Sustainability Goals 2020

Preamble

Hello Moonlings, maith an lá, how are you all? Normally this post would come earlier in January however my life was stupid crazy coming up to Christmas. Also, I had to move it to suit my impromptu post of last week.

I’ve made some wonderful changes already like using bamboo toothbrushes and reusable coffee cups. I find spacing out the changes make them easier to handle.

The main process to remember is this:

  1. Refuse.
  2. Reduce.
  3. Reuse.
  4. Repurpose.
  5. Recycle

So in case you are interested in previous sustainability posts they can be found here. Otherwise, let’s jump right into it!

January

So last January I gave up beef forever. I had a few mishaps in November / December. No excuse I was just ill and needed/wanted beef. However, I’m back to that again. Then in February I only ate meat on weekends, which I mostly stuck too. Except for again November / December. Ya girl was sick ok?!

Anyways to narrow it down, even more, I am only allowed to eat meat once a month! So it will be a treat that I have to choose carefully, like if it’s a day I’m going to a nice restaurant or Christmas day for example!

February

Books. I love them so much. They are my friends, my distraction, and my portal to other worlds. However, I could be better with my hoarding of them. Firstly, buying second-hand. Secondly getting it from a library or borrowing from a friend. Thirdly If I need to buy new for whatever reason buy on kindle or audiobook. Secondly, reading the actual mountain of books I actually already own!!!

Sustainability - Read books you already own!!!
Sustainability – Read books you already own!!!

March

Still working through my plastic razors, but I would very much let to finally get a reusable, metal razor. The kind my grandfather would have used. I will get around to this. Eventually.

Sustainability - Carbon Footprint

April

When the spring hits, the fashion world pulls in the winter colours and throws so many pastels at us. Greens, pinks, blues, they are so beautiful. Do we really need them though?

For April I will be doing another Jeffree Star Lipstick inspired lookbook, using all my own clothes. No new clothes for April whatsoever.

Now I only buy from sustainable companies or second hand, but what is more sustainable than not buying at all!? I will begin at the top of the sustainable list. REFUSE!

May

This is the month where I finally learn how to recycle properly. Ireland is pretty awful in fairness. In some countries, you get money back for recycling like Germany. No. Here we need to pay for certain items to be recycled. Especially certain plastics. Now we do have

I’m pretty ok in general with recycling. I try to refuse first, so I make my own sparkling water now. Which reduces the need for buying it in plastic bottles, which yes can be recycled, but less is always better.

Reuse, I have a reusable coffee cup, water bottle and cutlery (for eating in places like Boojum).

However recycling is something that still needs to happen, and I need to really learn how. There are a lot of plastics in Ireland that people throw in their recycle bin that can’t actually be recycled.

June

Ok so April was to do with Fashion and clothing and June will be the same. I will be going through all my clothes and sell on depop and donating what I don’t wear to charity. I do this about 2 times a year anyway so it doesn’t get out of hand.

I want to only keep what I actually wear, maybe try the Marie Kondo method. I am a bit of a divil for keeping clothes I don’t wear because they’re uncomfortable but are so cute, or they are too small and I’ll lose weight.

I am not losing weight unless it’s a result of eating healthy and my yoga routine. I’m not overweight the internet and society just like to tell me I am.

July

Plant a tree! My lovely Sister-in-law bought me a tree for Christmas from Grown Together. You get the location (which is Lacakamore in Co. Clare), the coordinates (!) and the certificate number. See their mantra below!

Sustainability - 2020 Goals
Sustainability – 2020 Goals

However, I would love to actually volunteer and plant a tree, or donate to a plant a tree place, or plant a tree at my home! Ok, maybe not a tree, but a plant. I love the trees!!! They are our friends, and they give us our oxygen.

August

Stop buying beauty products that are sold to us but really have no purpose. For example micellar water. My make up is mostly vegan and skin-friendly, which means it’s easy to wash off with warm water.

This will give me time to use up everything I have that is store-bought as I am writing this in January.

Toners and moisturisers, they can be made with natural products. I’m hoping Madeleine Olivia can help me out there. I got her new book in January also… Yes, here she is!

September

Ok now for the single-use items, they are everywhere! Cotton pads, baby wipes, cotton buds, paper towels. Why do we do it, our parents got through life just fine reusing things.

Like paper towels in the kitchen. Every time I use a piece I feel guilty, so no more. A dishcloth is just fine, and you can wash them!!!

Also my darling sister-in-law Nicole also got me reusable cotton pads for Christmas. Here is a picture.

Honestly, I don’t know what I would do without her, she keeps me grounded. She is the zero waste sustainability queen. Perhaps she would come on my channel?

October

Y’all know how much ya girl loves Halloween. It’s my Christmas, it spooky, and horrific! Love it so much. What I don’t love is the plastic, single-use decorations. Honestly, I’ve been prey to them myself, I won’t lie, but it’s time to invest in ones that I’ll have my whole life.

Sustainability goals 2020
Sustainability goals 2020

Like this beautiful ‘snow-globe’ with a crow and tiny bats from, yes, you guessed it, NICOLE!

November

Ok for real this time, I would like an electric car. Now I know they aren’t all they’re cracked up to be, I mean the electricity doesn’t come from politicians farts. Hopefully, I will be finished my PhD and have an actual job where I get paid consistently again.

December

We decided this Christmas that Christmas crackers from shops are cancelled in our house. They are awfully wasteful with nothing good in them. We are going to make our own Christmas Crackers this year. Nicole from Mullen Crafts will have to be the creative director but I will happily write the jokes!

I’m also leaving wrapping paper that isn’t environmentally friendly in 2019. It’s

Copyright © 2020 Thinkingmoon.com – All rights reserved

https://www.plasticfreedom.co.uk/lunch-bags

https://lucyandyak.com/

Our world is on fire, and I’m frightened.

Preamble

This is not the planned post for today. I did not plan on making this YouTube video.

My anxiety has been extremely heightened lately, and one of the main reasons is our world is on fire.

