There's a myriad of things people have known for eons and many of these surround the power of plants. Those little power houses of primary productivity producing their own source of energy are quite simply ah-mazing!
My name is Melanie Lewis, and my brain is in constant overdrive. I'm analytical, critical, and realistic, but also a dreamer..... I believe we can save the world.
My connection with the natural environment came early, as a free range kid on 17 acres of land in the Humbug Scrub. This setting may have indeed been the catalyst for my life's theme, however I really hadn't realised the commonalities of everything I had pursued since that connection seemed so innate. As a teenager, my father introduced me to surfing - it wasn't even cool back then, unless you measured the South Australian sea temperature. I remember looking beyond my blue fingers to the depths below my board and being overwhelmed with a sense of awe. Could a world of life exist beneath me, and what would it look like? I went on to move to arid country, working in a Waste Management Team trying to develop ways to recycle the volume of tyres and copper anodes from the mining industry. I studied Adventure Tourism, cycling the Mawson Trail, hiking the Flinders Ranges, snorkelling sinkholes in Naracoorte and kayaking the Glenelg River in Victoria. I then moved to Tasmania to work as a trekking guide on The Overland Track, then Sydney as a SCUBA Instructor, aquarist at Oceanworld Manly, and Paddy Pallins selling outdoors gear. Along that journey, although immersed by nature, I felt like a consumer. I wasn't helping preserve the environment. I turned to science, studying Environmental Biology. My world changed..... I realised how connected the natural world was to our everday actions, to industry, to consumption; it was vulnerable, we were taking advantage, and we needed solutions. I developed a strong belief in conservation, so much so, that I wanted to save a species. I found one that I could research that, despite being identified as at risk, we knew very little about. Throughout postgrad I learnt that small actions were important, but far reaching solutions were better. And when I started feeling sick about my own consumption of things, the packaging waste that I generated, and the effects that I was causing to my planet, all of my life experiences that I had assumed were so disparate came together - a lightbulb moment: it was all about a healthy respect for our natural world and its beings; for biological life. And now, I am a steward for that.
FOOD4FACE is a culmination of thoughts, beliefs, learnings and research that WE CAN BE BETTER. Every single day, people use over $600 million worth of cosmetics, generating 13.5 million containers*, many of which can't be, or aren't, recycled. And I'm not sure how to even quantify what we wash down the drain, but I do know that many ingredients are emerging as pollutants or agents that cause stress in aquatic ecosystems. We ecologists refer to these as emerging pollutants, and they're even found in natural skincare. It's a problem I wanted to address with a big solution. And I believe FOOD4FACE is it.
In my spare time, I now volunteer as a Marine Mammal Keeper at Taronga Zoo, not because training seals is cool, but because animals need refuge from human behaviours - in fact, every year Taronga WIldlife Hospital treats over 30 local Little Penguins, numerous turtles and birds that have suffered from entanglement in fishing line, plastic ingestion or environmental encroachment on their native habitats. It helps me keep my eye on the bigger picture - human impact and the importance of education and awareness. FOOD4FACE may be a facescrub, but the message behind the brand is that our micoroactions lead to mega movements. You may be only one person making one change but together we can be a force to be reckoned with, so let's make it a positive and constructive one!
If you want to be a part of the solution, if this resonates with you, or you want to learn more about ecology or sustainability or our effects on the natural world, connect with me. I'd love to meet you!