Sarah Wolf - Social innovator, Fashionista, Sustainability Warrior

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Sarah is a sustainability warrior and the mastermind behind the Carousel Clothing Library. Hamilton’s first fashion library located at The Creators, in Hamilton.

Sarah has worked with environmental and social charities, for most of her working life which has grown her interest and awareness on how every action has both environmental and social implications. At the same time she has always had a love for fashion, despite the tension between the industry and sustainability. She believes that fashion is a form of expression in which there are so many opportunities to make eco conscious choices without undermining personal style.

The way carousel works is exactly like that of a book library, you gain a membership and then borrow clothing, as simple as that. Borrow at a month at time, then bring them back and swap them for different items. This concept came about as part of her permaculture course as a project and she was inspired by a trip she took to LA and experienced the best vintage shopping. What started as just a research project soon became reality when she discovered clothing libraries were popping up around the world. 

Through her work in the fashion sphere, she has explored different ways in which it can be more sustainable. She is a huge supporter of buying secondhand but she has come to witness some waste issues. Op shops are now receiving more and more unwanted garments, and while consumers think this is helpful or a sustainable practice, the reality is that the ops shops can’t handle the quantities. Things that won’t sell are still destined for landfill, which the op shops have to pay for. Perfectly fine clothing going to waste. Here is where the clothing library makes an impact and introduces another step towards a circular economy.

She’s been challenged by the attitude of many that there is still a great desire for ownership. The library doesn’t sell clothes and many have had a reaction to that. They want to buy, not borrow. Sarah is passionate about low consumption habits, “As long as we are buying new stuff, there is a need to produce it.”

Sarah believes in the importance of people being able to express themselves through fashion, to be able to refresh your look. The library creates a sustainable way to do that. A sharing and circular world is the best world. Check out Carousel Library ASAP. There is something for everyone!

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The problem with bio and ‘compostable’ plastics

As we see the age of plastic bags die, much to the disgust of some, a new evil is rearing its ugly head. Bio and ‘compostable’ plastics. You may be able to tell already, I’m not a fan. We are currently being brainwashed that this new form of plastic is good and that it won’t contribute to the plastic pollution problem. Consumers can use them with a clear conscious. Sorry to burst your bubble but that’s green washing.

Plastics made of plants – seems like a great idea right? Yes they are made of renewable resources instead of fossil fuels. Which is the main reason they were conceived, to use less non-renewable resources. Which is great innovation! However what they don’t address or consider is end of life. These types of plastics are processed in a way to act exactly like regular plastics. Often you can’t tell the difference between the two. And unfortunately, in a water environment, ocean, river or lake they act exactly like normal plastics. 

The other issue is that they don’t address or solve is our disposable culture. They are simply giving people a clear conscious to consume disposables. Our planet cannot sustain a disposable culture. I believe our society needs an attitude shift and single use plastics is a great place to start. To shift our reliance from disposable to reusable will create a flow on effect. My hope is that people won’t give in to the bio, ‘compostable’, biodegradable plastic BS.

Others will argue that if they are going to commercial composters what's the problem? If they are going to these facilities great! But don’t you think we should be making sure real organic waste should be going to these facilities first?

Any way, those are my musings on the subject - I would love to hear your thoughts!

xx

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Almost Zero Waste Vegan Nachos

 
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Last week I shared a photo of some boss nachos I made on Instagram, and a couple of people asked for the recipe, so here you have it!

  • 10 wonton wrappers (these are the only plastic packaged ingredient) 
  • Half an onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 cup of red lentils
  • 1 can of crushed tomatoes (I used a mexican spiced one)
  • 1 can mexican bean mix (I used a medium heat) 
  • 1 fresh tomato, chopped
  • 1 quarter yellow capsicum, chopped
  • 1 can of chickpeas (for crunchy garnish)
  • Turmeric
  • Coconut yoghurt
  • Hot sauce or chipotle of choice
  • Fresh coriander for garnish

Fry off onion and garlic until soft, add cumin and coriander and mix until fragrant. Add can of tomatoes, and bring to a simmer. Add lentils and turn heat down, let lentils cook for 10-15mins until soft.

While tomato and lentils are cooking, heat a neutral oil in a fry pan on a medium high heat (I used sunflower). Once hot, fry wonton wrappers, they will need about a minute each side, or until both sides are brown and crispy. Set a side to cool.

Once lentils are cooked, and can of beans and heat through, season with salt and pepper to taste. 