We need to change, all of us. Greta Thunberg is correct, none of us are too small to make a difference.

Three Small Changes

  1. Acknowledge there is a problem.
  2. Think about what you do and why you do it.
  3. Make small actionable changes, one by one.

The Video

Sustainable Options

  • Metal water bottle.
  • Keep Cup.
  • Metal/bamboo straws.
  • Reusable shopping bags, preferably cotton.
  • Buy second hand.
  • Buy sustainably.
  • Swap clothes with your friends.
  • Reduce your meat and dairy intake.
  • Compost your food waste.
  • Bring your own toiletries on hols and avoid hotel toiletries.
  • Get a bamboo toothbrush.
  • Bring your own cutlery to fast food places.
  • Use soap instead of shower gel.
  • Look up sustainable bloggers/vloggers for help.
  • Read books about sustainability.
  • Pick up items you buy if you can rather then get them delivered.
  • Get a safety razor.
  • Adopt don’t shop.
  • Be mindful of how you handle rubbish.
  • Make homemade cleaners.
  • Make homemade beauty products.
  • LED Bulbs.
  • Switch your electronics off.
  • Get toothpaste and mouthwash tablets.
  • Get biodegradable floss for your teeth.
  • Natural and locally produced candles.
  • Get a hybrid or electric car if possible.
  • Use deodrant bars or zero waste deodrants in general.
  • Plant some vegetables.

Donate

Australian Red Cross: https://www.redcross.org.au/news-and-…

Wires: https://www.wires.org.au/blog/emergen…

RSPCA New South Wales:

https://www.rspcansw.org.au/bushfire-…

GIVIT:

http://www.givit.org.au/

Research

Madeleine Olivia – Has a book coming out very soon. I’ve pre-ordered it. She has helped me so much in my journey to become more sustainable.

Tara Button – A Life Less Throwaway.

Greta Thunberg – “No One is too Small to Make a Difference.”

 

Copyright © 2020 Thinkingmoon.com – All rights reserved

 

PhD Extract

Preamble

Moonlings! I have been missing for many weeks, and it’s the longest I’ve gone without posting. If you follow me on other platforms, I posted why I was missing. A huge milestone in my PhD was due, so I knuckled down to get it done. I promised an excerpt so here is some of it in quotes.

 

Agriculture has been the lifeblood of humankind for millennia. The cognizant of control over food growth allowed our evolutionary path to deviate from similar great ape species. Humanity’s propensity towards an omnivorous diet precipitated the development of the larger prefrontal cortex, giving us the gift of critical thought.[1] This provided the building blocks to the cultivation of certain crops. Previously shifting groups associated with the hunter-gatherer lifestyle soon became unattractive for many tribes, as they began to put roots down in more ways than one.

When settled, humans became territorial. Villages became townships, the power of horses, mules, and donkeys were harnessed not only assist with the cultivation of crops but the transportation of surplus crops for trade with neighbouring towns. Riverbanks were preferred areas for settlement and families banded together for the management of larger areas of cultivated land. From there the portrait of our ancestry is clear. Our settled nature became the norm for most, as it provided food security whereas the nature of hunting and gathering could not.

As one of the cornerstones of humanity, agriculture has a universally deeply ingrained tradition across all cultures.  Throughout the ages, when crops were in danger from natural forces, disease, or swarms, humans organised themselves so they could protect their most precious resource; food. This resulted in the domestication of various animals, the passing of herding knowledge through communities of practice and the improvement of agricultural tools which made the process of farming more accessible.

 

For most of human history, we have been hunter-gatherers. During pre-history (which is considered to be history before the written word), we hunted animals and gathered plants. Although there may have been an unconscious attempt to nourish the plants we ate, by not disturbing the roots or over-cultivation, the agricultural portion of humanity did not really take place until a period which is called the Neolithic Revolution (Embers & Embers 1996)[1]. To contextualise, this is roughly 10,000 years ago. It has since been established that agricultural development is one of the most important developments in human history (Anderson 1992). The ability to secure a reliable food source, allowed humans to settle in one place, thereby creating villages, towns and subsequently cities. Entire civilizations such as the Egyptians were built and sustained by agriculture (Brier & Hobbs 2008) consequently the link between agriculture and food consumption/production is essential to explore.

[1] Page 149

In the present day, tacit agricultural knowledge has still provided the most resistance to technological adaptation. Within the Republic of Ireland, where this study is poised, farming is synonymous with heritage and connection to the land. Generational farming is widely practiced where farms are still passed to the eldest child, along with the necessary knowledge for resilience. While farming communities have extensive resources available to them from governmental and non-profit organisations, they still enact convivial groups to ensure the health of their farm. Although national governments have a responsibility to their farmers, a disconnect can be observed between the two. Trust cannot be cultivated overnight and most threads of agricultural knowledge are woven between the past and the present. Adoption of technological changes which governments offer are often seen as suspicious to farmers, as ulterior motives can be attached to them.

In order to boost collaboration between useful information provided by governmental bodies and farmers, an understanding regarding local farming networks, and their importance is vital. This study aims to bridge that gap, when elements of a local network are understood, formal institutions have a greater opportunity of having a healthy dialogue with the farmers.

While the above is the aim of the study, the context in which the study takes place is also crucial. We have reached crisis levels globally in respects to the environment and climate change. Now more than ever we need to attend to the wisdom farmers can offer. According to the Central Statistics Office (CSO) the highest Co2 emissions in the Republic of Ireland in 2016 was the agricultural sector.[2] Although the Department of Agriculture, Food and The Marine recognises the need for change within the sector[3], Ireland is still poised to miss the Co2 goals set out in the Paris Agreement.[4]

Farming can be a tough yet rewarding life, and without the necessary respect to those who dedicate themselves to producing our food, its security will be challenged. To address this gap in knowledge, this study develops a narrative based on embedded local farming practices within their network, including their opinions and perspectives. The aim is to understand why there is a need for a local knowledge networking systems. Furthermore, the study will explore how farmers might benefit from formalised services which are available from governmental organisations and investigate if there is a disconnect between both types of knowledge. While the context the study is from an Irish farming perspective, given the universality of farming, agricultural literature from a vast array of countries has been collected and reviewed. This was to ensure that the commonalities in contemporary agriculture is address accurately.

