Threads of Gaia

Threads of Change: Thrifty Threads

Kate JarvisComment

So it seems moving into deep winter has me curling up into hibernation mode and I’ve forgotten to update my February pledge 🙉... but here I am... better late than never! 🙌

Ive made it to month 12...a whole year of exploring tips n tricks to living-a-little-lighter on our beautiful Mother Earth 🌏 ... and I’ve been saving one close to my heart for the long haul. Ive loved textiles & fabrics for so long. And for many years I never gave a second thought to what my clothes were made of, who made my clothes and how they live & work. I had zero awareness of the TRUE costs my purchases carried; human, social & environmental. Ive been championing hemp & organic fabrics for over 6 years in my small creative offerings but im committing here to going deeper, learning more about sustainable textiles and getting real about our consumer patterns and the human & environmental burdens our thirst for fast and disposable fashion is creating.

🌏 1 cotton t-shirt uses 2,700 litres of water just in production 

🌏 The clothing & textile industry is one of the biggest industrial polluters, textile dyeing 2nd largest polluter of clean water after agriculture*.

🌏 non-biodegradable microfibres are polluting water ways and sea life.

🌏 industry workers facing continued exploitation & poor working conditions 

🌏Clothing production has doubled from 2000-2014, avg person buying ⬆️60% clothing annually and keeping them for half as long as 15 yrs ago ⏩ huge amounts of waste.**

There are amazing initiatives (see below) educating us on the urgent need to make clothing more sustainable and urging us to understand the true value of clothing. Here are some of the ways I’m hoping to make a difference... 

💚 make do & mend

💚 thrift shops & charity shops

💚making my own clothes from remnants

💚pledging to buy nothing ‘new’ for 6 months! (Although have bought 2 new pairs of winter tights last month 🙈)

I do feel like I’m cheating a little as I have a box of beautiful remnants and  lots of delicious hemp fabric to ‘make my own’ from... but this is the push I need to get me inspired to repair, thrift shop, restyle existing clothes & making my clothes from existing materials. Im so excited to see what unfolds over the coming months 🌏💚🙏. Kate x

www.fashionrevolution.org

www.loveyourclothes.org.uk

Fashion Takes Action 

* The independent **greenpeace

Threads of Change: What's the cost of beauty?

Kate JarvisComment

Beauty & the earth. 

This is my penultimate month in my year-long pledge to living lighter. This month I’m getting up close & personal with my bathroom cabinet. 

Just 1 glance at the endless beauty products seductively packaged in plastic...its pretty clear that in our efforts to beautify ourselves...we are inadvertently scarring the earth. 

When I started thinking about beauty & bathroom products, I was pretty much focused on the packaging angle... seeing how I can choose alternative options that eliminate single use plastic. But after digging a little deeper it’s not just the packaging that is damaging to the earth. Some of the environmental threats of personal care products:

🌏 micro beads found in toothpastes & personal care products end up in waterways, rivers & oceans polluting eco systems and being consumed by sea life. 

🌏 Chemical sunscreens are bleaching coral reefs.

🌏 Plastic packaging polluting landfill & waterways.

🌏 Pesticides & chemicals used in thousands of products do not breakdown and are accumulating in our ecosystems and our bodies. 

Ok it feels pretty heavy, but there’s lots we can be doing to help reduce our contribution.... here’s some things I’m already doing and ideas for more I can do.

💚 I finally found a locally made shampoo and conditioning bar that actually works & I love. @whollylocal.

💚 My skincare & mineral suncream are beautiful oils in glass bottles (although a plastic pump is used -refill options would be great @livinglibations!). 

💚 We bulk buy magnesium for the bath and buy soap in cardboard packaging. 

💚 We are making toothpaste but honestly it’s not great and given the chance Im using Marleys bought one instead (he won’t use it either 😣)! So this is top of my list to sort out.

💚 Make up is the next biggie... I’m about to run out of mascara & foundation. I don’t wear a lot & it’s summer so I could get away without it for a bit. But I want to have options & all my organic make up is in plastic...so will be exploring if there are any other options in glass /reusable packaging.

So this is the month to get into the bathroom cabinets and see what else is lurking and where we can make changes. Would love to hear your earth-friendly beauty tips too! 

