As I do my final article for 2020, I’m musing on what would be the best thing to talk about after what many would call a tumultuous and very different year. It’s been a year like no other, a year of fear, lockdowns, restrictions, bad habits and losses, but it’s also been a year of awakenings, inspirations, new ways and habits, family, friends and staying put in our own countries.
Last week it was announced that I had become the new ambassador for Mercedes-Benz’ new electric car – the EQ. The press release went out you can read it here.
Why did I align with this company? When I was approached by Mercedes-Benz’ local representative, I was of course very honoured that they thought of me, but also a little cautious.
To align with a company, I wanted to know their history and their future. Once I was satisfied that they were on the same page as myself and Changing Habits and The Nutrition Academy, I knew that I could confidently be an ambassador for a company that is looking to the future of the planet.
We are not going to go back to the Stone Age of walking the planet – planes and automobiles are here to stay, so why not make them the cleanest and best for the planet?
Mercedes has an impeccable history and their future in electric cars is awe inspiring. By 2023 all new-release Mercedes will be electric and many of the cars will not only be recyclable but also made from recycled materials. The EQ is no exception to this. They have spent a lot of money on research to be one of the leaders in electric cars.
More importantly, my role as ambassador will put me in front of an audience that is capable of making a big difference on this planet. Mercedes is a prestige car; it’s usually purchased by people who can afford a more luxurious car. If they can afford to spend that on a car, they can afford to be part of a solution which can help our land, animals and planet.
If you have been following me for some time you know that I believe that the food we choose as individuals is a quiet form of activism. When that food is from farmers and growers that are concerned about the health of their soil and use less to no chemicals in the growing process, these are farmers who also humanely care for their animals. By choosing this kind of food, we are then choosing the best for the planet and all that live on it.
I have many people say to me that it’s too expensive to eat that way; I have dietitians who tell me that their demographic can’t do it. But we have to make changes – we all must contribute in some way to helping the health of ourselves, the planet and all that live on it. If we don’t then, collectively, we can’t make a difference.
Gardens can be created inexpensively using pots and an overripe plant or inexpensive seeds, and being a part of a community garden is another way of getting quality nutritious food.
We must prioritise our health because, when we do that, we are the solution to the problems we see on Mother Earth at the moment.
Here is an example of one woman making a huge difference. When I was chosen as one of the Australian Financial Review – 100 Women of Influence, I met a young woman who was making a difference. Her name was Kelly Zoeller and she had started a company called Food Ladder. She was setting up green houses in remote indigenous communities and engaging the people of the community to grow their own food as well as continue their hunting. In many communities there is usually just one shop and when we do the usual supply chain of junk food to these communities, the food travels miles and is often low quality and expensive and causes more ill health and disease in the indigenous population.
Kelly is changing this – one young woman doing amazing things. In 2021 she is establishing 20 more green houses to create fresh fruit and vegetables consistently for the communities. I met Kelly when she only had a few green houses in the communities and now her numbers are growing. Make sure you follow @foodladder on Instagram to see what she is doing.
Being aligned with an electric car and being put in front of an audience that is not experiencing financial hardship or fresh food shortage means that we can get to the people who can also contribute to the solution. Sometimes these people don’t know, and they just need education and a push in the right direction. Let me give you an example.
Late last year I was hosted by a friend of my brother. They were a wonderful family that lived on Sydney harbour. Their home was beautiful and on several acres. The mother of the household had a gardener and I suggested she ask her gardener to start planting food instead of just mowing grass and pruning trees. She loved cooking, but she was buying food from companies that were not doing their part in helping the health of all. So, I suggested she buy from Harris Farms and the local health shop which were near by her home.
We all just want to do the best by our family. In this case it simply took a suggestion, a little education, a gentle nudge and another family is converted. If we do this, then there is a ripple effect that is far reaching. My hope is to cause many ripples with the people I have the chance to talk to and collectively we will create that tsunami of change.
2021 is the year of no more excuses. This is the year where things can be different. 2020 has been the wakeup call. Covid-19 for the most part is affecting people with co-morbidities, not the healthy. So, the aim we have at Changing Habits is to educate people about the food and chemical industry, its impact on human and planet health, and how we become quiet activists by not purchasing their damaging goods and services.
I’m excited for 2021 – no matter what, we all can make a difference. It’s a matter of thinking about the consequences of your purchases.
Here are my 12 steps to a healthier 2021, for us and the planet:
- Look at the packaging of all purchases and decide whether it can be recycled, or will end up in landfill.
- Start going to your farmers markets or find a community supported food box in your local community.
- Purchase from speciality shops, butchers, fruit and vegetable shops and your local health food shop. Support your local people and community.
- Ask questions of your local suppliers, make sure that the foods they are purchasing are ethical and free of chemicals.
- Start a garden, in a pot, on your lawn or garden bed or join a community garden. Learn how to prepare your soils in order to grow nutrient-dense food – our Incredible Edible Garden Course is a great place to start.
- Buy some chickens – they make great pets, eat all your food scraps and the pests in your garden and produce healthy eggs for your table.
- Be water wise; grow food not just lawns.
- Look at the clothing you buy. Is it fast fashion or something that is ethical? Purchasing second hand can also mean less things thrown into landfill.
- Minimalism and organisation are the key to an uncluttered life and mind.
- Become a community leader that can exemplify and teach the changes that we know are required for the ripple to begin – For courses go to The Nutrition Academy.
- Eat real food, breathe, move, spend more time in the sun, have more sleep, connect, love and be happy.
- Create a morning routine that embodies your day, watch the sun rise and be grateful for what you have in your life.
If we all do our bit, we will create a ripple effect to change humanity.