While the tomato, lentil, bean mix is thickening, heat oven to 180 degrees. Drain can of chickpeas, and lay on roasting tray. Coat with 1 tablespoon of turmeric, splash of oil and salt and pepper. Roast in oven for 25mins or until golden and crispy - this makes and amazing crunchy topping and snack. 

Mix together 2 tablespoons of coconut yogurt, with 1 teaspoon of HOT hot sauce. Use more if using a mild sauce or chipotle.  

Assemble, crispy wonton wrappers, tomato lentil mix in a bowl. Top with fresh tomato, capsicum and coriander, with a big dollop of coconut yoghurt hot sauce mix and crispy chickpeas.

Enjoy!

 

Zero Waste and Privilege – it’s not a consumer trend.

Zero waste and low waste living is currently a hot topic. It's true that there seems to be a shift and that everyone wants to do their part in creating less waste and living more sustainable lives for future generations. Awareness is growing day by day and with that businesses are jumping on the zero waste bandwagon. And don’t get me wrong I understand that businesses are about their bottom line, and if they are producing a zero waste or low waste product I’m all for it. My problem is that zero waste living is not symbiosis with consumerism. Suddenly low waste living is marketed in a way that if you don’t have the latest low waste gadgets – think reusable straws and moon cups then you aren’t doing your part. This is just straight bull shit. Eco Warrior Princess said it perfectly “one of the core beliefs of sustainability is to UNPLUG from consumerism – buy less, save more, grow your own food, repair rather than replace” .Humble solutions are the best ones. However the new capitalism version of environmentalism suggests that one can buy in to the movement without making any real changes.

Not everyone can afford to buy fancy reusables, mooncups or even shop in a way that’s zero waste all the time. But to make people feel excluded from an issue so important and which is nonexclusive is wrong. The Zero Waste movement is about empowering and sharing knowledge with everyone to take up their own ways of reducing waste within their means. As a zero waste community it is our responsibility to ensure we support all.

If you are starting out on zero waste journey and don’t know where to start, here are a few of my tips.

1.     Don’t buy anything just yet. Start with the small stuff, like saying no to straws and other single use plastics, and buy produce without packaging at the supermarkets - look for plastic free alternatives to what you already buy.

2.     Do a little research – greenwashing is alive and well and unfortnutley we have to double check brands integrity. If you need help or advise ask someone in the zero waste community

3.     Get involved with a zero waste community – all over the country there are cool communities, both online and not. In Hamilton we have just started Zero waste meet ups, so keep an eye out for the next event Hamiltonians! There is also Zero Waste in NZ Facebook page.

4.     Prioritise what you want to cut out first and go from there. You can’t change everything overnight so start with the viable things – reusable shopping bags or cutting back takeaways.

On the 14th of March, we held the first ever Zero Waste Meet Up here in Hamilton! It was such an awesome night filled with discussion and zero waste ideas. We had a great turnout, with over 20 people, many of which were young and enthusiastic. We are hoping to make these a regular occurrence, so if you are interested in coming to one, get in touch! Also if you haven't popped into Go Eco yet, make sure you check it out!

Be encouraged!

K

Zero Waste Bathroom Recap

People often ask about my zero waste journey and talk about how hard it must be. Lets get one thing straight - I am not completely zero waste - and I may never be, but most of the steps I have taken to minimise my waste can easily be adopted by any one. It wont hurt a bit, I promise. I wanted to do a little recap on my bathroom products just to show how small purchasing changes can significantly reduce the amount of landfill waste you produce.

Zero waste isnt just about minimising waste but its also a state of mind or consciousness. Particularly conscious consumption. Choosing what I consume now revolves around environmental sustainability and waste minimisation instead of trends or desires. I believe that the bi-product of over consumption and consumerism has been a disconnection to our natural environment.

Anyway, heres my zero waste bathroom alternatives! 

  1. Bamboo Toothbrushes
  2. Homemade toothpaste - recipe is on the blog!
  3. Unpackaged soap Ecostore soaps
  4. Grapeseed oil
  5. Safety razor
  6. Bulk purchased shampoo
  7. Homemade scrub -  recipe is on the blog!
  8. Homemade deodorant - recipe is on the blog!
  9. Essential oils
  10. RMS Beauty concealer, lippy and highlighter 
 
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 Making zero waste beauty products at my Zero Waste workshop back in December at The Creators 

Making zero waste beauty products at my Zero Waste workshop back in December at The Creators 

 

Hamilton Zero waste Shopping Guide

 
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When I talk to people about my zero waste journey, often the first thing that comes up is 1. they don't know where to start, and 2. its impossible to buy without plastic. In a society where we are saturated with plastic at every turn, its easy to think 'theres no escaping plastic!', 'how can I buy things without plastic?'

