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Green Girls Podcast | Episode 0 | Start Where You Are

Hey amigos! Welcome to Green Girls, the podcast that follows our journey (and struggles) to becoming green.

In this episode, we have a little introduction to your hosts, Chloe and Mikaela. We learn how far they have already come in their 'green' journeys and why they decided to start. We cover veganism, fashion and beauty and go off on a fair few tangents (and don't expect these to be the last).

If you liked this episode get in touch on Instagram with @greengirls.podcast

Listen on Spotify, or right here:

Links to mentioned goodies:

Earthlings - Documentary trailer

The True Cost - Documentary trailer

Eating Animals - Book


(Chloe in regular, Mikaela in italics)

Hi, Mikaela.

Hi, Coco. Sorry. Hi, Chloe.

Welcome to our podcast.

Yes. Episode zero is it?

Episode el zelcho. I'm sorry if that's not any language.

I am unsure, but I will accept it because it sounds fun. And it's fun to say.

And this isn't a language podcast. This is a ethical lifestyle podcast. Sustainability podcast. Just us hobbling through life, attempting to be a bit better.

That is, I think, spot on. I think that is what we are.

That's it. That's going to be on the cover. Mm hmm.

And what might this lovely shenanigan be called?

Oh, Green Girls.

Love it. Beautiful.

Inspired by mean girls. In case anyone is wondering, that's. That's it.

But better.

But better, obviously.

And it's double G.

I feel like we need to make memes based on mean girls.

Oh, 100%.

And like, every single episode should be a different quote, but made ethical somehow.

Yes. Yes. I don't know how so I will leave that task up to you.

Oh, good. But my my humor is all like dad jokes.

That's fine. I am 100% down for that, which may be a problem because I feel like we are too similar, that we may polarize the audience. That might be the case.

It's cool actually how similar we are in things that aren't to do with green, which I think is why I like you.

Yes. Yes, I think that's good. Good. I mean, I like you, too, sometimes. Oh, all the time.

But in the nicest way as well. You also remind me of my mum because you make things and she does not ever stop making things.

Making things is fun.

At Christmas, each of us got a needle felting kit. My dad got so angry, he just kept poking himself with the needle. I've never heard him get so angry.

You know what? It's a real thing, though. I actually have scars on my fingertips from needle stabs.

I mean, you're so into your craft, right?

Yes, definitely. I actually thoroughly enjoy hand sewing, which is weird.

Well, me too. But that's because I'm afraid of the sewing machine.

No, sewing machines are your friend! You just need practice.

I've seen them go through people's nails, and they're not friends.

Actually. I have sewn through my finger, but that's because my machine is scary. It's not a little domestic. And I was sewing something white, which is funny. And yeah, I like went through my finger and to the machine and kind of stared at it for a moment. Meanwhile, my hand is in the machine with the needle in my finger, and then I had to manually hand wheel the needle out of my finger. Luckily, though, it only caught the side and I wasn't really bad. There's like the tiniest amount of blood, but I was just like, this just happened.

Did it get on the dress?

It didn't. I know. And it was white crochet. I was adding some lining to, like, a top so that I could wear it to a family thing without being, like, risque. And, yes, I stabbed myself with the sewing machine.

Well, that just backs me up. The sewing machine is evil.

Yeah, I kind of backfired that, didn't I? Oops.

Well, that's one point to me. Never using a sewing machine again.

No. Let me take you. I'll teach you.

Will you?


All right. You'll come round one day and teach me how to fix all the things that have been literally sat in a bag for years that I've gone.

Good. Yeah, I can. I can show you how to fix it. Okey dokey. Let's get back on track. I mean, we are talking about ourselves, which is sort of what this first podcast, episode zero is about. A little bit of an introduction into us doing what we're doing here.

It's just kind of us having a chinwag. Finding out what we're about. Hopefully giving a bit of background information before we launch into it. And forget that people don't know exactly what we are thinking.

Yes. Yes. I'm sure they won't know what goes on in our heads anyway.

