A Plastic World.

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I walk around these days and all I see is plastic.

Plastic that I’ve never noticed before.

Plastic that makes me feel angry, frustrated and dissappointed at humans.

Plastic that is ruining the world.

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My goal in reducing the amount of plastic I use has been an year long journey and is one that continues. When you stop and think, you realise how much plastic and disposable material humans go through in their short time here on earth.

I don’t know when it all clicked in my head and I started to make the connections but it has made a big difference to the way I live my life. These are not big changes but I know they make a big impact environmentally.

And so I extend the love and compassion I give to people, to the environment every single day and am a firm believer of the quote-

Be the change you wish to see in the world

I have seen my efforts have a ripple effect on those around me by just being concious of how I live my life.

These are the ways I have changed my day to day living to reduce plastic, I am not perfect but I am trying:-

  1. Reusable bags – I keep reusable bags in my car, at home and at work. Whenever I buy something and I have forgetten my bag, I simply don’t take a plastic one. I hold the things I bought in my hands.
  2. Light-weight thin reuseable bags – For vegetable and fruit produce when doing groceries. (https://www.thefregiesack.com.au)
  3. Frank Green Reusable cup – I don’t remember the last time I took a take away cup for coffee. If i don’t have my cup, I don’t take take away, I simple sit and enjoy coffee at a cafe. (https://frankgreen.com/au/)
  4. Menstrual Cup – Instead of single use pads, a silicon menstrual cup can last many many years and save a lot of money. (https://www.juju.com.au)
  5. Who Gives a Crap recycable toilet paper (https://au.whogivesacrap.org)
  6. Wooden spork – this is simply a spoon and fork made out of bamboo which can be used instead of take away cutlery. (https://www.ukonserve.com/Bamboo-Utensil-p/uk016.htm)
  7. Metal straw – a metal straw that is reusable and washable instead of single use plastic straws. (https://www.biome.com.au/805-reusable-straws)
  8. Water bottle – I carry it every where I go and if I didn’t bring it, I simply look for a water fountain.
  9. Reusable food wraps – A replacement for cling wrap, wraps made out of plant/bees wax that mould to the shape of anything and keep your food covered. (http://wrappa.com.au)
  10. Vapouriser/ diffuser/ essential oils – Instead of candles to scent your environment, essential oils also have different health benefits as well. (https://www.doterra.com/US/en)
  11. Bokashi Bin – I live in an apartment worm farming isn’t ideal but a small bokashi bin has completely cut off my food wastage, everything is composted and put back into the earth. I simply add my compast to a communal compost bin when my bin is full.
  12. French press + loose coffee beans – Instead of single use coffee pods for a coffee machine.
  13. Bulk-food stores – I have found a local bulk food stores that has everything from spirulina to rice, chocolate and shampoo. I simply bring glass jars to the store, weigh the jar and fill the jar with as much product as I like. No plastic, no waste.
  14. Soap Berries – A recent addition to doing my laundry. A soap nut that is a natural surfactant and is compostable. With the use of essential oils, clothes will be clean and smell clean. (https://www.thatredhouse.com.au)

There are many more ways to incorporate a day to day eco-friendly lifestyle but it is a process. I have made a lot changes and honestly there is no better feeling than coming back from a shopping trip and knowing that you did not harm the environment by the purchases you made. I say start somewhere and start now.

We should all stop being lazy and take responsibility for what is happening to the environment we live in. We have evolved to be a race that indulges in single use items, sadly the world isn’t designed for this privilge. We need to realise that the earth isn’t disposable or single use, we have ONE EARTH and that is it.  

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– 2018 –

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‘Speed doesn’t matter, forward is forward’ – 

This is my theme, quote or mantra for the year.

The transition from being a university student to now starting fulltime work can bring up a lot of uncertainty and mixed feelings about where you are going.

I find that being at university, I always felt I was going somewhere or doing something with the constant reassurance and positive feedback from lecturers and friends that I am doing well and in the right direction. This is hard to find when you aren’t in that environment, so as someone who thrives off feedback, I can feel a little lost without it – stagnant.

I have this quote plastered everywhere, so it prompts reflection on where I am and what I have been doing and that pace doesn’t matter. It is easy to compare, sometimes things that are not even of interest to you can make you feel as though you are not good enough if someone else is doing it. It feels ridiculous to feel envy or jealousy when someone else has something that you don’t even want but it happens.

So this year I will take my time, try my best to live in the moment, appreciate how far I have come and continue to grow – never stop learning. 

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5 things I am grateful for today

Meeting old friends, having meaningful conversations, reflecting about life and our futures.

My family and their never-ending support.

Quiet breezy mornings.

Eye-opening and informative books.

Nature. 

Spring & Health

18 days into the month of spring but today was the first day signs of spring were in the air. It was warmer, the wind was fierce and musty as it carry’s particles of pollen on a journey to a place to begin anew. Spring makes me feel happy and light and just as it is new beginnings for nature, it feels like new beginnings to me too.