It can seem daunting, and yes you need to be a little prepared but it is possible! Here are a few of my favourite low waste places to shop.

1. Hamilton Farmers Market - Gate 3 Brooklyn Rd, Claudelands. Every Sunday morning 8am-12. Head to the markets every sunday morning to grab the best local seasonal produce the Waikato has to offer. Unfortuntley not all the fresh produce is free of plastic packaging but there is a good variety. I take in my old egg trays to refill, grab Volare bread (in paper bags which I compost) and plenty of greens which i stuff in my reusable mesh bags. They even have a coffee mug libary in case you forget your keep cup

2. Bin Inn. I head to the closest one which is on Grey Street, but they are located in St Andrews and Dinsdale as well. Upon recently moving to Hamilton, I was sceptical that my Bin Inn experience would be as good as Te Awamutu (Murray is a legend), but I have been pleasantly surprised. The staff are incredibly helpful and are always friendly and listen to my thoughts and requests. Here I get all my nuts, grains, flours, and snacks. They have a really good selections and always give a 5% discount. Tu meke!

 
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3. Wholly Cow - for the omnivores, Wholly cow is a fantastic butchery that will let you bring in your own containers.

4. Village Organics - Frankton wouldn't be the same without this organic store. While stores have come and gone Village organics has stood the test of time. They have a great range or fresh produce, bulk bins and canned organic goods that are hard to find elsewhere. 

5. Whole Heart, Queenwood - have a small range of dried bulk bins, but also have some beaut organic produce and health foods. 

6. Supermarkets - ok hear me out on this one. While yes they aren't zero waste, there are a lot of plastic free options. I stick to the 'round the outside' rule. Most of the natural waste free options are round the outside. Take your own containers to the deli and use the mushroom bags for bulk. Buy in glass and tin, where you can pick BPA free tins.

Special mention to Mrs Goodness, who blogs and creates beautiful glass reusables for cleaning products and fermenting kits. She sells online but have also seen them in Bin Inn. Make sure you check out her blog, she is an inspiration!

Another special mention to the Asian Vege shop on Grey Street, which have a huge range of unpackaged and low waste asian vege. 

Buying low waste or zero waste doesn't have to be hard, but it does mean that your diet may change a little. You will eat less processed foods and become more creative with the foods you can get. Happy sustainable days!

Have any other recommendations and tips? Let me know!

xx

Working with Beyond the Bin

Yesterday I got the opportunity to work with Beyond the Bin at the Tauranga A & P Show. Ive had the pleasure of working with Kim, the wonderful mind and soul, behind the event waste management business, a few times now and I wanted to finally share the experience here on my blog!

Event waste management is pretty straight forward and not too complicated but having established systems are vital! The day consisted of setting up bin stations around the event and monitoring them for cross contamination throughout the day. During this time I got the opportunity to help educate about waste and start a conversation around it (to those who would listen). It was incredibly interesting to observe peoples behaviour to waste, most would throw what they wanted in any bin, without looking at the signs. 

Each bin station had three bins, one for recycling, one for compostable waste and one for landfill. They all had examples of the packaging and waste meant for each bin. Separation of waste is the most simple yet effective tool for event waste minimisation. 

After the show ended we did a sweep of the grounds for any litter and bought all the bins in to our main area. Heres where the fun started! We went through all the compostable waste to ensure zero plastic or non compostable waste was mixed in. The composting plants are strict on contamination! Because we were able to check the bins continuously during the day, this didn't take long at all. Then all of the waste was weighed. 

Event waste management is so incredibly important but unfortunately its not being implemented well or even at all! Beyond the Bin have released a series of videos for event planners to help support the implementation of effective waste management at their events. Make sure you check them out at Beyond the Bin 

Happy sustainable days! 

K

 Never got my hay ride! 

Never got my hay ride! 

Sustainable Sunday: Girl Talk

Recently, two things have changed both my cycle and connection to my body. 

Its not uncommon for women all around the world to feel ashamed or even 'unclean' around the time of their monthly cycle. Media influences, society and even tampon and pad marketing, all contribute to these feelings. Over time one of the most natural things has become unnatural. The fact that we use disposables for this glorious time, enforces that its some how dirty and anything that touches it needs to be thrown away. Not only that, we have grown up thinking that monthly PMS is normal. Like its our monthly punishment for being a woman. But we shouldnt be experiencing PMS, it our bodies telling us something is out of whack.

Year to date, two little things have changed my thinking and helped feel more in touch or 'in sync' with my body.

