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What is the planet happy to give me to eat today?
Let's flip around the concept of looking in a recipe book for something that we would like to cook,
heading off to the supermarket to buy the required ingredients then coming home to make that for dinner.
20 Mar 2016
Pledge single use plastic free in July
Experts predict by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. Take part in Plastic Free July and pledge to stop using single use plastic items for one month.
5 July 2017
Glass Containers for safe food storage by Wean Green
Fabulous new larger size glass containers from Wean Green make it even easier to use glass at home for all your food preparation and storage,
as well as for lunch boxes, picnics and outdoor catering.
20 Mar 2016
Tanjung Puting orangutan sanctuary expedition
In September 1996, my mother, father and I shared a truly remarkable journey to "Camp Leakey"
at the heart of Tanjung Puting National Park in the south of Kalimantan, Indonesia.
20 Mar 2016

22 February 2018

The plastic invasion. How plastic is impacting our health and the environment.

We’re all aware of the impact of the accumulating mass of plastic pollution on our environment. Countless articles have been written and research undertaken has led scientists to uncover microplastics in the stomachs of birds and small marine animals. Now researchers have found plastic particles in our drinking water leading to serious concerns for the health of current and future civilizations. 

We have produced more plastic in the first ten years of this century then we have in the whole of the last twentieth century. Since the 1950s, we have produced over 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic and only 20% of the plastic we currently use each year is recycled or incinerated. So, what happens to the remaining 80% of plastic used? It ends up in landfill, in our oceans, or worse in the stomachs of animals who mistake it for food.

If plastic is harming our wildlife, could it be affecting us too? This was the question raised by scientists at Orb Media who recently completed a global study to understand if microplastic fibres were present in tap water from cities around the world. In a first of its kind study, Orb Media and partners collected and tested samples from 12 nations across 6 continents and discovered more than 80% of the water collected was contaminated with plastic particles.

The United States water samples had the highest contamination rate with 94% of plastic particles found in water samples from well-known buildings and landmarks including the Trump Tower in New York, Congress buildings, and the US Environmental Protection Agency’s headquarters. Closely following the United States were Lebanon and India. Water samples collected in the UK, Germany and France had the lowest contamination rate, but this was still high at 72%.

Scientists say if plastic particles are in our drinking water, they’re surely in our food too. This has been the case for the small aquatic animals including small fish and prawns, and it has now been found in sea salt. In a separate study, tiny particles of plastic have been discovered in store bought sea salt products in the UK, France, Spain, China and US. These studies prove plastic is infiltrating our lives and potentially harming our health.

Plastic is a vicious chemically produced product that causes more damage the longer it remains on the planet. It is virtually indestructible and doesn’t biodegrade; instead it breaks down into smaller fragments, some in nanometer scale (one-one thousandth of one-one thousandth of a millimetre). These are called microplastics and they are everywhere. They are floating in the atmosphere around us; shedding from our plastic produced clothing and the dust from tyres of the passing cars around us. These plastic particles are nearly impossible to see and therefore can easily be consumed and absorbed by our bodies. Studies have found particles in nanometer scale have the ability to penetrate the intestinal wall and be transported to other bodily organs including the lymph nodes.

Although there are currently no advanced filtration systems that can filter out plastic particles in nanometer scale, you can still do your bit to reduce your plastic impact on the environment by refusing to use single use plastics and wearing clothing made from natural fibres.

Orb Media: Invisibles - The plastic inside us
The Guardian: Sea salt around the world is contaminated by plastic, studies show

Related: Shave waste free and save the environment; The environmental problem with palm oil; What is a circular economy?

16 February 2018

What is a circular economy?

Image by circular.flanders (on Instagram)
What is a circular economy?

A circular economy is based on a regenerative system where resources input and waste are reduced by recycling, reusing and repurposing everything. It's a contrast to a linear economy which is structured on a 'take, make and dispose' system.

A circular economy is designed to extract the maximum value from the resources used in the initial development of products. This requires innovation from businesses to discover new ways to use existing materials rather than disposing them; and resourceful thinking from individuals to repurpose old or worn items.
Why is a circular economy important?

Along with forging new opportunities for product innovation and business development, a circular economy also helps to significantly reduce waste by keeping resources in a closed loop system for as long as possible. 

From start-ups to global companies, initiatives and innovations are beginning to form the cornerstone of business production models as waste continues to mount. TerraCycle, an international recycling and upcycling company, is a great example of a circular economy initiative that takes hard-to-recycle packaging and turns it into affordable, innovative products. From plastic pens and coffee pods to gloves and beauty packaging, TerraCycle collects and recycles these products eliminating them from landfill. TerraCycle has currently recycled over 3,783,212,164 pieces of waste.

How you can help

A circular economy relies heavily on consuming differently such as reusing products for as long as possible, recycling and upcycling. We can all work towards creating a circular economy in our own lives by repairing broken objects, buying second hand items, buying and using reusable items, recycling and finding a new purpose for old items. Below is a list of ways you can participate in a circular economy within your household.
  1. Refurbish old furniture;
  2. Mend worn clothing;
  3. Recycle as much as you can;
  4. Compost instead of purchasing fertiliser;
  5. Use reusable products such as a KeepCup, shopping bag, produce bags and water bottle;
  6. Shop at second hand stores;
  7. Buy new products made using recycled materials instead of virgin materials;
  8. Repurpose objects instead of discarding them;
  9. Try to live zero waste as much as possible; and
  10. Borrow and share household items instead of buying new ones.

09 February 2018

How to create a plastic free pantry

Creating a plastic free pantry is an easy way to reduce your contribution to landfill and exposure to chemicals from plastic.

Plastic free products are alternatives made from glass, stainless steel, organic cotton, hemp, jute, bamboo and wood, and have no plastic packaging. The benefit of glass is it is nontoxic, nonporous, stain resistant and infinitely recyclable whereas plastic is quite the opposite and made from a concoction of synthetic chemicals, some known carcinogens and hormone disruptors. Creating a plastic free pantry is easy and can be very affordable. Follow the steps below to create and maintain a plastic free pantry in your home.

1. Start by collecting and purchasing glass jars:
You can build up a collection on mismatched glass jars by collecting them as you use them from premade sauces and spreads. Alternatively, you can purchase a collection of matching glass jars specifically designed for storing a variety of foods. Kilner products are great for creating a plastic free pantry with its large range of glass jars available in various shapes and sizes. Kilner’s iconic clip top jars are perfect for storing pantry staples such as flour, sugar, pasta and rice whereas the preserving jars can be used for pickling foods or homemade jam.

