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OMG So much plastic! How to avoid packaging excess

During my time living in Copenhagen I was a member of an organic local veggie association. Every week I used to go pick up my “dose” of vegetables taking with me a canvas bag, filling it up with potatoes, tomatoes, onions, garlic, salad, beetroots – and again a lot of potatoes, beetroots, potatoes, beetroots, potatoes, beetroots… well, that’s what they eat over there :).

Although we are not lacking similar veggie group purchasing in Italy (es. Cortilia in Milan), I didn’t get the chance to become a member of any of those yet. But I think today I will take action against it, as I was completely shocked at seeing the enormous amount of plastic is used in packaging in supermarkets. I mean, I knew it before… but today I looked down to the cart and…

It kind of hurt my eyes…

And my heart. Think about how much petroleum, processing energy, CO2 emissions, transportation costs, toxins and mould on our food we can save, just by avoiding packaged fruits & vegetables.

Next time you are at the grocery store… Think about this post. Let’s make a change together!

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“Sorry if we used plastic for packaging, but please do recycle it” – What?! Are you kidding me? Of course I will recycle it.

That’s the least I could do, but you, dear producer, should just stop filling up my house, my fridge and my cabinets of it. You and I, we both deserve to nurture ourselves – and leave on a cleaner, healthier Planet.

Monza Sustainability, Green Lifestyle and Young Entrepreneurs Community on MeetUp

I’m so excited to announce I have opened my first MeetUp group as a facilitator of a local green lifestyle community. I live in a city close to Milan that hosts one of the biggest fenced public parks in Europe, a bomb of energy, natural scents and greenness… Welcome to Monza!

Oggi ho aperto il mio primo gruppo su MeetUp. Utilizzo il servizio già da parecchio tempo e lo trovo davvero utile per incontrare persone vicino a noi, che condividono i nostri stessi interessi. Se volete salvare il pianeta, e nel frattempo divertirvi ed essere inondati dalla mia energia positiva (chi mi conosce sa… ;-)), unitevi al gruppo qui!

A presto il primo incontro…

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A presto e buon weekend,

GA

Cheap and natural beauty

As I finished my blush that I had bought on Ecocose almost one year ago, I googled “discount natural blush” to see if I could hit any offer in Denmark, oh beloved expensive country. Everyday is a new learning, I came across this incredibly easy recipe to make homemade blush myself. The only ingredients you need are:

Corn starch

Beet root powder

Picture from A Blossoming Life.com

Picture from A Blossoming Life.com

Which country better than Denmark offers a variety of beetroots? Instead of buying the beet root powder, I thought I could do it myself. Digging a bit into it, I found this other blog with indications for DIY beet root powder. I just got red beets in my weekly organic veggie bag from KBHFF this week… now I know how to color up this rainy weekend!

Picture from Yumuniverse.com

Picture from Yumuniverse.com

Oikos Swap Style, the sustainable fashion event

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know I’m a swap market fan and here is why:

– You can find crazy things for free that seem to be made only for you (like the Italy T-shirt I’m wearing in the picture)

– You get to try different style of clothes you would have never bought otherwise

– You live the thrill of the treasure hunting… and it’s a lot of fun!

Watch the video

As part of my volunteering activities at oikos Copenhagen*, together with the EventLab team, I organized an event to raise awareness about sustainable fashion consumption. As our guest speakers, we had the pleasure to host Sarah Netter, CBS researcher at Minstra Future of Fashion, and Johanna Topoocoo, project manager at Danish Fashion Institute (DAFI). Following the learning through experience format, part of the event was a real swap market, where people could trade used clothes and accessories in good conditions for free.

My friend Julie Sunflower joined the event and she realized this footage for her videoblog. She got very nice stuff from the swap… I just realized I was too busy with my PR activities :D! Follow Julie on Instagram!

Thank you for sharing!

