ECO-FRIENDLY CHRISTMAS GIFTS FOR EVERYONE

It's the most consumerist time of year and it's easy to get swept up in the crazy buying frenzy but that doesn't mean you can't give meaningful gifts that live up to your values this festive season. Our first suggestion is to eschew gift giving altogether and just enjoy each others company over a good meal but sometimes it's expected or your want to show your appreciation and gratitude to a loved one. We help you out by rounding up some of our best eco-friendly and ethical gifts for every person in your life.

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Posted by Urban Granola.
SKIN CARE REVIEW: GOOD & CLEAN CREAM CLEANSER

In my haste to purchase (I had run out and was quite busy at work so I wasn't paying attention!) I didn't read that this cream cleanser contains coconut oil. Fellow acne suffering friends will know that coconut oil is not normally great for this skin type. In the past, I have broken out from cleansers that contain this ingredient. It is comedogenic, meaning that it has a high tendency to block pores and usually has a rating of 3-4 (0 is the best, 5 is the worst). That being said, coconut oil is packed with vitamin E, proteins, lauric, capric and caprylic acids (known for their anti-fungal properties) and the oil used in this cleanser is organic; meaning it's more likely to retain all those goodies.  

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Posted by Urban Granola.
FOUR EXCELLENT RESOURCES TO HELP YOU SHOP ETHICALLY

What we buy has a big impact on people, animals and the environment but it can be quite difficult to be sure if what you’re buying is ethical. How are you supposed to know if a product has been tested on animals or a garment has been made by a person who hasn’t received a fair wage? Luckily there are some great organisations doing all the hard and important work for us.

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Posted by Urban Granola.
SUSTAINABLE SISTAS: JENNIFER NINI FROM ECO WARRIOR PRINCESS

Jennifer is someone who is truly committed to the cause. She lives and breathes sustainability, talks the talk and walks the walk, all that. Her enthusiasm and passion is endless (I watch on in awe - we need to work out a way to bottle that energy!); I’m so grateful we have people like her spreading the message of ethical living and sustainability.

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Posted by Urban Granola.
HOW TO CONQUER OVERWHELM AND LIVE A GREEN LIFESTYLE

Life is full of conflicting priorities. If you’re anything like me you have a to do list that could rival the length of the Great Wall of China and no matter how hard you try it doesn’t get smaller. Time and motivation is your enemy. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, bombarded and suffocated by all the things we should be doing. To be completely honest, feeling like it’s all too hard is the main reason I fail at a lot of things. Adopting a greener lifestyle included. I’m going to share some of my strategies and ideas that help me stick to my convictions.

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Posted by Urban Granola.
ECO-TOURISM: HOW TO BE A GREEN TRAVELER

I adore traveling. It gives me a feeling of anticipation. It pushes me out of my comfort zone. I feel things I don’t normally in everyday life. Travel can also be mundane, frustrating and uncomfortable, yet I still go back for more. As an adult, nothing can recreate that feeling of experiencing something new in a childlike manner the way that travel does. Whether it’s fully immersing yourself in another culture, going on an extreme adventure or just relaxing poolside, travel does wonders for your soul. Over the years, I have started to be more conscious about my impact on the destinations I visit and how I can be a better traveler and give back to these amazing places. I now try to incorporate eco-tourism into my travel plans.

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Posted by Urban Granola.
SUSTAINABLE SISTAS: SAMANTHA LEIGH FROM ECO|MONO

I met the lovely Sam through a Mindful Boss Lady meetup in Melbourne about six months ago (if you a mindful and a boss lady, I highly recommend becoming a part of the Facebook group here, it’s a great bunch of supportive, knowledgeable women). I was instantly taken by her bubbly personality, infectious sense of humour and stylish outfit. She is one cool chick. She is also whip-smart, incredibly motivated and passionate about sustainability, particularly fashion

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Posted by Urban Granola.
ECO FASHION WEEK AUSTRALIA 2017

A whole week dedicated to sustainable and eco-fashion. Pretty damn cool. Zuhal Kuvan-Mills, the woman behind the organic haute couture label, Green Embassy, and organic textiles, Atelier Zuhal, has taken her passion for sustainable and slow passion to the world stage by creating Eco Fashion Week Australia (EFWA), debuting from 23rd to 27th November 2017.

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Posted by Urban Granola.
TOP 10 TIPS FOR SECONDHAND SHOPPING

How great is the 'gram? That's Instagram for the uninitiated. Who would've thought a humble little photo sharing app would become such a brilliant conduit for building communities of like-minded folk. What we have noticed is the sustainable/zerowaste/green living community growing at a rapid rate, particularly on Instagram. So many clever, generous and caring 'greenies' sharing their journey of living a life that is considerate of our planet. It's a very supportive community, inclusive of each person's own way of living. Part of our purpose at Urban Granola is to share these individual's ideas and perspectives in the hope that we can learn and even adopt some of those practices into our own lives.

