What is ‘zero waste’? + my personal approach to this lifestyle

Recently I’ve written a blog post about the ultimate do-good list. A list about all the lifestyle changes everyone can try to make to make the world a better place. One of the lifestyles I included was the ‘zero waste lifestyle’. However, I realised that the zero waste lifestyle is not very well known as I hoped it would be. That’s why I decided to write about it.

Zero waste – meaning producing no waste at all – is about reducing the amount of waste that goes to landfills and eventually the ocean. What’s bad about waste in the ocean? Most waste takes forever to decompose. Materials like plastic are used everyday globally and thrown away globally. These plastics get smaller once thrown away until they end up as micro plastics. Micro plastic gets ingested by fish which – unless you’re vegan – gets eaten my humans. Bon appétit.
Besides plastic sushi for dinner, plastic forms whole islands in the ocean. Our world is full of waste and everyone who doesn’t want to waste our planet should consider a zero waste lifestyle.

Now, I myself am not a Lauren Singer. In fact, living zero waste is one of my top goals in life (besides the obvious – career and relationship goals).
Zero waste means contributing no waste to the landfill. So first of all we analyse what we throw away: food packaging, food waste, old clothes, cosmetic packaging, coffee cups, water bottles, more packaging and even more packaging. You get there’s a theme here: packaging. You can also sort your waste by material: plastics, paper/ cardboard, organic waste, tins and metals, fabrics and other materials. Some of these waste materials can be recycled and recycling is encouraged.

The zero waste principle is about 5 guide lines, the 5 Rs:
Refuse – refuse single use items such as plastic straws
Reduce – reduce the amount of newly purchased items – don’t shop what you don’t need
Reuse – use the things you have as much and long as possible and always consider repairing instead of buying a new item, use reusable items instead of one-use ones
Recycle
Rot – food waste should be composted

When I think of zero waste my mind divides the waste problem in our everyday life in 3 areas: bathroom, kitchen and on the go.

We eat everyday and our food is *drumroll please* wrapped in packaging. Eating whole foods, buying unpackaged vegetables and fruits and buying grains, legumes and other dry foods in bulk (at special bulk stores) is the solution. Don’t order food online (I’m definitely guilty of that) and don’t buy packaged already-made food on the go. Food waste should be composted.
I did very well the past year when it comes to plastic-free food. However, since my move to another area, the availability of bulk stores and fruit and veggie markets (where unpackaged food is dominating) has been a challenge. I  do always choose the unpackaged fruits and vegetables and try to stock up on bulk dry goods, but there’s still a lot of plastic in my pantry and fridge. 

On the go and spontaneous situations is where lots of unnecessary waste is made. The solution: a zero waste survival kit. A mason jar/ reusable bottle, a reusable cutlery, a napkin, one or more reusable shopping bags, homemade and plastic free snacks and lots of discipline. I’m not doing the best when it comes to this part either. I carry reusable shopping bags with me and have a bottle with me most of the times but I always forget about ordering coffee in a reusable mug and forget to pack lunch and snacks for the day.

Lastly, you can reduce or completely eliminate plastic waste from your bathroom. Solid soaps instead of liquid, packaged ones, solid shampoos, solid conditioners or oils in glass bottles for your hair and body, homemade or plastic-free tooth paste, bamboo toothbrushes, plastic free deodorant, plastic free makeup, wooden hair brushes – the amount of product we use for our hygiene everyday is endless. Thanks to responsible and environmental conscious businesses, so is the amount of plastic free alternatives.
This is the only area where I can say that I’m proud of my progress. I’m still not 100% perfect but I’m consistent when it comes to the products I do choose to purchase plastic free.