Okay. So let's get into the green side of things. I'm going to talk about when I first met you and somehow demanded you be my friend.

This is like the best story that I've ever had making a friend. All my other friend stories are boring. No offense. Other friends. This one's just special. Anyway, I'll let you tell the story...

Well, on a bright, sunny Melbourne day, we were at a vegan... I believe it was Spring Vegan Festival. I don't know how many years ago it was now, but it was one of the first vegan events that I went to with Tarik and I decided that I would give people with cool shops interviews and I'd pop it on YouTube or Instagram or something. I came up to you and you had all of these awesome outfits that you'd made itself, and I don't think there was much fashion there either.

It was me and Velvety was behind me. Yeah, I remember you coming out to me, like, real awkwardly and Tarik being like, go on just do it. And you're like, I don't want to interview people. And then we were having a grand old chitchat, and I was like, Hi. And then, yeah, we became friends and became buds.

Your retail work, that was never an ethical fashion, was it?

Absolutely not. Lots of sort of fast fashion and, uh, not very sustainable.

When you worked in retail, was that ever while you were making your own clothes?

Yes. Yeah, it was. Yes, there was quite a few years, actually. I remember even one of my jobs on my lunch break, I would bring in the accessories and stuff that I was making the materials and make them on my lunch break.

Oh, wow. Very committed.

Yeah. And it was sort of like, you know, it wasn't really a job that I was super invested in, but it was enough for me to make money to do my thing on the side. So I think that's why I. I did it for so long.

Yeah. Did it, did it ever cross your mind during that time that like you were spending hours making stuff and then the stuff you were selling was cheap?

No, but I feel like it should have, especially when you get staff discount. Look, okay. Mind you, I am very different to the person I was when I was in retail, getting used to this prime example of this on my lunch breaks or before work or after work.

I used to walk around the shopping center and try and find the best deals and there was this one store that was the $10 store. Every single thing in that was $10. And the ladies knew me like and I would go in there and buy ten items.

And I still actually have a few things now. But when I think back to it, I'm like, I really hope it was just like, I mean, I don't, I know it was like probably Overstock or, you know, this poor person getting paid, not much.

But at that time I didn't. It didn't cross my brain like that. Yeah. So I can sympathize with people now who are in that same sort of mindset. But I think it was when I actually started making stuff for myself and pricing things and having responses of people being like, Oh jeez, that's so expensive that I actually put a value to, you know, someone making an item.

Yeah, a value to the time.

Yeah, definitely. And not only that, like a lot of things that are made, you know, overseas, they're also transported here. So you've got all that transport costs, marketing cost, everything built in and they're selling an item for $10. And I was like, Oh yeah, how does anyone make any money from it?

So I used to have no savings because I would just buy. I was so materialistic. I bought so much stuff like consumer crazy and now I'm very different.

Yeah, yeah, very different. How many pairs of shoes have you bought this year?

Oh, I think I've bought a pair of exercise sneakers. That's it. I have bought a lot of clothes, but from the shops and that's for something that is happening in my future, hopefully. And also. I just can't resist. Second hand is best.

Yeah. Second hand is always going to be better if you can do it.

What about you? What's your sort of background like?

Yeah, I don't think I gave it a second thought either. I think my beginning was with make up, even though I'm not big on makeup at all. I went to one of those workshops, a real workshop before all the Zoom workshops, by the way.

I guess it was like five or six years ago and someone was going through makeup and saying which brands were and weren't cruelty-free. And I remember hating Mac because I knew that they were testing on animals. But I did not know that any of the other regular drugstore brands also.

And I went through my makeup bag with her, and she was like, Yes yes yes yes. Like these. All brands test on animals. And from that day, I was like, wow, there's so much hidden bad stuff.

Mm hmm. Yeah. It's crazy to think about. And I actually I think I agree with you in terms of one of my first sort of realization moments was makeup. Yeah. And I feel like it was at that point where I just did a pop.

Oh, there is at that point where things weren't necessarily labelled as cruelty-free, non-animal testing, vegan, whatever. It was just kind of like do your own research and, and, you know like I found a brand that I liked that I stuck to.

