Dinner Party

As I’ve mentioned before there have been many areas of learning for me over the last year.  In that time I’ve had a solid crack at zero-wastifying my home (our rubbish bin is a small tupperware container now which we currently fill every month or so), detoxifying my home and personal care items, feeding my family organic, whole food and becoming more mindful and conscious in general.

Along the way I have discovered certain individuals who have become my teachers in these areas. Here they are in the form of who I would invite to my dream dinner party… assuming I would have the wherewithall to put aside my own self doubt and get on the lev with these stupidly clever people.

BEA JOHNSON – Author of Zero Waste Home

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I read Bea’s book ‘Zero Waste Home’ having never really had any desire to consider my impact on the environment beyond “I know I should feel bad about something but… meh”. I had never heard of the Zero Waste movement and I had no idea what it was about.

From the first few pages I was glued to her book. Her writing is concise, direct and leads to what was for me a life changing conclusion – that living zero waste is simple, rewarding and essential if we are at all concerned about preserving our environment for future generations.

I have never been one for letting go of stuff easily, but after reading her book I got rid of/donated about 30-40% of the things I owned (/put them in my dads car) and started following her recipe for zero waste living:

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Refuse what you do not need, Reduce what you do need, Reuse what you have, Recycle/Rot the rest. In that order.

The Zero waste journey is ongoing and I realise this is one aspect of a larger picture. There are countless ways to help the planet and I am falling short in many of them… I drive a car, I eat meat (ethically farmed organic meat, but still), I am liberal with our central heating etc.

The way I see it, waking up is a journey and any effort is better than none. My policy with all the various ways I try to live more consciously is this: If I’m going so far as to put stress on myself or my loved ones, I’m going too far. Effort to the point of pain wont be sustainable, so I do my best and continue to try to improve where I can, when I’m ready to.

Find Bea’s website here

ROSE MARIE SWIFT – Founder of RMS Beauty

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Tying in to my mission to simplify my home zero-waste style, was the task of detoxifying my home. There is now minimal plastic in my house – none that touches food – and I buy my cleaning products (dishwashing liquid and powder/ washing liquid) in refillable containers from the Eco Store or direct from Wendyl’s who were absolutely amazing and let me fill up my own containers direct at their headquarters even though it’s not officially a service they offer. For everything else I use baking soda,vinegar or both.

For soap I use Dr Bronners, which the kind team at Wendyl’s get for me by the gallon, for cleanser/moisturiser I use Hema oils made by Margaret Hema to an exacting, witchy standard – she also takes all of her bottles back for reuse. For hair I use Botaniq made by awesome Auckland based hairdresser Adelle Rodda, which is the only truly natural haircare range available in NZ and comes in infinitely recyclable packaging (it’s time to release your shampoos and conditioners now Adele, I’m begging you!)

But amazingly it didn’t hit me until last week that there was a final frontier I hadn’t even considered yet – makeup!

I don’t wear a huge amount of makeup in general but I am an actor by trade so I need to be able to scrub up for auditions, and hey who doesn’t like a bit of blush once in a while? Over the years I had accumulated a fairly large kit, and when I took a closer look, most all of it was FULL of toxic chemicals.

Enter RMS.

Rose Marie Swift is an American makeup artist who one day found herself very sick. She had some tests done and found there were toxic levels of harmful chemicals in her body. When the technician asked her if she worked in the cosmetics industry she took it as a wake up call and began the long process of detoxification.

It was that that lead her to create RMS, an “organic beyond organic” makeup line made with raw unrefined ingredients that transforms the way we think about makeup. Wow. I never thought I’d write a sentence like that but hey, life is just one big surprise…

RMS is all about creating a glow, and accentuating your natural beauty rather than covering it over. Let me tell you after one weeks worth of using it I am O B S E S S E D.  Natural beauty products are frankly often a bit shit, but guys, this stuff is magic. You need almost none of it and it just looks so dewy and glowy and supple and amazing.

Ok enough gushing I’m gonna let Rose Marie do the rest of the talking. I love this video of her demonstrating one of her products, the Master Mixer. You can tell she’s 150% behind what she’s doing and probably a bit crazy, which I love.

Rose Marie Swift – Master Mixer Tutorial

She also has a great website called Beauty Truth which is a fantastic resource if you’re wanting to learn more about what you might be putting on your body. Another incredible resource is the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database, where you can search for brands, products or ingredients and it gives you a rating of how toxic/ethical/environmentally sound it is and a comprehensive rundown of why.

And last but certainly not least…

TARA BRACH – Meditation, Psychology, Author, Teacher

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Ahhhh, where would I be without my Tara talks? Fucked, that’s where.

Tara Brach is a Washington based psychologist, Buddhist, and teacher of mindfulness and meditation. I know most of you will go for the makeup cos it’s shiny and fun and stuff but if you do one thing after reading this post, do yourself a favour and make it listening to one of her talks. I listen on the podcast app, but you can also listen on her website.

Whenever I find myself feeling stressed (which let’s face it, is pretty much daily) some or all of a Tara talk always sets me right, and reminds me of everything real. Listening to her is decluttering and detoxifying for the spirit. The most balanced I’ve ever felt was when I was listening to her three times a day while walking my daughter to sleep in her pushchair.

I would point you towards a favourite talk but I really don’t have one. Generally I just choose one at random and it ends up being exactly what I need to hear.

So there you have it. Three incredible people who I would love to have dinner with and pick their wide brains. I’d also invite Jill Soloway, Tavi Gevenson, Donald Glover and Louis CK but that’s a whole other post…

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