What’s your Zero Waste ‘Free Pass’?

Alright guys, this is an honesty post

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This year I’ve been working really hard to decrease my environmental impact.

You can see some of the changes I’ve been making with my earlier posts 5 Easy Switches to Change the World and  5 MORE Easy Switches to Save the World! (give the girl a naming prize) , and these swaps have made a huge difference to the amount of waste I’m making in my daily life. As warm and fuzzy as this makes me feel, there are still a few regular suspects that I haven’t been able to quite cull from my rubbish. As much as I would like to deny their existence, in the interests of accurately recording my journey to a low-waste life, here they are.

Frozen Berries

I love berries, and possibly even more so, I love how convenient frozen berries are. I fold them through yoghurt, toss them over pancakes, and blitz them into smoothies. Not only are frozen berries crazy cheaper, I don’t have to worry about them turning into little fuzzy piles of mould by the end of the week. If I don’t eat them, they stay frozen! Frozen berries do tend to be more irregular in size, which could mean that I’m saving berries that didn’t make the cut to sell fresh. Or is that just me thinking optimististically?

How I’m dealing with the waste: Rinsing the bag & returning it to the supermarket to be recycled into park furniture

Dental Hygiene

Floss. Toothpaste. Two things I’m just not quite ready to give up -partly because I’ve tasted the Lush Toothy Tabs and they taste doggone-awful. Partly because I don’t 100% trust alternative methods, teeth are a once-on-a-lifetime thing, and dentists in Australia are expensive.

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How I’m dealing with the waste: Not well. The cardboard back of the floss packed gets separated and recycled, the rest goes to landfill

Beauty regime

I know. Trust the wannabee actress to refuse to cull her beauty regime. I do have trouble skin- I don’t experience breakouts,  but it dries easily (as a kid it used to crack & bleed in the really bad patches). I’ve tried replacing some of my products with natural alternatives, but so far nothing has been able to float my boat, either because it doesn’t do a satisfactory job, or it makes my skin unhappy.

How I’m dealing with the waste: I’ve managed to move a lot of my products to brands that are packaged in glass & sold in cardboard. I’m also starting to become a lot more conscious about where my products come from, and what nasties they contain.

Convenience food

I’m using this as a blanket cover for all of those things that I probably could make at home, but don’t. Hummous. Yoghurt. Pasta. Milk (anyone want to give me the space to house a cow?). Griffins gingernuts. (Yes, gingernuts. They’re a non-negotiable in my diet.) A lot of zero-wasters make most of these products at home, but time-poor me has struggled to have any success. While I try to keep as much plastic out of my shopping trolley as possible, it’s highly likely that one of these sneaks in every week.

How I’m dealing with the waste: I try to be as conscious as I can with any of these guys that I purchase. I go for the biggest size I can, and recycle the packaging once it’s gone. While that may sound like a lot, my little recycling bag goes into the apartment rubbish bin about once a month -if you picture a wheelie bin, I reckon I would fill one in about six months? I’m still working to bring my total recyclables down, but I’m happy with this as a starting point.

Ordering online

I love getting mail. Loooooovvveeee it.

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And at the same time, there are a lot of days when I really don’t want to be leaving the house.  Fortunately there is a magical portal that allows me to fulfill all of my needs from home, receive presents from me to me and have access to unlimited nerdery!

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The downside of this wonderful place is that most of those items come tucked into layers of wrapping and plastic. While I can try to reuse as much as I can and take all of the soft plastics to the supermarket for recycling, mailer packages definitely make up the majority of my waste. It ain’t pretty folks.

How I’m dealing with the waste: This is definitely a case of reduce, reuse, recycle. I’ve managed to tamp down on the impulse nerd-purchasing that has historically been my weakness, and while I’m in the process of culling my wardrobe, clothing shopping has been cut right back down as well. If I look at my packages for the last few months, two were from brands that want to work with me on my insta, and one was a glass protein shaker that isn’t available in stores. Probably a low number for some people, but those bright yellow bags in the trash still bug me.

