SUSTAINABLE LIVING FESTIVAL

The Sustainable Living Festival is nearly upon us! And given this is something I only found out about a week or so ago, I’m excited!

The Sustainable Living Festival (SLF) is a month-long Melbourne-based event that showcases many sustainable living workshops, talks, demonstrations, artworks, exhibits, films and live performances.
It’s the main event, “The Big Weekend” is held at Federation Square on the 9th – 11th Feb. But all the activities are hosted around the suburbs – from Preston to Prahran, so there is something for everyone!

SLF also practices what it preaches by having a framework that reduces the ecological footprint of an event this large

– Green Power is used across the whole site
– Water use is reduced with measures such as composting toilets and greywater filtration systems in place
– The implementation of the Waste Wise Plan and Waste stations coupled with the drinking water stations reduce plastic waste
– Visitors are encouraged to walk, bike or catch Public Transport to and from the festival and its activities
– Event tees are made from 100% cotton in sweatshop-free conditions
– Food vendors are screened to ensure their offering are sustainable as possible and all catering is vegetarian with a focus on local and organic produce
– Wash Against Waste stations reduces plastic cutlery waste with a group of volunteers who collect used plates from the site and return them to food vendors to be reused. This eliminates the need for harmful single-use plastics!

If that all sounds like your perfect festival, read on for my event picks

 

* WARDROBE CRISIS -Fast Fashion & The Race to Sustainability
Ah, Clare Press, my absolute favorite author, and sustainable living writer. She will be interviewing Michael Spencer, Chair & CEO of the Alliance for Water Stewardship (Asia-Pacific region), Courtney Saunders, Co-founder of values-driven e-store, Well Made Clothes, and Ben Esakoff, Brand Director of Melbourne produced premium denim label, Nobody Denim.
Definitely not one to miss!

 

STYLISH CLOTHES FROM RE-FASHIONED MENS SHIRTS
A Men’s shirt can be a versatile thing. Bea Johnson of a Zero Waste Home can wear hers 50 ways(!!!)
Do you think you can top that?

 

* TALKING TRASH
Learn from one of the Zero Waste experts, Tammy Logan of popular zero waste blog – Gippsland Unwrapped – talks all things zero waste. Definalty one to learn from.
Tammy is also opening her home for you to have a wander through. A once in a lifetime opportunity to see how a Zero Waste home “works” while learning the best ways to create your own Zero Waste home.

 

*ZERO WASTE HOUSEHOLD FIRST STEPS
After you have been inspired by Tammy, you can learn how to take those first steps to a Zero Waste household without overwhelming yourself.

 

*MAKE ORGANIC SKINCARE PRODUCTS
Why pay for all those expensive organic store bought products when you can easily use whatever you have in your pantry for a fraction of the cost? Easy!
You will learn how to make up two scrubs, a face serum, and a makeup remover all for $20
Session 2 (just incase you can’t make the first one)

 

*FIX YOUR OP SHOP FINDS
The perfect class for someone who is frustrated at finding that perfect op shop garment… in a size too big!
Learn how to revive your wardrobe with simple hand and machine techniques such as:
– taking/up, letting down and fixing hems on pants and skirts.
– taking side seams or waistbands in and out.
– closing or patching rips and holes
– sewing on buttons and other fasteners so they stay on

 

*THE GREAT SUMMER CLOTHES SWAP
There is no cheaper way to update your wardrobe than with a clothing swap! Just bring along five quality items (no stains or tears) and swap till yours hears content!

Hannah Gray of The Clothing Cleanse will also be on hand to offer style advice during the swap.

After you are all swapped out, take part in a Decluttering your Wardrobe chat with Tanya Lewis and learn how to Create a Conscious Wardrobe with Hannah Gray.

There are also some interactive workshops such as learning how to mend your broken jewellery and turn an old tee into a reusable carry bag.

What a perfect day!

Can’t make it to this one? Try this one

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Well, that’s it!
Hopefully, I have sparked your interest in Sustainable living. If you see me around, say Hello

Ethical Fashion also has also featured some of their favorite “Eco-Fashion” events for some more inspiration

 

 

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KEEP IT CLEAN

 

Ever since I begun to reduce my plastic use in 2017, I noticed that quite a few of the cleaning products came in plastic. The ingredients label was also filled with unnatural sounding names and I wasn’t sure what I was actually using!
I then switched to Earth Choice Multi-purpose spray, while being much better for the environment –  it caused my partner and I to violently sneeze whenever we used it!

