Sunday, 26 June 2016

What's In That Product?

Nivea Visage Young Freshen Up Toner

Aqua (Water), PEG-8, Glycerin, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Caster Oil, Panthenol, Aluminum, Chlorohydrate, Maris Sal (Sea Salt), Butylene Glycol, Sodium Lactate, Sodium PCA, Sodium Benzoate, Frctose, Glycine, Inositol, Lactic Acid, Niacinamide, Urea, Methylparaben, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Polyaminopropyl Biguanide, Alpha-Iso-methyl Ionone, Citronellol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Benzyl Salictate, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Linalool, Parfum (fragrance).

Garnier BB Cream

Cyclopentasiloxane, Aqua / Water, Propanediol, Alcohol Denatured, Clycerin, Phenyl Trimethicone, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Bis-PEG/PPG 14/14 Dimethicone, Ethylhexyl Hydroxystearate, Magnesium, Sulfate, Talc, Phenoxyethanol, Caffeine, Aluminum Hydroxide, N-Hydroxysuccinimide, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Chrysin, Palmitoyl Tetrapepetide 7, [+/- May Contain CI 77891 / Titanium Dioxide, CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499 / Iron Oxides, CI 77163 / Bismuth Oxychloride], (F.I.L. B5406 1/1).

I looked up what those numbers mean and according to EWG / SkinDeep Database they refer to inorganic colourants. From EWG (Environmental Working Group)

About CI 77491: This is an iron-based inorganic colorant, composed primarily of ferric oxide.
Other HIGH concerns: Persistence and bioaccumulation; Other LOW concerns: Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)

Dermalogica Skin Hydrating Masque

Water (Aqua), Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Squalane, Dimethicone, Leuconostoc/Aloe Barbadensis Leaf/Sorbus Aucuparia Fruit Ferment Filtrate, Epilobium Angustifolium Flower/Leaf/Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Codium Tomentosum Extract, Solanum Lycopersicum (Tomato) Seed Oil, Cucumi Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Tocopherol, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Root Extract, Eta-Carotene, Salicornia Herbacea Extract, Triethylhexanoin, Carrageenana, Fructose, Glucose, Sucrose, Urea, Dextrin, Alanine, Glutamic Acid, Aspartic Acid, Hexl Nicotinate, Sodium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Trideceth-10, Behenyl Alcohol, Cocamide MIPA, Glyceryl Oleate, Calcium Citrate, Hexlene Glycol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Sea Salt, Sodium Carbomer, Potassium Hydroxide, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate.

Burt's Bees Lip Gloss

Ingredients: ricinus communis (castor) seed oil, oleic/linoleic/linolenic polyglycerides, cera alba (beeswax, cire d'abeille), aroma (flavor)*, silica, helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, olea europaea (olive) fruit oil, jojoba esters, ammonium glycyrrhizate, tocopherol, glycine soja (soybean) oil. +/-: CI 77163 (bismuth oxychloride), CI 77861 (tin oxide), CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499 (iron oxides), CI 77019 (mica), CI 75470 (carmine), CI 77891 (titanium dioxide), CI 77947 (zinc oxide). *natural flavor/arĂ´me naturel


Monday, 13 June 2016

Why Go Green? Laura Trotta ~ Green Guest Blog

 home detox boot campQ1: Tell us a little about your business.

For my entire adult life I’ve been driven to reduce the impact of humans on the environment.

I worked in heavy industry as an environmental engineer for over a decade, managing and monitoring the environmental impact of some of the world’s largest companies. After I became a mother I switched my focus to helping everyday people reduce their environment impact.

My online business journey started in 2009 and coincided with the birth of my first son. After deciding during pregnancy that I didn’t want to combine motherhood with my established environmental career in the corporate world, I created Sustainababy, an online eco-parenting store which specialized in providing greener alternatives for conventional baby products.

Despite Sustainababy making a much-needed impact in the eco-parenting space, I yearned to make a bigger impact on a broader eco-living scale.

 home detox boot campMy customers were keen to learn more about the “how” to live more sustainably, so in 2013 I started to package up my experience and knowledge into several eco-living e-courses, namely the HomeDetox Boot Camp and greenHOUSE Home Energy Blitz.

These programs have been really well received and I’m

Juggling a business and a young family is always challenging. Juggling two businesses and a young family is even more so! By mid 2015 I’d made the difficult decision to sell Sustainababy so I could just focus on the broader topic of eco-living.

I launched my eco-living blog ( and my Eco Chat Podcast ( and am really proud to be inspiring and educating others to create a healthier and more sustainable home. I’m also really enjoying guiding others to create and grow a conscious business through my coaching services.

Q2: When did you decide you wanted to go green?
 eco chat
I’ve felt that I was born with a green heart. I was a kid that loved being in the outdoors and I was intrigued by the natural world.

As a brownie guide I completed my naturalist badge and met the assessor, a most amazing woman who was a naturalist. Her passion was infectious and from the age of around 10 I knew I wanted to combine my love of science and mathematics with helping the environment.
Q3: What prompted you to make the move to go green?


