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The rise of Eco- chic


There have always been many misconceptions about “sustainable lifestyles” and “eco- friendly living”. One of which is the mental image of an “earth lover” being that of a dread- locked, unshowered, hemp-pants-wearing hippy. And although there is absolutely nothing wrong with these personal life choices, it is naturally off- putting to the average person. And not what most would call an aspirational lifestyle.


What has evolved over time with the zero waste movement is the promotion of a gentler, more thoughtful lifestyle which takes into account the impact of our every day actions on the planet. I’m happy to call single use items (including fast fashion) UN-fashionable and OFF- trend. Just think- a handful of flimsy plastic bags vs a pretty cotton tote; a stainless steel water bottle vs a plastic disposable one; slowing down to have your coffee in a cafe or remembering your keep cup; a wardrobe filled with lovingly-found and cared-for second hand designer and thrifted items, and locally/ sustainably made clothes- vs a pile of fast fashion polyester made in dubious work conditions.

I no longer aspire to have the latest clothing or accessories, or to “keep up with the Jonses”. I have no plans to join the Rat Race. Others may dream of one day earning more money, having more designer clothes, owning faster cars, having a bigger house. Instead, I dream of owning less- my ultimate dream would be to get to the point where my possessions can fit in a suitcase, to not own a car (but to get my dream Tokyo Bike instead!), and to fit 2 adults and 2 rabbits in a smaller house. 


I love that my life is now made up of lots of little tiny beautiful moments that I attribute to going zero waste. Even mundane things like cleaning the toilet (with home made toilet cleaner) or flossing my teeth (with biodegradable bamboo floss packaged in cardboard) “spark joy” for me. I feel like I’ve been asleep for the most of my life, mindlessly consuming plastic and destroying the planet and thinking I was fashionable when I was anything but. I’m still coming to terms with my former life, and my penance includes trying to use up all my pre zero waste makeup when all I really want to do is to rub beetroots onto my cheeks and call it a day.
Aspirationally beetroot-cheeked,
Lisa xx

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The quest for zero waste beauty: part 2


Hair removal is a personal choice, and I deeply admire the people out there who embrace their natural state. One could argue that now that I’m married and older perhaps I should relax a bit- you know, because no one’s looking, and they definitely ain’t buying- but it turns out that I actually do these things for myself and no one else. I don’t think it’s a form of female oppression, mainly because my hobbies include smashing the patriarchy with suspiciously smooth legs.

Laser hair removal

Bea Johnson of Zero Waste Home had everything lasered off, and I thought that I would go down that path too. Turns out it is quite a commitment, both in time, money and pushing pain thresholds. Also, depending on your colouring and hair follicle size and colour, it may not be safe or  give you the results you want. It’s also a winter activity, unless you want to spend your summer with your skin covered up. I’m on the fence about this one, but armpits are a good spot to start if you’re looking to dabble- inexpensive, doesn’t hurt and super quick to do.

There is the aspect of skin inflammation after each treatment though, and the itching can get intense. I went through a lot of anti-histamine, paracetamol and ibuprofen to get me through my sessions. So it’s not entirely zero waste, and also proves that I’m a gigantic wuss.

Shaving

My go to. I use a stainless steel razor that I bought new from Men’s Biz (a shaving supppy store that now have real stores in Melbourne and Sydney)- a Merkur model that based on online reviews was the best for beginners and ladies. Other people have found them second hand, and now they seem to be available everywhere- even Aesop stock one now.

Surprisingly, the learning curve wasn’t steep at all. When I first started I lived in fear of cutting myself and bleeding to death in the shower, but it never happened. Because the razor is heavy, and the blade very sharp, the best way to use it is to not press down into skin, but just to let the razor’s own weight determine the pressure and glide along the skin. I’ve used bulk conditioner, almond/ olive oil and bar soap as shaving creams- and I think my favourite is a good soap lather. I’ve recently started using an alum stone (the same one I use as deodorant) on any nicks or burns to help them heal faster.

