I started on this journey because I was worried about the planet.
Like, really worried.
Even as young person, fresh out of school, it seemed so damn obvious to me:
we’ve only got one planet; we need to treat it with the respect it deserves.
But I struggled to convince the people around me to care as much as I did, and I really struggled watching the way that our society as a whole seemed to be conveniently ignoring the problem altogether.
Being just a wee bit passionate (!) I threw myself into studying environmental engineering, and was determined to build a career that could help me create change on a grand scale. I completed a Bachelor of Environmental Engineering (with first class honours) and then spent more than a decade working as an environmental professional at some of the largest industrial sites in Australia, while completing a Masters of Science in Environmental Chemistry at the same time (crazy I know!).
But do you know what?
Even though I spent all my working hours trying to protect the planet from the big polluters and the industry giants, I was acutely aware that I wasn’t fully ‘walking the talk’ in my own life.
Here I was trying to work with big business and government to make the world a happier, healthier place, and yet in my own life, I wasn’t exactly a picture of health and happiness myself.
I was working ridiculously long hours at a crazy pace, and began suffering from chronic migraines. My days off were spent curled up in a cool, dark room with a pounding head and strong painkillers, knowing I deserved a better quality of life, but feeling completely powerless to change anything.
As well as being hectic and stressful, my lifestyle wasn’t as ‘green’ as I wanted, either. I was still buying and using many commercial products in my home (for the kitchen, laundry, bathroom, and personal care) and even though I’d pick the ‘eco’ option whenever there was one, there was a growing certainty inside me that this was no longer good enough for the life I wanted to be living.
Basically, I knew that my life was toxic – both the stressful lifestyle I was leading, and the chemicals I was using in my home and on my skin. (And as for my twice-a-day Diet Coke habit… Well, let’s not even go there…!)
I knew that if I ever wanted to feel better – and experience the bounce-out-of-bed energy and vitality I was craving – I needed to address ALL these elements, quick smart.
there was something else: I didn’t want to have to give up all those pleasures in life that truly lit me up. I wasn’t ready to move to a log cabin and forsake travel forever (!), I wanted to create a life that I loved, that at the same time, was as environmentally friendly as possible.
What I wanted, in a nutshell, was to create a new style of eco living…
/ˈiːkəʊ/sɛpʃ(ə)n(ə)l,ɛk-/ , adjective
The quality of being both eco-friendly,
and not compromising on quality… or fun.
Those migraines may have been awful, but they were the catalyst I needed to start creating the kind of life I’d always wanted to live – an ecoceptional one.
From the outside, it may have seemed like change came quickly, but it was really the result of many, many tiny decisions and small steps.
To begin with, I quit my mega-stressful fly-in-fly-out job, embraced an organic wholefoods diet, and quit Diet Coke – for good. I also started on the journey of removing synthetic chemicals from my home.
Then things kicked up a notch when my husband and I decided to start a family and I fell pregnant. My growing bump was all the incentive I needed to (finally) leave heavy industry and start building an eco biz around my precious family.
I’d previously worked as a volunteer home energy auditor in my local community and had LOVED driving change at a grass-roots level, which helped me see that I didn’t need to work in ‘the belly of the beast’ in order to make a big difference. Instead, I realised I wanted to get a groundswell happening and drive change at the real coal-face: in people’s homes…
This new focus was so uplifting and inspiring –
instead of feeling like I was beating my head against
a brick wall, I could see up-close-and-personal how
people’s lives were changing and improving as a
result of what I was teaching them.
It was also far less stressful than my previous jobs, which made it so much easier to live a healthy lifestyle,
where deadlines and convenience weren’t the driving forces. (And where green juice and organic chai tea
replaced chemical-laden diet soda.)
All in all, the results from this
lifestyle shift were amazing…
Not only did I see major changes in my health (and the end of my chronic migraines!), but my children thrived living our eco lifestyle. (Not to mention, my husband was overjoyed to have his happy, cheeky wife back!)
The incredible benefits in my own life made me more determined than ever to teach as many people as possible how to embrace greener habits and create their own version of an ecoceptional life. Which ultimately, is what led me here…
I like to think I bring something quite different to the (recycled timber) table…
For me, it’s about combining my environmental passion with extensive scientific knowledge and expertise, not to mention the realism and practicality that comes with being a busy mum of two young boys!
My message isn’t about aiming for perfection,
and I don’t strive for it in my own life.
(In fact, I believe that that kind of ‘all or nothing’ thinking stops people from taking action at all.)
I’m all about encouraging you to make small changes for maximum impact – without compromising your lifestyle. If you love Pinot Noir shipped directly from Burgundy, I’m not going to ask you to give it up. If spending a weekend jet skiing makes you giddy with excitement, I don’t want you to stop. And if getting your shiny Shellac manicure is the highlight of your week, I won’t try to convince you otherwise. I might show you some greener alternatives, but what you choose to change is totally up to you!
What I’m here to do is to open your eyes to the changes you CAN make that will have a powerful impact on your health and the environment, but that don’t cost a bucketful, that don’t add to your workload, and that don’t detract from the things you love the most. It’s about recognising the small things, that over time, add up to big change and major impact…
Basically, the way that I choose to live my life – and raise my children
– is to believe and follow these two potent truths:
We have so much more power than we realise,
Meaningful change can be accomplished through the tiniest of actions.
That’s why I’m here, and that’s what all my work is about.
I want a better world for you, for me, for our kids, for the creatures we share this planet with, and for the
generations to come. And I’m determined to create it in a way that doesn’t compromise our enjoyment of life, but that enhances and amplifies it. That allows us all to be our healthiest, happiest selves while we care for this beautiful Earth of ours…
Care to join me?
If this sounds like your cup of organic chai, you’ve
found the right place and I’m so glad you’re here…
Laura Trotta is…
one of Australia’s leading home sustainability experts. She has a Bachelor of Environmental Engineering, a Masters of Science (in Environmental Chemistry) and spent 11 years working as an environmental professional before creating her first online eco business, Sustainababy, in 2009.
Laura has won numerous regional and national awards for her fresh and inspiring take on living an ‘ecoceptional’ life (including most recently winning the Brand South Australia Flinders University Education Award (2015) for the north-west region in SA and silver in the Eco-friendly category of the 2015 Ausmumpreneur Awards).
With a regular segment on ABC Radio and with her work featured in publications like Nurture Parenting and My Child Magazine, Laura is an eco thought leader who’s not afraid to challenge the status quo.
A passionate believer in addressing the small things to achieve big change, and protecting the planet in practical ways, Laura lives with her husband and two sons in outback South Australia.
Ready to create your own version of an ecoceptional life?