SUSTAINABLE SISTAS: JESSICA KIELY FOUNDER OF WANDERESS BEAUTY

When you start to do your own research and become aware of the toxicity of our environment, that we are contributing to, and that trickles down into products we are using every single day, you get alarmed and then angry.  The activist inside you starts to say “this shouldn’t be like this, why doesn't everyone know this, why isn’t this illegal?”

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Posted by Urban Granola.
HEMPME FACE CREAM

Amanda and I are both huge fans of hemp seed oil (we buy gigantic bottles of the stuff from the health food store - it makes a fantastic body oil) and are just fans of hemp in general, so much so, we even made cushions out of hemp fabric (see our shop!). It's a wonder plant - you can pretty much make anything out of it.

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MY RELATIONSHIP WITH FASHION

I’m a (somewhat) reformed fast fashion addict. Growing up my wardrobe was a mix of second hand, hand me downs and the odd new piece. As a young kid, I was quite active and a bit of a tomboy. We rarely went shopping, in fact, I recall my Mum saying quite often that she hates shopping, so going shopping was a rare and special treat. (I have strong opinions on indoctrinating children into habits of consumerism and normalising the constant desire to want more material things - shopping is not a hobby or activity for children).

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CONVERSATIONS THAT MATTER: ZERO WASTE, CENSORSHIP & INCLUSIVENESS

I did debate whether to write something about this or not. It’s not the sort of article we normally publish on Urban Granola nor am I that into social media pile ons but this particular incident has brought to light some issues that I think are worthy of addressing. These issues and concepts are incredibly important to the zero waste, environmental and sustainable movements (any social movement, really). And look, I feel like have something to say on it, so I will!

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SUSTAINABLE SISTAS: KATE HALL FROM ETHICALLY KATE

Kate is a freelance ethical writer, small business owner and eco warrior based in New Zealand. The first thing you notice about Kate is her boundless energy. Her enthusiasm for life and all things eco/ethical/sustainable really shines through and underpins everything she does. There is no filter with Kate; she is totally herself, down to earth and authentic when it comes to her social media accounts and writing. This is what makes her so engaging and a great representation of what it means to be a Sustainable Sista!

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TIPS FOR LIVING GREENER IN THE CITY

I don’t believe it’s any harder to live sustainably in the city than say a regional centre or country town (or a tropical island for that matter) but the approach to living sustainably is different.

On one hand I think the faster pace of city life and having convenience at your doorstep (hello 4,000 different food delivery services!) can encourage laziness and over consumption but on the other hand, living in the city gives you access and options that you just don’t get regionally. Access to bulk food stores, farmers markets, health food stores, a vast array of vegan options, public transport, a larger more diverse community and education.

These are important and vital tools for living sustainably and it’s uplifting to see how much this market has grown in the last few years.

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Posted by Urban Granola.
NO STRAWS PLEASE (THEY SUCK)!

Even as someone who is passionate and dedicated to living as sustainably as possible, straws are something I just can’t seem to get away from. If you remember to ask, the staff forget or I forget to ask or someone else orders a drink for me and doesn’t ask for no straw or I assume the drink won’t come with a straw (gin on ice - seriously! I was very annoyed when it was served with a straw). This is why it’s great to see a campaigns, like The Last Straw, targeting the venues, restaurants and cafes. It would just be easier for everyone if they didn’t have plastic straws in the first place (in fact, straws should be banned along with microbeads)!

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SUSTAINABLE SISTAS: ANITA VANDYKE

We have been virtual mates with Anita way back when we first started Urban Granola in 2015, she even guest blogged here a few years ago. Anita is a very impressive and generous person, her popular Instagram account @rocket_science shares her passion, knowledge and adventures with zero waste living. We thoroughly enjoyed Anita's answers and we hope you do too! 

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LEARN TO GO DEEPER, NOT WIDER

I have stumbled upon the concept of ‘going deep, not wide’ on various blogs and websites over the holiday break, the time of year when these self-help, personal improvement, “what should my new year’s resolution be?” topics tend to bubble to the surface and swim around the internet. The basic gist is rather than constantly finding newer shinier things to take up your time and attention, focus on what is in front of you, what you have already started and abandoned or already doing. Do it the best you can, go deep into it and explore it fully.

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HOW TO BUY ETHICAL FLOWERS

A bunch of flowers is one of life’s simple, fragrant and beautiful pleasures. Who doesn’t love a bouquet of fresh flowers making their dining table look fancy? But most people wouldn’t think of cut flowers from the local florist as unethical. They grow in the ground, they are natural and compostable - what’s the problem? Like any commodity, flowers actually exist in a large supply chain from growers, breeders to wholesalers, nurseries, florists and retail.

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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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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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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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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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