2 days ago I decided to stop putting a price on my health. There was an exercise regime I have wanted to commit to for awhile now however the price tag pushes me away. I am generally healthy, I try to be however over the past year I have definitely had too many meals that don’t do much benefit to my body and I am starting to feel the consequences.

I put all the guilt that comes with investing in my health aside and signed up for it. It’s funny because I’ve probably spent many dollars on gym memberships and never gone or not made the most of it without feeling guilty. I decided that I rather pay for something more expensive that I know that I will do than something that isn’t, which I won’t end up using anyway.

Money is complicated and I am trying to develop a healthier, richer mindset about money. I think not putting a price tag on my physical or mental wellbeing is a step in the right direction. Afterall, putting in the effort to be healthy now, means less bills later in life, bills that will probably come in big lumps. Your body is all you have got till the end of your life, it can enhance the way you live or limit it and you are stuck with so it so best take care of it.

So what shifted my mindset?

  • Reading ‘How not to die’ by Dr. Michel Greger – He goes through the top non-communicable diseases in society, addressing why they are present and then how to lessen the chances of an early death.
  • Downloading Dr. Michel Greger’s Daily Dozen app (it’s free) – it provides a rough estimate of how much fruits, vegetables, nuts and all the good stuff you need daily to maintain your health. The more things you tick off the list, the better your gut will feel.
  • Reading ‘You are a badass at making money’ by Jen Sincero – I don’t agree with all she says but I have taken on board the good bits. I have become aware of my own negative mindset when it comes to money and am slowly shifting it.
  • Reading ‘Gut’ by Guilia Enders – this book provides the science behind how your gut works, the mechanisms and its importance in our function as humans.

I don’t think any one of these resources on it’s own would have really helped me. I think it’s the combination and holisitic understanding I have now that has shifted my mindset. I am so glad because better late than never plus my degree is coming to an end so fulltime work means i’ll have to manage an income wisely. No better time to learn about money and health than now.

(Note: Only spend money on things that are within your means. Just like your health, your finances are important too. If you want to pay for something that you feel you can’t afford, perhaps analuse your spendings and see what ‘luxury’ items you can sacrifice to allow space for other things in your life. That is what I did. )

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5 things I am grateful for today:

Spring

My Determination

Relaxing days

Being alive

Books, books, books

 

 

Breathe.

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breathe in, love.

breathe out, hate. 

breathe in, gratitude.

breathe out, resentment.

breathe in, joy.

breathe out, hostility. 

breathe in.

breathe out.

Clarity. Carefree. Content. 

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5 things I am grateful for today:

Life

Love

Simplicity

Chance to relax

Books that are practical

Possibilities.

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The year coming to a close has been stressful for the past few years. It comes with so much uncertainty. This year marks the final step before I enter the professional world and embark on an adventure that will hopefully allow me to help others while I continually grow.

For the past month, I have been worrying about what my life will look like next year or even after November. I picture it and all I can imagine is emptiness. I don’t know where I’ll live or what job I’ll be doing, (or if I’ll have a job at all) if I’ll be travelling or if I’ll find another volunteering opportunity. Such simple things that are all in my control causing me so much misery, because I let it. 

I know the worrying is wasteful and the stress that comes with it I can definitely do without but I still continue to wonder with anxiousness what my life will look like.

The uncertainty is perplexing; should I not feel like the possibilities are endless and be excited about the certainty that anything could happen! In fact, I should be grateful and feel privileged that I have options, my path is not set and it never will be. I do have control.

Upon reflection, I know that the life I have now and who I am, I could have never dreamed up 5 years ago. I can imagine and wonder about my future for the rest of my life but as I live it every moment, my imagination will never be a mirror image of reality, it can’t be, uncertainty is life’s beauty.

It is so hard to shut that worry button right off, be in the moment and be content with whatever will be, will be. 

I will aim to think of all the possibilities than lack of and let life run its course like it always has regardless of my worrying thoughts. 

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5 things I am grateful for today:

The time I get to spend with different children while on placement – I love their honest, innocent and genuine personalities.

Freedom to learn – I am constantly exploring new modes of learning and new things to learn. I am grateful for the evolution of learning and the freedom to do so. 

Grateful for life and the opportunities it has brought me thus far. 

I am grateful to have had a supervisor who was present, interested in my learning process as well as learning with me in an interactive, joyful and carefree manner.

I am grateful for growth. 

Till soon?

 

Drifting away.

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Looking back to the second time I came to Australia, entering that classroom nervously where the teacher told me to take the empty seat at the front. Who would have thought that simple gesture to sit in a seat that is usually occupied by someone else, would build what has now become years of friendship.

