Debt free baby!

I am NOT a financial adviser nor do I work in the finance industry

 

 

Tackling debt head on and taking back control

 

What I paid off in 2018 and beginning of 2019:

  1. Power Bill (University days)
  2. Work and Income Debt #1 (Money to pay overdue power bill)
  3. Work and Income Debt #2 (When I didn’t declare my income properly)
  4. Personal Loan
  5. Credit Card

Not bragging but man I was relieved that everything had been paid off. Despite the changes in living situation and income, I just managed to get through as I didn’t have any other streams of income nor did I get any assistance from anyone else (family and friends). I’ve also learned from this experience and have promised myself to not get into unnecessary debt ever again.

Looking back on how I got into the debt listed above, I hold full responsibility and don’t blame anyone else – I should’ve been more realistic, disciplined but most importantly got professional advice. Other factors included being overwhelmed personally and not having a reliable support system so I resorted to borrowing money to relieve the pressure at the time and trying to find solutions on my own. Debt (1.) could’ve been avoided had I put down all the flatmates names on the power account instead of just mine. I’ve flatted before so this hit hard for me the most. Debt (3.) was due to my poor judgment in knowing when my first pay day was and declaring hours accordingly and debt (4.) and (5.) were of last resort to relieve pressure home wise and personally.

 

You better get your shit together_
Picture: Instagram @wizzzadaking

 

What did I do to get out of it?

Took a long breath, drank a bit, slept, prayed and got myself together to confront and correct things.

I wrote down all the debt I owed and called the providers one by one negotiating and clarifying the following:

  1. How much is owed and is there interest charged on it
  2. Sorting out a payment plan and sticking to it
  3. Keeping them (providers) in the loop in case anything changes

Communication was key and as hard and embarrassing as it was speaking to a stranger over the phone about my finances, it was the only way to sort my shit out. A tough lesson but glad it helped me to confront myself, ego and pride well aside this helped me in my personal growth too.

I also sought financial help online on sorted.org.nz and in person – I went to Newtown Budgeting and Advocacy Services in Wellington (I self referred myself as they operate on a referral basis).

Discipline was important if I was to get through this, something I lacked in so this was definitely a testing time for me as I had to adapt to this skill pretty quickly because I didn’t want to let myself down.

Another key factor was time as things weren’t going to solve itself overnight. It was clear as day, stick to the plan and the goal would be achieved within the set time frame.

So after all the phone calls made it was time to do the work. I had set up automatic payments from my bank account and made sure I budgeted the rest of my money for living expenses. Patience was a virtue (I get anxious) and I had to remind myself of my why, the promise I made to myself and reflected on how much progress had been made. It was achievable, realistic and possible.

I held myself accountable, accepted what had happened, forgave myself and others to move on in life and get rid of my debt.

The goal was achieved and as of February 2019 I have no more outstanding debt. While paying off my debt this prompted me to check my credit report through all three providers here in New Zealand (Illion, Centrix and Equifax), sign up to www.creditsimple.co.nz to see my report and rating, as well as to educate myself on financial literacy. It has been hard but rewarding at the same time. I encourage anyone out there to seek help, call (or not avoid phone calls) to whoever you owe debt to and make those steps to financial freedom. Don’t let pride or ego get in the way! Knowledge is power!

 

 

Brown Owned Products Haul

Oceania – South Pacific – Melanesia, Micronesia, Polynesia

 

 

This is my segment where I share with you goods and services that are ‘Indigenous Oceanic’ owned and operated.

 

 

Why support local businesses? Here are a few reasons off the top of my head:

  • Characteristic of the community it is based from
  • One-of-a-kind business compared to a chain store
  • Diversity in products and services
  • Helps local economy

Entrepreneurship in the smaller Oceanic countries (excluding Australia and New Zealand) is dominant in agriculture, fishing, manufacturing and retail. However, pacific entrepreneurship in New Zealand is relatively low compared to other ethnic groups. In an article by the New Zealand Herald, business owners of pacific descent and the CEO of the Pacific Business Trust were interviewed to give their insights on ownership, running a business, resources, lessons learned and what can be improved. In terms of barriers two key factors were identified – capital and capability and that the solution to this is through education and training along with hands-on assessment and support. The pacific business trust was established in 1985 “to grow Pacific businesses into sustainable, viable and commercially successful enterprises”.

