Sustainable Eating Plans

What you choose to put on your plate can have the most significant impact on your carbon footprint. At least three times a day, you make choices about how to calm your growling belly and fuel your body – these choices can have a lighter or a heavier impact on Mother Earth. In the modern agricultural system, plant-based foods are grown using synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, and fossil fuels, which degrade the soil and promote monocultures. These plants are fed to animals, often concentrated on farms where the animals live short and miserable lives. Their manure is concentrated, polluting the soil, waterways, and air.

If you are looking to change your eating habits, then here are some ways to do it without harming the environment and taking care of the other parts of the environment.

 

1. Eat more plants

Raising animals for meat and dairy requires space and vast amounts of water and feed. The livestock industry alone causes nearly 15% of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions. With meat consumption increasing 500% worldwide between 1992 and 2016, it is clear that we need to rebalance our diets by prioritizing veggies while moderating our intake of animal products.

2. Eat more varieties

As 75% of the world’s food supply comes from just 12 plants and five animal species. Greater diversity in our diet is essential, as the lack of variety in agriculture is bad for nature and a threat to food security.

3. Use your voice

There is no need to burn or cut down another tree. There is more than enough land to grow food to feed another 2 billion people by 2050. Help us put pressure on the government by demanding deforestation-free food.
Make a sign placard

4. Find out more about your fish

In the UK, people eat £4.5 billion worth of fish every year. Still, high demand and poor management have led to overfishing, which has dramatically reduced the number of firm favorites, such as North Sea cod and wild Atlantic salmon. When shopping, do look out for labels such as the blue MSC label or ASC, which indicate that the fish comes from a well-managed source and try lesser-known species such as pollock, saithe, and hake.

5. Reduce waste

We know that food waste is a big problem. Almost 30% of the food produced is wasted, with all the consequences for the environment. If food waste were a country, it would be the third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases after China and the US. Reduce waste in your household is simple: freeze anything you can’t eat fresh and buy individual products whenever possible, so you can choose precisely the amount you need.

6. Grow your food

It is always better to have fresh, home-grown produce straight from the garden. Not only is it healthy and delicious, but it’s also free of the carbon footprint of store-bought food.

7. Look for products with RSPO certified palm oil.

The unsustainable palm oil is responsible for large-scale deforestation, threatening wildlife such as orangutans and tigers, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions and a greater risk of climate change. However, rejecting palm oil altogether may have unintended consequences, as alternatives are maybe even worse for the environment, as up to nine times more land is needed to produce some varieties. When shopping, look for products with RSPO-certified sustainable palm oil.

8. Pass on plastic

Plastic has infiltrated our nature and even our diet. Bring a reusable bag when you store, choose packaging-free fruits and vegetables whenever possible, and ask brands and retailers that continue to use plastic to find alternatives.

9. Eat what’s in season

Try to incorporate seasonal produce from your local farm or greengrocer into your diet whenever possible. This will support the local economy and help you get to know local producers and get tips on preparing seasonal produce.

Greenwashing – The Enemy of Sustainability (Part 4)

In any economy, consumers are usually king. However, greenwashing is a marketing ploy that misleads consumers. As a consumer, you need to be aware of the products you are purchasing.

Below you will find some tips to help you identify and avoid greenwashing!

#1. Knowledge Is Power

People are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”

– Hosea 4:6

As a consumer, it is vital that you are aware of the greenwashing techniques used by companies to sell their products. You must be familiar with the terminologies employed such as “all-natural” or “low emission,” etc.

For instance, one should be aware of the sin of irrelevance of greenwashing. For example, a product may claim to be a “CFC- Free” one and the claim might be genuine but unhelpful as the law generally bans CFCs, which you should be aware of as a consumer. Know all the greenwashing techniques to stop yourself from getting fooled.

When in doubt, turn to your trusty friend Google! Nowadays, with globalisation and advances in technology, there are many blogs and online forums where green movement activists share and discuss information about companies that convey misleading information about their products.

 

#2. Ask Questions

If you are not sure that a product is genuinely made from recycled materials, don’t hesitate to ask the company questions. When you probe for more details, you will be able to identify whether the company’s claims about their products are valid or not.