The narrative nature of this study will provide benefits through the lens of anthropological practice. Anthropology as a discipline has, for over 100 years, provided the philosophical expressions of every day. Perspective is provided by narrating the habitus of personhood (Bourdieu 1987) giving credence to individuated modes of cultural expression, skills and habits. Once this data is collected itis read very much like a text (Geertz 1973). These practices explored by Geertz in accordance with his considerations of interpretive anthropology and its enhancing possibilities:

“Given the dialectical nature of things, we all need our opponents, and both sorts of approach are essential. What we are most in want of right now is some way of synthesizing them.”[5]

With all these considerations of local knowledge context (Ichijo & Kohlbacher 2008), we can return to the problem which is thus; If local knowledge from farmers can be captured, governmental policies may be enhanced (Hayhurst, Dietrich-O’Connor, et al 2013).  This is of paramount importance as without a change to farming practices, the ensuing economic, environmental and sustainable issues will continue to grow (Fleming & Vanclay 2010). Convergence between these two perspectives needs to be established, wherein the farmers are protected in their tenuous situation. The role that knowledge plays and how that knowledge is transferred is can help address this conundrum.

[1] Anderson, EN. “Everyone Eats. Understanding Food & Culture.” Page 15.

[2] https://www.cso.ie/en/releasesandpublications/ep/p-eii/eii18/greenhousegasesandclimatechange/

[3] https://www.agriculture.gov.ie/press/pressreleases/2019/june/title,128576,en.html

[4]https://www.agriculture.gov.ie/media/migration/ruralenvironment/climatechange/bioenergy/climatechangesectoraladaptationplan/submissions/11CreCompostingAnaerobicDigestionAssociationofIreland311019.pdf

[5] Page 29

 

5 Outfits for the Ethically Responsible Fashionista!

*This post is not sponsored by any of the brands mentioned, however, Lucy & Yak I am available!*

Preamble

Hello Moonlings, I’ve been busy so I wanted a nice easy post for today.  Basically, I just took pictures of my outfits for the week with elements that are thrifted or bought sustainably. Megan from A Geeky Gal is also a fellow thrifting Queen so she’ll totally get what’s happening here. You should be following her by the way!

Some of the items I have were originally bought from fast-fashion chains. I’ve stopped buying fast-fashion since March of this year, but I didn’t throw away the clothes I have already. Mostly because I love the items and I’ve had them for years. So you will see some fast-fashion clothes but be aware I don’t buy them anymore.

So without further aplomb here are 5 outfits that have thrifted or sustainable elements.

(I) Brother Jeans – “The Stephen King.”

I call this outfit (and iterations of it) “The Stephen King.” He always wears the same kind of jeans and an old t-shirt. Usually, one referring to a baseball team or Bangor, Maine. See an example below. Or pop over to his Twitter. He’s quite funny.

Stephen King
Stephen King

So basically I have an old pair of jeans that my brother grew out of, a second hand Deadpool t-shirt and a second-hand cardigan. I wear this outfit normally when I’m writing or working from home. Comfortable is the vibes for this outfit, and the jeans are well worn in which makes them even comfier.

Also Lucy & Yak are featured here. The headband I’m wearing is made from the secondhand sari their clothes are delivered in. Shout out to Nicole for making it!

I’ve also been known to wear them with my ancient Doc Martens.

Doc Martens
Doc Martens

 (II)  Lucy & Yaks

These were my first Lucy & Yaks and I adore them. I wear them waaaaaayyyyyy too much and they are comfort level 100! (Fire emoji, yes I know I could put in a fire emoji but I’m trying to be funny). They are their ‘Alexa’ Organic-Cotton High waisted trousers in blue.

I wear them to work, (where I had a photoshoot really early before anyone else got in). They are paired with faux red leather boots I bought 8 years ago, a jumper that’s 5 years old and both of these items I bought from Penneys. Finally a second-hand t-shirt underneath.

I wear them for work (as above), and for play (so below), and I couldn’t recommend them more.

(III) Jumper Time

So this is the part of the blog where I get all preachy! Nah I’m just kidding. Basically wanting to be sustainable is wonderful, but it can be really difficult and sometimes prohibitive money wise. If you don’t purchase every piece of clothing second hand or sustainably you’re not a bad person!

I have loads of clothes that were bought before I became sustainable and I wasn’t about to throw them out! For example, this skirt in this picture was a gift from my brother which he bought in TK Maxx for my 22nd birthday (TJ Maxx in America). Yes, it was technically fast-fashion, however, I have it for 7 years.

I’ve also paired it with a Harry Potter T-shirt (not pictured) that I bought before I became sustainable. However, my jumper is 100% wool which was grown and produced in Ireland.

(IV) Office Lucy & Yaks

Back in Lucy & Yak with their ‘Alexa’ Organic-Cotton High waisted trousers in red check. I don’t think they have these ones in stock anymore but they have loads of different colours to choose from. Again I wear them when I’m going to work because they are perfect office wear.

They are paired with a 100% wool jumper, grown and produced in Ireland. A long sleeve t-shirt and my ancient red Converse.

(V) Dungaree fun!

When I heard that Lucy & Yak had dungarees I was totally there for them. I got these in their sale, I normally wouldn’t buy ‘cappuccino’ coloured clothes but these are so cuuuuuute. I wear them all the time, they are super comfy, with amazing pockets and they look great with colourful t-shirts like my second-hand Eagles shirt.

Finally here is a picture of me taken by my gorgeous sister-in-law on my birthday when she brought me to meet a bunch of birds. Look how freaking happy I am here.

Best Birthday Ever!
Best Birthday Ever!