We live in a huge web of narratives, the narratives of the people we pass by daily and our trajectories collide for unknown reasons and people enter your life changing it from everything you’ve known it to be, towards something, for better or worse.

Reading a wealth of memoir’s over the past year that tie in closely with university material and what I believe in, I realise how important these moments are. Each of these moments adds up and eventually define who we are, who we think we are and what others see in us.

That moment when I sat on that chair marks the moment I made my long term friends. The friends I go through my first parties, jobs, failures, graduations, boyfriends, weddings and not long from now first children. As we proceed through these milestones, our personalities develop into the people we want to be. Long gone are the days where we want to be liked by one another to a point where we aren’t ourselves anymore. The days where we only saw perfection in each other are gone. Left are the days where we learn to love one another for our flaws, accept our differences and move on individually with our lives, together. I’d like to say that we haven’t drifted apart but over the years we have become different people and gravitated towards other people we identify with. We have drifted and those ‘firsts’ we experienced together don’t matter as much anymore.

Friendship is no longer calculated through the length of time we’ve known each other but who we have become and whether they add value to our lives now. As someone who always wants to do the ‘right’ thing by everyone, I struggle in situations where the right thing isn’t so clear. Is the right thing to acknowledge the drift and put the actions in motion to save that friendship or be aware of the drift and let it be. It took a while to realise the drifting was occurring and allowing the natural process of this story to pan out means that perhaps in a few years, we won’t be friends at all.

Honestly, the latter seems right because I know that the former option would require me to pretend and force something that isn’t happening without my interference, so perhaps it shouldn’t be that way at all?

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5 things I am grateful for:

Luck/Coincidence – Whichever it may be I am thankful of it lately.

Kindle – I am grateful for my little sister who bought it for me, but also grateful it was invented in the first place because right now I can’t imagine a day without it by my side on train rides.

My family

The continual opportunities that I am presented in life, thank you. I know that not everyone gets equal opportunities, I hope that in the future, I can give to those who don’t.

Nature – Sadly I haven’t been out much lately because winter isn’t my favourite season but I did take the time to appreciate the last few minutes of the sunset yesterday.

 

 

Alcohol.

I don’t think I have every quite expressed my hate towards alcohol. There are many reasons why this topic is at the forefront of my mind right now and therefore it is a perfect opportunity to talk about it.

I grew up in a household with very responsible parents. My mother has never had alcohol and is extremely against it and my dad had a rare drink but overall alcohol was not a huge part of my upbringing. I was told not to drink and that it was bad for you, that was about it.

As I grew older and my peers experimented with alcohol I was still somewhat not convinced by ‘how great’ it was. After school, I had my somewhat fair share of alcohol, not a lot compared to others but a few drunk nights and that has always been about it. I don’t drink very much right now and the reasons why I was told alcohol was bad for you when I was young is turning into a much bigger picture, a complex one.

There is much greater awareness towards early education in alcoholism for school students nowadays. There are advertisements on television targeted at parents to educate how their alcohol use affects their children’s upbringing. However, a disjoint between this education and culture exists.

This week while I was volunteering, spending time with my teenage mentee, the topic of drugs and alcohol use is presented in the book we go through each week. I go through everything related to alcohol and even some tips on how to not succumb to peer pressure and avoid people’s comments when you say you aren’t drinking.

Then my boyfriend tells me that his manager at work is distributing beers. And they are allowed to bring alcohol and drink after 3 pm if they like. In my mind, there is just something wrong with a workplace that promotes drinking and sees it as a strategy to ‘wind down’ or ‘chill out’ after a hard days work. Why not promote things that have long term benefits for the employee but I know most workplaces use alcohol.

During placement this week, I realise the sadness and trauma alcohol can bring to a family. Family breakdown, violence, sexual abuse, homelessness and many more issues stem from alcoholism and the inability for humans to control themselves.

And lastly, my own anxiousness that has come from an unknown place regarding alcohol. How I feel when people close to me are intoxicated. I feel angry and frustrated that they couldn’t control themselves and annoyed that I must deal with the aftermath.

I know it must seem like I don’t know how to have a good time but I can have a good time without alcohol. I drink sometimes but with caution. I don’t blame those who suffer from alcoholism, we are surrounded by a culture that promotes alcohol left, right and centre.

All I can say is that it destroys lives and everyone should think before they drink. 

(I acknowledge that there are many factors that contribute to alcoholism, however I am just addressing the ‘nuture’ aspects such as society, culture etc. instead of ‘nature’ such as genetics in this post)

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5 things I am grateful for:

My family – so thankful for the stability, love and care I was and am given.

Placement – I feel so enriched everyday, I am learning so much and enjoying the experience.

Old friends – nothing beats a friendly talk was a familiar voice.

Love – it is crazy how strong this emotion can be, even in the darkest of situations, love definitely shines a light.

Me – In the past week I am realising how grateful I am to simply be me, flaws and all.

Till again!