 

#3. Don’t Go for Products, Go for Brands

Nowadays, it is easier to find a chocolate producer with three out of its fifty products having been certified as sustainable and eco-friendly. However, it is much more complicated to find a company where all of its products are made from recycled materials and positively impact the environment.

However, the companies that abide by the highest sustainability features when producing their products are not driven by money and profits but instead want to spread their green message to the whole world.

How can you identify such companies?

  • By the word of mouth
  • Their eco-friendly measures described on their websites

#4. Packaging

Like how appearances can be deceptive, the packaging is also one of the elements used by companies to deceive consumers. Suppose that a product is packaged with 100% recycled material, but what about the contents of the product?

Many companies use green-coloured packaging to emphasise the idea that their products are eco-friendly. Some even go as far as including natural imagery like green leaves and animals in a forest. A great example of this is the Huggies Pure and Nature diaper line packaging displaying a child surrounded by green colours. This is intended to show that the child is happy, healthy, and with nature thanks to the product.

Consumers should not be carried away by the packaging of the lovely and “all-green” product!

 

#5. Beware of Buzzwords

Companies often use buzzwords like organic, natural, green, low-impact and eco-friendly to fool customers in buying their products and these words are used without having any legal repercussions.

Here is an extract from the second article in this series, where we talked about the sin of vagueness:

Sin of vagueness is when companies use too broad or poorly-defined terms for their products that cannot be adequately understood by the general public. For instance, the word “all-natural” is often used in the environmental claims’ of companies. However, even toxic chemical elements such as Arsenic, Mercury and Uranium are naturally occurring compounds. This means that the term all-natural does not necessarily imply a green and sustainable product.”

To have a green lifestyle doesn’t only mean using products that are labelled green. As a consumer, you are also responsible for the demand and supply of a product and hence you should be able to recognise greenwashing. Please share your comments!

How to Create Natural Dyes for Your Clothes From Fruits, Vegetables, and Flowers

Do you have garments that you want to revamp? Why not try a handmade technique that produces exceptional results while respecting the environment? Not only are colors made from natural dyes and pigments vivid, but they are also biodegradable, non-toxic, and non-allergic. Besides, many natural dyes have antimicrobial properties. All of these factors make it safer and better for humans, children, and the environment.

Making your natural dye at home is so easy! All you have to do is get the pot on the fire and get to work! Here’s a step-by-step guide that will help you give your garments a new life. The process is straightforward, and you will love the results!

For this process, we will need:

1) Natural Elements That Will Give Us the Color

The possibilities are so numerous that it is almost impossible to list them all. These are just a few options.

Red: raspberries

Orange: carrots

Yellow: onion skin

Green: herbs, yerba, spinach

Blue: blueberries, purple grapes

Purple: red cabbage

Red-purple: basil leaves, blueberries

Pink: avocado skin, roses

Brown: coffee

Reddish-brown: bamboo, pomegranates

Black or gray: blackberries

Always use fresh items, not dry.

2) The fabric or garment to be dyed

You may use natural textiles, such as cotton, silk, wool, and linen.

3) Dye Fixative

A fixative or « mordant » will help the fabric absorb the dye. Salt and vinegar are the most common. Place the cloth in the fixative (for example, 1/2 cup salt dissolved in 8 cups cold water, or 1 part white vinegar mixed in 4 parts cold water) for one hour and rinse with cold water. The fabric is now ready to be dyed!

4) Rubber Gloves

Make sure to wear gloves avoid staining the skin, which can be challenging to get rid of!

5) Now, Let’s Start the Magical Process

-Place the natural element (plant, flower) in a stainless steel or glass jar.

-Fill the jar with twice the water.

-Boil on low heat for one hour or until you obtain the desired color.

-Remove the material and leave the liquid in the pot.

-Gently soak the fabric in the dye and let it simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally.

-Let the fabric sit in hot water for a day and wash it.

– Allow it to dry naturally in the shade.

-Note that the color will be lighter as it dries.

6) The Benefits

These are some of the reasons why you should use natural dyes:

– They have no chemicals or toxins

– They do not pollute the water

– Create unique colors, shades, and effects

– They come from renewable sources such as food and plants.