Q4: What difficulties have you found with going green?

The main difficultly has been unwelcome remarks from family or friends. I still remember my father calling me a ‘greenie’ (in a not very nice tone) when I confronted him about his littering in my early teens. While such remarks haven’t been pleasant at times, they’ve made me more determined in my work to make a difference.

I started my environmental engineering degree in the mid 1990’s and the environment wasn’t as big a focus as it is now. Nowadays people are more aware and subsequently I there’s more and more support and encouragement out there for people to go green

Q5: Is there one area you’re still yet to go green?

I’d love our home to be fully self-sufficient when it comes to power. We’re currently in the process of building our dream self-sufficient home in the suburbs of Adelaide and I’m literally frothing at the mouth with excitement that it will have full solar and be made of sustainable materials.

Q6: Can you list some of the benefits / positive effects going green has had on your life?

There are so many benefits!

 Laura TrottaMy family and I enjoy above average health and the financial savings from living greener has enabled us to easily afford an organic diet and activities like dance lessons for our children. I love the simplicity of sustainable living and the fact we’re not obsessed with collecting stuff and having a home full of clutter!

Q7: What suggestions would you make to those wanting to go green but not knowing where to start?

Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing. Your journey is exactly that and you’re where you need to be right now. Start small and keep making more changes as each change becomes habit. Every step you take to become greener is making a difference!

Q8: Any other advice / comments regarding going green you’d like to share?


 Laura Trotta


Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Aches, Pains and Migraines.

Are you one of those people who live with aches and pains? Do you get migraines often? There are a great many of us 'sufferers' out there, and if you are like me you like the idea of dealing with these ailments as naturally as possible.

My story:
Over the past few months I have developed a great many aches and pains; firstly I developed tennis elbow (epicondylitis) from, of all things, something I really enjoyed! Aerial hoops. I had been doing aerial hoops for a year and a half when I suddenly noticed it hurt to pick up a cup of tea. I had to give up this activity even though it had given me so much joy, yet it was slowly damaging my body.

A couple of months later I fell on my coccyx and dislocated (subluxated) the bone. The doctor all but fobbed me off, telling me there was nothing that could be done to help me. I needed to do very little, lie down, rest and take pain killers to manage the pain for 8-12 weeks. I couldn't sit, couldn't drive, could barely walk or stand. It was a miserable period where I mostly lay on my side watching TV. This of course put the rest of my body out and I ended up with hip, back and neck issues. Five months later my coccyx still causes me discomfort to sit.

I also have sore ribs just under the breasts where, I assume, bras press on my rib cage causing pain and swelling. I've had xrays and MRI's, regular checks and no one can find the cause of this pain.

Plus I am prone to the odd migraine caused by stiff neck and shoulder muscles, which cause stress and tension to the point where I cannot move my neck without my head feeling like it's been hit with a sledgehammer.

All up I'm like some crazed walking wounded where it aches just to exist and it frustrates me to the point of misery at times.

Of course the doctors like to prescribe me pills to manage my pain and it costs a small fortune visiting all manner of specialists trying to find solutions. However, I don't want be popping pills just to face the day, so I looked up natural remedies and am sharing with you in hopes you also find some natural relief.

Majority of what ails me is caused by inflammation of the muscles and joints so I researched natural anti-inflammatories.

Spices: cinnamon, cloves, ginger, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, sage, thyme, turmeric.
It is suggested that eating a half teaspoon of one of these spices daily aids in reduction of inflammation. You might find them hard to eat by themselves so try adding them to a meal each day, or add turmeric, ginger or cinnamon to a beverage such as chai tea or a green smoothie.

Essential oils: chamomile, clary sage, ecalyptus, frankinsence, >lavender, majoram, >peppermint, rosemary, sandalwood, thyme, vetiver.
>good for migraines

Essential oils should NOT be used directly on skin or ingested (read here for essential oils & pregnancy) due to their potency (one drop of peppermint oil is equivalent to approx 20-30 cups of tea). When using an essential oil you should do one of a few things: add a drop of oil to a warm or cold compress and apply to the area; add a drop to a cloth for wafting under your nose; place a couple of drops in an oil burner with water to scent the air; add a drop or two to your bath or add an appropriate massage oil to your bath or body; add a drop or two to at least 20ml of carrier oil before applying to skin. Using essential oils this way means a little goes a long way.

Foods: leafy greens, beets, broccoli, berries, kidney beans.

Colourful foods are high in antioxidants and antioxidants are great for assisting and protecting the body. Eat as many of these good foods each day.

Note: I have been using turmeric in beverages, herbs in my meals and vetiver essential oil as a massage rub onto my inflamed areas. While I am a fair way from feeling better I have found the vetiver is working well in relieving aches and swelling and is a natural alternative to Nurofen and Voltaren.

P.S. Use these remedies for a while, not just for a couple of days. When I stopped using the essential oil rub because I was feeling better, the ache in my elbows came back slowly. It takes a while for your body to heal so give it time.