By Lalita Green
While we have some of the greatest minds in science and technology working with great fervor finding the optimum ways to manage our activities in more ecologically sensible ways, some of the smaller everyday acts we do are contributing to the overall analysis of our sustainability. Throughout a single day we typically make thousands of choices - according to some sources roughly 35,000 - and many of these have direct effects on our health and environment. Individually and collectively.
Habit can be difficult to change, perhaps a more realistic way of updating is to make small adjustments daily rather than attempting to tackle it all at once. Some basic points to consider are beauty/hygiene products used, clothing worn, meals sourced & transport taken.
While living on the Gold Coast I've been scouting for what's going on in my own backyard. Some of my discoveries and personal adjustments have included:
Since eating is usually a daily occurrence, and sometimes a social experience, finding new places to dine can be rather enjoyable. What's even more satisfying, is when you align with their values. Here are a couple on the Coast that hold an admiral ethical stance:
Mandala Organic Arts Cafe - As the name would suggest, this organic cafe is rather artistically inclined. I first discovered this gem when I was invited to watch some friends perform here. Yes, they have live music and their walls are lined with unique artwork following out to a green outdoor space. Oozing with love and creativity, this is also demonstrated beautifully in the food.
Avvia Cafe - This became my local spot during my Palm Beach days. The venue is gorgeous, looking out to sea, and the staff are friendly and accommodating. The outdoor seating area is lined with hydroponically grown salad greens and herbs and they strive to use locally grown ingredients; "The process of finding ingredients and transforming them into cuisine are not separate events, but one continuous action, constantly informed by cultural expectations and new ideas."
The markets always make for a great outing. It also offers a chance to meet more of your neighborhood - You may find Joe Brown who lives three doors down from you also likes to make artisan chopping boards in his spare time. The farmers markets are the perfect place to collect organic, locally grown produce and maybe even garner tips on how to create your own garden space at home.
Broadbeach: 1st & 3rd Sunday Monthly
Burliegh: Last Sunday Monthly
Coolangatta: 2nd Sunday Monthly
Surfers Paradise Beachfront: Every Wed, Fri and Sun nights
Village Markets Burleigh: 1st and 3rd Sunday Monthly
Miami Marketta: 2nd & 4th Friday Monthly
Marketta Street Food: Every Saturday Monthly
Bundall: Every Sunday Morning
The Organic Gold Coast: Every Sunday Morning
Marina Mirage: Every Saturday Morning
Palm Beach & Currumbin: Every Saturday Morning
Mudgeeraba: Every Saturday Morning
Burleigh Markets: Every Saturday Morning
Nerang Fresh Produce: Every Sunday Morning
Groups and Volunteering:
Humans are social creatures and thrive off the encouragement and inspiration of others. For some, being more environmentally mindful can be developed by their social circle, and being involved in groups with this intention is a fantastic way of achieving more awareness.
Organic Family Co. - I was filled in about this wonderful group by a friend of mine who dove straight into the health/wellness pool and just beamed after a day with this crew. They hold events, make their own organic products and aspire to a new paradigm of living: "Organic Family Co. branches into seven spheres: Spirit, Vision, Sharing, Tribe, Wisdom, Arts & Health."
Kulcha Jam - Based in Byron Bay, Kulcha Jam offers an arena for artists and those interested in connecting with their habitat; "By focusing on strengthening and sharing culture, we share our passion for creativity, art, community and our environment. Motivated to work for social justice and lasting social and environmental change, we see that these things are best cultivated in the melting pot of shared 'Kulcha'."
To discover green brands usually takes a little research and can be limiting since it is an emerging field of fashion. Recently I was on the team behind The Byron Bay International Fashion Festival and Byron Bay, being the environmentally sensitive and creative shire that it is, naturally produces a few inspired Eco-designers.
Some designers at the event included:
H A R R I E T J A N E
"Byron Bay based designer Harriet James creates clothing that is ethically made in Australia. Slick finished silk, cotton and bamboo fabrics are printed with her original nature photography. The cuts are simple and the compositions bold, creating strong pieces that are intimately intriguing and striking from a distance."
L I A R & A T H I E F
"Byron Bay based label by designer Nisha Abey. Their consciously ethical label is aimed at females with a strong worldly view of the environment and our future. This beachwear is made to last and designed to stay on trend, perfect for wild and carefree tomboys who are destined to be the life of the party."
S H E H Z A R I N
"Melbourne based designer Shehzarin Batha has created an inventive, ethical and sustainable label. Every piece in her collection is designed to accentuate the chic style of a modern woman."
Vintage shopping can contribute to the extended life of a garment. Recently I had the pleasure of working with the sisters behind The Bedlamite Club who lovingly rescue pieces from around the globe - "We offer a fantastic selection of vintage clothing that does not smell like mothballs".
While these are smalls steps one can take, eventually these steps tally a trail.
Just the tip of the proverbial iceberg, indeed.