1. My period cup, menstrual cup, moon cup or whatever you like to call it. They aren't as scary as you may think, although they do take some getting used to. I found that the journey, or trial and error phase was incredibly empowering. It helped me feel closer to my body and broke down the negative views I had about my period, from years of feeling ashamed. I picked up my Mooncup at Wanderlust this year and have never looked back. I was drawn to it because of my zero waste journey but discovered more benefits that I had never imagined. I believe it has played a part in reducing my PMS, after years of late, irregular periods, cramps, back pain. Everything has eased. But not only the cup but I have finally found a tracker app that has stuck! 

 
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2. The MyFlo app has also played a role in changing my cycle for the better. Now this is not just a period tracking app, its an educational app! It was first introduced to me by my absolute favourite blogger/foodie/holistic superwoman, Lee Tilghman (check out her blog Lee From America). This tracker breaks up your period in into four and each week teaches you about where your body is at hormone wise. From this it helps with healthy food, exercise and mental recommendations.

 
 

Its amazing how something so simple can help with mood and energy yet we are never taught anything like this growing up. Maybe is we started teaching nutrition like we do maths or english at high school, PMS could be a condition eventually taught in history.

Happy Sustainable Sunday! 

Katie xx

Zero Waste Tuna-less Tuna

I have been consciously trying to reduce my meat and dairy intake and in the process found this awesome way of turning sunflower seeds into a tuna substitute! 

I have adapted my recipe from the wonderful Green Kitchen Stories blog, if you don't follow them already I suggest you do! They share and create wonderful vegetarian meals.

Tuna-less Tuna YO!

 
 

RECIPE:

1 cup of sunflower seeds, soaked overnight

1 shallot

3 tbsp capers

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp good quality olive oil

1 tsp white wine vinegar 

salt and pepper to taste

Simply put all ingredients into a blender or bullet and pulse, add additional salt and pepper to taste. If you aren't vegan and want a little bit of extra creaminess, add a tablespoon of mayo. Great smothered over toast! 

For a quick tasty dinner throw in with tomato pasta sauce and spaghetti. Ultimate comfort food.

Enjoy! 

Why you should purchase ugly fruits and vegetables

I was recently given the opportunity to write an article for Wanderlust, about ugly fruits and veggies and what it means for waste. 

We’re encouraged to reduce our waste by not purchasing more than we need, partake in stem to root cooking to use every bit of the produce, and correctly compost waste should there be any. However, what we’re not often aware about is how much control retailers have over what we buy before we even step into the supermarket.

1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted globally, according to a United Nations report. That’s one whole third of all the food we produce. With fruit, vegetables and roots making up 40-50% of that, this brings to light an obscure food consumption topic: rejection of ugly produce. Not old, not moldy, still perfectly tasty. Just ugly.

The beauty standards of produce can be so high that retailers may simply throw away fruit and vegetables that are less than pretty. This results in food being narrowly categorised as either edible (attractive) or inedible (ugly), heavily impacting growers who rely on such retailers for their main source of income and leaving behind an unfair, unnecessary trail of wastage. Wastage that needlessly adds to spending of water, land, energy and labour, as well as contributes to global warming and climate change.  

Connection with the earth we stand on

Have we been conditioned to not purchase food that isn’t up to a specific appearance standard? As buyers who are mostly exposed to just the beautiful, this practice can distance our relationship to growers. However, behind every ugly fruit and vegetable is a local grower facing less than perfect weather, temperature and soil conditions. What we can do is acknowledge the human and natural elements of where the produce has come from. And take a step back, and channel a time where the beauty of our produce didn’t define your choice in purchasing.

Join the zero waste movement

Thankfully, around the world there are people and businesses who find homes for ugly produce. Without us always knowing, ugly produce can be the ingredients of beautiful, delicious dishes served in restaurants or crushed and blended into healthy juices and smoothies. Large supermarket chains are steadily joining the zero waste movement by stocking funny looking fruit on their shelves for a discounted price. This helps environmental-conscious and budgeting shoppers, local growers and the environment.

Even if just one-fourth of the food wasted globally could be saved, it would be enough to feed 870 million hungry people in the world. Be amidst the food waste revolution. We have purchasing power and can make a positive change by consuming more mindfully. We can choose local and seasonal produce, and gain a deeper connection to people and place by shopping at farmers’ markets. We can ask (and demand) that our retailers, big and small choose to stock imperfect fruit and vegetables. With increased education and awareness, and taking action through our combined efforts, we’ll all see that imperfect produce is perfectly consumable.

Tackling a global environmental issue begins with one conscious individual bringing about small change. We connect with ourselves through nature. In choosing ugly fruit, we honour nature and become the holistic wellness warriors we strive to be.

