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

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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

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