plastic product is polluting our planet. I maintain a positive, supportive stance, forever learning from others. Ensuring psychological safety is paramount.

When I cut out major meat consumption 8 years ago, I decided to only boycott beef, lamb and pig. This way, my partner (who is such a great cook that he should be a chef #justsayin) can still experiment with different cooking styles. If he wants to cook red meat, we have kangaroo. One dose of red meat per week seems to work well. I’m ok with this low level of consumption.

I eat butter, eggs, cheese and occasionally ice cream. I do prefer vegan butter but not as much as I love my mates. We all drink soy milk because it prevents food waste.

Why I’m not vegan or vegetarian:

  1. Onion-free vegetarian food is hard to come by (chicken or fish is often the low-onion option at restaurants).
  2. I love my husband.
  3. I love cheese. It’s one thing my family can bond over.
  4. I want to support diversity in meat consumption ie kangaroo & emu to reduce soil salinity and rabbit, buffalo and camel to keep numbers down.
  5. I’ve learnt that it’s easier to be zero waste if you’re vegan. I am inspired to find a way to make meat/dairy more inclusive to zero waste living.
  6. I don’t believe in absolutes.

💚 Thanks to the increasing awareness of Fodmap diets, I’m able to reduce my chicken and fish intake. Thanks to the growing popularity of kangaroo meat, I’m able to support this farming practice. Thanks to inspiring vegan friends, I’m aware of how to balance nutrition for a low meat / high exercise lifestyle.


Oil should never go down the drain.

Zero waste shame: I used to pour oil down the sink because I didn’t know what I was supposed to do with it. Officially, it’s recommended that household oil is stored in a container and then thrown in the bin. At waste management centres, this is analysed for hazardous liquid. After it’s deemed non-hazardous, often the whole thing (including the container) is put in landfill. .

💚 Solution: I now put oil in dirt. Dirt soaks up oil and the two work together to create a dry matter that I can eventually add to compost. The more dirt, the better. We have limited garden space so I have a pot on my balcony with soil in it. It’s perfect for disposing of oil. Over time, I’ll mix it in with the compost/plants and start a fresh pot of soil. This whole process means that I can reuse/recycle the glass jar.

We also try to consume as much as we can before throwing it away. This particular oil from @meredithdairy cheese is great for salads, risotto and omelettes.

This process works best with only a teensy bit of oil added at a time. If you’re trying this out in a pot, check garden forums to ensure that you’ve got the right balance of soil/oil.


One million dollaridoos is destroyed every hour.

Why is Australian money always crisp? Australia’s damaged bank note policy!! One million dollaridoos is destroyed every hour. It’s shredded and melted into pebbles of plastic reused to make building components, plumbing fittings, compost bins and other household and industrial products.

🏦From the reserve bank: “The Reserve Bank of Australia aims to have only good quality banknotes in circulation. This helps to maintain confidence in Australia’s currency by making it easier for people to check the security features on banknotes and make it more difficult for counterfeits to be passed or remain in circulation.
The Reserve Bank works with authorised deposit taking institutions (ADIs) and cash centre operators to remove damaged banknotes from circulation as soon as practicable.”

Something about this feels really conflicting to me. I like that our money is kept as secure as possible. I don’t like how much is being wasted, but happy to hear that’s it’s reduced since the 1990s. I like that our polymer money is easier to recycle, compared to paper money. I don’t like the inefficiency and futility of this as a workflow. Because our money is so familiar, it makes me question everything around me. What else is being deliberately destroyed for the sake of newness? Are there similar policies overseas?

One million dollaridoos is destroyed every hour.
One million dollaridoos is destroyed every hour.