Once that was all used up (I hate to waste things!), I researched for natural alternatives. I came across using essential oils and common household products such as vinegar and bicarb soda as cleaning aids. I then discovered that people living a zero-waste lifestyle used ingredients such as these. Why buy multi-purpose cleaner when I can make my own and save money?

One of the most mentioned oils was Eucalyptus. It’s a common oil, usually readily available in every household. I can still remember my mum using it when I was sick as it has antibacterial properties.
The other common oil was Lemon. I had never use a lemon oil myself, but the smell of a fresh lemon is so uplifting and it’s sure to make any household chore much more pleasant!

 

 

It was during my research that I got an email from Amanda from Naturally Nature, she reached out to me offering me some teachings on essential oils and their uses. Talk about timing!
Amanda is a qualified Aromatherapist and really knows her stuff. She sent me some of her notes from her Aromatherapy workshops and it has now become my oil bible.

Amanda also invited me to try two of her cleaning essentials, Eucalyptus oil and Lemon oil. Once I received these I got straight to making my own multi-purpose spray with the recipes Amanda recommended.

 Disinfectant Spray:
I cup White Vinegar
I cup Water
6 Drops of Lemon
6 Drops of Eucalyptus
 Mix all together in a clean spray bottle. Use as you would a regular spray and wipe.
Great for places that need extra antibacterial action such as the bathroom. 
*as with any new cleaning item, please do a small patch test. Vinegar does contain acetic acid which some surfaces can have a reaction too.*

I used an old stainless steel spray bottle I had kept from my hairdressing days. You can use whatever you feel like, but try to repurpose what you already have. Even an old plastic store-bought spray bottle is perfectly fine to use.

I tried out this spray on my bathroom sink and while the vinegar smell takes a little bit of getting used to, it cleans better than a store bought cleaner and it didn’t send me into fits of sneezing. WIN!

I can see this solution being my main go-to for cleaning. It’s so much easier to make your own spray rather than rushing out to the store to buy a new one when you run out. Its also much more environmentally friendly as you can buy vinegar in bulk and you are reusing the same container over and over again minimizing plastic waste. You are also not buying one product for just one use. Vinegar and essential oils have so many more uses!

For more about essential oils and their myriad of uses, follow Naturally Nature on Instagram and Facebook

Do you have any go-to cleaning solutions or love using a particular oil? let me know in the comments!

*Oils gifted by Naturally Nature, all opinions are my own*

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ZERO WASTE SWAPS

When I began my Zero Waste lifestyle, I found the below swaps were the best way to emit single-use plastics and unnecessary packaging from my life. I’m not saying you need to rush out and buy a Keepcup or a brand new canvas bag, instead look to what you already have inside your home to make these swaps

REUSABLE BAGS instead of PLASTIC BAGS

This is one of the easiest swaps. Everyone has some sort of reusable bag floating around their house, if not – “borrow” one from a friend or buy one from the op shop and put it in your handbag or keep it near the door or in your car. That way you will always have one near you and won’t have to use a plastic bag.

When buying fruit and vegetables, consider letting them go “naked” (they have their own natural skins) or using some cloth produce bags. These can be bought or you can even sew them up yourself. Try to choose a natural fabric so they can decompose when no longer needed.

I use some lingerie bags and clothing bags from when I purchased clothing

I recommend:
Ever Eco
4My Earth Bags
ONYA

REUSABLE COFFEE CUP instead of TAKEAWAY CUPS

I’ve never been one to purchase a takeaway drink often, basically because I like to make it at home to save money. But I did purchase a takeaway coffee mug from T2 a few years ago to carry my smoothies and teas out and about. I still have it, but I recently upgraded to a Keep Cup as I just love the look. I pursued my fiancé to purchase one too as he travels for work a lot.

A travel mug isn’t a necessary Zero Waste purchase, but it does make getting a coffee a lot easier! You could also use an old glass jar or even just grab a mug from the cupboard. Some places even offer a discount for using your own cup.

Nothing annoys me more when I see people having a ‘takeaway’ coffee sitting down. It would be so much better for you and the environment to sip your beverage out of ceramic, glass or BPA free cup.

