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.


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.


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.


2 people. 1 hour. 6 bags of trash.

2 people. 1 hour. 6 bags of trash.

Thank you @_jameslake for making this a trash party. While ducks quacked and cyclists called out nice things, we found plastic bags, @cocacola @jimbeamofficial@venergydrinkaustralia and beer cans, an empty bottle of Passion Pop, a shoe, a NSW licence plate, a styrofoam box, a large piece of soundproofing foam, a nappy, countless chocolate bar wrappers, chips packets, a pack of @johnsonsbaby baby wipes, a VHS, bottle tops, @mcdonalds cups, sunglasses, a never-ending amount of plastic straws and a whole lot of plastic bottles from @evianwater @mountfranklin and @colessupermarkets. Why do we still buy water in plastic bottles!? How is that acceptable?! So many things are destined for trash… Thank you to everybody that helped with #trashparty. I will certainly do it again, just going to have a little break. Looking at the area, I’m so proud of what we’ve all achieved together in only 5 weeks. Roughly 7 x 120L landfill bins all up!! You guys rock! @annie_walter @_jameslake@ameerkat_47 @_michaelacatherine@suey_g @kalaharihel @hoppingtonpost plus those I don’t have on Insta. What a great ending to @plasticfreejuly


4 people. 1 hour. 7 bags of trash.

4 people. 1 hour. 7 bags of trash.

Thank you @ameerkat_47@_michaelacatherine and Peter for making this a Trash Party. We found a sock, a rubber duckie, a condom wrapper, 2 syringes, 10 golf balls, 3 @cocacola cans, 2 @carmanskitchen wrappers, 4 @mcdonaldscups, 5 beer bottles, a @jackdaniels_us can, lots of broken glass, countless straws (mostly #maccas), an unmanageable amount of plastic bags; and an alarming amount of highly recognisable chocolate wrappers including products from @nestle@cadburyoz and @whittakersnz.

It might be the designer in me speaking here, but the haunting resilience of this vibrant packaging seems like a terrible way to achieve brand awareness. I am hopeful that soon it will be normal for companies to take responsibility for the waste they generate by preventing it at a packaging and product design level.

I don’t believe this waste is created by people disposing of rubbish irresponsibly. It all appeared after the flash floods in December and looks like it’s been carried downstream from neighbouring homes.

To all the companies tagged here: How can we prevent this waste from being generated in the first place?