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living sustainably

How to live a more sustainable life

We came across this fantastic blog about how to live a more sustainable life by www.boody.com.au, be sure to check it out below!

Everyday we see people trying to make a difference in the world with eco-friendly initiatives and zero waste campaigns. But that doesn’t give us an excuse to sit back and assume they’ve got it all under control.

To contribute positive change to our planet, it’s up to us as individuals to change our daily habits. Living without waste not only benefits the earth, but supports our physical and mental health in many ways.
All it takes is the desire to make a change, along with actionable steps to do so.
Check out these 16 suggestions to help you get started with the no waste lifestyle;

1. It’s time to break up with your stuff
A survey by the Australian Institute for a Just, Sustainable and Peaceful Future has found 88 per cent of Australian homes have at least one cluttered room, and the average home has three or more cluttered rooms.
De-cluttering not only gives you more space, but it also clears your mind so you can focus on what really matters in your life. The easiest place to start? Your closet. A minimalist wardrobe will help make room for what’s important in your life.

2. Make your own cleaning products
It’s no secret that chemical cleaning products are linked to asthma, cancer, reproductive disorders, hormone disruption and neurotoxicity. Switching to natural, homemade cleaning products not only saves you money, but your family’s health too. You’ll find most ingredients to make natural cleaning products are already in your cupboard.

3. Stick a ‘no advertising’ label on your letterbox
It’s called junk mail for a reason. Not only are advertising brochures adding to our rubbish pile, but they’re encouraging us to buy more ‘stuff’ we don’t need

4. Fix broken things before throwing them out
You would be surprised at what you can find on YouTube when it comes to fixing things. So before jumping to conclusions and tossing something out, get your creativity buzzing and look up a DIY video on YouTube. You might just become your own handyman.

5. Exchange books with your friends or go digital
Start a book swap with your friends. It’s a great way to read much loved books and expand your reading interests. Otherwise purchase from a second-hand bookshop or download your books digitally. Not only will you save paper, but it’s half the price of a hardback copy and you can keep it on your digital device wherever you go.

6. Sustainable lunches
Stay healthy and save money by making your own lunch. Opt for a reusable container or natural piece of fabric to wrap your lunch in.

7. Limit prints
After typing something up, why not try fitting it to one less page than it already is? Condense the font, increase your margins and don’t waste unnecessary printing. Recycle paper and use double sided printing.

8. Replace your post-its with visual ones
Going online is an efficient way to file your life and work stuff with ease. Chrome extensions such as Sticky Note or applications like Evernote are easy to use. The best part? You can keep your to-do list with you wherever you go and sync it to all of your devices.

9. Bring your own coffee cup
Each year over 20 million trees are cut down to make paper cups. The sad thing is, how hard is it really to purchase a reusable cup or bring your own mug?

10. Adopt a composter
Whether you’re living in a house or apartment, you can still use a compost bin.
11. Say goodbye to plastic containers, cling wrap and aluminum foil
Plastic containers and cling wrap are not only adding to more landfill, but are lined with chemicals that are harmful to the body. Purchase eco-friendly lunchboxes and glass containers instead.

12. Bring your own bags
Australians use enough plastic bags per year that if these were tied together they would stretch around the world 24 times. Grab yourself a sustainable canvas bag which you can alternatively use as a handbag or keep in your regular handbag for unexpected grocery shops.

13. Refuse paper towels in restaurants
According to a recent study by Scientists at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, paper towels generate 70% more carbon emissions than the newest technology on the market. Opt for a fabric serviette and use the hand-dryer in the bathroom.

14. Bring a container with you and do your own doggie bag
If you’re the type to never say no to leftover meals in a restaurant, be sure to bring your own container and skip out on the plastic.

15. Switch for durable alternatives
Instead of using cotton pads to remove make-up, opt for a reusable cloth. Swap out your plastic toothbrush for one made out of bamboo. Store your homemade beauty products in reusable jars.

