New Years resolutions for a more ethical 2018

I love a new year, it’s like a super duper Monday morning where we get to let go of anything that no longer serves us and start totally fresh! There is no better time than the beginning of a new year to start incorporating new habits. With that in mind I’d like to suggest some New Years resolutions to help 2018 be your most ethical year yet! 

Veganism – Veganuary is a great way to start, whether you’re vegetarian, eat fish, dairy, eggs or meat by starting in January with the support of the veganuary program you can make one of the most positive changes in your life. With veganuary you will have an entire support unit around you, tons of recipes to inspire you and loads of other veganism virgins to share you journey with. If you need a little motivation to get you on the mood for a vegan lifestyle then there are so many good documentaries out there to explain the benefits of living as a vegan, my favourites are; Cowspiracy (2014), Forks over knives (2011) and Racing Extinction (2015) which can all be found on Netflix. To join Veganuary 2018, visit the website at; https://veganuary.com/

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More plant based, wholefoods to be prepared in 2018!

Minimalism  In 2018 try to buy no new clothes for the whole year, if you NEED something, borrow from friends or buy second hand. This is a great resolution for so many reasons!! Not only will you save yourself an absolute fortune but you’ll also be reducing your carbon footprint significantly, you won’t be feeding demand for cheap unsafe labour and you won’t look the same as everyone else who shops in all the same high street stores. I wrote a blog a while back now about fast fashion and why I don’t support it but if you need more reason to not buy into fast fashion then I highly recommend watching ‘The True Cost’ on Netflix. If at any point you really really can’t borrow or buy second hand then please buy new that supports a good cause and has been produced ethically. I recently found myself needing new forward while in Australia, I opted for natural rubber flip flops by Etiko that support Sea Shepherd and some rope sandals by Corda Life which provide fair and ethical work for women in Ethiopia. So if you do NEED new then research the most ethical options available to you. 

Etiko Thongs
Etiko flip flops made from natural and recycled rubber and making a contribution to Sea Shepherd

Zero waste – Shop for only plastic free produce, give up heavily packaged items and seek out more ethical waste free options. Change where you buy your groceries if your current store cannot supply all your favourite foods without plastic, even better if you have a garden learn how to grow your own veggies! Often by choosing items that are not packaged you end up living a healthier lifestyle automatically. Venture into the stores you previously didn’t think to look in, research bulk options in your area, find out about farmers markets. We could all sit at home and complain about the stores that don’t offer plastic free produce OR we could be pro active and seek places to invest our money that align more with our beliefs. 

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Gotta try and avoid those non recyclable stickers in 2018!

My New Years resolutions!

Veganism – having been vegan for a while now I feel ready to make the transition into a more wholefoods, plant based and raw diet. I am not pressuring myself to make this change over night but what I do hope is that by December 2018 I will have settled fully into it and can live in alignment with my views on health and nutrition in this way. 

Minimalism – there are a few areas I want to adapt in my life over the next year with regards to minimalism. Firstly going fully digital! I am currently travelling with a few books and a few note books for journals. By the end of 2018 I want to have donated all my books to those that need them and be journaling digitally. I’d also like to continue minimising the amount of clothes I own, this might be a trickier one though as I will be leaving the hot Australian climate for a cooler New Zealand climate at the end of 2018 but I think with a little forward thinking and pre-planning it is entirely possible. 

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I’m always travelling with too many books and journals, time to get digital.

Zero Waste – In 2018 I will be keeping my first waste jar. I feel like it will really help me to develop my understanding of my own waste consumption. 

I would love it if you would join me on any of my resolutions, share any of your successes or hiccups along the way and help each other to grow and live more ethically in the coming year! To share your journey and to follow mine, add me on Instagram @zero_hero_movement and use my hashtag #zeroheromovement so I can see all the things you’re doing, I love sharing ideas and seeing everyone’s progress!!

Thanks again for stopping by, another resolution of mine is to be consistent with my blog posts in 2018 so expect more material from me and if there’s a topic around ethical living that you’d like me to blog about then please just send me a message or comment below, I’d love to here from you! 

Much love, 

Lucy

Flying with Emirates – How to avoid unnecessary waste when flying 

The topic of flying is a tough one for the eco conscious. The damaging effects of flying on the environment are no secret and I myself have met several people who simple refuse to travel by air. For me flying is my selfish want to see the world but it does not stop me trying to do so as ethically as possible. 

This year I took two flights with Emirates, one from London to Dubai and then another from Dubai to Brisbane, Australia. Prior to my journeys I had heard such great things about Emirates and was excited to see what efforts the company were making to reduce their waste. 

