The Story of My Plants

The Story of My Plants


How did I go from being gifted two plants for my birthday back in February, to now in October, my room has become a jungle with 12 beautiful plants? Well, honestly, I haven’t always had the best luck with plants.


I shudder to think of all the plants I accidentally killed over the years. I was either watering them too much, or not enough, and I clearly wasn’t devoting enough time to really get it right and keep them alive.


To give you a visual of what my room looked like during that time, it’s the years 2018 – 2020, I have moved to Brisbane with my family and my room has essentially become a shrine of the friends, family, and life I left behind in Melbourne. Every card, every present, every physical example of a memory had to be on display. The only word for it was CLUTTER. I had so much stuff and it slowly began to feel suffocating.


Cut to March 2020. I have just lost my job due to COVID-19, the whole world is in lockdown, and suddenly all of our lives were flipped upside down. The only space I had to myself was my room and as we know, my room was packed to the rafters with so much crap. Obviously a lot of the items had sentimental value, but many of the items that were displayed for the purpose of providing me joy were now filling my lungs with dust and making me feel trapped in my own space. 



I quickly began monthly clean outs and the amount of stuff I got rid of made my head spin. The thing that really hit me was that a lot of the items I was parting with were stupid, impulse purchases  I had made over the years as ‘retail therapy’ for whenever things were going a bit awry in my life. I realised that I was producing so much waste and I was honestly ashamed it took me so long to come to this conclusion.


I then did some research and came across a YouTube video called ‘The Ugly Truth Of Fast Fashion | Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj.’ I learned all about the detrimental effects fast fashion has on the environment, the lives of less fortunate individuals who work in these fast fashion sweatshops, and even the effect the constant pressure to keep up with influencers and the people we see on social media has on our mental health. I realised that this was a bigger issue than just me feeling claustrophobic in my bedroom. I wanted to make changes in my life that would not only be better for me, but better for the planet.


I started buying items I needed from non fast fashion brands or stores. When I needed some more work clothes, I recycled my mum’s hand-me-downs instead of buying all new. My habits changed, where I started accessing what I really needed, why I wanted to buy something, and what positive impact this item would have on my life.


Now let’s cut to the end of 2020. After a long year of COVID, job losses, and a break up, I was ready for a fresh start. I realised that I wanted to eliminate all of the clutter that was clogging up my brain and surround myself with only things that brought me joy, and to know that my daily actions weren’t harming the planet.


I decided to take control more than ever. All of my furniture that was falling apart and no longer functional was tossed and I was on Facebook Marketplace searching for the perfect items that could be recycled and given a new home. All of my memorabilia that I didn’t need to see on a daily basis was filed away in my wardrobe. It became important that my room was a calming space with no room for old memories that were holding me back.


Now back to February 2021, when it happened; my friends Sarah and Pip both gifted me plants for my birthday. I don’t know if it was my new found need for calm and tranquility, or my inspiration to be more green, but I was determined that I was going to keep these plants alive; they were going to thrive and so was I.


Little did my friends know that these gifts really unleashed the floodgates. Over the course of the year I have continued to buy plants, and yes, they have all survived! They all have names, and I took the time to learn how to best take care of them, and I have found that I much prefer the positive vibes I get from my plant clutter as opposed to my old memories and decision regret clutter.


Ever since I saw Hasan Minhaj discuss the effects of fast fashion and I realised how much waste I had accumulated, I began to investigate other areas where I was creating unnecessary waste.


Single use items became my next step on my sustainability journey. I purchased reusable makeup pads, a metal straw, metal water bottle, menstrual cup, and I made a conscious effort to avoid creating waste from single use items as much as possible.


I think seeing how much joy my plants bring me, and how much I have always loved being in nature and the outdoors, whether it’s through camping or my daily walks on the esplanade, trying my best to change little daily habits that will hopefully help in any small way to preserving the beautiful environment we are so lucky to enjoy became increasingly important to me.


I wanted to share the start of my sustainability journey because I wanted to show how small behavioural changes coupled with big perspective changes have the ability to make a positive impact on the environment, and your own mental health and wellbeing.


‘What I Learnt On My Sustainability Journey’ – take the quiz about my sustainability journey and see if you learn something as well!


Below are some resources to get you started on your sustainability journey: