Category Archives: Nature

Which Plant Holds the Most Magical Properties?

I have to confess, I happily align myself to a number of (old school) vegan stereotypes; many of which aren’t particularly cool or (in some cases) particularly flattering. I wear ethical – not fashionable – clothing, I stuff beans and greens in almost every meal I eat, I have cats, love purple and I rave about Hemp and Bamboo in all their many forms whenever the opportunity arises. I’d probably have dreads too, if I wasn’t too lazy to grow my hair long.

However, seemingly unlike the rest of the vegan population at large (and many non-vegans when they discover I boycott cheese…), theres one thing I’m not particularly bothered about obsessing over: nutrition. Now, I don’t mean this in the sense that I don’t care about my health – sure I get plenty of Calcium, B12, blah blah… – but I’m not interested in obsessing over it. And let’s face it, I’m sure neither are half of the vegetarians and meat eaters out there either. Continue reading Which Plant Holds the Most Magical Properties?

5 Easy and Natural Ways to Beat the Winter Blues

I’ll be honest with you, I’m feeling pretty blue right now. And it’s not just an average case of autumnal lethargic disengagement. I am sleeping badly, eating badly and watching bad TV.  I’m even struggling to find the motivation to move from the sofa to make myself a cup of tea. I haven’t been writing, have barely exercised, and have gotten a little too aquatinted with packet noodles for my liking. Things are bad.

This situation is familiar to us all, and completely expected. Whether you’ve just returned from an epic holiday back to reality (check), in-between jobs (check), frantically house hunting (check) or simply getting used to the colder season (check); the blues are a natural way our bodies and minds tell us we need to slow down, acclimatise to our surroundings, and give ourselves lots of love and TLC.

I have so much in my life to feel grateful for right now, but I still need a lift to make myself feel happy, healthy and confident for the winter months. My mantra for October has certainly been: ” It’s OK to admit you’re not OK”. Continue reading 5 Easy and Natural Ways to Beat the Winter Blues

Explore and protect Australian Animals at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary

Over the past 9 months I have travelled through 6 countries, across the world, each blessed with diverse  wildlife and full of natural wonders around every corner. But being a conscious traveller, who likes to be a green and ethical tourist (whilst on too tight a budget to pay for specifically labelled eco tourism), there is one big thing I have felt I’ve missed out on: a true exploration and interaction with native animals.

For many years I have boycotted zoos, circus’ and animal rides; adamant that my money will not support industries which knowingly exploit animals or prevent them from living a life which is natural to them. My experience of the mistreated camels in Jaisalmer, India, stayed with me long after I encountered them wheezing and tired as their masters dragged them across the desert on continuous tourist rides, with little rest or water.

Continue reading Explore and protect Australian Animals at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary

How to Garden for Bees

Bees are synonymous with the perfect English summer’s day. Any portrait of rural Britain would be incomplete without our plump and furry little friends, but what many don’t know is that these small little insects that works so tirelessly and quietly around us, have played a vital role in the development of the human race.

Without them it’s unlikely that flowers would have evolved their diverse and alluring colouration, and they’re responsible for pollinating a staggering 70% of the food we eat in Britain. Their existence has helped feed both our soul and stomach, and without them agriculture as we know it would collapse.

Alarming statistics from Friends of the Earth suggest that over recent years the British Bee population has declined by a third since 2007, and in the 1950’s there were over 50 native species of bee in the UK, yet now there are just 25. Continue reading How to Garden for Bees

Hikkaduwa: hippy heaven or polluted beach hell? 

Luscious valleys, breathtaking mountains and more stunning waterfalls than you can shake a stick at; Sri Lanka certainly has it’s fair share of natural beauty. Outside of the hustle and bustle of big cities, like Colombo, this small island just south of India is the closest you’ll find to a living showcase of how beautiful and diverse planet Earth truly is.

