Thursday, 17 November 2016

Ethical Ways To Shop

Recently I asked the question "What Are Ethical Ways to Shop?" on our JOLI page and got some great feedback and ideas.

Packing

While glass is great because it is recyclable, as are metals, it can be less economic and cost more to transport because of the weight.  Plastics are light and cost effective to transport yet can be hazardous to manufacture and also contain BPA that can leach into products.  Aluminium packing is often lined with plastic and contains BPA and how this affects recycling is anyone's guess.
Going into a shop and bringing your own packaging is ideal though not always possible, yet, when possible supplying your own packaging is a very economical ways to shop.

Material

Natural fibers are better in that they allow skin to breathe and are often more fire retardant than man made material.  Certain fibers are better than others though, for example cotton takes a greater amount of water to produce than does bamboo.

Opp Shops

Buying second hand is a good thing to do for a number of reasons.  Firstly and primarily it STOPS us using up the earths resources and polluting it further - they way we do when we purchase something brand new.  Also we get to support the charities that sell second hand items and most of these charities support people with limited financial means.  Reusing also stops a large number of items going in to landfill (rubbish dumps produce a huge amount of methane as they decompose and methane is the number one cause of global warming).

Locally / Hand Made

Supporting local / hand made businesses is good for our economy.  It keeps our money in our country and we can put that money back in to infrastructure and more locally produced items and resources.   Plus it produces jobs.  More than that, though, it is good to know where your product came from and be able to ask the manufacturer directly about the ethics behind the items they produce.

Environmentally Friendly

This relates to things such as how much water it takes to produce a product, how big or small is the carbon foot print, were toxic dyes and other substances used to product the item?  Choosing organic and natural where possible is a great start to being environmentally friendly.

Fair Wage


In Australia we have a minimum wage so a fair wage tends not to enter our minds.  Yet there are some places in our country where fair wages are not adhered to (I've heard of factories for example who refuse to pass on wage increases to their workers).  Some places sell Aboriginal art and other works for hefty prices and pay the artist very little in royalties.  Some companies use overseas resources and people and don't pay fair wages or prices.  Again this is where shopping locally helps because we get to ask them questions about their practices.  
You have to think about the price here: if an item can be sold for a really cheap price how much did the company pay the workers to produce that item?  Cheap usually equals 'not ok', not just because it could break easily or be made with dodgy parts but also because the earth and people suffer to make that product only for it to be sold at low cost.  
Think about this: if an item cost more to purchase we'll purchase less which means we'll use up less of the earth's resources.

Purchase One Item At a Time

This is important for many reasons.  As consumers we tend to love spending money and have no problem with buying up big (i.e. Boxing Day SALES) yet the reality is huge amounts of resources are used up in order to produce ALL these products.  The more we buy the more we use of the earths resources.  We live in a time of plenty and think that having STUFF is a really good thing when the reality is 'less is more'.  It is better to have a few quality items that are ethical in production than a tonne of low cost items that reap havoc on our planet. 

Consider Your Ethics

What ethics are you looking for in a product?  Does the company you're purchasing from have the same ethics as you?  For example are you all about Animal Friendly and does the company you're purchasing from support this value?


Research Research Research


Don't be afraid to ask questions.  If you want to know about fair wages, animal testing or BPA free contact those companies you're thinking of purchasing from and get your answers.  Most companies are more than happy to tell the truth about their products, especially if they're ethical.  If you find a company that is reluctant to answer your questions they generally have something to hide.

What ideas do you have about shopping ethically?


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Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Why I Grow Weeds

A weed by nowadays definition is any plant that is invasive and unwanted, however, weeds have always served a purpose (hence why Mother Nature created them) and getting rid of them can sometimes have detrimental effects on the environment.

weed holding soil in place
Weeds grow quickly, are hardy and offer certain advantages such as being fabulous ground covers, perfect for stopping soil erosion.

The flowers weeds produce often attract predatory insects which in turn eat pesty insects and this can save your fruits and vegetables from getting eaten by insects before you get a chance to enjoy them.   In other words 'weeds' and other flowering plants, such as marigolds, yarrow and Queen Ann's Lace, are natures pest control.
weeds acting as ground cover

Some plants we consider weeds have medicinal properties such as:
Fennel (not the bulb type) = promotes milk flow, anti-inflammatory, circulatory stimulant.
Plantain = anti-catarrhal, antispasmodic.
Chickweed = astringent, antirheumatic.
Dandelion = diuretic, liver tonic.
Stinging nettle = astringent, circulatory stimulant, promotes milk flow.

weeds with medicinal properties
Weeds are also a great way to get children involved in gardening because they're so easy to grow. Children will take more interest in gardening if they're able to grow things successfully and what better way to start than with weeds - which are hard to kill.  I remember as a little girl loving those little pink peak flowers and wanting to grow lots of them.

Some weeds are also in place here to stop our little dog from doing his do-dos in unwanted places ;)

This is why I grow weeds in my garden (not in the garden beds but along side them).

www.jolinatural.com.au

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