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Real metal cutlery on both flights!

My first thoughts when preparing to fly were that it is very easy to blame and point the finger at these huge corporations. Yes, they probably could do better, couldn’t we all? But what good does it do, to sit there and complain about something if we ourselves have made no effort what so ever to make the best outcome of any given situation? So because of this I packed some essentials into my hand luggage so that I was able to refuse single use plastics where ever possible. These essentials included;

  • Coffee cup
  • Water bottle
  • Blanket
  • Book(s)

Seems like a pretty basic list right? Well it is, because it’s really not difficult to make ourselves responsible. I was able to use my coffee cup both in the terminal and on the plane. The staff on both my flights were more than happy to fill up my own coffee cup. Not only did this mean I avoided using the little plastic cups they provide onboard but it also meant that I got so much more coffee because my travel cup is so much bigger! Win!

The water bottle is obvious, as long as it’s empty whilst you go through security you can then fill it up on the other side either at designated water stations or just by asking the staff of coffee shops or restaurants within the terminal nicely. What was amazing about Emirates was that there was a drinking water fountain onboard the plane!!! So any time my bottle ran empty I could just get up and refill it myself! This again meant I was able to avoid the silly little water tubs and bottles that they provide onboard and again, probably got more water than anyone else on the flight, avoiding that horrible in flight dehydration. 

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The filtered water station ob-board the plane where I was able to refill my own bottle throughout the flights
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The water provided by the airline. a tiny amount in a plastic cup. I’ll stick to my own bottle thanks!

The blanket!! This is probably my favourite travel hack for flights because it brings so much comfort to the experience! By packing my own blanket I didn’t need to use the plastic wrapped ones provided on the flight! It also made me feel better on-board because it gave me so much homely comfort rather than trying to snuggle down in a borrowed blanket. I had popped a few drops of lavender essential oil on it before I flew too so that it was extra soothing when it came to nap time. I could not recommend this hack enough! Why wouldn’t you want to make your flight as comfortable as possible whilst avoiding unnecessary plastic at the same time?

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Bringing my own blanket meant I was able to avoid using the plastic wrapped ones provided by the airline.
The final part of my essentials list is a little cheeky I suppose and only really relevant for my first flight from London to Dubai. The flight was around 7 hours long and I didn’t want to use the headphones wrapped in plastic if I could help it. So what did I do? I read. This was pretty easy for me as I’m not a big tv/film person anyway and I enjoy reading so much! The second flight however I did succumb to the in flight entertainment as I had 14 hours to pass by and toward the end just needed something mind numbing to keep me going. In the future I’ll be looking to get an adaptor so that I can use my own headphones whilst on-board.

So, the thing about flying is, yes it’s destructive, but simply placing our feet on this earth is destructive. Don’t beat yourself up if you’re trying to have a positive impact with your travel, do what you can to lessen the weight of that footprint. Secondly, don’t just rush to blame when you can make the most of a bad situation with a little forward thinking. Imagine if everyone on my flight brought a bottle and a cup, the air line could stop providing cheap disposable stuff all together. We are the ones who influence change so don’t be afraid to do your bit! 

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Watching the plastic pass me by as I refuse single use!

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this blog post. If you have any other travel hacks for people who fly then please do comment below, I’d love to hear your thoughts. I’ve got some really great blog posts coming up for you all in the not so distant future as well as some exciting collabs with some of my favourite eco warriors. 

For more updates and pictures of my travels and discoveries, please follow me on Instagram @zero_hero_movement 

 

Much love

Lucy 

Fast Fashion: It shouldn’t cost lives to look good!

Hi everyone, thanks again for coming back to my blog. This week I wanna talk about fast fashion because it’s something that really bothers me, although it didn’t always.
Like most teens and 20 somethings, buying clothes was therapeutic for me. It was a reason to hang out with friends, I used to buy clothes for the weekend, for special outings and events, to get me through tough situations when I needed a confidence boost and sometimes even just to spend money rather than have it sit in my account. Crazy right?! At one point I think I had over 40 pairs of shoes, a full wardrobe, a full chest of drawers and my laundry basket was always full too! Now, looking back that all seems crazy! 


Most of the shops I bought my clothes from I now despise. Cheap high street brands that change what’s considered fashionable every week, expecting us to keep up and conform and where the clothe sizes are inaccurate and make you feel like your body isn’t enough the way it is! It’s fair to say I feel like a completely different person in respect of what I choose to wear and it’s all part of my personal growth journey that 10 years ago I would never have seen coming.

