“I began using my voice to speak for not only animal rights but environmental issues surrounding animal agriculture, plastic pollution, fast fashion and civil rights.”
Blue Ollis is a vegan environmentalist who also advocates for holistic wellness and self love. She teaches her YouTube subscribers and blog followers how to be sustainable and ethical through her beautiful posts and videos. Blue will be speaking at Topics: Environment on the 28th of April, so we asked her a few questions about her low impact journey and future plans!
If you are looking for simple and enjoyable ways to live more green, come and get inspired by Blue at Vevolution Topics: Environment this month!
Roughly when did your environmentalist journey begin?
I’ve always been somewhat conscious of my impact on the planet and others living on it but it was when I went vegan in January 2012 and began looking into the effects of animal agriculture that I realised the scale and true impact of my actions. This started a ripple-effect of research and self-growth that lead me to a low-impact / zero-waste lifestyle and I began using my voice to speak for not only animal rights but environmental issues surrounding animal agriculture, plastic pollution, fast fashion and civil rights.
“This world is no longer designed with a circular mindset and so to beat myself up about it is pointless and counterproductive.”
Did you struggle with anything in particular when moving towards a low impact lifestyle?
When I began my journey to a low-impact lifestyle I had to look at my own footprint for the first time perhaps in my life which was extremely overwhelming and emotions like fear, shame and guilt came up a lot. I immediately wanted to be perfect and any time I consumed wasteful items my heart sank. I’ve since learnt that no matter how good our intentions are, we still live within a linear economy that prioritises maximum profit and repeat consumerism and a disposable society is all part of our economic structure. This world is no longer designed with a circular mindset and so to beat myself up about it is pointless and counterproductive. Instead I choose to make conscious decisions and do my very best to live mindfully whilst within this linear economy… and if I need to consume waste I don’t berate myself.
What are your favourite zero waste items?
My menstrual cup! This is one of my favourite items and I can’t sing it’s praises enough. Billions of people around the world have a period every month and we’re not only providing disposable items that, quite frankly, do not work all that well that get flushed into our oceans and sent into our landfills, but they’re also highly toxic for our bodies, our environment and our wildlife. Switching to a menstrual cup means I have a completely zero-waste period, there’s no need to every buy another period product again so I’ve already saved so much money and my body is healthier for it. I also love my travel bamboo cutlery set so I never have to use plastic cutlery at festivals or markets, my reusable water bottle that comes everywhere with me, my travel cup so that I can drink tea responsibly and my safety razor for zero-waste shaving.
Could you name a couple of sustainable brands that you would recommend to others? (Could be fashion, beauty, etc.)
I always promote buying second-hand where possible, but if you’re in the market for something new then I recommend checking out Boody for some bamboo activewear (you can get 15% off with code BLUE15), Charlie Feist for recycled plastic bottle and vegan leather bags, Boobalou for lots of homeware, kitchenware and kids products and, my own sustainable clothing line with eco graphics I launched earlier this year. I also always keep my website up-to-date with my favourite zero-waste products if you’re interested in what I’ve been loving using.
“If you’re already plant-based or vegan, take a look at your daily actions and see where you can improve your waste consumption.”
Do you have anyone that inspires you in the environmental activism world?
Oh yes. The environmental activist space is incredibly powerful, uplifting and inspirational. I always feel grounded and motivated after seeing so many others do such great work and speaking with friends with the same values. I particularly love content from Andrea of @bezerowastegirl, Gittemary of @gittemary, Freweyni of @zerowastehabesha, Max of @maxlamanna, Carly of @carly_bergman and Immy of @sustainablyvegan to mention just a few.
Name your top tip(s) for someone wanting to move towards a more environmentally conscious lifestyle.
The most impactful thing you can do to help our planet is eat plant-based. Animal agriculture is the leading cause of green house gas emissions… more than all transport combined! Have a watch of Conspiracy on Netflix to find out more and keep educating yourself. If you’re already plant-based or vegan, take a look at your daily actions and see where you can improve your waste consumption. If you drink lots of coffee and tea, take a reusable cup with you and buy loose leaf tea, if you drive to work opt for public transport or cycling instead, choose loose fruits and veggies when possible and cardboard and glass over tetra-packs and plastic containers. And the key thing to keep in mind… refuse, reduce, recycle — in that order!
“I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to face my fears, grow in myself and share my passion on a new platform.”
Do you have anything new and exciting planned for the near future that you’d like to share?
As an introvert public speaking has never been my life goal, but this year I’ve been asked to speak at a few events so I’ll be starting at Vevolution, travelling to Switzerland to speak at an activism launch event, speaking at Vegan Campout and a few more in the pipeline. It’s incredibly exciting and nerve-wracking! I’m also going to be getting my certificate in plant-based health and nutrition so that I can begin coaching as so many people have shown interest in this service… but of course I want to be fully qualified first! I’ve recently released my ‘Guide to Sustainable Living’ e-book which has been so rewarding and I’m so glad to have something in the world that will hopefully be able to help people the world over live more consciously and be able to reduce their footprint easily.
Finally, are you excited and prepared for Topics: Environment?!
I’m so excited! I’m not at all prepared yet as this year has been such a whirlwind and I'm not certain I’ll ever feel completely ready as there is always so much more to learn and share but I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to face my fears, grow in myself and share my passion on a new platform. It’s something I feel my intuition guiding me towards so I’m going with it and seeing where it takes me...
SEE BLUE OLLIS TALK AT VEVOLUTION TOPICS: ENVIRONMENT
How can we overcome the emerging environmental crisis? At Topics: Environment, we will discuss the most pressing issue of our time and showcases ways in which people are taking action to preserve the planet for future generations.
Expect to come away full of inspiration to help you live a low-impact life and be part of the solution for a more environmentally friendly future.