2. Use reusable bags:
Maintaining a plastic free pantry is the most important aspect. It’s important to remember you are trying to eliminate all types of plastic from your pantry, including single use plastic from food packaging, grocery bags and produce bags. When preparing for your grocery shop, pack in your reusable shopping bags, bread bags, and produce bags. This will stop you from bring home additional single use plastic packaging.

3. Avoid purchasing anything in plastic:
When shopping, avoid purchasing anything in plastic packaging opt for foods in cardboard boxes, aluminium BPA free cans, and glass jars. Once used, the packaging can either be reused, recycled or composted.

4. Shop at local farmers markets and bulk food suppliers:
Instead of shopping at grocery stores where the aisles are filled with plastic packaging and premade foods, shop at farmers markets and bulk food suppliers where you can purchase wholefoods in bulk using your glass jars. Not only will you be supporting local producers and eliminating packaging, but you will also be reducing your food miles.

5. Bake and cook as much food from scratch:
A lot of premade foods are packaged in plastic. Instead of choosing the convenient option, use the wholefoods you bought in bulk to make your own foods from scratch. Not only does homemade cooking taste better, it does not contain artificial or synthetic preservatives, colours or ingredients.

Related: Shave waste free and save the environment; The environmental problem with palm oil; Hemp food approved for consumption

29 January 2018

Hemp food approved for consumption

Touted for its significant health benefits, it is likely hemp will rise to be Australia’s new favourite superfood.

After years of lobbying, national and state food minsters recently approved the consumption of low- tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) hemp seed foods in Australia. Commonly misconceived due to its close relations to marijuana, hemp consumption was prohibited in Australia due to concerns it would alter roadside and workplace drug tests. However, the recent approval for hemp consumption has given the green light on this new superfood, giving Australians the opportunity to boost their health with a protein rich and environmentally friendly food source.

When you review the health and environmental qualities of hemp, it stands out among its counterparts. Hemp as a food source contains various vitamins, minerals, and polyunsaturated fatty acids, including omega-3 fatty acids. It contains all 10 essential amino acids plus 14 fatty acids, making it a complete protein and one of the best plant-based proteins for vegans. Unlike marijuana, industrial hemp grown to produce food and other hemp materials contains much lower levels of the mind-altering chemical THC. Industrial hemp only contains approximately 0.3 to 1.5 percent of THC whereas marijuana can contain 5 to 10 percent or more.

Hemp is a highly sustainable quick growing plant that requires little water to produce, and is naturally resistant to pests which means it does not require chemical pesticides or herbicides. Unlike cotton and flax which can adsorb up to 50 percent of the pesticides sprayed on them. For farmers, hemp can be used as a rotational crop between planting periods. Its thick foliage and dense growth prevents sunlight reaching the soil which aids in reduce weed growth. The plant helps to replenish nutrients and improve soil tilth, reduce salinity, and absorb toxic metals from the soil. At its end of life, hemp can be recycled, reused or composted as it ire environmentally friendly thamore environemntally ore are limited in their scope and can be inconclusive, however as a conscis 100 per cent biodegradable.

Related: Shave waste free and save the environmentBattling Australia’s bottled water crisis; The state of Australia’s waste    

22 January 2018

Shave waste free and save the environment

 There are many ways plastic can sneak into our lives, and a disposable plastic razor is one of them.

According to the EnvironmentalProtection Agency (EPA) approximately two billion disposable razors enter landfills every year in the United States of America. Men and women spend a small fortune on these plastic items which are designed to be discarded and replaced frequently. These items are used for approximately two weeks to three months before the entire razor or razor head is replaced.

Most disposable razors are made from a plastic that never truly breaks down. Limited recycling programs make it difficult for people to dispose of their razors responsibly, with most ending up in landfill. The plastic can last in the environment for over 1,000 years and then eventually break down into smaller fragments.

You can still have an incredibly close and comfortable shave while reducing your impact on the environment – simply swap a plastic disposable razor for a reusable safety razor. Every part of a reusable safety razor is truly zero waste. Parker safety razors, made from brass with a chrome plating, are 100 per cent plastic free and designed to last a lifetime. The replaceable razor blades can be recycled at the end of their use, unlike disposable razors, which cannot be easily recycled as they are fixed inside the plastic razor head.

Investing in a reusable razor will not only reduce the impact on the environment, but will potentially save individuals hundreds of dollars every year.

19 December 2017

Park Lake State School recycles over 14,700 empty beauty products

Park Lake State School in the Gold Coast, Queensland, has won Australia’s first playground made from recycled beauty products in the national Garnier Recycled Playground Competition, in which schools around the country recycled over 145,000 empty beauty care products otherwise destined for landfill.

Technically, beauty product waste – such as empty shampoo bottles, used lipstick and body wash dispensers – is recyclable in Australia, however due to the high cost of recycling mixed-plastic items like these, most beauty product waste ends up in landfill. TerraCycle is an international recycling and upcycling company that takes hard-to-recycle packaging and turns it into affordable, innovative products.

From 9 October to 8 December 2017, Garnier and global recycling pioneers TerraCycle ran the Garnier Recycled Playground Competition to encourage preschools and primary schools nationwide to collect and recycle empty beauty products of all brands, and raise awareness about waste and recycling. Park Lake State School was the competition’s top collector for 2017. The school won a $45,000 recycled playground made from beauty product waste, which all schools collected during the competition period.

The empty beauty products collected by schools will be cleaned, shredded and melted down into hard plastic, which will be remoulded to make the playground. In its operations, TerraCycle’s goal is to create materials that can be used as a sustainable alternative to virgin materials and plastics, which require more crude oil in their production.

The Garnier Recycled Playground Competition was open to all pre- and primary schools and together, all participating schools collected an outstanding 145,000 units of empty beauty products. The competition runners-up up were Colyton Public School in Mt Druitt, NSW, and Main Arm Upper Primary School in Main Arm, NSW, who won $4,500 worth of prizes between them.

“We’ve been really inspired by Australian schools’ commitment to recycling in this program, and by their hard work in raising awareness about waste and sustainability,” said Jean Bailliard, General Manager of TerraCycle Australia & New Zealand. “The level of community support for local schools has been phenomenal.”

The 2017 Garnier & TerraCycle Recycled Playground Competition is part of the broader Beauty Products Recycling Program sponsored by the L’Oréal Australia Group, which includes brands such as Garnier, Maybelline, L’Oréal Paris and La Roche-Posay. The program allows all Australians to divert empty skin care, hair care and cosmetic products from landfill free-of-charge. Additionally, for each approved unit of beauty product waste received, collectors earn AU$0.02 per item for funding towards their school or nominated charity.

