Got my keep cup!

Hello enviro lovers!

Well I’m feeling quite a little bit impressed with myself.

Now when you open my over sized hand bag, not only to lip balm, credit cards and organizers fly out, but so do re-usable shopping bags, a re-usable coffee cup and a water bottle!

Everything but the kitchen sink.

It’s been working pretty well for me.

Since I watched episodes two and three (Yes I’m super behind, but you know Netflix just added more doco’s, #goodbyesociallife) of the War on Waste last week I made my purchases and have been carrying them around.

Confession: I’m usually pretty good with my re-usable shopping bags for the big shops, but when I stop in to the supermarket after work etc, that’s when I grab the shitty plastic one. #envirofail

So carrying them around has made a massive difference.

I already have a Thermos flask which I walk around with my instant coffee or my tea but admittedly, like most Melbournians, I purchased a couple of coffees a day as well.

My partner bought me a re-usuable mug by Earth Bottles and it’s super pretty. It’s faux wood and made of stainless steel. A bit expensive for a coffee cup but worth it.

The composting is still going well but I have to work out the general waste situation a bit better.

Will let you know how I go.

Until next time folks,

Think a little

Mel

 

 

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The True Cost- Wardrobe Audit Part 1

Challenge: The True Cost

I’ve seen it now.

I can’t ignore it.

So what can I do about it?

I don’t subscribe to the theory that one person can’t make a difference. Commercial companies whether that be milk producers, juice bars or clothing brands are there to make money. So I vote with my dollar.

After watching ‘The True Cost” one of the first thoughts I had was “well this doesn’t apply to me, I don’t buy from those stores”.

But that’s a cop out.  I might not buy from H&M or own a shit load of clothing in general, but I have enough active wear to wear a different item every day for at least two weeks.

I also wear undies and socks.

I wear a uniform to work that is provided by my employer.

So what about everything else?

My initial plan was to do a full wardrobe audit but then I realized just how much stuff I actually have.

So I started with the active wear, actually just the short sleeved t-shirts and tanks in the active wear section.

Disclaimer: This also does not include the dirty laundry basket!

Here’s what I found out:

From 20 items

1x Made In Indonesia

1x Made in Vietnam

2x Made in Malaysia

6x Made in Thailand

1x Made in Bangladesh

9x Made in China

 

Not a single item Made in Australia.

75% of the ‘Made in China’ t-shirts were the “free” shirts that come with a marathon race entry. (Yes I still have them and yes I still wear them, waste not want not!)

100% were a polyester or polyester blended material.

 

My head started spinning.

 

Questions like “can I buy Made in Australia active wear?”, “Does ‘Made in China’ automatically equal bad factories, bad environmental policies?” and “Is polyester bad?” rumbled through my overwhelmed brain.

My solution, google, knowing full well that big companies lie and that you can literally find anything on the internet to support an argument.

Here’s just some of what I found out.

 

Polyester is a petroleum based material which is generally speak absolutely terrible for the environment. (Read all about it here)

But it’s not completely a lost cause. There are some pro’s and con’s.

  • It’s made from petroleum- NAY
  • It uses less water to produce than natural fibres- YAY
  • It can’t be dyed using natural or low impact dyes- NAY
  • It is recyclable!- YAY

 

So what can we do to make choices, well we can look around for recycled polyester active wear, we can purchase second hand when we can and we can research the companies we are giving our dollars to to establish how accountable and transparent they are being to their consumers about the factories they use.

Patagonia is the company that really sticks out when you research ethicially conscious active wear companies. They are transparent when it comes to the different  fibres they use and what is organic, what is recycled etc.

Granted you are going to pay a little bit more but I think it’s worth it to know where your garments come from.

Locally, I was stoked to find a couple of active wear companies that are pushing the limits and breaking barriers in the conscious active wear sphere.

Kusaga Athletic, based in Sydney, have created the World’s Greenest T-shirt, a t-shirt they claim uses the least amount of water of any other garment.

Vegan Athletic are a Melbourne based company who are making sustainable cycling gear.

