There’s always a first time
for beginning again.

Every morning
we awake and
pull the covers back,
put our feet on the ground,
and stand
once more.

The floor is not always warm.
There is not always happiness.
A whole night’s sleep
is sometimes not enough.

finding and looking
out that window—the one
that knows what still exists: lush greenery,
a snow-capped mountain side
the ocean breaking, or
calls from the desert
even when things seem quiet—
is what will move us forward, taking
steps to sluff off darkness.

Do what you need
to do in order to
see this view.

Then do it




When all else fails, I go for a walk. I see it as the simplest medicine – the act of placing one foot in front of the other in an ancient rhythm, of feeling fresh air on your skin and seeking out new sights for tired eyes – it can heal in ways that nothing else can.

I have weathered a few winters now. My leaves have fallen and life has stagnated under the weight of my sadness, and it has been in these times where I have walked. The ritual became sacred – I took a deep breath, laced up my boots and put on my red coat, locked the front door and with hands in my pockets I walked to the fields near my mother’s house. Down a muddy track, through the allotments and into the open space. I’d walk to the river and standing next to it, take deep breaths in and out. That’s all. Sometimes I’d walk further, sometimes I’d go straight home and make a cup of tea. A daily ten minute walk into the suburban landscape was the thing that kept me going.

Right now, I see myself as being at the start of my trail, at the point where you check the map every five minutes because you’re pretty sure that you are going the wrong way. As I write, I don’t have my own home, a career, an art form, or even a solid platform to express my voice (my attempts at writing my blog are so sporadic that I sometimes forget I have one at all). I do have a backpack, my love by my side and a few scattered dreams, but whilst I am still in that process of figuring out what I want to be, the most recurrent feeling I have these days is that of being lost. For as long as I can remember, whenever I asked myself what I wanted to do with my life I would come up with some eclectic ideas ranging from pottery to marine biology, but there was always one thing I knew for sure. Whatever I was doing, it would have to matter. I wanted to be making change. I wanted to make the world better.

As a kid I had fire in my veins. When I first heard about Greenpeace through a leaflet tossed through our letterbox, I took it to my mum and asked her how I could contribute. With her help, I wrote letters to my representative about various campaigns to protect rainforests and coral reefs. In my small, quiet way, I was an activist. I wrote and I read and I acted on the passion I felt for the natural world as a primal emotion. When I looked forward, it seemed obvious that I would have to do something to help the planet, overcoming whatever obstacles lay in my way to protect the nature around me that I held so dear. I don’t think that I could have imagined what those obstacles would be. I don’t think that I would ever have thought my demons would lie within my own mind – an imbalance of brain chemicals, a painful shyness of other people and low self-esteem.

I look back, and I don’t think I could have dreamed that one day I would stop fighting. But, in my latest winter, I stopped reading the news. I simply didn’t have the strength in me to care about the outside world anymore.


It was a cold and foggy time. I caved into the lethargy that stopped me from feeling possible. Drifting along on stale air, I felt the lack of a vital part of myself – the part with the spark, the part with the fire. 

Images of tragedy played on repeat and stories about the planet we have learnt to love being excruciatingly destroyed are everywhere. In this age of the constant news cycle, suffering is presented to us on a larger scale than we have the capacity to relate to. We are faced with too much suffering to comprehend and in a primal coping mechanism, we detach. To care, to truly care – to learn about and discuss and fight to protect every small injustice in each corner of the world – would break us.

I reached the point where my mental health was so poor that I detached myself from all of it, and I hated myself for it. All I had ever wanted was to do something that mattered, but at that point, simply being was a daily challenge. On top of that was the constant daily comparisons I was making between myself and the women I followed on social media, the women who were further down their paths of becoming and who had photographic evidence. I couldn’t escape the feeling of having gone too far wrong to ever truly put myself right, of not being enough. Of being off-kilter to ever find balance again. 

And so, I went for a walk. Boots laced, coat on, door locked and down to the river. A thrush sat within the brambles nearby and sang with a loud, trilling voice. Against the medley of distant birdsong, the thrush’s voice was piercingly beautiful.

This is the world we live in. A chaotic, large, complex world in which we will always be infinitesimally small. We rush and we charge about our lives, weaving a messy web about one another. There is too much happening to comprehend, and too much injustice for us to ever change it all. We have just as much chance of fading into obscurity as we do of making a mark. How do you make sense of that? How do you keep moving within that mess? How do you find your way?

