15th July 2021

Living Sustainably

How freelance creative Stacy Long cares for the environment by living a mindful and sustainable lifestyle.

 

Living Sustainably with Stacy Long

First off, hi, how are you and can you tell us your name, pronouns, and a little bit about yourself and your projects that you want the world to know about you?

Hi! My name is Stacy, and my pronouns are she/her. I’m doing okay at the moment. I’m actually in lockdown in Perth, WA this week so it has been a little tough, but I feel pretty lucky that compared to the rest of the world we are doing pretty well handling the covid19 situation. I am a creative person, and honestly it’s hard to pinpoint what it is exactly that I do with my life. I have lots of projects and hobbies on the go at once, and that’s just the way my brain works. Currently I’m working casually in retail, teaching piano, working as a freelance photographer (check me out @pixbystacy) and also creating content for brands on Instagram & also my own Instagram page. I also write blogs and make websites, sooooo yeah. A bit of everything! I’m passionate about mental health advocacy, sustainable living, self care and ethical fashion. I love staying active and do a mix of calisthenics, bouldering, roller hockey and salsa dancing to keep me healthy and fit.

How did you first venture into a more sustainable way of living?

I’ve always felt close to nature, and had an affinity with plants and animals. I think it all started when I went vegetarian when I was 15. I realised that my brain had a cognitive dissonance between loving animals and eating them. After that, I started to realise the environmental effects of factory farming, then I started learning about CO2 and pollution, and from there it snowballed really! I realised that I wanted to be more mindful of my living habits and since then I’ve tried to implement more sustainable swaps and also bring awareness to sustainability and living mindfully through my social media channels and of course in my real life too!

What factors determine your fashion purchasing decisions?

These days, I rarely purchase any new fashion items. I think on things for a loooong time before committing to the purchase if I do! My main philosophy is make do with what you have. This looks like re-wearing outfits, repairing old or broken items, upcycling, buying secondhand or borrowing things from friends.

When I purchase new, I look for a few different things. I like companies who are transparent about their supply chain, and I like to support small businesses. I also like businesses who have sustainable practices, or who are trying to aim towards it. Recycled materials, natural materials, fair wages, encouraging customers to shop mindfully, and making sure the brand embraces diversity - these are the types of things that are important to me.

Advice for someone trying to make their wardrobe more sustainable?

Hmm, that’s a tricky one! For a long time, I would buy clothes and always feel like I had nothing to wear. I think the first step is to try and store your clothes in a way which makes everything super easy to access. Also figuring out which pieces make you feel good and which you never reach for. It’s so easy these days with online shopping to just consume and consume mindlessly.

My top tip is to think about the ’30 wears’ policy - when wanting to buy something, do you think you will get 30 wears out of it? I think it’s wasteful to buy something then wear it once. There are rental websites now which allow you to rent out outfits for a fraction of their retail price, and then you just send it back after. I did that when I got married a few years ago, with my wedding outfit!

Originals

What is your relationship with the outdoors?

I enjoy being outdoors, and love going for walks or skates around Perth. I’ve always loved the ocean and being near the water too. I love camping and hiking, although to be honest I haven’t done enough of those things the last year or so! I am definitely feeling the need to reconnect to nature lately. This is a good reminder to get outdoors!! Haha.

Selfies of silence - what do you think of technology’s place in the wild?

This question is such a double edged sword! While I love technology and live and breathe it, I think there’s got to be a balance. I myself am definitely guilty of being too immersed in technology and not present in the world around me. Particularly when I’m in nature, I try my best not to live it through my camera or my phone.

I think that people chasing the ‘perfect’ Insta shot has also affected lots of beautiful places around the world. You see people bush bashing or going places they really shouldn’t to get that shot for the ‘gram. There are lots of travel blogs I follow and get inspiration from, but I do wish they would be more mindful of their influence sometimes.

Living Sustainably with Stacy Long

What are some self-care habits that are keeping you level right now?

Here are just a few:

  • Journalling: I write something I’m grateful for every night before bed, and also try to keep a log of my emotions and thoughts over time
  • Meditation: I’m not great at it, but I use the Calm app and mostly try to use the more guided meditations, and stick to short ones too
  • Hot water bottle: my housemate bought it for me recently and it’s been keeping me warm and cuddly through the cold winter nights!! I don’t know what I’d do without it!
  • Exercise: I make sure to move my body regularly, whether that’s a walk in the park, a handstand class or a roller hockey game, or even just dancing in the kitchen! I feel that exercise is honestly the best thing for my mental health and I can tell the difference when I fall out of my routines

What is your favourite way to spend time in nature?

Probably going on a road trip into the bush somewhere and just sleeping in a swag under the stars. Nothing beats the fresh air and the scents, and waking up and making myself a chai and watching the sun rise. Either that or watching the sun set on the beach. WA has some of the best beaches I’ve ever seen!

What are some tips to reducing your impact when spending time outdoors?

  • Use a bag to collect any litter you've made, and take it back home with you
  • Take three for the sea! Everywhere I go, I pick up three pieces of litter I find on the way
  • Treat all wildlife you come across with respect
  • Make sure to stick to the paths and locations that you’ve been told to follow
  • Leave everything as you found it! Leave only footsteps and take only memories.

What is one sustainability goal you have for 2021?

I really wanted to start being smarter with my waste this year. Our household recycles cardboard, plastics and glass, and we also have a bin for our cans and bottles to take back to Containers for Change. We’ve started also collecting soft plastics and taking them back to RedCycle. I’ve wanted to start composting this year, and I’ve finally started doing it. I have a little compost bin in the kitchen for food scraps and organic waste, which means that the household has reduced how much stuff we’re throwing into landfill. I know there’s a long way to go yet, but my motto for sustainability is “progress, not perfection.”!

Living Sustainably with Stacy Long

How is Teva helping you live your best outdoor life?

Teva makes awesome shoes that I’ve been wearing since I lived in Alice Springs in 2017. I love Teva because not only are they made of recycle plastic, they are also comfortable, easy to take on and off, durable and great for light hikes and camping because they are easy to dry and clean! My favourite pairs are the Hurricane XLT2 (my first ever Teva’s purchase) and Grandview GTX  hiking boots.

Q + A by Stacy Long @sliceofstacy

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