Blog sourced from: www.boody.com.au

Quick and Easy Lime Tarts

The Base

6 tablespoons almond butter
2 tablespoons honey*
2 tablespoons coconut oil
pinch of salt
the top

flesh 1 ripe avocado, roughly chopped (approximately 180 grams)
2 tablespoons honey*
2 tablespoons coconut oil, soft
juice and zest 1 lime
Place the base ingredients into your processor and blend until the mixture is smooth and well combined. Spoon the mixture evenly into the holes of a mini silicon muffin mould, half filling each mould, and place in the freezer while you make the top.
Place the ingredients for the top layer into your processor and blend until the mixture is smooth and well combined. Spoon the mixture over your base and place in the freezer to set and to store.
Eat and enjoy.

Sourced from one of our favourite websites, Wholefood Simply.

byocup

Is your coffee addiction harming the earth? Reusable Cups Vs Takeaway Cups

Did you know that Over 50% of us are regular coffee drinkers, with 16.3 million coffees being consumed daily? If you stop by your favourite coffee shop every day, that’s at least 7 takeaway cups being used and wasted every week. That’s over 300 cups annually and that doesn’t even take into consideration other consumables being served in takeaway cups on different occasions. And the worse thing is that they can’t be recycled so end up in landfill!

If you’ve been thinking about reducing your carbon footprint, converting from takeaway cups to a reusable cup is a great and easy first step! Many people assume that paper takeaway cups can be recycled because they are paper but unfortunately that is not the case. Most paper cups are lined with plastic or wax to help keep your coffee hot and to prevent the paper cup from dissolving into mush. Because of this special ingredient, paper cups cannot be recycled or composted.

So what can you do?!

The solution to this one is simple; purchase a reusable cup!

Reusable cups are usually made from separable, single components, which makes them easier to recycle. Most of them are made from plastic, but its polypropylene, which is BPA free and has the greatest capacity for recycling and reusing at the end of its life – alternatively there are glass and ceramic options available.
After 15 uses a reusable cup starts ‘paying for itself’ in an environmental sense, meaning you’ll be saving more trees, water, and energy than you would have if you had chosen disposable.
Reusable cups last for at least three years so if you had chosen to use takeaway cups during this time you would have contributed just under 3kg of plastics to landfill.

My secret is that I own 2 reusable cups and always keep one clean one in the car ready to use – I love drinking my coffee in it as it makes me feel good that I am doing a good deed for the planet. 😊

So get onboard today!
Cheers Julia (General Manager, EverEscents)

Sourced From:
https://www.1millionwomen.com.au/blog/why-you-should-invest-keep-cup/
http://vs.keepcup.com.au/

5 minutes with the General Manager of EverEscents!

How long have you owned EverEscents for?
For nearly 11 years now, wow how time flies when you’re having fun!

What was the inspiration behind purchasing EverEscents?
I was lucky enough to be brought up by my Mum who was very alternative and into all things healthy, eco conscious & chemical free – which was very rare back then! It has always resonated with me so when I was looking for a business to buy in 2006 and EverEscents came up, it ticked all the boxes of what I was looking for in a business and a career!

What role do you play in the business?
I am classed as the General Manager which basically means I do all the “General” stuff (he he). But seriously my key focus is all the behind the scenes stuff and keeping the Admin / Accounting side of things running smoothly. I also help with Customer Service, Product Development, HR and do all the stock ordering to ensure our customers always get their products on time.

As a business owner, what are your three top priorities?
1) Produce a great product that everyone can enjoy.
2) Give back to those less fortunate or in need.
3) Be kind to the Earth in the process.

What sets EverEscents apart from other haircare companies?
I would say Ethics! Being in the Hairdressing industry sometimes has it’s downfalls and we come across some companies, big and small, that don’t have a lot of ethics. To us, it is the single most important trait of a business.

What are some harmful ingredients people need to be avoiding in haircare products?

There are lots but the main nasties are Toxic preservatives such as Parabens, DMDM Hydantoin, MIT’s & Phenoxyethanol. Plus also Silicones, PEG’s and artificial colours and fragrances.

What’s your favourite product in the range?
My favourite product for a while has been our Heat Protector – it is the one product in our range that I use consistently. I use it before heat tools and also after. It is nice and light so doesn’t weigh fine hair like mine down and is perfect for taming the frizzies and flyaways after straightening.

What’s your biggest haircare tip?
Always use EverEscents Organic Hair Care! Am I allowed to say that?! Seriously though, reduce the chemicals especially things like Silicone that coat the hair shaft and seal out moisture leading to breakage.

