Sunday, October 14, 2018

Five Special Eco Friendly Gift Ideas for Your Favorite People

Nothing says gift like something unique and personal, and now can you buy such goods and still be eco friendly.

To make your  gift shopping easier this year I have done the research and found you five special gift ideas that are also friendly to our planet.

With the IPCC CH report on Global Warming  of 1.5°C being one of the most important climate change reports ever published we are all being asked to change our ways. Every half a degree of warming matters if we are to have a livable world.

 

`We have 12 years to limit climate change catastrophe, warns UN' 

 

`Urgent changes needed to cut risk of extreme heat, drought, floods and poverty, says IPCC'

 With headlines like the above in my head I have been searching for gift ideas that use sustainable materials and are not throw away items.


They are each something your favorite person could love while at the same time starting to look at new planet friendly ways of doing things.

The first is this wonderful durable, handmade watch. The wood for each watch is carefully hand-selected, hand sanded and polished to a smooth, durable finish that will not deteriorate due to daily wear. 

This is a natural product that will last the test of time and make the wearer feel connected to nature.






Men's wooden watch made of Real Natural Wood,Retro Style Lightweight Eco-friendly Handmade Ebony Wood Wrist Watches Fit For Gift Black Sandal Isabella's Clearly Oral Care 4-Piece Kit -wood
2PCS Eco-Friendly Bamboo Back Body Massager Stick with Rollers

The second gift idea is these great Eco-Friendly Bamboo Back Body Massager Stick with Rollers. 

They are made of  eco friendly bamboo material, safe and harmless to the skin plus their long handles and smooth texture so easy to grip and operate.

Isabella's Clearly Oral Care 4-Piece Kit
And here is an eco friendly gift idea to keep  teeth and mouths clean and healthy.

Isabella's Clearly Oral Care 4-Piece Kit - comes with GLOW Teeth Whitening Activated Charcoal, a  BAMBOO Soft Toothbrush with Charcoal Infused Bristles , a COPPER Tongue Scraper and a  Reusable Eco-Friendly Gift Bag. Natural, Food-Grade, Non-GMO, BPA Free. 

A great way to create a healthy eco friendly smile while enjoying the holiday season.

DII 100% Cotton, Machine Washable Heavy Duty Canvas Reusable Shopping Tote Bag, Natural and Eggplant Damask, Set of 3


This set of three trendy and versatile bags with solid natural, solid eggplant(purple) and eggplant damask pattern design is also a useful gift now we no longer get our supply of plastic carrier bags from shopping outlets.

Not only are these bags attractive but also have QUALITY ASSURANCE for SOLID CONSTRUCTION: 

They are made of 100% sturdy machine washable cotton canvas able to hold up to 30 lbs. 


A beautiful gift that will see multiple uses.




Boar Bristle Hair Brush for Natural Hair Conditioning, Wooden Comb for Hair Detangling, Set Makes Hair Shiny and Silky

This used to be the way people kept their hair shiny and healthy before so many chemical products replaced all natural hair grooming sets. 


This brush has 100% boar bristles which.carry hair's own scalp sebum to be distributed to the hairs' ends, resulting in healthy hair with lots of volume.

The brush works with all sorts of hair and has a durable, eco friendly bamboo handle.

You also get a wide tooth wooden comb and a cleaning tool.

Good to see these great products returning.


I do hope these five ideas have set you thinking about ways you can be generous at Christmas while also exploring planet friendly ideas.

Without each changing our ways we simply will not have a world we can enjoy.

I have given up on our politicians. They seem to want to put their heads in the sand.

The scientists are giving us the facts. I trust them.

We all need to start breaking down old walls that have divided us and begin working together to find ways of creating a planet livable for all.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Stopping Global Warming: Finding Global Warming Solutions

A UN panel of scientists says every bit of warming matters, and we’re almost out of time to keep it in check. 

 

This panel of informed experts have given us twelve years to turn around what we are now all aware is happening.

You really would have to be blind not to have noticed our weather is getting wilder and more unpredictable, the fires more fierce, the storms more frightening and yet we continue to spew out  carbon dioxide, the main human-produced greenhouse gas, at a rate of 2.4 million pounds per second.

