Oh hi you. How’s your week been? Have you been enjoying the unseasonably hot June? I hope so although I also hope you are aware it’s down to climate change which is #NOTGOOD.
Okay climate shaming over. THAT IS A LIE BECAUSE IT’S NEVER OVER 😉 In this week’s episode I chat with the LOVELY Rose White aka Live a Well Life. We talked about thin privilege, nutribollocks, diet culture and why I think the Hemsley sisters are morons.
Rose is a registered Intuitive Eating nutrition specialist (nutritionist) and mum of three (plus one big fur baby). She shares practical advice and busts nutribollocks on her Instagram, with specialist courses AND through 1:1 coaching work with private clients (including me!)
After following Rose for a while and finally working with her on both mine and my toddler’s nutrition I knew I wanted to chat with her for the podcast. We delve into nutribollocks, diet culture in the influencer marketing sphere and why carbs are GREAT.
If you liked, nay, LOVED this episode and the podcast in general, please think about doing one of the following things….leaving a rating or a review on iTunes. It’s a faff but it’s free and makes a big difference to whether the show is seen by people or not. OR support me on Patreon! You could leave a $1 tip in the tip jar or sign up for a monthly contribution in exchange for various bonuses.
Hope you enjoy the episode!
Listen on the player below or through your favourite podcatcher!
Oh Plastic Free July, you annoying, clever and necessary month. The first time I heard about Plastic Free July was maybe two years ago when I saw YouTubers sharing their progress, waste, and swaps. And, of course, their hauls.
I instantly hated it.
I should be clear at this point because I don’t want to put anyone off the movement, or the concept of ditching plastic for a month in order to make lifelong changes that ultimately benefit the world. Plastic Free July started as an offshoot month of encouraging folks to ditch single-use plastic pioneered by the amazing work being done by the Plastic Free Foundation. Similarly to Veganuary, you can pledge to join in for a month and get support along the way, ultimately aiming to change your own habits for good. It’s 100% free and a GREAT way to get tips and tricks from other people.
So why do I hate it? I don’t really. But I find that with any movement like this, and particularly one as on trend as zero plastique the most voracious, the most simplistic and, yes, the most privileged come out to play.
It’s when the NO STRAWS debate starts up again because, sure, most of us can easily ditch a plastic straw.
It’s when sustainability shaming is rife. Normally among the communities who hold the most power and have caused the bulk of the issue in the first place.
It’s where climate apartheid and greenwashing become so palpably clear the point of going plastic free is lost in a shouty Twitter rant.
Because what’s the real issue here? It’s not plastic straws which make up a TINY proportion of Global plastic waste (less than 0.5%) but that’s an easy scapegoat and guess why we all want them banned? Turtles.
But guess why plastic was invented? In part, to save elephants from poachers back in the day we all wanted Ivory everything. Without the invention of plastic we would potentially be further behind in medicine too. It’s helped countless people with life changing accessibility options.
But let’s face it, we need to address our over consumption of EVERYTHING. Including, but not limited to plastics. And within that discussion we also need to address our individual privilege. AND, most importantly, our very unique and individual needs.
Because, in my opinion, there is literally no one thing anyone can tell you is the ‘simplest swap’. Not one. What’s simple to one is a ginormous pain in the ass to another and vice versa.
And, as you may or may not not, I hate being told what to do. I hate rules. Having said that, I hate apathy just as much and as someone with hella privilege here I am, flexing mine.
Doing some research so you don’t have to.
SO, without further ado, here are my best tips for tackling Plastic-Free July (and beyond).
bespoke your PLAN
This is undoubtedly the most important step and one I honestly think we often forget to take (stock of?) Every single one of us is unique, right? So why do we think a list of ‘simple swaps’ that another human, with entirely different circumstances wrote?
I love a list as much as the next person but please only use these as jumping off points. Even better, look at your individual circumstances FIRST and the advice second.
For example, if you are a mum of three under three – nappies might be your biggest source of single use plastic right now. If you are a 21 year old uni student perhaps it’s easy to spend time DIY-ing toiletries but really rough on the budget to start bulk shopping.
And, for all of us, our location will dictate the types of shops we can source stuff from so think about all of these things before you commit yourself to a life of homemade deodorant.
This is my number one tip, and if you ONLY take one thing away from this post make it thus: PREPARE THYSELF WHOLLY.
That means that for whatever you’ve decided to ditch, get your alternative ready and a plan b too. I ALWAYS have a KeepCup and a few cotton bags in my handbag as takeaway coffee and pastries are my pleasure (not guilty, because nothing to be guilty about).