– They allow you to recycle biodegradable and compostable waste.

– They can be used to give old clothes a second life

Dyeing our garments with natural dyes is easy, fun, and even therapeutic. More importantly, it brings us one step closer to a healthier relationship with our belongings. Although this natural dyeing process textiles has been known since ancient times, it is being revalued today as the prospects for a slower and more sustainable life gain popularity.

The way fibers and textiles get their color does not happen by magic. The environmental and social impact of the fashion industry through the use of chemicals forces us to become more aware. Thus, natural dyeing has multiple benefits, as it plays a vital role in producing sustainable textiles and contributing to building healthy fashion. By learning to generate dyes from natural elements, such as fruits, flowers, and plants, you can achieve an infinite variety of colors and shades while taking care of the planet!

Greenwashing – The Enemy of Sustainability (Part 3)

Greenwashing is a marketing strategy used by organisations to make false claims about environmentally friendly products. However, this marketing ploy can come back to bite you like it did Volkswagen, who suffered a US$30 billion loss due to their false environmental claims about clean diesel? If you want to avoid suffering the same sort of consequences, follow these simple tips!

#1. Know Your Company’s Goals and Missions

Work, Office, Team, Company, Internet, Business

When you start a company, you should always have specific goals in mind. Create a mission statement. A mission statement can be defined as a short and simple statement that explains the following questions: why an organisation exists, what is its purpose, what type of good or service it provides and who are its primary customers. Mission statements are important as they help to create the identity of a company and act as navigating equipment for the future entrepreneurial endeavours.

Sure, a company’s goals may change with time, but by establishing these values, you will have a set destination and, more importantly, that there will be no need to take shortcuts such as greenwashing.

#2. Don’t Be General, Be Specific!

Nearly all politicians have the habit of making general claims such as “We will eradicate poverty!” or “We will solve your problems!” This is similar to a greenwashing technique used by some companies which is called the sin of vagueness.

Here is an extract from the previous article:

“….sin of vagueness is when companies use too broad terms for their products that cannot be adequately understood by the general public. For instance, the word “all-natural” is often used in the environmental claims’ of companies. However, even toxic chemical elements such as Arsenic, Mercury and Uranium are naturally occurring compounds.”

Many companies tend to make use of poorly-defined terms like “green” without providing any further clarification. It is crucial to stop this practice. It is high time for companies to be more specific in their products’ descriptions and use appropriate terminology. Only then will you not fall in the greenwashing trap.

#3. Don’t Lie

A great man once said that lying is the greatest of all sins!

One of the seven sins of greenwashing is the sin of fibbing which is when companies lie blatantly about their products. For example, some companies can make up false claims and invent facts to deceive customers.

If you want to avoid greenwashing in your company, it is simple: don’t lie! Not because its illegal, but because you want to maintain the integrity of your company.

#4. Don’t Give Exaggerated Details

A common greenwashing technique involves making exaggerated claims about the qualities of products. If a company want to prevent greenwashing at all costs, then the company needs to show only the genuine green qualities that their products possess. For example, in advertisements, d on’ t show that your product is 100% recycled when it is it only 45% recycled. When companies exaggerate in their claims, customers tend to become suspicious.

#5. Real Recycling

One way to ensure that the claims about “environmentally-friendly” products become true is when companies genuinely use recycled products and employ sustainable business practices. If you want to label your product as “product made from 100% recycled material”, then don’t just claim it, do it!

#6. Genuine Seals and Certificates

To maintain a good reputation with your customers and avoid greenwashing, make sure that your products always have legitimate seals of authenticity. Moreover, official and legal certificates tend to authenticate the “green” claims that you are making.

#7. Codes of Conduct

This type of approach implies the creation of some company’s rules based on environmental policies. When rules and regulations will be implemented, they will prohibit a company from employing greenwashing principles. For instance, placing explicit bans on greenwashing principles in the department of marketing will help preserve the company’s image. A solid example could be how the code of conduct of the National Association of State Procurement Officials (NASPO) has established rules on how all members should market governments meetings and the actions taken.