What skincare do you use?
I have a few favourite natural brands including; Twenty-8, Tri Nature, & Australian Bushflower Essences

What makeup do you use?
Kylie’s Professional Mineral Makeup

What do you do in your everyday life to reduce the use of chemicals?
I am blessed to feel like I have pretty much always lived a fairly chemical free life (apart from the odd wine, does that count!!). In our home & here in the office, we use all chemical free cleaning products, obviously I use chemical free haircare! I also use natural makeup and natural skincare. We buy all our fruit & veggies from a local farm and most is Organic or Spray free. I don’t use artificial perfumes and use Salt lamps around electronic devices to help with the eSmog.

Stay tuned for 5 minutes with Business Development Manager, Tiarna!

trail-mix-chocolate-bark-1-of-1

Chocolate Trail Mix

200 grams dark chocolate, melted
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup goji berries
1/2 cup cranberries
3 cups puffed rice / gluten free rice bubbles*
Line a large tray with baking paper.
Mix the dried fruits and seeds through the melted chocolate until they are well coated.
Spread the mixture evenly over your lined tray and place the tray into the fridge.
Once set break up, eat and enjoy!
*to make this grain free use puffed quinoa.

Sourced from: Wholefood Simply

organicfood5

Simple steps for growing your own Organic food

There are a lot of good reasons to grow your own organic food. In fact, there is a lot of increasingly disturbing evidence that presents equally good reasons not to buy non-organic supermarket produce. For example, one recent study of pesticide exposure in children in a major area found that traces of garden chemicals were found in 99 percent of the 110 children who were tested. Further, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, 90% of fungicides, 60% of herbicides and 30% of insecticides are considered carcinogenic.

Growing your own organic food is not only healthier, but it can save you a lot of money. Produce departments are taking full advantage of an educated public’s desire for organic food, a fact reflected in the huge difference in price. In addition to reducing your grocery bill, by transforming your lawn into a garden, you’ll also save money on your water bill. Trees and shrubs require anywhere from two and a half to four times less water than maintaining a lawn.

Simple Tricks to Start Off
As the person in charge of production of your own herbs, fruits and vegetables, you can replace chemical pesticides with natural alternatives. One such alternative is a little cayenne pepper or horseradish mixed with garlic paste added to a gallon of water. It’s important to test the strength on a leaf or two because if it’s too strong, it can burn the plant. However, it’s remarkably effective as a pest repellent.
You’ll also be able to decide what kind of soil you want to use to grow your food. Different plants thrive in different types of soil. For example, some, such as flowers and annual vegetables prefer peat-free soil, while blueberries require lime-free compost. Fruit trees benefit most from a soil based mix that releases nutrients slowly due to their long lives.

Mulching
No matter what kind of soil composition you choose, mulching is an important factor in preparing it for planting. Mulching is the process of enriching the soil. Two benefits of mulching are weed reduction and water conservation. Organic mulches are commonly made from decomposing plant materials. Many people set up a worm farm to provide natural compost for mulching. Worms are also able to detoxify soil of due to their ability to break down substances, including heavy metals like cadmium and lead.

Experts recommend not using live green materials rather than those already in an advanced state of decomposition because they can leach needed nitrogen from the soil. Proper mulching requires the soil to be covered with up to three inches of material to achieve the maximum benefits. However, the mulch should not cover the plant’s base, but only the root zones.

Methods
Depending on what kinds of vegetables you want to grow and how long your local growing season is, you can begin growing seedlings indoors, and then transplant them into your garden. It can take between four and twelve weeks for seedlings to sprout. The benefit is that you can then harvest your vegetables four to six weeks earlier than if you had planted the seeds directly into the ground.
This method is great for plants that are slow to mature or sensitive to weather conditions. Plants that do well with this method include peppers, melons, eggplants and tomatoes. However, some plants, such as root vegetables like beets and carrots, or that grow on stalks like corn and peas or vines, like zucchini, can’t be transplanted well.

Many websites offer tips about how to maximize your organic garden harvest, as well as how to preserve your fruits and vegetables to enjoy year round. With a bit of research, good will and patience, you too can be well on your way of growing your own healthy food.

