Journey to a less waste life

Environmental care has always been a major concern of mine.

It began when I was eight years old, and my Sunday school teacher signed myself and a few other church girls up to volunteer with a local link in a corporation to clean up or surrounding parks and rivers.

It seems like a small thing now, as almost every kid I know has done something of the sort. The thing that really made that switch click though, was a pair of mallard ducks swimming in the river. One was seemingly struggling more than her counterpart. The male was squawking and headed toward us.

As an ignorant kid, I was afraid. I thought he was mad at us for being in his space. So I backed up. I watched them swim toward the boardwalk, and I backed up enough that my naïve little brain felt I could be safe but still keep an eye on them.

When he approached the edge of the board walk, he stayed in the water squawking. It seems weird to say now, but as a kid I could feel his desperation as he yelled at me. I swore he looked me in the eyes. So, I stepped closer. He didn’t fly or panic, he just let me get close to them. And when I peered in the water, the lady duck had her wing and foot wrapped in one of those 6 pack beer and pop holders.

As a scared kid, I called for an adult, as I couldn’t reach her out of the water myself. I remember crying and telling the grownup who came to my aid what happened, and together we pulled the scared duck from the river and freed her from her plastic trap. She squirmed and panicked, but eventually she was able to swim in the water freely again.

I will never forget that. This was in the early 2000s so the war on plastics hadn’t really begun yet. Everyone thought recycling was the solution to our problems. Those were the days, if you cared about the environment you biked to work, and cut your plastic rings before recycling them (which I still do…) Where “don’t litter” was the biggest environmentalist thing you heard commonly.

Obviously today, were in much deeper than just that. And every day, I think of my environmental footprint. What my choices are doing to my earth and my body. And I acknowledge that I’ve not made enough of a change.

To this point, I’ve chalked up a lot to my living circumstances. I lived in a home where my family didn’t care about environmental issues. Convenience matters more.

In my present living arrangement, we have more resources readily available to us. But our habits are poor. Reusable cups, reusable straws, reusable grocery bags, are all things in our present arsenal, that never were before. Yet, we don’t immediately reach for them out of habit.

A poor excuse, truly but the human mind is strange. And these things take time. And my partner is not as concerned as I am with these matters (although, he’s very supportive) and was never raised to see the damage we do (nor was I, truthfully)

But, I’m taking steps for us both. I have done extensive reading on less waste and zero waste living. My end goal here is to produce as little early damage as I can, while living within our means and still enjoying the things we’d normally enjoy.

Less waste, is obviously my stepping stone. I’ve long converted us to bamboo toothbrushes, and our casual (and kid friendly!) Dinner plates are bamboo also. I try to buy natural materials and avoid plastics. We have a few vices (Starbucks, anyone?) And a few week points, but we’re trying.

I’d like to know if anyone reading this has done the less waste or zero waste transition? What are some key points, things I should avoid and things that will change my life?

I also am conflicted in one major manner.

As a person who loves our mother earth deeply and wholly, and a deep lover of all her creations, including animals, I’ve come upon a large pain point for myself.

I transitioned to vegetarianism four years ago. I went cruelty free a few years prior. The safety and well being of animals is equally important to me. The struggle I encounter is simple. Many animal passed products such as leather and fur, are biodegradable, and are safe for our planet to break down. Of course my hang up being the cruelty the animals face, and the farms that put them into these positions (like anything I do know you can find ethically sourced leather, hides often used from animals harvested for other purposes, and furs as well ) but the leather or fur alternative is ALWAYS plastic, or unattainable. I have two key defining principles who contradict each other in this instance.

Of course one option is to eliminate things that contain leather, fur or the false version of such. But so many vital items contain one or the other. Jackets, shoes, belts, etc. How do I chose between natural and cruelty free, especially when plant based is not an option.

This is a hard travelled road. But I’m grateful to see many humans making the change, and though I’m not much of a trend follower (nor, a trend setter) I’m happy to hop on the less waste bandwagon.

Today I have many steps ahead of me. A brimming recycling bin, that could be reduced by using less. Things plugged in that aren’t in use, a plastic bag holding things bought at a bulk food store. Changes I can make, and know how to. Of course I’m not going to walk through my home, and throw away all things not ethically sourced. That will defeat the purpose. But I’m making the decision to slowly transition for a better alternative as my previously purchased items no longer work for me. And change the things I can, now. Bar soap, and shampoo bar anyone ?

(Ps: anyone know of a decent curelty free/plastic free deodorant?? )

Please feel free to comment advice or thoughts. I am starting my journey, acknowledging the mistakes I’ve made so far and looking for ways to grow and change that.