Here’s to celebrating beauty... honouring our own and safeguarding the beauty of our planet. 🌿🌏💚.

Threads of Change: Let's be Merry & Bright

Kate JarvisComment
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Yay...we reached December ✨🙌...it’s time to bring in some Christmas cheer with our last monthly pledge for Gaia of 2018. This month is dedicated to lightening up and having some F U N. Honestly, the past few months I’ve become a little bit (ok possibly ‘overly’) serious in my pledge to minimise & quit my plastic consumption. Don’t get me wrong...I’m not saying this is not a serious issue or endeavour... I’m referring to my attitude & light-heartedness... or rather lack thereof. I can tend to catastrophize... and take things a bit too seriously 🙄....this journey is teaching so much about myself and I’m fast beginning to see that you can be passionate about something without having to be over-burdened by it. 

Christmas is a time of joy & merriment... so here’s me salvaging my sense of humour and pledging to lighten up and find the joy in making these positive changes; celebrating the things we are doing, instead of ruminating over the things we aren’t... 

Christmas cheer...

✨ make your own Christmas tree...so much fun making ours from 3 bamboo sticks! 

✨ wrapping presents in fabric remnants or printing your own reusable fabric for fun!

✨ making your own decorations & gifts...all the easier with kids in tow!

There’s probably a million & 1 other things I could be doing as well... but I’m loosening up and enjoying & focussing on what I am doing. Here’s to a joy-filled, conscious Christmas for all. 


 

Threads of Change: Go Slow

Kate JarvisComment
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S l o w is my preferred pace of life. It’s the rhythm at which I operate at my best and is the most sustainable flow for me. But the reality is we live in a fast paced world and sticking to your own s l o w lane requires tremendous effort & unwavering presence.
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These past few weeks, life has been happening and there has been a stealth rising of all.the.things.to.do, to the point that busy has simply overtaken and something’s gotta give. What gave way for me were my concerted efforts at plastic-free living and in its place slid a cosy, comfortable dose of convenience. After the past few weeks of growing commitments I came unstuck; I hadn’t made enough time for bulk food shopping or farmers markets, I didn’t plan meals or prioritise food prep... eventually we had empty cupboards, an empty fridge & a family to feed... last week they got a dinner of ‘fast food’; food with a side of all.the.plastic. Dips & olives (in plastic pots), chips (in plastic bags), cheese (wrapped in plastic)... you get the idea. I even went without milk in my tea for 2 days as I wasn’t making time to process the nuts that had been soaking on my counter for 3 days...and eventually went off (anyone 🤷‍♀️?!) I promptly bought 2 (plastic) cartons of milk.
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Here’s the thing, I don’t want to be going down this slippery slope of convenience. I value our beautiful planet, I value our role and responsibilities here as stewards of this incredible land, And I deeply value our interconnectedness. And so, if I want to see change... and an end to #plasticpollution, I have to be prepared to make that change myself and choose to make it a priority.
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So this month I need to regroup, revisit my values, get really clear about how my choices as a consumer are directly aligned to my values and represent my prayer for the world. It’s a month to get back in the s l o w lane; let some things go and make space and time for better choices. To those of you doing this already...day in, day out, thank you 🙏 thank you for showing us it is possible, and reminding us that we make it possible. Thanks to all the change makers out there giving your best 🙏💚🌏#changestartswithme #threadsofchange #slowdown #slowliving#slowforgaia #lovegaia #everylittlehelps#plasticfreeliving



Threads of Change: Outreach October

Kate JarvisComment
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OK, this month Im taking a breather. This month i’m not choosing another daily habit to change up (although there are still many more to come!)..this month i’m choosing to integrate all that I'm already doing.


The past 6 weeks we’ve been on the road, travelling through Europe seeing friends and family. It was good, sweet times 😍. At the same time, the reality of trying to honour my plastic-free-pledges whilst on the road was challenging and to be honest… pretty frustrating. I hadn't really appreciated the effort i’ve been making to seek out, research and travel to find earth-friendly options.