While sea levels rise, Arctic permafrost melts,  temperature rises globally and corals reefs die off on mass our leaders keep their heads in the sand. They don't seem to get the urgency the vulnerable , the wise and the everyday person who just does not feel safe anymore are feeling.

An official group of 47 at the United Nations of the most vulnerable countries have made the valid point they are the ones who will suffer the most yet have done the least to contribute to this problem.

 

While our leaders ignore the real and urgent petitions of these vulnerable people and continue to fight among themselves about power, control and greed the rest of us can individually find ways to create change in our own lives before it is too late for us all.

Even if there is only a .5°C rise the impact will be devastating with increased famine, disease, economic tolls, and refugee crises, I think that is motivation enough for all of us to do our bit.
Drawdown In the face of widespread fear and apathy, an international coalition of researchers, professionals, and activists have come together to offer a set of realistic and bold solutions to climate change


There are answers out there. Drawdown by Paul Hawken is a New York Times best seller giving a comprehensive range of solutions being implemented round the word.

This book shows ways we are and can use to avert this crisis and create a better world for all. 

 

We can all be participants in creating the solutions to Global Warming.


Kiss the Ground by Josh Tickell is about how we can heal the planet through regenerating the soil and creating healthy food.

As someone who has done this to heal myself after three separate cancers I am excited to see these ideas presented by one of Americas most celebrated documentatry filmmakers.


Kiss the Ground: How the Food You Eat Can Reverse Climate Change, Heal Your Body 






Two reviews of Kiss the Ground one by Wolfgang Puck and a second by Deepak Chopra are below.

From Josh Tickell, one of America’s most celebrated documentary filmmakers, comes a “fascinating, easy-to-follow blueprint for how eating in ways that nourish and regenerate the soil can not only help reverse global warming, but also bring greater vitality to our lives” (Wolfgang Puck).

“A must read for anyone committed to healing our bodies and our Earth” (Deepak Chopra), Kiss the Ground explains an incredible truth: by changing our diets to a soil-nourishing, regenerative agriculture diet, we can reverse global warming, harvest healthy, abundant food, and eliminate the poisonous substances that are harming our children, pets, bodies, and ultimately our planet.


Seeing books with such positive solutions gives hope and for myself further inspiration to work my soil and continue growing the healthy food I feel has renewed my own body.

While supporting our regenerative farmers and working ourselves to compost our waste we can further assist the renewal of our planet by working to eliminate the amount of meat we have in our diet.


Having eliminated both meat and dairy from my own diet after the three separate breast cancer experiences all I can say is I have never felt healthier and in a new energetic way.

Getting our protein from plants is one of the best ways we can save our planet and if you still do crave meat why not just have it less or try to buy sustainably produced meat.

Every bit we do helps
OMD: The Simple, Plant-based Program to Save Your Health, Save Your Waistline, and Save the Planet


Thursday, October 4, 2018

Fair Trade The Human Journey


Why Fairtrade


Fairtrade is about Sustainable Development, it supports workers in developing countries to produce products at internationally agreed Fairtrade social, economic and environmental standards.



Fair Trade A Human Journey by Eric St.pierre  Author,‎ Emerson da Silva Contributor,‎ Mathieu Lamarre Contributor,‎ Barbara Sandilands


The standards include protection of workers’ rights and the protection of children, the preservation of the environment, payment of the Fairtrade Miminum Price and an additional Fairtrade Premium to invest in initiatives to support local communities or business development.

Every time you choose a product carrying the Fairtrade Mark you are making the choice to give a fair go to farmers, workers and their communities in some of the world's poorest countries.

By purchasing Fairtrade Products you are being part of creating a more equal world. 


The Fairtrade Mark   


The Fairtrade Mark shows you that the Fairtrade ingredients in the product have been produced by small-scale farmer organisations or plantations that meet internationally agreed Fairtrade social, economic and environmental standards.

Some products, such as coffee, cocoa, and cotton, can only be certified by Fairtrade if they come from small-scale farmer organizations.