REUSABLE STRAWS instead of PLASTIC STRAWS

Every time I see an old photo of me holding a drink with a straw in it, I cringe. Plastic straws are one of the worst things for the environment – Do I really need to link the video of the turtle with a straw stuck up his nose?

I could rant on forever about the evils of straws (read about it here), but instead, I will show you some pretty alternatives. Or you could even just go straw free – remember to say “no straw please” when out an about.

I recommend:
Glass Straw
Stainless Steel Straw
Bamboo Straw
eBay

REUSABLE WATER BOTTLE instead of PLASTIC DRINK BOTTLE

Despite never being one to buy bottled water when out, I love the idea of a reusable drink bottle. I actually used to refill a VOSS glass bottle and use that as my dink bottle, but after smashing quite a few – I decided to purchase a stainless steel bottle. It has actually been a great choice, not only am I drinking cleaner water (plastic particles leak into the water in plastic bottles), I am saving money by not buying water when out and about!

I purchased my little bottle from here, there are so many other brands out there. I recommend Biome, Shop Naturally, and The Source. They all carry their own brand or many brands of reusable drink bottles.

BAMBOO TOOTHBRUSH instead of PLASTIC TOOTHBRUSH

In Australia, over 30 million toothbrushes are used and disposed of by Australians each year, amounting to approximately 1000 tonnes of landfill each year! So basically, your very first toothbrush is still lurking in landfill somewhere…
I made the switch to bamboo toothbrushes months ago now, I found that they felt better in my mouth and I wasn’t using any plastic. WIN!

Although, most bamboo toothbrushes do have nylon bristles which cannot decompose like the handle can. I keep my old bamboo toothbrushes for cleaning, but the best way to dispose of them is to snap the head off or pull out the bristles then put the handle in your compost and the bristles in a jar to prevent them going into landfill. I know this is what Bea Johnson of Zero Waste Home does.

I purchase my bamboo toothbrushes from an organics store on Smith St, but all the stores I linked above carry a variety of brand with the Environmental Toothbrush being a popular choice.

MENSTRUAL CUP instead of TAMPONS/PADS

Since an average person menstruates for forty years and uses approximately 20 tampons/pads per cycle (240 tampons/pads each year). They will use around 9,600 tampons/pads for their entire menstrual lifecycle. Most of these are FLUSHED down the toilet!!!

I honestly cannot sing the praises of using a menstrual cup instead of a tampon! It has honestly been one of the biggest changes of my zero waste journey!

Yes, it does take a bit of getting used to, but once I got the hang of it – I found it easy. There is a ton of helpful information on how to use a cup online and the brands themselves answer any questions you have.

The brand I use is JuJu. I chose this one because it was made in Australia and was recommended to me by a friend. Although the cost is more expensive up front, you can save up to an average of $90 a year!

Read more about the environmental issues of the humble tampon here

There are many more Zero Waste swaps I could tell you about, but I might leave those for another post. The above are some of the first changes I made when transitioning to a plastic-free lifestyle. All these changes are environmentally friendly, save you money and contribute to a smaller carbon footprint. They are also better looking than any of the single-use products out there!

So make a change, the Zero Waste/Plastic Free lifestyle is a growing movement
Become apart of it

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the Zero Waste lifestyle, leave me a comment below

 

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ZERO WASTE?

I have recently embarked on a mission to make my life as waste-free as possible – to live a Zero Waste lifestyle.

“Zero waste is about sending nothing to landfill, and recycling as little as possible. It’s about rethinking the way we do things: refusing what we don’t need, reducing what we use, reusing what we have, repairing what we can, and recycling as a last resort.

Zero waste is about consuming less, making conscious choices when we do need to make purchases, supporting companies who are trying to do the right thing and reducing our environmental impact. It’s about choosing second-hand, borrowing or making do, choosing things that will last and taking responsibility for our personal choices.”
Lindsay – Treading my own path

Zero Waste is about significantly reducing and eventually eliminating the amount of trash we produce and send to landfill. Australian’s produce 1.5 tonnes of waste in a year, enough to cover the state of Victoria. If we continue to live this way, we won’t have an actual Earth to live on.

I know that all sounds very dire straits, but I feel it’s important to lay the facts down. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel, the Zero Waste lifestyle has become a fast growing living change for many people worldwide. People like Bea Johnson, Lauren Singer and Lindsay Miles have paved the way for waste-free living.