We did pretty well most of the time…the abundance of farmers markets made #zerowaste food shopping mostly accessible and fun. Little Mr 5 kept to his pledge too and carted around his reusable ice-cream bowl and spoon for the entire time #holidaygoals. But I also found myself feeling pretty despondent when we had no choice but to buy food in single-use plastic. So much anger when  our water came in a plastic bottle… and pretty helpless when a meal in the air is served with more single-use plastic than actual food 😰. 


But, now we’re back. And I’m happily settling back into my all-familiar eco-hacks that are seemingly so much more accessible at home! So, its time to flip the funk, shift perspective and find the positive from the negative! Im also surrendering the unsustainable notion that my heroic efforts alone can change everything 🙄🤦‍♀️😂… and instead Im reaching outwards… to all those who share a similar vision and voice, to those of you who want to see a change too. This is a call for us to come together, to dare to dream, no matter how big or small, that collectively we can make a difference. I have no doubt that our passionate, collective voice is so much louder and more persuasive than the often unnoticed (and frequently frustrated) individual voice. So who’s with me? 🙋


Yay! If that’s you, we would love you to come along to our Community Workshop on Sunday 28 October where we will be making reusable produce bags…for ourselves, for our friends and our communities.  This idea is based on the brilliant Boomerang Bag initiative; a community driven movement run by volunteers which aims to reduce plastic pollution by engaging communities to make reusable bags and make a difference.  Im so happy to be collaborating with friend & fellow local maker and creator Louise of The Art of Fit for this creative and purposeful afternoon. So if you’re keen, we would love to connect, collaborate and create with you; the change makers. ✌️🙏🏼


This month is the time for me to begin opening up to opportunities & inspirations from wider communities both local & global. And beginning to really explore not only how we can each make changes to be the ripple effect, but how by coming together we can help the ripple flow further. For more information, please check out the workshop link below or reach out and say hi! 👋💚🌏


http://threadsofgaia.com/workshops/

https://boomerangbags.org

https://www.theartofit.com.au


Threads of Change: Carry a container (or 2!)

Kate JarvisComment
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Ooops, I’m a bit late to my September pledge this month . Been a bit side tracked by other priorities like holidays & travel 🙊😉. 

We are still on the road (& in the air) for another 3 weeks... so I’ll be continuing on with the travel theme. I’m pretty down pat with my reusable water bottle and hunting out all.the.refill.stations. 👌 But have found myself on several  occasions without a vessel for food, bulk buys and food-on-the-go (with the exception of Mr 5, who has been spot on remembering his reusable ice cream tub & spoon at every opportunity 😂🍦 #priorities).

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So this month I’m committing to carrying a container too ✊. Back home I usually have all the bags in the car and prep all the containers I need when heading to the fish market or bulk buy shop. But it’s much harder to be organised on the road and realistically not always possible (bags already at full capacity 🙈).

So here’s to finding some new travel tips n tricks this month...got some nesting pots for starters and will track down some collapsible /expandable pots too. Geez gonna need a new bag just for all the carry-abouts! This ‘living lighter for the planet’ is definitely witnessing a heavier load shifting to my carry-all. Am I witnessing a redistribution of the burden of consumption back to me - the consumer? Interesting. 🌍💚♻️.

#livelighter #ecotravel #threadsofchange #byocontainer #reduce #ecoonthego #bulkbuy #lovegaia #changestartswithme #doingourbit

BYO Water Bottle

Kate JarvisComment
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Here we are, heading into month 6 of our year-long pledge to live lighter. Last month was #plasticfreejuly… that was a pretty confronting month as we committed to removing all things single-use-plastic from our shopping lists. Im not surprised people fall off the plastic-free wagon…it requires organisation, research, lots of home-cooking and a daily commitment to make this a conscious lifestyle choice. But it was an incredible challenge for truly experiencing the extent that plastic has infiltrated our convenience-laden lives.  

I'm still integrating a lot from last month, and am committing to adopting #plasticfreeforever to the best of our abilities! So, next up? Water bottles. If you’re still buying water or soft drinks in plastic bottles, here’s some stats. “A million plastic bottles are bought around the world every minute… or, put another way… more than 480 billion bottles were sold in 2016”....”End to end they would extend more than half way to the sun”. 😱“And of those sold in 2016, fewer than half were collected for recycling”* In addition “it takes at least twice as much water to produce a plastic water bottle as the amount of water contained in the bottle”**. 🤦‍♀️

I’ve been using a refillable water bottle at home for many years now. This month however, we are heading off on travels overseas for a few weeks and I know that travelling and getting good quality, clean water on the road can be tricky. Up until now I have often bought bottles of filtered water if the only other option was dubious tap water. 