 

The ever giving Ocean, Featuring the GALAPAGOS (Im back!)

Its been almost a year since I have published anything on my blog. This last year has been particularly hard, my mind and focus has wandered to places I wish I hadn't, I got to the point where I knew it was time to bring the focus back to what truly makes me happy, simplify my life and put my mental and physical health first. Now I can say I feel better than ever, I can finally see clearly again. The seasons of life are all necessary for our personal growth, but I am glad winter is behind me (unfortunately, not literally!) So I am bringing things back to the basics. Blogging basics. Zero waste, environmental sustainability and mindfulness. 

Almost every week, I question myself and this crazy zero waste journey. Its draining to countiualy hear about how hard it must be! Trust me I know. Whats worse? I fall short, all the time. I constantly ask myself, "why am I doing this?!" when I do though, my mind goes back to one of the main reasons I'm doing this. The ocean. Its where I feel the most at home, calm and peaceful. The sound, smell, sight, taste, and touch. Everything.

We are so unbelievably lucky to live in a country surrounded by clean oceans. But the reality is that the oceans arent clean, they are getting sick. Plastics are poisioning the beautiful blue, and whats frustrating is that we can help stop it.

We owe so much to the ocean which sustains us. Without it we would cease to exist. 

Its often hard to understand how a persons actions could positively impact such a huge global issue, and the sceptics will tell you otherwise, but I'm a firm believer that small changes led to huge impact.  We can make a huge difference, I wanted to share a few organisations and what they are doing to help right this wrong. We can take control, educate ourselves and make changes to change the outcome.. Its easy to say "yea well that's -insert other country's name- problem" We are too small to contribute to the problem, but this attitude alone is dangerous. I would love to see New Zealand as world leaders on ocean conservation!

1. 5 gyres - is a Not-for-Profit organisation based in LA, their mission is "to empower action against the global health crisis of plastic pollution through science, art, education, and adventure." I love how they educate through social media, particularly their campaign, #toplessforoceans which encourages us to say no thank you to takeaway cup lids. Check out their Instagram account here...

2. Sea Shepherd New Zealand - Now I am all for environmental activism, why? Because we need a bloody good shake some times. "Sea Shepherd New Zealand is a non-profit conservation organisation whose mission is to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world’s oceans in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and species". Current Sea Shepherd campaigns include, Great White conservation, Gulf of Mexico clean up and research,

3. Take 3 - is an initiate which encourages us to take 3 pieces of rubbish when leaving a beach or waterway. Based in Australia, their mission is to "significantly reduce global plastic pollution through education and participation." So remember, #TAKE3FORTHESEA 

Plastic Free July is coming up! And I'm taking on the challenge of refusing all single use plastics. For half of July Ill be in the States, which may make Plastic Free July interesting. Make sure you follow me on Instagram, where ill be sharing my experience!

Lets do it for the oceans!

Sustainable Sunday - Minimalist. Minimising Stuff.

After returning home I noticed very quickly that I simply have too much stuff. A wardrobe full of clothes, most of which I never wear. Draws filled with bits and bobs . My room = full of shit taking up space. And whats the point? in our society is status based on possessions? The more we have the more we want right? I feel like such a hypocrite every time I walk into my messy, cluttered room. Time to change it up, new minimalist me. Over the next few weeks im going to de-clutter and attempt to get rid of shit. Which is easier said than done. Often the stuff we keep we feel we are obliged to. "Oh but my ex boyfriends mum gave me that!" or "that reminds me of a trip I took", whatever the excuse may be, minimising my stuff wont be easy.

Lets start with my wardrobe and clothing. Lets be honest, clothing or fashion for women are like crack. Its one way we can feel good about ourselves,  how we express our creativity and personality. Don't mess with a well dressed woman, her confidence is infectious. But is it necessary to have a new outfit for everyday of the year? And what happens to that clothing when its no longer 'in fashion'? Us women often cant go past a deal or bargain but what is the true cost?

Ive been looking into this issue of fast fashion. Clothing filled with synthetics and chemicals made by under paid laborers, designed to fall apart. At the end of the day these big (relatively affordable) clothing companies are thinking of their bottom line and profit, and I get it! But the true cost just isn't worth it. I do not want to get all preachy but here are a couple of really good articles that explore the fast fashion industry in more depth if you are interested.

5 truths the fashion industry doesn't want you to know

The true price of fast fashion

This quick vid puts it simply. Watch it!

