Tomorrowland

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tomorrow land from dailymotion

When I rented the DVD “Tomorrowland” I was expecting a futuristic and adorable Disney movie starring the loveable George Clooney. I wanted something easy to watch as I lay exhausted on the couch on a Friday night. I didn’t expect it to be about the world being destroyed by… us. Without giving too much away, this movie is about a teenage girl who discovers a place affectionately called Tomorowland where Earth’s brightest and most innovative people go to try and make the world a better place – only it turns out they can’t compete with destructive humans who are killing the planet at a fast rate.

I felt like I had been slapped in the face. WAKE UP! DO SOMETHING! I think I’ve been lying on the metaphorical couch for a while now. Too exhausted with my young children and business to have time to do much else, I have watched friends do environmentally UNfriendly things and haven’t said a word. But if everybody is like this, then who is left to save the planet from this destructive behaviour? I might not be able to save the entire planet, but as Ghandi famously said “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” or in other words, “get off the couch and do something!”.

So I ‘dusted off’ the old blog and I say hello to you again. I keep wandering off but I keep finding my way back here, eager to influence people into eco-conscious living. I’m not entirely sure where to start, but a step forward is still in the right direction.

Oh, and don’t worry the movie Tomorrowland ends on a good note (thanks Hollywood). I won’t give away the ending in case you want to see it for yourself, but it was a great reminder that humans can be pretty darn special when they set their minds to it.

When you need something

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When you ‘need’ something what is the first thing you do? Just go out and buy it? I’m pretty sure that’s what alot of people do. I like to think of it as “no conscious buying“. And what’s the opposite of that? CONSCIOUS BUYING. Giving great consideration to each and every thing you buy. My Mum mistakes ‘being thrifty’ as buying a super cheap knife on sale at Red Dot. That’s not thrifty because if that knife isn’t going to last it’s not only a waste of money but a waste of resources and will become landfill.

Today I bought a bassinet. It was after a long discussion with my partner and alot of research. It occured to me how much effort I had put into something someone else might have just gone out and bought without the blink of an eye. Having a baby (any day now!) has put me in what must be the biggest consumption period of my life. These are necessities (not just a new dress to wear on the weekend) but every thing I’ve bought I’ve given great consideration to.

If you still don’t understand what I mean, here’s a little glimpse into how my brain has operated for everything I’ve bought.

  • So I think I need X.
  • I research X and decide whether this is something we really need.
  • If I decide it is something we need (not just want), I then research all the different types of options for X.
  • I decide what factors to consider when making a decision for this purchase (eg. quality, colour, cost, storage, duration of use, sustainability etc).
  • I decide whether buying secondhand is an option. If it is, I check the availability and prices brand new and then compare this to secondhand. I check for secondhand via Gumtree, eBay and Op Shops. I also check the prices of hiring. Sometimes you might even be able to put the word out via your social networks to see if anyone has what you need.
  • I take my time and eventually find what I need.

That’s pretty much how my purchasing experiences have been over the last 6 months. It has applied to the new car, the cot and bassinet, the nursing chair, clothes for baby, clothes for me, EVERYTHING.

Someone might say “but it seems harder” – well the benefits far outweigh the hassles. You make a far more educated decision, you usually save money (or at least know that you’re spending alot of money for a good reason) and you can even save the environment.

And you could easily replace the ‘X’ with something like ‘new dress’, ‘bookshelf’, ‘camera’ – you name it, the same consideration should be given to everything you consume.

How to host an eco-conscious Christmas

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My girlfriends and I started a dinner club this year, an excuse to get together monthly and have a great girly chat over a good meal which we all take turn to host. I put my hands up for the first Christmas dinner.

With (oddly enough) half of my guests coming from the northern hemisphere (Canada, North America, the UK & even a Perth-ian living in Denmark but home for a visit) one the biggest requests was for a ‘traditional Christmas dinner’. These northern hemisphere girls miss a big hot Christmas dinner, over the top decorations, Christmas carols and most of all SNOW – and Australia just can’t give them that.

So, I offered to make their dreams come true (kind of). I also wanted to demonstrate how easy it is to have an eco-conscious Christmas – so this is how I did it. Cue Bing Crosby’s “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas”.

Christmas Decorations

The girls wanted snow, so I cut out snowflakes using recycled office paper (i.e. paper that has been printed on and discarded). I threaded them with cotton thread and hung them. I used these instructions for the patterns.

What goes perfect with snow? A log fire, only as we’re in the middle of summer in Australia I decided to play a DVD of a log fire instead!

I also made bunting to add some colour, though I wouldn’t say this was particularly eco-conscious as the fabric was new, they will be reused every year and I did end up using all the scraps for other things.

I also used recycled jars as candle holders and wrapped material scraps around them.

Gifts & Treats

Initially we were going to play Secret Santa, but to reduce the unnecessary stress of buying a present, I decided to do something else.

Whilst I could have used the reusable bonbons I have already made ready for Christmas day (DIY tutorial is here)  I decided that I was going to do something different – at each girl’s seat I placed a Gingerbread letter (their first name initial) and a handmade gift.

The gift was a unique handmade brooch for each girl using the leftover scraps from the bunting and some thrifted buttons. On some of the brooches I even used the plastic netting used to hold a bag of oranges I bought (looks just like tulle!).

Christmas Dinner

As half of the girls (including myself) are vegetarian I opted for vegetarian Christmas meal. I ended up making a “Tofurkey” which is a big tofu log stuffed with delicious cornbread stuffing (which I initially found on the Kind Life website called Tofu Not-A-Turkey), hasselback potatoes, maple glazed pumpkin and green beans with almonds. For dessert I made sticky date pudding, not quite traditional but an easier option for those who don’t like Christmas pudding!

We all had lots of fun and lots of laughs. It was so easy to make it an eco-conscious Christmas that nobody would have even guessed it was. It goes to show that the spirit of Christmas is about spending quality time with friends and family, that’s all you really need.