But it’s Sri Lankas beaches – with their clear blue waters and sweeping white sands – which draw thousands of people to the island every year for surf, sun and copious amounts of rice and curry!  Continue reading Hikkaduwa: hippy heaven or polluted beach hell? 

The cruel case of the Jaisalmer Camel 

Silhouetted against a backdrop of rolling golden mountains of sand and a deep orange sunset, a dozen camels stroll just a few metres in front of me. The distant smell of rich spices catch my nose and the fading heat of the day gives way to a cool desert breeze. 

But this isn’t the relaxing Indian sunset dreams are made of, surrounded by hundreds of tourists as I sit fighting back tears for the wheezing camels who are overworked and tired. This is the popular Sam sand Dunes in Jaisalmer, and it’s left nothing but a bitter taste in my mouth.   

Continue reading The cruel case of the Jaisalmer Camel 

Infographic – the Growing Global Water Footprint

I’ve always thought it’s a little odd that despite 71% of the Earth’s surface being covered in water, reports of global water shortages are steadily increasing. Especially when I happen to live in a county that seems to be in a sate of perpetual rain!

But the fact is there’s a huge difference between sea water and fresh water, and the demand for the latter is causing millions to suffer across the globe. The assumption that this is simply an issue for those in underdeveloped countries is a myth. In fact, the United Nations reported earlier this year that predictions suggest within 15 years, the world water supply will fall short by at least 40%, and continue to rise. It will soon affect every single one of us.

An infographic I came across recently shows that those small things our mums always told us off for doing when we were young – like leaving the tap running for too long – aren’t helping the situation either. Luckily, it also reveals that there are quite a few things we can actively do to help reduce our “water footprint”, and make the most of this life giving liquid. Not surprisingly, reducing our meat and dairy intake – which, along with chocolate is one of the biggest drain on fresh water supply – can have significant benefits.

Custom Made, the lovely makers on the below infographic, say:

“Fresh water consumption has doubled since World War II and is expected to rise 25% by 2030. All of this water use takes a toll on the planet and can create water scarcity which effects up to 2.8 billion people around the world at least one month out of the year. Explore ways you can reduce your water footprint in your home.

Dual flush toilets, turning off the tap while scrubbing dishes, and using a rain barrel to collect outdoor water are all great ways to reduce your water footprint. There are many simple changes you can make in your day to day life that can positively impact your water use and lessen the effects of water scarcity.”

Continue reading Infographic – the Growing Global Water Footprint

Guest Blog: Activism, Meditation and Staying Optimistic.

After receiving a positive response from my recent blog post about Activist Burnout – including some lovely personal messages of support and encouragement – I found great solitude and peace in my yoga and mediation practice. Sometimes, you just need to switch off, recharge and reenergise yourself; ready to continue pursuing your passions and good intentions. 

Here, the lovely Holly Ashby, from Will Williams Mediation, shares her thoughts on how meditation can be an invaluable tool for taking care of an activists mind: 

Activism, Meditation and Staying Optimistic.

Taking a stand and caring about something can sometimes be really, tiringly difficult. It’s hard to live in ways that differ from prevailing social norms, and the majority of people choose to ignore information rather than accept the responsibility of acknowledging it. This is not to make a moral judgement, rather to point out that the people who can’t ignore it, and attempt in their own way to change the world for the better, face challenges that other people can avoid.

This isn’t to say that as soon as you start trying to alter your lifestyle or campaign in order to help a cause that you hand your happiness over to a mysterious crone and spend the rest of your life in nun-like self-sacrifice. I’m sure even Mother Theresa let her hair down sometimes, and activism can bring with it community, a sense of purpose, fun and satisfaction that can be hard to find in other aspects of life.  You just have to remember to look after yourself, and to counter balance what you give out with some kindness directed back your way.

Meditation can be one method, along with other self care routines, to keep yourself in the best frame of mind for living life happily without compromising your principles. Here’s a few ways in which meditation can help in the life of an activist. Continue reading Guest Blog: Activism, Meditation and Staying Optimistic.