I don’t know yet, but there are a few things that I have found. Wherever I am in the world, there are constant, reliable things. There is a sun and a moon in the sky above that people have been watching for thousands of years. There are always stars, whether I can see them or not. And wherever I am, there is solid ground beneath me so I can stand firm. The seasons will cycle round. The moon will wax and wane. Tides move in and out and all of our hearts beat just the same.

Even if I have nothing, I have this. And with luck, life might grow up and around. Plants will bud in the winter, flower in the spring and trees start their long, slow stretch up to the sky. I can plant seeds with care and love, and a garden may grow. Perhaps in the early morning thrushes will wake with the light and gradually fill the air with song. In the coolness of dusk rooks might gather with cacophonous voices as they settle down for the darkness. It is this that has struck me as remarkable, fortunate thing – that we might live in a world where birds sing. Perhaps our harvests will be shared with others. Perhaps we will find love.

Sometimes it is worth taking a walk and saying thank you. Because though it might feel as if the world is ending, like what we have is hardly worth a second glance, we are so lucky.

I am standing in a Spring that I thought would never come. Tending a garden I believed wouldn’t grow. All it takes is baby steps. Through my winter I learnt that those crucial first steps are the acts of kindness and generosity that we give ourselves. They are simple, seemingly unimportant things - taking the time to stand still and drink a glass of water, showering, the powerful alchemy of a home-cooked meal, going for a short walk.

If we slow down and take the time to look after our bodies then our minds will match this speed, allowing us to stop for a moment and reassess. Through these small acts of self-care I was able to forgive myself for who I am. Slowly, I learnt to love that self. I learnt to see the power in the person I am today, rather than being overwhelmed by the amount I am not doing.

I am allowing myself to take those first steps without feeling guilt at their insignificance. From there I will send out shoots and start to think bigger. I will nourish and allow myself to move with intention and wisdom, and sometimes to move a lot slower than I would like. This is my activism.

My boots are laced tight and a scarf wrapped around my neck. Dark clouds hang low in the sky, yet beneath them is a crack on the horizon through which an orange glow is filtering through. In the cold weather I am alone on a trail, discovering Vancouver for the first time. I stomp through the light drizzle and it clings to my clothes and hair. In the silence of the evening is a faint rustle above me, and I seek it out through the dim light, eventually catching sight of a hummingbird dancing in the high branches. Nothing special, really, but what a remarkable thing to see.

Going for a walk has been the first seed – the bafflingly small seed that almost disappeared within the palm of my hand. I planted it without much hope, but slowly it has grown. It still seems unlikely but I have learnt to trust that with care, mindfulness and kindness, I am creating a life that I love. 




I haven't written an essay for Loam in what feels like forever. The last month or two I've been navigating multiple projects and jobs and places. When I do sit down to write, I struggle to stay focused. 

Recently, however, I have found peace in a simple morning ritual that I want to share with you all in the hope that it will bring you the same healing it has brought me. I call it my "tender morning time" and it's DIVINE.

Here's what "tender morning time" means for me. Waking up way early before work and gifting myself a very juicy hour—totally free from tech—to just be. I don't touch my phone or open my laptop. I sit in my bed, sip herbal tea, journal, draw Tarot, doodle, and give thanks. Sometimes I take a walk around my block and savor the sweetness of seeing the moon still in the sky. It's my sweet, precious time to be fully in my body and present to myself.

Your tender morning time might take a very different shape than mine. You might not have the opportunity to wake up as early without severely slashing your sleep. But even if you have only ten minutes in the morning to be, you can still take advantage of that gift. Breathe. Eat slowly. Wash your face and feel the cool water against your skin. Whenever I find myself in tender morning time, I am alert to just how beautiful and miraculous everything is. I am sure you will discover the same beauty too. 

Sending you love today, and everyday.







Loam's mission is to seed joy, hope, and action in our community through creative and collaborative storytelling. Reawakening Resilience  embodies our belief that the capacity to bounce back from adversity is interwoven into our DNA. As the climate crisis escalates each day, tapping into our inner stores of resilience will help us not only survive but also to thrive during these unprecedented times. 

When you support Reawakening Resilience,  you support artists, activists, and educators who are working to heal our world. You'll help our community publish a carbon neutral print publication that shares tangible strategies for cultivating ecological and social resilience with our 22,000 readers as well as nourish Loam's capacity to support artists and activists working at the intersections of social justice and earth care. 

