Category: eco-friendly

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A sequel for a Prequel

A sequel for a Prequel

Sarah Monahan and characters from House of the Dragon, sitting on the Iron Throne from Game of Thrones

Last night I got to go to the Sydney Red Carpet Premiere for House of the Dragon, the Game of Thrones Prequel.

I had just started packing up all my clothes into Leave Here bags and Take Home bags when my best friend invited me at midday for the 5:30pm event, so I pulled my dresses back out of the bags, and decided which to wear.

I had been staying in Newtown, before moving to Bondi, which is famous for it’s thrift shops, and I had bought several dresses there in case I needed them, and I’m pretty happy I did. I was only going to be in Sydney for two weeks originally, and didn’t pack for the two months I’ve actually stayed. I’ve bought a couple of new everyday items that I do actually wear almost everyday, but red carpets, people expect your to be a bit fancier, and heaven forbid you wear the same dress twice.

I’m frugal, and I don’t believe in buying something to wear once and discarding it, because fashion is one of the biggest polluters on the planet. So having a bunch of boutique thrift stores was fabulous. I could grab something that I was pretty sure nobody else was going to be wearing, since it wasn’t going to be whatever was new and trendy, it’s so much nicer on my bank balance, and I can feel good about recycling a piece of clothing. It’s amazing how many dresses in the second hand shops in Newtown look like they’ve been worn once for an Instagram picture and are now discarded.

I did buy something new. For the Big Brother event, I had bought a pair of sneakers from Bared Footwear. They are the absolute best shoes I’ve ever owned. They were spendy, but completely worth it. I have worn them every single day. Shopping, long walks, dinners, events. They are my new favourite shoe, and I don’t see myself buying anything else from now on.

So I thought I’d give their heels a go. I considered a low heel, but my husband via phone convinced me to get a pair of tall heels that I could have for nice nights out. A pair that would go with everything. So I grabbed these gorgeous silver heels, and they actually fit perfectly. I felt like Cinderella.

silver heels from Bared Footwear

I did fuck up and catch the wrong bus to the premiere, and then walked 1.4kms down a sharp incline to the event, so my feet were pretty upset by the time I got there, but I think I’d have been crying in any other pair of heels. Or would have pulled them off and gone barefoot.

They looked fabulous on the red carpet though, and that’s all that matters, right? Haha, no. From now on, I’ll uber, but I’ll still wear the heels. The block heel and perfect arch made them surprisingly comfortable to walk and stand in, and they’re not so tall that I teeter like the uncoordinated shrimp that I am. I’m also impressed cause after all that walking on pavement and cobblestones, they sole looks brand new. The other pair of heel I had brought with me from the US looked destroyed after one wearing on a Sydney street. So I’m pretty impressed.

I, and the new shoes, in my thrifted dress, made the paper. 👍

So don’t think you need to spend up huge, or buy all new stuff for an event. Hit up the thrift shops and recycle something. Make sure the pieces you do buy new are things that you’ll wear over and over again. Buy natural fabrics. Shop local. This thrifted dress is actually an Australian designer, made in Australia, and silk. I hit the “Small on the Earth” jackpot with this one.

Do something small

Do something small

When people talk about traveling to the past, they worry about changing the present by doing small things, but pretty much no one in the present thinks that they can change the future by doing something small.

I think we’ve all seen the footage of the Sea Turtle having a straw removed from its nose. You’d think it couldn’t get any worse, and then you see the one with a plastic fork stuck in its nose…

The amount of single use plastics we use has gotten out of control, but we can all make small changes that will add up to a lot.

When you get take away food, and you’re going home with it, tell them you don’t need the plastic utensils. You can use your own washable ones at home.

When you’re at a restaurant, say no to a straw. Sip from your cup like an adult.

It’s a little harder when you’re out and about, but there are also small changes you can make if you plan ahead.

When I worked in an office, I always had a few of these Light My Fire utensils in my drawer. Then, whether I had brought lunch with me, stole someone else yoghurt, or got take out, I had my own spoon or spork ready to go. When I’m done, I just give it a quick wash and throw it back in the drawer. Also very handy when there’s left over cake in the fridge.

