Month: October 2017

10 things I am grateful for

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To be grateful is to feel or show an appreciation for something done or received. Or according to Psychology Today it is an emotion expressing appreciation for what one has, as opposed to what one wants (a job / financial stability/two border collie dogs).

I am having a rough time atm. I am feeling like the transition from University to ‘real adulthood’ is not going so smoothly. I feel like all the structure of University has been ripped underneath me, I used to panic about studying for exams (!!!) and now I am panicking because I have no exams to study for (???). I want to update this blog more, but I don’t want it to turn into a dull as hell ramble about how much the economy sucks, and how overqualified I feel for most of the jobs I have a chance of getting. So I am going to practice a little bit of gratitude, and hope that it inspires me to think of more positive blog topics.

  1. I am grateful that after six years of undergraduate study I have no looming examinations in the foreseeable future (even if I am feeling a little unfocused).
  2. I am grateful that when my laptop broke a few weeks ago, Apple fixed it for free (ty Australian Consumer Law!) because applying for jobs with no laptop was not ideal!
  3. I am grateful that I have a little more time to lie in the sun and read a good book
  4. I am grateful that I have a boyfriend that is not a fuckboy and is actually really cool and smart and I can have intellectual conversations with him
  5. I am grateful for my family, and that most of us got to celebrate my grandmother’s 80th birthday yesterday
  6. I am grateful that I am not lactose intolerant and can stuff my face with cheese (esp halloumi) and milk chocolate at any given opportunity
  7. I am grateful that I am over my awkward teenage years and no longer worry about people not liking me for me or gross pimples
  8. I am grateful that I never have to do a law exam again
  9. I am grateful that I have time to exercise and eat well
  10. I am grateful that I found nine other things to be grateful about!
image credit: Julie Jordan Scott 

Is a Zero Waste Lifestyle futile?

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For the last couple of years, I have been trying to live a more conscious lifestyle and transitioning towards a low waste way of life. I never use takeaway coffee cups, I frequently bring my own stainless steel straw to parties, I bring my own bags to the store. But sometimes, I feel like all these efforts are futile.

Like, in all honesty (please don’t hurt me) it is basically impossible to live a lifestyle that is 100% zero waste while remaining part of mainstream society.  Even if you buy all your food from bulk bins in your own jars or reusable bags, the products you are purchasing probably still were in packaging at some stage in the supply chain. Even if you have your coffee in a KeepCup the milk probably still came in a plastic bottle, and may not end up being properly recycled. Even if you bring your own bags to the shop, if you want to buy spinach your only option may be to purchase it in a non-recyclable soft plastic bag.

I guess these are the kind of neg comments you often read on Zero waste youtube channels. I am not one to encourage negativity or let it play a big role in my life or my subconscious. But sometimes it all just gets too much, and I just want to give up on all the little things I do to try and be a little more green.

I want to believe that my choices I make as a consumer have the power to change the world. I want to believe that by refusing a plastic straw and bringing my own shopping bag I am directly preventing a turtle from dying. But, sometimes I am overcome with a wave of existentialism where I am like what is the point, the planet is f***d anyway, sending another 5 takeaway cups to landfill is hardly the straw that broke the camels back in terms of turning the tides of climate change???

Sometimes I  even wonder whether I actually have some kind of disorder. Like is it really normal to picture the youtube video of someone pulling a plastic drinking straw out of a turtles nose every time I order a vodka lime soda and the bartender automatically puts a straw in it? Is it natural to be close to tears when I find that one of my housemates has gone against my strict household recycling regime? Why do I even bother anyway?

I think all these thoughts, but then I see many people opting for a KeepCup for their morning coffee, and a plastic-free July sticker at my local IGA, and someone sharing a new recipe for homemade beauty products on Youtube… and suddenly I get excited again about doing my bit to reduce my waste footprint. My faith in humans ability to change the world is restored. I think to myself, even if my individual actions are futile, at least they help me feel more positive about the masses one day waking up to environmentalism. One day realising that if we do not drastically change our lifestyle, and make more conscious choices as a collective whole, we will lose the beautiful wild places we love, we will use the quality of life we have built for ourselves, and once this threat becomes direr, we will need people to lead the way. We will need people who are open to the idea of a circular economy, who know how to grow veggies and reuse what they have.  Until that day, I think we need to accept the seeming futility of individual actions.

I think to myself, even if my individual ‘green’ actions are futile, at least they help me feel more positive about the masses one day waking up to environmentalism. One day realising that if we do not drastically change our lifestyle, and make more conscious choices as a collective whole, we will lose the beautiful wild places we love, we will lose the quality of life we have built for ourselves. Once this threat becomes direr, we will need people to lead the way. We will need people who are open to the idea of a circular economy, who know how to grow veggies and reuse what they have.  Until that day, I think we need to accept the seeming futility of individual actions.  Instead, viewing them as ways to open conversation with others. Instead, viewing our free will as a tool to shape the future of our planet.

Do you think there is any point to trying to live a ‘zero free’ lifestyle? or do we simply all need to try and become more conscious without labelling ourselves?

country clarity

When you take yourself out of your usual routine environment – out of the city grind and grime – you often find a sense of clarity.

Today S and I drove a little out of the city, towards the falls. When we arrived we discovered that they were closed. This was, of course, the first warm Sunday afternoon in October. We clearly weren’t alone in our desire to appreciate Western Australia’s natural beauty that lies somewhat dormant over winter until the sun begins to shine again. Disappointed but not disheartened we drove through the countryside towards the ocean, observing spindly newborn black-faced lambs, horse floats, a roadkill kanga,  and ‘pay what you feel’ plant shops by the side of the road.

We explored the train tracks towards the abandoned mine, holding hands so we could balance on either side of the tracks. S told me the mysterious tale of how a few miles of the track simply disappeared in the night, and no one knows who took it or why. We skipped rocks into a puddle in the valley below.

Clarity is clearness or lucidity as to perception and understanding; freedom from indistinctness or ambiguity. Recently, my mind has been a little bit foggy, I have been inflicted with a sense of indecision about which pathway to take with my life/career etc. I think sometimes hiking in the bush helps open your mind to the fact that there are many paths. Perhaps some are tougher than others, with more of an incline, but whichever path you take you can be sure that the scenery will still take your breath away. That is perhaps an over romanticised Robert Frost inspired metaphor to describe the crippling indecision you face as a recent University graduate… But out there in the bush, with the scent of Eucalyptus in the air, and the sun on my back, the things that kept me up until the early hours of the morning, running loops through my head, suddenly seemed altogether insignificant. I felt a sense of freedom from the ambiguity surrounding what exactly I should be doing with my career, and how I should be getting there.

Out there, I felt a sense of freedom from the ambiguity surrounding what exactly I should be doing with my career, and how I should be getting there. Today I feel a bit more at ease, while the job hunting process is still somewhat overwhelming, it no longer seems insurmountable.  I don’t feel like a dole bludging loser, more like someone who is doing some soul searching and will be able to go to the beach this summer and read a book whenever she feels like it. Now hopefully this change in mindset will help me get a damn job!