Tribe Spotlight Series: Ella Haisty
I wanted to start this spotlight series because I wanted you to hear not just from the experts but from people from all walks of life that are trying their best to live plastic-free. My hope is that it inspires you to give it a go, to learn from other women that have taken on this challenge despite their busy schedule, that seems too hard or fear of failure.
The first interview is with Ella Haisty: Ella took part in Plastic-free July and gave me updates along the way with her struggles and successes, she embraced it 100% and has kept going. I was so inspired by her enthusiasm and determination that I wanted to share her story with you too. – Regan xx
How long have you been on your plastic-free lifestyle journey?
I am only new to the plastic-free lifestyle journey. I seriously started reducing my plastic usage a few months ago in June.
What made you decide to start living plastic-free? What was your a-ha moment?
The moment that really gave me the drive to reduce plastic in my life was when I signed up for the “Plastic Free July Challenge”. I had wanted to make a change for years, but I kept making the excuse that it was too hard for me to do with my busy lifestyle. The information provided during the challenge exposed me to some great tips and simple changes that all make a difference to the amount of plastic I use (or don’t use).
What has been the most challenging part?
For me the most challenging part of transitioning to a plastic-free lifestyle is my lack of knowledge on what alternatives are out there. Since I’m only new to the scene, I am still learning a whole lot and am constantly finding areas in which I can improve. Sometimes it makes me feel really bad about the fact that I have been using items or products for years with no regard for how they impact on the environment (cling wrap is one example). I have to remind myself that each little positive change helps in the long run. If I keep making some improvement each day then I can make a real difference in my own little way. Being part of a social media group has also helped me a lot. I can bounce ideas off a group of people with a bit more experience and ask for recommendations.
What has been the easiest?
The easiest part for me has been eliminating my use of disposable drink containers such as plastic bottles, coffee cups, etc. Most cafés I’ve come across are more than happy for you to use your own reusable cup for takeaways, or I just sit in and have my coffee in the mug. As a bonus I am drinking a lot more water since I always have my bottle with me.
How are your family and friends dealing with your new way of living?
My husband has been really supportive of the change. He is always reminding me to take my canvas bags when we go out of the house and is actively trying to buy unpackaged goods when we do the shop. He is pretty much happy to go-with-the-flow and helps me along the way where he can.
Where are you shopping?
I shop with a mixture of chain grocery stores (Woolies or Coles), local fruit and vege markets/stalls, local butchers and online. It has been fun finding new places to shop at so that I can have a plastic free option. At the start it was a bit harder because I hadn’t ventured out of my regular shop at Coles or Woolies. I was opting for convenience. After I started trying to cut back on packaging I found many road blocks at the large chain stores which motivated me to shop around. By asking around on our local social media sites I was able to get some really good tip-offs about local markets and vans.
What would you tell someone who is wanting to go plastic-free but hasn’t taken the plunge?
I would say, just start with small changes. It can be pretty overwhelming when you start looking at how much packaging and plastic we use in our everyday lives. I was thinking “Where on earth do I start?!” If you just start small and build from there it can make all the difference.
What do you enjoy most about this way of life?
It makes me appreciate the beauty in nature more. When you are making a conscious effort to choose sustainable options and what your long lasting impact on the earth is, I think it makes you appreciate all of the living things around you just that little bit more.
What is your number 1 reusable item that you can’t live without?
I love my water bottle. When I don’t have it with me, especially at work, I choose to go without. Our worksite uses polystyrene cups for their tea/coffee and water. When I have to go the job site I make sure I put my bottle in my pocket so that I don’t go thirsty.
The ocean is…..
To me the ocean is what makes part of my home. I grew up on the Sunshine Coast and the ocean has been involved in a huge part of my upbringing. Most of my time spent with my dad revolves around the ocean whether it be surfing, camping or kayaking. I also spent 10 years competing and volunteering at my local Surf Life Saving Club. Spending so much time in the ocean, you can’t help but admire its beauty and power. These days I don’t spend nearly as much time in the ocean as I would like to, but each time I do the smell, feel and sound of the beach makes me feel grounded and comfortable.
Any last words?
I thought I’d share this quote that helps to keep me inspired
“If you want your life to change, your choices must change and TODAY is the best day to begin” – Unknown
Are you inspired by Ella’s story? Tell us how you have been inspired in the comments below.