Written by Michelle Bowes
Tell us about your background?
I’ve worked in funds management and management consulting for almost 20 years in Sydney, London and New York. In 2018 I co-founded Melior Investment Management. Melior’s objective is to invest in Australian and New Zealand stock market listed companies that have a positive environmental and/or social impact whilst at the same time delivering competitive investment returns.
What’s your go-to reusable item?
I would normally say my Frank green reusable cup but increasingly I am including a reusable face mask in my handbag. I like the Cotton On Foundation mask as 100% of the proceeds go to healthcare initiatives that keep kids healthy and in school.
Your top tip for never leaving home without it?
I tell my kids to get ready for school the night before and I do the same. I find if I’m rushing to get out the door in the morning it’s a recipe for forgetting things and life is much less stressful when I’m organised.
How do you try to be a conscious consumer?
I try to find new ways to improve my environmental footprint one step at a time. I think change is hard so it works for me to be on a continuous improvement journey rather than feeling guilty about not being perfect. I started with composting using a bokashi (need to credit my husband here for emptying it every week!) and then I started recycling my soft plastics at Coles which makes a big difference to our waste. It’s satisfying to see how much less rubbish goes into our red bin.
My current focus is lowering our water and energy usage. Reducing the cycle time on my washing machine and not running it on a high temperature are some easy ways to make an environmental difference.
The best eco tip you’ve heard?
“Connect your head with your heart.” I think there are a lot of things we personally can do to contribute to a better environment if we are mindful in how we purchase, how we vote, how we invest and how we live.
Favourite eco brand?
A friend of mine founded Juuni which is an organic, bleach free, pesticide free and biodegradable tampon and pad subscription service. I love how she is making something that none of us look forward to each month eco-focused and fun particularly for young women with freebie facial masks and lollies (red frogs, one of my favourites!).
Small or big - what’s your current eco aim?
I want people to connect their values to the way they invest their money. Many people don’t know what their super is invested in or haven’t thought about investing their money to drive positive environmental and social change.
Your favourite place to buy fresh produce or package lite food…
I like Harris Farm Markets on Hall St, Bondi Beach and also Fruitologist on Bondi Road.
What eco alternative are you thinking about investing in?
I’ve been wanting to get an electric vehicle for ages but have been waiting for the options, cost and charging infrastructure to improve. The number of models available in Australia starting to increase but is still low with only around a dozen models currently available compared to more than 150 in Europe and elsewhere.
What did ISO make you realise you could live without?
High heels! Not heading to head to work in the city or going out as often has really changed my wardrobe. I couldn’t live without my ugg boots now but the high heels are definitely on the back burner.
What ISO habit do you hope to carry forward?
I hope I carry forward a focus on putting my family first and not getting caught up with taking on too many school activities and social events that put pressure on us as a family and lead to exhaustion!
My kids and husband even convinced me to get a rescue kitten when we were in ISO. I was very reluctant as I don’t like cats, thought our dog Molly would not be happy and the idea of additional pet-related chores filled me with dread! However it has ended up to be a great decision and she is now a special part of our family.