I haven’t tried either of their products yet, but it’s super exciting that there are options out there if you are willing to look for them.

Looking forward to trying them out when I need new gear and really thinking about if I actually NEED it or just WANT it and the past and future life of that garment.

Think a little

Mel

 

The “Vegan” progression, The RRP & Cowspiracy

I’d love to be one of those people who say “I went fully vegan when I was 12 because I saw what they were doing to the animals…. I even threw out all my clothes and my couch and my car!”.

But I’m not.

It’s funny, when you tell someone you are vegan you immediately provoke a response. Usually a defensive one, sometimes a piss taking one (but this wouldn’t be Australia without that) but no matter the nature of the response one thing is true.

All of a sudden, everything that you are, how smart you are, how hard you work, how fit you are, how good at your job you are, how funny you are, all gets thrown out with window because now you’re “the vegan”.

I hate to admit it but that’s one of the main reasons it’s taken me 16 years of being a vegetarian to take the next step towards veganism.

My journey has been a slow progression.

Initially there were two main reasons why I went vegetarian.

  1. I thought it would make me skinny
  2. Every day on the way to school our school bus would pass sheep trucks crammed with animals with their little faces squished out the sides.

I don’t say I’m vegan because of the animals but I guess is some ways I am.

As with most things as a teenager, my vegetarianism was a bit of an experiment. At the time my parents were classic meat and three veg people so I just took out the meat. My dinners would be the potatoes, broccoli or cauliflower and the peas/corn/carrot combination.

Every once in a while I would “go back” and have a steak for dinner or try some fish. My family still give me shit about that but again, this is Australia.

At uni, my move away from animal products continued.

Don’t tell anyone, but I desperately wanted to be that cool hippie chick in fisherman’s pants who was Buddhist and meditated.

I chose the long skirts instead and made the switch to soy milk.

It would take another 12 or so years before going vegan would re-enter my life.

A keen runner, last year I started listening to audio books while I ran. Turns out the first few I listened to were ‘Born to Run’, ‘Finding Ultra’ and ‘Eat and Run’.

Replace “cool hippie chick in fisherman’s pants” with “vegan ultra endurance runner”.

I got onto the Rich Roll Podcast. I devoured it (oh my poor phone bill!). I was literally listening to multiple episodes per day. While running (1 hr +), while driving (2.5 hours) and every other time I was in the car, Rich Roll was coming through my speakers.

And the problem with the Rich Roll Podcast, every week there is another person to obsess over and his bloody show notes mean I’m using more data listening to a shit load more podcasts that I’d never heard of.

Enter Netflix.

I have a problem with Netflix also.

The same problem that I have with Facebook knowing what I searched on my phone and putting ads in my feed!

Once you watch one thing, hello Cowspiracy, they “recommend” another five!

Fat Sick and Nearly Dead (1 & 2), Forks over Knives, Food Matters, Food Choices, Supersize Me, Food Inc.

And there’s still more!

All of a sudden I’m in a vegan centric wind tunnel and there’s no way out. Podcast, Netflix, Podcast, Netflix. It’s amazing I got anything else done.

So in September I decided to do a vegan challenge, just one month vegan, and I haven’t really looked back.

Like my vegetarianism, I went up and down. I’d have the occasional dairy ice cream, feel sick and swear never to do it again.

On January 1 2017, I decided to be vegan. I don’t call it that. In fact I don’t really call it anything. People just think I’m a bit of a health nut and if it comes up I just say that I don’t eat animal stuff for health reasons and leave it at that.

I figure I’m better off leading by example than shoving it down someone’s throat.

I honestly thought it would be harder to make the switch. I was one of those people who said “I could never give up cheese”. Well I did and it wasn’t that bad.

Eating out is the hardest part. I’m not super picky. I usually just order off the menu and ask to remove the animal part. Could it have a seasoning or salt substitute that’s derived from an animal, yeah, am I fussed about that, not really.

Maybe one day I will be, but for now I’m just taking it one step at a time, one podcast at a time, one documentary at a time.