The beginning of my journey to Waste Free Living started when I challenged myself to participate in Plastic Free July. I’ve actually written an article about this over at Ecomono –  but basically, I avoided all single-use plastic. Straws, plastic bags, coffee takeaway cups and plastic water bottles are some of the biggest culprits causing harm. I didn’t use a lot of these things -so I challenged myself further… to avoid all things packaged in plastic. No Cadbury chocolate, no chips, no cheese…. the list was endless. The challenge really opened up my eyes as to how much single-use plastic is actually in our world and how much we actually purchase without thinking about it.

It’s now September, so obviously I survived my month without plastic!

How? you may ask…. simple.

I purchased the things that I needed in paper or cardboard, I said “NO” to plastic bags, my fruit and veg go naked or I use my cloth produce bags, I utilized my local bulk foods store for package free goods. If I couldn’t find an alternative I went without or made my own.

To use a plastic bag or a takeaway coffee cup actually seems incredibly silly to me. There are so many other reusable options out there!

I’d love to hear about your plastic free July/zero waste journey.
If you are interested to hear more follow the ladies mentioned above and keep your eyes on my Instagram and my blog – this is something I am extremely passionate about and I’m not going to shut up about it

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VINNIES X IRONIC MINIMALIST

The denim in my wardrobe hasn’t been getting enough of a workout recently. I’ve been wearing my favourite pair of pants basically every single day.

Maybe I needed a bit of inspiration to find new ways to style my denim, luckily Vinnies invited me to their August Denim challenge.

Since I love nothing more than finding the perfect op shop bargain, I accepted. Their challenge was to style denim 4 different ways chosen by me.

I headed to my favourite Vinnies on Johnston st that very weekend and got straight to work. After a bit of trial and error with the jeans section (I’m very particular with the style of my denim), I decided to use my existing two pairs of jeans and find some tops/jackets/shirts to wear with them. As any avid thrifter will tell you, it’s always a game of chance when shopping in a thrift shop. You may not find the exact thing you are after, but I think that is the beauty of it. Will you score a vintage Chanel bag or the perfect oversized wool jacket?

After finding my key items (sadly no vintage Chanel, but I did score a really cool 80’s style jumpsuit!) I headed back home to style them.

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Vinnies Shirt | Asos Jeans | Nakedvice Belt | Dr Martens | Camberwell Market Bag

My first look had to be double denim, something I haven’t been a fan of in the past, but I really love this look and I feel it’s very “Brunswick”.

The shirt is an extremely oversized vintage denim shirt that I tucked into my “mom” jeans to give some shape. The bag was also a Sportsgirl vintage score from the Camberwell Sunday Market

I feel like you could also wear this one with a pair of skinny pants and belt it at the waist to give some shape.

Vinnies Grey Knit | Asos Jeans | Vintage Leather Jacket | Nakedvice Belt | Acne Boots| TDE Bag

My next Vinnies find was a grey loose fit turtle neck jumper. I am actually obsessed with high neck tops/jumpers, so I loved this little find.

Again, I used my “mom” jeans and tucked the top in. This look is a perfect casual weekend look. My leather jacket is a wardrobe staple, so that had to make an appearance!

Vinnies Silk Dress | Lee Jeans | Vintage Leather Jacket | COS Heels | TDE Clutch

I don’t usually wear jeans if I (ever) go out. But this silk Lover dress is a perfect addition to skinny jeans and block heels for a casual catch up with friends. I just tucked it in to make it wearable for the cooler weather.
You could also add a touch of deep red lipstick to glam it up.

Vinnies Shirt | Lee Jeans | Vintage Leather Jacket | COS Heels| TDE Bag

Lastly, I couldn’t resist browsing the men’s section. It’s one of my favourite sections for oversized shirts and jackets, (I even found an awesome Qantas PJ set from there!)
This is kind of what I would imagine I would wear in a casual office situation. The oversized white shirt classes up the skinny jeans.

Ever since embarking on my Zero Waste lifestyle, I have discovered that op shopping is an environmentally friendly way to save money and still look good. In all honesty, would you have known that the above looks are from an op shop? So be like Macklemore and hit up your local thrift store before your local Zara.

Thank you to Vinnies
**Sponsored post – all opinions + images are my own**

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