Stills from the video

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*WHAT IS OIKOS
oikos is a non-profit student organization, which brings together university students living in Copenhagen interested in environmental, social and financial sustainability and responsible business.  Their main tool for increasing awareness about sustainability issues
is organizing and hosting events. oikos-copenhagen.org.

That shirt is mine! – The good and the bad of swap markets (Byttemarked in Copenhagen)

Just got back home from my first swap market ever – called Byttemarked in Danish, whereas Loppemarked is translation for flea market. I was there with another eco-blogger friend of mine. It’s very nice going to this sort of places with a friend, as she can tell you straight away the “leave-it”or “take-it” word. We have different styles and fashion preferences, so it was perfect as long as we were looking for different stuff. But at some point we came across a famous eco-fashion brand T-shirt (A Question Of).

There the fight began.

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Finally I got it :). Together with a few other nice clothes and accessories.

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I have a rule though. Think three times before taking something home, even if it’s for free. Plus, think again two times after you’ve tried it on. Or you’ll end up with a lot of clothes in your wardrobe you don’t really want to wear. If eventually this happens, you know what you have to do…

Just swap!

 

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Samsung vs Iphone, which smartphone performs better? A third player comes in…

In the everlasting battle between Iphone and Samsung – and all the other big names of electronics market – here comes an alternative solution named Fairphone.

It’s for people who want their smartphone to be:
• performing

• durable

• slim and light

• not too expensive

• and… made with conflict-free metals

A couple of words about Fairphone

Fairphone is different: it is a new smartphone that performs well and – at the same time – it has fair price and an ethical prodcution. Fairphone is an icon of the new way of doing business and making products, that puts value of people first – and minimizing environmental impact.

In the long term, our ultimate goal is a completely recyclable phone made from human and environmentally-friendly materials, free from plastics and toxins.

The start-up is born in Amsterdam three years ago, initially as a simple non-profit organization to raise awareness towards a more aware consumer electronics. The turnover rate of mobile phones in Europe is very high, especially in Italy, where there are more mobile phones than inhabitants.

The founder Bas Van Abel works with a group of nine people. He is passionate about open design and social innovation and managed to get the support of an investor. The supporting incubator was Waag, a creative hub for cleantech startups. Thanks to that, they were able to produce the first batch of 20.000 phones, that will be delivered in Autumn.

If you want to get one, you have to pre-order it online.

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Why I’m buying it

For the second time in the last few months, it happened I dropped my phone to the ground and instantly killed it :).

The reason for which I break up with my beloved smartphones is more or less always the same. I really love the touch screen technology, but it’s SOOO delicate, and once it’s gone the whole phone it’s gone forever (or repairing it is extremely expensive, depending on the height of the fall..)

This time, when I had to buy a new smartphone, I actually gave long thoughts to Blackberry, for the only reason it has a keyboard, so it should work even if the screen breaks. Blackberry is not my style and I won’t feel comfortable using it, though.

Then I read on the Fairphone Logbook of Changes

1/July:

We have decided to go for increased mechanical reliability. By separating the Dragontrail tempered glass (top layer) from the glass on the touch panel (bottom layer), the likelihood that the glass will break is minimal. And if it does, you’ll still be able to use your touch panel. As a consequence, the phone will be 5 grams heavier and 0.2 mm (this is only one fifth of a milimeter) thicker.

Ok, I’ll definitely take it. And I can’t wait for delivery!

 

Rubycup, the only sustainable menstrual cup with built in social project

Dear girls, how do you manage our monthly ‘blessing’ in the most sustainable way?

First I started preferring organic cotton pads eto the regular ones. However even if the kind of material used is more sustainable itself, still the volume of use-and-throw-out garbage isn’t decreasing. Not to mention every time you have to buy new ones and spend money on it.

My small change

I decided to switch to menstrual cup instead, that in Scandinavia and UK is quite popular among young women. But there are so many on the market and apparently they are all the same. Which one should I choose then?