And I remember like my siblings and my friends, I mean, like, oh, why do you like that brand? Like, this one's so much better. And also. Well, this is why your brand sucks.

Yeah. Yeah. So I guess my... my journey. Like, my journey began with ethical makeup, like cruelty free makeup. And from there, I also tried to transition to, like, vegan makeup after that because I really didn't think too much about the vegan side at that point. I was just like, I do not want this tested on dogs or rats or my soul monkey or anything else that they might tested on. So that was like my first value, I suppose. I was really set on like: If it's going to be tested on an animal, then it's not going on my skin.

And then scrolling through Facebook, one day, I saw someone talking about fashion. I can't remember if it was a guru or whatever, but someone said they should really watch the true cost.

And honest to God, I was so worried that after watching it, like I knew that my life would be changed. I knew that I would think about things a different way. I knew that I would know too much.

And so that night, before watching it, I think I placed my last order ever with Nike. Because I thought. I don't want to find out something awful and not be able to afford ethical sportswear.

And I really need this stuff. Yep. So that was my that. And, like, a year later or something, I bought a top on sale in Zara, and I think they were my last ever fast fashion purchases.

And then. Yeah, I was right. The True Cost changed stuff. Yes. It changed my life.

It's funny that, like you say, makeup and clothing and fast fashion was your sort of turning point. Yeah, because I actually started off with, like, food and the vegan diet.

Like, I never really ate meat through high school like chicken. I got braces in year eight and I remember vividly the orthodontist saying to me, now, you can't eat any meat off the bone. And I came home to my parents and said, I can't eat any meat. Anyway, I still ate fantail sweets and stuff that messed up my teeth, but. Oh yeah. Story for another time.

So yeah, I sort of started off on that front and I feel like I've always been very aware of animals and like I never really liked zoos and things like that. But when I first watched, I think it was Earthlings. I remember crying myself to sleep like that is in that it's a doozy. I would definitely recommend watching it and but it's not for the faint of heart.

I actually did have to stop it. So be ready to finish it. Be absolutely ready. Yeah, I was in tears and then it sort of was just like a switch just flicked. And nobody at that time in my, you know, friendship, space or family relationships were on the same level as me.

And I was trying to be like, you know, when you're just mind is born and you need to share it with everybody and then nobody's like nobody wants to know who's exactly like you. They're like, I don't want to ruin, you know, I don't want to change my life once I know that's it.

So I was kind of in my own little sad bubble.

So did you watch it on your own that no one else had watched it?

No, I watched it on my own, yeah.

How did you come across it?

I honestly don't remember, but I remember watching it and crying in bed by myself, like in the dark with just the little glow of my laptop screen just being unbelievably emotional. And I'm pretty sure I was, like, sharing it on Facebook and trying to get friends to watch it. And they were just like. No. And it was a lot.

Yeah. The sad truth is, like, it's really inconvenient to care. It sounds really blunt and, like, gives people a bit of a shitty outlook, but it becomes really inconvenient if you want to have strong values and live that way.

Every Monday...Sorry to make this about me again. But we go to the Meatless Mondays thing at Grill'd so you can get two for one burgers that are on the vegan menu. But lat week, even though it was March, they were having that Christmas party! I assume because there was a lockdown in December. But it wasn't until then that we realized our little area of shops had like nothing else vegan.

Like there was one road and I'm pretty sure there's a schnitzel and it's does do some vegan stuff. There was somewhere else that had like a option, but a lot of the places were like ramen and stuff that was in broths and like all of the broths were pork.

Mhm. And so like anything that even the vegetable stuff wasn't vegetarian, it was still a yeah, yeah, there was a sushi place and like nothing there was going to be vegan. We ended up going to I think a Greek place and the chap by the door was such a gem.

He managed to basically cobble stuff together to make it vegan for us.

I love it when they do that.

I mean, if they have vegetables, it should not be that hard. And it's just really, really weird that doing the kind of thing is really hard and it's so frowned upon.

