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Being high risk and dealing with ableism in a COVID-19 pandemic

07/05/2020

I have something different for you today. I want to share with you what it’s like for me to be high risk during this COVID-19 pandemic and dig into some of the ableism that has surrounded it. I have wanted to write this blog post since COVID-19 came to Australia, but I have been so exhausted by the stress that I haven’t been able to compile my thoughts. This isn’t perfect, but I hope it gives you some insight into what it has been like for me to be high risk during this pandemic and how much ableism impacts the disabled community. 

Being high risk and dealing with ableism in a COVID-19 pandemic - Love Alinta

COVID-19 Background

Just in case someone reads this in the future, a novel coronavirus started infecting people in late 2019, in Wuhan China. The virus itself is called SARS-CoV-2, and it causes the disease COVID-19 (short for coronavirus disease 2019). Some people with this virus have no symptoms, but are still able to transmit the virus to others. When the virus does cause symptoms, a fever, cough and malaise are are typically seen. For some people this progresses to a high fever, severe cough and shortness of breathe, which is often associated with pneumonia. The full list of symptoms is still evolving, but loss of smell, gastrointestinal symptoms and an increasing number of neurological symptoms are now being reported. It is unknown if, and how long people will have immunity to the virus after being infected, and we won’t know for a while how many people are effected long term because of this infection. Over 250,000 people have already died from COVID-19, and more people are infected daily. This is why it is so important to stay home and flatten the curve. 

Stay home - Love Alinta

High RIsk

People aged over 65 and those who are immunocompromised are at higher risk of complications from COVID-19. I am unfortunately well and truly in this high risk group, due to my health conditions. My immune deficiencies make me particularly prone to viral respiratory infections. I am also IgA deficient, so I don’t have that first line of defence in my nasal passages and airways that healthy people do. That means that a respiratory virus can get in to my system a lot easier, and the infectious dose (individual number of viruses for me to get infected) will be lower than for most people. I am also IgG deficient. IgG makes up about 75% of serum antibodies in humans. IgG plays a big role in controlling infection in body tissues. 

On top of that, I am also Natural Killer Cell deficient. NK Cells are best known for killing virally infected cells and controlling early cancers, but there is still a lot that is unknown about them. My immunologist did a study on patients taking immunosuppressant medications after organ transplant to see which immune cell deficiency was the most significant. His study showed that a Natural Killer Cell deficiency was the best predictor for future patient hospitalisation due to infection. So NK Cells are very important in protecting humans against infection. He has explained to me that I am in an even worse position, as not only am I deficient, but the small amount of them that I do make, don’t work properly. Obviously all of this doesn’t bode well for any respiratory virus, let alone SARS-CoV-2. A big part of the severe COVID-19 disease progression is being linked to a cytokine storm, in which NK Cells play a role. Obviously it is completely unknown how my body would react in that situation with all of the immune complications, but we already know that my immune deficiencies cause severe over-reactions to things like vaccines and medications, so my body certainly has the ability to cause excessive inflammation. Because of all of this, I have been warned by my doctors that I cannot get COVID-19. Therefore, I have been in self-isolation since the virus came to Australia, and will continue to be until a vaccine is made and enough people have had it, so that I can be protected. 

Wearing my Cambridge Mask Lady MacBeth Pro N99 mask - Love Alinta - Being high risk and dealing with ableism in a COVID-19 pandemic.
Wearing my Cambridge Mask Lady MacBeth Pro

Masks

Before COVID-19 started, I was already living a life mostly at home, and when I had to leave for a medical appointment, I would always be wearing a mask for protection. I’ve had to wear an N95 mask out of the house for over a year now, and during that time I have had put up with constant staring and to ignore the jokes said about me as I walk passed. I had really hoped that this pandemic would help people understand the necessity of masks for some people in society, but unfortunately Australian’s haven’t got the memo. I have seen a lot of reports from people who wore masks to the supermarket for their protection, who have had to endure abuse because they are choosing to protect themselves and those around them by wearing a mask. There are a lot of different statistics out there about masks, but the general consensus is that masks do help stop the spread of respiratory illnesses, especially if those who are contagious wear them. We know that you can show no symptoms but still be able to transmit this virus, so it is just common sense that every single person should be wearing a mask. 

Obviously, all health care professionals need to be supplied with enough PPE to protect them at work. There’s no argument there. But so many people have now started making masks from home that aren’t appropriate for health care professionals, but can be worn by the general public to help protect each other. The masks I have are the Cambridge Mask Co N99 Washable Military Grade Respirator, in the Lady MacBeth Pro and Roses Pro. I obviously bought these masks long before this pandemic as they were the only reusable and washable mask I could find that was able to filter out viruses (as well as dust and particles as small as PM0.3). This is the same sort of protection needed by health care professionals, but they really need disposable products. I use these masks because they protect me from healthy people who carry respiratory viruses that could kill me, but I am not taking anything away from medical professionals by doing so – I just want to make that very clear. I really want everyone to understand this, as I will still need to wear a mask in the post-COVID-19 world, as I want people to be understanding and not abusive towards me. 

Wearing my Cambridge Mask Roses Pro and holding the Lady MacBeth Pro N99 mask - Love Alinta - Being high risk and dealing with ableism in a COVID-19 pandemic.
Wearing my Cambridge Mask Roses Pro and holding the Lady MacBeth Pro N99 mask

Isolation and Ableism

As I said earlier, my life was mostly spent at home with just my dogs before COVID-19. I have had years of practice at being home alone without socialisation or support, as have many other disabled people. We have been trying to educate people about the isolation we experience because society has refused to include us, but it has all gone unnoticed. Since lock downs have rolled out, many healthy people have suddenly had a small taste of our lives, and yet disabled voices are still being ignored. We are the people who know how to live for years at home, how to keep ourselves entertained, and how to stay on top of mental health when isolated, but our expertise is not being used. What’s even harder, is that we have fought for so long to get small adjustments to be able to participate in society – like remote meetings for work and school, and video calls for socialisation, but we were refused those things, only for them to be immediately rolled out when healthy people needed them. This is ableism. We deal with it on a daily basis, but this pandemic has made it so much more obvious and painful. I lost all my friends as I wasn’t able to do “healthy people things” like go out clubbing (yes really). Any suggestion of activities that I could participate in, like video chats, were never accepted as ‘good enough’ by those healthy individuals. 

