Sunday 23 March 2014

1 Million Women reblog

Thanks so much to 1 Million Women for considering me as one of your inspirational women! It was truly an honour to be asked to participate in your blog and campaign (one of my fave climate change campaigns, even gets mention in Sustainability with Style).

Also, you've made my weekly blog post extra easy this week - I'm just copying and pasting - thanks a million!


Celebrating inspiring women: Clean Cut Fashion founder, Lisa Heinze

International Women’s Day was Saturday the 8th of March.

The theme this year was INSPIRE CHANGE calling for advocacy for women’s advancement everywhere in every way, and challenging the status quo for women’s equality to bring positive change.

In light of this wonderfully stirring theme, we’ve also made it the March theme for the 1 Million Women blog! We’ll be sharing the inspiring stories of women from all walks of life, who are changing the world for the better everyday. Never think that 1 person can’t make a difference, because we can and together we are a community of women changing the world!

1. Describe yourself in 3 words? (Or more if you need too!)

Stylish, Playful, Passionate, Traveler, Greenie (does that last one go without saying?!) 

Photo by: Alicia Fox

2. Tell us a bit about your story, what you do, what you’re doing at the present?

I tend to joke, but it’s very true, that a coffee cup changed my life. When I learned that takeaway cups are generally not recyclable, my inner greenie switch flipped and I haven’t looked back. I completed Masters research on lifestyle/cultural barriers to climate action, traded my job in advertising for a green-collar career, and published my book, Sustainability with Style.

2014 is a very exciting year!
First off the rank – a special second edition release of Sustainability with Style, available in print for the first time, and including a brand new shopping guide for sustainable fashion and beauty products. Essentially it’s a peek into my wardrobe and beauty cabinet, sharing my favourite shops and brands. I hope it will help many women see how easy it is to maintain your personal style, sustainably.

I’m also so excited to be part of Clean Cut, Australia’s new sustainable fashion advocacy group. We are officially launching at Sydney’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in April with the first sustainable fashion show to be part of Australian fashion week. We will have a media launch as well as special industry dinners/events, sharing ideas on how we can transform the future of Australian fashion to a more ecologically and socially responsible business model.

I’ve also commenced a PhD with the University of Sydney, examining how sustainable fashion can influence a transition to sustainable living – I will make sure to keep you posted on what I find out!
You can see why I’ve named 2014 the Year of Sustainable Fashion!


3. What inspires you to lead a life that is better for the planet?

It may sound corny, but I truly love life and this gorgeous planet of ours. It saddens me to think that future generations and others in less-developed nations may not be able to enjoy life on this amazing earth because of my actions.


4. What do you think are the unique strengths of women taking action on climate change and living more sustainably?

I think that most women have an innate sense of empathy that enables us to view the world in a different way to past male leaders of the world. We have the ability to look beyond simply the dollar value of an item to see the underlying qualities of life that must be maintained. (Of course many men have this quality, it just has not been encouraged in the past, and doesn’t seem to come as naturally to most men).

I also think women are excellent multitaskers and networkers – it comes second nature to us! Both qualities are essential for taking climate action.


5. We know the time is now to act on climate change! Do you have an inspiring message about living a more sustainable lifestyle you’d like to share with our 1 Million Women community?

Don’t worry about the past or the size of the issue, the important thing is to just jump right in and see where you can start making change in your life. You’ll be amazed at what you can achieve in a short span of time, and you’ll feel better than you can even imagine knowing you are making a real difference.


6. What’s your top tip for living sustainably in the modern world?

Identify the area in your life that has the biggest impact on the climate, and make change in this area.

For me, this meant buying fewer new clothes (what can I say, I’ve always been a fashion fanatic!). I have been able to enjoy the beauty of fine vintage, enjoyed the camaraderie that comes with clothes swaps and markets, and embraced the value of quality items building a wardrobe to outlast the trends. For others this may mean taking public transportation a few times a week, or installing solar panels because of their electricity usage. Whatever it is - just get started!

Sunday 16 March 2014

a green iPad fling

Okay, I admit it: I'm an Apple fangirl.

I'm writing this on my iMac,  and around my home is a collection of iPhones, iPods and a MacBook. And after showing much restraint, I finally got my first iPad. Actually, Santa left it for me under the tree this Christmas, knowing it would come in handy as I balance work, study and a start-up this year.

This isn't just any iPad, though, it's a green one - Santa knew I'd prefer something used, so he let the elves off the hook and bought it on Gumtree.

 To keep this a green iPad, I've just ordered a used keyboard from eBay . . .

. . . as well as a handmade cover from Etsy.

E-Waste is a growing concern across the globe.

Did you know that Australians buy more than 4 million computers per year? And less than 10% of discarded computers get recycled. This is a problem in terms of wasting energy-intensive resources that go into computers, and the potential leaking of mercury, lead and other toxic chemicals from discarded e-waste.

Apple frequently gets a large portion of the e-waste blame as each iteration of the iPhone and iPad seems to come out quicker than the last. And personally I'm not impressed that the batteries of the devices can't currently be replaced (I haven't faced this problem myself, but this seems to me to be a major design flaw).

But we need to take personal responsibility for how many new devices we buy, as well. So, if you're in the market, I suggest you consider secondhand for your next computer, phone or tablet. You'll probably be surprised at the condition, and the quality of Apple products mean they should last for years to come. (The iMac I'm working on is now 6 and a half years old and still going strong

And when it comes time to farewell your next piece of technology, make sure to dispose of it properly. Donate it, sell it, or recycle it.  It's easy enough to recycle if you know when your local council e-waste collection is, or you can take it to various recycling centres or organise your own pick up. Check out the sites below for assistance in responsibly disposing of your old computers, devices, televisions and other bits of e-waste.

1800 EWaste


Sunday 2 March 2014

a green fairy bread fling

I attended a birthday party for my very favourite one-year-old this weekend, and had my first taste of Fairy Bread - what a delight! Growing up in America I missed out on this Aussie children's party tradition of white bread topped with a slick of butter and a dash of hundreds and thousands (known as sprinkles up north).

Since I was in a 'healthy' household our Fairy Bread
was made on wholemeal bread. Still decadent!
And this is not just any one-year-old, she is the greenest little one I know. Her folks are dedicated to cloth nappies and homemade, healthy food for their bub, and I'd calculate her wardrobe is 75% 'pre-loved' from her lovely older cousins and friends, and 10% homemade. No addiction to fast fashion here!

You can understand why it was imperative I get her a sustainable gift - I can't let her thinking her Aunt Lisa doesn't care about the planet!  I decided on a couple pre-loved books and an environmentally-aware toy made of FSC-certified wood.

Every little girl needs a copy of Madeline! These used
books were both in excellent condition.

My little one-year-old friend loves playing with blocks!

My craft-basket is quite empty after the past two nomadic years of my life, so I didn't have much to work with in terms of reusing wrapping paper. Instead of buying an entire roll (shrink-wrapped in plastic and wrapped around a tube of cardboard), I bought a couple of sheets that were FSC-certified. This was slightly more expensive, but at least I know I only bought what I'd use, it wasn't over-packaged, and it was made of responsibly-sourced wood.

A little twine ribbon was the perfect eco-finishing touch!

I hope she likes her gifts as much as I enjoyed selecting and wrapping them!

What are your favourite eco-children's gift ideas?