Curiously conscious

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Over the past months, I've been somewhat more curious than I could ever remember, taking notes about normal daily life, I do think that's a result of me trying to keep a slow rhythm in our life it made me look closer to things and observe what would have passed me before. 
So I have been doing a lot of reading and research in between work, it all started very slowly a few years back around when Joud was a couple of months old, I read a study about Johnson and Johnson's case in court and claims of usage of talc and asbestos in their powder and its relation to cancer. 
I believe that was my very first step in a more conscious lifestyle but never really planned it, so from that time on it just followed like a waveform (food, clothing, toys, waste and daily sustainable swaps I made in my design business) small steady steps made me confident enough today to share with you all the things I learned to do to make our lives as conscious and sustainable as possible! 

At times I felt overwhelmed and can’t ever share anything as I’m far from perfection in this matter, but a few weeks ago I had some work I’ve done eight years ago about (wildlife trade) being reshared by The Libyan Wildlife Trust I ended up looking at all my previous work with them and how much passion was in it, it did spark something back in me, and made me get back to the things I do enjoy in life and love to protect.

With that change I came more aware of what we eat, in result I have been on a clean food diet (mostly) for three years, I do get off tracks at times, after years I concluded that the definition of "clean diet" differs from what we believe is clean, personally I see it as (whole foods, fresh produce, lean meat and healthy fats), that's a daily challenge that keeps me busy! and there is no such thing as super foods its just nonsense we've been fed into believing! 

I have been more curious about other things as well, I sometimes ask myself why have I never thought of this before? why was I so blinded? can I make a change? can I actually apply my new found beliefs in my crazy life? can I sustain it? I started this wave of new knowledge of who made my clothes? was it a nine-year-old Bengali girl? was it a poor widow whose getting underpaid? or was it an old man working in poor conditions to sew me up a £20 shirt? but thats a very huge topic I would love to address soon. 

I'm quite positive that if we all had a look back at our daily lives back in the nineties we'll remember so many good things about waste and the usage of natural products in our daily life and how eventually plastic invaded our lives polluting almost every water body there is in this world! killing thousands of animals along the way, with things we can live without unnecessary things like plastic straws!!

So looking back since being very young I remember my father may Allah have mercy on his soul, using a cotton bag for bread, in Libya bread is sold freshly baked you can smell the bread from miles from the bakery, he hated how the condensation gets collected inside the bag wets and ruins the bread he says, so we used the cotton bag for a very long time.  He used to always keep plastics especially non-reusable ones and put them separately, he knew fully that they will not get recycled in Libya though in the 2000's there were attempts of introducing recycling waste in Libya and can vividly remember three bins orange blue and grey in front of Hay elandalus's post office. 
But somehow it made him happier to do so, he used to fold any cardboards to make space for other rubbish in the rubbish bag to save money and save use another plastic bag more often! this all subconsciously set me to work in conservation (wildlife in particular) for almost five years! thanks, baba!
Living in Scotland for the past years made recycling and composting a piece of cake! but choices are up to you, to actually pick up loose peppers or the ones in a plastic bag? to throw your leftover food in the rubbish or in the compost bin? In Libya I know it is different and can be challenging but being a Libyan myself I do know how much resilience we all have, I've linked up some inspiring accounts to have a look at down below. 

So what I now know is that sustainability means the action made to avoid anything that depletes natural resources or harms the environment. Upon reflection I wanted to share with you some positive changes I've been making hopefully this will help inspire you too, so here are some tips to incorporate sustainability and consciousness into your daily life.  I've listed the swaps I've made throughout the years for you to consider, the main key is to focus on reusable instead of disposable (think long term) natural instead of synthetic.

Little changes do have a very good impact in the long run, so try not to worry about what you own now, instead try to make conscious decisions in the future. We need as many people working and talking about all these topics as possible. You can't replace everything you own at once, or teach yourself new habits at once. But I do recommend to start conscious swaps as soon as possible. Start little using a reusable shopping bag instead of a plastic disposable, things you do daily those changes are the ones that make a huge difference! 

Here are some of my swaps 

Baby and toddler
- Using bamboo utensils for Joud and Adam, with the addition of stainless steel cutlery we already own. We're not big fans of straws anyways, but Joud loves o drink her cup of milk using a straw.
- Using only reusable snack bags, I only owned one plastic lunchbox for Joud and recently purchased a bamboo lunch box.
- Buying only ethically sourced sustainable whenever possible and only wooden toys.
- Using bamboo and stainless steel reusable drinking cups.
- Making more all-natural homemade craft projects with Joud and Adam that I would love to share! but not attempting beeswax and carnauba wax homemade crayons anytime soon haha! so bought some beeswax ones instead.
- Continuing with all natural toiletries, literally, I only use for both Joud and Adam Burts Bees Shampoo, bubble bath, and homemade natural balms and oils and the best nappy rash treatment is my trusty corn starch! 