To bring Reawakening Resilience into being costs $10,000. This helps us to fund printing costs, compensate our contributors, support our gifted graphic designer Giorgia Sage, and ensure that a percentage of profits from every issue of Reawakening Resilience sold helps to nurture reforestation in Northern California through the  1 Million Redwoods Project. We are proud to print with Hemlock Printers, the most sustainable printer in North America, as well as to mail our magazines in biodegradable mailers with compostable tape. Although ensuring the ecological integrity of our production and distribution process isn’t cheap,  it's a non-negotiable. 

Our choice to print this publication is rooted in our deep belief that our world needs more opportunities to touch, to engage, and to hold. During an era when so many of us are losing hours each day to screen time, our hope is for Reawakening Resilience to be a tangible antidote to disconnection and isolation. We want to provide our readers with a vibrant print publication that you can thumb through again and again to find resources for resilience, luminous art, and inspiring stories to turn to as you navigate a climate changed world. 

Reawakening Resilience is our most ambitious publication yet, blurring the boundary between magazine and book. We are so excited to dig into this project with our incredible community and can't wait to share this resource-rich guide to cultivating resilience, nourishing regeneration, and fostering intersectionality across movements with you all. Our (growing!) list of contributors includes:

Even if you can't contribute to this campaign, we are grateful for your support in so many other ways. You can contribute to Loam (we will be accepting submissions for Reawakening Resilience through April 15th and would love to hear from you all!); you can attend our workshops on low-waste living, resilience, and rituals for regeneration in California, Colorado, Oregon, and New York throughout 2018; and you can share the Loam love with friends by following us on social media where we strive to share inspiring and illuminating stories every week.

With gratitude & love,




In many ways, living low-waste has transformed my life. Taking accountability for my trash has helped me to deepen my mindfulness practice, nurture relationships to a growing community of activists, and reconnect to my little square of stardust. I have been better able to weather our fascist regime's daily assaults on all people, places, and things, because I am living a (deliciously flawed & full) life that aligns with my values. I'm pretty much never perfect, but I am always striving to do better, and finding passion and purpose by doing just that brings me the kind of inner peace that stands strong in the face of external strife. 

In spite of this, I rarely feel comfortable sharing my low-waste living journey with friends. Many popular mainstream zero waste "celebrities" have created a limiting perception of low-waste living that exists isolate from issues of social, economic, and ecological justice. As my rad friend Liv of Zero Waste Habesha pointed out in conversation yesterday, zero waste is too often labeled as lifestyle-y—even though choosing to reduce and refuse is a valid (and vital) branch of activism.

So what gives?

The patriarchy, man.

Delegitimizing the diversity of philosophies & practices within the zero waste movement is a way to write off the significant social impact of a thriving community that has been largely shaped and sustained by non-patriarchal bodies. Many popular low-waste living practices—such as creating healing herbal remedies and cultivating a trash-light home—are considered "feminine" pursuits. And so, like everything "feminine" in our mainstream culture, it's discarded. 

Lucky for us earth advocates, we don't have to buy into that B.S. We can choose to uplift, honor, and practice the kind of environmentalism activism that defies conventional definition. How you live your everyday life is as impactful a kind of activism as your decision to protest in the streets, submit comments to public office, and call your representatives. Our daily decisions have a collective impact—which is to say that every plastic disposable we refuse, garden we grow, love we give, food scrap we compost, and magic we make adds up.

So if you are striving to refuse, reuse, and reduce, take pride in your process. What you are doing is activism too, and your personal practices truly have the power to change the world.



As an environmental educator for Be Zero, I'm perpetually grateful for the opportunity to teach workshops on low-waste living in my community. I love working with and learning from folks who share my passion for embodying our values.

Through my work, however, I've met many folks who feel (understandably) isolated by the zero waste movement. Zero waste itself is an alienating term—it's a goal that no one can achieve given that we live in a linear economy. Worse still, popular Instagram accounts within the zero waste movement offer a sanitized vision of zero waste that elides intersectionality across movements. Ignoring how social capital, race, ethnicity, and geography shape access to zero waste is deeply damaging, especially because it presumes that zero waste is a new idea. It's not. The fundamental principles of zero waste—cultivating our self-sufficiency skills, nourishing connections to our community, taking accountability for our waste—are practices that have been alive within indigenous communities for generations.

Learning how to live low-waste has unequivocally transformed my life. It inspired me to live more mindfully, to learn about how things are made, to challenge my conceptualizations of my true wants and needs, and to ground my vision for a better world in everyday actions. My practice is deeply imperfect (and will always be) but even that experience has grown my capacity for compassion.

