{green heart series} meet thara of moss + stone

hurraw! today i'm excited to introduce a new series i’m calling the green heart series, in which an extraordinary sustainable living enthusiast is showcased each week. you'll meet passionate thought leaders, young activists and seasoned environmentalists, all working to disseminate information + create positive change. each is devoted to promoting social justice + human rights, protecting the environment and advocating on behalf of animals.

the people you will meet are compassionate, intelligent, driven, fierce + funny. they come from all walks of life and from all across the globe; they are a world of creators: writers, artists, photographers, singers, sewers, entrepreneurs, makers, dreamers and doers. they have also had a great impact on my life in numerous ways. they make me laugh, they make me think, they stretch my mind to new limits, and certainly, they galvanize me to live a more thoughtful life.

meet our first young eco hero, thara, healthy living aficionado + ardent animal rights advocate. find out which personal quality she would never change about herself, the private part of her life she chose to disclose in her quest to help others and what her parents had to say when she encouraged them to explore a plant-based diet.

i'd just returned home from a long day at work, when i tumbled across thara's food-centric instagram account; those that know me know that cooking is not my forte, so her

simple recipes were exactly what i needed. i follow lots of foodie ig accounts, but my surrealist rendering of their elegant meals, an unintentional dalí painting across my dinner plate, left me craving easy, no-fuss recipes. that night, i decided to peruse thara's youtube channel. i was exhausted, and i was hoping to find uncomplicated recipes + tips for healthy living, as promised by the raven-haired, melbourne-based vlogger and blogger at moss + stone. what i discovered so much more than this.

in one of thara's first videos, "five ways i'm treating anxiety + depression naturally," she shares, with unpretentious poise, honesty + maturity, her personal journey of being bullied, battling depression and how she now manages her anxiety naturally, holistically. 

in a world where speaking of mental health is taboo, i'm always struck by the valor + strength of those that choose to peel back the top lacquered layers of their lives in an earnest effort to aid + comfort others affected by the same conditions. i admire the courage with which thara unveils her symptoms + how she copes using a healthy diet, mindful meditation, mineral supplements, chinese medicine and earthing*. 

thara has been vlogging for over a year now, and whether she's unveiling a new nutrient-dense recipe for a berry smoothie or a plant-based chocolatey dessert, thara offers up healthy living tips that make eating right a snap + getting fit achievable. here, thara, shares a bit about her inspirations + motivations:

live / vivre

1/ what is one action you might encourage others to take to live a more sustainable lifestyle?

the biggest difference someone can make to the environment by way of cutting back greenhouse emissions, saving water, and stopping rain forest destruction is by going vegan. animal agriculture is the number one cause for the destruction of our planet - you can watch a documentary called cowspiracy to understand just how this is so, or check out their fact page here for information and sources. in a nutshell, livestock and their byproducts account for at least 32,000 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, or 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions; it takes 2,500 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of beef  and 1,000 gallons of water to produce 1 gallon of milk; and animal agriculture has been found to be the leading cause of species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution, and habitat destruction.

2/ what is your favorite eco online retailer or brick + mortar shop? my favorite online retailer is love child - it is a store run by two awesome aussie girls who sell some great ethical brands like her pony and kerol k, while emphasizing the necessity of living compassionate lifestyles in order to sustain our planet's resources and save innocent lives. 

flourish | fleurir

3/ what is one personal quality about yourself that you would never change?

i would have to say my empathy. it is what caused me to turn vegetarian at age 8 after seeing a documentary about meat production and the way animals were treated as commodities. it is what has made me become an animal rights supporter and environmentalist, as i care very deeply about other living beings and for the future of our planet. 

4/ share four things that make you really happy.

my cats (misty and casper); salted caramel coconut ice-cream; making my own herbal tea from the herbs in my garden; and farm animal sanctuaries (the work they do to help animals have a second chance at life is inspirational).

inspired | inspiré

5/ it takes a lot of time + dedication to create engaging videos or content. what motivates you to do so?

what motivates me to work on and plan this content is the fact that my small and humble amount of followers are so beautiful and supportive and really care about what i post. i value their opinions and love working with their suggestions to come up with posts/videos that i know they really want to see.

6/ which person do you most admire and why?

celebrity wise, i would have to say emily deschanel. i've loved her ever since my teen days when i first saw her on bones. In real life she has been a vegan for almost 20 years, and has spoken out about animal rights and environmentalism. she's a beautiful person inside and out, and is a talented actress too. hitting closer to home, i admire my parents a great deal. they worked hard to raise my sister and i in a foreign country, and sacrificed a lot so that we could receive a good education and made sure we were healthy with a roof over our heads. after watching documentaries like earthlings and cowspiracy, they too have become vegan and the amount of delicious food they make ahhhhh - i never want to leave home! 

wear | porter

7/ describe your favorite go-to ensemble from head to toe. do you have any favorite slow or indie fashion brands? 

my favorite go-to ensemble is always a vintage mini-dress (i have a huge collection in my wardrobe, all of them are op-shop finds) with a pair of sandals. if it's slightly chillier, than i opt for my high-waist jeans, op-shop sweater and a pair of comfy sneakers. my favorite brand would have to be her pony - they are melbourne-based and make some beautiful festival-style clothing. they are also vegan and cruelty-free, so i love the fact that they are showing people that you can be stylish and compassionate at the same time. for natural + cruelty-free beauty products in australia, change box is a subscription box that curates amazing products by companies that make a difference in the world for people, animals and the environment. 

interested in learning more about thara? click on over to follow her on twitter, ig, on youtube or at moss + stone.

{don't forget the tip} *every boy + girl should learn how negative ions ward off lethargy + headaches and promote focus while having a pronounced anti-depressant affect. negative ions are your friends: find out where you can stock up on these: watch thara's videos to learn more. 

until next time, stay green dear hearts!

{images of thara by michael blamey / emily deschanel via laika magazine / pig via mercy for animals / all other images via moss + stone}