Yeah, you get judged less these days. But I mean, when I first was, you know, in my sad little bubble, it was always stupid jokes like that. And like always at the vegan/vegetarian's expense.

And yes, it's still sort of around now, but I feel like it's a bit more accepted. There's more options available at like chain stores and things, but it's really hard.

I don't understand how you get judged for trying to make a choice that is ethical or moral.

Yeah, that will do less harm to the world. That's right. Yeah. So like, you're getting judged for trying to do less harm and which just doesn't make sense. Yeah. It's been made really normal to just do what.

Mhm. It is tough. I think just as long as we have goals and we try our best and you know sometimes things may not go according to plan but any step is a good step I think.

Well last year when we tried to record this podcast, we had Green Goals. Do you have goals now?

Honestly, I'd. I'd have to think of one. Yeah, I. Look, I still have my original goal of learning how to garden or grew vegetables, like, be sustainable in my own space.

Like, I have quite a lot of land at my disposal. A lot more than, you know, a lot of my friends. Like, I've got a huge front yard, huge backyard, but I haven't put the work in.

And I think it just overwhelms me that there's like I'm trying to be perfect and I'm trying to do it right when really I just need to grab some seeds and stick it in the ground. And if it works, it works.

That's great.

I think one of my current goals is to learn to be more sustainable of the land and the things that I already have. Mhm.

So that's good. And you can apply that journey everywhere because I know you've got like a cupboard full of materials over there to play with.

Yes, I know I do. I have, I have plenty of things in my house that I could use like, you know, without buying new and I think repurposing and, and that is the way to go. Mhm.

I've made a silent, promised myself to not buy any more skincare or hair care, body products, anything like that.

I haven't made that deal with myself about makeup because I'm slowly converting everything I have to Eye of Horus, which I really like and it's all organic and I think mostly vegan.

It's all cruelty free made in Australia. I really like it. They make the best mascara but anything skincare, unless it's gifted from the Jojoba Co because I love it.

Oh wow.

And like they'll send me what's new. And this stuff works my skin really well.

So apart from that, I'm going to work through every shampoo I have, every conditioner I have anything like that.

That's another really good point there. You know, if you just suddenly wake up one day and you're like, all right, this is what I'm going to do. I'm no longer going to buy, you know, nasty stuff.

And I'm, you know, trying to make an effort to be more sustainable. Well, use what you already have. Like, don't if you throw it out, that's just as wasteful. Like, you scrape that bloody moisturizer tube clean. You've already purchased it.

You may as well use it. Yeah. Next time you purchase something else, you make more of an informed decision.

I still have shoes and stuff from, you know, when I didn't think about this stuff that will leather that I'm like, well, I already, I've already got them like, yeah, I'm not going to get rid of them now. Like use what you've got before you buy anything new. Yeah, that's the most sustainable thing.

My like best friend in the UK bought me a gorgeous lipstick from Nars when they were cruelty-free. And since then they started selling in China and were not cruelty-free anymore. And it made me think, like, I don't want to wear that lipstick anymore, even though it was cruelty-free.

And so I still will. It just makes me want to not advertise that it's Nars, because now I don't want to be associated with that.

Yeah, quite right. Yeah.

There's a really fun thing that I now dowith Tarik: Instead of keeping on buying stuff like food, we will get to a point where it's like, okay, we're not buying anything else. We're going to work through this cupboard and this fridge until there's almost nothing left. I love that we have really weird meals for a while.

But otherwise we just don't empty the cupboards here. Why did I buy jackfruit? I do not know what to do with it. I'm not inventive.

That's good. There's something so satisfying about that. And I know you've done the same thing too. Like, I feel so good when I get to the bottom of, like, a toothpaste of like, yeah, my favorite makeup product, like just getting the little dregs out.

Like I would stick like a makeup brush in the bottom of my foundation to get that last little bit. And I feel so accomplished and so satisfied. And it's the same with food. Like when I see the fridge empty, I'm like I said, you know, you food, but then you end up with some weird us meal that

actually is like pretty good.