But why is fast fashion so bad? Well firstly I want to recommend, if you haven’t watched ‘The True Cost’ yet, please do! It’s on Netflix and it’s a really great eyeopener to the fast fashion industry. Just to summarise a few points for you, taken from the documentary;

– fast fashion does not pay a fair wage

– The people who work in the factories for fast fashion are often in underdeveloped countries where they have no human rights and are often working in life threatening conditions

– The crops, such as cotton which are used to make our clothes, if not organic, pollute the planet and severely damage the health of the farmers who grow them. They often have no choice due to the high demand for fast fashion.

– Due to the increased number of ‘seasons’ within fashion (now more than 52 per year) tons of perfectly good clothes are taken to landfill or flown out to under developed countries where the local people can no longer make a profit from their own sales of garments. 


These are just a FEW of the issues associated with fast fashion. Is looking “good” really worth all this?? I don’t think so! Since learning more about fast fashion I have taken many steps in my personal life to reduce my impact via the clothes I wear. Here are some of them that you might like to adopt yourself, it’s really easy I promise.

– Buy second hand where possible: because people have to much the charity shops are full of some really great often almost new items! 

– Repair clothes you already have: a small hole or rip is no reason to throw out a whole garment, learn to sow or take them to someone who can!

– Truly value the stuff you already have: stop thinking of things as so disposable that you wear them once and never see them again! 

– When you do need to buy new, choose well made quality items that are committed to fair trade and organic materials!

– Borrow!! I’ve gained so many clothes just by asking if my friends have anything I can borrow! Most people have so much stuff they will often give you the item realising they never wore it any ways!!


So there we have it, like I said, it’s pretty easy. We just have to change our mindset and not feel pressured to look a certain way or conform to what the media tells us about our image!! I am definitely much happier in myself since I stopped caring about what people think about my clothes and started caring about the consequences of my choices! 

I hope this post is helpful for some of you. Please do watch The True Cost and comment below with your thoughts and any other tips you might have for people wanting to be more ethical in their choices of clothing! Also if you’re not already following please check out my Instagram page for more ethical living inspiration @zero_hero_movement

Much love

Lucy

My trip to Norway

Hey everyone, thank you for stopping by again. I hope you are still enjoying my blog and if you have any suggestions for topics you'd like me to cover then please don't hesitate to comment below, message me or comment on my instagram @zero_hero_movement

This fortnight I'm going to tell you about my recent trip to Norway and I'm going to incorporate the three main points of ethical living that I mentioned in my very first post; zero waste living, minimalism and veganism.

Firstly I feel I should say I was lucky enough to visit Norway because of my job. I work in marine conservation and am so wonderfully blessed to visit some of the most beautiful parts of the world in an attempt to study and hopefully preserve the amazing wildlife of the oceans. Now let's get started on those three points;

Zero waste:
Due to this being a work trip I was a little limited on time and therefore couldn't spend hours wandering around looking for bulk stores or zero waste affiliates but I am always aware of zero waste in the every day.

I did notice lots of litter in some of the most beautiful spots I visited. Beautiful city streets, ancient woodlands and even the magnificent fjords were all tainted with plastic. It was truly upsetting as Norway has some of the most charismatic cities and breath taking natural environments I have ever seen. I felt a great sense of sadness that even these magnificent places were not untouched by plastic pollution.

I did however also notice a far smaller amount of cheap, nasty, disposable items for sale compared to most places I visited and was over the moon when me and a friend visited a coffee shop that gave me a soy latte and a vegan cinnamon swirl with absolutely no nasty extras, just a glass and a plate! A great chance for me to use my own cutlery!

zero waste vegan pastries and coffee, yum!

Minimalism:
I feel it doesn't matter where I go these days I've got the minimalism thing down to an art (a not yet perfect art). I had the smallest suitcase of all my travel companions and never needed for anything else. I had packed for all occasions, smart business wear, outdoor winter clothes (Norway was cold and wet). I even saw opportunity to downsize further and got rid of several things before re packing to come back from the trip.

I also came prepared. As I said, I had my own cutlery with me and I also brought all my own toiletries in tins and refused the complimentary ones offered when I arrived. Planning is key to avoiding waste and keeping things minimal, I look forward to exploring more ways to plan ahead for future trips. Please send your minimalist travel tips, I'd love to hear them!

I am currently working on fitting all my belongings, clothes and otherwise into my 85L ruck sack and I'm creeping closer and closer to this goal. I'll perhaps make a blog post specifically about this at a later date. Let me know if you'd like to hear more about that.