So, in a bid to refrain from buying another single-use-plastic bottle ever again....and after doing some research, for this trip I will be experimenting with charcoal filters. Using my existing, beaten up stainless steel water bottle and placing charcoal filters inside which are said to remove chlorine, some metals and alkalise the water (takes up to 5 hours), it should last around 3 months and afterwards can be composted. This I found to be the cheapest option with the least amount of waste. This is only an option for travelling through countries where the tap water is already safe to drink. This is not a suitable option for removing bacteria & viruses from contaminated water supplies. It does appear however that there are a few options to buy suitable water filter systems and travel filter bottles that purify & filter contaminated water and eliminate the need to buy single-use-plastic bottles. When its time for our next Bali or India trip, I’ll be checking these options out.

So, here’s hoping that our charcoal filtered water, together with our reusable cups will provide us plenty of options for staying hydrated on our travels ahead! Follow along on our travels throughout August & Sept in our Instagram stories 🙏🏼🌏💚

Source *The Guardian **www.watercalculator.org

Plastic Free July

Kate JarvisComment
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P l a s t i c  F r e e  J u l y

Its that time of year again Plastic Free July  🙌 . This initiative started here in WA in 2011 and has grown into a worldwide campaign challenging us to reduce our consumption of single-use plastic. Over the past few months, Ive been eliminating a specific item each month from our household in an effort to reduce our environmental impact. It has been a great transition so far, now using only reusable coffee cups, straws & bags, and lining our bins with newspaper… but I know there is still so much more we can do.

So, this is the month to embrace all the ‘other bits’ that have been a bit-too-hard to get my head around…you know all that plastic packaging that mysteriously creeps up on you in your shopping trolley!? Like when I come home armed with (plastic) punnets of strawberries or tomatoes in summer, or I’ve accidentally bought cut pumpkin and its wrapped in plastic because I wasn't really paying attention. Or I really want the discounted bananas that are packaged on a biodegradable tray & wrapped in plastic 🤦🏼‍♀️. This stuff…this stuff I need to get a handle on and start being more diligent about.

I also want to explore all the other stuff Im buying on the daily. Everything comes in some kind of plastic packaging… from pasta, to frozen blueberries to yoghurt to crackers! Im starting to wonder…do I have to start making everything from scratch at home?! I don't know the answers yet….I’m diving in head first, and I'm on a packaging exploration mission!

OK here are some ideas so far for helping me get through…please feel free to add your ideas below too!
1. Shop local farmers markets...waaay less packaging there
2. Ask local shops to pre-package in paper bags
3. Forgo the strawberries / tomatoes (whatever is in that plastic punnet)
4. Bulk buy dry & wet goods in glass / storage containers (Ive tried this once before…I think refilling all 83 jars at the same time was not the best idea!)
5. Buy products packaged in cardboard over plastic.
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Keep up to date in my Instagram stories for all the fails…and all the wins! We will be running a community workshop in Perth this month making beeswax food wraps & more...watch this space for all the deets, would love to see you there.

Kate xx
🙏💚♻️🙌.

To find out more about this campaign and lots of ideas...head to http://www.plasticfreejuly.org

Composting: Recycling nature's way

Kate JarvisComment
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Since last month’s pledge…#banthebag we have stopped using ‘bio-plastic’ bags for our bin liners and now use newspaper!  It has been a lot less eventful (messy) than I anticipated so if you’re keen to have a try, do it, its really not so bad. The shift has also meant we are paying closer attention to what is actually going into our bin and we’ve noticed more food scraps are beginning to creep in.

Almost half of Australian household waste thrown out is organic, compostable material. “When food scraps are sent to landfill, they decompose to produce methane, a greenhouse gas with more than 20 times the global warming capacity of carbon dioxide. They are also a potential source of organic leachates that can contaminate surface and ground water.”* Not only is food waste an unnecessary burden to already overflowing landfill, but as permaculture reminds us, if we want to create sustainable living solutions, then our outputs (waste) need to become inputs back into the system. Food scraps when composted correctly can become fertiliser to return essential nutrients back to our soils.