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What are your weaknesses? Do you have some things in your lifestyle that you’ve given yourself a ‘free pass’ on? Let me know!


Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to subscribe for updates, and if you want to see more of me, come say hello on my Instagram or Twitter, I would love to see you there!

 

What’s your Zero Waste ‘Free Pass’?

Falling Through Spiderwebs

A couple of months ago BrokeGIRLrich wrote a fantastic post called Falling Through Spiderwebs. Melissa was one of the first (in fact, I think she was the first) finance blogger that I discovered in the big ol’ world of the interwebs, and I’ve always enjoyed her posts because her career as a stage manager makes it feel like I’m looking into a dark little corner of the acting world that doesn’t often get the glory (now would be the time to read Let’s Hear It For The Crew! if you haven’t had the chance).

I normally read the BrokeGIRLrich updates as they land in my inbox and then delete them, but Falling Through Spiderwebs struck a chord, and it’s been left floating around in my inbox. I sometimes get questioned on my ‘obsession’ with money – holidays or unpaid jobs can get a little stressful as I work out how much paid work I will miss out on to take them, and budgeting makes me do a happy dance.

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(seriously)

Mel’s post is such an accurate summary of one of the reasons why I have a healthy interest in squirreling money away. As a starving student, and a now a not-quite-starving actor, having a cushion between me & impending doom really does make it feel like I have a few spider-webs carefully spun to catch me if something goes wrong. Well, last week…something went wrong.

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I woke up at about 6.30am with a niggly tooth. In a sleepy haze, I mentally made a note to book a dental appointment for my next day off. Within 30 minutes that had become, ‘make a dental appointment now‘, and by 7.30 I was in pain. Like, serious pain. I couldn’t sit still, couldn’t string together a sentence, could barely muster enough mental focus to google the closest dentist.

Is anyone else getting that sinking feeling? You guessed it…

…Root Canal

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I always thought the air of horror surrounding root canals was related to the amount of pain involved with completely gutting a tooth. As a functioning adult, I can finally say that I know better-  because if there’s anything that my trip to the dentist hurt, it was my savings goals.

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Me thinking about my $3,000

For someone who takes home approx. $800 a week, $3,000 could have been catastrophic – four years ago, it would have been. So as much as those three visits hurt to the very core of my being, there’s a little sense of pride that I will be able to pay them off without resorting to credit.

Would I rather see that money safe in my Acorns or home deposit fund? You betcha. BUT thanks to my Acorns, my piddly little house deposit saving, and a few other emergency funds here and there, there are enough layers of webbing to catch me, turning a dental disaster into a slightly unfortunate setback. And for me, that security is worth all of the budgeting in the world. What do you think?


Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to subscribe for updates, and if you want to see more of me, come say hello on my Instagram or Twitter, I would love to see you there!

Falling Through Spiderwebs

July Reading Roundup

And I’m baaaack!

This post is so late that I was going to skip the July roundup completely, but I couldn’t bear to have one month missing from the archives, so here it is!

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Hag-Seed (Hogarth Shakespeare)

The Hag Seed! Margaret Atwood is the gal of the hour in my circle, thanks to the release of the fantastically disturbing Handmaid’s Tale on SBS over here. Atwood was commissioned to write The Hag Seed by Penguin Randomhouse as part of a series retelling classic Shakespeare, and joins other literary names such as Gillian Flynn and Howard Jacobson in the endeavor.

Inspired by The Tempest, The Hag Seed follows Felix, an outed artistic director of a Canadian theatre festival, on his mission for revenge. I have to confess that it took me about three tries to get going with this book, but once I got through the first chapter, I flew through to the end. I was concerned that a complete lack of knowledge of The Tempest would make The Hag Seed a struggle for me, but while a few nuances might have gone over my head, I didn’t feel like I was missing out on any of the story. In an odd choice, a synopsis of the play is included at the end of the novel where you almost stumble across it by accident. All being said however, I think The Hag Seed is worth a read if it sounds up you’re alley- I know that I’m going to be digging up the rewrite of Merchant of Venice when I get the chance.