There is so much more to zero waste, when put in practice. I encourage you to do more research about this amazing movement! Are you inspired to learn more about zero waste? Read more here:

http://www.gittemary.com

https://www.goingzerowaste.com

https://zerowastehome.com

 

THE ULTIMATE DO-GOOD-LIST

I love changing my lifestyle to help the environment, the animals and the people on this planet. Every day you spend money and almost every decision you make or action you take is about money. And every single time you spend money, you vote. You tell the company you are giving money that you want more of the thing you just bought. It’s supply and demand: if everyone buys an iPhone, Apple will produce more. If no one buys an iPhone, Apple will stop producing.
There are so many different areas in your life where you can live more align your values and principles or simply be a better person. I personally love researching more environmentally friendly, more animal friendly, healthier and more ethical lifestyles because it’s the easiest and way to make the world a better place. Everyone can change their lifestyle and YOU can make a difference in the world! I put together a list of all the different areas of life where you can be more ethically, eco-friendly, cruelty free and healthy. I personally strive to be able to make all of these changes in my life one day – probably later than sooner though.

Tick all of these off and you’re basically a really good person with high ethical and sustainable standards! Plus, if everyone would do this, there would be no environmental pollution, climate change, animal abuse, slave labour and less diseases. Basically this earth would be an awesome place to live on.
No particular order

The do-good list:

🌍🍎be zero waste

🌍🐮🍎👩🏽be vegan

🌍🐮👩🏽🍎buy ethical, vegan & sustainable fashion

🌍👩🏽buy ethical & sustainable or second hand electronics

🌍👩🏽🐮buy ethical, vegan & sustainable or second hand furniture and home items

🌍🍎buy local and seasonal food

🌍🍎buy natural, organic and vegan cosmetics, candles and cleaning products

🌍use the things that you own for a long time vs throwing them away quickly

🌍👩🏽buy second hand and sell your own things so that they get another life

🌍👩🏽stop buying useless, low quality products

🌍only use green energy and electric vehicles

Emoji index:

🌍=good for the planet (sustainable, non polluting, eco-friendly, environmentally friendly)

🍎=good for your health

🐮=good for the animals (cruelty free)

👩🏽=good for the people (no slave labour, sweatshop free, no child labour, ethical, human rights, female emoji chosen because mostly women suffer from slave labour)

Now the version that most people can realistically live with:

reduce plastic consumption
reduce animal products consumption
include ethical & sustainable fashion in your closet
include second hand and/or ethical electronics to your electronic belongings
buy more locally and seasonally
include natural, organic and vegan cosmetic products to your regime
use belongings consciously and think twice before buying something
consider second hand
consider buying electric car or using public transportation more and/or use green energy

 

Is there anything you think is missing on my list? Do you practice any of the mentioned lifestyle choices?

 

 

I’M A HYPOCRITE or THE SMARTPHONE STRUGGLE – child labour for a blogger’s new phone?

Social media is my thing. I spend a lot of time on my phone. I text, I watch Youtube videos, I scroll through Facebook and Instagram is my passion/ part-time job. I do spend a lot of time on my laptop too. I study for university, I write blog posts and I research stuff online (fair fashion companies, articles about labour conditions and more).
Currently I own a MacBook Air and an iPhone 6s although my iPhone is 2-3 years old and is slowly and painfully dying. I guess I’m a sucker for apple products. I love the design, I love how easy it is to use (the software) and I love that I can send photos from my laptop to my iPhone in seconds using Airdrop.

What I don’t love is the company’s production conditions. Apple is an unethical company and there is no doubt about it. They are violating human rights by supporting child labour and sweatshops. There’s a new video by the one and only Kristen Leo (her amazing blog here and her amazing Youtube channel here – it’s all about ethical fashion, vegan living, sustainable lifestyle and more) talking about Apple’s support of child labour by using unethical cobalt that you need to watch:

I want to write another detailed blog post explaining what exactly tech companies are doing that is unethical, inhumane and unsustainable but let’s keep it as that for now. Because I want to write about my personal decision and struggle here.

You all know that my closet is almost 100% filled with vegan and ethical clothing and that I buy exclusively ethical fashion. You may also know that I ditched chemical beauty products a long time ago and only use natural skin and hair care, as well as makeup products where lots of my beauty products are zero waste or plastic free. I even use mostly natural cleaning products. But what about my electronics? Why am I so unethical purchasing slave labour tech gear? First of all, there are not a lot of ethical tech products out there. A good solution here is definitely second hand (post about buying second hand coming soon!) as Kristen is also mentioning in her video. You won’t support the unethical company since the money goes to the second hand store or the previous owner. However, I am guilty of not buying second hand tech products (yet). The other solution is to buy the ethical tech brands that are available.