#8. Stakeholders

This approach identifies stakeholders as important members of a business organisation as the integration of different shareholders such as managers, NGOs and even politicians can help to avoid greenwashing. Stakeholders will bring their knowledge and expertise which can prevent the emergence of greenwashing in the company.

#9. Transparency

If you want your company to stay far from greenwashing, your company needs to be a transparent one, where no data or facts are hidden, customers are not deceived, and you do not make false claims about your products and services.

What do you think about these tips? Easy to follow or too complicated? Please share your comments!

Ways to Have a Waste Free Lunch

Are you looking for simple ways to prepare a waste-free meal for your child? The good news is that it’s never been easier to prepare a healthy, environmentally friendly school lunch that your kids will love.

Why prepare a waste-free meal?

Using a waste-free lunch box helps reduce your carbon footprint on the planet. While many parents are used to the « convenience » of single-use plastic bags and containers, all that convenience translates into a lot of waste – 90 pounds per year per child! This waste then ends up in our oceans and landfills and contributes to increased greenhouse gases that threaten our children’s future.

How can we prepare a meal without waste?

1) Choose a lunch box that makes it easy to prepare a well-balanced school meal. All children have their likes and dislike when it comes to lunch. One child likes variety and surprises, while another enjoys the familiarity of the same PB&J sandwich every day. But none of the children wants to have their sandwich touch their fruit and have everything soaked. Choose a lunch box that will allow you to pack a variety of foods that stay in their compartment and don’t « touch » each other.

Build a Waste Free Lunch | The 52 New Foods Challenge

2) Choose a stainless steel lunch box. Storing food in stainless steel is a better alternative to plastic and has been used by other cultures for generations. Questions remain about the safety of storing food in plastic. Several studies have shown that hazardous chemicals contained in plastic can leach into food and beverages. PVC and polystyrene have been known to be dangerous for years, and recently there has been much talk about the dangers of polycarbonate plastic No. 7. This plastic is widely used in clear, rigid sports bottles and some baby bottles. It contains bisphenol A, a known hormone disruptor that has recently been linked to several health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, obesity, certain types of cancer, and hyperactivity disorders in children. With so many proven risks already documented, it’s hard not to imagine what the next supposedly « safe » plastic will be! There are so many environmentally friendly alternatives to plastic bags, why not skip the potential problems associated with plastic and pack your food in a metal lunch box without plastic instead?

3) Choose a reusable, insulated lunch bag made from recycled materials. Gone are the days when you needed a brown paper bag to wrap your lunch. Choose a reusable lunch bag, and make sure it is lead and PVC-free. You can wash it regularly to keep it clean, and your child can use it throughout the school year.

4) Choose reusable water bottles, preferably stainless steel. With such a choice of stainless steel bottles, you are sure to find one that will suit your child’s needs. There are small bottles for small children, brightly colored bottles, and bottles with cool designs. Choose BPA-free stainless steel bottles.

5) Choose cloth napkins, preferably ones that will appeal to children. Cloth towels are easy to machine clean and can be reused throughout the year.

 

How to Pack a Waste-Free Lunch For Your Kids – RecycleNation

6) Choose reusable cutlery. If your child needs a fork or spoon with his/her meal, you can include a reusable stainless steel fork and knife, rather than throwing away the plastic ones. If your child tends to forget utensils at school, stock up on inexpensive stainless steel cutlery at a local thrift store – you won’t risk losing your favorite cutlery.

7) Choose to buy food in bulk. Using reusable food containers allows you to purchase food in size, which is cheaper and less wasteful than single-use boxes. For example, a 1 oz bag of pre-packaged cheese crackers costs 87 cents, but 1 oz of those same crackers in a 12 oz can cost 43 cents – half the price!

8) Choose organic foods. Organic food is right for your child’s health and the health of the planet. Some families may feel that they cannot afford to spend the money to buy everything organic. Here is the Environmental Working Group’s list of the 13 most important foods to buy organic because conventional versions contain the most pesticide residues. These are (in order) peaches, apples, sweet peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, lettuce, grapes – imported, pears, spinach, potatoes, and carrots.

With so many sustainable and environmentally friendly choices, it’s easy to be green and prepare a waste-free, eco-friendly lunch box with foods your kids will love.