You can get yourself a whole kit if you’re the type who actually likes to bring your whole meal with you. These aren’t just good for the office, but picnics, camping, sneaking a meal into the cinema…
 I’ve got a set like this on the boat. They used to be in my Airstream, and I was surprised at how much I used that tiny strainer when cooking. They also all fit together nicely, so when you’re not using them, they don’t take up  a lot of space. This brand is BPA free, so it’s better for you as well as the environment.

If you can’t make it through the day without a pit stop at somewhere like Starbucks, get yourself a re-usable cup. They’re not expensive, and since most coffee chains these days give you a few cents discount for bringing your own cup, they’ll pay for themselves before long.

If you just really, really love straws, or drink in the car a lot and don’t want to wear your beverage, then invest in some re-usable straws. There’s so many different types. Bamboo, stainless steel, ones meant for slushies with a spoon at the end, ones made just for your Yeti cup, fat ones for boba tea, soft silicone and even ones that fold up and go inside a container you can put on your keys. Most come with their own cleaning utensil, but you can also buy some extra so you’ve got one at home and one at work.

Paper straws are also an option for the office, if you own a cafe, or are having a party. We all know kids love straws, and also lose things, so send them to school with a paper straw, or use them for birthday parties, sports days, camping, etc.

You can also use earth friendly plates at the same events. Made from various materials like palm leaves, bamboo or sugar cane.

If you’re into edibles, there’s a variety available, and you can even make you own! Perfect for serving an amuse-bouche. And you can also buy them pre-made if you don’t want a whole new kitchen gadget.

And if you need an extra sugar hit, these are great for the environment, but probably not so good for your waistline. But hey, who wouldn’t want to drink an iced coffee or glass of milk through a chocolate straw? It’s an adult version of milk and cookies.

These are all just small investments, but over time they’ll make a big difference.

Bar Shampoo – No Plastic!

Bar Shampoo – No Plastic!

Make an eco-friendly choice in the shower with Bar Shampoo.

I don’t remember the last time I bought shampoo. My husband travels so much for work, he always brings home those little bottles of shampoo and conditioner from hotels. Past of me feels bad about how much plastic goes into making all those hotel bottles, so I bring them home, so they’re not tossed half empty. We’ve got so many of them that I can now be choosy about which hotels he brings them home from…. When guests come over, they get their own little set up. I’ve even donated bunches of them to charities and homeless people.

Salvatore Ferragamo bathroom kit from the Rome Cavalieri – A Waldorf Astoria Hotel

Many of the hotels are now moving towards the gym shower style setup and have the pumps in the shower. I love that they’re no longer using millions of little plastic bottles, but I also wonder whether some freak used the room before me and contaminated the bottle. I know there’s a lock on there, but I’m kinda OCD about things like that. On the plus side, if you do have a little container with you, you can refill it here. 😉

Shampoo and body wash in a pump dispenser.

Almost everywhere I go has the option of these two things, but if you’re going to stay at an Airbnb, or backpacking around to youth hostels,  camping or even going on a boat trip, you might not get given basics like shampoo. TSA has made it a pain in the ass to travel with liquids, and the tiny bottles don’t last long.

So I was pretty excited to learn about Bar Shampoo.

It’s just like bar soap, except it’s shampoo. No plastic bottle, no need to refill, no need to put them in a little clear plastic bag when going through the airport. At home you’re not cluttering up your shower with a bunch of bottles.

Just like regular shampoo’s, you can get different types. Frizzy hair? Check. Like different scents? Check. You can even get one with five different small ones so you can try them all and see which one you like best.

Best of all, many of these are not only better for the environment,  but better for you as well, since they don’t have a bunch of chemicals in them. Many of them are sulphate free, paraben free, and phthalate free, and made from organic ingredients. It’s a win for you, and the earth.

So next time you need shampoo, ditch the plastic and try one of these instead.

Let me know if you’ve bar shampoo, and what your experience was. Do you have a favourite brand? Does one work better than another? Are they easy to travel with, and what did you put your bar shampoo in for travel?