- Getting rid of plastics from my kitchen one at a time (the Tupperwares are my ugliest enemy) I hate them and hate to know they will end up in the landfill, replacing them with stainless-steel, glass and bamboo one at a time!.
- Using all bamboo utensils in addition to our existing stainless steel ones.
- Reminding my husband to avoid plastics as possible when shopping he does almost all shopping. I like to make him feel bad when he does come home with plenty of plastics or when he forgets to take our shopping gouffa (natural basket).
- Using my lovely homemade beeswax wraps ditched the cling film, I used this time some old cotton sheets, hanging there to dry, one of my favorite swaps!
- We almost have now a paperless kitchen, so we stopped buying paper towels almost a year ago and just use kitchen cotton towels.
- Trying to use natural homemade cleaning products as much as possible instead of all the nasty chemicals, my favorite ingredients are white vinegar, baking soda, and lemon for the kitchen, I would love to make my own dishwasher soap sometime in the future.
- I've been enjoying using my natural cleaning brushes instead of the old plastic brushes, plus the heads can be replaced yay!
- Wooden pegs instead of plastic pegs I just love this swap so much, plus they look so pretty in pictures!
- Not kitchen related but wanted to share how easy it is to make this swap. I have been using linen fabric for wrapping gifts, any reusable fabric would do really. when I run out of it I use paper wrapping, though I learnt my lesson will stock up more this time.

Food to grow 
So I can only give total credit to my husband for his idea to have a small greenhouse and plant some veggies and herbs! he had planted rocket, parsley, chili, and mint so I will keep you updated if we get to make our home-grown salad any time soon.

Some pages organizations and individual to follow for inspiration and education, though I'll always strongly recommend scientific research and documentaries.
1- Libyan Wildlife Trust starting with the trust I worked with for about five years. Mainly focused on wildlife conservation but are actively engaged in environmental campaigns , you can see a lot of my work if you scroll down in the albums.
2- Sustainab.ly a very informative page on Instagram I've just recently found about, they regularly share educational material educating people in a very friendly way! they need all the support possible.
3- Plastic free july a global annual movement that takes place in July the aim is to reduce plastic waste, its possible very much so!
4- Lets Do It Libya amazing guys, have been working in Libya for a long time!
6- Libyan Youth Climate Movement another lovely organization, incredibly passionate and driven, I wish I had more hours in my day to join them.
7- So much inspiration and strategies these guys share regularly Lessplasticuk
8- Zero waste Libya a really great project by Amiramade you can follow along and support this cause and share your knowledge and awareness of zero waste, use the hashtag #zerowastelibya.
9-  Jourys.mermaids is not a typical beauty blogger, alongside sharing her expertise in skincare she shares many of her recycling projects, one of my favorite Libyan bloggers.

Other accounts that I enjoy following and did benefit so much of :

Arabic translation will follow soon.



  1. Mashalla! I LOVE this post! Jazakillah khair for sharing! I was in Libya in the early 2000s and I remember those bins! Keep up the great work! Would you mind if I reblog this?

    1. Thanks so much Hanaa, I'm very glad you love it!
      I wonder what happened with that whole program of recycling back then? it was a very good initiative.
      Yes, of course you can thats very nice of you!
      Thank you Hanaa for the support Jazakillah khairan

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  3. Thank you so much for writin this post. I always say to myself I should try to be more enviornmentally friendly but apart from recycling did not put much else thought in what I could do. Your list is great. I cant stand the plastic clothes pegs they always snap and break and end up buying more, so thats the first thing I will do. I will print off your list and try to start incorporating like you said. I have the white vinagar, lemon and soda so I might as well put them together save myself some money too. Great post.

    1. Hi Jamila!
      It always tarts somewhere, plastic pegs are useless really! I definitely recommend the wooden pegs. Baking soda and lemon are so good in cleaning the sink, fridge, and stove too!
      thanks so much for you comment Jamil Jazakillah khairan.

  4. I have recently been hearing about plastic free etc and I keep thinking I need to make more of an effort. Your post has pushed me to try to start making changes! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks Fozia, it always starts somewhere with the smallest changes :)

  5. Such great tips. This has definitely been one of those life changes on the backburner for me.

    1. Thanks so much! I'm glad you found it helpful.

  6. This is such a brilliant post with easy and practical tips for a more sustainable lifestyle! Thank you so much for writing this!

  7. I really love it and hope that I would make more swabs soon.
    I wonder whether you use kitchen sponges and whether you have tried the silicone one!
    Thank you.

    1. Hello Radia! I use a kitchen wooden brush the bristles are made of natural fiber. I also tried a crocheted scrubbie (I'll probably be sharing the how to on my instagram stories) it's done quite well but still prefer the brush. Never heard of the silicon one, is that the glove one as well? I've seen it somewhere (a silicon glove that works well for scrubbing too) x