Simplify, Lighten and Clean up: 3 Things We Can All Do to Live Better

You don’t need a list of Eco-products, just a few common-sense ideas that are easy to put into practice. The problem with the lists of recommendations to live better, in a more sustainable way (that is, improving the environment in which we live, in a long way in time) is that some can be followed, but many others cannot, and some are frankly absurd. For example, « use the bicycle to get around » is of little use if you have to take two or three small children to school. To take another example, « take a shower instead of a bath » is something that everyone does without thinking unless they have a lot of free time, a bathtub, and a large capacity water heater. So realistic and operational recommendations come in handy, which anyone can adapt to their particular circumstances to improve their life. Digging through manuals on sustainable lifestyles, we have found these three general ideas, giving a lot of play if you squeeze them a little.

 

#1. Simplify

Smiley Face Of Yellow Dandelions And White Daisies On Green Grass.. Stock  Photo, Picture And Royalty Free Image. Image 89047622.

We continually complain about the lack of time that our fast-paced lifestyle implies, but the truth is that we do not stop complicating the same. We just have to take a look at the cleaning supplies closet. We may see two dozen different products, from vacuum cleaner dust bag refills to destroyer grease remover. The action to take is to throw everything away (with due precautions) and keep only a broom, a mop, a bar of eco-friendly soap, and a vinegar bottle. We can continue eliminating a few appliances that we have not used since we bought them or give us more work than they take away (in the case of the mythical yogurt maker or the cumbersome fruit and vegetable blender). But the concept of simplification can go further. Back to the example above, the solution to taking the children to their educational destination may be to choose the one in the neighborhood to walk themselves with their friends when they are old enough. Or, for any journey, instead of using a vehicle (public or private), simply walk if the distance is not very long. Obviously, a shower is a simpler option than a bathtub bath; we all agree there. Sweeping or mopping can be easier than using a vacuum cleaner.

 

#2. Lighten

CITMA - Environmental credentials are hotter than ever

In this case, it is the backpack of energy, water, and materials, including food, that we all carry with us. It can be tremendous, in the order of several tons of oil, fifty or more cubic meters of water, and thousands of kilos of various materials, not counting a couple of buckets of different toxic substances. The problem is that the planet does not have enough space for so many people with such large backpacks, and enormous backpacks – some gigantic – are owned by wealthy citizens of rich countries.

To go lighter through life, we only have to find out our backpack’s size or its equivalent ecological footprint. You just have to fill out this survey (it takes two minutes ), and you will see your footprint in terms of planets Earth. That is, if everyone had the same footprint as you, how many planets Earth would we need? The downside is that we only have one. If your footprint exceeds unity (as is often the case), start taking steps to reduce it. Consider a series of ecological transitions, according to your personal and vital circumstance: change the car for the bike (transition in transport), meat for legumes (transition in food), etc.

 

#3. Sanitize

Eco-Friendly Cleaning Tips for the Quarantine | Spring Power & Gas

It’s a word with several meanings…Here, we use it to repair and prevent damage. It is about minimizing or completely eliminating the components that your body does not recognize and to which, therefore, it does not know how to react. These are additives in food, pesticides in food, contaminants in fuels, poisons in cleaning products, and so on.

The list is very long, but we can start sanitation by thinking about the activities we carry out. It is enough to simplify (see above) to eliminate all toxins in one fell swoop in cleaning. In food, when we talk about processed foods, armed with a magnifying glass, we can reject all those products packed with additives (they are those that appear with an E- followed by a number, you can consult this guide here). One or two additives may be acceptable, but many foods contain more than three or four and up to ten or twelve of these substances, which indicate very poor quality food. If we buy fresh food, seasonal and organically grown ones are preferable. In transport, the formula is simple, abandon the heat or combustion engine. In terms of DIY, use water-based paints, non-toxic varnishes, etc.

6 Activities to Teach Your Kids on Sustainability

Are you one of those who believe that small actions can change the world? Are you one of those who believe that we still have time to find a way to live in harmony with the planet by being more eco-friendly? Adopting a sustainable lifestyle by teaching this concept to our kids can be a great way to start.