Aside from the news piece on pacific entrepreneurship, I feel as though we are a natural fit to owning and operating our own businesses. I mean we are hospitable and social in nature, resourceful and hard working along with a rich oceanic culture (which unfortunately is negatively stereotyped), there a ideas and resources that can be tapped into. For example, although not pacific peoples owned, Fiji Natural Artisan Water is one of the most recognized brands in the bottled water market (and obviously sourced from Fiji). It’s not impossible and I don’t think anyone should dream too hard if they think it’s what they’d like to pursue.

So here is my haul of “brown owned products”.

Link to the news article: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/small-business/news/article.cfm?c_id=85&objectid=11274912

*Products below are my own purchases and isn’t a collaboration with the businesses mentioned

Dress

Eveni Pacific Ladies Bardot Dress: SAMA
Stockist: Lagi – Lower Hutt, WLG Region/New Zealand

 

Picture: Lagi website

 

Sandals

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Usolz Sandals NZ: BROWN
Stockist: Online store – http://www.usolz.shop

 

Skincare: Body

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 Photo_1551836790190

 

Kawakawa Naturals
Soap: Lemongrass + Ginger
Healing/Medicinal: Kawakawa Balm
Lip Care: Chap stick 5g
Stockist: Online store – http://www.kawakawanaturals.co.nz

 

Photo_1551836699774

 

Mailelani Samoa Body Care
Soap: Vanilla + Koko Samoa
Coconut Oil: Papaya + Mango (Not pictured)
Body Lotion: Papaya + Mango
Stockist: Lagi – Lower Hutt, WLG Region/New Zealand, Le Aute – Porirua, WLG Region/New Zealand

 

 

Zero Waste Haul: Toiletries MAR ’19

 

When I decided to go zero waste the first of my personal inventory I targeted were my toiletries. Oh boy this was going to be a challenge. Before this journey of zero waste, I’d buy two (or more) of everything to create my own stockpile so I didn’t run out of anything and of course all products were of one-time use. One item in particular I was worried about making the switch to were cloth pads because I thought I wouldn’t be able to cope. I mean how do people do this?! Is it even hygienic? How do you store them (used and unused)? So of course I looked up on the internet from blogger reviews, YouTube reviews to low waste businesses and my worries went away. I mean it wasn’t actually much of a big deal! So after writing down a list of reusable alternatives, I then looked for stockists in the Wellington region and online from AliExpress, TradeMe and Facebook. I wanted to gather as much information as possible when it came to product variety, price, shipping costs and customer reviews. I also wanted to get multipurpose products to cut down on money and from hoarding a lot of containers, bottles and jars – this is also where the minimalist influence came in (minimalism and zero waste cross over a lot).

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Picture: The Pint-Sized Blogger

From there I made the gradual change first using what I already had then switching to reusable – I wasn’t gonna purge all things single use at once no! Defeats the purpose of zero waste and I think this is where people tend to fall for the mistakes when going zero waste like buying a haul of zero waste items all at once (which would obviously cost a lot of money), buying items that is of no need to them and the influence of zero waste images on social media being the attainable goal of going zero waste. I hope people will do their research thoroughly, know what they want out of it, what would work for them and not let aesthetics on social media dictate their motivation to go zero waste to begin with.

 

So here are just a few items I’ve made the switch to. Listed at the bottom will include where I purchased them from.

