When you start to do your own research and become aware of the toxicity of our environment, that we are contributing to, and that trickles down into products we are using every single day, you get alarmed and then angry. The activist inside you starts to say “this shouldn’t be like this, why doesn't everyone know this, why isn’t this illegal?”
Amanda and I are both huge fans of hemp seed oil (we buy gigantic bottles of the stuff from the health food store - it makes a fantastic body oil) and are just fans of hemp in general, so much so, we even made cushions out of hemp fabric (see our shop!). It's a wonder plant - you can pretty much make anything out of it.
I’m a (somewhat) reformed fast fashion addict. Growing up my wardrobe was a mix of second hand, hand me downs and the odd new piece. As a young kid, I was quite active and a bit of a tomboy. We rarely went shopping, in fact, I recall my Mum saying quite often that she hates shopping, so going shopping was a rare and special treat. (I have strong opinions on indoctrinating children into habits of consumerism and normalising the constant desire to want more material things - shopping is not a hobby or activity for children).
I did debate whether to write something about this or not. It’s not the sort of article we normally publish on Urban Granola nor am I that into social media pile ons but this particular incident has brought to light some issues that I think are worthy of addressing. These issues and concepts are incredibly important to the zero waste, environmental and sustainable movements (any social movement, really). And look, I feel like have something to say on it, so I will!
Kate is a freelance ethical writer, small business owner and eco warrior based in New Zealand. The first thing you notice about Kate is her boundless energy. Her enthusiasm for life and all things eco/ethical/sustainable really shines through and underpins everything she does. There is no filter with Kate; she is totally herself, down to earth and authentic when it comes to her social media accounts and writing. This is what makes her so engaging and a great representation of what it means to be a Sustainable Sista!
I don’t believe it’s any harder to live sustainably in the city than say a regional centre or country town (or a tropical island for that matter) but the approach to living sustainably is different.
On one hand I think the faster pace of city life and having convenience at your doorstep (hello 4,000 different food delivery services!) can encourage laziness and over consumption but on the other hand, living in the city gives you access and options that you just don’t get regionally. Access to bulk food stores, farmers markets, health food stores, a vast array of vegan options, public transport, a larger more diverse community and education.
These are important and vital tools for living sustainably and it’s uplifting to see how much this market has grown in the last few years.
Here are some books I think are great, worthwhile reads. Perfect for if you’re new to sustainability and want to get a deeper understanding that a blog or news articles (useful and necessary as they are) can’t give you. These are the kind of books to be reread, post it noted, scribbled on and kept handy for future reference.
Even as someone who is passionate and dedicated to living as sustainably as possible, straws are something I just can’t seem to get away from. If you remember to ask, the staff forget or I forget to ask or someone else orders a drink for me and doesn’t ask for no straw or I assume the drink won’t come with a straw (gin on ice - seriously! I was very annoyed when it was served with a straw). This is why it’s great to see a campaigns, like The Last Straw, targeting the venues, restaurants and cafes. It would just be easier for everyone if they didn’t have plastic straws in the first place (in fact, straws should be banned along with microbeads)!
We have been virtual mates with Anita way back when we first started Urban Granola in 2015, she even guest blogged here a few years ago. Anita is a very impressive and generous person, her popular Instagram account @rocket_science shares her passion, knowledge and adventures with zero waste living. We thoroughly enjoyed Anita's answers and we hope you do too!
I have stumbled upon the concept of ‘going deep, not wide’ on various blogs and websites over the holiday break, the time of year when these self-help, personal improvement, “what should my new year’s resolution be?” topics tend to bubble to the surface and swim around the internet. The basic gist is rather than constantly finding newer shinier things to take up your time and attention, focus on what is in front of you, what you have already started and abandoned or already doing. Do it the best you can, go deep into it and explore it fully.