One of the best things I’ve experienced since my book was published and I began writing my Guardian column is the way this community of environmental activists, authors, bloggers, and experts come together to enlighten, teach, and support each other.
Blogger, author, TED-talker and internationally renowned zero waste activist Bea Johnson wrote a review for my book, despite the fact that I was a total nobody from Canada she’d never met. Author and environmentalist Billee Sharp wrote the foreword for my book, because she fundamentally believed in the message I was spreading and the way I was doing it. They both lent their support and her name to my book and I was incredibly grateful that they did.
I was recently approached by a publisher who asked me to do for another writer what Billee and Bea did for me two years ago. I am so happy to be sharing it with you now!
Lately, I’ve found myself talking a lot about fast fashion – the cheaply made clothing that looks great on the rack, costs less than a meal out, and unfortunately often lasts less than a few seasons.
I touched on the subject in my book, recently wrote this article for Earth911 about H&M’s clothing recycling initiative, and last week I was interview by a Canadian news network called CBC to get my take on the issue, and why it can be problematic to rely on corporations to guide our environmental decisions.
I’ve been a big fan of the internet for more almost two decades now. Ever since I can remember I’ve been absolutely blown away by the sheer volume of information it contains – even in its earliest days.
I was an early adopter of blogs, too – I had a GeoCities page back in the day, complete with sparkling jellybean background and gif overloads. Over the years I transitioned first to Blogger, then Tumblr, then WordPress, then the self-hosted site you’re reading now. I enthusiastically embraced Facebook and Twitter and Instagram as they emerged onto the scene.
Although I’m quite social and outgoing, too much social interaction drains me. I need to recharge by retreating and having a few days to myself. As I grew up and realized this about myself, online interaction became a way to continue communicating and interacting during these down times without getting that overwhelmed “too much” feeling. It also became an amazing tool for a fledgling writer who desperately craved an outlet (and an audience) for all her dramatic prose and overwrought poetry.
The poetry has gone (thank god) but the blogging has remained, and since September I’ve been fortunate enough to share my words on a larger platform via my column at The Guardian.
For more than five years now I’ve been really conscious about what I buy. I rarely go shopping, and when I do, I try to shop secondhand as much as possible. I no longer buy something just because it’s cute or on sale, I have to love it and how it was made.
The end result of this campaign of austerity is that I don’t own much, but what I do own, I love.
January, despite the initial thrill of it being a new year! and the excitement of tackling all those bright and shiny resolutions!, can devolve quite quickly into a dreary, blah sort of month, especially when contrasted to the glitz and glam of December.
Thus, for me, January has typically been a puttering sort of month. I get rid of excess clothes, toys, and clutter. I write thank you notes. I rearrange furniture and pack away Christmas. It’s a month of preparing, laying the way for the rest of the year to come.
Buuut early on this week, it hit. The doldrums. I was bored, my hair felt frumpy, and I felt itchy – both literally and figuratively. The dry weather was sucking every last ounce of moisture from my skin and I just wanted to do something. So I did!