 

Bamboo Toothbrush

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Picture: Grin Naturals NZ website

 

Manual Facial Epilator

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Picture: AliExpress

 

Coconut Oil Cleanser

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Picture: The Pint-Sized Blogger

 

Coconut Oil

Image result for punjas coconut oil for external use only
Picture: J Punja NZ Website

 

Reusable Cotton Rounds with Wash Bag

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Picture: AliExpress

 

Cloth Pads with Wash Bag

 

Screenshot_20181118-125726_AliExpress
Picture: AliExpress

 

  1. Toothbrush – New World Supermarket (Newtown, Wellington)
  2. Facial Epilator – AliExpress
  3. Oil Cleanser – Island Pure Coconut Products (Facebook)
  4. Coconut Oil – Eastern Food Distributors (Newtown, Wellington)
  5. Cotton Rounds – AliExpress
  6. Cloth Pads – AliExpress

*Tweezers, Nail Scissors (I use for my eyebrows), Nail Clippers and Soap Bars weren’t included in this list as this was used prior to going zero waste. However, I decided to list the Coconut Oil (which has been a staple since I was born) and Oil Cleanser as a means of alternative options for a variety of uses for hair, skin and nails.

At the moment I’m using an aluminium-free roll on deodorant and body spray, once I’ve used up both of them, I’ll reuse the spray bottle to make my own body spray and deodorant stick which I’ll post later on.

So as you can see nothing flash just the beginning of my transition (or for some continuing on) to a more conscious lifestyle and being more self sufficient.

 

Blessed to see another year

Another year older and hopefully more wiser, happier and grateful for my life and everything in it. From the highest of highs to the lowest of lows and in between, I’m a believer in everything happening for a reason and that is to become a better person from it.

I’m a self confessed ‘free-spirit’ and the journey on being just that hasn’t been easy. From being a sheltered, very shy and insecure young adult who wasn’t uplifted to being outspoken, bold and driven it has been a very painful growth but worth it at the same time. I just want to be me without altering anything about myself to please anyone or to not offend anyone. I mean how hard can that be? It can be difficult if your environment tells you otherwise for reasons not made clear which can lead to questioning your own self. I’ve had to come to terms with it slowly and even at my age (let’s just say I’m 21… plus ;-)) it’s still an uphill battle at times.  Quite frankly I’ve learnt to build tough skin, choose my words, battles and company wisely, to not be too hard on myself and not care about other people and their opinions. I’ve settled with my past self and have moved on for the better. Life is precious and I’ve got some living to do! I’m not here to be caged in, I’m here to be free and make my mark on this planet!

 

Physical Wellbeing

Getting my shit together LONG TERM – KM 2.0 in the works

My aim to get in better physical shape is to genuinely be happy with my body, take better care of it, listen to it and not restrict it from what it needs.

 

Give yourself some props! These (non-cheesy) quotes will help you start your day off right_
Picture: greatist.com

 

I am a Pacific Island woman yes, however, I am not your voluptuous, curvy, big-beautiful-woman (BBW) “ain’t missed no snack” built, nor am I slim, with long luscious hair down to my back and with a smile that’ll light up a room. No, that’s not me. Do I have insecurities? Yes and I’m trying to deal with it the best I can but sometimes I have those days where I feel defeated on the inside and out.

 

All Bodies Are Good Bodies
Picture: Recipes for Self Love

 

I hold myself accountable when it comes to my eating, exercise and who or what I choose to gravitate towards when it comes to influences. I’m at that stage of self control and growth where I don’t fall for detox teas, waist trainers, fad diets or Instagram fitness personalities that have and maintain a body that is not achievable for me. There was a time where I nearly ordered Flat Tummy Tea in the hope of getting rid of my muffin top but thank goodness I didn’t.

 

self love
Picture: Recipes for Self Love

 

Truth be told I am far from being in a happy state of mind, body and soul. My struggle has been eating consistently in general as most of the times I’d rather skip meals then have a feed later (I don’t nor have I had an eating disorder), lack of water = dehydration, not sticking to a healthy diet and caving into junk food, which leads to a vicious cycle of being unhappy, not having any energy, feeling down and unattractive. On the fitness side I’ve pretty much let myself go. I don’t work out as much as I did before because I let other things take priority and then I feel depressed. Aside from personal barriers (more so the mind) there isn’t any excuse to push through and do what I want to do and love – which is to be physically active be it working out, going for walks, playing indoor netball and so on. I need to do this because I don’t want my health (both physical and mental) to decline for the worse and I’m the only person who can do something about it. So in this series “Getting In Better Shape” or G.I.B.S I’ll document my progress honestly on this blog along with my social media accounts on Instagram and Facebook. Here’s to a better wellbeing and happiness.

 

Mental + Emotional Wellbeing

Content Warning: Mentioned in this post are mental illness issues. Please proceed carefully.

 

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Picture: Instagram @doot_doodles

 

**

Mental Health/Noun. The general condition of one’s mental and emotional state

Mental Illness/Noun. A condition which causes serious disorder in a person’s behaviour or thinking

**

 

Why must someone hit rock bottom to get the attention and support they need? 

 

A touchy subject for some but I’m all for a talanoa (talk) when it comes to mental and emotional wellbeing. For me it’s something not be ashamed of, something that should be discussed out in the open, resources and services should be easily available and for society in general to be more aware of.

According to Mayo Clinic “Mental illness refers to a wide range of mental health conditions — disorders that affect your mood, thinking and behavior. Examples of mental illness include depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders and addictive behaviors.

Many people have mental health concerns from time to time. But a mental health concern becomes a mental illness when ongoing signs and symptoms cause frequent stress and affect your ability to function.

A mental illness can make you miserable and can cause problems in your daily life, such as at school or work or in relationships. In most cases, symptoms can be managed with a combination of medications and talk therapy (psychotherapy).”

To recap the previous paragraphs I just wanted to state the difference between mental health and mental illness as I’ve come across numerous social media posts and some news articles using both terms like they mean the same thing when they don’t. Lastly I am not a medical expert or a scholar on all things related to mental health and illness I am drawing on from personal experience and education in mental health.

This blog was created to be a safe digital space to have a chat about anything and mental health and illness included. For me I feel it shouldn’t be a taboo subject and that the right services, resources, training and information should be easily available to anyone and everyone. Like I mentioned before I’m not an expert on this subject but I’m going to do what it takes to provide accurate information and positive vibes to show that no matter how tough life gets it’s possible to get through it and thrive on living a healthy and positive lifestyle.

 

the mindful heart by stainedglassdoll
Picture: Stainedglassdoll

 

What irritates me the most is the misinformed and negative stereotypes of mental illness in general. Why must someone hit rock bottom to get the attention and support they need? Why must someone lose their battle with mental illness start a debate/conversation about mental health and seeking help? But on the flip side mention mental health and illness and there’s a stigma attached to it. Seems like no one knows how to live/deal/work with someone with a mental illness let alone have a conversation about it.

From personal experience it’s already painful battling internal demons let alone trying to gain control of your life and live a healthy and positive one at that. With time, trial and error figuring out what works for you in managing a mental illness, having healthy coping skills, recovery methods and lifestyle changes is an ongoing work in progress. So when I hear or come across folks who say to people battling mental illness “you’re lazy” or “just snap out of it” my first reaction is not having any pity for them at all. None whatsoever. If there’s one thing I picked up from battling depression is that you painfully realize who your true social circle and support system are and that ultimately it comes down to you feeling and getting better and choosing your company and lifestyle choices wisely. It’s not impossible but it’s not as easy as it sounds considering the fear of the unknown can be overwhelming at times but it’s better to move on to bigger and better things than being stuck in a rut surrounded by the same old leading to no personal growth and no betterment in life.

Self care and/or self love is not a selfish thing and in my opinion everyone should take care of themselves to be the best version of themselves in everyday life. Regardless of what stage in life you’re at living your best life doesn’t stop at a certain age or milestone, everyday is a blessing and an opportunity to do and be better and enjoy what the world has to offer.

I’ll end my blog entry here and with these words – please repeat after me: I AM ENOUGH

*

*

Below is a list of some of the services available in New Zealand that offer support, information and help. All services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week unless otherwise specified.