I don’t work and haven’t been able to study to finish the last subject of my double degree for many years, as work places and universities have refused to allow me to do everything over video calls and online. You will hear the same story from many disabled people. We have systematically been left out of society. But as soon as lock downs were put in place, all the adjustments we needed were immediately rolled out. I hope these adjustments will be kept in place so that we can actually be included in society in future, but I won’t be surprised if they aren’t. Change won’t happen if it is just us disabled people trying to make change, we need others to also speak out on our behalf. It’s easy for organisations and institutions to ignore disabled people when the rest of society does the same. 

If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality -

People with chronic illnesses and disabilities are always faced with ableism, but this pandemic has accelerated the rate and intensity of its impact on us. In the first few weeks of the virus, every single news broadcast would say that it’s “only the vulnerable” at risk of dying from this virus. It was said so often that ‘vulnerable’ started to sound like ‘expendable’. You should not feel reassured by being told that those with underlying health conditions and the elderly are the ones who will die. We are not expendable. 

Since all of those news broadcasts we have seen leaked documents stating that people with certain illnesses or disabilities were to be taken off ventilators, or not given one altogether in favour of abled people in the USA. In the UK there were many reports of do not resuscitate orders being put in place without the patient knowing, so that abled people would get priority access to health care.  And in Australia the government has completely left out disabled people from their stimulus package. People on the Disability Pension now get less than those on the Jobseeker payment, even though the cost of living is much higher for people with disabilities, and has risen even further since the pandemic began. Now people have even been protesting the quarantine restrictions on the basis that their “freedom” and the economy are more important than other people’s lives. Not even a single life should be lost for the sake of the economy. I will not put a price tag on a life. The economy can recover, but people can not be brought back from the dead. 

This isolation period will give you a tiny insight into the lives of those of us who have been isolated for years. It is thankfully only temporary for you. You can go back to your normal life after this. You don’t have to go through the trauma of losing everything you held dear. Your support network won’t abandoned you because your body can’t keep up with them, your work and schooling prospects won’t have vanished overnight, and you won’t have to spend years alone in your home focusing on everything you thought you could have achieved, but will now never get to. You don’t have to spend years grappling with your worth, as society is so focused on worth being tied to economic output and usefulness. That’s not to say this won’t be hard for you. You have the right to grieve during this period, you have lost your sense of normalcy, safety and stability. You will have anticipatory grief as well as grief over losing things like events and life moments that should be happening now. So remember to be kind to yourself, but when this is over, don’t forget that there will still be a lot of people living like this who need help. 

Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness - Desmond Tutu

Hope

I hope the post-COVID-19 world is more kind and compassionate. I hope people realise that masks are vital for some people to live and that if you have any sort of infection, you must stay home. I hope that healthy people understand that a virus that is mild for them, is deadly to others, and that their actions can take a life of another. I hope that healthy people listen to chronically ill and disabled people. I hope you fight for our right to be included in society. Many disabled people can work and study if they are given the tools needed to do so, but you need to help advocate for that. I hope that people reach out to those who are isolated in society and are willing to socialise with them online and via video, instead of forcing ableist standards on them. And I hope that when a vaccine for COVID-19 is released that you will get it and encourage those around you to do so too. My life depends on you following lock down and social distancing rules, as well as having the vaccine when it is released. Please do it for me. 

I have more to say, but this is all I will be sharing with you on my blog. My stress levels will rise again when quarantine restrictions start to be pulled back, but I will be back to doing beauty reviews as soon as my body lets me. I have written a couple of other things related to my health, you can find them in the health section of my blog if you want to read them. I would really like to know if you are effected by ableism and if this pandemic has made it worse for you too. If you’re healthy, leave a comment and let me know if you learnt something, or if you will be more aware of the ableism in the community in future. Are you going to help fight for a inclusive world post-COVID-19?

You can sign up for email updates to get my future blog posts sent to your inbox and you can find me on social media – Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter

Love, Alinta

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I’m Alinta, an animal lover who writes reviews about cruelty free products as a distraction from my chronic illnesses. Read more…

