The following has been kindly contributed by our guest blogger Annalise Braakensiek, model, actress and passionate animal rights activist.
As 2014 draws to an end, it’s nice to reflect on the year that was. To be grateful for all the blessings and beautiful moments we’ve had, and to learn from the disappointments and tragedies we’ve experienced.
I especially like to remind myself at this time of year that although the problems we face both globally and personally can feel beyond repair, we can help to make a difference. Just as the smallest kind gesture can make a big difference in someone’s life, it’s the little things we do on a daily basis that can have a positive impact on the ethical treatment of animals and the protection of our environment. Collectively we can make huge positive changes!
So, I thought my inaugural monthly column (very honoured to be a contributor to this awesome website by the way) should be some of my ethical new years resolutions. Resolutions that can help save this beautiful planet of ours!
Here’s to a love filled, mindful, magical and peaceful 2015 my Lovelies!
Kindness is free. Sprinkle that stuff everywhere!
Save $, save plastic and packaging and know you’re helping farmers and workers enjoy a fair deal too.
Go green when you clean.
Instead of wiping down your oven and kitchen bench tops with chemical-ridden cleaning formulas, or washing your clothes in chemical- laden detergents (our skin is our biggest organ after all), opt for a green natural solution.
There are plenty of fab eco friendly clothes detergents, fabric softeners and cleaning products on the market now (I love eco STORE and Sonnett). Or even better, have a rummage in your cupboards and make your own cleaning products! Mix baking soda and warm water for a fab stovetop cleaner, undiluted vinegar can help to clean sticky kitchen cabinets and the combination of a natural dishwashing liquid, baking soda and lemon can be used as an all-purpose cleaner to wipe bench tops and other surfaces (except for marble…lemon causes white marks so unless you dig the rustic lived in look – no lemon on your Carrara marble!).
Be mindful of your transport habits
Walk when you can, ride a pushie when you can (please no need for the lycra get ups though ; ), car pool and drive a low chlorofluorocarbon omitting or electric car if you can. I drive a Smart car – it’s the best! Not only is it eco friendly, but it’s super economical and can fit into the tiniest of car parks. Got to love that living in Bondi!
Switch to Green electricity
If you haven’t already, it’s easy to change. Explore your solar energy options and check out the ethical consumer green electricity supplier guide for more info.
Reusable shopping bags
One so many of us can easily forget. Please DON’T forget to take along your reusable shopping bags when you head to the supermarket, co op or market. Plastic bags not only add to landfill but have a disastrous impact in our oceans and marine life. Clean Up Australia says that more than 10 million new bags are used each day in Australia alone, with 3.76 billion of these bags making it to the dump each year. ARGH! Must bring bags, must bring bags…
The ‘Take 3’ message is simple: take 3 pieces of rubbish with you when you leave the beach, waterway or anywhere and you have made a difference. We can greatly reduce the amount of marine debris in our oceans by preventing it from getting there in the first place. Take3 encourages people to Refuse disposable plastic, Reduce, Re-Use, Recycle and Respond by picking up rubbish. RRRRRipper!
Take 3 won the inaugural “Taronga Conservation Society Green Grant” in 2011 and has since grown from a grass-roots organization to a global voice on marine debris. I’m a proud ambassador. Check them out if you haven’t already http://www.take3.org.au/.
Eating and supporting organic farming is not only better for the environment, but also for our health of course. I know the price difference of conventional versus organic can make it difficult to always buy organic, but Aldi have a very affordable organic selection or you can source your local organic growers (Happy who sells at Bondi growers markets is very reasonable and grows divine organic produce). Buy seasonal fruit and veggies in bulk from your co-op to help keep the costs down. Some of the delivery services are actually quite affordable, such as www.lettucedeliver.com.au – its worth looking around.
Use organic face and beauty products
Our skin is our largest organ so it makes sense to be mindful of what we rub, smear, anoint and massage on it every day, right?! There are plenty of fab and effective products that are organic, natural and not tested on animals. Some I’ve tried and love are: Perfect Potion, Aspect, Weleda, Dr Hauschka, Go To and O&M hair products.
Eating sustainable produce is an initiative that I am passionate about. So many of us support sustainable and local farming, yet support for sustainable seafood is severely lacking. Not all of us have the capacity, will, strength, whatever you may call it to be vegan or vegetarian, so I urge any of you who do eat seafood to please check out Mathew Evans’ “What’s the catch” documentary series on SBS – it’s a real eye opener. Oh, and read Jonathan Saffran Foer’s “Eating Animals” if you do wish to gain a greater understanding of the horrors factory farming. I warn you – you may decide to become vegetarian if you are not already. Sheesh…..
Don’t buy plastic water bottles
I have a fantastic reverse osmosis water filter installed at home and metal water bottles for yoga, beach, car, and everything/everywhere….
The initial outlay is clearly more expensive, but to steam veggies, cook with and drink an abundance of beautiful purified water has already paid off itself financially, let alone the environmental and health benefits. Be mindful my lovelies. Take a water bottle with you and don’t buy plastic water bottles.
Save a furry friend
So many beautiful animals get mistreated, abused or abandoned. Please, if you want a furry friend, save one from a shelter, animal rescue organization or the RSPCA. There’s an amazing site called Pet Rescue which lists thousands of pets available for adoption from rescue organizations all over Australia (see https://www.petrescue.com.au/). Many vets also have rescue cats and dogs available for adoption. Don’t buy from a breeder when you can help save a life.
I hope my tips will help you all have an eco friendly and positive New Year. Let’s collectively do everything we can to help save this beautiful planet of ours and touch peoples hearts with love and kindness….
Photographer: Uzo Oleh
Hair: Toni&Guy Bondi Beach
Makeup: Sonia Yun
PO Box 3178
Tamarama NSW 2026
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