If you make sure to dry out the razor between uses, I think one blade can easily last up to a year. At the moment I collect spent blades and keep them in a little tin- apparently you can take them for scrap metal recycling and a big magnet sucks them up, so it’s still safe. Yet to test this out yet, so please tell me if it’s wrong.

The razor also looks so beautiful in my bathroom, and each time I use it it feels like a wonderful ritual. When I bought it it came with at least 20 spare blades, so I suspect I’m set for life. I still have an old plastic razor that is many years old, that I use exclusively for travel- mainly because the idea of trying to get through security check points with a razor blade fills me with dread.
Threading

I get my eyebrows shaped and upper lip threaded, and the waste generated is one cotton thread- so not too terrible. It doesn’t hurt but it is something that most people will find weird at first. I’ve been getting my face threaded since my teens, so it’s pretty normal for me. The service is available at a lot of brow bars nowadays, costs about $20-25, and lasts perhaps 6 weeks. 

I tweeze in between using gold plated tweezers purchased in Vietnam 10 years ago, that apparently will last a lifetime- and they’re so much more precise than Tweezerman. Also because I’m a cheapskate trying to make my brow threads last πŸ™‚
Sugaring/ waxing

I still have some wax and resuseable fabric strips from pre-zero waste days, but I use it so rarely. There are lots of recipes available for sugaring, and curiosity and fomo will eventually get the better of me, and I will have to try it. I’m sure the results will be hilarious.

I also used to buy disposable razors specifically to shave my entire face, because a Japanese YouTube blogger once told me to. But let’s not dwell on that too much.
Vaguely presentable,

Lisa x

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The quest for zero waste beauty: part 1


I have always had a complex relationship with my looks. Growing up in an extended Vietnamese family meant that no one shied away from making comments about your appearance, e.g “Your face is ugly”, “your hair is too thick”, “what’s wrong with your nose?”. In primary school I would get picked on for having lips that were too big, teeth that were too white, eyes that were too big for an Asian, for being too tall, for being too skinny… Really. 

Little did I know that one day I would grow into my “ugly” looks, and would spend a lot of time being prodded and examined by members of the Asian community and told that I looked “mixed”- basically the highest compliment you can receive as an Asian is being told that you don’t look Asian at all. It’s like a feat of evolution. I wish I could have told my thirteen year old self that I had nothing to worry about, but unfortunately I had already discovered teen magazines that were very efficient in fanning the fire of inadequacy.

Enter the years of drying out my poor skin with supermarket cleansers, sticking my finger into every pot at The Body Shop, and eating way too much lip gloss. I actually loathed true make up deep down, and still remember leaving the Clinique counter in tears before my year 12 formal after seeing what my face looked like fully made up, and was inconsolable until my mum wiped it all off for me. 

I spent the first few years of uni make up free, after chopping off my hair in an attempt to look “more professional”- Turns out my hair being short just meant “more Asian Afro”. I started experimenting with make up after starring in a short film written and directed by a friend- turns out I’m really bad at fake-crying on demand over a fake grave on a green screen. Never again.

I actually started off with a good small beauty capsule, which after all this time I’m desperately trying to pare back to: One foundation/ one powder/ 2 shades of blush/ 2 lipsticks/ one eye shadow. Disappointingly I started earning money, and then Michelle Phan happened on YouTube and things got really out of hand.

I’ve spent the past few years lugging 2 baskets filled with make up products around the country and it is depressing, especially since I only have one face. I now get really excited when I use up a product and can add it to my TerraCycle collection box. I wish someone had told me years ago that it takes AGES to use up ONE product- e.g one lipstick lasts one year if used almost daily!

It’s now complicated by my aim for zero waste, sustainably- packaged, ethical make up, and desire for a minimalist make up wardrobe. There are so many products I want to try, but I have to patiently wait for my current stash to be used up. But as things start to dwindle, I’ve been able to start dabbling in some gorgeous options out there- and suddenly putting make up on is a source of joy as each product has been lovingly chosen and considered.

