As much of the east coast of Australia continues to put out bushfires, my hometown of Canberra has been suffering with the worst air quality in the world.

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Plane view of the bushfire smoke in Australia

Since September when the first bushfires began for the season, the country has suffered. And since November, I’ve begun each morning by first checking the air quality and the Fires Near Me app.

With my podcast, Plastics Revolution, I get the chance to chat with some amazing entrepreneurs that are using business solutions to tackle the plastics waste issue.

Recently, I spoke with Jonathon Draper and Olivia St-Laurent of Local Press Café + Wholefoods in Canberra, Australia. Local Press began with sustainability in mind from the day they opened their first café in 2016.

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Jonathon Draper and Olivia St-Laurent of Local Press Cafe + Wholefoods

Since then, they’ve continued to add practices that have reduced their waste by 90% and encouraged an amazing loyal following from both staff and customers alike — showing that you can be both a profitable and sustainable.

The episode turned out to be a fascinating case study of what food businesses could do just about anywhere if they consciously choose to reduce their own impact on the environment. As such, I thought that readers here might appreciate reading the edited transcript from this show. …

You may have seen the movie called “The Bucket List” starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. When it came out in 2007, it started a trend for people to write a list of things they wanted to do before they “kicked the bucket.”

Someone writing their Bucket List
Someone writing their Bucket List
Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

Many self-help gurus promoted the benefits of such a list to make positive changes in your life. Personally, I didn’t catch the trend until 2011 when I started mine. And while I did see some rewards, eight years later I’m questioning the long-term personal growth of having one.

My list started out of frustration. Despite my adventurous younger life, I found myself in my late 30s and stuck — both mentally and physically. It wasn’t that my life was bad, it was more that it was BORING!

So, you’re thinking about changing careers. Whether your twenty-five or forty-five, it can be scary as hell when you’ve already invested so much in one pathway.

What if I can’t find a job in that new career? How can I live on an entry level wage again? What if my manager is half my age? Am I just wasting my expensive education?

Stressed guy in hoodie
Stressed guy in hoodie
Photo by Christian Erfurt on Unsplash

I know how you feel. As someone who has changed careers ten times over a twenty-five-year span, I know a thing or two about how to do it and still progress into more senior roles.

My pathway?

· Casino marketing;
· Air Force contracting officer;
· Peace Corps volunteer (business and IT);
· NASA IT project manager;
· Digital marketing business owner;
· Procurement consultant that led to -
· IT Account Management in the same company and then another;
· Tea company owner;
· CEO of an animal welfare charity; and now
· Recycled plastic products business owner…

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In my last job, I was the only employee in the organisation who didn’t have a uniform requirement in my employment contract. Everyone else either wore a “blue collar” or a “white collar” uniform depending on their role. And yes, the uniforms were actually blue or white shirts!

As you might imagine, there were team dynamic issues when I started there that seem to split appropriately down the colors the staff wore. Despite being the CEO, I purposely wore the blue shirt on most days, and suddenly these issues seem to disappear.

Nevertheless, I continued to wear a uniform daily for the remainder of my years there even though the cultural problem no longer existed. …

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Photo by Olichel

Have you’ve ever forgotten to tell your parents about something important that’s happening in your life? Maybe it was a new relationship or a change of jobs? This happened to me the other day, and now I realise I probably forgot on purpose.

There I was alone on a video chat with my parents for the first time in ages. My father asked me what I was up to, and I casually mentioned that we’re still working through the product designs.

“For what?” he asked?

“You know — for my new business,” I answered.

“What new business?”

“Didn’t I tell you I started a new company?”


Tammy Ven Dange

Purpose driven entrepreneur | Host of the Plastics Revolution podcast | Paddler of boats & boards | Check out my start-up journey at

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