Observations about personal travel habits

Admitting is the first step. Or, to be precise, Mindfulness is 🙂 We need to know where we stand before we know where to step. This means we gotta stop, and just observe ourselves for a bit.

To kick this off, let’s look at our personal travel habits. These questions are intended to get the wheels in motion (pun intended) but it should be customised to your own unique situation/part of the world:

  • A long walk. If you have the luxury of mobility, what’s your perception of a long walk? 15 minute walk? Easy. 30 minute walk? Ugh, I’ll just drive… What’s your limit? Can you build on that?
  • Two wheels. Do you own a bike? Take it for a spin and see how it makes you feel. Do you get anxiety or feel like you’re flying? If it’s the latter, consider flying more 🙂
  • Car. Do you own a car? Does driving involve transporting others? Are you carrying heavy items? Is it a necessity, a luxury or potentially optional?
  • Uber, Taxi & Jet-setting. Look at your bank statement to understand the cost and frequency of these forms of travel. How reliant are you on these modes of transport?
  • Eating To Go. If eating or drinking out, take note of the types of disposable items required to support this. Are any items not essential / destined for immediate waste?
  • Other? Skateboard, scooter, truck, 4wd, horse, tuk tuk, camel… Got other examples of travel? I’d love to hear about it 🙂

Write down your observations and make the conscious decision to NOT change for the time being. Just continue to observe yourself as life happens. We’ll get to actions in part 2: Opportunity. For now, we observe.

Illustration by @_jameslake

Minimalist cleaning

A tea towel and a brush are perfect for cleaning the kitchen and bathroom. They’re also good for drying hands and scrubbing nails, holding hot pots and cleaning boots, playfully whipping siblings and pretending to have a fancy moustache.

Prevent food waste by reusing your fruit scraps

We save fruit scraps in a freezer bag to make iced tea. When the bag is full, I put it in a 2L jug and add a dash of red tea and mint (if we have it). I fill the jug with boiling water, cover, let it sit for a day, strain and compost the scraps. I bottle the warm tea and leave in the fridge for a few hours. The result is a refreshing iced tea, particularly rewarding on a summer day.

Reduce food waste by reusing your fruit scraps | An't no Planet B

Recipe inspiration is from @thugkitchen’s peach iced tea.

Pack mixed nuts instead of museli bars

Zero waste on the go! I used to have two individually-wrapped museli bars a day. I now keep a jar of mixed nuts, dried fruit and chocolates in my bag that I can snack on between meals. This simple habit has prevented me from buying impulse snacks when I’m out and about. It’s great for work, car, flights, picnics, bush walks, camping and walking/riding around the city. I love that it’s easy to share too. This small and mighty jar could bring me one step closer to being the cool guy at the pub when we want something to nibble on.

Low waste basic shit.

Got a light? Use matches instead of lighters. Need to write something down? Use pencils, a fountain pen or your phone instead of plastic pens. Laundry day? Wash on a cold cycle and hang dry instead of using a dryer. Making a cuppa? Favour loose leaf instead of tea bags. Fancy a drink? Favour glass bottles or cans over plastic bottles. Craving fast food? Do what you can to avoid excess napkins, straws, lids, plastic cutlery and bags. Forgot your byo coffee cup? Take a moment to relax and drink your coffee at the cafe. Forgot your byo shopping bags? Cradle what you can in your arms or put the small groceries into your regular bag. Craving a salty snack? Make popcorn.

I’m not perfect with all this. Pens and teabags are still in everlasting supply at home.

We have a pretty diverse tea collection. I’m slowly building up the loose leaf tea by making it myself or shopping at specialty stores. It’s hard to tell, but apparently the majority of tea bags are made from plastic and are not compostable. My mum used to always compost our teabags so I can sense her disapproval if I throw them in landfill 😜. If anyone has any resources, I’d love to know more on this topic.

Being married to an illustrator, we have a never ending stockpile of @sharpie pens. He’s now almost entirely digitised his drawing technique. When the time comes to eventually buy again, I’ll be looking at pencils. Got a brand that you like? I’d love to know if there’s a pencil that can as act a substitute for smooth markers.

Future sourdough bread

Future sourdough bread, sealed with beeswax wrap. I’m still mastering the art of bread making and I love that we’ve always got a sourdough baby on its way to bread town. The recipe for this involves 3 days of incremental steps – it’s a bit much for an Instagram post. With almost 2000 followers (gulp! Thank you!) I’ve finally come to the conclusion that Insta is not scalable. For ease of reference, I’m slowly adding recipes and learnings to my upcoming website.

I’ve been a little reluctant to have a website, to be honest – there’s so many zero waste blogs out there. I don’t want to add more of the same content. Plus my pet peeve is seeing ‘click bait’ style Instagram posts.I vow to never start with a rhetorical question and finish with “click the link in my bio to find out!”.

That’s just not for me. Nope nope nope… My manifesto is to make it EASY for others to see what I’ve learnt, understand my new mindset and forge their own path. I will still continue to make each post here as detailed as needed. I truly hope my website can offer something different. If there’s any parts of my journey/zero waste that you’d like to hear more about, please reach out. I’d love to hear from you.