If you eat out a lot and need travel cutlery, buy some pretty bamboo ones if you want but you can also just take your standard cutlery from home with a hankie.
If you drink a lot of water out and about, grab a reusable water bottle/reuse a plastic one (not for too long as this isn’t great for your health – I had a friend who had an allergic reaction once due to the fact he’s reused his water bottle for about two months!)
Tupperware is obvs great, but I find it a little bulky so I just use cotton bags to take sandwiches etc out and about. And, honestly, for me the biggest thing to prep for is my kid – reusable wipes pre moistened, nappies and liners, wet bags and SNACKS are key to a smooth day!
I can’t emphasise this enough. My house is not a beautiful kilner jar filled home devoid of plastic. That’s just not realistic or achievable for me. But do I still get pangs of ‘I WANT THAT’ when I see folks with a beautiful, zero waste aesthetic? Yep. I’m human.
I’m not the sort of person who believes in absolutes. I don’t believe that we should aim for ZERO WASTE or ZERO PLASTIC or ZERO CONSUMPTION because, hello, life is really short and sometimes stuff brings us joy and that’s okay.
I still buy things. I still get a kick out of restocking my favourite ethical beauty bits and finding new low impact products to try. I guess the difference between me now and me a decade ago is that I think about my purchases for AGES before buying them. That might not be you, you might be more a go with your gut type shopper. That’s 100% okay.
What I think is important though is quitting that mindless purchase because you feel life will be better when you have XYZ. Do you know what I mean? Or panic buying five summer dresses from H&M when, realistically, you probably could’ve waited and sourced a more ethical solution (eBay, Vinted, Charity shops and Facebook Marketplace are all great for this if you are on a budget)
There’s so much nuance to this that I don’t want to teach you to suck eggs when it comes to your own shopping habits. Only you know what’s realistic and achievable for you. But I feel like it’s an sorta intrinsic emotion when you are buying unconsciously, as it were.
I dunno. Maybe not.
Anyway, I hope this poor excuse of a guide to ditching plastic this month (and beyond!) helped! Share your plastic free tips in the comments if you fancy.
Hey hey! Welcome to another episode of What She Said.
It’s almost my two year anniversary of podcasting, I’m midway through some podcast consulting for a corporate client, and three weeks into my podcast course AND I’m feeling VERY podcasting-old. Is that a thing?
I hope you’re enjoying these solo chats btw. I’m enjoying the combo of solo and interview although I know that means you have a little bit less listening time. That also might be a good thing so….hey? All’s well that ends well eh?
5* REVIEWS THIS WEEK
Before we jump in, BIG thanks to HumRose, AnnaBee6, MyCustardPie and Bekahloveslula who all left 5* reviews this week 🙂
Leaving a review makes a big difference to whether What She Said is buried in the iTunes ether or not so THANKS 🙂
Listen on the player below or through your favourite podcatcher!
WHERE TO FIND ME
You can find me on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest @lucylucraft or on my blog: lucylucraft.com.
This week on What She Said I chat with Aja Barber about using Patreon for your business.
Aja is a badass in the sustainable fashion world and I’m very lucky to call her a friend too. She champions intersectionality within the green movement (and beyond) and educates her audience on all manner of things; from greenwashing to climate change and calls out bullshit wherever she sees it.
We chatted about Patreon, where Aja creates a whole heap of valuable content for her audience from as little as $1 a month! She has one of the best Patreons around so I knew I wanted to get her insight into the good, the bad and the downright ugly of it all.
We touched on HEAPS of topics including ethics, and what it’s like to be an influencer who doesn’t work with brands.
REVIEW OF THE WEEK
The lovely Rabya gave What She Said FIVE STARTS! She says
This podcast is simply brilliant. Lucy not only brings on engaging guests but also solo episodes that are incredibly insightful. For all this blogging and living life online, this is the one! Expertly done.
I sorta hate this title. It feels dangerously close to me declaring myself a ‘mumpreneur’ and telling you how you can make your first 10k month using my patented methods.
I’m not gonna do that. Promise.
I’ve been working ‘around’ my little one, who is now two, for around eighteen months and I’ve learned a few things in that time. I’ve tried a few different options, and have had highs and lows in my own productivity…..and yes, the mum guilt has been ever-present throughout.
For clarity, Anaïs goes to nursery and we’ve never done anything different to that bar the occasional stint of grandparent help. I work from home, and my husband works pretty long hours in an office job, albeit a local one, but that means that like most mothers I pick up the slack if/when Anaïs needs to come home early. If you want to learn about other childcare options I wrote a post about freelance childcare options.