So as hard as it was, I did a major clear out. I got ruthless, the first cull consisted of at least 50% of my clothes. I even ended up making a couple of bucks. Recycle Boutique we more than happy to take most of it off my hands, and it meant I didn't have to spend hours putting them up on trademe! The rest went to the Sallies #feelgoodmoment

You know what else is nice, not having so many clothes means I don't have to think about what I'm going to wear as much. Less stress, always a winner. 

So a low impact wardrobe is the goal here, but just having a clear out isn't the complete solution. Buying less and shopping smarter is a bloody good place to start though. You heard it Buying. Less. (Gasp) Do it for the planet yo! 

Happy Sustainable Sunday,

K xx

 

Goldmine - What's in a name?

For a while I've been wanting to go into what inspired the name Goldmine. Once I realised that I in fact had a voice and something I wanted to share with the world, everything changed. At the same time my favourite kiwi artist put out an album. In it included a song, Goldmine.

The words resonated with me, I found the gold within myself - which had been there all along. But suddenly everything was clear.

"I gotta goldmine, its all mine, no body can touch this gold of mine. Its been through the brimstone, its been through the fire. No one can touch this gold of mine"

Thank you Kimbra for being an absolute inspiration. 

Dont be afraid to share your gold with the world, and know that no body can take it away.

K xx

Sustainable Sunday #5 - Scrubs!

I have to be honest, my timing and organisation at the best of times is still pretty slack, I wrote this post back before Christmas and never got it finished, then I had in my mind to have it out before Mothers Day. Yea that didn't happen either. But here it is! Scrub time. (with a Christmas flair?)

With Christmas literally around the next corner, I can already feel the stress in the air. "Hows the Christmas shopping going?" - cringe - I haven't even started yet, the common response. Which leads me to my next zero waste bathroom product, of which you can make out of anything lying around your kitchen - they make the best presents, men you will get major brownie points.

Scrubs are my new favourite thing, I got slightly carried away with trying different scents and ingredients, but they are the easiest things to make and can be easily altered to suit your likes. 

First - Pick an exfoliant - the scrubby part. Sea salt, sugar (white or even coconut), oatmeal or coffee grounds, which are my favourite. 

Second - Pick a base or oil. I've experimented with coconut oil, EVOO (extra virgin olive oil), avocado oil, sweet almond oil. Now depending on how you like your scrubs, "will that be dry or wet mam?", depends on how much oil you put in. I like to make mine with half and half coconut and sweet almond oil. Word of warning, if you are making them with coconut oil, remember it does solidify and makes the scrubs a little harder to work with. I don't mind this so much because the smell totally makes up for it.   

Third  - essential oils - if you want a particular smell.

Before sharing my favourite recipe for scrubs, I want to briefly go into different properties of the ingredients you may use. What I find incredibly satisfying is to hear about you readers experimenting and trying things out for yourself. Sure we dont always have time but sometimes we have to slow down, getting in the kitchen to make things like scrubs helps with that. Slower living reconnects us with the earth and our surroundings.   

Sea Salt - Reduce inflamation, flush toxins and removes dead skin cells

Lavender oil - good for aches and pains, muscle stiffness. Skin disinfectant and enhances blood circulation. 

Honey (preferably raw) - keeps pores clear and clean. Norishes, cleanses, hydrates. Combine with baking soda for a gentle exfoliator.   

Yogurt - for lighter, brighter skin. Smaller pores and helps fight acne. 

Oatmeal - removes dryness, relieves itchiness. Skin brightner. 

Lemon oil - rejuvenates sagging or tired skin. Good for reducing excessive oil. Increases the luster (I love that word!) of dull skin. 

Macadamia Oil - Super moisturising.  

Peppermint Oil - Good for blood circulation and creates a cooling sensation. 

Coffee grounds - reduces the appearance of strech marks and cellulite  

 

Here's my recipe for my favourite - be warned once again, it smells good enough to eat.  

Coffee Coconut Scrub,

1 cup of ground coffee beans, I get mine from the local Bin Inn and grind them at home in a bullet to a medium to fine coarseness 

1/2 cup sweet almond oil 

3 tablespoons coconut oil

 

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Happy sustainable Monday! 

K  

xx

Unedited thoughts from a full mind - Insecurities

At this moment in my life things are going pretty darn well. I'm (somewhat most of the time) enjoying and being challenged at my new job, expanding my mind through study, being creative through writing and my blog and I'm in LOVE. So you could say things are pretty rosey.  

But whilst things are really coming up Katie, those little insecurities in the back of my mind seem to be growning. So I've been thinking perhaps if I share them, it will free me from negative thoughts. I would much rather have my mind full of the wonderful things rather than these silly insecurities. 

