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.
INTERVIEW: KIRA SIMPSON FROM THE GREEN HUB

One thing I love about blogging is the friendships I have formed. The community, particularly in the sustainability/eco niche, is very supportive. I’ve connected with so many talented and intelligent women, who inspire me, challenge me and teach me. And while I haven’t met any of these wonderful women in real life yet (this definitely will happen) I feel like I have formed long lasting friendships. One of these ladies is Kira Simpson, who started her eco-blog around the same time as Urban Granola. We have been chatting on social media for over a year - Kira is a very passionate and knowledgeable when it comes to sustainability, ethics and environmental issues. So I was very excited to hear that she was launching her own store, The Green Hub, a marketplace for ethical products. We caught up with Kira to chat about her new business. 

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Posted by Urban Granola.
INTERVIEW: CLARE PRESS

The world is having a collective wardrobe crisis. And no, I'm not talking about the regular, 'I have nothing to wear' crisis. Globally, there are serious issues facing every facet of the fashion industry - from over-consumption to environmental and human impacts. The fashion industry is in need of repair. But there is good news, the global conversation has well and truly started; with the annual Fashion Revolution week campaign and the Baptist World Fashion Report shining a light and giving hope of positive change. Along with high profile writers and activists doing great work and leading the charge. 

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Posted by Urban Granola.
ATTENTION: ALL FASHION REVOLUTIONARIES

1,133 garment workers were killed on 24th April 2013 and a further 2,500 injured in completely avoidable circumstances. An eight-story Rana Plaza building in the city of Dhaka, Bangladesh, collapsed. Despite repeated reports of cracks forming in the building, workers were ordered to stay. This is the biggest garment factory incident in history and the catalyst to exposing the seedy underbelly of the fashion industry to the world.

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Posted by Urban Granola.
GREEN GIRLS DOING GOOD THINGS RIGHT NOW

There is a shift in the online media and blogging world and it’s an ethical one; these greenie babes are using their smarts and passion to put a sustainable spin on fashion, travel and lifestyle blogging. Now, there is no reason why traditional blogging platforms can’t talk about serious issues like garment worker’s conditions, plastics in our ocean or cultural sensitivity when travelling and still make it fun and interesting? No reason at all, I say.

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Posted by Urban Granola.
10 WAYS TO EAT SUSTAINABLY

I've had food on the brain lately, especially given the Sustainable Table GiveaFork! campaign is coming up in April and both Nicole and I have been discussing which #grexy challenge we should take on. This got us thinking about our own eating habits, the good vs bad and some of the best tips for ensuring we eat sustainably. Here are some of my thoughts: 

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Posted by Urban Granola.
SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURS AND INSPIRING CHANGE

Social entrepreneurship has been on our minds lately, especially as we launch the next phase of UG. We’ve been thinking a lot about what it takes to build a sustainable and socially responsible business. It’s inspiring to know that there are many entrepreneurs making good use of their resources and knowledge to proactively make positive changes in our communities and focusing on solving social problems. For these people, success isn’t just about the bottom line, but rather a positive return for society.  So, in celebrating the social entrepreneur, we wanted to share some of our faves who continue to inspire us.

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Posted by Urban Granola.
GIVING A TOSS ABOUT FOOD WASTE

Food waste - it's a big issue. Did you know that food waste makes up approximately 40% of the average Australian household bin? That's an awful lot of good food being tossed into landfill and never being eaten! Not only that, food degrading in landfills releases methane, which is a bigger contributor to climate change than carbon dioxide. Both Nicole and I have made a good effort to change our bad habits and ensure we reduce our kitchen waste, but it's definitely a work in progress when we're almost conditioned to think food waste is 'normal'.  Thinking of making a change to your kitchen habits? Here are some articles for inspiration...

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Posted by Urban Granola.