It’s free and easy to recycle beauty product waste with the Beauty Products Recycling Program – everyone can join and collect! The Beauty Products Recycling Program is ongoing, so schools and the community can continue to collect, recycle and raise funds in 2018. For more information about the Beauty Products Recycling Program, visit

TerraCycle program at Biome:

Biome Eco Stores currently offer a complimentary in store 'end of life' recycling program to all Biome customers. They accept all used product packaging and beauty and cleaning containers, which will then be responsibly recycled through the TerraCycle program.

12 December 2017

The environmental problem with palm oil

The world is currently bordering on witnessing the utter consequences of a significant environmental disaster. The global consumption of palm oil intensified by recent decades of commercial demand has dramatically increased production, causing catastrophic and widespread environmental destruction. Found in a vast range of commercial products, palm oil is directly linked to several environmental issues including mass deforestation, animal cruelty, habitat degradation and fragmentation, climate change, exploitation of indigenous rights, and impending extinction of certain endangered species. Without consumer awareness and objection, the effects of unsustainable palm oil will likely join the ranks of the world’s worst environmental disasters facilitated by humans. 

Over 60 million tons of palm oil is produced each year with estimations of it doubling over the next decade. With the highest rate of deforestation in the world, Indonesia is also the highest producer of palm oil, supplying over 61 percent to global markets with Malaysia following close behind. These two countries combined produce almost 90 percent of the world’s palm oil on three islands, Borneo, Sumatra and Papua. Palm oil is extracted from the fruit of the African oil palm which grows rapidly in monoculture plantations in peatlands pressing at the boundaries of the last protected areas of these forests. Around 300 football fields of the world’s most biologically diverse rainforests are felled every hour for palm oil plantations, killing around 6000 orangutans, plus Sumatran tigers and many other species every year.

Australians unknowingly consume on average 10 kilograms of palm oil each year and unclear food labelling makes it hard for people to exercise their consumer choice. Palm oil is a high yield and low cost versatile ingredient used extensively in most manufactured foods, cleaning products, body care, make up and bio fuels. Currently, there is a significant ‘glossing over’ occurring in the industry where most brands are choosing to not disclose the use of palm oil on their packaging. Inadequate government labelling regulations allow brands to hide palm oil behind more than 200 alternate names such as vegetable oil, Glycerine, Plant Surfactant and Caprylic Triglyceride, making it extremely confusing for consumers to identify. While some brands claim to be cruelty free and promote everything they do not contain, palm oil is used and hidden in their formulations. 

To further complicate the issue, there is substantial greenwashing around the term ‘sustainable palm oil’ which makes 99 percent of ‘sustainable palm oil’ claims unreliable. The industry’s self-regulating body the RSPO has developed a complex certification scheme that allows non-certified oil use such as GreenPalm to be labelled ‘sustainable’. The only 100 percent certain way to know if the palm oil used in a product is sustainable is to trace it back to plantation where it was grown, and this is almost impossible. The complex supply chain, hidden nature of palm oil use, and the fuzzy certification scheme have allowed manufacturers to get away with the guise of ‘sustainable palm oil’ for too long. For this reason, it is not possible to rely on a brand's assurances that they use ‘sustainable palm oil’ because they generally have not obtained thorough and legally binding commitments from their suppliers. 

Biome is 100% free from untraceable palm oil, and no longer stocks products with palm oil derived ingredients, except for Dr Bronner's who grown their own palm on ethical and sustainably managed plantations in Ghana.

What can you do?

There are five ways you can avoid products containing palm oil and help reduce the destruction caused by palm oil cultivation.

1. Avoid all products containing palm oil, including processed and packaged foods;
2. Don’t trust claims including cruelty free, organic, vegan and sustainable palm oil;
3. Check ingredients lists for Glycerine, Plant Surfactant and Caprylic Triglyceride;
4. Adopt an orangutan or donate money to BOS Australia to help purchase a large block of rainforest on Borneo; and
5. Shop for palm oil free products at Biome.


21 September 2017

How to improve gut health naturally

Supporting healthy gut microbiome is important for overall body health and digestion. Many studies have found links between gut microbiota imbalances and numerous health illnesses including depression, anxiety, obesity, fatigue, irregular blood sugar levels and inflammatory bowel disease.

You can improve your gut health by consuming foods that contain the right prebiotics for gut bacteria health including almonds, asparagus, cereal grains, garlic, greens, kiwi, leeks, legumes, mushrooms, oats, onions and bananas. These are also known as prebiotics which are indigestible carbohydrates that reach the intestines and provide nutrients to various strains of beneficial bacteria in that area.

Resistance starch is a beneficial prebiotic that supports gut bacteria and can be found in a variety of foods including raw potatoes and green bananas. Green bananas produce the world’s best quality resistant starch high in minerals that feed healthy gut bacteria.

Green banana nutritional supplements can improve your health by providing multi-fibre nutrition that nourishes gut bacteria and supports general wellbeing. Natural Evolution produce a range of baking products made from green bananas including resistance starch, baking flour and smoothie mixes which provide excellent gluten-free, vegan and paleo alternatives. The Green Banana baking flour and resistance starch can be added to a range of meals including soups, cakes, bliss and protein balls, smoothies and cereals.

Green banana products aren’t just good for your health, they also help to reduce the amount of unsaleable food waste. They are packed full of nutrients but since they cannot be sold for consumption due to specific supermarket guidelines, they would otherwise go to waste.

Natural Evolution support Australian farmers by purchasing their green unwanted bananas and turn them into various products to improve beneficial gut bacteria.

06 September 2017

The benefits of activated charcoal

Activated charcoal is a powerhouse ingredient touted for its purifying and absorption properties making it a perfect ingredient for natural skin and body care. It is a highly absorbent and porous substance commonly made from wood, peat, bamboo, and coconut materials. Regularly used in hospitals for poison control, when ingested it binds to chemicals and toxins in the body and flushes them out. The activated charcoal made for ingesting is commonly made from coconut. To produce activated charcoal, the substance is heated to high temperatures and treated with oxygen to produce highly absorbent pores in the substance. When used for oral care, the activated charcoal absorbs the stains, bacteria and toxins on your teeth, and restores the pH balance in your mouth. Take a look at the various ways you can use charcoal in your daily routine to naturally cleanse and purify your skin, hair and body.

Filter water

Most tap water contains numerous toxins and chemicals. To avoid ingesting these on a daily basis, add a charcoal stick to filter, alkalise and mineralise your water. The porous properties of the sticks absorb the toxins leaving you with fresh filtered drinking water.