…And I’m sad to say that that is it. One book! In a whole month! Who’s even writing this blog? Never fear, the first week of August has already seen a flurry of reading, so next month’s roundup will be a lot more…well rounded

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What have you been reading this month? Comment below to share your favourite, I’m always looking for recommendations!

You can check out some of my earlier Reading Roundups here:

If you want to see more of me, you can check out my Instagram & Twitter, I would love to see you there!

July Reading Roundup

Low-waste traveling

Hello dear readers!

By the time you receive this post, I will be lounging by the poolside somewhere with a cocktail. Or not. Because I’m actually  going to be on the tiny island of Tasmania, which I’ve been assured is a frozen wonderland, so I’ll be leaving the togs at home and heading out looking more like this:

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I’ve never been to Tasmania, but since I’ve been reassured that it’s basically a tiny New Zealand filled with adorable animals and whiskey, I’m sure I’m going to feel right at home. If you have any must-dos from a visit of your own, please fill a girl in so I can make sure our last few days are jam-packed!

Since we’re going to be traveling with carry-on luggage, liquids and weight are going to be pretty restricted. Fortunately, a lot of zero-waste essentials earn a big tick in both of those areas! Here are the basics that I’ll be taking with me:

  1. FrankGreen SmartCup

One of the first zero-waste swaps I ever mentioned was my trusty keepcup. I’m sad to report that my cup recently decided that it was time to venture out into the wide world without me and then I managed to smash my ceramic back-up cup the next day. Quelle horreur! I’ve decided to take the opportunity to try a new cup I’ve seen around, so my shiny new Frank Green will be getting her maiden voyage on this trip!

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For a coffee addict, keeping a travel cup to hand is a no-brainer. My last cup lasted literally years of daily use, and I hope it will continue to be well-loved in its new home. Just think of how many plastic-lined cups and lids this swap has saved!

2. Solid Shampoo

Remember what I said about zero-waste travel being light and liquid-free? Tadaa!

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I was cautious about switching to solid shampoo initially, but I can’t see myself ever making the swap back. Some people choose to pair these bars with a conditioner of some sort, but I’ve never found the need. My hair is clean and healthy, and I certainly don’t miss the big plastic bottles in my shower! I get my shampoo bars from Lush, who also have conveniently sized tins for travel. Win and win!

3. Cotton Face Rounds

Exactly what they say on the box! I swapped to cotton rounds a while ago for removing eye makeup, and I’ll be bringing a few with me on the trip. They’ll just be thrown in a mesh back, and tossed into the rest of my washing when I get back to Melbourne- couldn’t be easier.

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4. Food Bags

I hardly travel without these now, so they’ll definitely be coming on the plane with me. I use a mix of mesh Onya bags and plain cotton ones, depending on what I’m putting in them. You never know when the urge for a croissant is going to strike, so it’s important to be prepared! I’ll probably also throw a large Beeswax Wrap into one of those bags because they smell so gosh-darned good and they’re great for smuggling out leftovers.

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Huzzah for the bento box! While I’m nowhere near organised enough to justify having a bento kit of my own, I grabbed a set of cutlery similar to this when I was passing through Hong Kong and it’s the best. thing. ever. So easy to throw in my bag and go! As you can see, there’s no knife in the set but I’ll be interested to see how it goes through security….

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-No brainer item

A water bottle. Seriously- if you don’t have one yet, what are you doing? That shiznet is free, why would you pay someone to stay hydrated?! The only people winning when you buy bottled water are the marketing genius’ who convinced you that your water needed to come from a store.

What I won’t be bringing

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Yuss, lady legs be free

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Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to subscribe for updates, and if you want to see more of me, come say hello on my Instagram or Twitter, I would love to see you there!

 

 

 

Low-waste traveling