By working through democratic organizations of small-scale farmers, Fairtrade offers rural communities the stability of income which enables them to plan for the future and invest in developing their organisation.

For some products such as bananas, and tea, Fairtrade can certify plantations (companies that employ large numbers of workers on large areas of land called estates). Standards for large-scale production differ from those for small-scale farmer organizations by focusing on the protection of workers’ basic rights; keeping them safe and healthy, allowing them freedom of association and collective bargaining, preventing discrimination and ensuring no bonded or illegal child labor is present.

Fairtrade Standards also require employers to pay wages that progress towards living wage benchmarks.

Advocating for fair working conditions and worker rights is integral to Fairtrade’s mission.



The Fairtrade Minimum Price  

Well Made, Fair Trade My Chocolate Paperback – Illustrated,by Helen Greathead
For most Fairtrade goods there is a Fairtrade minimum price which is set to cover the cost of sustainable production for that product in that region.

If the market price for that product is higher that our minimum price, then producers should receive the market price.

 Payment of the minimum price is regularly audited and checked by FLO-Cert.

This acts as a vital safety net for farmers and workers and protects them from fluctuations in the market prices of the products they grow for a living.

 This protection ensures they can have an assured and stable income and plan for their future. Fairtrade is the only certification scheme that offers this unique minimum price protection for farmer


 The Fairtrade Premium


Over and above the Fairtrade minimum price, the Fairtrade Premium is an additional sum of money which goes into a communal fund for workers and farmers to use – as they see fit - to improve their social, economic and environmental conditions
.
Producers determine what is most important to them; whether this is education or healthcare for their children, improving their businesses or building vital infrastructure such as roads and bridges for their community.


What makes Fairtrade different?  
Chocolate - WEI RADIANT Super Dark Chocolate. Vegan, Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Soy-free, Paleo-friendly, No GMOs, Organic, Rainforest Alliance certified cocoa fair-trade. 180g box.


Fairtrade supports farmers and workers in gaining more from trade and through this they are empowered to control their lives. It is an alternative approach that is based on partnership; one between those who grow our food and those that consume it.


Fairtrade is 50 percent owned by producers

Fairtrade works with a range of stakeholders but the global system is 50 percent owned by producers representing farmer and worker organizations. With an equal voice, producers have a say in decision-making within the General Assembly and Fairtrade International Board of Directors. Through the Board and its committees, they are involved in decisions on overall strategy, use of resources and setting prices, premiums and standards.


Fairtrade works for gender equality

Women working in agriculture in developing countries produce 60-80 percent of the world's food, but make up only 10-20 percent of land owners. Women can be excluded from decision making, and traditional and cultural gender inequality can reduce their access to property, money and other resources they need to earn living. Fairtrade incorporates gender equality and women's rights into its programming, to make sure we're working together towards a better future for all.


As well as enabling stable prices that cover the costs of sustainable production and fair working conditions Fairtrade creates market access that enables buyers to trade with producers who would otherwise be excluded from the market. 

Fairtrade creates a fair and sustainable marketing model that alleviates exploitive practices and poverty and allows people to feel empowered to create positive changes in their lives and those of their community.



Where Am I Eating An Adventure Through the Global Food Economy by Kelsey Timmerman.This book shows how what we eat affects the lives of the people who produce our food. Through compelling stories, explores the global food economy including workers rights, the global food crisis, fair trade, and immigration.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Now I Understand Why I Crave a Connection with the Earth



I have always loved being in my garden but never understood why I craved this connection with the earth.

It is easy to understand the joy of a  new flower or the pleasure of  finding tomatoes that have sprouted from the compost scraps I dig into the earth.

But why can my mood be so low and then so exhilarated after an hour or more spent tending my soil.


It has not been an easy journey creating my sustainable garden. The house next door exploded in a ball of fire and my own plants were shocked and soil impacted.

Many hours have been spent relocating plants and adding layer after layer of straw and compost onto the damaged earth.

But even that was an activity I cherished.

The blossom below is especially exciting to me as it is the first on the mandarin tree that was full of blossom before the fire but has taken five years of careful nurture to blossom once more.