Sourced from: http://www.organicangels.com/blog/4-simple-steps-for-growing-your-own-organic-food/

cookie-dough-bliss-balls-1-of-1

Cookie Dough Bliss Balls

– 4 tablespoons peanut butter
– 3 tablespoons honey*
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– pinch of salt
– 1 1/4 cups almond meal
– 40 grams dark chocolate, finely chopped

Place the peanut butter, honey, vanilla and salt into a bowl and mix to combine. Add the almond meal and mix to combine, work the mixture with your hands until it forms a dough. Add the chocolate and mix to combine.

Use your hands to press and shape the mixture into balls. Place the balls into the fridge to set.

*you can use rice malt syrup if you prefer.

Sourced from Wholefood Simply

Heal your gut naturally

How to heal your gut…naturally

There are many contributing factors that affect your gut health. Factors such as diet, food intolerances, lifestyle, hormones, sleep and medications will affect the state of how your body digests and eliminates what you eat and drink.

Your gut is the gateway to better health. This is because its primary role is to break down and absorb your food, providing your body with the nutrients and fuel to function at its best.
Feed your gut well, and your health will thrive, but feed it with the wrong types of foods and you compromise your body’s ability to promote growth and repair, support your immune system and keep your muscles and organs healthy.
While everyone has their own distinct genetic makeup and exposure to different environmental factors that influence their gut health, there are a few common factors that can trigger digestive issues.
Our bodies – specifically, our guts – are full of bacteria. In fact, there is more bacteria in the human body than there are cells, with approximately 100 trillion microorganisms inhabiting the bowel alone.
Thankfully, the vast majority of these bugs are good – or at least they should be, if we’re talking about an ideal gut. And that’s the key to gut health – ensuring that we have more of the ‘good’ bacteria than the ‘bad’.
These beneficial microorganisms are known as ‘probiotics’ They help us:
• digest food
• absorb nutrients
• break down some medications
• kill some of the bad bacteria that lead to infections

So, let’s learn how to heal out gut and get the most out of life!
Eat Probiotic Rich Foods
Since ancient times people have used probiotic rich foods, which have been naturally fermented, to provide the good bacteria needed for a healthy gut and overall health.
Kimchi, kombucha, kefir, miso, tempeh, sauerkraut, natural yogurt and apple cider vinegar are all examples of fermented foods you can eat for a healthier gut. In fact, some of these couldn’t be simpler to make.
Don’t Forget The Prebiotics
You can elevate the effectiveness of your probiotic rich foods by consuming some prebiotic foods too. Prebiotics are non-digestible carbohydrates that ‘feed’ the probiotics, encouraging them grow and multiply in your gut.
Prebiotic rich foods include artichoke, asparagus, bananas, chicory, garlic, onions, tomatoes and whole grains.
Use Probiotic Supplements
While fermented foods are the best and most natural way to get a healthy dose of probiotic bacteria, some people simply can’t stand the thought of consuming these cultures. In this case, probiotic supplements can be a good alternative.
It’s very important to choose a high-quality supplement from a reputable brand. Make sure it contains live strains of bacteria – which need to be kept refrigerated.
Cut Out Sugar & Processed Foods
The bad bacteria in our guts go into overdrive when we eat too much sugar! They are also quite partial to the fats found in processed foods – including cookies, cakes, chips, fries and pastries.
Consider if Antibiotics are Always Necessary
Some estimate that half of the antibiotics we are prescribed are unnecessary. We already know that this over-prescription leads to drug resistant bacteria, but it may also be seriously impacting the health of our guts in the long-term.
Following a course of broad-spectrum antibiotics, it can take weeks, months or even years for the gut’s microbes to get back into balance.
Shockingly, some researchers believe that antibiotics may even be causing permanent changes to the microflora of all people from generation to generation – passed on from mother to child.