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Listening to the little geek in me , I had a look at technical specifications and had no doubts about it: I bought Rubycup! Made with 100% top Medical Grade Silicone, it’s the only one with a ‘built-in’ social project. I bought mine at EcoEgo or you can shop it online.

The non-profit project aims to help poor women in developing countries with no access to clean pads and insufficient hygienic conditions. They are forced to humiliate themselves once a month using cow dung, dirty rugs, ash and all sorts of non-hygienic and health endangering trash materials.

Toast to Rubycup!

SAMSUNG

PS: I’ve just donated to The 12th Right Indiegogo campaign to support health and dignity  of thousands of women employed in dismeal fashoin factories in Bangladesh. See the story here.

Why giving up with sugar in your diet?

I’ve heard people saying “sugar is a poison for the body” and this kind of stuff, but as I don’t really suffer from diabetes (yet!), why should I bother in giving up with sugar?

3 reasons for doing it

1. Watch this brief docufilm published today on The Guardian about sugar crops in Cambodia supplying 90% of European market.

2. As the last book from the from the American author Moss explains, Salt Sugar and Fat are dangerous for our healt, especially when mixed together in processed food.

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3. Sugar is addictive, like the more you have the more you want of it. Sugar is also the main responsible of those annoying ‘holes’ you feel in your stomach when you are starving. The expectation should be no sugar no starving any more.

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My small change

Avoiding completely sugar is not easy, as drinking bitter coffee and herbal tea won’t save us. Sugar is already added to most of the beverages we like to enjoy, especially in the summertime – juices, fizzing drinks, lemonades, milkshakes, etc – and both in sweet and salted baked products we buy.So my suggestion would be

AVOID SUGAR

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and USE DATES INSTEAD…!

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To have an overview of the different existing types of sugar read here.

To have an overview of the alternatives, just look around you and dare experiment in your kitchen!

Playing with emissions

Why is CO2 so important, a sort of jerky obsession to environmental reports and transportation managers? If you are interested in knowing how much emissions your everyday actions produce, here you have a smart and funny infographic by Data Visualization.

Carbon dioxide is essential to make life possible on earth but too much of anything can make you sick, even a good could be a curse. That’s how CO2 levels exceeding the quantity naturally absorbed by ecosystem has become thread to global warming • read my post.

How many CO2 emissions I may cause having an apple for lunch? Supposedly zero, but if I buy that apple in superstores it’s 80g of CO2 more in the air.

What if I send an email? It’s 50g if I put attachments. And what if I got married? It’s 5 tons of CO2 – if I invite less than 100 people – thanks to all single people taking care of Our Planet!

Continue the list and have fun!

Per chi si preoccupa di calcolare le emissioni di CO2 collegate alle nostre azioni quotidiane, ecco uno strumento simpatico e intuitivo fornito da Data Visualization.

Il biossido di carbonio è tra le sostanze fondamentali che permettono la vita sulla terra, ma, si sa, il troppo stroppia. In quantità limitate è assorbito dall’ecosistema diventando nutrimento per le piante ma il suo eccesso è causa del (sur)riscaldamento globale • leggi l’articolo .

Mangiando una mela a pranzo a quante emissioni ho contribuito? Apparentemente zero, se fosse del mio orto, ma se la compro al supermercato sono 80g di CO2 in più nell’aria.

E se invio una email? 50g quando ha immagini in allegato. Se mi sposo? 5 tonnellate di CO2, invitando meno di 100 persone – grazie a tutti i single per la salvaguardia del pianeta!

Continuate la lista e buon divertimento!

• Thank you for visiting •

[How much CO2 is created by…]

Over-consumption

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“The cost of storing all that over-consumption had grown so large that the mini-storage industry had grown larger than the entire movie industry! And these weren’t the things we needed, either… they were the things we really didn’t need… otherwise, why would they be in storage?”

Quoting the-luxury-of-small  by ~Steve Mouzon, professor and journalist based in Miami