Saturday 31 May 2014

a day in the eco life

I consider myself so lucky to spend my days working for the environment. Whether through contract jobs, writing or my PhD project, I get to immerse myself in sustainability everyday. And yesterday, after I introduced myself to someone as an environmentalist (I love saying that!), I reflected on exactly what that means in my day-to-day life.

Here's a glimpse at my schedule from yesterday:

5.50am - alarm goes off, I drag myself out of bed, brush my teeth, splash water on my face, pull on my yoga gear and walk to the local yoga studio.

6.15am - beautiful Hatha yoga session, a wonderful way to wake up. My practice includes using my natural rubber yoga mat by Jade and wearing my fabulous Teeki yoga pants made from recycled plastic.

7.45am - feeling alive and well after yoga, I wander over to Pure Wholefoods and treat myself to an organic breakfast including an Acai bowl with granola and a soy flat white.

8.15am - crack open the books and the journals and immerse myself in environmental activism and fashion theory for my PhD studies.

9.00am - take a minute to put a coat of Butter nail polish on my nails in the adorable shade 'Molly Coddled'. (Lots of time for nails to dry while I'm reading!) Butter is free from Formaldehyde, Toluene and DBP, nasty chemicals found in traditional nail polish.

10.30am - walk over to Fairlight to collect a fantastic picnic basket that someone was giving away for free on the new sharing website, TuShare. If you have anything you need to get rid of, pop it on TuShare, and people like me can request to take care of them for you! As an added bonus, I met a fellow American who has recently moved to the area - a new picnic basket, and a new friend!

11.15am - alight the Manly ferry into town, stainless steel water bottle in tow to keep me hydrated throughout the rest of my day.

I cherish my EarthLust bottle I got from
State of Green (I actually left it on the ferry
earlier this week and was thrilled to be reunited
thanks to dedicated ferry staff!)

11.45am - use my weekly travelpass again to catch the train to Redfern - I love these passes that get me around all of Sydney on ferries, buses and trains. Sometimes I feel like I should be the public transport spokesperson . . .

12.00pm - vegetarian lunch in Redfern, accompanied by my books and notes.

1.00pm - the start of a busy afternoon of Uni - a writing seminar, hearing two of my fellow PhD students' work in progress, followed by two hours of library time - more environmental activism research for me!

Ah yes, my wardrobe for the day included:

Organic wool tuxedo jacket from
Melbourne label Sosume

Black tank from ethical label

My favourite tote, collected from the
Round She Goes markets last year.
I had on some never-been-washed denim, too. Before you get too grossed out, there have been actual studies showing we don't need to wash denim frequently (if at all!). I find hanging them in the sunshine from time to time helps to freshen them up. The eco-impacts of laundry are a whole other post for another day. . .

And of course I was wearing my favourite eco-beauty makeup brands Musq, Korres and Ere Perez.

6.00pm - meet up with my gorgeous hubby for a wander around the Vivid installation on campus before walking over to Glebe for dinner (nothing too eco about this meal - but we did have delicious Mexican food!).

8.00pm - hop on the bus to Circular Quay (the couple who loves public transport together stays to together - isn't that how the phrase goes?) to take in more of the Vivid festival.

9.30pm - catch the ferry home and collapse after a busy week.

So there you have it - throughout my day from what I wear, to my activities, to my preferred modes of transport (walking and public transportation), I am making positive eco-choices.

There's always room for improvement, of course, but I'm pretty pleased with how normal all these activities feel to me. I'd love to hear from you about how you incorporate sustainable actions into your everyday day, life, too. Leave a comment or drop me a line.

Now, back to my studies!

Saturday 17 May 2014

drumroll please

[insert sound of super cool drumroll here . . .]

My book, Sustainability with Style, is now available as a paperback! And I added a brand new sustainable shopping guide! And you can buy it through Createspace, Amazon or right here on my online shop (best option for my Aussie readers)!

Updated with a fresh, white cover - thanks
Wingrove Design for the love!

I finished the second edition a couple months ago, but amongst all the excitement of the Clean Cut Designer Showcase at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, I haven't given this news the attention it deserves. I'm so thrilled to be sharing this news officially with you, my cherished readers.

In case you haven't read the first edition of Sustainability with Style, let me give you a quick snapshot. It was originally published in 2012, and is the story of how I transitioned from a fashion-obsessed shopping fanatic to environmentalist, without losing my personal sense of style. There are highs and lows, a few laughs, and a few cringes, and I'm sharing it with you to give you a head start on your own green-transition.