The first and most fundamental step may be to explain to them the idea that the planet is not ours, that we don’t have the right to use it fully, and that we are, instead, just another part of it. We share space with many other species and living beings, and other people with different needs and realities.

However, it is not necessary to devote yourself only to talking and exchanging serious and complex ideas, taking care of the planet and those of us who live on it can also be a lot of fun! In this article, we write on sharing the sustainability concept with kids playfully and enjoyably. These activities can be done at home and at the educational center to work on values like ecology, solidarity, and empathy.

 

1. Homemade Shopping Bag

Do you have a t-shirt or an old piece of clothing and you’re about to throw it away? Don’t even think about it! Instead, with your kids, you can convert it into a fashionable and sustainable shopping bag. One of the most important ecological goals is reducing waste, especially plastics, because recycling is particularly difficult.

 

2. DIY Your Hygiene, Food or Cleaning Products

Are you wondering what you can do with your kids when you have some free time on a rainy afternoon? Think about some fun DIY sessions. From processed foods, such as preserves or sauces, to organic hygiene and cleaning products, there is an extensive array of products that you can do at home with your little ones’ help. And if you use local and environmentally friendly products, it will be even better!

 

3. Give a Second Life to Old Objects

It is time to put your creativity to the test! In what can a burnt-out bulb be transformed into? And old jeans? Before you buy something you want so much, think about whether it’s a real need and, if so, if it can be fulfilled by finding a new purpose for something you already own. It will be a fabulous craft workshop with your children!

 

4. Give Your Bicycle a Second Thought

 

Cycling is a means of transportation that doesn’t consume non-renewable fossil fuels, doesn’t pollute, and helps you stay in shape physically and mentally, and these are all advantages! Getting the little ones to use their bicycles on short trips, teaching them the basic rules of safety and traffic, is an excellent way for them to standardize its use and make it their usual means of transportation.

 

5. Less Is More

Sometimes we have so many objects that we are not able to appreciate and value them. How about doing an activity to prioritize recognition, in which the child chooses the toys that make him/her really happy and gives the rest to the other children. Enjoying the positive feeling generated by sharing with others is an indescribable moment; turn it into a game and a way of teaching your child to live with less! And when he grows up, he will already be used to the zero waste and sustainability concept.

 

6. Plant Your Own Food

Have you not yet dared to create a garden at home or the educational center? This is an exciting idea that allows children to learn about healthy eating, know about local products and the time of the year when consumed, and work responsibly when growing their own food.

What do you think of these activities? Are there another similar one you do with your little ones? Remember to share it with us in the comments below!

Environmentally Friendly Makeup

Only Frankenstein gets away with a green face. But green makeup – like environmentally friendly and eco-friendly beauty products – is a new popular trend that has a lasting impact. It’s a movement towards more ethical and eco-friendly products that beautify your face without harming the environment. Of course, products that don’t contain chemicals or carcinogens are also better for you in the long run.

Unfortunately, life after L’Oréal can get a little complicated. With so many products labeled « natural » or « organic, » it’s hard to know where to start. Let’s take a look at some of the labels you’re likely to see, what they mean and how you can use them to make greener decisions for you and the Earth.

Green cosmetics: 6 eco-friendly or eco-friendly makeup brands not to be  missed

Organic

Organic crops are produced without pesticides, chemical fertilizers, or genetic modification. With the growth of the organic industry, fewer toxic chemicals are released into the water and air. But beware of products that claim to be organic. Unless that claim is certified organic by the USDA, the « organic » shiny lipstick you are tempted to buy may contain only one organic ingredient. The USDA’s green and white label guarantees that the ingredients (not including water, of course) in your product are 95% or more organic. Other organic certifications like EcoCert are less strict in their qualifications.

One of the side benefits of buying certified organic products is that they are free of 1.4 dioxanes, a carcinogenic contaminant found in many foaming products, especially those with sodium laureth sulfate as an ingredient.

Vegetarian / Vegan / Cruelty-free

For many people, being green also means being kind to the other animals that share the planet with us. Vegetarian cosmetics may contain beeswax, honey, or milk obtained without harming the animal; vegan cosmetics do not have any animal products.