My 85L Lowe Alpine back pack ready for more travels!

Veganism:
This was the tough one. Norway is a country that is built on its fisheries. Throughout all the fjords there were fish farms for salmon, trout and halibut. Whilst there are vegan options in Norway, particularly in the bigger cities it was still difficult in "normal" eateries to find something suitable. One hotel gave me a bowl of iceberg lettuce with cheese on top and called it a salad and at one point I was asked "why are you vegan? Are you sick?". I appreciate this is not the majority and only the experiences I had with the people I met. Perhaps if I were to visit on a personal trip with more time to spare I would have a completely different experience.

All this aside, Norway is one of the nations that still actively, hunts, eats and sells whales/whale meat. This was something I could never have prepared myself for no matter how much I tried! Everyone I spoke to said it was normal, "just like eating cow or pig" I was even told. No one I met battered an eyelid and most people thought whales were plentiful and able to increase their populations enough to sustain regular hunting. This is not true. There was whale meat on the markets that we passed and free samples were offered to passing tourists. I was delighted to hear one passer by exclaim, "I want to see them, not eat them!". Surveying the North Sea surrounding southern Norway specifically for whales for a whole week, myself and my colleagues saw none. This could be for many combined reasons, but whaling most definitely plays its role.

Whale meat on sale in Norway

Without ending on a negative note it's important to say I did adore Norway, I appreciate cultural differences even if they are not in alignment with my own beliefs and hope that one day Norway will cease their whaling and understand from a scientific stand point that whaling is not sustainable. The scenery of the country was absolutely breath taking and I fell in love over and over again with the fjords. Definitely a country I would like to revisit on a personal holiday trip.

Beautiful Norwegian fjord

Thank you so much for baring with me in times of little wifi! As always please comment below your thoughts and for more about my journey with zero waste living, minimalism and veganism, please follow my Instagram @zero_hero_movement

Much love
Lucy

Moving forward 

After last fortnights despair over the amount of plastic in my life, I was feeling really reenergised and ready to tackle plastic pollution with a whole new perspective.
If you read my last blog post ‘my plastic FULL July’ you’ll know that I decided to quit eating out or on the go and also to stop buying coffees whilst travelling. These were huge players in my plastic consumption and I always made excuses. I had all the excuses! 
Too afraid to say no 

Too busy to meal prep

Too rushed to look for better options

It’s like none of it was my fault! But I know, if we want change in our personal lives only we can make that change. I knew it was up to me to give up those excuses and start doing all the things that would help me turn these bad habits around.

First thing I realised? It’s ok to say no, this is something I am going to expand on in a later blog post but for now I am going to practise the art of saying no. Just because someone offers me a cheap snack or a free coffee or anything else than involves, plastic, I don’t have to say yes. It might seem rude at first but if you speak with compassion and honesty then it is absolutely ok to say no.

Too busy?! I am all for living a more simple and slower life. If I am ‘too busy’ to meal prep before I leave the house then I am not giving myself the time that I deserve to have the things that I want. I also know that by allowing myself the time to meal prep I will be eating way healthier food on the go. Double greatness!


Shopping for food whether it’s on the go or a weekly shop at home should never be rushed. We should put thought into the products that we buy and ensure that the choices we make will make us truly happy rather than seeking out a quick fix. Again, it’s all about that slow and steady life! 

Generally just being more prepared is something I need to work on too. I now have my own cutlery to take out with me, nothing fancy or expensive, just from the cutlery drawer. A cup, a bottle, a straw. Cloths, hankies and napkins too, I was making my way through a ton of disposable tissues without even realising. All these small steps can help to reduce waste when on the go! 


So I’m currently working on my perfect ‘to-go’ kit as I’m always on the move. Do you have any brands or products that you would call essentials when out and about? I’d love to hear from you! Pictures of my progress will all be shared on my Instagram which is @zero_hero_movement

Thanks again for stopping by and please comment your thoughts, always nice to hear what you think of my new blogs.

Much love! 

Lucy

My plastic FULL July 

Thanks for coming back to my brand new blog everyone. This fortnight I changed what I wanted to put forward here because throughout the last two weeks some of my own failings became massively apparent and I feel like voicing the evolution of my thought process and actions to you might resonate with some.

Plastic wrapped snacks

I spent the last two weeks visiting friends and generally being quite social (working at sea means you have to schedule in everything when back on land, even social occasions). Now one thing that travelling and socialising inevitably involves is food and very often in my case coffee. 