A great company for ethical smartphones is FAIRPHONE.

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Their phones have a long lasting design, are made from fair materials, are made under ethical conditions and are sustainable since you can order spare parts and they provide you with videos on how to repair your phone so that it lasts long.  You can buy a fairphone in the colours dark blue, red, white or turquoise here and learn more about the company here.

So what am I doing now since my phone needs to be replaced soon? Will I be like the people I get so frustrated with sometimes. That have the money to purchase ethically and sustainably made clothes but go for designer garments that are made in sweatshops and that pollute the environment. Am I a hypocrite by advertising a sustainable and ethical lifestyle while buying slave labour phones?

That is my struggle at the moment and as much as I hate myself for saying (erm writing?) that, I do have a hard time deciding if I should buy the fairphone or an old second hand iPhone or if I should stick to my bad habits and buy the new iPhone. I will have to decide in the next couple of months and will keep you updated. But I’d love to know what you think! Do you buy second hand? Do you own a fairphone? Will you be buying a new unethical smartphone? And what should I do??

VEGAN & SUSTAINABLE BLOGGING: I’M NOT A FULL TIME BLOGGER?! AM I BECOMING ONE??

I started this blog half a year ago. I wanted my own space where I share ethical and sustainable outfits and clothes and share a little bit of my views about sustainability, ethical and sustainable living and more.
Before I had my blog there was just Instagram. Every project starts small. The outfits were mainly by American Apparel (AA you are missed!), I had no idea about fashion photography (not saying that I don’t still have to learn), I hardly had any followers on Instagram, I had no collaborations with all these great businesses out there. However, being a full-time blogger was not my intention when I started out.
I do believe that it is possible to make a living of being a sustainable, ethical and vegan fashion and lifestyle blogger and influencer. But is that the end goal of my platforms?

What do I do when I’m not writing countless mails with ethical and sustainable businesses, creating outfits, taking photos in my outfits, editing the photos, writing a blog post and searching for new fair fashion?
– I am a full time student at the Queen Mary university of London studying Environmental Science.

Instagram, Facebook and the blog are my hobbies, my free time activities, my passion becoming more and more into a job.
I am in my second year of three years of study. In spring 2019 I officially will have my Bachelors degree.
So what comes after that?
A masters degree?
Working as a full time blogger?
Quitting blogging? Disappearing from Social Media?

The truth is that I have plans. I always have a few plans in the back of my head. Without goals I’m directionless. Even though these plans will probably change a bit or even a lot as I progress and find out more about myself, they are still there.

The truth is I’m not planning on being a full time blogger. I’m not planning on traveling the world with my boyfriend taking photos and recording videos everyday sharing outfits and living without a fixed salary. Simply because my boyfriend has his own journey, his own dreams and goals that he wants to fulfil and they don’t include being a full time Instagram husband. Simply because I want to have a greater impact on the world. Although I love reaching out to people that care about making this world a better place, it’s not enough for me. I want more. I’m not saying that being a blogger is not a valuable job. I simply want to work on other projects.
BUT don’t expect me to quit anytime soon. Maybe the topics on my blog will shift, change and turn this platform in something new. But isn’t change always good? Never settle, always progress. I don’t just care about what I wear. I care about what I eat, what I put on my body, the environmental and ethical impact of every good I purchase, the impacts of the economy and contemporary environmental issues including climate change.
For now, I don’t plan to quit outfit postings. However, I’ve been inspired lately to raise the awareness of sustainability and ethical businesses on my platforms (especially my blog). I want to write about other aspects of life too like ethical & sustainable home products, food, cosmetics – every product you buy can either have a positive or a negative impact on this world. I also want to write more about the issues that the environment and the labour market is facing. Since I am studying the environment I do want to integrate what I’ve learned and I’m learning here. My interest goes beyond the fashion industry (although it’s a big part) and I would like to talk more about the deeper background of this capitalistic system and it’s impact on the world that we experience in our everyday lives and should be talked about more.