This is terrifying experiment but here goes.   

1.  I'm 25 and still have the skin of a 13 year old. When is my perfect skin coming?! 

2. Long story short, had a few to many drinks one night and face planted into the curb. End result, a chipped tooth and more crooked teeth. 

3. Had a a few lumps removed from my shoulders which have resulted in raised scars. A previous insecurity made bigger.  

4. Three inch scar running down my knee from surgery a few years ago. 

5. I'd rather buy my clothes at an op shop, feel more comfortable not wearing make up and rather be outside than anywhere else. What kind of girl does this make me?! 

I'll tell you what. All of these things make me, ME. My imperfections and flaws are what make me interesting. And when it all comes down to it, I'd much rather be interesting than perfect. My imperfections show who I am in some ways. I can be clumsy and somewhat accident prone, lets call it cute quirk #1. I'd perfer you to see me, imperfections and all then spend time and energy covering up those imperfections. Even when you cover them, they are still there. I'd much rather embrace them.

I could go into a huge rant about the media, sexualisation and inequality of woman (thats a whole other blog). But you've got to make a choice. You've got to look in that mirror everyday and go "shit I'm awesome, I have a story to tell and something interesting to say. Watch out world". Some days you wont believe it, but those are the days you need it the most. 

Ladies (and men) free yourselves from those often mind numbing and consuming insecurities.  

Embrace your authentic self. It looks great on you.

Katie  

xx

 This photo was taken by a little boy from the markets. I used to hate it. But it has captured how happy I was in that moment. And thats a beautiful thing. 

This photo was taken by a little boy from the markets. I used to hate it. But it has captured how happy I was in that moment. And thats a beautiful thing. 

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Sustainable Sunday - You beauty!

With a zero waste journey comes changes in every aspect of your life and beauty products are no expection! But lets face it - old habits die hard. I have been searching for natural beauty products, free of plastic packaging and finally some success! Ive you havent already been introduced, here are my two favourites - RMS Beauty and Tailor. 

 

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RMS Beauty  was created by makeup artist Rose-Marie Swift, who after years in the industry started to experience health issues. Tests came back to show that her blood contained toxic levels of heavy metals, the cuplrit - years of toxic makeup use. So she created an all organic, natural beauty range! And whats best? It comes in beautiful glass pots. I cant wait to use one for my homemade lip balm or mascara! Available @ Mecca Cosmetics. My favourites are the Un Cover up - light foundation which makes my skin feel healthy and natural. Oh and the Living Luminiser. Trust me you need this in your life.

For more on what to steer clear of in terms of toxic ingredients check out www.beautytruth.com  

For the skin, my go to is New Zealand skin care range Tailor. Again the story starts with a woman who was brave enough to question what we put on our skin. Ladies, the toxicity of some of those beauty products is criminal! So Sara Quilter started to make her own all natural skincare range. And I am so glad she did. Arent the glass bottles just the cutest?! Unfortunately they have stopped their recycling program for the glass bottles but they will be perfect for using again as little vases or travel bottles. The possibilities are endless. I'm using the range for combination skin, which is helping my spots while still hydrating my skin in the places I need it.

 

Times are changing and the war against plastic pollution is heating up.  

Happy Sustainable Sunday/Monday

Katie xx

Im having major holiday with draws so here's a few Galapagos photos - more to come in a later blog  

 

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Sustainable Sunday - Eco store

We all lead busy lives. Not everyone has time to make their own beauty products and such. So whats the next best alternative? BUYING IN BULK!  

I have still not mastered the art of making my own shampoo or soap bars (maybe one day) but for now I am more than happy with the beautiful Eco Store products that I buy in bulk. Yes that's right you can buy them in bulk, free of plastic packaging. 

Eco Store is a New Zealand company start by husband and wife duo in 1993. Who had a mission to eliminate chemicals from household products that's everything from laundry, hair care, home cleaning products and everything in between. You gotta love that this ingenuity came from NZ.  

So once a month I head down to my local Bin Inn (Murray is a legend), to fill stock up on shampoo, package free bar soaps and any other cleaning product I may need. Dont have your own glass containers? Just reuse your plastic ones! - every little bit helps.

 

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Theres something about the likes of Binn Inn's and other bulk stores that really excite me! (yes I know - GEEK!) but I want to know where more are?? Help!  

Any way thats my short and sweet sustainable sunday tip - yes I know its monday! 