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With it being #pridemonth, we are going to talk about the A in LGBTQIA+ (while you look at some of my rainbow-ish nails from over the years). The A stands for Asexual, or Aromantic, or Agender,, but not Ally. Asexuals are people who don’t experience sexual attraction to others (or only do in certain circumstances, like those who are grey or demisexual). It’s a spectrum, we’re all different. Many aces still have relationships, whether romantic, sexual or queer-platonic. Asexuality is about attraction, not relationship status. Aces are frequently erased from the queer community. Last pride was particularly bad for ace erasure and hate. Aces belong in the queer community. Many aces have a hard time coming to terms with being ace in our hyper-sexualised society, and then they have to deal with erasure from their own community too. I personally would have been saved years of worrying that something was wrong with me if someone had just explained the difference between sexual and romantic attraction to me as a teen. There are so many amazing aces out there who deserve to be supported, especially by the queer community. So, don’t forget to include the A if you’re going to use the LGBTQIA+ acronym, and show for aces, whether you’re in the community or an ally. 
#pride #asexualpride #LGBTQIA #pridenails #rainbownails
With it being #pridemonth, we are going to talk about the A in LGBTQIA+ (while you look at some of my rainbow-ish nails from over the years). The A stands for Asexual, or Aromantic, or Agender,, but not Ally. Asexuals are people who don’t experience sexual attraction to others (or only do in certain circumstances, like those who are grey or demisexual). It’s a spectrum, we’re all different. Many aces still have relationships, whether romantic, sexual or queer-platonic. Asexuality is about attraction, not relationship status. Aces are frequently erased from the queer community. Last pride was particularly bad for ace erasure and hate. Aces belong in the queer community. Many aces have a hard time coming to terms with being ace in our hyper-sexualised society, and then they have to deal with erasure from their own community too. I personally would have been saved years of worrying that something was wrong with me if someone had just explained the difference between sexual and romantic attraction to me as a teen. There are so many amazing aces out there who deserve to be supported, especially by the queer community. So, don’t forget to include the A if you’re going to use the LGBTQIA+ acronym, and show for aces, whether you’re in the community or an ally. 
#pride #asexualpride #LGBTQIA #pridenails #rainbownails
With it being #pridemonth, we are going to talk about the A in LGBTQIA+ (while you look at some of my rainbow-ish nails from over the years). The A stands for Asexual, or Aromantic, or Agender,, but not Ally. Asexuals are people who don’t experience sexual attraction to others (or only do in certain circumstances, like those who are grey or demisexual). It’s a spectrum, we’re all different. Many aces still have relationships, whether romantic, sexual or queer-platonic. Asexuality is about attraction, not relationship status. Aces are frequently erased from the queer community. Last pride was particularly bad for ace erasure and hate. Aces belong in the queer community. Many aces have a hard time coming to terms with being ace in our hyper-sexualised society, and then they have to deal with erasure from their own community too. I personally would have been saved years of worrying that something was wrong with me if someone had just explained the difference between sexual and romantic attraction to me as a teen. There are so many amazing aces out there who deserve to be supported, especially by the queer community. So, don’t forget to include the A if you’re going to use the LGBTQIA+ acronym, and show for aces, whether you’re in the community or an ally. 
#pride #asexualpride #LGBTQIA #pridenails #rainbownails
With it being #pridemonth, we are going to talk about the A in LGBTQIA+ (while you look at some of my rainbow-ish nails from over the years). The A stands for Asexual, or Aromantic, or Agender,, but not Ally. Asexuals are people who don’t experience sexual attraction to others (or only do in certain circumstances, like those who are grey or demisexual). It’s a spectrum, we’re all different. Many aces still have relationships, whether romantic, sexual or queer-platonic. Asexuality is about attraction, not relationship status. Aces are frequently erased from the queer community. Last pride was particularly bad for ace erasure and hate. Aces belong in the queer community. Many aces have a hard time coming to terms with being ace in our hyper-sexualised society, and then they have to deal with erasure from their own community too. I personally would have been saved years of worrying that something was wrong with me if someone had just explained the difference between sexual and romantic attraction to me as a teen. There are so many amazing aces out there who deserve to be supported, especially by the queer community. So, don’t forget to include the A if you’re going to use the LGBTQIA+ acronym, and show for aces, whether you’re in the community or an ally. #pride #asexualpride #LGBTQIA #pridenails #rainbownails
5 days ago
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1/9
Plastic packaging and beauty products. What can one change do? When @trilogyproducts changed from plastic spatulas to bamboo ones, they stopped producing 208,000 plastic spatulas a year. For me, that means I now won’t be adding to my very large pile of plastic spatulas that I have accumulated over the years by using the Trilogy Replenishing Night Cream every day. No other night cream compares for me, so I’m glad I won’t add to that pile. I kept them all hoping that I would find a use for them but that has yet to happen 🤷‍♀️ A lot of beauty brands market that their plastic can be recycled, but many of those products can’t be put in curbside recycling. When they can go into the recycling bin it doesn’t mean customers are actually doing that, and even when the plastic does make it into the recycling bin, it doesn’t mean it’s actually recycled. There’s a huge amount of plastic in recycling centers that never gets made into something new. So I appreciate it when brands do make changes like this because I can see the result as a consumer. That doesn’t always mean the change is automatically better for the environment, because there’s no way of knowing if the brand uses more materials or greenhouse gases to make the new version. Beauty brands can be very cagey about their greenhouse gas emissions, particularly their scope 3 emissions. Therefore as consumers we can often only make best guesses as to which brands and products are the most sustainable choice. Changing plastic packaging is however a very obvious difference for customers, because we see the difference in where our waste goes. So as a customer I do like seeing brands moving to products that aren’t plastic, or at the very least using plastic that is easily curbside recycled. Many beauty brands have a long way to go before their products are easily recycled, but Trilogy is one of the brands who have made an effort to change this. So long story, short, I love Trilogy skincare products and appreciate that they are trying to make the brand more eco-friendly. What’s your opinion on this? Do you have a weird plastic spatula pile, or is it just me? 
#trilogy #trilogyskincare #discovertrilogy #lovealinta
Plastic packaging and beauty products. What can one change do? When @trilogyproducts changed from plastic spatulas to bamboo ones, they stopped producing 208,000 plastic spatulas a year. For me, that means I now won’t be adding to my very large pile of plastic spatulas that I have accumulated over the years by using the Trilogy Replenishing Night Cream every day. No other night cream compares for me, so I’m glad I won’t add to that pile. I kept them all hoping that I would find a use for them but that has yet to happen 🤷‍♀️ A lot of beauty brands market that their plastic can be recycled, but many of those products can’t be put in curbside recycling. When they can go into the recycling bin it doesn’t mean customers are actually doing that, and even when the plastic does make it into the recycling bin, it doesn’t mean it’s actually recycled. There’s a huge amount of plastic in recycling centers that never gets made into something new. So I appreciate it when brands do make changes like this because I can see the result as a consumer. That doesn’t always mean the change is automatically better for the environment, because there’s no way of knowing if the brand uses more materials or greenhouse gases to make the new version. Beauty brands can be very cagey about their greenhouse gas emissions, particularly their scope 3 emissions. Therefore as consumers we can often only make best guesses as to which brands and products are the most sustainable choice. Changing plastic packaging is however a very obvious difference for customers, because we see the difference in where our waste goes. So as a customer I do like seeing brands moving to products that aren’t plastic, or at the very least using plastic that is easily curbside recycled. Many beauty brands have a long way to go before their products are easily recycled, but Trilogy is one of the brands who have made an effort to change this. So long story, short, I love Trilogy skincare products and appreciate that they are trying to make the brand more eco-friendly. What’s your opinion on this? Do you have a weird plastic spatula pile, or is it just me? #trilogy #trilogyskincare #discovertrilogy #lovealinta
2 weeks ago
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2/9
Bonsai and I looking happy and relieved to see that Australians actually voted for action on climate change this past weekend. Seeing the number of votes The Greens got is heartening. I hope that the joint pressure from both The Greens and the new teal independents will force the government to take proper action on the climate. I’m grateful for everyone who voted for a better future, but remember that the current Labor climate policy is severely lacking. Labors 2030 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target (below 2005 levels) is only 43%, when we need the 75% reduction of The Greens plan. Your voice, time and action is still needed in this fight. There are heaps of Aussie environment and climate orgs that you can volunteer for and donate to. If you want recommendations just ask. Some Indigenous-led ones that you should donate to and check out are @ourislandsourhome @wjstandingourground and @seedmob. 
I’m so happy that the LNP is no longer in power, but there is still a lot that Labor has no plans to fix - like the climate, refugees, First Nations treaties, Medicare etc. Some of you may be ‘sick of’ politics after the election, but if you want a better future, you need to fight for it. 