Blessings and positivity.

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The simple life.

I have a confession to make.

This confession first comes with some context. My family is very close and valuable to me. My sister in law is my best friend and my platonic soul mate. And when they announced their first child, I was over the moon. I, at that point, was always the woman who aspired to be “that aunt”. The one who travels and has amazing stories, the aunt where the kids all squeal with excitement when aunt Carly is visiting. The aunt who hosts sleepovers, and nieces and nephews come to when they’re afraid to tell mum and dad. I never foresaw myself with kids of my own, and I accepted it. I didn’t really want kids, you know?

And now we fast forward to today, another niece or nephew on the way, and I’m over the moon to have more children to aunt. Really, I LOVE kids and I love my niece. She is my light. I have broken tradition, and I have been planning a small scale baby shower for the arrival of baby two. Primarily because I love any excuse to buy gifts for my little sprout, but just because I want to make my sister in law feel special. So, with all this in mind, I’ve been looking at baby EVERYTHING. Decorations, presents, everything. Now comes for the confession… I’ve been really finding this different kind of joy. I wouldn’t express is as usual baby fever. For me baby fever exists as like, niece and nephew fever. I’m always aching for more children to love, hehe. But, this is like a different joy, when I imagine making pancakes with my love while our kids sleep. On a Sunday morning, squeezing fresh orange juice with our little humans to bring to daddy while he sleeps. Celebrating father’s day, and helping them make cards. Picking out our first Christmas tree. Teaching them about the environment, and explaining to them the first time why mummy doesn’t eat meat. Little things that you don’t share with nieces and nephews.

My partner is the kind of man who is born to be daddy. He expressed early in our relationship that he dreams of raising two little humans and having a beautiful life with them. I have taken a lot of convincing. I have worries and concerns. Things I’m afraid of passing to my kids, failing as a parent, etc. But being an auntie helps me realise that a loving heart goes a long way. And no parent is perfect. No aunt is perfect. And although I’m truly not the natural mother type, growth is key.

Looking at all this baby stuff makes me dream of raising my own little woodland fairy children. Gardening in the summer sun while my wild children run through the grass and chase the beetles. Going and picking wild herbs and making things with them. Doing natural dye projects. Teaching them to ride bikes, and helping with homework. Things I never expected to daydream about! But I find myself fawning after just as many things for my own little family as I’m finding for my little sprout.

It’s funny, too, because I even find myself having a “young bohemian mum” aesthetic in my everyday life. How I dress and do my hair, they’re all things I do unintentionally but when I look in the mirror I see someone who will one day be more than “Aunt Carly”

Perhaps a lot of women my age think these things. But it hit me like a huge ocean wave. Here I am, planning a wedding, thinking about my future, my home, the man who will soon be my husband, decor, and all of a sudden motherhood. Those things sort of fall in line, you know? But, still, I never expected it.

I’m excited for all the details, choosing a name, learning to breastfeed, choosing outfits, teaching them to speak, to read, to paint. Introducing them to their amazing and sweet cousins, and watching them build a huge friendship. Watching them run free, barefoot in the grass, and jumping into the pond. Petting dogs and chasing birds. Climbing trees, telling stories, making friends. I daydream of raising sweet little hippie kids who laugh loudly and freely.

Perhaps this is a normal reaction, perhaps you’re reading this thinking “okay, so you’re the same as every woman in her mid twenties”. But to me, this is monumental. Today, I sent a photo to my fiance while at work, a sweet photo of a young boy and girl in the kitchen baking, and the photo taken I presume by one of the parents. It was something I saw on Pinterest, but the aesthetic of the photo, down to the kitchen decor and the clothes on the kids, was exactly what my little heart dreams of. Needless to say, he was thrilled to see such a thing sent from this former forever-aunt.

Although, I still dream of being that aunt, perhaps with a little less flourish, but I dream of being that aunt and those cousins, family D will always have an open door to their relatives. For grandma’s, grandpa’s, aunts and uncles.

I think I’m gonna be a pretty damn cool mum. When that time arrives.

Perhaps, I am a blooming flower.

Today, I felt like an autumn leaf, falling into a graveyard of those like me.

My colour, drained. The intimate relationship with the tree, severed. Changes were through and I was at the end of my cycle, left to decompose into the soil.

Or, perhaps, I am a blooming flower.

Today, I felt like the fir needles in the dead of winter.

Carrying more the weight of the snow, heavier each day, becoming more than I could bear. I do not grow, nor change. I am simply the fir needle, residing on my branch, consistent.

Or, perhaps, I am a blooming flower.

Today, I felt like the resting grass, lifeless and dark.