Copyright © 2019 Thinkingmoon.com – All rights reserved

 

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https://ageekygal.com/

https://thinkingmoon.com/2019/06/07/sustainability-half-year-update-2/

https://nicoleqmullen.wordpress.com/

Sustainability: Half Year Update

*I AM NOT SPONSORED BY ANYTHING IN THIS POST I GENUINELY JUST LOVE THESE PEOPLE / COMPANIES*

Preamble

Hello Moonlings! It’s that time of year where we thank the zero-waste / sustainability gods for alternatives to single-use items, animal products and fashions.

This is my second year setting sustainable goals for myself. It makes it much easier for me than trying to take on everything. Usually, people give up because it’s all just a little bit too stressful and seemingly expensive.

That’s a theme I would like to keep mentioning throughout today’s post. It’s important to highlight that being zero-waste (or more waste-conscious) and making sustainable choices aren’t as expensive than you think.

In fact, you may end up saving yourself some cash, so let’s get into it!

January

As you know from my goals for 2019 I have given up beef forever. My honest opinion is I really don’t miss it. Now I understand that’s not going to be the same for everyone but If I crave a burger I can eat a Linda McCartney or a generic veggie burger. I don’t miss it and I was a big fan of steak beforehand.

So let’s talk my pocket. Beef by far is more expensive than plant-based alternatives. You can get a tin of beans for around 70cent (Ireland) per can but non-lean mince is around 4euro.

Healthwise, we could all do with eating less beef. If you’re too much of a fan to give it up forever eat half as much. Remember your heart will thank you for the plant alternatives and veggie nutrients.

Finally, CO2 emissions on beef versus animal products speak for themselves. Ireland is trying to reduce the CO2 emissions related to beef and we can all get involved.

February

My second goal of being pescatarian has gone better than I expected. I’ve actually stopped eating all meats during the week, including fish. I’ve replaced it mostly with beans, but I’m not opposed to meat replacements such as the aforementioned Linda McCartney burgers, or Quorn (which is not vegan but I’m getting there).

Again it’s forced me to try new foods such as lentils (yes I hadn’t eaten them before this year), mushroom-based meat substitutes and nutritional yeast.

It has saved me money overall, and I’ve learned to make delicious vegan meals thanks to Madeleine Olivia! Seriously if you are interested in low-waste, minimalism, veganism, anything like that, you need to check out Maddie.

March

It was a little more difficult to kick the habit of going to Penneys for cheap clothes. We all want both the dopamine rush of buying clothes and the convenience of low-cost fashion. However, I have a wonderful sister-in-law who showed me what an ethical company really looks like, and I’m afraid to say Penney’s is not one of them. She introduced me to many brands such as Lucy and Yak (featured in my photos for this post), Pozu and Passenger.

Sustainability
Sustainability

How cute are these cappuccino coloured dungarees (with so many pockets!). Ethically produced and made with 100% cotton. They sell unisex clothing so head over and check out their stock. I’m dying for a pair of their pastel yellow pants:

Lucy & Yak
Lucy & Yak

April

Tara Button’s book “A Life Less Throwaway” spawned this popular post that many of you seemed to enjoy. In it, I talk about the importance of our relationships and inner peace.

Look out for more I have many planned for the coming months. I couldn’t recommend this book more, I’m not finished (strange for me but it’s been crazy in my life), but if you’re into things that last, look no further.

May

This is still a disaster. I really need to get my act together, but honestly, with my hair type, it’s so difficult to find shampoo bars that work. At the moment I only wash my hair 1-2 times a week, so shampoo/conditioner lasts me for ages. The bottles are plastic, but you can recycle them.

In more successful news my sister-in-law(she really is the OG) introduced me to this amazing deodorant bar. I’ve used Salt of The Earth for a long time which is great (and sensitive-skin friendly) but it needs to be applied to wet skin, or be wet itself which is not always ideal. This Deo-Bar can be applied to dry skin. It smells absolutely amazing and works like a charm.

Sustainability
Sustainability

So I haven’t gotten the shampoo sorted but the deodorant has so even little bit makes a difference. I also got part of my head shaved so that’s less shampoo/conditioner! I’ve also given up dying my hair and I’m embracing the greys.

Sustainability
Sustainability

June

Now we move onto the reusable cutlery portion of the year. Sustainability and zero-waste can make you feel really bad about yourself. The odd time you use a plastic fork you feel like you’ve murdered a sea turtle yourself.

Well, don’t worry there is this YouTube channel I love called The Financial Diet. Chelsea there made this wonderful video about minimalism, and how to save yourself money. Don’t worry about buying a whole bamboo set of kitchen-ware. You can use what you have.

It made me feel better because she’s coming at it from the point of view of your pocket. Minimalism, sustainability and zero-waste can work for you. Don’t let companies sell you something just because it’s made of bamboo!

That’s all for today lovelies. Please go check out these other lovelies:

Lucy & Yak

Mullen Crafts (Sister-in-law).

Pozu

Passenger

Crystal Spring

Copyright © 2019 Thinkingmoon.com – All rights reserved

“A Life Less Throwaway…” Part I

Author – Tara Button

Preamble

*This is not a review, not yet anyway*

There is a book I’m carefully reading this month called “A Life Less Throwaway,” by a lady called Tara Button. I included it in my 2019 sustainability goals which you can read about here. So far I’m really enjoying it and I plan on reviewing it completely once I’ve finished it.

In the meantime, Button offers wonderful exercises at the end of each chapter, and I thought why not share some with my Moonlings? The first one is very introspective, you write an email to yourself. The topic? The importance of non-material things.

The best things in life, aren’t things.” Art Buchwald.

Now while I wouldn’t go full on Madonna and call myself a material girl, I do like things. Especially now that I’m writing a gratitude list every morning for 3 things I’m grateful for whether they are material or not. I find this helps me appreciate the things I already have and curb superfluous spending.

This opportunity awakened something in me, and rather than email it to myself, I thought I’d share, so here goes.