These photos are from summer after @nicolegroch_hairmakeup did my hair and makeup with cruelty free and vegan products. The extra photos are so you can see my pretty @tasitravels sustainable dress which you can buy from @velvetyethical (use code ALINTAVEL for 10% off your order). Picnic rug is from @weaver.green_au and made from 100% recycled plastic bottles. 
#auspol #ausvotes #climateaction #climateactionnow #lovealinta
Bonsai and I looking happy and relieved to see that Australians actually voted for action on climate change this past weekend. Seeing the number of votes The Greens got is heartening. I hope that the joint pressure from both The Greens and the new teal independents will force the government to take proper action on the climate. I’m grateful for everyone who voted for a better future, but remember that the current Labor climate policy is severely lacking. Labors 2030 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target (below 2005 levels) is only 43%, when we need the 75% reduction of The Greens plan. Your voice, time and action is still needed in this fight. There are heaps of Aussie environment and climate orgs that you can volunteer for and donate to. If you want recommendations just ask. Some Indigenous-led ones that you should donate to and check out are @ourislandsourhome @wjstandingourground and @seedmob. 
I’m so happy that the LNP is no longer in power, but there is still a lot that Labor has no plans to fix - like the climate, refugees, First Nations treaties, Medicare etc. Some of you may be ‘sick of’ politics after the election, but if you want a better future, you need to fight for it. 

These photos are from summer after @nicolegroch_hairmakeup did my hair and makeup with cruelty free and vegan products. The extra photos are so you can see my pretty @tasitravels sustainable dress which you can buy from @velvetyethical (use code ALINTAVEL for 10% off your order). Picnic rug is from @weaver.green_au and made from 100% recycled plastic bottles. 
#auspol #ausvotes #climateaction #climateactionnow #lovealinta
Bonsai and I looking happy and relieved to see that Australians actually voted for action on climate change this past weekend. Seeing the number of votes The Greens got is heartening. I hope that the joint pressure from both The Greens and the new teal independents will force the government to take proper action on the climate. I’m grateful for everyone who voted for a better future, but remember that the current Labor climate policy is severely lacking. Labors 2030 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target (below 2005 levels) is only 43%, when we need the 75% reduction of The Greens plan. Your voice, time and action is still needed in this fight. There are heaps of Aussie environment and climate orgs that you can volunteer for and donate to. If you want recommendations just ask. Some Indigenous-led ones that you should donate to and check out are @ourislandsourhome @wjstandingourground and @seedmob. 
I’m so happy that the LNP is no longer in power, but there is still a lot that Labor has no plans to fix - like the climate, refugees, First Nations treaties, Medicare etc. Some of you may be ‘sick of’ politics after the election, but if you want a better future, you need to fight for it. 

These photos are from summer after @nicolegroch_hairmakeup did my hair and makeup with cruelty free and vegan products. The extra photos are so you can see my pretty @tasitravels sustainable dress which you can buy from @velvetyethical (use code ALINTAVEL for 10% off your order). Picnic rug is from @weaver.green_au and made from 100% recycled plastic bottles. 
#auspol #ausvotes #climateaction #climateactionnow #lovealinta
Bonsai and I looking happy and relieved to see that Australians actually voted for action on climate change this past weekend. Seeing the number of votes The Greens got is heartening. I hope that the joint pressure from both The Greens and the new teal independents will force the government to take proper action on the climate. I’m grateful for everyone who voted for a better future, but remember that the current Labor climate policy is severely lacking. Labors 2030 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target (below 2005 levels) is only 43%, when we need the 75% reduction of The Greens plan. Your voice, time and action is still needed in this fight. There are heaps of Aussie environment and climate orgs that you can volunteer for and donate to. If you want recommendations just ask. Some Indigenous-led ones that you should donate to and check out are @ourislandsourhome @wjstandingourground and @seedmob. 
I’m so happy that the LNP is no longer in power, but there is still a lot that Labor has no plans to fix - like the climate, refugees, First Nations treaties, Medicare etc. Some of you may be ‘sick of’ politics after the election, but if you want a better future, you need to fight for it. 