I hope you are as excited for the future as I am!

Love,

Livia

ANKÜNDIGUNG + GEWINNE 2 FESTIVAL TICKETS! (ANNOUNCEMENT + WIN 2 FESTIVAL TICKETS!)

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Wenn ihr meine Instagram Story verfolgt (wenn nicht, folgt mir!), habt ihr meine Andeutung vielleicht schon mitbekommen…

ICH GEBE BALD EINEN VORTRAG ÜBER FAIR FASHION!

Jetzt zu den Details. In Wien findet ein richtig cooles Festival namens “feel good” zum Thema gesunder Lebensstil in der Klabundgasse im 19. Bezirk statt.

Und dieses Jahr kommt noch ein weiteres Thema dazu: Fair Fashion. Das feel good Team hat mich deswegen kontaktiert und gefragt ob ich den Festival Besuchern über Fair Fashion erzählen möchte. Natürlich habe ich sofort ja gesagt!

Ich werde auf der “Mind Stage” am Sonntag, den 27. August 2017 um ca. 16 Uhr (Details zu der exakten Zeit kommen noch!) reden.

Das Festival hat neben der Mind Stage auch die Feel Good stage by John Harris Fitness, bei der ihr Workouts von Yoga bis Piloxing von 9:00 bis 18:00 Uhr mitmachen könnt! Dann gibt es noch die Food Area bei der ihr Säfte von Hello Juice, rohe Snacks von Simply Raw Bakery, und noch viel mehr genießen könnt. Außerdem könnt ihr gratis Body Checks durchführen, in der Chill out area dem Live DJ zuhören und auf der Mind Stage Vorträge über Gesundheit, Sport und Fair Fashion hören.

Die Tickets für das Festival kosten 22€ (leider sind die Early Bird tickets ausverkauft, aber Studenten zahlen nur 17€). Feel Good hat mir aber 1×2 Tickets für das Festival 2017 zur Verfügung gestellt, um sie an eine/einen von euch zu verlosen! Wenn ihr also 2 Tickets gewinnen wollt, schreibt mir einfach eine Nachricht auf Instagram und ihr seid mit dabei!

Viel Glück!

 

I’ve given you a little hint on my Instagram Story already…

There’s something very exciting happening soon.

I’LL BE GIVING A TALK ABOUT FAIR FASHION SOON!

Now to the details. There’s that super awesome festival called ‘feel good‘ in Vienna that is all about a healthy lifestyle and since this year: also about fair fashion. The ‘feel good‘ team have contacted me to tell the visitors a little about fair fashion. And of course I said yes! I’ll be talking at the mind stage at about 16:00 (I’ll tell you the exact time when I know it!) on Sunday, the 27th of August 2017.

The festival offers you a variety of amazing workouts from 9:00 until 18:00 (partnered up with John Harris Fitness), as well as a food area including the Simply Raw Bakery and Hello Juice. There will be free body checks, a chill out area with a live DJ and drinks and the mind stage where there will be talks about exercise, nutrition and fair fashion.

The tickets for the festival are 22€ (17€ for students). But now you have the chance to win 1×2 tickets for this year’s festival! If you want to win 2 tickets just message me on Instagram!

Good luck!

Vegan food in Ubud at the Elephant restaurant

June and July have been all about traveling. Max and I have been to Thailand, Singapore and Bali. After 2 weeks in Bali, I can say that the island is hands down, vegan heaven.

One of my highlights in Ubud:

The elephant restaurant. The beautiful restaurant in Ubud with an amazing view offers healthy dishes with lots of vegan options. Additionally, it is making an effort to be more sustainable which I absolutely love! The restaurant is trying to be as much ‘zero waste‘ as possible: plastic is avoided at all times, organic waste gets fed to the pigs, reusables gets reused. Lots of ingredients they use are local and organic. They even filter their own rainwater to conserve water. In short, a sustainable restaurant heaven.