Whiten teeth

Activated charcoal powder can be used to whiten teeth and promote good oral health. Its absorption properties draw out oils and stains from the teeth commonly caused by coffee, tea, spices, wine and berries. It also helps to balance the pH levels in your mouth, which prevents bad breath, gum disease and cavities. Use activated charcoal powder, toothpaste and a toothbrush to deeply cleans and remove toxins from your mouth.

Absorb odours

You can use activated charcoal in your homemade deodorant recipes. When combined with other highly absorbent ingredients such as bentonite clay and bi-carb soda, it helps to absorb odour, moisture and toxins.

Cleanse skin and hair

Cleanse your skin and unclog pores with a homemade activated charcoal facemask, soap or hair treatment. It will draw out any impurities in your skin or hair, leaving it feeling soft and clean.

Detox the body

The purifying and absorption properties of activated charcoal make it a great ingredient to help detox your body. It will absorb toxins inside your body and will help with all-over body health.

Relieve bloating and gas discomfort

Activated charcoal can be taken to relieve bloating and gas discomfort. When ingested, the ingredient absorbs internal gas that promotes bloating. You can purchase activated charcoal capsules for this purpose.

29 August 2017

How your washing could be harming the environment

Most of us are aware of how our consumption of single use plastics and non-biodegradable items contribute to environmental waste. We do our best to not litter, reduce our waste and pick up rubbish when we see it, but what about the waste produced from washing our clothes?

Research has uncovered a single washing machine cycle can pollute our oceans with up to 700,000 microscopic plastic fibres. These fibres which are considered microplastics, less than 5 mm in diameter, are nearly impossible to see and clean up. They end up floating in our oceans, harming our marine life and poisoning our food supply with toxic chemicals. The Guardian coined it “the biggest environmental problem you've never heard of.”

Most clothing produced nowadays is made from synthetic plastic fibres. Fabrics such as polyester, acrylic, nylon, rayon, acetate, spandex, latex, Orlon and Kevlar are all made from synthetic plastic fibres in a process called polymerization. Chemicals produce from natural non-renewable resources such as sodium hydroxide and carbon disulfide are used to produce most synthetic plastic fibres. The chemicals are pushed through spinnerets which are tiny holes that cool the chemicals and form tiny synthetic threads. The threads are then dyed and weaved into fabric. Synthetic fibres can be made with different qualities which make some synthetic fabrics more environmentally damaging than others when washed. Research completed by Plymouth University found acrylic fabric had the biggest environmental impact, releasing approximately 730,000 synthetic fibres in a single cycle.

Synthetic plastic fibres don’t biodegrade and the manufacturing process is environmentally damaging. Purchasing clothing made from natural fabrics such as cotton, linen (made from flax), silk, wool, cashmere, hemp or jute are more eco-friendly alternatives. These natural fabrics which have been used for thousands of years are non-toxic and biodegradable. When washed, they shed natural fibres that don’t pose a threat to our marine life.

21 August 2017

How to create waste free school lunches

Waste free lunches are designed to eliminate the use of unnecessary packaging by using reusable products that are environmentally friendly. This means no excess waste is produced in the making or consumption of school lunches.

Creating waste free lunches is an easy way to help ensure your child is consuming food that is nutritious and less toxic by reducing packaged and processed foods and introducing fresh whole foods. Initiatives such as ‘wrapper Free Wednesday’ encourage parents to create waste free lunches to support a healthier environment by decreasing the amount of waste produced by school lunches. Below are five easy ways to pack a waste free school lunch.

 Sandwich wraps

Sandwiches are one of the easiest meals to make for school lunches but they are commonly packaged in plastic wrapping or contained in a plastic sealable bag. To reduce this single use waste, use a reusable sandwich wrap instead. They come in a range of bright colours and prints, and will keep your child’s lunch fresh all day. When they return home simply place in the dishwasher or washing machine to be reused again.

Reusable food pouches

Plastic sealable bags are a hazard for the environment. Not only do they use valuable resources to produce, they also harm the environment in the production, transport and disposal of the products. Reusable food pouches are the perfect waste-free solution. They have a similar design to disposable sealable bags but are more durable and designed to be reused multiple times. They are produced using non-toxic materials providing a safer and more environmentally friendly alternative for your child’s lunch box. You can store various foods in the pouches including yoghurt, small berries, nuts, juice and more. Make sure your child brings them home as they can be washed and reused.

Bento lunch boxes 

Bento style lunch boxes originally created in Japan during the Kamakura Period (1185-1333) are increasing in popularity due to their waste-free design. The design provides multiple compartments that allow you to store a variety of foods without extra packaging. From fruit and vegetables to crackers and sandwiches, these environmentally friendly lunch boxes can improve the nutritional value of your child’s lunch by reducing the use of pre-packaged products.

Water bottles

Plastic water bottles are a major environmental issue. They extract valuable natural resources to produce and pollute our earth with litter that takes hundreds of years to break down. Provide your child with a reusable water bottle instead of a disposable one. The plastic made for disposable water bottles contains several toxic chemicals. When the bottle is heated to certain temperatures, the plastic begins to break down leaching harmful chemicals into the water. Reusable stainless steel water bottles or BPA-free plastic bottles are healthier alternatives for your child and the environment.


Plastic cutlery commonly made from polystyrene is extremely harmful for the environment as it is hard to recycle, therefore majority of the waste ends up in landfill. Instead of providing your child with single use plastic cutlery, give them their own set of reusable cutlery to use. Cutlery made from bamboo, stainless steel, BPA-free plastic or wood are perfect for school lunch boxes and will help to reduce your contribution to landfill.

16 August 2017

Why you should go meat free on Mondays

If you’re on your journey to live more sustainably and want to improve your environmental impact, Meat Free Monday is a great way to reduce your consumption of meat. Launched by Paul, Mary and Stella McCartney in 2009, Meat Free Monday raises awareness of the devastating environmental impact of meat production from the livestock industry, and encourages people to reduce their consumption by having one meat free day each week. Meat Free Monday isn’t a push for people to become vegetarian or vegan, but rather about rising awareness of the environmental and health benefits of reducing your consumption of meat.

Livestock farming is a rapidly growing industry that has severe implications for the earth’s climate. The consumption of meat world-wide has greatly increased in recent decades leading to a significant rise in meat production globally. According to Worldwatch Institute’s Nourishing the Planet project, production has tripled in the past four decades, and risen by 20% in the last 10 years.

The agricultural industry relies on large pastures of land and non-renewable resources to produce animal feed, and support livestock farming. More than one-fourth of the earths land is used for the production of livestock farming of meat, milk and eggs. This has a devastating effect on the environment where rainforests are being cleared, leading to habitat destruction and loss of animals globally. Along with this, the industry uses approximately one third of the world’s fresh water to support the production of meat which includes the farming of feed for livestock.