You can just see the first little mandarins emerging, and I really thought this  tree would never recover from its fire trauma.


But why did I crave dirt, time in my garden, time constructing my sustainable food garden and the hope of a food forest. 

 

Even the fire did not destroy this urge. It was a strong need and something that seemed to drive me as I recovered from a third breast cancer experience.

After each of my cancer treatments ended I craved a connection with dirt, real earth, a deep longing I couldn't  explain. I had no idea how to make this connection but gradually began a new sustainable lifestyle.

During my first gardening efforts the soil clung to my fingers, they were perpetually stained black.

This does not seem to happen now, a quick flick of the nail brush creates clean, pink fingers, same dirt, but my body appears stronger.

I am only now starting to realize that my craving for dirt was part of my instinctive understanding that I felt more alive and healthier when closely connected to real earth.

 

 And now I understand my need for this connection had a real basis. Scientists are exploring the relationships between the microbes and bacteria in our soil and how they impact our immune system and feeling of well being.

 

Working close to good earth allows you to breath and absorb a wide range of  healthy microbes and bacteria which are coming to be seen as having unexpected benefits.


Further beneficial bacteria come from ingesting food directly from your garden.

Healthy microbes present in all living things are more likely to still be present in food eaten directly from your own garden.

We all require a range of beneficial bacteria in our gut for optimal health and fresh living foods give us more of these.


These studies are all very new and exciting but do support my own experience that working in and eating from my own sustainable garden has assisted my return to feeling healthy after the rigors of ongoing cancer treatments.

I do love just being in my garden. Creating something that has not only added to my own well being but also feels part of building a healthier planet..


Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Unique Quality Gifts For All Budgets

As a practicing artist I would like the readers of my blog to discover more about my art products which are available through the link at  the top of this site.

The images I am sharing here all express the abundance and joy I have found living in a sustainable relationship with our earth.


There is a wide range of products and price points as well as a range of images and I can only speak highly about the quality and service provided through Fine Art America which produces my Art Product.

`The Bird' metal print brings my  artwork to life with stylish lines and the added depth of a metal print. The image is printed directly onto a sheet of 1/16" thick aluminum sheet  offset from the wall by a 3/4" thick wooden frame which is attached to the back. The high gloss of the aluminum sheet complements the rich colors of the image and produces really special results.


`The Field Of Flowers' framed print can be enhanced with hundreds of different frame and mat combinations.

All my framed prints are assembled, packaged, and shipped by expert framing staff and delivered "ready to hang" with pre-attached hanging wire, mounting hooks, and nails.


This `Promise' canvas print has the texture and depth of a stretched canvas print.

The image is printed onto a premium canvas and then stretched on a wooden frame of 1.5" x 1.5" stretcher bars (gallery wrap) or 5/8" x 5/8" stretcher bars (museum wrap). This canvas print will be delivered to you "ready to hang" with pre-attached hanging wire, mounting hooks, and nails.

I do hope you are getting a feeling of the joy I have experienced living harmoniously with nature from my images.


Promise also comes like all my images as a practical and strong cushion if you would prefer a smaller item for your gift or home.

There are other smaller items suitable for that special gift at my store.

The image on this coffee mug is a favorite of one of my special friends

Another of my favorite images is Oranges Song here shown as a wood print.


This type of print is made by printing directly onto a sheet of 3/4" thick maple wood to give texture and depth.  D-clips are added to the  back of the print for mounting it to your wall using mounting hooks and nails (included).

There is a much wider range of products and images at my art products link above.

Just press on any image you find appeals and you will be taken to the range of products available for that image.

Here I have shown you a small selection of products from paintings inspired by my joy in sustainable living.


At my art site there is a wider range of images including those of my time spent living beside the beach and my personal emotional journey.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Simple Living Creates Food Abundance

When I brought my house with land and decided to live simply I really had no idea what I was doing.


I aspired to grow rich organic food to nurture my body back to health after three separate breast cancers but I had never gardened and there was a lot of land.

Nothing grew at first. The soil was hard and barren. Even the hedge I planted the first year died. It just withered before my eyes as I attempted to rescue it from the summer's heat. My soil would not even retain water.