Yeah, it's really cool on that. But with skincare, I'm actually really weird. The minute I like something, I don't want to use it because I don't want it to run out.

I actually think I have a few products like that, like some ones that we're very expensive and I'm like, I bought this for a reason, like, just use it, but I'm like, Oh, but I can't wear it on every day. Like, I'm going to be in a roof. There's no point in putting makeup on my face.

Well, true you are in a roof, but if you want to wear it, you go for it.

Sometimes I need to hide my face because I'm like one of those people that just gets red all the time. Like, I walk up the stairs... Tomato. I do something embarrassing... Tomato.

Just whoosh. Flush.

Oh, my gosh. Yeah. I need to test this out in public now.

Please don't. Actually, you won't. Because most of the time I'll have something on my face so you won't know. Just don't embarrass me now because I have no on.

No, I have no face. And I'm sitting in my dressing gown doing this lovely recording with you. Oh, yeah. I couldn't. I would not have known, you know, just again, it's lush, it's like black, fluffy. It's very nice.

I like it. I'm in the coziest gray outfit.

Yes, I know it well. It is very luxurious also.

Well, actually, the jumper that I'm wearing over it has a big scarf, it's the one that I got from savers for like $6. It's the best thing. I love it. Like it's tied for favorite with the top, which costs me so much more than our, you know, one was sustainable fashion because it was shop one with sustainable fashion because it was made well in Australia and someone made money from it.

It's all about balance.

It's a good balance. Yeah. If I didn't shop at savers then I could not afford the other sustainable fashion stuff.

That is very true. Yeah, well, I think we've sort of covered our journeys hopefully enough.

I've got one additional question for you.


Okay, how long now have you been vegan?

I'm glad you asked me this because I actually just went on my Instagram and scrolled as far back as I could remember to a particular food post. And I've been vegan for eight years.

Happy eight years!

Thank you. Doesn't feel like that. It's just crazy. It's just, you know, it's normal for me. Yeah. I think I just kind of clicked.

It made sense for you.

Yeah, it did. Well, this is just life now. Yep, exactly right.

This is my big question. And I'm sorry if it offends anyone, but did you go through a militant vegan phase?

I don't think I did. I think there was definitely a period of time where I felt like I was in my own inner like my own little bubble. And I was frustrated at everyone and I was sort of angry, but I didn't outwardly show it.

Like, I was just like, why is nobody else seeing this? Like, it's right here? I don't understand. How has it clicked for me and it's not clear for someone else? Then after these years, I've kind of realized that there was once a point in my life when I didn't know any better, and I didn't realize that this was an alternative. Yeah. And, you know, I remember being like, Oh, I could never go vegan. Like, I like chocolate so much. Like, I still like chocolate. I still eat chocolate. It's still great. Yeah, 100%. So I do still have struggles sometimes, but I think the best way to address it is to be approachable and to not outwardly, I guess, antagonize people because they will jump at the bait. They will be like, Oh, you're vegan. Well, you must eat just like leaves. I really hate salad.

Oh, yeah. Vegan does not mean healthy and not at all.

No, not at all. But yeah, I think the best way to deal with it is to sort of just be approachable and people will ask you questions. And I've got, you know, my sister is now vegetarian, Jake's brother is vegan. And I like to sometimes, like give myself a little pat on the back, but I don't think it was me. But I'm going to say it was.

So Jake's not vegan?

He definitely eats a lot of stuff that I eat at home because there's no point in making two meals. And I think he's quite happy to try things. But, you know, if we're out and about and there's a choice of takeaway or something like that, he'll get whatever he wants. And I'll get whatever I want. And as much as it pains me, I'm hopeful that one day, you know, he'll sort of have that click moment as well. But I don't think forcing someone or, you know, being aggressive is the way to do it.

Yeah. And I agree in that, you didn't get there through aggression.