When the coffee cups keep building up in front of you

What I am about to admit to you is hard for me to speak about, genuinely, but it’s so important. Some of you may think, “why is she writing about ethical living, she’s making a lot of obvious mistakes”. Well firstly, I am human, I am not a guru or an expert and never claim to be, what I hope to achieve is ethical living through learning and that the sharing of my own experiences will help others hit mile stones in their own ethical journey. So here it is, blunt and brutal.

This last fortnight I;

  • Partook in a store bought, plastic wrapped picnic with a friend (I was too afraid to try and implement my own thoughts on my friend and too lazy to pre plan food to take rather than buy)
  • I agreed to having take away food bought for me as a thank you for some work I did knowing full well it would arrive in plastic containers (again I was too afraid to be the odd one out and refuse the offer based on packaging preferences) 
  • I ate a pre packed sandwich and other plastic wrapped snacks when travelling because they were either given to me or I hadn’t pre planned my own foods.
  • I winged and moaned in silence throughout all of these dreadful events. I felt anxiety, I felt ashamed, I felt useless and I felt like a fraud. 

My nearest and dearest friends have all advised me that I’m doing what I can and that I shouldn’t beat myself up for things like this. They are so right and if anything this “downfall” has only served as a lesson and taught me what I need to do in order to eliminate excess waste from my life going forward.

The vegetarian and vegan range at Pret A Manger, a great selection unfortunately wrapped in plastic!

So, with a deep breath and a sigh, what have I decided to do about this? Well, I’m quitting eating out, it’s gunna be tough and socially it will be super hard but I know there is no way to be sustainable when eating out at cafes, bars or restaurants. So that’s it, cold turkey. If I want coffee, I’ll make some in my disposable cup before I head out. If I want snacks, well I’m gunna have to hope I packed them first. This is going to be a huge challenge for me as eating out and buying fancy coffees is a real treat for me, but I’m absolutely whole heartedly up for it! I want to improve everyday and be better at caring for this planet, so this is what I have to do! I’ll be keeping everyone updated on my journey with this via my Instagram account so if you don’t already follow, please do @zero_hero_movement

Thanks again for stopping by; please let me know your thoughts, have you struggled like this in your journey to zero waste? What tricks do you use to prevent excess waste when out? How do you explain your choices when out and how do you overcome that fear of ridicule? I’d love to hear from you! 

Much love

Lucy

The 3 elements of ethical living 

Welcome to the first blog post for the Zero Hero Movement! Firstly thank you so much for visiting my blog. I’m hoping that I can provide inspiration to help you live as ethically as possible through sharing my own personal journey.

To get things started I thought I’d talk about the 3 main elements of ethical living. These three points are areas where over time I’ve found have lead me to being way more ethical in many aspects of my life. Each point can be expanded on and lead to many other topics too, this is just the backbone and will also give you an insight into the kind of things I’ll be talking about in future posts.

1. Zero Waste Living

The Zero Hero Movement all started with my passion for trying to live as waste free as possible. I believe that trying to produce as little waste as possible in our day to day lives can REALLY make a difference to the environment and the economy. I hope that through this blog I can inspire people to make small changes that will lead to a bigger difference by showing what every day items I have switched for zero waste options. It’s not difficult and it doesn’t need to be expensive, in fact you can actually save money by producing less waste!

My zero waste toothbrush and paste


2. Minimalism

Minimalism means we live a less consumerist life. I can’t help but feel sometimes that the planet is drowning in our stuff. Things like fast fashion and unrelaibale products that need replacing every year or so are not ethical. By really valuing the things we do have, we can not only save tons of money but we can also stop cluttering the place (earth) up with our unwanted possessions.

My minimalist day pack


3. Veganism 

Agriculture for the meat and dairy industry is the LEADING cause of global climate change today. It is entirely possible to live a greener liferstyle by eating more greens. Much like the above two topics, it dosent need to be difficult or expensive, in fact veganism is getting easier everyday all over the world. Being vegan also doesn’t mean missing out, there is a vegan version of every type of food you can imagine and it’s just as delicious without the cruelty and massive carbon footprint!

Vegan raspberry pancakes

So, there we have it, my thoughts on the 3 main elements of ethical living. Please let me know your thoughts too! which of these topics means the most to you? Are you practising any of the above? What do you want to know more about?

I’ll be posting blogs fortnightly, elaborating on the 3 main elements, how I incorporate them into my life, my struggles with ethical living as well as triumphs and discoveries. So hopefully we can all embrace ethical living in all aspects of our lives.

Thanks again for stopping by and feel free to follow me on Instagram for daily ethical living updates! @zero_hero_movement