But then two wonderful things happened.

My local community garden gave a series of workshops on rejuvenating soil with rock dust and worm juice. 

 

I added rock dust to my soil to provide essential minerals for the soil bacteria to begin their journey.

Then I had the soil sprayed with worm juice which provided rich bacteria to feed on the rock dust. 

Finally this dead clay soil was beginning its journey back to life.


The second wonderful thing to happen was that a local Permaculture group started in my town and gave weekly lectures on ways to create healthy ecosystems.

These Permaculture lectures enabled me to understand the living nature of our earth and how honoring this could renew its vitality.



Each week I  attended the lectures and discovered the excitement of learning ways to heal our soil and create healthy ecosystems.

 Working with and not against nature was such an innovative and exciting concept.  

 

I also came to love the other people I met at these weekly events as we were all on the same journey of healing this broken planet.  

But back to my own garden.

Now I had a framework on which to bring my soil back to life, and so many exciting concepts to come to understand.

I am not pretending it happened overnight as that would not be true but gradually as I added compost, manure, organic sugar cane bales, every possible bit of pruning or food scraps to my soil I saw it coming back to life.

Along with the rock dust and worm juice a rich mix was beginning to emerge which not only allowed things to grow but to flourish.

As I continued to feed my soil with living, sustainable food it became alive.

 

It has been such a labor of love and it is still very in process, but how can you describe the special feeling from looking at mango blossom on a tree you have grown from seed in soil you have created using organic and sustainable methods.


Or to know how strong your broad beans are because they have grown from last years seeds and are adapted to the rich soil you have created.

 

My aim was to find healthy and healing food for myself but in this journey I have discovered so much more.

 

I do feel Permaculture has so much to offer our planet as a means of bringing our wounded ecosystems back to life. 

 


 

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Simple Ideas for Zero Waste Living

The World is at a tipping point in regards to waste. In short we are running out of resources and ways to dispose of rubbish. We all need a good rethink of how we live our lives.

Add to that there is already many with far too much and others too little. Something has to give.

All seem a bit much. Yes it does to me as well but we can start with the everyday and look for simple ways  we can be part of the solution and not the problem.

There will always be the resilient few who don't want to change but as more and more of us wake up to this problem a new consciousness is arising.


The solutions are starting to be available for us all to select  new alternatives to our old careless ways.

Take plastic drinking straws. How many of these have you used and where do you think they are now?

That's right clogging up the ocean or sitting around in landfill because they simply don't break down.

But there is an inexpensive alternative way to still enjoy  your classy drink,  Stainless Steel Drinking Straws . They even look good.

Next time you have your special drink moment you can help the planet and you can even get your own Straw Carrying Case for if this moment happens when you are out.

Say a strong no if you are offered a plastic straw and produce your own. Carry a few extra straws to share with your friends. Nothing like direct action to begin the seeds of change.


Another simple idea is your own Water Bottle. 

I always carry mine with me whether to the gym or the movies and it certainly has saved me from buying a throwaway bottle when in the throes of thirst.

A great plus with metal water bottles is they are BPA free.

Why does that matter you may ask? Well it matters a lot because BPA in any plastic container can leach chemicals that attach to your estrogen receptors and these estrogen mimics have been implicated in the development of estrogen sensitive breast cancers among other  health issues.


As a breast cancer survivor I stay well away from any plastic drinking utensil but this has also enabled me to help our planet at the same time.

The oceans, our earth are just too polluted with these crazy plastic bottles.

And finally to help you walk closer to that Zero Waste life why not your own Steel Spill Proof Coffee Mug

 Many progressive coffee bars will reduce the cost of your take away latte if you bring your own cup. They too are trying to stop the use of the many throw away plastic lined paper cups.



If your current coffee outlet is not onto this why not suggest they begin a zero waste walk.

Three simple ideas, reusable straws, reusable water bottles and reusable coffee cups. Think how much better our planet could be if these became the norm not easy throw away options.

The old throw away head space has to change if this planet is to become a healthy, happy, shared earth.