The below Bone Broth recipe comes from Tiarna here in the EverEscents head office – wonderful for this time of the year – Be sure to let us know if you make it!
Ingredients:
• 8 Organic chicken drumsticks
• 4 cloves garlic (finely diced)
• 1 onion (roughly chopped)
• 1 inch of ginger root (roughly chopped)
• 1 medium carrot (diced)
• 1 parsnip (diced)
• 1 turnip (diced)
• 2 sticks of celery (diced)
• 4-6 cups of Organic chicken stock
• 2-4 cups of water
Preparation:
• Fill your pot full with water and stock, and add the herbs and vegetables.
• Cook on medium-high until bubbling, then reduce heat to low and allow to simmer covered, at least 8 hours, up to 48 hours, to taste.
• ENJOY 😊

Organic Orange Cake

Caramelised Orange Flourless Cake

Ingredients

Caramelised Oranges

  • 3/4 cups Organic Times Rapadura Sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 oranges

Cake

  • 175g Organic Times Salted Butter, room temperature, chopped into cubes
  • 3/4 cups Organic Times Rapadura Sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 cups Organic Times Almond Meal
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup gluten free all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp Organic Times Baking Powder

Method

Caramelised Oranges

  • Slice oranges into 2.5mm-thick slices, set aside.
  • In a large fry pan, combine sugar and water over medium heat until sugar is completely dissolved. Stirring occasionally.
  • Bring to the boil and add oranges slices in two batches. Gently boil slices over medium-high heat for 10 minutes or until candied and translucent, turning slices halfway through cooking.
  • Remove slices and set aside on a clean plate to cool slightly.
  • Preheat oven to 160ºC (320ºF). Grease and line a 23cm round springform tin with a large sheet of parchment paper. Press paper into base of tin and pleat and press paper round the sides.
  • Place oranges onto base of tin, slightly overlapping slices to cover base. Place extra slices halfway up sides of tin.

Cake

  • Place butter and sugar into a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until pale and creamy.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Add almond meal and buttermilk, beat until well combined.
  • Sift flour and baking powder over batter, fold through until just combined and smooth.
  • Gently pour batter into tin over orange slices.
  • Bake for 50 minutes – 1 hour or until cake springs back when touched and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  • Allow cake to cool in pan for 30 minutes.
  • Gently remove cake from pan by releasing the sides and turning it over onto a wire cooling rack.
  • Drizzle over remaining syrup and let set.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Recipe from our friends at Organic Times  

chocolate

Organic Chocolate vs Conventional Chocolate

Many chocolate lovers consume and enjoy chocolate without ever thinking about where it comes from or how it was produced. However, there are many issues surrounding the production of chocolate that are important for consumers to be aware of. With Easter only days away and people starting to purchase their loved one’s chocolate we explore the benefits of Organic chocolate and compare it to conventional chocolate. Read on to see what we found!

One of the main differences is that organic chocolate is created using cocoa beans which have not been treated with synthetic fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides. True organic chocolate should not stop at the cocoa bean—any other ingredients included in the blend (sugar, milk, nuts, fruit, spices, etc.) should be organic as well. Of course, just because the label reads organic does not mean that it is totally organic; check the labels closely—your chocolate’s organic percentage could be anywhere from 70% to 98%.

How is conventional chocolate produced?

Conventionally farmed cacao is awful for the environment. Second only to cotton, cacao farming uses the highest volume of synthetic and toxic pesticides. Synthetic pesticides, herbicides, and fertilisers affect the environment, the crop, and workers. As of today, there has been research into creating genetically-modified cacao, but there has not been any produced.

How is organic chocolate produced?

For a chocolate (or any food product) to be considered “organic” it must contain at least 95% organic ingredients. To make organic cacao, the farm replaces conventional fertilizers and soil conditioners with crop rotation practices and all-natural fertilisers (manure). Synthetic and toxic pesticides are never used, replaced with all-natural alternatives. These organic practices create a more sustainable crop, have a lower environmental impact, and are better for the workers who will not be exposed to the synthetic chemicals. On the manufacturing end, USDA Certified Organic chocolate also guarantees that no artificial flavours, dyes, or GMOs (genetically modified organisms) find their way into your chocolate.

So, there you have it. A great insight into the difference between Organic and conventional chocolates, If you are looking for an Organic chocolate this Easter my personal favourites are the following:

Pana – http://www.panachocolate.com/
Loving Earth – https://lovingearth.net/
Alter Eco – http://www.alterecofoods.com/

Click the links to check them out!

Have a wonderful and safe Easter and until next time,
Tiarna 😊