No, I got that through a very, very emotional video. And like, I think I was a vegetarian for like two months. And I think it was just after high school because I was afraid of what people were going to say. And just after high school, I went vegetarian and I remember I was at my mum's house and I was like, I'm just going to go vegan, I'm just going to try it. And they were like, Oh, don't you think that's a bit extreme?

And I was like, Well, not really, no. And there you go. Eight years later. One thing I will say that I struggle with and I actually said this to Jake, I don't think I'd vocalized it to him before but I really struggle going out for dinner with people who don't eat like me. Because the, you know, everyone's sitting there, everyone's having a joyful time. They're loving their meals. They're like, Oh, this is so good. And I. All I can see is just like [animals].

It just makes me feel it makes me feel ill. Like, I don't want to sit there and be like, oh, yeah, yeah, that looks delicious. When secretly on the inside, I'm like, wow, do you not see? So that's definitely something I'm still struggling with. But again, I'm sticking by my peaceful approach and hopefully, people will converse with me you know.

Are there many comments and things that you just have to kind of bounce off?

Yeah, so many times people are like, 'Oh my God, I had the best meal the other day. It was like. LAMB This with that da da da'. And I'm like. 'LAMB'!

Yeah, i'm sure. Because people that are vegan or eat plant-based, usually it's for heaps of different things. Like, I'm personally okay with the idea of death or killing an animal. I know that it's not necessary to kill animals for food now, but I'm not averse to it. Yeah. So the idea of that being a dead animal isn't the issue to me.

I could see someone eating it and not be offended that it's an animal. Whereas for you, I'm supposing that is the point.

Yes, definitely. Because I'm like, how do you not see you know. And that's the thing is that everyone's at different journeys and like you just said, you know, that you actually you recognize what it is that's on your plate. A lot of people don't want to associate it with that. They just go, Oh, this is my food. Like, this is not, you know, a dead something.

Yeah, I more recognize the journey that the animal went on to get to the plate. So that was a book that I listened to because I never find the time to read. It was called Eating Animals. It was another one of those things where I was like, This is probably going to change me.

And, Oh, my God, it did. Every chapter kind of went through a different animal and a different sort of stage of the commercial way that we kill animals and get them to supermarkets and on plates.

And I went through chicken eggs. It went through chickens, pigs, cows. And every chapter was just more harrowing. I realized, this is what the normal system is and I'm not okay with it. If I'm ever going to eat an animal, it's not going to be from this system.

Which is why I am now mainly vegan, like mainly plant-based if and I still don't know if I went to a restaurant, and they said, Oh yeah, we kill things in a certain way. They had this life and they don't know death is coming, all of this sort of stuff. I still don't know that I believe them and therefore eat it.

Yeah, that's the other thing is that like with marketing, like I was saying before, you can't trust anything. The regulations are just crazy. You know, perfect example.

They say things like 'free range eggs' or 'cage free eggs'. Like this word plays to trick the consumer into thinking that they are doing something that, you know, aligns with them.

Yeah, they'll just call it happy chooks or something.

Yeah. Like Oh yeah, these chickens enjoy being engaged. Exactly. The happy cows on the milk containers and stuff like it's like yeah green sunshine and yeah.

And you're like, oh this, this is a happy cow, i'll drink this milk.

There are so many topics I want to get into with you. Vegan being the one, greenwashing being one. But this is probably a good space to stop or I think I'm going to go forever.

I know I could just keep going, keep going, keep going.

So this is episode El zelcho, a.k.a zero all about starting where we are, because this podcast is absolutely not polished. But if we don't start now, honestly, I don't think we ever will.

And in that same vein, we're starting where we are on our ethical journey. And now the listeners have heard a little bit about what our journey has been up until this point. And now we can all walk forward together.

I love that. That is very cute. Love it.

Is it fetch?

So fetch. Or should I be on the other side and be like, stop trying to make that happen?

No. I'm with it, it's fetch.

We're making fetch happen to people. Well, let's call that a wrap on episode zero.

All right. Well, we shall see you next time in episode one.

Okay. I'm gonna start recording now. Bye, everyone.


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