These photos are from summer after @nicolegroch_hairmakeup did my hair and makeup with cruelty free and vegan products. The extra photos are so you can see my pretty @tasitravels sustainable dress which you can buy from @velvetyethical (use code ALINTAVEL for 10% off your order). Picnic rug is from @weaver.green_au and made from 100% recycled plastic bottles. 
#auspol #ausvotes #climateaction #climateactionnow #lovealinta
Bonsai and I looking happy and relieved to see that Australians actually voted for action on climate change this past weekend. Seeing the number of votes The Greens got is heartening. I hope that the joint pressure from both The Greens and the new teal independents will force the government to take proper action on the climate. I’m grateful for everyone who voted for a better future, but remember that the current Labor climate policy is severely lacking. Labors 2030 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target (below 2005 levels) is only 43%, when we need the 75% reduction of The Greens plan. Your voice, time and action is still needed in this fight. There are heaps of Aussie environment and climate orgs that you can volunteer for and donate to. If you want recommendations just ask. Some Indigenous-led ones that you should donate to and check out are @ourislandsourhome @wjstandingourground and @seedmob. I’m so happy that the LNP is no longer in power, but there is still a lot that Labor has no plans to fix - like the climate, refugees, First Nations treaties, Medicare etc. Some of you may be ‘sick of’ politics after the election, but if you want a better future, you need to fight for it. These photos are from summer after @nicolegroch_hairmakeup did my hair and makeup with cruelty free and vegan products. The extra photos are so you can see my pretty @tasitravels sustainable dress which you can buy from @velvetyethical (use code ALINTAVEL for 10% off your order). Picnic rug is from @weaver.green_au and made from 100% recycled plastic bottles. #auspol #ausvotes #climateaction #climateactionnow #lovealinta
1 month ago
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3/9
‘If you were going to pick a continent that is the worst possible place for human beings to live in the face of climate change it would be Australia.’ Prof Michael Mann, Climate Scientist at Pennsylvania State University, on ABC Four Corners. 
Today is Earth Day so it is a good time to remember that we’re in a climate crisis. You are seeing the impacts of climate change all around you right now, but the worst is still to come - we need to act fast. 
There are things we can do as individuals to live more sustainably like flying less, driving less, buying less, eating less meat etc. There are however some things that governments need to accomplish, and that will not happen unless you put pressure on them to do so. That means getting out there and protesting, mailing MPs, joining climate movements, and for Australians, that means voting for the climate in the federal election next month. The recent IPCC report has given the world three years to act. That makes your vote this election more important than ever. 
Governments around the world need to work together to deliver massive reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, but Australia is just not pulling its weight. Our government has no plans to phase out coal and is in fact planning on digging up more. Australia is the second biggest coal exporter in the world. This cannot continue if we want to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Demand that the government keeps fossil fuels in the ground. Australia’s current climate policy is atrocious, but the election is coming, so you can do something about that. Please vote for the climate and don’t stop fighting once the election is over. Climate action is needed now, and every single one of your voices is needed to ensure that happens. 
#earthday #climateactionnow #lovealinta
‘If you were going to pick a continent that is the worst possible place for human beings to live in the face of climate change it would be Australia.’ Prof Michael Mann, Climate Scientist at Pennsylvania State University, on ABC Four Corners. Today is Earth Day so it is a good time to remember that we’re in a climate crisis. You are seeing the impacts of climate change all around you right now, but the worst is still to come - we need to act fast. There are things we can do as individuals to live more sustainably like flying less, driving less, buying less, eating less meat etc. There are however some things that governments need to accomplish, and that will not happen unless you put pressure on them to do so. That means getting out there and protesting, mailing MPs, joining climate movements, and for Australians, that means voting for the climate in the federal election next month. The recent IPCC report has given the world three years to act. That makes your vote this election more important than ever. Governments around the world need to work together to deliver massive reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, but Australia is just not pulling its weight. Our government has no plans to phase out coal and is in fact planning on digging up more. Australia is the second biggest coal exporter in the world. This cannot continue if we want to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Demand that the government keeps fossil fuels in the ground. Australia’s current climate policy is atrocious, but the election is coming, so you can do something about that. Please vote for the climate and don’t stop fighting once the election is over. Climate action is needed now, and every single one of your voices is needed to ensure that happens. #earthday #climateactionnow #lovealinta
2 months ago
View on Instagram |
4/9
I promised the wedding vendor details and then forgot to follow through, so here they are. 
Photography @rick_liston 
Venue including food  @yarravalleyestate 
Hair and makeup artist @nicolegroch_hairmakeup 
Celebrant @ceremonieswithsarah 
Flowers @lilacandthecat 
Cake @katscakesmelbourne 
Rings @ethicaljewelleryaustralia 
Dress @madilanebridal 
Dress boutique @luvbridal 
Dress alterations @seamworks.au 
Prop hire @twilightglamping 
If you know me, you’ll know I tried to make my wedding as ethical as possible. I think just about everything but the dress was ethical or sustainable in some way. My hmua, #NicoleGroch is so talented and she only uses cruelty free and vegan products. The venue, #YarraValleyEstate, is sustainably focused, they have solar panels, are carbon neutral and were happy to go along with all my sustainable ideas. All our food was vegan and vegetarian, we were going to do just vegan but I compromised and did the mix to stop family getting upset (but that happened anyway so I should have just gone with vegan). Our veg cake from #katscakesmelbourne had vegan and gluten free cupcakes with it so everyone could enjoy some cake. The flowers were from the sustainable florist #lilacandthecat who uses local blooms and no plastic/cellophane/floral foam etc. The rings from #ethicaljewelleryaustralia are made with lab diamonds and recycled platinum. As you can see, the photos were amazing. #RickListon is a local to the Yarra valley and is truly amazing at what he does. Continued in comments …
I promised the wedding vendor details and then forgot to follow through, so here they are. 
Photography @rick_liston 
Venue including food  @yarravalleyestate 
Hair and makeup artist @nicolegroch_hairmakeup 
Celebrant @ceremonieswithsarah 
Flowers @lilacandthecat 
Cake @katscakesmelbourne 
Rings @ethicaljewelleryaustralia 
Dress @madilanebridal 
Dress boutique @luvbridal 
Dress alterations @seamworks.au 
Prop hire @twilightglamping 
If you know me, you’ll know I tried to make my wedding as ethical as possible. I think just about everything but the dress was ethical or sustainable in some way. My hmua, #NicoleGroch is so talented and she only uses cruelty free and vegan products. The venue, #YarraValleyEstate, is sustainably focused, they have solar panels, are carbon neutral and were happy to go along with all my sustainable ideas. All our food was vegan and vegetarian, we were going to do just vegan but I compromised and did the mix to stop family getting upset (but that happened anyway so I should have just gone with vegan). Our veg cake from #katscakesmelbourne had vegan and gluten free cupcakes with it so everyone could enjoy some cake. The flowers were from the sustainable florist #lilacandthecat who uses local blooms and no plastic/cellophane/floral foam etc. The rings from #ethicaljewelleryaustralia are made with lab diamonds and recycled platinum. As you can see, the photos were amazing. #RickListon is a local to the Yarra valley and is truly amazing at what he does. Continued in comments …
I promised the wedding vendor details and then forgot to follow through, so here they are. 
Photography @rick_liston 
Venue including food  @yarravalleyestate 
Hair and makeup artist @nicolegroch_hairmakeup 
Celebrant @ceremonieswithsarah 
Flowers @lilacandthecat 
Cake @katscakesmelbourne 
Rings @ethicaljewelleryaustralia 
Dress @madilanebridal 
Dress boutique @luvbridal 
Dress alterations @seamworks.au 
Prop hire @twilightglamping 
If you know me, you’ll know I tried to make my wedding as ethical as possible. I think just about everything but the dress was ethical or sustainable in some way. My hmua, #NicoleGroch is so talented and she only uses cruelty free and vegan products. The venue, #YarraValleyEstate, is sustainably focused, they have solar panels, are carbon neutral and were happy to go along with all my sustainable ideas. All our food was vegan and vegetarian, we were going to do just vegan but I compromised and did the mix to stop family getting upset (but that happened anyway so I should have just gone with vegan). Our veg cake from #katscakesmelbourne had vegan and gluten free cupcakes with it so everyone could enjoy some cake. The flowers were from the sustainable florist #lilacandthecat who uses local blooms and no plastic/cellophane/floral foam etc. The rings from #ethicaljewelleryaustralia are made with lab diamonds and recycled platinum. As you can see, the photos were amazing. #RickListon is a local to the Yarra valley and is truly amazing at what he does. Continued in comments …
