Monday 30 November 2015

peoples climate movement

This past weekend, in cities all around the globe, hundreds of thousands of people marched for climate action ahead of the United Nations climate summit in Paris.

Looking across the crowd to the stage in the Domain
photo: Stephen Blake

I participated in the People's Climate March in Sydney yesterday - me and 60,000 of my dearest Sydney friends!

Me and Ty on the right, with our friends James (left) and Yatu (to my left)
and Yatu's parents, who have been taking Yatu to marches since she was a
wee little thing. They once dressed her in a shirt that read
"I want to grow up, not blow up"to protest nuclear energy. It was
amazing to be with such dedicated and experienced protestors!

Compared to the first climate march that I attended in Sydney (which I wrote about in my book, it must have been in 2008 or 2009), yesterday's march was of epic proportions, at least 10 times the size, and representing a much wider diversity of people from all corners of Sydney (and potentially farther afield).

Many Indigenous cultures were represented at the rally, and those wearing red
were representing people already on the frontlines of climate change.
photo: Stephen Blake

Photo: Stephen Blake

The rally began in the Domain and included a number of speeches and performances, including 1 Million Women's new song, "I am the Voice"*, and the always-inspirational Tim Flannery.

We all participated in a minute of silence in honour of those already facing
the impact of climate change, and then march officially began following
the playing of didgeridoo.   Photo: Stephen Blake

As the temperatures creeped higher - and the predicted thunderstorms failed to appear - the march began underneath Sydney sunshine and we benefited from the delicious breeze coming up from Sydney Harbour. Organised by colour - dress for your climate change passion - there was no shortage of music, dancing, chanting, signs and costumes, and there was an overall sense of community amongst our fellow Sydneysiders.

Photo: Stephen Blake
Photo: Stephen Blake
Clover Moore spoke at the start of the rally
Photo: Stephen Blake

Any excuse to wear an animal onesie, right?
Photo: Stephen Blake

Many people participating were protesting other social justice causes, too.
Photo: Stephen Blake

These beautiful girls represented 'Our common home', sporting green
in honour of all the species on planet Earth.
Photo: Stephen Blake

And speaking for myself, I felt enormous gratitude about living in a country that allows peaceful protests like this one, pride in my fellow citizens who turned out in huge numbers, and increased optimism about the future.

Photo: Stephen Blake

I love this not-so-subtle use of parental guilt.
Photo: Stephen Blake

'Stop polluting' - couldn't have said it better myself.
Photo: Stephen Blake

There's still so much work to do, and I hope that the world's political leaders make meaningful and impactful agreements over the next two weeks in Paris. But whatever happens at the Climate Summt, the People of the world have spoken. An increasing number of us are determined to shift towards a future based on clean energy, a fairer economic system and a healthier environment for all the planet's inhabitants. As the rally cry from yesterday's march exclaimed:  

from here on in, we're all in

It's not just for hippies anymore!
Photo: Stephen Blake

But what would a climate rally be without them?
Photo: Stephen Blake

Were you at a People's Climate event this weekend? I'd love to hear about it!

* * * *

A special THANK YOU to Stephen Blake for letting me use his amazing photographs in today's blog post - I only had my phone and was too busy chanting to take photos. He captured the atmosphere perfectly.

*A cleaver re-write of the Australian John Farnham classic "You're the Voice"

Friday 13 November 2015

natural DIY manicure

I love to take a long lunch break on the days I'm working from home, and try and squeeze in a yoga class or walk along the beach. Today, I'm feeling sore from last night's handstand-filled yoga session and the rain came in just in time for lunch, so I decided a DIY manicure was the next best option!

Do you follow me on Instagram? I post more pictures there about
natural beauty products and sustainable fashion pieces that I come across.

I had the pleasure of meeting with Weleda Australia this week and got the inside scoop that the best way to use their deliciously-hydrating Skin Food moisturiser was to warm it in your hands before rubbing into your skin - it helps soften the natural beeswax contained within so that it soaks in evenly. I've used Weleda facial moisturisers and body deodorants in the past as well - I love their commitment to remaining in balance with nature and seeking to go 'beyond organic' and using biodynamic and other methods.

I've also recently been gifted a bottle Sienna Byron Bay nail lacquer - it's completely toxin-free and vegan, and the 'Harmony' colour is the perfect shade of peach to complement my olive skin tone. (I also love how it looks with my turquoise ring!) It's so great to be able to use an Australian-made nail polish that is free from the usual nasties. I can see from the photo I have to tidy up my edges, but I just love this new nail polish colour and texture.

Now . . . back to work for me! Hope you've had an equally delightful lunch break and have a brilliant weekend ahead.


Thursday 5 November 2015

film review : this changes everything

I love celebrating sustainable frocks and examining the pros and cons of fast fashion labels dabbling in environmentalism as much as the next gal, but today I'm compelled to write about my ultimate passion - addressing climate change.

Last night I saw the film This Changes Everything, and was reminded about the power of people and the importance of activism.

Loving the revolutionary graphics
on the movie poster

Naomi Klein opens her film with a confession - that she sort of hates environmentalist movies, and is tired of seeing polar bears struggling to find a bit of ice, like this:

image credit:

Klein has been a longtime role model of mine and I was delighted to hear that she and I feel the same way about these polar bears.

Of course I love polar bears, and am devastated about what is happening to their natural habitat, and yet - as Klein highlights in the film - their world could not be more different from the world I live in, and the time has come to change the story about how we talk about, and deal with, climate change.

This film is directed by Avi Lewis, is inspired by Klein's book of the same title*, and is meant to move away from scaring people or making us feel guilty, and instead to help us feel empowered. As far as I'm concerned - job well done.

Klein on the ground in New York
copyright Ed Kashi

Throughout the film we meet a number of activists from around the world fighting industry and government to take back the land.

March in Sompeta, India

I'm not sure which story I found most inspiring - the people in Andhra Pradesh, India, who engaged in dangerous action against a proposed coal mine in their wetlands, Crystal from the Beaver Lake Cree First Nation in Canada trying to gain access to ancestral lands, the passion of the Greek protestors, or the determination of so many people marching and protesting around the globe for justice on a range of environmental issues.

Protestors in Halkidiki, Greece

Ultimately the film suggests that we do have the power to change the story - we can either let outdated thinking and a broken economic model drive us toward an uninhabitable planet, or we can take charge and design a world that is cleaner and more just for all.

Will there be push back?

Oh yeah.

Just take a look at what happens at the climate conference hosted by the short-sighted, ultra-conservative Heartland Institute and you'll see the levels of greed and denial that we are up against (I'm still wondering how filmmakers got access and approval to release the footage!).

Nevertheless, the time to act couldn't be more pressing.

I'm starting by joining the People's Climate March taking place in Australia 27-29 November. Taking place just before world leaders meet in Paris for the annual United Nations climate summit, marches will occur in major cities around the world to demand a transition to renewable energy, secure job creation, clear air and a healthy environment.

It's been far too long since I pounded the pavement and raised my voice for my cause. I walked away from the film screening last night with an ache in my heart for not being more present on the ground over the past couple of years. My activist-soul cannot wait for the 29th of November, when I hope I'll see you Sydneysiders at our march in the Domain. If not there, find a march near you, and we can send a united message to world leaders that the time for action is now.


*Confession time for me - I haven't read it yet! It's somewhere on my long-list of 'must read for PhD' books. I promise I'll get to it.