The industry’s greenhouse gas emission contribution exceeds the combined exhaust from all transportation, accounting for 18 per cent globally, while producing 40 per cent of the world’s
methane and 65 percent of the world’s nitrous oxide.
Reducing your consumption of meat is not only good for the environment but it is good for your health too. Enjoying meat free Monday’s doesn’t mean you have to dramatically change your lifestyle. It can be as simple as swapping your meat patty on your burger for a vegetable patty, or using lentils in your curry instead of chicken.

Cowspiracy is a insightful environmental documentary that investigates the environmental impact of that animal agriculture industry.

Try meat free Monday this week!

09 August 2017

How to reduce your waste habits to fight climate change

Everyone has the ability to fight climate change by reducing their waste habits. Even the most simple daily changes can make a big impact. Below are 12 ways you can reduce your waste habits to fight climate change.
  1. Buy in bulk: Buying in bulk is an easy way to reduce your consumption of single use packaging. Swap your pre-packaged supermarket items for bulk wholesale purchases. When visiting your bulk wholesaler, remember to pack in your reusable containers and jars, and only buy what you need. This simple lifestyle change will significantly reduce your annual household contribution to landfill.
  2. Reduce food waste: Australians waste approximately $10 billion in food every year. Reduce your household food waste by setting weekly meal plans and only buy food you need for the week. Eat leftovers for lunch or turn them into another meal. Keep food in your fridge and pantry fresher for longer by storing it correctly in food storage containers and bags.
  3. Use reusable shopping bags: Plastic bags are one of Australia’s largest environmental hazards with over 3.92 billion plastic bags used and disposed each year. Using reusable shopping bags instead of plastic disposable ones will greatly reduce your contribution to landfill.
  4. Reduce food miles: When buying food, try to reduce your food miles as much as possible by purchasing direct from your local farmer. Where possible, avoid purchasing pre-packaged food and opt for buying in bulk from a local wholesaler. Reduce your use of single use plastics by using reusable containers to store your purchases.
  5. Stop using plastic food wrap: Plastic food wrap is one of the most wasteful products used in kitchens. This single use plastic destine for landfill uses valuable natural resources to produce and releases numerous toxic chemicals in production, transport and disposal. Durable containers, reusable food covers and beeswax wraps are eco-friendly alternatives that will reduce your use of plastic food wrap.
  6. Recycle what you can: The recycling service offered by most local councils is a great environmentally friendly initiative that makes it easy for every household to reduce their contribution to landfill. Keep a separate bin in your kitchen for recyclables and regularly sort out your general waste from your recycling. Contact your local council if you are unsure of what to recycle to ensure you place your waste in the correct bins provided.
  7. Use toxin-free cleaning products: Chemicals are in numerous household products from shampoo and soap to detergent and toilet cleaner. Switching to nontoxic environmentally friendly cleaning products will reduce the number of chemicals you use in your home and will support a healthier environment. An affordable alternative is to make your own from natural ingredients. This will ensure you know exactly what is in each product and you can avoid the nasty chemicals found in most conventional cleaning products.
  8. Repair, swap or donate: Try repairing broken or worn objects before replacing them. This will not only save you money but will prevent functioning items being sent to landfill. If you need to replace an item you might have outgrown or simply don’t require anymore, try swapping it or donating it.
  9. Grow your own produce: From edible flowers and herbs to vegetables and fruit trees, it is possible for everyone to grow their own produce regardless of the size of their backyard, balcony or home. If you live in an apartment and don’t have access to a backyard, try growing smaller plants and vegetables in pots on your balcony or kitchen windowsill, and join a community garden to grow larger produce. If you have a backyard, dedicate a small section to planting edible plants. Growing your own produce will significantly reduce your carbon footprint by reducing the food miles of the produce you consume.
  10. Switching to LED lighting: Replace old incandescent, halogen or compact fluorescent bulbs with LED bulbs. They have a longer lifespan, consume less energy per lumen produced, and do not emit UV radiation. Switching to LED lighting will reduce your carbon footprint and save you money.
  11. Eat less meat: The meat industry contributes around 6 billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year. Try reducing your weekly meat consumption by having one meat free day each week. Take part in Meat Free Monday and opt for plant-based meals more regularly.
  12. Be thoughtful about your wardrobe : The production of clothing has a big impact on the climate, especially with the sudden increase in fast fashion production. When purchasing clothing, try to avoid buying new items and opt for purchasing second hand items or swapping clothing with family and friends. If you do need to buy brand new, buy ethically made clothing from environmentally friendly materials.
Related: The environmental impact of plastic straws; The true environmental costs of disposable coffee cupsTop environmental documentaries to watch

04 August 2017

Why bamboo is better for your health and the environment

Most products currently sold to consumers are made from plastic. From pegs and coat hangers to toothbrushes and clothing. Over the years, the material has become engrained in manufacturing processes which is subsequently passed on to consumers through various product offerings.

Plastic is not only bad for the environment but it also impacts your health. The manufacturing process of plastic releases numerous harmful toxins in the production, transport and disposal of the material. When sent to landfill, the product can take hundreds of years to break down while leaching toxic chemicals into the environment. Bamboo is a healthier and more environmentally friendly alternative to plastic.

Bamboo is a naturally regenerative plant that is extremely resilient requiring minimal water and fertilisers. Its prolific nature makes it an incredibly sustainable plant as it grows at a much faster rate than trees and cotton. It takes approximately 25 to 70 years for some trees to reach maturity opposed to bamboo which reaches maturity within four years. It is also 100 per cent biodegradable and compostable making its complete lifecycle more environmentally friendly than other materials.

The unique manufacturing methods of bamboo fibre help to combat the environmental impacts caused by plastic and unsustainable deforestation. It can be manufactured into various materials including construction, paper and homewares.

Bamboo provides great health benefits for allergy sufferers as it is naturally antibacterial and hypo-allergenic. Its non-toxic nature makes it a safe material for manufacturing products for oral use such as toothbrushes. There are many household items you can replace with sustainable bamboo products including tissues, kitchen utensils, toys, clothing, flooring, pegs, hairbrushes, bedding and towels. Swapping some of your plastic household items for bamboo alternatives will positively impact your health and the environment.