Happy days,

xx

Sustainable Sunday #1 - (just moved it)

My bathroom is atrocious, just ask my mother. Everything is in plastic packaging, and to my surprise ¾ of my products packaging cannot be recycled. It almost seems that we are so dependent on plastic. This led me to ask the question, what is the deal with recycling? So I have done a bit of research, to recycle any plastics it must have a number and the little arrow symbol on it. If it doesn’t and you pop it into the recycling it will just be rejected. Also make sure the containers are clean, any residue or left over body wash in it, and it will again be rejected (please correct me if I am wrong). This has made me even more determined to make my own products and come up with creative ways to eliminate plastic waste from my life.

This week I experienced a small victory on my journey toward a zero waste lifestyle, my daily dental hygiene routine is now completely waste free! You know you’re turning into a bit of a nerd when you get excited over bamboo toothbrushes. But damn are they sexy.

GoBamboo is a small company running out of Gisborne, who are making some pretty cool products. They are all 100% biodegradable and made from sustainable bamboo. Products include toothbrushes (for children and adults), clothes pegs and cotton buds. I do hope that they expand their line soon! Finished with the products? Pop them straight into the compost bin, or old toothbrushes can be used and stakes in the vege garden. I found mine at the local Bin Inn, but they are available online as well 

They are a perfect match with DIY toothpaste. The list of chemicals in store brought toothpaste is long and the tubes are non-recyclable, so DIY toothpaste is ideal. I’ve been using homemade toothpaste for a while now and I must say it’s fantastic, my teeth have never felt so clean. Yes it does take some getting used to, it’s a little salty and doesn’t foam like normal toothpaste but it’s all good! There are tons of different recipes on the internet, so try a few out, see what you like and what suits you.

Heres the recipe I use (again from the Trash is for Tossers gal!)

3 tablespoons coconut oil

2 tablespoons of baking soda

20-25 drops of peppermint oil

Just mix together, easy!

Missing your mouthwash, try a teaspoon of coconut oil (Liquid) instead, meant to be a great alternative and draws out toxins. I’m yet to try this but I will!

Happy Sustainable Sunday! 

xx

One year on.

Well it's official, the honeymoon period is well and truly over. Goldmine has past its one year anniversary, so its fitting that I am focusing on putting pen to paper over this next year! What a better time to reflect apon my journeys first year, whilst sitting on top of a hill looking at the ocean at Solscape, Raglan's eco retreat. What a hippie!

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This last year has been a whirlwind. What with starting a blog, graduating, traveling to South America, all the while trying to transition into a zero waste lifestyle. I didnt quite get to my goal of being zero waste within a year, but hey, I'm still a hell of a lot closer than this time last year. My bathroom is zero waste, my minimalist bedroom is coming along and I'm starting to change things up in the kitchen. Oh doesnt that just sound lovely?! HA! The struggles are and will always be real.  Here are a few;

1. Coconut oil - Everywhere. Being the basis of most of my products (and being) - I still may spontaneously combust into a coconut myself - it seems to have a way of getting spilled through every bag I own. But I guess constantly smelling of coconut isn't all bad.  

2. Going without when I'm unorganised. I'm unorganised - 85% of the time. I'll forget my keep cup, or reuseable bags, which sometimes mean I have to go without coffee or try to juggle four grocery items in my arms. This has been the biggest change and challenge, throughout this year I have been trying to rewire my brain in terms of organisation. Breaking old habits and creating new, you know what? After a year, it's finally working. 

3. Getting over the fear of what people may think.  I over think everything, always have and always will but the reality is that there will always people who won't understand it or like it, simply because its different. But thats ok. 

4. Constantly being hard on myself for not finding quick fixes. Ive had some massive fails, trying to make my own shampoo was one! But eventually I found away around it and now buy Eco Store shampoo buy the bulk at my local Bin Inn. 

 So whats next for myself and Goldmine?

This year is about getting down to business. I have just started a new job! Im not really sure how but I've landed myself a marketing job with a start up company who are bringing a more sustainable way of building to the New Zealand market. More to come on that! 

I have enrolled myself into post graduate study. First up is a Certificate in Science and Technology, focusing on Environmental Science. Shit. 

Get back on track with Sustainable Sundays and zero waste posts - I know I havent been to active on that lately but it is a priority! As both myself and the blog grow and transform, there may be a shift in focus, I'm not sure where yet but who knows! Im also going to start posting about some what uncomfortable topics, keep an eye out on one regarding sexuality soon.  

So yeah, this year will be jampacked. But lets be honest, I wouldn't have it any other way.  Now I'll leave you this years buzz word, actually I have two - these are to help me stay accountable and grounded.

Authenticity   &  Transperency

This should be fun, 

Katie xx

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