Guest Editor: Kate Arnell of Eco Boost

Editor's Picks, Fashion v April 26, 2016

Kate Arnell is a self-proclaimed eco geek. On her blog EcoBoost and through her Youtube channel she explores eco-friendly living by showing her viewers that “green looks good on you” through everyday products, tips and of course, sustainable style. We caught up with her to get the inside scoop on how she maintains a conscious lifestyle as well as her fav picks for Spring.

What (or who) introduced you to the socially conscious lifestyle?

I think I’ve always had a natural interest in living consciously since I was a child (I used ask my Mum to buy the organic bread or eco-cleaning product whenever we went grocery shopping) but it was truly re-awakened when I read the Zero Waste Home book by Bea Johnson about two years ago. Suddenly everything made sense! I began taking steps towards living in a more environmentally kinds way and consciously applying zero waste to most aspects of my life and I stated writing a little blog about it and last year started sharing some of what I do on YouTube too. I have found that by living my “values” I am truly happy.
 
What tips do you have for someone who is trying to make lifestyle changes so that they are more socially conscious?
 
Taking things one step at a time is the best way to start and it will feel less overwhelming then too. Also don’t be too harsh on yourself. Just learn as you go and remember to take that reusable bag with you next time. Eventually it will start to become a routine and you’ll try something extra….. and so it continues.
 
Asking questions is also a great place to start. Things such as “where was this made?”, “how was it made?”, “is it biodegradable?”, “what do I do with it when it comes to the end of it’s life?”. Also following the 5 “R”s in order of Refuse, Reduce, Re-use, Recycle and Rot is a great way of working through everyday situations. Refuse the plastic bag, reduce the amount of take-away meals, reuse those glass jars etc. 
 
Avoid packaging. I mostly buy things without plastic packaging and make sure they are organic and local. This can be applied to food, clothing, lifestyle etc.
 
Unpackaged = fewer processed, manufactured products with questionable ingredients which are bad for our health 
 
Organic = no yucky pesticides and chemicals which poison us and our environment and working in harmony with nature, not against it. 
 
Local = local foods haven’t travelled half way around the world to reach my plate. They also grow in a specific location naturally to suit the local seasons and climate which means you’ll end up eating foods designed to support you in that location and eat them when they’re supposed to be eaten.
 
Living this way also has a knock on effect. I now bake my own bread, make my own kombucha and I only buy meat from a specific farm where I know how the animals are treated, what they are fed, how they are killed and I can buy just the right amount at their butcher counter bringing my own tins. Someone looked in my basket the other day and said “you must have a really healthy kitchen!” and I thought “not deliberately…. it just kinda happens when I apply my values”. I still eat chocolate and dessert etc, just not all the time and if I can, I make it myself.
 
What’s at the top of your lust list right now and why?
 
I think the cork ONO satchel. And I’m delighted to have it! I eat meat and wear leather but try to be as conscious and selective about where these come from as possible. I’m not vegan but get frustrated by the lack of non-leather alternatives that are talked about. So many are just plastic. And whilst you could argue this is better than killing an animal, it is essentially killing the planet by drawing on petroleum to make it. I was delighted to see the ONO collection because not only do they look awesome, but they are made from cork and organic cotton. I work from home and I’m often popping out to work from cafes or meeting people, so to have a beautiful bag like this one, makes carrying my laptop around London an absolute delight!
 

 
If you were to have three “famous” people join you for a coffee date, who would they be? And why?
 
Carole Bamford – aka Lady Bamford, owns an organic farm here in the UK called Daylesford which has the highest organic standards and produces incredible food. She has really shown what you can achieve by farming this way and it has been wonderful to see it get more and more popular in recent years. You can visit their farm shops throughout London or go to their farm in the Cotswolds for the day/weekend. Their open days are a great way to meet the farmers, animals and artisans and truly understand just how wonderful their techniques really are. Carole Bamford is a fascinating person and has got such fantastic values and I very much relate to them. (You can read more about them here
 
Jeff Bridges – he has been super vocal against plastic lately and c’mon… it’s Jeff Bridges! He’s so cool.
 
Hugh Laurie – he’s a great actor but also a musician. I have both of his blues albums and I saw him play live a few years ago with his Copperbottom Band. I’m learning the harmonica and would love to get to the stage of just improvising along. 
 
Naturally, we’d all meet at a local coffee house serving organic coffee…. 😉
 
 
If you had one super power to help change the world, what would it be? 
Wow, tough question to answer. How about a super power which allows me to effectively communicate to everyone just how important it is that we quit working against nature and start working with it…. or maybe that’s just the super power of YouTube…..
 
Ok, I wanna fly….. for no other reason than it would reduce my carbon footprint when traveling 😉
 
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