Related: How to get rid of insects in house naturally; Plastic free living ; The state of Australia’s waste

27 July 2017

How to get rid of insects in house naturally

Modern society has conceptualised the idea that insects are dirty creatures that need to be killed as soon as they emerge, especially in the house. Ads such as Raid, show a pristine house where insects can be killed immediately with a toxic can of bug spray. We have become accustom to buying the most toxic sprays to ensure our homes are pest free. However, until you look at the ingredients list on the back of those toxic pest sprays, you don’t realise how many harmful chemicals you are spraying around your home, and not only harming the wildlife surrounding your home, but putting your health at risk too. Toxic bug sprays are filled with carcinogenic, hormone disrupting, and poisonous chemicals. They fill the air with toxic particles that linger for you to inhale, and settle on your floors and furniture. You can get rid of insects from your house in a humane way using natural and toxin free solutions.

To get rid of insects in house naturally, use the below solutions:

  1. Ants: Clean surfaces daily with a 50/50 solution of vinegar and water. The vinegar destroys the ants scent trails. 
  2. Flies: Lemon, cloves and lavender are scents that a particularly effective in repelling flies. Use these scents in areas of your home where flies commonly appear.
  3. Cockroaches: A clean house is the easiest way to minimise cockroach invasions. To prevent them from entering or living in your home, place some cucumber slices and bay leaves in areas where cockroaches are active such as under fridges, near sinks and under cupboards. The scent will repel them and keep them from your home. 
  4. Mosquitoes: Grow catnip in your garden to deter mosquitos from your home. Mosquitos don’t like the scent. 
  5. Fruit flies: Fruit flies hate the scent of basil. Place a pot of basil in your kitchen or put a few sprigs in your fruit bowl.
  6. Rats/Mice: Peppermint oil is a natural mice and rat deterrent. The intense smell of peppermint oil repels them and disguised the scent of food they are initially attracted to. Dab peppermint oil around your home in areas mice and rats frequent.
  7. Wasps: Deter wasps with a fake nest. Wasps are extremely territorial and usually won’t nest within 15 meters of another nest. Place one at the front and back of your home to keep wasps away.
  8. Spiders: Spiders hate peppermint. Makes solution of peppermint oil and water in a spray bottle and disperse it around your home, in cupboards, corners, and in entryways to deter spiders. Vinegar is just as effective and can be used in the same way to repel spiders.
Related: Why bamboo is better for your health and the environment ; Plastic free living ; The state of Australia’s waste;

19 July 2017

The environmental impact of fast fashion

Fast fashion isn’t just a term used in the fashion industry. It’s now on the lips of environmentalists and environmentally concerned citizens.

The term ‘fast fashion’ is used to describe the fashion industry’s recent transformational shift whereby manufacturing processes are accelerated to introduce new trends to the market faster and more affordably. Fashion is one of the largest industries in the world, accounting for 2% of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Over 80 billion new textile items are purchased globally every year which has dramatically increased by 400% over the past two decades. This industry is now the second highest polluter in the in the world, second to oil. Fast fashion is becoming an environmental crisis and we need to act now before it’s too late!

Manufactures are producing more textiles than ever before to meet consumer demands. What was once an industry that released two collections a year, has adapted to releasing 52 micro-collections annually, predominately consisting of inexpensive and low-quality garments. The stores work on a business model of low margins/high turnover luring customers into a fast fashion cycle of buying an item, wearing it only a few times before discarding it and purchasing another ‘trending’ item.

Currently, North Americans are the highest consumers of textiles in the world followed closely by Australians, purchasing approximately 27 kilograms of new fashion and textiles annually – twice the global average of 13 kilograms per person annually. 

This is what 6000 kg of fashion waste looks like. We waste this every 10 minutes in Australia. Thanks @1millionwomen for capturing this photo for ABC's War on Waste series coming soon.

What effect is this having on our planet?
Apart from significantly contributing to landfill, fast fashion production and waste impacts the environment on several levels.

Emissions and toxins:
Around two-thirds of clothing purchased is made of synthetic fibres such as acrylic, polyester and nylon, which is essentially petroleum derived plastic. This type of plastic produces tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions during manufacturing. The toxic dyes used to colour clothing is discolouring the rivers close to the manufacturing facilities, whereby farmers downstream are predicting the colour of the season by the river’s colour.

The most recent fast fashion environmental concern is the shedding of synthetic fibres when the garments are washed. During one machine cycle a synthetic garment can shed over 1900 fibres. These fibres which are considered microplastics are nearly impossible to see and clean up. They end up in our oceans, harming our marine life and poisoning our food supply with toxic chemicals. The Guardian coined it “the biggest environmental problem you've never heard of.”

Approximately 85% of Australian’s textile purchases are discard in landfill annually – that’s more than 500,000 tonnes every year. While the synthetic garments take thousands of years to break down, they produce microplastics in the process.

What can you do?
1. Buy clothing mage from natural fibres.
2. Buy only what you need and wear it as much as possible.
3. When you are ready to part with your clothing, swap, sell, gift it to a friend or donate it to charity. If it's well worn, cut it up and use it as cleaning rags.  
4. Purchase from sustainable and local clothing producers

10 July 2017

The benefits of natural DIY skincare

Since when did skincare become so complicated. From anti-aging creams to pore minimising serums, we lather ourselves in creams, oils, scrubs and treatments promoting dubious claims but at the end of the day, are we just giving away our money to large profit driven companies?

Preying on people’s vulnerabilities and insecurities is an age-old marketing tactic that rakes in billions of dollars for global profit driven skin care corporations, for which most people fall victim to their marketing hype, fancy advertising campaigns and costly celebrity endorsements. We are promised eternal youth by big brands and fork out thousands of dollars for products with dubious claims in the hope of looking younger, but what we are truly paying for is the expensive promotional campaigns and not just the products themselves.

A Global Industry Analysts report estimates the global anti-aging products market will peak at $352.7 billion by 2020. The multi-national corporations producing these products don’t truly care about you, your health or the environment. They only care about developing the next ‘miracle cream’ to boost their bottom line. Their products are mostly made from synthetic ingredients and are mass produced - some still test on animals.  

They present pseudoscientific claims that make the products benefits believable to most people, increasing sales and demand, and because it’s a billion-dollar industry with mutually dependent industries such as manufacturing, retail and advertising, these claims are rarely questioned or tested, and instead further endorsed. The most empowering thing you can do as an independent consumer is to stop using the commercial skincare products and start making your own natural products at home.

Biome’s Naked Beauty Bar was formulated to combat this issue and offer a natural and environmentally friendly alternative to chemical produced products. The Naked Beauty Bar takes a back to basics approach, allowing you to truly understand the ingredients in your products. Instead of purchasing expensive creams produced by global brands, you can make your own at home from a few simple natural ingredients. From lip balm and body scrub to deodorant and toothpaste, you can make various beauty products from naturally derived ingredients including clay, salt, avocado oil, ground coffee, shea and cocoa butter, honey, vinegar, sugar, soap berries, charcoal, essential oils, petals and herbs. These ingredients possess beneficial properties that nourish and heal the skin naturally. 