Dear Jaycee

Warmth and family is not a place. It isn’t four walls, windows and doors. It’s not the couch or the kitchen table, or the framed newspaper cut out of Michael Collins. Neither the ceramic bulldog in the porch or the hum of the computers. It isn’t between the books on your shelves or the clothes in your wardrobe.

It’s your mother’s hug in the morning when you come downstairs for breakfast. It’s the sound of your father’s laments as he loses his video game. It’s your brother sending you funny memes because he wants to share his laughter with you. Sharing with another makes it better, more real, even funnier. It’s the sleep talk of Le’Boo when he is deep in his REM and asks you “terra forma?” (When did he learn Latin?)

It’s the chorus of birds in the morning when you awake again. You remind yourself to be grateful. For a long time, a mantra you repeated to yourself, as you awoke to go to a job you hated was, “I’m awake but I’m not happy about it.” Almost like a joke, you told yourself, but in reality, that was wrong. Even though the job was awful, getting to wake up again was not.

It’s the love in your heart and soul when you make a darling laugh. The gratitude you feel when someone cooks you a meal. The joy of a family gathering, and the sorrow of a loved one passing. When we are old and dying we will not hold onto things. Not the brass doorknob we polished relentlessly, the extra hours put in at work for no extra pay or even the money in your account

It’s the memories, thank you all, for the memories. For the joy of now, and the promise of tomorrow.

*I invite you all to do the same. You don’t have to blog about it if you are too uncomfortable, but you can send yourself an email! If you do try it tag myself and Tara Button in it on Twitter!*

Copyright © 2019 Thinkingmoon.com – All rights reserved

 

A Life Less Throwaway - Tara Button
A Life Less Throwaway – Tara Button

Climate Justice – Moon’s History

Preamble

I really enjoy this preamble portion I’ve added to my posts. I’m drunk on power, I could say whatever I wanted… Peanuts!

Sorry to those of you with allergies that was probably very rude. Forgiveness, please!

Annnnyyyywaaaaay, when I say Moon’s history, I don’t mean the great celestial body in the sky, I actually am referring to myself, in the third person… You might think this is weird, but Le’Boo will tell you, I’ve been weirder.

Basically, I’m a trained anthropologist, working in a business management school, with a background in development. I interned with an NGO called Trócaire for 6 months in 2015. Myself and three other interns, who were also students from my Master’s programme, teamed up to write a project for Trócaire.

african-3741972_960_720

The theme? Climate Justice awareness on the Maynooth Campus. This was where Trócaire had its headquarters. The results? Stunning. (Is this considered clickbait if you’re already reading?) Also here I am in 2015 nervously competing in a colloquium with PhD students when I was but a wee Masters student.

Climate Justice

Climate justice has been in the news lately connected with the 16-year-old Swedish student Greta Thunberg. Now what is climate justice, you ask, or maybe you’re nodding along because you already know, and that’s cool. Thanks for reading anyway. For me, climate justice is an amalgamation of the two most important issues facing humankind at the moment. The problems caused by climate change, and human rights.

They may seem like two diverse and unrelated topics but the truth is they are more connected than you can ever realise. Today I will tell you two interlocking stories from the perspective of food anthropology (it’s all I know people).

rancehers
Climate Justice

Let me tell you a story about a cattle rancher in the United States of America. They’ve raised cattle all their lives, and so has their family before them. For generations in fact and they are a staple of not only state beef consumption, but other parts of the country as well.

The rancher’s cattle have won awards and they make a conscious effort to feed them as close to a wild diet as possible, which adds to the flavour of the meat. They are also considered to be more ethically driven than other ranchers as they don’t corral their cattle into tight spaces, and they slaughter them as humanely as possible.

Yet when it comes down to it, there are still people just outside their property accusing the ranchers of being animals. They are murderers because eating meat is murder. The ranchers are both disheartened and angry because they are doing the best they can with what is their livelihood.

Now let me tell you a story of a small family in Africa, (bear with me it will all come back around I promise). Their family have lived in the area for thousands of years, and they cultivated grains for the most part. Their other subsistence was hunting and gathering up until more contemporary history. Now while some hunting and gathering still goes on they are expected to buy their supplementary fibre.

Their forefathers grew food and ate most of it themselves. Occasionally either

farmer-3239302_960_720
Climate Justice

trading the excess with neighbours or sharing when there was a feast or a famine. Although food was never bountiful, they rarely went hungry. Now they are expected to sell some of their hard grown food in exchange for money, to buy their remaining food needs.

Yet in the last 10 to 20 years, the farmers have been noticing a shift in the climate. Nothing too drastic at first, but year after year it builds. The summers are longer, and the wet season is shorter. Water is harder to come by, so their crops aren’t as plentiful as they once were. The farmers are falling on hard times, and not only do they have less crops to eat, but they have less to sell in exchange for other foods.

Where they may have sent all their children to school with the excess money, now they only send the eldest or perhaps only the male children. Female children are less likely to receive an education and are stuck in a poverty loop which is exacerbated by the tough climate.

Back in the United States, pressure is put on ranchers for producing beef. “People should eat less beef.” Cry the animal activists. “Beef is one of the worst contributors to Co2 emissions.” Cry the climate activists, and neither are wrong. Beef isn’t the healthiest of protein available, and cattle rearing produces dangerous amounts of carbon emissions.

Yet what of the rancher? They are just doing their job. If they change to farming something else, it will be very costly and may end up costing them their very livelihood. Plus there is a serious market for beef in the United States, and giving up that to grow something else could be a bad move business wise. Besides the climate isn’t affected that badly in America.

Climate Justice
Climate Justice

Conclusion

Most of the population that suffers from climate change, live in the poorest areas of the world. Our excessive need to have beef in our diet, and available in every fast food outlet, produces the market for beef. Yet the change in the climate caused by western agriculture and industry affects the already water-starved areas of the world.

Climate change is not proportional, and this is why justice must be served. Although many of us living in the western world cannot see the damage wrought by climate change, it is happening none-the-less, causing devastation to those already struggling to survive in the lower socio-economic bands of society.