As a person of privilege in a "developed" country, I strive to make choices that minimize suffering not only in my corner of the universe but also in communities of color in formerly colonized countries. I don't have to live next to my waste—but so many others do. So I reuse and refuse and reduce. I am trying, imperfectly and persistently, to fight back against the fast fashion and fossil fuel industries that are poisoning our planet and our people.

I mess up majorly. I make mistakes. I fly in planes. And I want to see a movement that reflects those struggles as much as it does the beauty of a package-free feast. I want to see a movement that celebrates the circular mindset, extends compassion to diverse communities, and engages with complex issues of intersectionality. 

As the year comes to a close, I've been brainstorming ways I can reenergize the mainstream zero waste movement and be part of a sea change in how we frame, share, and celebrate the guiding philosophies of "zero waste." I'm grateful for friends like Liv at Zero Waste Habesha and Jess at Be Zero Denver who interweave practical advice with philosophical and political meditations into their work. My mission is to deepen collaborations with my community and continue to engage with perspectives very different than my own. I hope you'll join me on this journey! And I hope you'll share with me your own strategies for reenergizing the mainstream zero waste movement in the comments. 




Last week's elections saw some big wins for people-powered climate action. During a year marred by climate catastrophe and social strife, it was a real sign of hope. We now have the opportunity to capitalize on this momentum to continue to fight for a livable future and heal our wounded world.

It's in that spirit that I wanted to share three actions you can start digging into today to deepen political engagement and sustain people-powered climate action. And as always, please share additional actions in the comments!


Thanks to a passionate crew of organizers across the country, Food & Water Watch has devoted the last decade to advocating for a livable future through policy change. Right now, Food & Water Watch is working to pass the Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act—one of the first legislative acts that truly acknowledges the need for drastic change over the course of the next ten years. Sign up here for access to all the materials you need to encourage your local representative to support the Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act. 


Join a local LEAP chapter and learn how you can collaborate with your community to build a "life-sustaining society" out of this crisis. And if you haven't yet read the LEAP Manifesto, do. 


In collaboration with For the Wild and Spirit Weavers, this webinar series is an incredible opportunity to learn from passionate community organizers about how to build the world we want (and need). I can't wait to dig into these videos in the coming weeks!




Several days ago, I found myself in a weird body shame spiral. 99% of the time, I'm pretty good about reveling in what I've got. I enjoy everything my body does—how I love, walk, eat, dance. But that day? My thighs were too squishy and my arms were too skinny and my hair was flat. Maybe ten minutes into this (tiring, boring, and profoundly unimportant) internal dialogue, some flare of self-love within pulled me out. Given the climate chaos surrounding, wasting one second worrying about my body was crazy. I am what I am right now. I'm growing, too, and changing, and in the midst of a world rife with wild beauty and deep grief, it feels like a radical act to put my body on the side of beauty. To celebrate my sensuous self and all the ways I am able to fall in love with and fight for this world. 

As an environmental educator, I struggle with how to frame conversations on personal actions within the context of our sociopolitical landscape. It's hard to find a balance between the pursuit of radical policy change and the need to seed sustainable activist practices in our own lives. But I really do believe that personal and political change work in tandem. You can't have one without the other!

And that's why finding self-love rituals that feed our soul is so damn important to our work as activists. If you want to be a puppet of the fossil-fueled patriarchy, waste your incredible, life-giving, world-building brains and beauty worrying about the space between your thighs or the thickness of your hair. Capitalism's mission is to distract us from the real work that needs to be done in this world by shoving us toward navel-gazing spirals. And man, the world needs us right now. 

Self-love doesn't have to be a distraction from the "real work." It can be a very important step in sustaining your work as an activist. When you strive to cut out the noise from your life—the body shaming, the self-pitying—you open up room in your world for delicious experience, co-creation, and discovery. Self-love is so often perceived as selfish; my own pursuit of self-love, however, has deepened the generosity and compassion I give to others. I'm not obsessing about my self so much and so it feels like I suddenly have a million more hours in the day to work on projects I care about with people I love.

Self-love is a process. I'm still fumbling my way through, figuring out which rituals work for me (essential oils, hiking, journaling) and which don't. But it's a process that I am coming to appreciate is as integral to my activism as voting in local elections and coordinating low-waste living workshops. 

I hope you take the time this week to do something that makes you feel loved and loving. Maybe it's treating yourself to an especially luscious cuppa herbal tea or staying in bed all Saturday morning reading books. Whatever it is, do it, wholeheartedly and in the faith that the love we give to ourselves translates to the love we give to this world.