I promised the wedding vendor details and then forgot to follow through, so here they are. 
Photography @rick_liston 
Venue including food  @yarravalleyestate 
Hair and makeup artist @nicolegroch_hairmakeup 
Celebrant @ceremonieswithsarah 
Flowers @lilacandthecat 
Cake @katscakesmelbourne 
Rings @ethicaljewelleryaustralia 
Dress @madilanebridal 
Dress boutique @luvbridal 
Dress alterations @seamworks.au 
Prop hire @twilightglamping 
If you know me, you’ll know I tried to make my wedding as ethical as possible. I think just about everything but the dress was ethical or sustainable in some way. My hmua, #NicoleGroch is so talented and she only uses cruelty free and vegan products. The venue, #YarraValleyEstate, is sustainably focused, they have solar panels, are carbon neutral and were happy to go along with all my sustainable ideas. All our food was vegan and vegetarian, we were going to do just vegan but I compromised and did the mix to stop family getting upset (but that happened anyway so I should have just gone with vegan). Our veg cake from #katscakesmelbourne had vegan and gluten free cupcakes with it so everyone could enjoy some cake. The flowers were from the sustainable florist #lilacandthecat who uses local blooms and no plastic/cellophane/floral foam etc. The rings from #ethicaljewelleryaustralia are made with lab diamonds and recycled platinum. As you can see, the photos were amazing. #RickListon is a local to the Yarra valley and is truly amazing at what he does. Continued in comments …
I promised the wedding vendor details and then forgot to follow through, so here they are. 
Photography @rick_liston 
Venue including food  @yarravalleyestate 
Hair and makeup artist @nicolegroch_hairmakeup 
Celebrant @ceremonieswithsarah 
Flowers @lilacandthecat 
Cake @katscakesmelbourne 
Rings @ethicaljewelleryaustralia 
Dress @madilanebridal 
Dress boutique @luvbridal 
Dress alterations @seamworks.au 
Prop hire @twilightglamping 
If you know me, you’ll know I tried to make my wedding as ethical as possible. I think just about everything but the dress was ethical or sustainable in some way. My hmua, #NicoleGroch is so talented and she only uses cruelty free and vegan products. The venue, #YarraValleyEstate, is sustainably focused, they have solar panels, are carbon neutral and were happy to go along with all my sustainable ideas. All our food was vegan and vegetarian, we were going to do just vegan but I compromised and did the mix to stop family getting upset (but that happened anyway so I should have just gone with vegan). Our veg cake from #katscakesmelbourne had vegan and gluten free cupcakes with it so everyone could enjoy some cake. The flowers were from the sustainable florist #lilacandthecat who uses local blooms and no plastic/cellophane/floral foam etc. The rings from #ethicaljewelleryaustralia are made with lab diamonds and recycled platinum. As you can see, the photos were amazing. #RickListon is a local to the Yarra valley and is truly amazing at what he does. Continued in comments …
I promised the wedding vendor details and then forgot to follow through, so here they are. 
Photography @rick_liston 
Venue including food  @yarravalleyestate 
Hair and makeup artist @nicolegroch_hairmakeup 
Celebrant @ceremonieswithsarah 
Flowers @lilacandthecat 
Cake @katscakesmelbourne 
Rings @ethicaljewelleryaustralia 
Dress @madilanebridal 
Dress boutique @luvbridal 
Dress alterations @seamworks.au 
Prop hire @twilightglamping 
If you know me, you’ll know I tried to make my wedding as ethical as possible. I think just about everything but the dress was ethical or sustainable in some way. My hmua, #NicoleGroch is so talented and she only uses cruelty free and vegan products. The venue, #YarraValleyEstate, is sustainably focused, they have solar panels, are carbon neutral and were happy to go along with all my sustainable ideas. All our food was vegan and vegetarian, we were going to do just vegan but I compromised and did the mix to stop family getting upset (but that happened anyway so I should have just gone with vegan). Our veg cake from #katscakesmelbourne had vegan and gluten free cupcakes with it so everyone could enjoy some cake. The flowers were from the sustainable florist #lilacandthecat who uses local blooms and no plastic/cellophane/floral foam etc. The rings from #ethicaljewelleryaustralia are made with lab diamonds and recycled platinum. As you can see, the photos were amazing. #RickListon is a local to the Yarra valley and is truly amazing at what he does. Continued in comments …
I promised the wedding vendor details and then forgot to follow through, so here they are. Photography @rick_liston Venue including food @yarravalleyestate Hair and makeup artist @nicolegroch_hairmakeup Celebrant @ceremonieswithsarah Flowers @lilacandthecat Cake @katscakesmelbourne Rings @ethicaljewelleryaustralia Dress @madilanebridal Dress boutique @luvbridal Dress alterations @seamworks.au Prop hire @twilightglamping If you know me, you’ll know I tried to make my wedding as ethical as possible. I think just about everything but the dress was ethical or sustainable in some way. My hmua, #NicoleGroch is so talented and she only uses cruelty free and vegan products. The venue, #YarraValleyEstate, is sustainably focused, they have solar panels, are carbon neutral and were happy to go along with all my sustainable ideas. All our food was vegan and vegetarian, we were going to do just vegan but I compromised and did the mix to stop family getting upset (but that happened anyway so I should have just gone with vegan). Our veg cake from #katscakesmelbourne had vegan and gluten free cupcakes with it so everyone could enjoy some cake. The flowers were from the sustainable florist #lilacandthecat who uses local blooms and no plastic/cellophane/floral foam etc. The rings from #ethicaljewelleryaustralia are made with lab diamonds and recycled platinum. As you can see, the photos were amazing. #RickListon is a local to the Yarra valley and is truly amazing at what he does. Continued in comments …
2 months ago
View on Instagram |
5/9
I have been MIA for a while, but that’s because I have some news … I got married on the 22/02/2022. 
When I was a kid I always knew I wanted children myself, but I never thought I would get married. To be fair, I’m still not a big fan of weddings as a lot of the traditions are steeped in misogyny and the oppression of women, but I changed/cut out some of the parts that made me the most uncomfortable. In another world I would happily continue living the rest of my life with my partner and not get married, but we unfortunately live in a world where having a husband makes getting appropriate health care easier. I do plan on continuing to fight the sexism and ableism of the health care system, but sometimes I need a break, and having a husband will make that easier for me. 
Anyway, now that I have told you the realities of the situation (because it would feel like a lie if I didn’t include that), I can tell you that we had a small covid safe wedding with those closest to us. We got to celebrate our love and see our families which we haven’t been able to do for the past 2 years. The day was so relaxed and I had such a wonderful time. And because it was so small, those there completely understood how necessary the covid protocols were that we had in place. 
Since then, I’ve been back home in isolation again. Trying to wait out the virus so I don’t become another casualty. But I’m glad that I got to celebrate this milestone in my life, especially because it meant seeing loved ones. 
And obviously because it’s me, I tried to make my wedding as ethical as possible so I’ll post some of that info in another post but I have to give credit to our wonderful photographer @rick_liston. If you need a Yarra Valley photographer check him out, he’s amazing. 
#weddingday #lovealinta
I have been MIA for a while, but that’s because I have some news … I got married on the 22/02/2022. When I was a kid I always knew I wanted children myself, but I never thought I would get married. To be fair, I’m still not a big fan of weddings as a lot of the traditions are steeped in misogyny and the oppression of women, but I changed/cut out some of the parts that made me the most uncomfortable. In another world I would happily continue living the rest of my life with my partner and not get married, but we unfortunately live in a world where having a husband makes getting appropriate health care easier. I do plan on continuing to fight the sexism and ableism of the health care system, but sometimes I need a break, and having a husband will make that easier for me. Anyway, now that I have told you the realities of the situation (because it would feel like a lie if I didn’t include that), I can tell you that we had a small covid safe wedding with those closest to us. We got to celebrate our love and see our families which we haven’t been able to do for the past 2 years. The day was so relaxed and I had such a wonderful time. And because it was so small, those there completely understood how necessary the covid protocols were that we had in place. Since then, I’ve been back home in isolation again. Trying to wait out the virus so I don’t become another casualty. But I’m glad that I got to celebrate this milestone in my life, especially because it meant seeing loved ones. And obviously because it’s me, I tried to make my wedding as ethical as possible so I’ll post some of that info in another post but I have to give credit to our wonderful photographer @rick_liston. If you need a Yarra Valley photographer check him out, he’s amazing. #weddingday #lovealinta
3 months ago
View on Instagram |
6/9
Reminder - we don’t celebrate genocide around here. It is horrendous that there is a public holiday to celebrate the colonization of Australia. Australia Day needs to be abolished. If you don’t understand why, please read all the detailed information that has been put online for free by many amazing Indigenous creators. Show up for them and support them. I also recommend listening to the Frontier War Stories podcast so that you hear some real stories. 