This is a new series on my blog, one that was ignited back in 2013 when I was still a young idealistic fool. Now I am an older fool, but one who is idealistic still none-the-less. I am not willing to give up on climate justice, and neither should you.

That is why I have individual sustainability goals. That’s why I don’t eat beef, and only eat meat 3 days out of the week. It’s why I gave up fast fashion, and use a deodorant that is all natural. You can learn more about me in the sustainability section of my blog than anywhere else so you will be getting more of it in the coming months.

I hope you stay with me, and even if you don’t agree, you listen.

References

Principles of Climate Justice – Mary Robinson Foundation

Greta Thunberg

Sustainability & Anthropology

Copyright © 2019 Thinkingmoon.com – All rights reserved

Buzzword…Sustainability II

Preamble

Hello my dear Moonlings and thank you for your patience this January. I have been quite ill since the surgery and I’m still not feeling the best. However I still feel compelled to write as it cheers me up, so I thought I’d share my sustainability goals for 2019. Last year I set some goals for myself which I wrote about here and then I followed up here.

I really enjoyed it and it ended up being much easier to achieve because I broke it down into 12 bite-sized goals. It makes it a lot less daunting and helps develop habits by giving yourself a month each time. So I thought why not do the same again this year? Please enjoy, and let me know in the comments if you have any ideas, thoughts, goals of your own!

JANUARY 2019

As a Ph.D. student, I spend a lot of time surrounded by students from diverse backgrounds. One day in the staff room we were eating lunch and I was discussing my Master’s thesis with a colleague from India. She was interested that I had studied insects as a protein replacement for beef which is harmful to the environment.

She then proceeded to ask me a questioned which floored me, “And have you given up beef yourself?” I was stunned. She was completely right, I was a hypocrite. I didn’t have to give up all meat, I could give up beef though.

Sustainability - Carbon Footprint
Sustainability – Carbon Footprint

So on December 31st, 2018 I ate a giant beef burger, and of the 1st of January 2019 I have given up beef. Carbon footprint, I’m coming for ya! Also look how cute this Scottish cow is. I have all the feels.

FEBRUARY 2019

Now continuing on the topic of meat, I love to eat meat. However, I feel as in keeping with the theme of the last goal, I am going to be pescatarian during the week Monday – Friday.

Sustainability - Carbon Footprint
Sustainability – Carbon Footprint

I’m leaving fish and dairy in my diet for the moment because I want to make sure I get all my nutritional requirements. I will slowly become vegetarian, and hopefully someday vegan.

I know the dairy industry/egg producers aren’t the best worldwide. I understand that although free-range might have been adopted to seem fairer to the animals in question, it doesn’t really mean that. Eggs can only be gotten from hens, so what happens to the majority of male chickens?

MARCH 2019

This is the year when I stopped buying fast fashion forever. I will be researching what companies are safe to buy from, and of course, continue thrift shopping which I already love.

I am going to organize my existing clothes, identify what I use all the time, and donate the stuff I don’t wear or haven’t worn in over 2 years. I am always keeping clothes but there is no need if I never wear them.

Sustainability - Carbon Footprint
Sustainability – Carbon Footprint

I have 2 weddings this year and it will be interesting getting outfits for that, but I’ll keep you guys updated. It will be a case of buying from an ethically sourced company, borrowing from a friend, or buying second hand. All are perfectly viable options of course.

Also, there are exceptions for the moment. For example, I need to be able to purchase underwear because I need to replace them often due to period issues. If I find sustainable cotton underwear then I will get them, if not I am allowing myself this exception because, hello, we need underwears!

(Actually, some people argue you don’t and everyone is titled to their opinion).

APRIL 2019

So I’m looking for wisdom from fellow zero-waste and reductionists. A wonderful book I got for Christmas is “A Life-Less Throwaway,” by Tara Button. I am giving myself a month to read this closely, make notes and review the book in general. Hopefully, I’ll have new ideas and practices to adopt by then.

Sustainability - Carbon Footprint

Also hopefully the book will direct me to further reading which is always a wonderful thing in my opinion. If you guys have any good suggestions regarding blogs, books, anything, please let me know in the comments!

MAY 2019

Last year I discussed my hair and trying to go shampoo free. This has unfortunately phased out. (Hey I’m human this happens right?). I only wash my hair once a week, but I am still using products that are chemical heavy and come in plastic bottles. Boo-urns.

Sustainability - Carbon Footprint
Sustainability – Carbon Footprint

So I really want to try Shampoo/conditioner bars made in Ireland. This will be tough finding the right ones for me, but I really think it’s possible. Lush cosmetics have hand-made in Ireland shampoos bars, so I’ll just have to go through the range.

Also, I would love to get a vegan hairbrush like this one.

JUNE 2019

I was watching a YouTuber go zero waste for a day and they had a beautiful Bamboo lunch set, and I’ve wanted one ever since. I rarely if ever buy lunch when I’m at work,

Sustainability - Carbon Footprint
Sustainability – Carbon Footprint

because I’m a big believer in saving money (and the environment) by making your own. Having a complete bamboo set would make my lunch needs a helluva lot easier.

It also means if I ever do go out to eat I will have cutlery and won’t have to use plastic disposable ones from restaurants.

There are some really good product ideas on Plastic Freedom like this.

JULY 2019

Sustainability - Carbon Footprint
Sustainability – Carbon Footprint

I’ve been using disposable razors for most of my hairy adult, shaving life. Even though most of the ones I buy have the average lifespan of a toothbrush, they still don’t get recycled. So I want to get a safety razor something like this. This lasts pretty much forever, and our Dad’s / Grandad’s would have used these regularly just replacing the razors as they went along. Why we devolved I’ll never know but we can make ground back if we work together.