  • Besamme cake mascara– I use this with an old mascara wand- I basically just wet the brush then rub the cake to get product on it. It’s not waterproof
  • Silicone make up sponge– I’ve used the same old Beauty Blender sponge for… about 4 years now. I’ve been meticulous in washing and drying it, but it’s definitely on its last legs. The silicone takes some getting used to, and I must admit I’m not quite there yet
  • Sun and Earth zinc day cream– this is made in Australia with east coast surfer girls in mind, and smells like chocolate. It contains beeswax so is pretty water proof, making it perfect for summer adventures. I’ve recently started using it as a daily BB cream now it’s getting warmer. It’s a very solid consistency (which is great for travel), and doesn’t feel too greasy or break me out. It only comes in one colour which luckily suits me fine
  • Concealer– Neurosurgery= deep dark grey eye bags. Concealer is a must. This pot must be nearly 10 years old, and hasn’t actually “gone off”. Like I mentioned before- make up takes forever to completely use up. When this finishes I’ll be looking for a zero waste alternative
  • Lip and cheek tint- RMS. Glass container with a metal lid, a little goes a really long way. This pot is 2 years old…

Eventually coming to peace with the face and body I was born with has also helped curb the desire to purchase every “life changing” plastic product out there. A huge factor in true beauty lies in self- acceptance- every thing else is just an optional accessory and Instagram fodder.

Stay beautiful,

Lisa xx 

Put your money where your mouth is


  At the beginning of this zero waste journey I was very gung ho- I had done a massive declutter of our house, held a garage/ yard sale and market stall to get rid of some stuff, then sent my (now husband) to the local charity store with a car boot full of stuff that didn’t sell. 

  It felt pretty good at the time, and I thought I was being a global citizen or something by not throwing out my old stuff and sending it to landfill- but then the reality set in- *what* exactly happens to the stuff you send to the charity shop? Does it all get sold, does it get thrown out, does it automatically go to people in need.

  After a week or so of feeling guilty, I emailed the charity store in question- not with enquiries as to where donated goods go, but to set up an interview for a volunteer position at the store itself (almost like going under cover). 

  It wasn’t glamarous. I started out pushing in bins filled with old clothes, into which I dove in head first to retrieve items. Then there was the mind numbing but oddly comforting process of colour coding all the clothes for sale. I progressed quickly because I have a knack for what’s deemed “quality” and “fashionable” (read: what will sell in store), started dressing the mannequins and doing the in store displays, and even choosing and pricing garments to sell.

What I learned:

  • As soon as a donation drops, it gets very quickly sorted into piles– very good quality to sell straight away in store; ok quality to send to one of the smaller stores; and “rag it”- think old sweatpants and motheaten jumpers- possibly to be turned into rags, but more likely to end up in landfill somewhere (be it here, or Africa)
  • Plus size clothing is highly revered, and no matter how horrendous or odd quality the item is, it will make it to the floor
  • There are way too many punch bowls, fondue sets and soup tureens in the world- please stop buying them new and end the post Christmas madness
  • Being forced to interact with rude people is very painful. People would come in and point out things to you on the shelf saying they could buy something like that at Target for less. Not the point, buddy
  • A LOT OF THE STUFF YOU DROP OFF TO YOUR LOCAL CHARITY STORE GOES STRAIGHT INTO THE BIN. Actually- it’s a gigantic dumpster and we have to pay someone to pick it up and dump it in landfill. As well- meaning as it is to give us half-used deodorant sticks and McDonalds happy meal toys, there is finite storage space for donated items.
  • People really really like to dump their rubbish on the steps of charity stores because it makes their problem “go away”, but they choose to do it in the dead of night. There is no “away”- especially when someone else is standing in the pouring rain peeling your old holey t shirts off the concrete early in the morning, next to the very obvious sign that says “no dumping”
  • The 20 extra copies of Jodie Picoult’s “my sister’s keeper” every charity store gets likely goes straight into the bin. Ditto for the Da Vinci Code. (I used to rescue the books and hide them back in the storage pile in the back room, because I can’t stand seeing books being thrown away- but they always somehow managed to get thrown out by somebody else on my day off)