When it comes to the food, let me tell you, it was delicious. We’ve had the rice paper rolls,  garlic bread, steamed greens, coconut noodle soup, vegan spaghetti bolognaise and the potatoes along with a coconut and the green juice. As a dessert we’ve shared the mango sticky rice and I can tell you, I’ve never been so full in my life.

The day before we’ve been to their sister restaurant in Canggu, the Green Ginger noodle house which offers similar dishes in a more causal and smaller venue. The food was incredible as well and a must when you’re in the Canggu area!

Simply look at the photos I’ve taken of the venue and the vegan food and I’m sure the elephant restaurant will be a must at your next Bali trip.

Vegan & organic restaurant & shop in Vienna at ELMIRA

If you follow me on my Instagram, you know that I’m spending the summer in Vienna (after my 1 month travels around Asia) which I’m very happy about since Vienna is a great city if you’re vegan. The city offers you lots of vegan shops and restaurants and there are always new vegan business opening up.

Therefore, I was very excited to see that there was a new organic shop & lunch place near my best friend Sarah’s place.

Elmira sells organic, fairtrade and vegan food such as nuts, lentils, rice, coconut oil, protein powder and more and offers organic, vegan and even raw dishes and drinks. The exciting part about the shop is that they have huge variety of bulk foods that you can fill up in your own containers or in the jars or bags they provide you. Plus, the bulk food, jusst like everything Elmira offers, is very affordable!

When it comes to the fresh vegan snacks and lunches they create, I’ve tried the quinoa salad, the lentil apple salad and the bagel, along with a pomegranate lemonade and a turmeric lemonade and everything was not only healthy but delicious. One of my highlights was their vegan homemade ice cream which they sell for only 2€! You can choose between a vanilla or chocolate ice cream base that is made out of rice milk. Then you can choose your ingredients: berries, coconut, fruit or a variety of nuts, whatever you like. The Elmira employee will then put the desired ingredient with the ice cream base into their ice cream machine that they’ve imported from the USA and mix your fresh ice cream. I was stunned. Sarah and I decided to go for a vanilla, berry, pistachio mixture and it tasted incredible!

There’s so much more I could tell you about this amazing place. For example that Elmira sells homemade coconut oil, nut milks  and homemade raw sweets, tries to get as much of their ingredients and products from local farmers as possible or that they also do diet and exercise consultancies. But just go to their website or Facebook page and read for yourself. The owner of the family business Elmira is a very caring and sweet woman who really tries to offer you only the best of the best.

I’m amazed by the shop and will definitely come back many times and hope you’ll give it a try too!

(almost) PLASTIC FREE BATHROOM ESSENTIALS

SOLID DEODORANT BY Lamazuna

SHAMPOO BAR FOR NORMAL HAIR BY Lamazuna

TEA TREE OIL

MAKEUP REMOVAL PADS BY Lamazuna

Okay, so I’m not completely zero waste like Lauren Singer. But I’m aware of the fact that there is A LOT of plastic in our everyday life which cannot be recycled and ends up in the ocean. The solution to that are small changes in eg. your hair and skin care product choice that make your life more sustainable.

The company Lamazuna offers plastic free products like this deodorant that you simply apply on damp skin (€12) and this shampoo bar for normal hair (€13). This shampoo bar smells like a day at the Spa and even foams! After trying out several shampoo bars and even no-poo methods (rye flour, rice flour, baking soda, ACV) and hating every single method, I felt so happy to find this amazing shampoo bar. You seriously won’t notice the difference to a (plastic) bottled shampoo and it’s perfectly suitable for traveling!

Tea tree oil is the best natural spot treatment since it’s antiseptic and dries out the blemish overnight. Plus, it usually comes in a glass bottle.

Lamazuna’s make-up removing wipes (€11) are a good swap for your conventional disposable pads. Just put them in the little washing bag they come with and throw them in the washing machine after use.