 

AUGUST 2019

I am a sucker for candles, incense, essential oils, anything that makes a room smell divine. I’m also studying Wicca so candles and incense are essential. I’m hoping that this will be an easy enough transition to Soy candles, natural incense, matches etc. A local shop I love called Amber already has natural soaps and candles so the rest should be easy enough to source. I will also be looking for ones like this or this.

second-1872252_1280

 

SEPTEMBER 2019

cup-3137099_960_720
Sustainability – Carbon Footprint

In January I had surgery to get a Minera coil inserted to reduce or stop my periods, due to them being very painful and heavy. I also have endometriosis and this is exacerbated by period hormones.

Hopefully, this will result in reducing or stopping my periods completely. If this is successful (it can take up to 6 months to settle in), I will hopefully be able to switch to a Menstrual cup like this. Rather than disposable sanitary towels and tampons.

 

 

OCTOBER 2019

I would like to get into a habit for unplugging devices throughout the house especially if they aren’t being used for over 24 hours. I would like to find ways to use less water.

Another ‘cosmetic’ product I’d like to try is this type of deodorant. I also stopped using perfume, I use essential oils instead. My favourite is lavender, and you don’t even need that much. Plus the ones I buy are made in Ireland and I love buying Irish made products.

They are called Atlantic Aromatics and I love them. Not sponsored I just genuinely love their products.

Sustainability - Carbon Footprint
Sustainability – Carbon Footprint

At the moment I use this Salt of The Earth’s original deodorant, and it’s very good like it works. It’s just a little inconvenient because your skin or it needs to be wet. So I would like to try other versions.

NOVEMBER 2019

So this is a big undertaking and I know it’s probably going to be tough, especially in Ireland where public transport is very poor, but I want to drive less. So much so that I could consider getting an electric car. So this month will be spend researching how I can reduce driving and research electric cars. Look how cute the Renault Zoe is:

Sustainability - Carbon Footprint

DECEMBER 2019

Pretty much same as last year buy locally produced gifts. However, there is an addendum. Some of you may know I do not care for Christmas. Not the joy part or even the religious part, but the incessant commercialised part.

Buy buy buy, eat eat eat, drink drink drink. No more. We as a family have agreed that ‘gifts’ should be experiences or if the person says they don’t need anything, then don’t get them anything.

Christmas has been high-jacked by big business as a time of the year to profit off people’s guilt and pleasures. You are basically told you’re a shit person if you can’t afford a bunch of nonsense, and kids are made to feel inferior if their family isn’t rich enough for the latest model of PlayStation.

No. More. I will only accept a Christmas that is joyful, filled with family and friends. Not over-indulgent gift giving or guilt. Handmade gifts are superior to bought gifts anyway.

Handmade
Handmade

My sister-in-law Nicole (Who can be found at Mullen Makes), made this for my Father last year for his birthday and he was beyond ecstatic. When something comes from the heart, a price tag means nothing.

Anyways those are my 2019 goals. If you made it this far type Worms in the comments!

Copyright © 2019 Thinkingmoon.com – All rights reserved

Resources:

https://nicoleqmullen.wordpress.com/2018/05/04/laser-engraved-snack-tray-coaster/

https://zerowasterepublic.com/

https://www.plasticfreedom.co.uk/

https://www.emmas.ie/

https://crystalspring.co.uk/

https://www.atlanticaromatics.com/

https://www.facebook.com/amberdroghedastore/

https://www.renault.ie/vehicles/new-vehicles/zoe.html

Sustainability 2018 Review

My friends, it’s been a year. Yes, 2018 was a year. I’m trying to find something nice to say about 2018 but politically, environmentally, and humanitarian-ly ( it was a bit of a disaster. Not that great things didn’t happen, but equally mental things happened too. So when I tell you I had a productive year, it was against all odds. On the last Friday of this year I will recap and tell you about all the things I’m grateful for. However, we have some housekeeping to do before then.

If any of you have been following me since at least January of this year, you’ll know I set out to achieve sustainability goals each month of 2018, and I think I’ve largely followed them. However, as an accountability session, I’ve decided to revisit them here and really delve into what I managed to achieve in regards to it.

January 2018

So we must start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.

It was a simple goal, and that was basically to recycle more. My bedroom is my office and a lot of paper/recyclables go through there. I put in a second bin for ‘office’ waste and it was hugely beneficial. It was crazy to realise how much recyclable waste I went through in a month.

It could then be directly emptied into the green bin outside. It also reduced how much ‘waste’ went in my normal bin and I was really happy to notice the difference. It was only a small step but became hugely beneficial.

February 2018

This was tough at the beginning but I got into a good rhythm of it. I mentioned in my half-year update that I would add meat-free meals throughout the week if I couldn’t make the whole day meat-free. I had forgotten to account for meals I eat at other people’s houses and I didn’t want to be awkward, so if I ate meat for dinner after a meat-free breakfast and lunch, I would swap out the meat in the next night’s dinner.

Make allowances for yourself, but make sure you are accountable. It was genuinely beneficial to my life and health, and I learned a few new cooking tricks that I can take with me into the new year.

March 2018

Still, have my keep cup and I’m loving it. Most coffee places will give my a discount, but even without it I’m still glad I got my keep cup. I have never been refused and I get complimented on it all the time. I would recommend a glass one if you’re getting it because Le’Boo got a plastic one (BPA free) at the same time, and the coffee tastes better from the glass one. Even if this is psychological, glass is more sustainable in the long run.

April 2018

Sadly I had to disband my national geographic subscription. They weren’t able to provide me with a soft copy subscription because of where I live. At the moment it’s only available to US and UK residents. Perhaps in the future, if they make it available to Republic of Ireland residents, I can sign up once more. Until then, I will need to find other places to discover new things.

May 2018

I’ve done really well with this one. Clothing for me has become something to treasure not discard. I’ve reworked so many of my old pieces in different styles and combinations. You will honestly surprise yourself if you try this out. Buying second hand and from sustainable companies is totally fine, but even then I really think, “Do I need this? Will I wear it more than 10 times?”  Trust me you’ll save yourself a fortune.

June 2018

I have my bamboo toothbrushes now and I’m loving them. I use a subscription service called The Bam and The Boo and their website can be found here. They send you out your toothbrushes so you’ll never forget. They come in different colours, and in children sizes. They are completely biodegradable even the bristles, and packaging. I couldn’t recommend them more and they are lovely to deal with.