My time working in a charity store was a real eye opener. I felt like it was a penance for all those years of fast fashion and impulse buying that I would spend my free time elbow deep in someone else’s discarded clothes. Eventually, the horrible waste and throwaway culture I was witnessing was too much to bear. I would rescue small things like tea tins etc from the dumpster to bring home because they were useful to me (if not to anyone else), but I couldn’t bring home a world’s worth of waste (and it would have defeated the purpose of decluttering in the first place).

I felt like I had served my hard time after a while and called it quits, mainly because being at the frontline of our throwaway culture really takes its toll. But I did experience first hand that charity shops get inundated with discarded items, and in all honesty there were some days where I didn’t want your old clothes at all, because we had so many on the shop floor there was no rail space, I sometimes ran out of coat hangers, and all the rag bags were full. 

This is a reminder to purchase mindfully, and also donate mindfully. 

There is no “away”,

Lisa x

Zero waste healthy habits for the distressed and on-call

There’s a Daft Punk song with the words “we’re up all night to get lucky.” My neurosurgical buddies and I used to sing that to each other because it some how made going through 72 hour periods of minimal sleep or rest sort of ok, and kind of amusing. I’m not sure what we deemed as “getting lucky”– an extradural haematoma, maybe?

  One thing I get asked about a lot is how I maintain a healthy lifestyle whilst working a job that is definitely not conducive to healthy habits. Picture this- the majority of my colleagues, after years of sleep deprivation and work stress, have survived on caffeine, sugar hits from the nurses’ station, whatever passes as “lunch” from the hospital cafe (hot chips and white bread), 3am on call fast food runs, sugary energy drinks (sometimes for breakfast), up and go drinks (filled with sugar), and have little to no regular exercise regimen. After a few years most develop the “neurosurgical pot-belly”- a combination of chocolate, alcohol, high cortisol levels leading to central adipose tissue deposition- useful for when you run out of hands to hold a head still, not so useful when it means that your life may be plagued with chronic disease.

  I believe that with a tiny bit of planning, eating a mostly healthy and sustainable diet is achievable for everyone. I say this as someone who works weird hours, does on call, works weekends, is up by 5am and sleeps 4-5 hours a night. And has a husband who lives in a different state. If I had a 9-5 job with every weekend off my head would be spinning- I would probably have to get into politics to fill up all that spare time πŸ˜‰

  