Since publishing the first edition I have heard from many readers, and the top questions I get are, "What can I buy?" and "Where can I buy it?"

Ask and you shall receive! In the new sustainable shopping guide I'm essentially giving you all a sneak peek into my closet and beauty cabinet. I'm sharing with you my favourite brands, labels and places to shop. I've also included some general guidelines on fabrics, what to look for on clothing tags, and chemicals to avoid in your body products, so you can learn how your favourite brands stack up.

Special thanks to Eco-fashion photographer
Alicia Fox - you were a delight to work with
and helped me get a great book cover photo!

The book was originally eBook only, but with the addition of the shopping guide (and knowing how many people just love holding a book in their hands), I thought now was a good time to offer a paperback edition as well. Thankfully I don't have to worry about the environmental impact, because the books are produced print-on-demand. This means only the books that get ordered get printed, and I'm not wasting precious resources on potentially unsold books. The paper is FSC-certified, too, made from recycled paper that is at least 30% post-consumer waste.

Thank you all for joining me on this amazing journey so far. I hope you enjoy the second edition of the book and find the shopping guide useful in helping you look and feel like yourself, only greener. If you are interested in arranging a reading, book signing or shopping-tip session with me, please get in touch!


Sunday 4 May 2014

eco soul sister

I recently had the delight of being contacted by who can only be described as my Eco Soul Sister, Katie.

Her blog's title is dangerously close to my book's title (Sustainability in Style), and her journey into environmentalism eerily similar to mine. I couldn't be more delighted that she reached out to me, and we're counting the days until we are in the same city and can sit and chat over a cuppa (or twenty!).

Below is a partial reblog of her review of the second edition of Sustainability with Style.

Reading Sustainability with Style by Lisa Heinze, strangely caused me to have Sliding Doors flash backs, and I consider writing this review as a therapeutic task to work out why. So please bear with me if you haven’t had the pleasure of watching this slice of 90′s rom-com cinema.
Whether you call it an ‘environmental awakening’, ‘doing your bit’, ‘a learning experience’, or ‘finding your path to voluntary simplicity, most green-centric folk will be able to tell you the moment they decided to take action. Like most of us, Heinze had made some small changes in her life prompted by the messages we absorb from mainstream media, simple changes like recycling and taking reusable bags to the supermarket. But the real life changing (compact fluorescent eco) light bulb moment for Heinze was the revelation that takeaway coffee cups are not recyclable.
This coffee cup moment of revelation for Heinze is the equivalent of Gwyneths Sliding Doors, character Helen catching her subway train. Subway train Helen heads home to her ‘loving partner’ to find him in bed with another woman. Where Subway platform Helen who in a parallel universe, had missed the train, never finds out she was sleeping with a man who was ‘screwing her over’.
The experience for Heinze was somewhat different to Helens, in that she really did have a loving partner and no missed trains were involved in her revelation, but she did realise she had been cheated. All this time she had been under the impression that her takeaway coffee habit was harmless, but unbeknownst to her (and millions of other coffee drinkers) every cup she disposed of was contributing to the 500 million coffee cups disposed in landfill each year. Why hadn’t anyone told her?
For Heinze, now a woman on fire, coffee cups served as the catalyst to a life overhaul. She changed her appearance (just like Helen), gets a new job (just like Helen) and begins a new Eco life. Like Helen, Heinze had periods where she grieved for her former life, but found the changes she had made we’re creating such positive effects she could help but move on. In true movie style the ending of sliding doors is a little too far fetched to be relatable to reality, so the parallels end here. However I also felt that reading Heinzes story was like reading my own ‘coming-of-eco-age’ and that perhaps her and I were living our own Eco ‘parallel universe experiences’.
Like Heinze, I too had worked in an industry that pushed consumer products like drug dealers at a rave. I was dirty pusher giving the addicted shopping masses what they wanted, fast cheap clothing. Heinze was helping us ‘product pushers’ advertise to the masses and create the demand. While Heinze had her revelation over coffee cups, mine dawned over coat hangers, ones specifically designed for a product we sold, hard moulded plastic, a thing of beauty that wasn’t recyclable, that the company I worked for wanted disposed of as they ‘didn’t match the department stores decor’. So I threw them in the bin, put the product on flimsy matching hangers, and decided I couldn’t put up with the waste anymore and quit several weeks later.

Thanks again for reaching out, Katie! Who knows, we may have some more Eco Soul Sisters and Brothers out there . . . if that sounds like you, please get in touch!