Oh, and before anyone says anything about “tradition” - Aus day has only been celebrated on the 26th since 1994. Whereas in 1938 Indigenous Elders called for a day of mourning on the 26th of Jan. There is no tradition here, and there is no celebrating invasion, colonization, dispossession and genocide. Indigenous people continue to be oppressed, so please show up for them tomorrow (and every day). 

@nitv_au has a good round up of all events happening tomorrow. Because of case numbers, nothing in person is happening in Narrm (Melbourne) but there is an online dawn service starting at 5:15am being run by the Vic NAIDOC Committee. 
#alwayswasalwayswillbe #invasionday 

Image 1: Just a reminder we don’t celebrate genocide graphic by @sar.ra__ (check out her other artwork).
Image 2: stylized version of @aiatsis_ map - they sell hard copies of the original you can buy. 
Image 3: Frontier War sites by University of Newcastle.
Reminder - we don’t celebrate genocide around here. It is horrendous that there is a public holiday to celebrate the colonization of Australia. Australia Day needs to be abolished. If you don’t understand why, please read all the detailed information that has been put online for free by many amazing Indigenous creators. Show up for them and support them. I also recommend listening to the Frontier War Stories podcast so that you hear some real stories. 

Oh, and before anyone says anything about “tradition” - Aus day has only been celebrated on the 26th since 1994. Whereas in 1938 Indigenous Elders called for a day of mourning on the 26th of Jan. There is no tradition here, and there is no celebrating invasion, colonization, dispossession and genocide. Indigenous people continue to be oppressed, so please show up for them tomorrow (and every day). 

@nitv_au has a good round up of all events happening tomorrow. Because of case numbers, nothing in person is happening in Narrm (Melbourne) but there is an online dawn service starting at 5:15am being run by the Vic NAIDOC Committee. 
#alwayswasalwayswillbe #invasionday 

Image 1: Just a reminder we don’t celebrate genocide graphic by @sar.ra__ (check out her other artwork).
Image 2: stylized version of @aiatsis_ map - they sell hard copies of the original you can buy. 
Image 3: Frontier War sites by University of Newcastle.
Reminder - we don’t celebrate genocide around here. It is horrendous that there is a public holiday to celebrate the colonization of Australia. Australia Day needs to be abolished. If you don’t understand why, please read all the detailed information that has been put online for free by many amazing Indigenous creators. Show up for them and support them. I also recommend listening to the Frontier War Stories podcast so that you hear some real stories. 

Oh, and before anyone says anything about “tradition” - Aus day has only been celebrated on the 26th since 1994. Whereas in 1938 Indigenous Elders called for a day of mourning on the 26th of Jan. There is no tradition here, and there is no celebrating invasion, colonization, dispossession and genocide. Indigenous people continue to be oppressed, so please show up for them tomorrow (and every day). 