Don’t fall victim to large corporations elaborate promotional campaigns and pseudoscientific claims. Save money by making your own natural skin care products at home.

Related: Natural toxin free deodorant; Cutting chemicals out of cosmetics; What is in your sunscreen?

05 July 2017

Pledge single use plastic free in July


Take part in Plastic Free July and pledge to stop using single use plastic items for one month.

Experts predict by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. That's because plastic never breaks down entirely, every piece of plastic manufactured remains in some form and continues to pollute the environment and endanger wildlife. Large plastic objects such as single use water bottles break down into microplastics which are nearly impossible to see and clean up.

I have been championing plastic free living for over 14 years. It’s a fantastic way to challenge yourself, set personal goals to reduce waste, and lessen your environmental impact. Each year, over 300 million tons of plastic is manufactured worldwide. We have produced more plastic in the first ten years of this century then we have in the whole of the last twentieth century. It is now more important than ever before for everyone to reduce their plastic use and lead the global plastic free movement during Plastic Free July.

Using reusable products and avoiding single use plastics is the easiest way to live plastic free and reduce your environmental impact. Single use plastics include any product or packaging that is used once and then discarded including shopping bags, produce bags, straws, water bottles, coffee cups and packaging.

I’m a strong advocate for Plastic Free July, but I also understand how overwhelming this challenge can be for some people. Making a dramatic lifestyle change is challenging and hard to maintain long-term, it can be easier for some people to commit to smaller changes in the beginning.

If you are starting your first Plastic Free July challenge and feel overwhelmed committing to the complete challenge, I recommend trying Plastic Free July’s Top 4 challenge to stop using one of single use plastic water bottles, shopping bags, straws or takeaway coffee cups.

You can pledge to stop using one type of disposable product this Plastic Free July. Share your pledge with friends and start the conversation. Every small action counts.

To read more about Plastic Free July visit

To show your support and make a Plastic Free July Biome Pledge visit

Related: Your war on wasteBattling Australia’s bottled water crisis; The state of Australia’s waste    

16 June 2017

Your war on waste

Did you watch ABC’s War On Waste series and feel inspired to make small positive changes to reduce your environmental footprint? Here are some quick and easy ways you can reduce your waste inspired by the topics highlighted in the War On Waste series.

Your war on waste starts here:

1. Reusable coffee cup

Reduce your disposable coffee cup waste by using a reusable coffee cup. We use approximately one billion disposable coffee cups each year, making this single use item one of the largest contributors to waste along with plastic bottles and bags. People forget that it’s not just about the waste at the end, but the precious non-renewable resources that go into making those takeaway items in the first place. Simple changes such as using a reusable coffee cup can reduce a significant amount of waste and pollution, and of course save precious resources.

2. #Banthebag

Australians are the second highest waste producers in the world, producing on average 690 kilograms of waste per person each year. Plastic bags are one of Australia’s largest environmental hazards with over 3.92 billion plastic bags used and disposed each year. Using reusable shopping and produce bags instead of plastic disposable ones will greatly reduce your contribution to landfill. Take part in influencing change to #banthebag - more details here.

3. Start a zero-waste kit

A zero-waste kit makes it easy for you to eat and drink waste-free while out-and-about. You can make up your own kit depending on the items you use most, but generally a zero-waste kits includes a reusable water bottle, cup, container, straw, cutlery and napkin. Take your zero-waste kit everywhere you go and you will never have to use single use disposable items again.

4. Reduce wardrobe waste

Wear what you have in the wardrobe and don’t give in to buying a new item of clothing just because it’s in fashion. Instead, visit your local op-shop or swap clothes with a friend. If you do need to buy brand new, buy ethically made clothing from environmentally friendly materials.

5. Reduce household waste

Australia’s dependence on landfill as a waste management system is greatly affecting the environment with waste increasing at a compound growth rate of 7.8 per cent per annum. When buying food, reduce your food miles as much as possible by purchasing direct from your local farmer. Where possible, avoid purchasing pre-packaged food and opt for buying in bulk from a local wholesaler. Reduce your use of single use plastics by using non-toxic containers to store your purchases. The recycling service offered by most local councils is a great environmentally friendly initiative that makes it easy for every household to reduce their contribution to landfill. Keep a separate bin in your kitchen for recyclables and regularly sort out your general waste from your recycling. When a valuable household item breaks, don’t discard it – fix it. Society has become accustom to throwing away items that can easily be repaired. The next time something breaks, don’t throw it away, head to your local hardware store instead. Reduce, recycle and repair!

6. Compost

Composting your food scraps not only provides you with nutrient rich fertiliser for your garden, it also helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions produced by landfill. Plant matter requires air to decompose properly, therefore when placed in landfill among other chemically produced waste, it doesn’t decay cleanly. The dense layers trap the waste and generate an anaerobic environment which causes the plant matter to produce methane gas as it decays, harming the ozone layer with potent greenhouse gases. Instead of discarding food scraps in the general waste bin opt for a compost bin. The design of compost bins has evolved making it easy for everyone to compost their scraps. From small Bokashi Bins for units to large bins for houses, the new designs prevent smells leaching out and flies getting in making it more desirable to use a compost bin.

Start implementing these small changes into your daily routine and you will discover just how easy it is to reduce your waste.

Related: The environmental impact of plastic straws; The true environmental costs of disposable coffee cupsTop environmental documentaries to watch

31 May 2017

How to detox your home

Most of us are focused on living a healthy life whether it be exercising regularly, eating healthy foods or reducing internal toxins, however detoxing the home is an area that is commonly overlooked but can benefit your health and wellbeing greatly.

The average home contains between 500 to 1000 chemicals. From the cleaning products used weekly, to the physical walls and floors of the home, there are many toxic chemicals lurking in our possessions that surround us every day. Detoxing your home can seem overwhelming at first but if you start by making small changes, you are more likely to continue to reduce your chemical exposure over time. Changes can be as simple as swapping to natural alternatives or opening your windows more regularly to let in fresh air.

Chemical free cleaning
Cleaning is a daily household task that can significantly increase your exposure to chemicals. Most commercial cleaning products contain a concoction of harmful chemicals that are known carcinogens, skin irritants and hormone disruptors. To reduce your daily exposure to these chemicals, swap your chemical produced cleaning products to plant-based and palm oil free alternatives, or make your own.