Laying flatly with heavy snow and ice weighing on my shoulders. Growth and life not for me for many coming months. Meant to reside beneath the frost.

Or, perhaps I am a blooming flower.

Today, I felt like the chickadee, picking at the seeds.

Cold, and busy. Grateful for the gifts I find in the barren winter. Rustling around for shelter.

Today, I felt like a blooming flower.

Unsure, and unprepared. Change upon me like a cleansing storm. My growth still coming for me. The pain of breaking through the ice still present. But the promise of beauty and sunshine to come.

I am all of these things:

The autumn leaf.

The fir needle.

The grass.

The chickadee.

The blooming flower.

For each of Mother Earth’s gifts feels pain, challenges their own strength and endures much, before seeing the spring sunshine, and encouraging the growth of tomorrow. The barren winter puts a heavy burden on nature’s shoulders. But I will grow amoung it and sprout through the cold dirt until I find the golden glimmer of sun, and I will reach for that, until I bud on the branch. Until the snow melts away. Until I breathe and grow through the dirt. Until I fly through spring breezes. Until I bloom.

Change.

We are officially, here where I am on Mother Earth, 9 hours into the new year. 2019.

I have never been a “new year, new me” kinda gal. The only new years resolution I ever made was my choice to become vegetarian (4 years ago, today). But I sense a shift. The entire paradigms of my life have shifted.

Truly this year will have an eternal impact on the following days of my life. These changes are also uncomfortable. Painful. Forced upon me. But it puts me on the cusp of growth. These things occur for us to grow. So, growth is in my cards. Painful, challenging growth.

I feel like a tree, on the first bitter cold days of winter. Nothing for shelter, but my own branches. Much like a tree, I believe the cold winter will end, and in my time my leaves will bud and grow. And I will flourish again.

In these times, I put on my muddy boots. I wrap myself in my winter shawl, and I crawl deep into the woods for comfort and guidance.

Growth is hard. Growth is beautiful. I am grateful to have summited the mountain. From here we will feel love and we will flourish.

We all must endure a little suffering in the name of growth. I embrace this change, the alterations coming to my life, and I am blessed to feel all these emotions so deeply. I am ready for what is to come. My heart is open. Perhaps it is time to let my wild heart free.

May you all feel love, blessings and joy in the coming days.

Today, I will hold the cedar branches. Breathe the forest air, and let my heart feel. To let the trees speak their magic to me.

Love, and blessings. If you are also feeling this inclinations to change, come warm your feet by the fire, here with me. If nothing else, you will find here a tree, relying on her branches. A woman who is also here to warm her feet. A transformation waiting to happen.

Pictured is my love and I, just a few days after our holiday celebrations. Out enjoying the beautiful winter day.

Simple thoughts.

Good day, to all.

Today, I have things on my heart. We approach the celebration of the new year, and though I intend to stay warm by the fire, tea in my hands, warms socks, and my love by my side, staring out at the cedar trees, I still hope for things to come in the new year. For opportunities, changes and blessings.

My soul has always longed for many unusual things. I require the presence of the trees just to simply function, and I’ve always longed for exploration, for places I’ve never been, for travel. Above all, i have forever longed to visit Ireland.

My maternal family is from Ireland beginning a few generations before my own. And the stories I’ve heard have resonated with me throughout my whole life. The hills, the forests, the Faerie rings. The stone cottages and homely Irish pubs. It’s forever been the top of my travel to-do list, but has somehow always been pushed aside for some life happening or another. I love a simple life. Taking joy in the cozy home atmosphere, enjoying the company of locals and small town life. I grew up playing on my grandfather’s farm, and enjoyed the presence of the animals and the slow life of childhood on the farm. I’d choose a night at my favourite pub with good food and my favourite beer, or a night at home with my love and a book by the fire, accompanied by tea or a beer, before I’d ever choose a night on the town, a busy city-style life. Going always, rushing always. I admire the slow life, and the slow life on an Irish countryside is my heart’s desire.

Perhaps it’s the coming of the new year. Perhaps it’s that my love and I are experiencing some major things in our lives, or perhaps it’s that my love and I are getting married in the coming summer, and a honeymoon is a beautiful excuse to travel. But whatever the reason may be, I find myself longing for Ireland more than ever. Dreaming of sitting in a pub, side by side with my dearest love, talking about the joys of the day. Touring a castle, visiting a library, trying the local foods (However I’ve heard it rumored that it’s hard to be a vegetarian tourist in Ireland, apparently most restaurants serve primarily local meats. I know not) I fantasize about staying in a sweet B’n’B, or talking to locals at the market. I spend my time looking at flight costs for the time in which we’d be traveling. Or making lists of where I’d love to go.