Cruelty-free products (look for the bouncing rabbit symbol or PETA) have been developed without being tested on animals. A cruelty-free product may still contain animal products. Watch out for ingredients such as stearic acid (usually derived from cow or sheep fat), oleyl alcohol (inedible beef fat), and carmine (a red dye made from crushed beetles and frequently found in natural lipsticks as an alternative to chemical stains).

The Ultimate List of Best Organic Makeup Brands (2021)

Biodegradable / Recyclable / Minimal packaging

When in doubt, choose makeup with the most environmentally friendly packaging: recyclable, recycled, minimal, or biodegradable. Cargo Cosmetics has pioneered a lipstick that is not only made with ecologically-friendly ingredients but is also offered in a biodegradable corn-based tube. In most cases, the less packaging, the better.

Finally, here are a few things to avoid during your next cosmetic shopping session:

Things you can’t pronounce (Latin plant names aside). Synthetic chemicals tend to have long, complicated, chemically sounding names. This is not the case with natural ingredients. In general, the shorter the list of ingredients and the more things you recognize in it, the better. Many synthetic ingredients, including parabens (preservatives), sodium laureth/lauryl sulfate (foaming agents), and phthalates (binders), are mildly irritating or potentially carcinogenic.
Petroleum / petrochemical ingredients. Not only are fossil fuels a non-renewable resource, but they are also ineffective moisturizers because they are not absorbed through the skin. Instead, choose the oil of vegetable origin, such as jojoba, shea butter, or sunflower oil.
Labels « pure » and « all-natural. » Unless the ingredients and a USDA organic label support these labels, they are not regulated and do not guarantee anything.

Another significant advantage of natural skincare and hair dyes is that because they are made from organic ingredients, the final appearance will be better than if the products are developed with human-made components. After all, the purpose of makeup is to improve your appearance, so why to settle for unnatural products when the alternative is similarly priced and gives you a better result. Maybe it’s time for the makeup industry to start thinking more carefully about the ingredients they use. Otherwise, they risk losing out to the wave of natural skincare.

8 Ecological Gift Ideas for Christmas

The perfect Christmas gift: dream or reality? Giving a gift is not always easy. There is a risk that it will be left in a drawer and never used, causing waste, a waste of money, and resources. Are you short of ideas? We propose a list of ecological gifts for Christmas, suitable for everyone. Which one do you prefer?

 

#1. Reusable bottle in steel or glass

Most people buy water when they are away from home. It is not a healthy habit for the planet since plastic bottles are single-use, used only a few minutes, and then become waste. Also, many bottles are made of PET, a material that is not very safe at high temperatures or when water remains in contact with the container for a long time. The stainless-steel bottles are perfect for staying hydrated on the go. Depending on the model, they allow you to keep cold and heat for 24 hours. Besides, its greater diffusion has broadened the offer in the market, and there are many models and decorations for all tastes.

 

#2. Choose experiences

Do you want to make ecological gifts for Christmas? Choose experiences, not things! When you think of gifts, do you automatically think of an object? Wrong! A gift does not necessarily have to be an object. What do you think, for this Christmas, to surprise your loved ones by giving them some kind of experience? The type of activity will depend on the personality and taste of the people (and your budget), here are some ideas to enjoy together: from a field trip, a relaxing massage, a concert, a guided tour of your city, a surprise party with people who have not seen for a long time… it may be a more ecological option than something material.

 

#3. Organic food

Already the food market has authentic delicacies produced ecologically. Cheeses, wines, preserves, oil, beer… and if it is locally grown, better!

 

#4. Organic body care products and creams

Personal care product gift sets are nothing new. Instead of anonymous products, what do you think, choose ecological, natural, and specific products for any requirement? 

 

#5. Electric or bamboo toothbrush

Yes, they all have brushes, but do you know what happens with traditional plastic brushes? If each person changes their toothbrush regularly every three months, they will have used and thrown away around 360 brushes in their lifetime. Toothbrushes are non-recyclable waste. Instead, bamboo toothbrushes are biodegradable, while electric toothbrushes allow you to dispose of only the head using the same support for many years or even forever. A gift for the planet!