I ALSO decided to film a flipping video for this post! It felt like a good idea at the time, mostly because I’d just setup for my Patreon BTS video too. So there you go, a little unexpected treat!
But back to my productivity tips for those who’d rather skip my face waffling on a poorly-edited video.
1 | Childcare
Super obvious statement alert but, erm, have you thought about childcare? Yes, Lucy, you absolute knobhead I have.
Okay so this one is dependant on your situation but as I said, my situation has gone from zero childcare to some childcare (a day a week of grandparents) right through to a whole month of five days of 8-6 a week (that was expensive and nuts!)
Right now, Anaïs goes to nursery 5 days a week from 8-1pm. She naps from around 2-4 so ostensibly I get a full days work. Most days. Although as I write this she is not napping, but painting because…well, she didn’t wanna nap and that’s okay.
Although I don’t have any friends/family to help with childcare I am very lucky to have this setup. It works really well for us as a family and because I work, we also get tax free childcare which is an added bonus. And, as long as I continue to work, we will get 30 free hours of childcare when Anaïs is three. (COUNTING DOWN THE DAYS…..)
I’ve never used a nanny/au pair or a childminder but we have also used our regular babysitters (one of whom works at Anaïs’ nursery) to plu any gaps as and when we need them: usually this is for random work meetings or trips I need to take. That’s the nature of freelance life!
Unlike my last point, this really is an actual productivity hack. I can’t remember who told me about the Pomodoro method but whoever they are is an absolute angel.
The Pomodoro Technique was created by someone called Francesco Cirillo in the 80s and posits we work best on one thing at a time in bite size chunks.
In theory, it’s working in chunks of 25 minutes with a five-minute break between each chunk. Then, after you’ve done four rounds of Pomodoro chunks you should take a longer break. I take 15 minutes here.
How this works for me is that from 9-12 (I practice yoga/run/have a lie-in when I wake up, shower and start work at 9am….rarely before) I decide on my must-do tasks, then allot them a timeframe: Either one or two ‘PT’s’ aka 25 minute chunks.
This really works for me at the moment because I struggle to do that whole, ‘a day dedicated to this part of my business’ or even batching work. I need to work on things in a really dedicated way knowing I’ll have a break soon.
3 | Prepare
When Anaïs first dropped down to shorter hours I was always getting caught short when it came to getting my bag ready for pickup.
I’d mutter obscenities to myself as I packed a random, unappealing assortment of snacks and often forget my keys/wallet/coat. And I’d leave with a half-finished task, empty belly and stressed mind….which, I’d come straight back to once I got home and Anaïs was down for her nap.
So I now take my daily snack prep seriously. I do it first thing while making my own breakfast and never skip it. Because it just makes life so much easier.
Likewise I prepare my task list ahead of schedule. I use Trello to manage my recurring tasks, adding on new ones as they come in and plot them all out daily too. I know you can get a bit more jazzy with all of this but I keep it simple….I can’t cope with three or four to do lists; I’ve tried and failed multiple times!
4 | Find Your Flow
This has been a massive game changer for me. And before you think I’m going all Jess Lively on you (if you don’t know who that is, please watch this wonderful video where she writes to her intuition. I DIE.)
When I talk about finding your flow I honestly just mean asking yourself when you work best. If that’s convenient, try to only work in that time….or, at least, do your hardest/must-do stuff then.
For me. first thing is when I get my most techy stuff done; I’m talking podcast and video editing, planning, dealing with course stuff or editing photos etc etc etc. Writing comes easier a bit later in the day, so that’s when I sketch out blog posts, podcast scripts, newsletters or Instagram captions.
And, realistically, at approx 5pm I may as well go to sleep. I never work past this time unless I really have to. Mostly because I can’t…..my kid would never let me work while she played independently, which is fine by me!
5 | Do Less Stuff
This is a tricky one and I’m still reminding myself to take on less stuff every damn day. But saying no, keeping a clearer diary and definitely saying no to projects that aren’t going to serve me in whatever season I’m in.
This might mean my social life is a bit dry sometimes and it often means I say no to free stuff offered in exchange for Instagram coverage. Not because I’m against it (especially not with smaller brands) but because it’s gonna cut into my very precious time!
And lastly, lower the damn bar. Especially when you have extra-curricular work stuff like……pregnancy, house moves etc etc etc. You know the drill with adulting!
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