@nitv_au has a good round up of all events happening tomorrow. Because of case numbers, nothing in person is happening in Narrm (Melbourne) but there is an online dawn service starting at 5:15am being run by the Vic NAIDOC Committee. 
#alwayswasalwayswillbe #invasionday 

Image 1: Just a reminder we don’t celebrate genocide graphic by @sar.ra__ (check out her other artwork).
Image 2: stylized version of @aiatsis_ map - they sell hard copies of the original you can buy. 
Image 3: Frontier War sites by University of Newcastle.
Reminder - we don’t celebrate genocide around here. It is horrendous that there is a public holiday to celebrate the colonization of Australia. Australia Day needs to be abolished. If you don’t understand why, please read all the detailed information that has been put online for free by many amazing Indigenous creators. Show up for them and support them. I also recommend listening to the Frontier War Stories podcast so that you hear some real stories. Oh, and before anyone says anything about “tradition” - Aus day has only been celebrated on the 26th since 1994. Whereas in 1938 Indigenous Elders called for a day of mourning on the 26th of Jan. There is no tradition here, and there is no celebrating invasion, colonization, dispossession and genocide. Indigenous people continue to be oppressed, so please show up for them tomorrow (and every day). @nitv_au has a good round up of all events happening tomorrow. Because of case numbers, nothing in person is happening in Narrm (Melbourne) but there is an online dawn service starting at 5:15am being run by the Vic NAIDOC Committee. #alwayswasalwayswillbe #invasionday Image 1: Just a reminder we don’t celebrate genocide graphic by @sar.ra__ (check out her other artwork). Image 2: stylized version of @aiatsis_ map - they sell hard copies of the original you can buy. Image 3: Frontier War sites by University of Newcastle.
5 months ago
View on Instagram |
7/9
Ultraviolette recently released their Dream Screen skin tint. As I’ve explained previously, sunscreen is very important to me. Skin cancer is prominent in my family and I’m even fairer than the my other family members. I can get burnt within minutes of being in the sun, so I am always wearing sunscreen (and avoiding the sun) to try and prevent future skin cancer. The reason why this interested me is because it’s SPF 50 and it has a sheer dewy finish. I typically wear a bb/cc cream with SPF, but I always have to add so much white to it, making the SPF negligible. I can however actually wear Dream Screen in shade V1 without adding white, which is awesome. I use my Supreme Screen underneath, and then layer Dream Screen on top and they work well together. It’s important to remember to wear a base layer of sunscreen, as you’re unlikely to put enough of a tinted product on to get the labeled SPF coverage. The finish is a bit too dewy for me, so I use a little bit of translucent powder over the top, and then I’m good to go. The packaging is interesting. It’s a squeeze tube which makes it easy to use, but probably very hard to recycle. Dream Screen comes in 11 shades and is vegan. Ultraviolette is cruelty free but I really want to see them Leaping Bunny certified. I’ve got all of their sunscreens so I can post swatches of them, or do a video showing application if that interests anyone. Whatever helps you to wear more sunscreen, I’m willing to do 😬 
Photo description - beige ultraviolette bottle laying in plain black background with ultraviolette products surrounding it. 
@ultravioletteau #ultravioletteau #lovealinta
Ultraviolette recently released their Dream Screen skin tint. As I’ve explained previously, sunscreen is very important to me. Skin cancer is prominent in my family and I’m even fairer than the my other family members. I can get burnt within minutes of being in the sun, so I am always wearing sunscreen (and avoiding the sun) to try and prevent future skin cancer. The reason why this interested me is because it’s SPF 50 and it has a sheer dewy finish. I typically wear a bb/cc cream with SPF, but I always have to add so much white to it, making the SPF negligible. I can however actually wear Dream Screen in shade V1 without adding white, which is awesome. I use my Supreme Screen underneath, and then layer Dream Screen on top and they work well together. It’s important to remember to wear a base layer of sunscreen, as you’re unlikely to put enough of a tinted product on to get the labeled SPF coverage. The finish is a bit too dewy for me, so I use a little bit of translucent powder over the top, and then I’m good to go. The packaging is interesting. It’s a squeeze tube which makes it easy to use, but probably very hard to recycle. Dream Screen comes in 11 shades and is vegan. Ultraviolette is cruelty free but I really want to see them Leaping Bunny certified. I’ve got all of their sunscreens so I can post swatches of them, or do a video showing application if that interests anyone. Whatever helps you to wear more sunscreen, I’m willing to do 😬 Photo description - beige ultraviolette bottle laying in plain black background with ultraviolette products surrounding it. @ultravioletteau #ultravioletteau #lovealinta
5 months ago
View on Instagram |
8/9
It’s Bonsai’s 9th birthday today. The vet is unsure how many more birthdays he’s going to get, so I’m giving him as much love as possible while he’s here. We got the news last month that his heart is failing, which is just another health problem my poor little guy has to deal with. He’s on lots of meds to reduce the symptoms, but there’s no way of slowing down heart failure for him. I thought I would get another 10 years together with him (being a chihuahua and all), so knowing his time is limited has been tough. He however has no idea he’s sick and is just as happy and silly as always. His weird antics continue to make me laugh every day, which is why I also wanted to remind you all to adopt your next pet - and don’t discount the sick or disabled ones, they can be amazing pets too. 
Picture description - close up of blonde chihuahua looking at the camera with his tongue out and folded over. 
#chihuahua #rescuedog #adoptdontshop #lovealinta
It’s Bonsai’s 9th birthday today. The vet is unsure how many more birthdays he’s going to get, so I’m giving him as much love as possible while he’s here. We got the news last month that his heart is failing, which is just another health problem my poor little guy has to deal with. He’s on lots of meds to reduce the symptoms, but there’s no way of slowing down heart failure for him. I thought I would get another 10 years together with him (being a chihuahua and all), so knowing his time is limited has been tough. He however has no idea he’s sick and is just as happy and silly as always. His weird antics continue to make me laugh every day, which is why I also wanted to remind you all to adopt your next pet - and don’t discount the sick or disabled ones, they can be amazing pets too. Picture description - close up of blonde chihuahua looking at the camera with his tongue out and folded over. #chihuahua #rescuedog #adoptdontshop #lovealinta
6 months ago
View on Instagram |
9/9

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