My Recommended Reading
How to Break Up With Your Phone by Catherine Price
How to Do Nothing Resisting the Attention Economy by Jenny Odell
Emergent Strategy Shaping Change, Changing Worlds by adrienne maree brown
Sustainability: A History By Jeremy L. Caradonna
Recycling Reconsidered: The Present Failure and Future Promise of Environmental Action in the United States by Samantha MacBride
Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things Book by Michael Braungart and William McDonough
The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability-Designing for Abundance Paperback - Michael Braungart and William McDonough
EcoMind: Changing the Way We Think, to Create the World We Want -By Frances Moore Lappé
Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash Kindle Edition by Edward Humes
Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature - By Janine M. Benyus
Biomimicry in Organizations - Business management inspire by nature - By Fausto Tazzi, Clnzia De Rossi, Meaghan Toohey
Clean and White: A History of Environmental Racism in the United States by Carl A. Zimring
The Global Business Environment: Challenges and Responsibilities 4th ed. 2017 Edition by Janet Morrison
Toxic Communities: Environmental Racism, Industrial Pollution, and Residential Mobility by Dorceta Taylor
Faces of Environmental Racism: Confronting Issues of Global Justice (Studies in Social, Political, and Legal Philosophy) by Laura Westra and Bill Lawson
Design For Repair by Derrick Mead
The Waste Makers by Vance Packard, Bill McKibben
Garbage Land: On the Secret Trail of Trash Book by Elizabeth Royte
Waste and Want Book by Susan Strasser
Waste: Uncovering the Global Food Scandal Book by Tristram Stuart
The Zero Waste Solution: Untrashing the Planet One Book by Paul Connett
Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth Cline
So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer
Joyful Militancy Building Thriving Resistance in Toxic Times by Nick Montgomery and carla bergman
The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo
Meditation for Beginners by Jack Kornfield
Coming to Our Senses: Healing Ourselves and the World Through Mindfulness by Jon Kabat-Zinn
The Sexual Politics of Meat A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory by Carol J. Adams
Veganism in an Oppressive World A Vegans of Color Community Project Edited by Julia Feliz Brueck
I took this photo yesterday (unedited), up in the mountains with my Olympus Pen-F Macro Lens. Photography, especially the macro kind, is a reminder of the complexities and curiosities and beauty of life. It’s also a reminder to not take life for granted.
This weekend, if you’re able, get closer to people, plants, animals, rocks, and all the mundane things we look past. Scroll less, buy less, pay less attention to social media, read, write, take photos, doodle, sit quietly, take a friend to tea, volunteer, or do something unexpected and kind for someone.
Environmentalism needs a foundation of curiosity, space, attention, wisdom, and pause. The mindset of deep listen and attentiveness will prove more valuable in protecting our world than we realize.
Eco-Anxiety and Depression is real. I and probably many of you are suffering from these feelings during this time of destruction, extinction, and the warming of our planet.
Reclaimed and thrifted supplies: brushes, tray, container, canvas, floor canvas, sheet and watercolors. Art supplies from Art Parts Creative Reuse in Boulder, Colorado.
This layered work is inspired by my home in the Pacific North West. I love the textures and layers of this piece. It started out as a thunder cloud over a body of water and then I built over it more textures of clouds, rains, and light. Cloudy days are beautiful and full of wonder.
Perhaps we depend too heavily on others opinions, comments, and judgments when it comes to what we wear. Maybe that has stifled our own ability to be comfortable, confident, and express our own sense of style. Especially for women, there is a societal pressure it seems to wear form-fitting clothing that exposes our bodies. We’re told not to dress shapeless. Don’t dress like a potato-sack, I’ve heard it all. My confidence in clothing in my early teen and adult life was a struggle. I tried hard to mimic the cool kids or jump on the latest clothing trend, but each time I didn’t feel like myself and I wasted money on stuff that I didn’t like. I didn’t feel comfortable. I didn’t express my own individuality.
Sure, there is always inspiration from others and the classics of years gone by, but there is this general need to fit in and wear what everyone else is wearing, lest we are judged. As I’ve moved into my late 30’s, I’ve learned to let go of this noise. To listen to me better. To be confident and to express my personality the way I want through my clothing. To others, my wardrobe might look plain, boring, baggy, colorless, or shapeless. I might wear the same thing for three days straight but who cares!? If I feel comfortable, confident, and happy then that’s all I need.
And isn’t that what we would want for others?
Our kindness, compassion, creativity, and beauty will shine brighter now that we allow ourselves to express who we are - let it also be free to change and evolve. Clothing is such a beautiful and artistic way to express ourselves and we can’t take that away from others by judging or making others fit a mold.
Let’s build a new relationship with our clothing and with ourselves. It takes some inner investigation, experimenting, and curiosity but it’s necessary. Part of this relationship is also thinking about who made our clothes? How can they be worn from one season to another? Mendable? What are they made of?
Love what you wear!
Be confident! Don’t let others opinions take control. You’re beautiful!
It’s fairly easy to call ourselves mindful and intentional, but what we don’t realize is that these words take work. Mindfulness is a skillful practice that requires a lot of uncomfortable inward looking at our reactions and relationships towards things and people. What I mean by this is that we are usually to distracted in our lives, our attention spans too short, and our focus too centered on ourselves to truly be attentive to the present.
Mindfulness becomes a diluted word.