So this month we are getting our compost mojo back! We’ve have a compost bin for a while…but its not had a lot of love. I have definitely expected it to take care of itself (it does not). And of late, it is too full and too wet…and totally out of balance. Often there simply isn't enough room for all the food scraps and so these get tossed into the main bin. Our beloved @barefoothippy has already cleared out, turned over and got the compost bin going again. I’ve also got some great back up resources here to check out if our composting goes awry again, check these out if you're keen to learn more...

1) A brilliant Australia-wide tool @sharewaste / www.sharewaste.com. This is a simple website that links you to places in your neighbourhood who have a compost / chickens and are willing to receive your food scraps! I LOVE this collaborative initiative encouraging us to get to know our locals and work together.

2) Another great initiative is www.kooda.com.au a Perth company who will collect your food scraps and compost them for you. They are currently at capacity, but do pre-register because when enough new customers register in an area they will expand their services there…could be your neighbourhood next!

3) If you are looking to buy or set up a wormery or compost at home, check out www.compostrevolution.com.au - a council supported initiative to encourage more of us to be composting at home and diverting compostable material away from landfill. They offer discounts on purchasing new equipment & advice to help you get set up. 

For those of you who already have cranking composts & wormerys…love your work…and please send all the tips! Happy composting change-makers. XX

*Source www.businessrecycling.com.au

#threadsofchange #compostfoodscraps #compostnotlandfill #bethechange #changemakers #everylittlehelps #letsbethetippingpoint

 

Threads of Change: Ban the Bag

Kate JarvisComment
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Ban the bag: Refuse ALL plastic:

“By 2050 there will be more plastic in the oceans than marine life”. Source: World Economic Forum*. 😰. 

The enormity of the environmental impact caused by plastic bags is finally being recognised by policy-makers, as single-use plastic bags are being banned here in WA from July 1. 🙌 This is a great step forward in our bid to taking responsibility for the environmental damage we are causing and will hopefully contribute to a signifiant reduction in the number of plastic bags being made, used and discarded into landfill, waterways & oceans.

And so, this month I'm getting our family all prepared for the great transition. To be honest, this is something I've been pretty hot on for a couple of years now, I always have my basket, reusable bags or cardboard boxes handy to lug around shopping (food & other) 📦. However sneaky plastic bags still seem to appear in the house…hello shopping delivery? So this is the month to get organised & super strict; Im putting all the reusable shopping bags in my car (and his) and the organic food delivery box & lining gets picked up & re-used, awesome! For the moment, no more online shopping orders & deliveries until I investigate how supermarkets will be making deliveries without plastic bags.

Another part of this story that has been weighing on my mind... where Im not quite so “onto it”.…are plastic rubbish bags 🗑…the things we line our rubbish bins with, that go into landfill forever more. For the past 12 months or so our household has been using “biodegradable” food waste bags as our bin liners. Its not great, in fact, these bags do not readily break down in the environment or in domestic composts. In order to meet their ‘biodegradable’ status they have to be processed in commercial composting facilities which most of us have no access to**. And so we’re getting creative…from now on, we will be lining our bin with newspaper; food goes to the garden compost and non-recyclable rubbish will be wrapped in paper and the bin cleaned out on the daily. Small issue in that we don't read newspapers 🤣…not a problem…the weeks newspapers will be collected from the in-laws every week and we will dutifully recycle / repurpose them!💪♻️🗞. If you have any great solutions or ideas for the rubbish bin-liner issue, please reach out. 

So if you’re inspired too…this is a great time to get organised! some WA supermarkets are bringing the plastic bag ban into force earlier than July which is a great start…but there is still a long way to go. Customers will still have the option to purchase thicker plastic bags for a small price, this is concerning as customers may simply become used to paying for heavy duty plastic bags instead of changing long-term behaviour. So grab your re-usable shopping bags and get ahead of the ban.

