Here at Children of the Tribe, we love the passionate, inspirational, environmentally conscious community we are a part of. So, when we started discussing our own goals for going green in 2019, we decided to explore and celebrate some of the inspiring Mums living Zero Waste, healthy, balanced lifestyles.
Meet mum of two (soon to be three) ~ Luna Woolcott, Puerto Rican born Yogi, Blogger and environmentalist on a journey to Zero Waste. Living the dream in Byron Bay along with her family; partner __ and children Sienna (4) and Jay (2) They really are making a difference.
We chat to Luna about her plastic free journey, her top tips for reducing waste, the parenting juggle and how she hopes her children will describe her in years to come.
This beautiful yogi- has such a honest, down-to-earth approach to life, we hope you are as inspired as we are. Enjoy x
Tell us what inspired you on your plastic free journey?
In October 2017 a massive hurricane hit my home island of Puerto Rico causing terrible destruction island wide. I have all my family and friends there. As I looked online for information on how they were, first time ever we didn’t communicate for more than a couple of days, I found a picture of a baseball stadium (Puerto Rico’s National sport) filled with trash. Since debris was covering the roads, they couldn’t get to the designated landfills. The result was having to drop the rubbish somewhere... It really put it into perspective for me. Where does all our trash go?? It crushed me to see that mountain of waste. The destruction was heartbreaking. I decided there and then to go on a Zero Waste journey to minimise our family’s production of rubbish, specially plastic! My husband jumped right in with me, very excited to not have to take the bins out again! I took responsibility for what I could control here in our little town in Australia, making it my own personal contribution to the problem back home. Taking that step made me feel a bit more empowered and like I was doing something, somehow.
What would you say are your top tips for families trying to reduce their waste?
Look in your cupboard. How many things do you have in soft plastic and can you substitute with things from the bulk store? Or at least, see if you can find it in a recyclable material like cardboard, aluminium, or glass you can reuse.
I went little by little at the start. When something in my household finished I would look for it in bulk or make it myself from unpackaged goods.
Then think about the 6Rs: Refuse, Reduce, Repair, Repurpose, Rot and as last resort Recycle.
You aim to spread the message of love, acceptance, truth, kindness, but all while keeping it real and down to earth. How do you manage that in the online world?
We like to keep our world as offline as possible. The pockets of time I designate to the online world I try to put out positive messages and inspiring content that hopefully gets people to live a bit closer to nature. Everything I put out is aligned with our values and is a reflection of our lives. Inspiring others to make conscious decisions for our environment is important to me. I share in the online world about our family’s journey doing our best to protect the land we live in, respect the ocean and strengthen our connection to our beautiful planet Earth. We are learning to be more in touch with the season, cycles, moon phases... We are not really into “tech-y” gadgets. We strive to go back to basics and live a sustainable lifestyle. So at this moment I use the online world as a learning and sharing platform rather than entertainment.
I feel the online world is full of seeming or sometimes staged “perfection”. The people I follow in the online world inspire me and challenge me to be better. So when I am there I am drawing ideas and inspiration from them to enrich my life offline. Being present is the most important gift we strive for and that is the true purpose of our lives.
You write about waste reduction, love for our environment, yoga, motherhood, health and wellness, DIYs, whole foods, some recipes and life’s special moments all while being a full time Mom and studying to be a Life coach, (I am exhausted just listing them all) how do you juggle it all and find time for you?
Now that I am almost 7 months pregnant it does seems like a lot! Both my kids under 4.5 are at home with me all the day and I follow a simple, nature-oriented routine, kinda like preschool, to explore their creativity, self expression and natural learning. At the moment, I only limit my DIYs to things we really need like toothpaste, nut milk, simple sauces, dressings, and of course meals. The kids love being involved in this.
We have specific days we go to the farmer’s markets and bulk store. Having a good family rhythm has made it easy and habitual to get all our family priorities ticked and space for things I want to do. I usually meditate, study and catch up on some reading during children’s nap time and I take some time for myself at night time to write or read. But I have found special pockets of time that feel like my kids and I are having our own individual moments even when we are together. We do craft activities from Monday to Friday and now I do my own as well instead of being overlooking what they are doing the entire time. It feels so different, all together in our own small world creating, it’s wonderful. I find freedom in creating a space I don’t have to escape from to get “my time” since I am also doing what I love. It was all about finding that time to discover myself through the things that brought me joy as a child. In this case, making art was one of my hobbies and I am so happy to be back into it. And like my husband says: “getting lost with the kids instead of telling the kids to get lost”.
You are mainly a whole food, plant-based family, With what would you say to parents of fussy eaters who are keen to try a plant base diet?
I believe the most important thing is to not give up on what you give your kids. We tried fresh fruits and many fresh veggies with our kids since they started eating, gradually of course. This helped them get a taste for many different types of flavour and textures. Whenever they would refuse one, we would (and still do) say: “you don’t want it right now? That’s ok, maybe next time“. And it’s important to keep introducing the food many times, in different ways if necessary. Notice I didn’t say: “oh, don’t you like it?” I don’t introduce that language to a child, specially early in their development and learning through food. I pick the words carefully so they stay open to the possibility of having it again. I believe the wording around it is very important. For example, calling them fussy eaters in front of them to someone else might encourage more of the same behaviour since they will identify with it. Encouraging them with positivity might be a better approach. Celebrate the wins and see how they flourish.
Modelling behaviour is another big thing. If kids don’t see us eating the things we give them, why should they eat it?
We also like telling kids the importance of eating every colour of the rainbow and let them know the “super powers” they will get by eating that food. “Carrots are good for your eyesight!” While maybe naming the animals that like carrots. Some people like making different shapes with the food to make it fun for them too. There are many resources online to make food an enjoyable experience for them. Have fun exploring what method works best for your family.
Motherhood brings a lot of joy but also a lot of challenges, how do you tackle the not-so-easy side of being a mum?
Breathing in and counting to 10! I have caught myself in anger and I sometimes have the ability to do exactly the opposite of what my brain was wired to do. Instead of reaching out in anger and a loud voice pointing fingers, I kneel on the floor, grab their hands, look at them in the eyes and speak calmly. Takes so much to shift from one state to another but it is worth it. Sometimes our biggest strengths come from surrendering. Motherhood has definitely taught me a lot about surrender and picking my battles.
How do you hope your children describe you in years to come?
I think about this a lot. Specially because I am with them 100% of the time. I would like them to see me as a present mother. Someone that listened, that encouraged them, and that brought out the best in them.
For more inspiration and to follow her journey check out her instagram @lunawoolcott