 

#6. DIY Gifts

If you are a creative person and are good at crafts, creating your own gift is optional. No matter what it is, just the fact of giving someone something made with your own hands, you are giving something extraordinary. You only need free time to dedicate to your creation and a good tutorial.

 

#7. Aromatherapy diffuser

By giving a diffuser for aromatherapy and natural essential oils, you give well-being, health, and harmony to your loved ones. It is a valid gift for almost any member of the family, and you can choose essential oils according to the needs of the person. Christmas is the ideal time to give these types of products, relax thoroughly during the holidays, and start the new year better.

 

#8. Handcrafted gifts

Depending on the person’s preferences, you can tailor the search to your liking and choose handmade gifts. Are you looking for a gift for wine lovers? You are looking for local options, at kilometer 0 and ecological; Surely, in your city, you can find artisans for whatever you are looking for: wines, sweets, jewelry, natural cosmetics, home decorations, clothing, musical instruments, etc…

 

Why Are Our Rainforests Still Under Threat?

With all the conservation efforts that many groups have been putting throughout the years, why is the Amazon rainforest and others still under threat? Surely the billions of dollars of conservation effort funding should have ended rainforest destruction and loss of wildlife? Unfortunately, the evolving pressures of demand for farming land, timber and the like means that the solutions for these issues are also changing. In short, the present-day problems are not the same as they were one or two decades ago.

Let’s also not forget that insufficient funding limits the scope of conservation work (which is not to say that simply throwing money in the region will magically make the problems go away)

Amidst the global climate emergency, the Amazon rainforest is under imminent and intensifying threat. Unprecedented destruction of the rainforest since Jair Bolsonaro’s presidency is set to escalate even further in 2021, and with it the erosion of countless livelihoods and rights around the world.

The global crisis of the Coronavirus pandemic has seen the underfunded Amazonas region of Brazil particularly affected, with the Amazon rainforest – home to at least 10% of the world’s biodiversity – subject to increasing exploitation. In the first four months of 2020 alone, deforestation in the Amazon rainforest was 55% higher than last year.

If you’re wondering why Brazil’s president has such a huge impact on conservation efforts, you need to remember that the Amazon rainforest stretches across nine South American countries, with over 60% of it being in Brazil. Deforestation, illegal mining, land clearances, wildfires and ensuing degradation of forest ecosystems in the country have combined to contribute to the decimation of the world’s biggest terrestrial carbon sink, home the greatest variety of species on the planet, with a fifth of the forest now emitting more carbon than it absorbs, contributing to the rapid escalation of the global climate emergency.

According to the NGO, Amazon Watch, the principal companies financing the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest include BlackRock, BNP, JPMorgan Chase, HSBC, Santander and JBS, with the Guardian revealing in 2020 that British-based banks and finance houses also gave over $2bn to Brazilian beef corporations implicated in deforestation. The responsibility of multinational corporations, as well as politicians and nation-states, must be imperatively engaged, with them being held to account in order to preserve what remains of the lungs of the Earth, its persecuted indigenous populations and the current and future generations of planet Earth. Individuals everywhere have the collective power and responsibility to demand such accountability.

The implications of the Amazon’s destruction are on a worldwide scale but are most keenly felt by the indigenous people whose territories are being stolen and destroyed, and whose rights are routinely being violated. The gravity of the danger faced by indigenous populations led a petition to be brought against Jair Bolsonaro before the International Criminal Court, demanding an investigation into attacks on indigenous human rights and asserting that indigenous peoples in the Amazon rainforest are put at risk of ethnocide and genocide by Bolsonaro’s socio-environmental policies.

The fight to protect the Amazon rainforest and to stall the climate emergency is therefore intrinsically and inextricably tied to the fight for the respect of children’s and indigenous people’s rights. Environmental rights and human rights are intimately interdependent, and the acquisition of justice in the Amazon rainforest is more important now than ever before.

The fact that you have been aware of the Amazon’s existence and threats for so long is in part testament to the efforts to conserve the area and raise awareness. Support for Amazon conservation, both from within the confines of the Basin and from government and NGO efforts have made it more difficult for the Amazon rainforest to go up in smoke today than 20 years ago.

We have already come a long way. Perhaps not as much as we had hoped for, but certainly more than if we had just stood by and watched.