National helplines

Need to talk? Free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor

Lifeline – 0800 543 354 (0800 LIFELINE) or free text 4357 (HELP)

Suicide Crisis Helpline – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)

Healthline – 0800 611 116

Samaritans – 0800 726 666

 

 

 

Natural Hair Journey

 

Bula lovelies!

Sharing my natural hair journey thus far and I must say, there have been more days of fighting it then loving it!

Hair is very personal and if you’re like me, a naturally curly haired person who quite frankly has no clue how to do hair in general, then coming across ‘natural hair’ would be very overwhelming. Natural hair means hair in it’s natural state without any alteration to it by way of for example straightening tools, hair dyes and relaxers etc. Cool, as the name says (natural hair) and it’s straight to the point. BUT how does someone, say for example with waves, curls, coils and kinks take care of one’s hair? Is there a different take on hair care for that? Which led me to think, have I been taking “care” of my hair the wrong way for most of my life?!

Que: Natural Hair and the Natural Hair Community

 

Natural hair
Picture: Natural Hair Mag

 

After coming across this on social media and articles in predominately African American/People of Colour represented media outlets, then did I begin to learn about natural hair and the movement. All I got to say is I was blown away by the information overload and am still today. Let’s just say a lot of trial and error but it’s finding what works for you. Which is still happening today!

 

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The pictures above shows the state of my hair over the years following on from getting the ‘big chop’ or cutting my hair short to start a healthy growth. I didn’t want to use heat on my hair ever again unless the occasion called for it, as my hair suffered from heat damage due to years of using hair straighteners. Likewise the pictures of 2014, 2015 and 2016 were of significant events. My best friend (who is a sister to me) got married in 2014 and I had the privilege of being her bridesmaid.  In 2015 shortly after moving to Brisbane I decided to get my hair done to celebrate my move and finally in 2016, I decided to do something with my hair with encouragement from a friend for my first year at uni in Christchurch.

From then on I slowly purged myself of using any appliance on my hair. I then started paying attention to my scalp and hair and through trial and error got products specifically for that; experimented with leave in conditioners and hair creams, practised the LOC/LCO* method, got a microfibre hair towel from Kmart, a silk bonnet from AliExpress, relying on YouTube tutorials and reviews and am still learning something new everyday with my hair! I’m in no way at my ideal state of hair, however I’m grateful for coming across the natural hair movement in all it’s very informative ways of caring for it and what not. It has given me something no product or tutorial can do: to love my hair and not see it as a burden and that self love starts from within. That for me has been very empowering despite the struggles. I’m making the time and effort into knowing my hair and putting in work. No more hate! No more hair straighteners!

Oh FYI *LOC/LCO: (L) = Liquid/Leave in conditioner, (O) = Oil, (C) = Cream *TWA = Teeny Weeny Afro

Minimalist Living

Growing up I came from a working class household. Buying brand new designer clothing and shoes, the latest electronic gadgets, travelling and going to entertainment gigs etc. weren’t necessarily an option, but I was always provided with what I needed. A roof over my head, food, clothing and even managed to take ballet lessons and sports. Of course during my preteens and teenage years, after the split of my parents, my household became more cash strapped so prioritizing needs first was important.

As a teen I felt embarrassed and hated myself and the world for many reasons. I was the only child left to be raised by a single parent who struggled after the end of her marriage. I didn’t have ‘good’ clothing, shoes and accessories such as a designer backpack and wallet. I didn’t have the luxury of going to the hairdressers or a ‘wax lady’ to get done up. I hated being poor. So by the time I got my first job, my money went on buying ‘good’ things I missed out on during my teens and making sure that the beginning of my adulthood wouldn’t reflect that of those hard/bad/embarrassing times.

Boy did I spend!

After leaving my full time job in my mid-twenties, relocating to live in two cities (one in another country), did I realize my spending habits; my financial illiteracy and not getting to the root cause of my spending. I felt ashamed, alone and depressed.

Damn what a wake up call huh?!