  1. Meal planning is key- I’ve been meal planning for 2 years now and it’s really useful. It avoids food waste, and stops me from impulse buying. I work on the 80/20 (or sometimes 90/10 if I’m feeling pretentious) rule- 80% of meals are clean. That means if you have 3 meals a day, then about 3- 4 meals in a week are not as “clean”- this can range from eating white bread and potatoes to eating fried tasty things at the local burger joint. If you have 2 snacks a day- then it works out to two naughty snacks in a week (see also: vegan chocolate dipped soft serve). I think 100% clean would drive anyone crazy, and you’re more likely to stick to eating well if you actually *plan* to eat something tasty. I black those meals out on my meal plan and I don’t think beyond that! This also prevents you from being that annoying health conscious person when going out for dinner
  2. Keep staples on hand so that in the event of Armageddon (or being on call 4 out of 5 days) you will still be able to nourish yourself. I keep gluten free grains in the pantry, freeze cooked brown rice portions for easy microwaving. I keep some canned beans around, until I can make enough room in my freezer to freeze home made glass jars of beans. There’s always at least some potatoes and veggies in the fridge- it’s not going to be pretty but will feed you. 
  3. Vegetable box deliveries- I’ve written about this habit shift before. Just because I can’t go prancing around at my local farmers market in my vintage sun dress every Sunday due to work commitments doesn’t mean I can’t still eat local, organic produce. 
  4. Be a creature of habit- every week I prep the same things- home made almond milk, protein smoothie for post gym breakfasts, Bircher muesli,  green smoothie, a vegetable soup or stew, a “put together” meal like Vietnamese salad rolls or Buddha bowls, maybe something carb heavy like a grain salad or vegan gluten free pasta dish. This means plenty of left overs for lunches and that I’m not slaving away in the kitchen all the time. Occasionally I’ll make a sweet treat in bulk- like bliss balls, protein cookies, gluten free muffins, vegan raw slices, clean peanut butter cups. I once made hummus- like… 15 months ago πŸ™‚
  5. Have your go to healthy snacks- I always have an apple in my bag and a couple of bliss balls. I’ve started bringing home made pop corn and kale chips, sometimes I’ll have a green smoothie as a snack, or a home made matcha latte made with bulk ingredients. Needless to say my work bag is mostly snacks and a water bottle
  6. Drink lots of water- work is really dehydrating and it’s so easy to forget to drink. Most times when we’re hungry we’re actually just thirsty. Carry water with you and sip it between clinic patients and operating cases- thank me later.
  7. Be unapologetic about eating well. I’ve drunk my green smoothie at xray meetings, bring out my glass container of Bircher muesli at coffee rounds, eat green beans whilst handing over. Getting any micronutrients in anywhere and anytime you can is really important
  8. Pack your lunch. If people at work steal your lunch routinely- put an “eat vegan” sticker on your box to throw them off the scent. Because no body wants to be associated with the weird hippy vegan πŸ™‚ It saves so much money and is so much better for you. Case in point: I’m pretty sure I’ve saved up for my house deposit independently just by making my own food for 1 year
  9. Time your meals better- I plan higher carb meals on days where I know I’m doing a lot of cardio or lifting heavy, because I need the extra energy and also need it for muscle repair.
  10. Eat mostly plants. I’m not a crazy preachy vegan, but including lots of vegetables with every meal and having whole fruit as snacks is so important. I have a colleague who has a coffee to go with a sweet danish or croissant everyday as his breakfast. Don’t be that guy. That guy crashes from all that sugar and refined carbs mid morning and struggles to survive the day and almost dies from stress and fatigue and worries about his exponential weight gain. And then craves greasy burgers and fries and beer. Don’t be that guy.

Most important of all- eating well isn’t all about getting rock hard abs and becoming instafamous. It’s about eating right to fuel the life you want to lead. I know I need tons of energy during the day to get through work and long operating days and repair my brain, I need micronutrients to prevent me from getting sick, I need protein to recover from gym sessions. I want to live for as long as I can before I have to deal with a “lifestyle disease”. I don’t want to be the person who has a heart attack on the treadmill at 40 because I’ve realised too late that I need to “get healthy” for the new year.

Also- my food prep is mostly zero waste so it’s a bit of a no brainer for me. And eating mostly plants makes it pretty easy and natural to eat package free.
May the meal prep be with you,
Lisa x

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Boxing Day part deuxΒ 


I find Boxing Day sales somewhat grotesque.

For a number of years now I’ve avoided Boxing Day sales (equivalent to Black Friday sales in the US) like the plague- the hot, sweaty scrum of people in claustrophobic shopping centres being brainwashed that $10 off something you would never have bought not on sale is an absolute bargain- especially if that item is not your style or something that you will only wear a couple of times.

I like reading about the origins of Boxing Day- a day for house servants to go home to visit family, a day for people to box up leftovers for others to take home, or a day to give to charity or volunteer (I famously told my teacher at age 7 that Boxing Day exists so you can punch people and not get in trouble for it– explains a lot.). It leads into this funny little pocket at the tail end of the outgoing year where you can take a bit of time and take a breath before launching into the new year all guns blazing. 