For whatever reason, this ache has been in my heart since the earliest days of girlhood. And has stayed a burning passion into my adult life. And I feel as though it is a craving that will only be satisfied by spending my time on the Irish hills.

It’s strange to feel as though your heart belongs somewhere else. The culture of my homeland is not at all the culture of my heart. And though I’ve forever been unusual and rarely meet people I can be my true self with, it still gets exhausting. I love many humans. And though I find, despite my oddities, I get along well with many, I deeply connect with few. And perhaps it is my mind simply creating a “grass is greener” scenario, but I feel as though my heart calls me home. To a place where my connections will be deeper. If not with the humans, than certainly with Mother Earth.

I am eternally grateful, as my love feels the same callings. He feels the deep need to travel through Ireland, and Scotland. And he longs to hold my hand as we walk through their streets. And he feels deeply unusual as well, we bond over many things. And I have him as my true best friend. Maybe, we just need to satisfy the craving, and we will realise where or home truly is. Whether it be here or not.

Is it unusual to ache and long so deeply for a place I’ve never seen? For air I’ve never breathed, and hills I’ve never stood upon? Have any of you felt this?

I have no idea what our year will bring. What our marriage will hold for these two unusual fae folk, living in a hectic modern world. But I choose to take the opportunities as blessings and strengths. We shall find joy, and peace.

May you all have a blessed New Year, and may you feel immense joy and blessings as the season of celebrations comes to a close.

Blessings ,

Carly.

Blessed Winter Solstice.

Good day, all!

Here, in the northern hemisphere of Mother Earth, we are experiencing the longest day of the year. Darkness encompasses us, the swirls of winters breath, and the gentle snow.

I have truly felt darkness, this solstice. Hardship, coldness and struggle. But I am really blessed. Only a matter of days before the light comes again. And I’m choosing to use the darkness to expose deep blessings and earthly magic.

As a Canadian-living sprite, I am no stranger to long winters, as my home is infamous for being cold, and wintery, and the hide of our citizens thick and warm. I, however am much more the hibernating type, only to come out on the joyous days of fresh, sparkling snow, the sun creeping out if it’s own hibernation. However, the solstice comes around every year and I forever seem to be caught off guard by the darkness.

Much like Mother Earth, we as living things go through cycles of light and darkness, and we need both things to survive. It is easy to blame the cold, hard winters. To see darkness and to succumb to it.

I am challenging myself to feel blessed, even through my own life’s solstice. The darkest night. To see the bright stars, and hear the creatures roam. To enjoy the silence of the creatures resting. There is so much to appreciate in darkness, and I challenge myself to count the blessings.

Tonight, I sit curled in blankets, drinking coffee and wrapping festive gifts, my love seated not far from me, chatting about his day. How much more blessed could I be?

May you see your blessings among your darkness. Blessed winter solstice.

In the season of the holidays, I hope your celebrations with your loved ones are joyous.

An introduction

Hey! Welcome, come on in! 

Warm your feet by the hearth of my heart. Sit for a cup of tea and fresh bread. 

This here, is a place for my friends. 

I will begin by simply stating my intentions here. 

I believe in magic of sorts. There is power in a walk in the forest, stepping barefoot in the grass, stopping to smell the flowers, the conifers, and to listen to the critters going about their day. And I’m here to share the stories of the magic I encounter. To listen to your stories! To have a hypothetical cottage in the woods where you stop in after a weary hike for aged cheese and fresh baked bread, and tell of your travels. I’m also here to offer advice and to search for it. 

A few things you may need to know about me: 

I am a young woman, passionate about many things. A daydreamer, a forest nymph, an artist, an experimenter, a vegetarian who likes food way more than I should, and a strong believer in the power of positivity. 

I foresee myself speaking plentifully about my vegetarian trials, errors, successes and frustrations. To share lessons, give reviews and recommendations. I also expect to share many of my unusual thoughts and outlooks on modern life, including my experiences in the magic forests, my dreams, my ecological concerns, hopes and efforts, and of course the wandering and dreams of my heart. 

If you are looking for order, organization and structure, I warn you, this will not be the place for you. As I have a chaotic and magical mind full of a hobbit’s dreams. If you also, are a magical creature living in a mundane world, then take your shoes off, sit down and grab a blanket. Here will be a cozy place for you. 

I implore any visitors to stop in for a while and enjoy a cuppa. For I hope to provide magic to all of Earth’s fine beings. 

So please, drop in and stay a while! And make a home here if you wish. 

May you all have a warm and blessed day.