Our first Insta friend is from the lovely Anita from @rocket_science.

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Posted by Urban Granola.
ECO BITES: GARAGE SALE TRAIL, GUCCI BANS FUR & MCDONALDS TRIALLING A VEGAN BURGER

The Garage Sale Trail started out as small community initiative for the local Bondi Beach community back in 2010 and has morphed into a massive Australia-wide movement. It takes the simple and humble concept of a garage and ramps it right up across 150 locals councils to promote sustainable activities such as reusing and recycling. 

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Posted by Urban Granola.
QUICK & EASY FOOD: VEGAN CAULIFLOWER TACOS

Tacos are the ultimate crowd pleaser. Everyone loves them, right? At home we have many different versions that we make, usually with pork carnitas (shredded pork) or beer battered fried flat head (my favourite!) but I wanted to try a vegan version this time. It didn’t disappoint. This a really versatile dish and can be easily modified to suit different tastes. I like to serve everything in separate dishes on the table with some hot sauce so everyone can build their own tacos.

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Posted by Urban Granola.
QUICK AND EASY FOOD: "INSTANT" NOODLES

I would describe myself as a foodie but I don’t really enjoy cooking at home. I enjoy collecting and flipping through cookbooks, reading about the history of food, watching the Food Network, learning about interesting techniques and dining out at new restaurants but I find cooking at home a chore. So when I do cook, it has to be ready in under 30 mins otherwise I lose interest. I just don’t  have the patience or attention span to be in the kitchen any longer!

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Posted by Urban Granola.
QUEENSTOWN, NEW ZEALAND

I’ve never really given New Zealand much thought as a travel destination. My only encounter was from watching Lord of the Rings. So sure, it looked stunning, but wasn’t it much like holidaying in Australia? Then as these things go, it was constantly popping up on my social media feeds and friends kept raving about it and I got some serious FOMO (Fear of missing out for those who aren’t up with the acronyms). Add the short 3 hour flight across the Tasman from Melbourne and it quickly shot up to number one spot my holiday destination list.

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Posted by Urban Granola.
NARS COSMETICS NO LONGER CRUELTY FREE: FANS ARE NOT HAPPY

The much beloved cosmetic company, NARS (who make people blush with their naughty names for their range of blush!) announced this week they will be launching in China later this year. This is bad news for animal lovers, activists and just decent human beings who like to buy NARS. You see, China has laws that require imported cosmetics and skincare to be tested on animals, which means by selling in China, NARS can no longer claim to be 100% cruelty and animal testing free. Fans have not taken this news well and NARS have received a wave of criticism including calls to boycott the brand.

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Posted by Urban Granola.
PLASTIC FREE JULY: THE EASY WINS

Plastic. It’s an amazing product. It has fundamentally changed the way with live. Have a look around you, take a stocktake of the plastic in close proximity to you, how many pieces of plastic can you count….2...5...10 or more? Are you surprised at how much there is? To imagine a life without plastic is impossible yet it’s quickly destroying our planet. Like most technology, plastic was born from necessity, to replace the reliance on natural materials such as bone, tusk, horn, shell, stone and metal (ironically it was initially touted as the saviour of the rapidly declining elephant and turtle population). From it’s conception, plastic has made production quick and cheap; fueling consumerism. It’s polluted the planet at an alarming rate and it breaks up but not down (meaning it lasts forever!).

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Posted by Urban Granola.
WINTER WARMERS: ETHICAL THROW RUGS

As the temperature drops the need to nest and hibernate increases. The jackets come out of storage, big hot pots of soup appear on the hob and sinking into the couch is the only activity worthy of this weather. At this point it’s very tempting to reach for the heater on button but in the interest of conserving power and saving yourself from a heart attack when you open the electricity or gas bill - rug up first! Warm clothes and chunky socks are must. Another easy way is to add a throw rug to your couch - or as I like to call it - a ‘sofa scarf’. Not only will it keep your tootsies warm but it add layers of comfort and texture to your lounge room. 

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Posted by Urban Granola.
INDOOR PLANT TIPS: CARING FOR A FIDDLE LEAF FIG

Fiddle Leaf Fig / Ficus Lyrata

Every interior blogger worth their salt has a fiddle leaf fig sitting cutely (usually in a woven basket) somewhere in their perfectly styled house. Which could explain the exorbitant price tag; upwards of $80 for a healthy mid-size one in Australia. You can immediately see the attraction with the oversized ‘fiddle’ shaped glossy green leaves that give the plant an almost cartoonish feel.

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Posted by Urban Granola.