So after a major breakdown, I prayed and started to plan, research and purge/declutter items, old habits and thinking. Sell first or donate, mend, reuse and recycle items, save money and made a promise to change my ways and not get carried away with wanting materialistic things anymore. No more trying to “keep up with the Jones'” and finding validation in possessions (man I sound shallow?! Geez) or fall for social media pressures aka ‘doin’ it for the gram’. I also needed to educate myself on better money management, reassessing my current lifestyle,  knowing what were needs first and getting rid of a bad impulse buying habit. Momentum had begun and I wanted to start taking control of my life and I needed it to start with me – attitude, knowledge, being realistic, proactive and practical. This is where I stumbled across minimalist living.

 

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Researching on the internet via Google, Instagram and Pinterest, what I camacross at first was 1. aesthetics and 2. articles I read and thought ‘no, this looks more nomadic and unrealistic’ and ‘no way that’s impossible?!’, so of course I took my research with a grain of salt. However, after coming across the website www.theminimalists.com, then did I have a better understanding of a realistic take on minimalist living. It was more than just letting go of materialistic things, it’s truly about knowing what is really important in life, being happy with what you got, knowing the difference between needs and wants, and not getting caught up in consumerism which leads to for example, not living within your means, forever trying to “keep up with the Jones'”, being caught up in debt and therefore being unhappy and most likely forever feeling like there’s a void your trying to fill or your missing out. I tell you my mind was blown away, meaning a migraine of info overload, being overwhelmed and hooked on this website. The founders of The Minimalists are Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus, an American duo who are authors, podcasters, filmmakers and public speakers who began their minimalist lifestyle in 2010. After seeing the benefits of their new lifestyle the duo decided to share it with the world and today have helped millions of people through their website; books, podcast, and documentary and have been featured in major news outlets worldwide.

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Picture: The Minimalists homepage

 

So, with a new lease on life, I began my minimalist journey and haven’t looked back since. The switch towards a minimalist lifestyle has helped me in many ways for which I am grateful for and am still continuing today. I’ve had to confront myself in the process by being down right honest, being accountable, reminding myself of why I’ve made changes, not giving a shit about other peoples opinions anymore and keeping track of my progress. But most importantly, I’m doing this FOR ME. I’m doing this so I can prove to myself I can change and on my terms, I can learn from mistakes and experiences good and bad, it is possible to do it on your own if you don’t have a good support system, it’s ok to aspire to have goals and give yourself credit for it with no shame and that no matter what stage in life your at, ‘can’t do it’ or ‘never’ isn’t actually a thing.

 

 

 

 

Going Zero Waste

Zero Waste/Adjective. Generating little to no waste

 

My why: save money, climate change is REAL, be more self sufficient, less clutter and consumerism

Will I ever be zero waste? No, probably not and I’m alright with that.

I have made the choice to try live a more conscious lifestyle. I’ve always been fascinated with people living a self sustainable lifestyle, ‘do-it-yourself’ projects and those who share their knowledge of being self sufficient (for reference I have been an urban dweller my whole life). It’s empowering, a life skill and having the freedom of creating something to your hearts desire. Sure, not everyone will have the time, equipment, money, resources or know how, but it shouldn’t discourage anyone from learning or trying it out. I didn’t have to look far for inspiration as my parents were always working in the garden growing veggies, taking the family to the beach gathering seafood, mending clothes and cooking from scratch. If there was one thing I picked up was the idiom (and biblical principle) of ‘you reap what you sow’. The garden wasn’t going to grow veggies themselves, meals weren’t going to magically appear out of the stove (or getting takeaways) and you best believe there wasn’t going to be shopping sprees all the time! Hard work aside, the self sufficiency and resourcefulness inspired me and as I got older I appreciate what the parents did.

 

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Picture: The Source Bulk Foods

 

Zero Waste Pyramid - there are 7 R's to going #zerowaste to reduce our footprint upon the earth_
Picture: Instagram @ubuntunomad

 

I decided to actually take control of my consumerism, spending and lack of self sufficiency (aside from household chores). I also wanted to educate myself more about climate change and to do my bit for the environment too. So after coming across a few documentaries on TV, Youtube, Uni and Netflix, did I decide to try go zero waste. I’m not doing this because of aesthetics on Instagram or Pinterest, sure the Zero Waste movement has gained momentum. However, I realized some of the lifestyle suggestions in this movement was how I was brought up and living already, but more can be done and the more knowledge the better. So my first step wasn’t to purge all things plastic or buy mason jars, but to use what I already have, finish any products before swapping to reusable alternatives and go from there slowly. It has been a gradual change and I’m learning new things everyday going zero waste. Don’t get me wrong, I thought I couldn’t handle it at first for example remembering to stock the car with grocery and produce bags (the New Zealand government has banned single-use plastic bags at supermarkets), taking my travel mug with me (along with metal straws – a standard size and bubble tea and mason jar) and switching to cloth pads. But with time, collective effort from family and consistency, the gradual change has been smooth. I’ve seen the results in my household since the plastic bag ban and it has been a positive one. No more cupboards overfilled with them, everyone is remembering to stock reusable bags in the car and people are able to save their money as oppose to paying NZ 10 cents per bag (imagine a big shopping for an Island family then paying more to store them in bags). I’m also lucky to live in Wellington where it’s a haven for coffee addicts and foodies, so using my take away cup hasn’t been a problem other than figuring out what sizes cafes serve their drinks and the size of my takeaway cup it’s been good. On a personal note since switching to cloth pads I’ve had nothing but a positive experience too. From saving money to learning how to care for it and rotate between six cloth pads, I’ve learnt how to be sufficient which was something I thought I’d never be able to do. It took time getting use to it but I’m glad I did it and won’t go back to disposable toiletries anytime soon.

So with this new found momentum I’m continuing on with making small changes towards a more sustainable and zero waste lifestyle while being realistic on what works in my reality. It’s not so much the destination but the journey (okay sounds corny I know) but the milestones achieved in the real world outweigh pretty pictures on social media …don’t they?! Like I said before will I ever be completely zero waste? Nope but that doesn’t stop me from striving to live a conscious lifestyle and share my experiences with others.

Where to start

 

Robin Eisenberg (@eisenbergrobin) _ Twitter
Picture: Robin Eisenberg

 

Before the new year I posted up an Instagram story showing my followers my “future project” – this blog, making a quick list of topics covered, emphasizing on the blog being a safe space to chat and for self expression, that the quality of the content is to a high standard and it wasn’t so much about aesthetics, I’m keeping it real.

Now it’s February 2019, and I’m at work with this blog along with honing my skills such as photography courtesy of my Samsung Galaxy S7 and photo box I got via AliExpress, learning how to watermark my work, planning; drafting, editing and proof reading my work and so on. It’s quite a lot of time to invest in doing but I’m really enjoying the process so far and feel good too. I just wished I had a laptop of my own and a dedicated space and timetable, as I currently live with family so someone’s always calling out to me to do something.

The purpose of my blog is to share my experiences both good and not so good. To have a think, form an opinion and to discuss things. A safe space for self expression and empowering content for people to have a read and hopefully take something from it. I’m not sugar coating anything but I’m being honest and respectful while conveying my point of view. I want this blog to be a respectful space where any conversation can happen without embarrassment, judgement or intimidation. If someone can’t have one in person, then how about one online then? Of course ideally you want a face to face encounter but you get where I’m going with this.

I love coming across bloggers who are people of colour and those who are indigenous peoples of Oceania. Why? It is through their eyes that their stories and experiences are told and from the world they come from. It’s not told in a misguided way emphasizing on stereotypes, ignorance and arrogance. They’re the writers, authors, storytellers, educators and much more connecting to people who might feel like they don’t have a voice let alone representation.

That’s what got me inspired all those years ago to blog. The lack of representation then (I’m talking over ten years ago) and unfortunately now, has added fuel to the fire and so I thought well what am I gonna do about it? Keep complaining or be proactive? So this blog is really the brainchild of eighteen year old Kini finally coming into fruition in 2019! Hey, better late than never right?!