Thank you to all the change-makers out there, for stepping up and inspiring us all to take action. Keep up to date with how we are going with this months pledge on the daily in our Insta-Stories threads_of_gaia xx 🙏🌏💚

(Source:  *www.weforum.org **Dept Water & Environmental Regulation)

#threadsofchange #banthebag #bethechange #changemakers # endplasticpollution #earthdayeveryday #lovegaia

Threads of change: Straws Suck

Kate JarvisComment
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Straws suck: Refuse to use single-use

A new month, a new pledge. This month, I am shining light on the environmental impact of single-use plastic straws. Plastic straws aren't something I’ve given that much thought to. It hadn't landed on my radar as something we use daily until I began to consciously note how often we are actually using them. I’ve been overlooking how easily they sneak in…especially with a 5 year old; visits out to cafes usually means an inevitable straw arriving with his drink…and invariably, one arrives for me too if I’m ordering a juice.

Ok, here’s the depressing stats. In the US alone, 500 million plastic straws are used and discarded EVERY DAY. Thats enough to go around the earths’ circumference 2.5 times PER DAY. That sucks. These are single-use, plastic straws that are not recyclable and are going into landfill and littering waterways and oceans.* Plastic straws are used for mere minutes and will outlive us and generations to follow us. They are unnecessarily going into landfill sites and are posing a huge threat to marine life, fast becoming one of the main litter items found on beaches.

So my pledge for April and evermore is to commit to refusing single-use plastic straws for my family. This will require us to be super vigilant and request “NO straw please” every.single.time we order drinks!😳 eeek, I’m so forgetful, if anyone has any ideas on how I can remember to ask every time to avoid sneaky ones slipping in, please give me a shout!! Planning to carry our own reusable, stainless steel or glass straw for times we wish to use one too👍. Thank you all so much for your incredible support, encouragement and love for our March pledge of #nocupnocoffee. This pledge continues to run concurrently with Straws Suck as we are creating long lasting change to our daily habits and way of living….there is still much research to undertake and learn about every day and will continue to update here through #threadsofchange.

Thank you for listening. For those of you already doing this…and those inspired to do this, you are amazing, let’s be the change together. 💚🙏😍🌏 #changemakers#strawssuck #threadsofchange * source: www.thelastplasticstraw

Threads of Change: No Cup, No Coffee

Kate JarvisComment
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No cup, No coffee ☕️
It is estimated that 500 Billion disposable coffee cups are produced globally per year. And here in Australia 50,000 disposable cups are going into landfill every 30 minutes*. Gulp.

I like to think I’m environmentally conscious… I care about reducing waste and I do my recycling. I have in my possession a reusable coffee cup, and I use it a lot...when I remember to wash, pack and actually USE it!

More times than I care to admit, I’ve been lazy. A busy morning sometimes sees me absent-mindedly leaving my cup at home. I convince myself I've had a busy week, and I really deserve that coffee anyway, one time isn't going to hurt…and I fall into the the trap of getting that take out coffee anyway. Guilty 🙋🏻‍♀️. But that one-time…isnt just one time and it isn't just 1 coffee cup, millions of us are doing this. This is a convenience trap, contributing to huge amounts of coffee cups unnecessarily going into land fill every year. 


Up until now, I've let it slide, based on the green-washing facade that its a BIO cup so thats OK. 🤦‍♀️This is a trick my friends, a BIO cup still has a plastic lining and can ONLY be recycled or composted in special commercial recycling / composting plants that most of us do not have access to. For the most part, these are ending up in landfill too. 


For those of you already being disciplined and never using single-use cups…thank you for being the trailblazers & change-makers and inspiring me to take action. Some of you like me who have been meaning to get around to it, well grab your reusable cup and let’s never use single-use cups again 🙅‍♀️. So from today onwards, my rules are simple NO CUP, NO COFFEE (or tea / chai / smoothie). I’m planning ahead, packing my cup or mug the night before. Or I could even shift down a gear...and leave 15 minutes earlier and enjoy my coffee sitting down! 
You can follow my month of No cup, No coffee in my stories....wishing you an inspired day & month! 🙏💚😘 *(source: PlanetArk)

#threadsofchange #nocupnocoffee #reusablecup #reducereuserecycle #threadsofgaia #keepersoftheearth #changemakers