Join me as I “UnPack” my family’s lifestyle; away from plastic, non-recyclable packaging and plastics, also known as single use plastics, and landfill waste, the cleaning and food products I choose to buy or rather make, as well as how we choose to shop for clothing or household stuff, the way we discard our grey water, even up to the way we discard our food scraps. We are on a journey to owning less trying to maintain a conscious effort to waste less and refuse more. Over and above that, I pray that the UnPacked Living brand extends beyond my website to an online shop and then to a Plastic Free Bulk Shop, as well as businesses and schools – challenging them to see just how cool reversing the effects of plastic can be, and I’d love to host more Talks and Workshops.
Our little family of 3 are stumbling through the treacherous waters of plastic packaging and waste use (and creation), in our everyday life – anyone, who does not live under a rock, will know what state the oceans are in at the moment due to the shocking amount of plastic that ends up in it – affecting the entire oceanic ecosystem – from our suburban lifestyle in Johannesburg, South Africa, striving to refuse more (that’s pronounced ree-fuze) and reduce our family’s waste.
It’s quite difficult at times and discouraging and there are shopping days that I fail terribly, like a person reneging big time on their diet by devouring a giant tub of ice cream in one sitting. I question my commitment to this journey and often feel like giving up and just being like the rest of ignorant people BUT I just can’t go back to a life of before I knew better.
I am a stay at home mom to one highly energetic and enigmatic daughter. This in itself presents challenges to us to stay on course with this lifestyle.
After teaching and living in South Korea for 2 years I came back a very different to the person I once was.
I was probably a typical Joburger pre 2010 – drowning in debt but still obsessed with label brands, designer handbags and shoes, head-to-toe preened, pruned and shined and longing for the weekend to drown down my sorrows of chasing down the money all week long, and dreading the next week ahead, only to repeat.
Fast-forward 7 years – wow 7 already! As I ushered in my 30’s, so a new hippie, earth spirit individual started budding and flowering over the months and years to follow.
I made invaluable friendships with people from all over the world who continue to teach and guide me in more holistic, self-sustainable and earthly ways of living.
My eyes have been opened up to minimalist living, volunteer travelling and eco, attachment parenting where I’ve come to regard the village as an ideal to strive for in living, and raising and training our kids up in that is then intertwined with my life learning of my child (some may refer to it as Unschooling or eclectic schooling).
My passion is Jesus first and foremost, and I have always deeply cared about the earth and animals – dreaming of being an animal activist protesting in the streets, ever more post 2012.
I married and had a child all within a year and was adamant to cloth diaper til baba was potty trained, and run a household composting, growing veggies and saving the earth one (stumbling) step at a time, and here I now sit aiming to testify and open the eyes of everyone around me to own less and make better lifestyle choices where we can ALL try and reduce our waste to landfill.
Mark is the yin to my yang as he is the logical, financial organiser and controller in the family.
Come along and look into my cupboards, the daily choices I make and how I make my choices for what I buy and how I manage the waste we throw out, so as to try more and more reduce the amount of my family’s waste to landfill.
By following me around I’d like you to feel a sense of awareness from my life’s testimony and, hopefully, join me. Remove the comfortable, convenient goggles that cover your eyes and open up to the idea of century older ways of living from where you shop, cook, eat or visit and, how you throw out waste.
I’m striving to return to minimalism – think 1900s with plumbing and internet, shop with a sense of keen awareness about what I’m buying, out of need, and how the packaging will or will not end up in my dustbin.
Deciding to buy pre-loved instead of brand new, and make, if I can, compost where I can, than buy out of convenience.
Please visit Bea Johnson, Zero Waste expert, blogger and author and founder of the Zero Waste movement to have a look at what the movement is about and entails. “Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot. In that order.” Bea Johnson. And join the Zero Waste to Landfill South Africa Facebook Page, Join my UnPacked Living Facebook Page and follow me on Unpacked_Living on Instagram and Twitter.
Enjoy perusing my site; make yourself at home and together let’s…
waste less • refuse more