This is a new adventure for me, to journal and record my journey to a sustainable, slow living, eco-friendly life, as slow or as fast as I get there.
Who am I?
My name is Astrid, I’m a 25 year old from Western Australia, I’m a high school teacher, I’m a knitter, I’m descended from strong women and a strong heritage of culture and creativity.
How did this start?
Oh, so many levels!
I have been knitting since I was 17, when I couldn’t focus on my studies in my final year of high school, and needed something “mindless” to fidget with so I could focus better. My Mum (a creative woman in her own right, she has a knack for sewing and cross stitch, and making gorgeous quilts!) gave me two needles and some wool, and taught me how to do the basic knit stitch. I taught myself how to read and knit at the same time, and trawled local big brand craft stores and op shops for how-to instructions and cheap wool. I set goals for myself and started to cable, yarn over and knit as fast as I could, a skill that now provides me with down-time and sanity after a busy day at work!
I think many knitters go on the same journey as I have, to some extent. The awareness that wool is (at least, to me), long-lived than acrylic, and feels nicer in my hands and on my needles, didn’t take me long to reach. From there, I found yak, alpaca, baby alpaca, merino, cashmere… living out in the Australian bush amongst canola flowers and merino farmers for a year also deeply impacted my appreciation for natural fibres. I became a self-admitted “snob”, foregoing cheaper acrylics for natural fibres. But I never cared about the other elements of it – the dyeing process, the animal cruelty possibilities, or the myriad of other ethical issues that can arise.
I also started to look around for other creative outlets, and have fallen head first into the worlds of sewing, embroidery, and a few others that I’m peeking my way into! Similarly with knitting, I have an interest in using environmentally friendly, ethically sourced materials.
Taking a side step for a second, I have been teaching Geography this year, and one student project in particular has caught my attention. We asked them to explain the impact of farming or manufacturing a particular product on the environment, and my heart hurt to read their findings. The impacts of basic staples in my life, namely palm oil, coffee and cocoa beans, really resonated with me. I started to read more into the dangers and impacts of these products, and what I saw saddened me.
In Australia, we have such beautiful nature: red dirt, blue water, white beaches, yellow wattle; I am so in love with the scenery that I have grown up a part of. But we also have issues with pollution, waste, landfill, mining, possibilities of fracking, water shortages, and endangered animals – just to list a few. Why can’t I start to focus on my own ecological footprint, and limit my impact on my country; which could have a world-wide impact?
What will this become?
Honest answer: I don’t know! I want a safe space to fail, to share my success, thoughts, feelings and processes in becoming plastic-free, using sustainable products, and creating an ethically sourced and produced life, as much as possible.
I expect to move slowly, to fail often and surprise myself with success – but that will make my achievements that much sweeter.
Comment below with your ideas on where to start!