Reducing plastic
Plastic kitchen products contain numerous toxic chemicals and when used, especially heated, can emit toxins and leach chemicals into the food or liquid contained inside. Reduce your use of plastic products in your kitchen, especially ones that contain Bisphenol A (BPA). Instead, use glass or stainless steel containers, and bamboo or wooden cooking and cleaning utensils.

Freshening the air
Reducing odours in your home is usually a top priority for every houseproud person, however commercial home fragrance products are commonly produced using a toxic concoction of synthetic fragrances. The self-regulated fragrance industry selects from over 4000 chemicals to produce their products and due to proprietary knowledge regulations, companies are not legally required to disclose the ingredients used in each product. Most of the chemicals used in this industry have previously never been tested and the ones that have been tested, are assigned a ‘safe dose’ that permits use in low quantities. This ‘safe dose’ is taken in isolation and does not account for a person’s daily exposure to other harmful chemicals. Instead of using synthetic home fragrance products, opt for 100% pure essential oils. They contain no harmful chemicals and will make your home smell fresh and inviting to any unexpected visitors. Another alternative is to regularly open your windows to refresh the air inside your home.

Creating ambiance 
Although they enhance the home’s atmosphere, most commercial scented candles contribute greatly to indoor air pollution. Most chemical produced candles are made from paraffin wax which is derived from petroleum. During the manufacturing process, the petroleum is chemically bleached and deodorised to turn it into wax. When candles containing paraffin wax are lit, they emit hazardous toxins including benzene and toluene which are both known carcinogens and comparative to the toxins in second-hand smoke. If you love the ambiance candles create, try to avoid purchasing candles that are made from chemicals and buy natural bees wax candles instead.

Detoxing your home can greatly benefit your health, the environment and save you money in the long term.

Related: Zero waste toxin free washing; Plastic free livingThe health impacts of synthetic fragrance

23 May 2017

Zero waste toxin free washing

The laundry is one area in the home that can contain many chemical produced cleaning products. From washing powder to stain remover, most commercial cleaning products used to wash clothes and household linens are usually laden with toxic chemicals including fragrance, surfactants, stabilizers, bleach, dioxane, brighteners and phosphates.

When chemical laundry detergents are used, toxins are released into the air, washed down the drain and absorbed into the fabric of the garments you wear each day. This not only impacts your health but degrades the quality of our oceans and threatens marine biodiversity. To significantly reduce your daily exposure to chemicals and reduce your impact on the environment, simply swap to a natural laundry detergent.

Soapberries are a natural, chemical free and zero waste alternative to conventional laundry detergent. Commonly referred to as ‘soap nuts’, Soapberries are the fruit produced by the Sapindus Mukorossi tree. The shell has high levels of ‘saponin’ which reduces the surface tension of the water to remove dirt and leaves fabrics soft and clean. They are hypo-allergenic, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and odourless, making them perfect for people prone to skin sensitivities and allergies.

Soapberries can also be used as a multi-purpose liquid soap. Simply boil a few berries for fifteen minutes. The soapy water can then be used to wash hands, surfaces, hair and dishes.

The most exciting eco-friendly aspect of soapberries, is the berries can be composted or placed in the garden to decompose once you are finished using them. They are completely zero-waste.

Make a small change for your health and the environment and change the way you wash your clothes.

Related: What toxic chemicals are in your toothpaste?; Looming health hazards of synthetic chemical repellentsWhy is BPA the only concern?

18 May 2017

The state of Australia’s waste

As Australia’s population increases, our war on waste escalates as we battle with a nation that is highly driven by materialism, convenience and cost, opposed to environment, ethics and health. Our nations wasteful actions are moving us towards a dangerous future and if we don’t begin to make changes, we will carry the cost of waste forever, leading to major health, living and environmental issues.

Australia’s population is currently sitting at 24.4 million. We now produce approximately 50 million tonnes of waste annually, which equates to over 2 tonnes of waste per person. During the period of 1996 to 2015, Australia’s population increased by 28% and waste generation increased by 170%, growing at a compound growth rate of 7.8% per year.

Australia’s household consumption continues to rise with the economy. The average household bin contains approximately 60% green waste which is made up of 40% food waste and 20% garden waste. Since 2005, recycling has risen at a faster rate with Australian’s now recycling approximately 58% of all the waste we generate and the rest being disposed in landfill. However, recycling isn’t the main solution to our dramatically increasing waste issue; significantly reducing our daily waste is. 

This dramatic increase in waste generation should be viewed as a window to the future of our planet’s wellbeing. To reduce our waste, we need to start monitoring the things we discard and start asking ourselves - “is there is a waste free solution that can prevent me from producing this waste again?”

You can dramatically reduce kitchen waste by composing food scraps, buying only what you need, buying from wholefood bulk suppliers and markets, using reusable shopping bags, and putting your food in containers instead of using plastic food wrap. When out and about, pack a zero-waste kit so you don't need to rely on single use products.

We can all make a difference by being mindful of the waste we generate and making simple changes to reduce it.


04 May 2017

Natural toxin free deodorant

Sweating is the body’s natural process of expelling toxins. When using an anti-perspirant deodorant you prevent your body from sweating and releasing toxins.

Natural deodorants allow your body to sweat but control the odour causing bacteria that forms when your body expels these toxins. They are formulated to allow your body to perspire but block the bacteria that causes odour as opposed to anti-perspirants that commonly use Aluminium to prevent perspiration. Made from plants and minerals, natural deodorants are free from ingredients commonly found in most anti-perspirant deodorants including petrochemicals, synthetic fragrances and Aluminium Chlorohydrate.

Natural deodorant formulations are actually very simple and are primarily made from coconut oil or shea butter together with bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) and essential oils for fragrance. The ingredients should be simple and easily recognisable. Avoid any ingredients that have numbers or complex chemical names.

Natural deodorants are suitable for many, though not all, people with sensitive skin as they are made from plants and minerals and are free from ingredients that commonly irritate sensitive skin.

Even natural ingredients such as certain essential oils and even coconut oil can cause reactions in some people. There is also a reasonable number of people who react negatively to bicarbonate of soda and develop a rash. Such people should look for deodorants where baking soda is further down the list of ingredients.

When you use natural deodorant for the first time, you may experience a detox period through your armpits. This is likely to occur as it’s your body’s natural process of restoring its PH and armpit health. The detox period could last up to two weeks and effects could be odour, redness or rash, but please don’t let this put you off. It’s worth persevering to switch to a non-toxic solution.

Because the ingredients are so simple, making your own deodorant is quite popular. Here is a recipe for homemade natural deodorant.

Related: Cutting chemicals out of cosmeticsThe health impacts of synthetic fragranceWhat is in your sunscreen?

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