Captured by @maggiemeronea
The Royal National Park - NSW

Lara is a friend who I had the privilege of meeting a little while ago. Since then Lara has been on a journey of growth, travelling and finding happiness in expressing herself creatively. She's compassionate, helping others achieve their goals and she's our May Nature Girl. 

Lara, Tell us about yourself?!

I'm 24 and I work in mental health services where I help my clients get through their day to day activities and also help them achieve some greater goals. I have a creative soul where I love to express myself in all sorts of ways, through art making, dancing, flow sports and fire twirling, the way I dress, how I look and present myself to the world. I am very much a free spirit and have a desire to push myself in order to grow. I move around a lot and I am always experimenting with new ideas and hobbies.

It seems like forever since we last connected! What have you been up to over the past year?!

The last year I have been settling back into Sydney after a 7 month trip around South America. Other than finding my groove in this fast paced city lifestyle, I have been working towards some epic work goals. Implementing sustainability into each site that I work at and taking clients on travel trips. I have also immersed myself into creative arts, currently playing around with abstract portraiture using alcohol inks and Posca pens as well as designing tattoos. I have also been experimenting with circus arts and aerial silks which has been a new found passion of staying fit and expressing myself.

Bush doofs /camping festivals are a way of immersing yourself in nature with friends and good music, Do you have a favourite?
This is a hard one because personally festivals are majorly influenced on your experience that you have had there. So going off this, it would have to be Dragon Dreaming and Earth Frequency.

What's your style of music?
I am a sucker for drum and bass... I will most likely drop everything I am doing to lose myself in it no matter how far afar. I also love live music, reggae, funk, disco & jazz bands... and of course, psytrance. Psytrance is a genre of music that transformed my life so I will always pay my respects to the psytrance community.

I’ve noticed many festivals are implementing sustainable strategies into their events to ensure less plastic is used, there's more recycling and most patrons are cleaning up after themselves. At the end of the day it's up to the patrons and I believe there is still a long way to go here. With the festivals you’ve been to this year, have you seen much change?

This is hard to answer exactly because I spent so much time abroad and not attending Australian festivals so to reflect on the progress of where its at now and the change that has occurred, there is a big gap missing from when I was overseas. However it ranges with a huge influence of various factors. The atmosphere and intention of each festival, location & facilities, amount of patrons and so on. It seems the bigger festivals fall short in more ways however other strategies have been implemented to help this. For example I have noticed that there are cafe/food tents that offer free coffees if you return with a bag of rubbish, where bins are everywhere with simple instructions on WHERE to put your rubbish. Also, during sets at certain intervals they stop the music and have a sustainability 'green' crew come on stage and rap about 'putting our rubbish in the bin'. So for 5-10 minutes patrons will clean the dance floor before continuing to party. Recyclable cardboard tents have recently been introduced to help tackle the amount of tents/mattresses/other plastic waste left at sites. Also... Edible plates and cutlery that are made out of corn and potato, that’s epic! There are also a number of educational workshops at every festival that target sustainability and how you can implement this into your lifestyle. Festivals like Regrowth target regeneration where they encourage everyone to plant a tree. There are also the more simple strategies such as everyone having their own cups, water bottles, personal plates and cutlery that you can simply lend, wash and re use.

Sustainability is very much a hot topic and I’ve noticed a lot more conversations generated around this. Majority of the patrons that attend these festivals are very much aware of the importance of respecting our earth, so sometimes all it takes is a conversation and a few words that resonate to take part and make your own action. It's the simple exposure of these basic methods that triggers minds to be more conscious about what you are buying, using and what you are choosing to do with it after.

How do you stay sustainable in this plastic orientated world?

I try stay sustainable as best I can. I have had my own keep cups/bottles for years and am always encouraging others to do the same. I only buy clothes from op shops or second hand recycling stores/markets. If I have plastic I will always re use it. I haven't lived in the one place for a while now so to grow my own fruit/veg/herbs has been impossible, however I try my best to shop at weekend food markets and local organic food stores.

As I mentioned before implementing these methods into my workplace has been very rewarding. All of my clients have their own keep cups, bottles, lunch boxes colour coordinated to their towels and bedding so its all very simple and user friendly for both clients and other staff to follow. I have also started educating my clients on growing veggies/herbs and then teaching them how to cook with them. I am excited to join the greens team in my workplace once I return from my next trip to keep this ball rolling!


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