We can deepen what it means to be mindful by applying deeper attention into our moments. The beautiful thing about this is it’s available to us to practice every second of our day. We can always restart our attention at any moment. The distractions are part of the practice, part of developing rooted mindfulness.
My meditation teacher used to say to me, “It can be a lot easier to move the body than to sit with our minds.”
The practice of mindfulness is much, much deeper than noticing you’re hungry or choosing a reusable bottle instead of a disposable one. Those are nice things, but mindfulness requires us to pay attention to our moments in a way we probably have not before.
Mindfulness needs wisdom and discernment. I say often the earth needs our deep attention. By paying attention deeply, by attending to our moments without our stories, reactions, and judgments - we reshape our habits and reactions to things. It’s not easy, it’s actually hard. Luckily, it doesn’t take anything outside of yourself, it just takes the moment you are in right now. However, that moment looks.
Mindfulness isn’t a glamorous thing. It’s raw and messy. It’s seeing our sadness, loneliness, happiness, grief, contentment, frustration, and everything in between just as it is. There’s a lot more to all this, but to truly attend to the moments we are in right now we have to first turn the mirror on ourselves and that’s not always something that we want to do.
Mindfulness is easy to say, but I’ve realized it’s much harder to implement. It’s not simply noticing something. It’s a combination of deep listening, concentration, and quietness in our being. It’s being able to see yourself in others. It’s empathy mixed with suffering, mixed with curiosity and joy. It’s witnessing with our wisdom and compassion. Go outside. Look out your window. Notice. Listen. Watch. Feel. If you’re distracted by something else, just go back to what you were noticing even if you get distracted over and over. Distractions are an important part of a practice.
Looking through my camera’s viewfinder for me is analogous to looking through my own life’s window.
Just as I have a certain idea about how I want my photo to turn out, I also have a certain idea of how I want my days to be. I have to make adjustments to the dials, make sure my lens is dust free, and perhaps get into positions that are awkward so I can press the shutter. I have to listen, observe, pause, and often become silent to truly witness and attend to the moment.
At times, in haste, I’ll react to quickly, convinced I know what I’m doing and forego all the above for a blurry photo.
In life, we can also grip too tightly to our own narratives. Navigating with a dusty lens convinced our way of seeing things and relating to things is correct. With this grip, we end up closing ourselves off from growth and from hearing what’s being said from others. Developing and maintaining wisdom and discernment is vital.
Nothing in life is easy. Life requires our attentiveness, hard work, and action. Life is messy and uncomfortable and rarely looks like a bouquet of free-flowing positivity. We might find beauty in this madness but will not find perfection. My photo comes out based on the work I put into it.
Who are the closest people in your life? Have they joined you on the path of reshaping and rethinking environmental habits? Or no? We have to realize that those around us, even those close to us, are not obligated to live exactly as we do. Of course, we’d all like that, wouldn’t we?
Each of us come from an array of backgrounds and circumstances that shape who we are. Sometimes we can be a little ridged and stubborn (I’ve been there) and sometimes we are flexible and ready for a change. But if we encounter those who are not ready, that’s ok. Like a seed in the ground, you can’t will it to grow. It needs the right conditions to sprout. The best way to encourage those around us is to simply be ourselves confidently - water the seeds without shame or guilt.
This is my husband Zack (in the photo above). He’s kind, caring, thoughtful, and carries a good sense of openness about the world.
He’s reshaped a lot of his habits over the last few years. He’s shifted his diet to a plant-based one, reduced his waste (we take out our household trash bin once or twice a year now) and has tweezed out other environmental concepts he’s learned and has applied them into his life. Even with these changes, he still has different likes, needs, and habits than me and that’s ok!
Even if he didn’t make all those changes that’s ok too! All we can do is provide inspiration, guidance, and support when they need it. We want others to be all in or nothing and that’s not possible (for anyone). We have to remember that changes can take time and for those changes to be sustaining they need to come from a place of curiosity and authenticity.
How have you handled situations with those that have different ideas or habits than you?
Let these challenging times in the world give us even more reason to reshape our attention and attitudes towards ourselves, each other, and all sentient beings. The conditions we are given, positive or negative, are designed to be tools to challenge us and change us. To help us build what has crumbled and what has been ignored.
We can use what is around us, however meager we might think it is, to reshape our perspectives and to give us the foundation to learn more about who we are in relation to the world.
Radical remodeling. I’ve seen this already in all of you who choose to share, create, inspire, listen, and act. This work to reshape our world is not easy, if it was we would not learn the deeper lessons of being alive.
Andrea Sanders | @BeZeroWasteGirl
I have a mixture of up-cycled, thrifted, and purchased reusables to navigate around disposables. I use them everyday when I’m on-the-go, I teach with them as part of my eco-outreach work, and from time to time will pass some on to those who might need them.
Remember, you can just as well use an old glass sauce jar for drinks or for storing your leftovers, an old t-shirt cut into squares can be used as a napkin or tissues, or utensils from your kitchen drawer to take with you during the day. There really isn’t a mandatory checklist or must-do for zero waste.
Whatever reusables you choose to use, in the end, it’s not about the gadgets, getting rid of all your plastic, shopping at a bulk store, or DIY-ing everything. The point of this zero waste conversation is more than about the trash you make or don’t make or the kind of reusables you have. It’s really a multifaceted conversation about reshaping our relationships with nature, ourselves, and others, how we design, make, and use things, and dismantling systems that have made most of this inaccessible to many people and communities.
Andrea Sanders | @BeZeroWasteGirl