July 2018

Plastic reduction was the game in July and boy was this tough. I drink so much water that I would almost always have a bottle of water in my bag. To combat this I simply bought a reusable metal bottle from Zero Waste Republic and their website can be found here. There are plenty of outlets that sell them, if you google them they are easy to find. It keeps liquid hot or cold for quite a long time and you can get them in your favourite colour.

Other ideas included cloth bags for when you’re buying bread/pastries. Bringing my own cutlery everywhere so I don’t have to use plastic forks. Loose tea instead of tea bags (sadly most tea bags have traces of plastic).

August 2018

So this is tough because I still live at home, and I can’t expect my loved ones to change their habits because I do. We, of course, try and encourage if we can, but ultimately people should make their own decision.

For me, though I’ve made up some natural cleaning products by simply googling them, and they work just as well as the store bought ones.

September 2018

This one was tricky, and I’m still working through it. I had to wash my hair with normal shampoo again. However, once I use up everything I already have I’m going to try out more shampoo and conditioner bars.

November 2018

Amnesty International Ireland is my preferred charity for a number of reasons. They encompass so much of my own values including human rights, climate justice, and peaceful protesting. They have taught me some hard lessons this year in regards to so many things, and I’m sure I will learn more in the years to come.

If you are interested in their literature have a look at this.

December 2018

Locally sourced gifts. This had a 50 / 50 mix of being easy and tough. Some stuff I could easily get locally. I can’t talk about most of the gifts here because I haven’t given them yet, but if I couldn’t get them here I had to get some online. However even then I really tried to buy online from Irish stores, and largely this worked out ok. Again I can’t list them here just yet, but I will update it after gift giving on Christmas day.

 

I will publish my 2019 sustainability goals at the start of January. If you guys have any ideas or suggestion, or even just thoughts please let me know.

Alright friends, stay sustainable! Talk soon. Jaycee. xxx

Click here for other sustainability posts.

Copyright © 2018 Thinkingmoon.com – All rights reserved

Sustainability – Half Year Update

Hello friends and fellow worriers regarding climate change. Time for an update as we are halfway through 2018. In my opinion I’ve done quite well myself however, a lot of it has to do with very generous family members. They decided that for my birthday they would help me with my goals, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. Here’s a picture of it and I’ll explain more about that later on. So let’s get started!

Sustainability - Half Year Update
Sustainability – Half Year Update

January – This goal of separating recyclables in my bedroom/ office is going great. It has also made me feel shameful for the amount of recyclable waste that probably went in the general waste in the past. So I literally just got a plastic bag (see below) and that’s it.

Sustainability - Half Year Update
Sustainability – Half Year Update

February – Having 2 meat free days a week has been difficult, because not being the most organised human. So what I’ve taken to doing, if I can’t have a full day meat free, I at least try add extra meat free meals throughout the week. This has made it so much easier.

Waterbottle.jpg

March – Lads… I love my keep cup. It’s fantastic. Please get yourself one. Treat yourself! I’ve included a link below to their website. They have so many options. I also got myself an amazing water bottle which keeps water really cold for hours. It’s metal, no plastic, and reusable. I love it. Again link below.

April – This started out as a failure. I had contacted National Geographic several times (and ways) and it looked like there was no hope for soft copies. Until my Boo swooped in and saved the day. For my birthday in May he bought me a Kindle Fire. Which supports the format of the soft copies for National Geographic. 😀 Then to sweeten the deal, my parents renewed my subscription! Sigh I love my family.

May – Speaking of family! My sister-in-law gave me an amazing BOX OF GIFTS (pictured above). The cover photo of this post is also her gorgeous hand-made birthday card. I have reduced my purchasing from ethically questionable stores since April. This has been really difficult, because I love clothes. I hope by the end of the year to have stopped completely.

June – Not only did I get a bamboo toothbrush from my sister-in-law which is completely biodegradable and it won’t end up in some poor sea creatures belly. On top of that my oral hygiene will not be compromised because look at my toothpaste tablets, mouthwash tablets, and biodegradable tooth-floss. So excited.

For the remainder of the year look at the other gifts which will help my sustainability buzz! Here are sustainable cotton bags for buying food like bread and pastries. Nom nom nom.

 

These beautiful handmade artisan soaps. If I could upload how they smell I would, they are amazing. You’ll just have it imagine it. Or get yourself some Irish made artisan soaps.

Next up we have reusable cotton rounds for makeup removing and face cleansing.

Next up is one of my favorite things which is teaaaaaaa! Unfortunately tea bags have plastic in them. Which makes me so sad. The only problem was the tea came in a plastic bag, which you couldn’t tell until it was opened. My quest continues for tea that doesn’t live in plastic at any stage. Also how. Freakin. Adorable is the little pineapple tea infuser?!

Next up a beautiful shampoo bar. It’s chemical free, comes wrapped in biodegradable paper and smells amazing! Excited to try this.

Then hand embroidered handkerchiefs. Which made me so excited because my Grandad would have been so happy.

Sustainability - Half Year Update
Sustainability – Half Year Update

Just some additional gifts that were so thoughtful. A case for my pencils, a hot water bottle, and a beautiful notebook. There were also some ear rings, but I forgot to photograph them.

I just want to say thank you so much to my sister-in-law, (and obviously my brother-in-law, I haven’t forgotten you!) for such a gorgeous box of fun. To my parents and Boo for helping me hang onto my National Geographic subscription because I love it. I will do another update in December for the rest of the year. Right now I’m so happy with how well it’s been going.

Alright friends, stay sustainable! Talk soon. Jaycee. xxx

Keep Cup: https://eu.keepcup.com/?country=Ireland

Water Bottle: https://zerowasterepublic.com/

Copyright © 2018 Thinkingmoon.com – All rights reserved

Interested in the first of these posts? Have a look:

https://thinkingaheadblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/09/buzzword-sustainability/

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