Words from Sustainable Birds X Melissa Dawson

Jheez another week has flown by and we're back with this weeks' 'Words from Sustainable Birds'. This series of blogs isn't centred on the fashion world or people that make sustainability their life focus so many of us have adopted a lifestyle that is conscious and thoughtful to the world around us.
On that note Ladies and gentlemen we present to you Melissa Dawson, Mel is an incredible tarot reader @decemberschildtarot , offering her wisdom and guidance in a utterly compassionate and humble way she has a gift that translates to a warmth not often found. If Tarot is your thing you should check her out HERE

What's the weirdest thing you’ve recycled?
Oh loads of stuff when I was an art student. A mannequin head for a plant pot, an old suitcase for a cat bed. We moved around a lot when I was growing up and I used to decoupage the old bits of furniture the previous tenants had left behind when I was a teenager.

You're first memory of being sustainable/waste reducing etc (ie mum using ice cream tubs for school lunch etc)
When I was younger and got a hole in my school tights, my mum would cut the leg off with the hole but keep the body part and good leg and then would do the same with another pair when that had a hole and then she'd make me wear both! I had a drawer full of one legged tights. I was raised by a single mum, so it was more a case of necessity being the mother of invention, but it was certainly sustainable and it was things like that that probably led to me hating waste of any kind.

What does sustainability mean to you?
It means living mindfully, whether that's questioning the origins of the shirt on your back or the food on your plate. I am quite a spiritual person so I find being more aware of how I live quite grounding. It strengthens my connection with the earth.

What has been the hardest thing to let go of in your sustainable journey ?
Honestly, I can't think of anything!


Who do you admire in the sustainable living community?
Refill Liverpool, a package-free pantry based in South Liverpool - please check these guys out if you are local, they're brilliant.
Squash Liverpool, our local community enterprise cafe/shop run by a team of incredibly talented women who celebrate food, art and environment.
Selina Juul, a food waste pioneer who launched, 'Stop Spild Af Mad' (Stop Wasting Food) movement and reduced Denmark's food waste by 25% in five years.


Any tips for shopping sustainable?
I always buy fruit and veg loose to avoid the plastic and avoid the temptation of the supermarket offers, often it's a false economy and leads to you actually spending more and creating more food waste.
I use flannels to remove make-up as opposed to disposal wipes and I always buy eco cleaning products. I recycle clothing at H&M or charity bins (remove buttons/zips first and save for later!) and buy loads of books and records second hand.
Please share how you create less waste 
Make do and mend (see the tights story 😂) if your sewing skills are limited like mine, there are so many dry cleaners and tailors / clothes alteration places around, there's something very wholesome about reviving preloved clothes instead of just ditching them or buying new.

I ignore use by dates on food. When I lived in Amsterdam, I realised they didn't use sell by dates in the supermarket, when I asked the sales assistant why, he said, 'we use our noses' and I've followed that advice ever since and funnily enough, food doesn't go bad at the stroke of midnight. Unless it's highly perishable, it'll probably be okay- use your nose!

I also repurpose glass jars and bottles for storage/vases and cut up old t-shirts for dusters/cloths. I'm basically my Nanna at this point, which is absolutely fine because she was amazing.

Who to follow?
Refill
Squash
Windmill Foods
Waste Not Want Not

What are your future goals?
So many. I really want to fully commit to going vegan. I've been a vegetarian for much of my life, however, knowing the impact that we have on the planet and it's other inhabitants, I need to do more.

I've also been researching composting and my sister and I are currently waiting for an available allotment so we can start growing our own vegetable patch.