This year I spent Boxing Day revelling in my small summer capsule wardrobe, filled with vintage one off pieces and sustainably sourced silk. I decluttered, spent time with family, and took things really slow. The past few years we’ve tried to include the beach and cockling into our own Boxing Day tradition, as well as a spot of surfing. I went on an email unsubscribing spree, started a podcast on slow living and looked into volunteering opportunities for 2017.

Things to do on Boxing Day (and avoid the sales)

  1. Shop your closet– I think it’s the perfect time to re-evaluate your wardrobe and donate things you no longer love or wear, and to change your clothes to suit the season, and identify things that need cleaning or mending. More often than not I’ll find an item I had forgotten about but that I love and that fills me with more joy than running around in the heat sweating and carrying multiple plastic bags filled with new clothes. I’m not a minimalist, but I create a capsule wardrobe for each season- this helps me identify pieces I truly love and are versatile, and helps weed out things that no longer work for me- it’s a slow mindful process that eventually (hopefully) results in a wardrobe of things I love dearly.
  2. Clean the house, declutter and donate– based on Asian new year traditions, giving your home a deep clean before the new year arrives helps you have a fresh start, and makes room for all the happy vibes
  3. Spend time with family, have long lunches, lazy suppers and all those tasty snack times in between
  4. Take a bath, or go to the beach
  5. Read a book 
  6. Reflect on the year that has passed, and set some new intentions for the next phase
  7. Do some gardening, plan your garden schedule for the year ahead
  8. Watch a movie at the cinema (definitely an Australian Boxing Day “thing” to do)
  9. Have a nap. Or do some yin yoga- which is basically a stretchy nap…
  10. Eat all of the leftover mince pies so in reality there is nothing to send home in boxes with anyone. Because you have scoffed them all.

No pie for you,
Lisa x

Boxing Day De-Clutter- Wishing for less


As usual, 3+ months between blog posts seems like a long time. I’ve actually been trying to “unplug” a lot the past few months, so many apologies for not replying to comments on both this blog, Facebook and Instagram. It warms the cockles of my heart that more and more people are choosing a zero waste lifestyle, and are seeking out others on the same journey. Makes me smile every time.

This year I have tried to live more intentionally (as fruity as it may sound), be more sustainable in my choices, and have tried to slow my life down as much as possible (which- if you knew what I get up to on a daily basis and the hours I keep, you’d be laughing right now). For a type- A personality, surrounded by type-A +++ personalities- it is no easy feat. 

Things I have done (or tried to do) this year:

  • Made taking care of myself a priority– I realised that in order to sustain the lifestyle I want to lead, I need to be as healthy as possible- this means that I exercise most days, I eat a plant based diet at home, I factor in lots of protein, I pack my lunch and bring my own snacks to work, and I anticipate my rostered on-calls so that I prep something delicious, “creamy”, comforting and Carby that can be heated in the microwave (hello, vegan mushroom stews)
  • Shopped secondhand first– when looking back at my “new” clothing and shoe purchases this year, I’ve realised that the vast majority has consisted of stuff I’ve thrifted at an op shop or stalked on eBay. I’ve become more and more mindful of where our clothing comes from this year, and have parted ways with fast fashion forever. And the truth- is that if the purchase price of a new fast-fashion blazer is equal to the price of a second hand linen Chanel blazer- there really is no contest for me! I’ve even thrifted my active wear this year (excluding sneakers-well fitting sneakers is a must)
  • Ate a lot less meat– I’m plantbased and gluten free at home with a handful of eggs- which I guess is the way that I can best describe my “diet”. When I eat out I don’t push my dietary preferences on anyone and will eat anything (almost- maybe except offal?!) you put in front of me or wish to share. Diets are quite personal choices, and I haven’t arrived at my own conclusions without doing a lot of detective work- almost 2 years’ worth of working out what food best fuels me for my current level of activity. Unfortunately many people are quick to judge that you’re just following what’s trendy, but many don’t spare the extra seconds to find out that dairy makes you a little bit sick, gluten makes you very sick, and that too much meat makes you really sluggish and saps your energy. Eating less meat has simplified things immensely (no need to go to the butcher with your containers, no need to go through the process of composting bones in your tiny apartment), and of course- the collective environmental impact of everyone eating a little less meat is not insignificant. But I’m not one of those vegan preachers, your diet is 100% your choice and you can make your own conclusions
  • Watched a lot less television– to clarify- the last time I watched commercial television was probably… April (When Game of Thrones was on!). The TV (which isn’t mine) sits silent and black in my apartment most of the time. It gets switched on occasionally to stream presidential debates or to watch a short film starring an old friend, and I watched Breakfast at Tiffanys on DVD the other day. It was an awkward moment the other day when I found out there was a documentary on TV that I really wanted to watch, but missed about half of it because I couldn’t remember how to turn on the tv!! (I’m not entirely boring- I listen to a lot of music at home, and listen to a lot of podcasts- so I’m basically an old lady who likes to listen to the “wireless”)
  • Tried to meditate– this was pretty unsuccessful. I have a small monkey who lives inside my brain and he likes to play the xylophone whilst singing loudly. I lasted about 7 days of cultivating a daily meditation practice and it actually did help a lot with dealing with every day anxieties etc., and I noticed the difference when I had skipped a day.  But I couldn’t keep it up, even though it was just 10 minutes out of my day
  • Practice ahimsa– this traces back to my Buddhist roots and my own upbringing, and is probably one of the more difficult things to do. I feel this is a lifelong process. There are easy aspects like going vegan etc, but there are harder things like dealing with uncharitable thoughts when they crop up or even learning to forgive myself when I fall short of my own expectations. Learning to slow down and practice some kindness, and find joy in others’ joy has been a huge shift, and I hope to keep growing in this direction
  • Stopped preaching zero waste– this is an interesting one. At the moment I quietly go about my days, go to the bulk stores with my own containers, bring my own coffee cup, bring scraps home to compost etc- but I no longer judge others for their plastic use (even internally). This probably is a side effect of practicing ahimsa, but I find no value in actively shaming or pushing my lifestyle in other people’s faces. I have found that in setting an example by your own actions, people who are genuinely interested will ask questions and be inspired to make some small changes in their own lives. And certainly it makes me happy when people I know contact me to tell me they’ve bought some beeswax wraps, used cloth produce bags or are growing vegetables from scraps for the first time- because they’ve been inspired by me to do the same. I don’t talk about zero waste in person much, people mostly find out via proxy on Instagram and it goes from there πŸ™‚


My plans for 2017:

  • Give more— I’d been raised to be generous in both my time and with whatever money or resources I have. I have had a regular scheduled charity withdrawal for many years, but it’s almost a mindless giving activity now. A new Christmas tradition now that we’re married that I look forward to implementing is choosing a different charity or organisation that means something to us to make a donation to, or perhaps surprising each other with a Christmas donation to a charity that means something to the other person. I’m also so time poor at the moment but on my to-do list over the last 6 months is to get back into volunteering in some shape or form
  • Buy less and own less– I’ve been decluttering a lot lately and have finally started to make some headway. I’m so envious of the people who start off with nothing, and can slowly and purposefully fill their homes with objects they truly need and treasure. A work in progress, obviously.
  • Be kinder- because there’s no such thing as too much kindness in the world
  • Try meditation… again! πŸ˜‰
  • Practice every day feminism– not the shouty capitals man-hating brand of feminism that I too find annoying. But after the year we’ve had I find it’s more important now than ever to fill the world with female role models who can show little girls that they can grow up to be smart, strong and independent and go about their daily lives with a bit of grace, and not be defined only by their looks (or the colour of their pantsuit). I was speaking with a good friend recently who has two little girls, and one of his biggest worries as a father is finding good female role models for his little girls to follow. It’s our collective responsibility to make the world a better place for our children, and it starts with our own actions and words.

What are your dreams for 2017?
Still trying to meditate,

Lisa x