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In line with our efforts to reduce waste, this season's gift wrapping comes in a reusable The Olive Cotton Bag ("Cotton Bag"). This Cotton Bag is lightweight, versatile and makes a handy travel companion.

Read on to find out more about this season's key theme.

1. What is The Olive Tree's key theme for Christmas 2017?

We realized that for the past two Christmases, our gift packaging which was usually used only once mostly ended up in the bin after the gift was unwrapped. As such, we tasked ourselves to develop a more meaningful gift packaging for Christmas 2017 which reduces waste, recyclable and reusable. We wanted to make a difference this Christmas by gifting without the unnecessary packaging.

2. What is the inspiration behind this year's Christmas packaging?

Hong Mei got the inspiration from an Indonesian hotel’s laundry bag which she got five years ago. Till this day, she still brings along the said laundry bag with her whenever she travels.

The Olive Tree’s Cotton Bag is lightweight, versatile and portable. You may use it as a toiletry bag, laundry bag, gym bag, shoe bag or grocery bag. There are just so many ways to use the cotton pouch due to its versatility.

During this Christmas period, each Christmas set now comes with the Cotton Bag. 

Apart from this, we will also organize a special event at both our stores at Pavilion (8 Dec from 12 pm - 4 pm) and 1 Utama (15 Dec from 12 pm - 4 pm) that offers personalization services. Spend RM 300 & above, customers get to personalize their name on The Olive Tree Cotton Bag.

We would like to encourage our customers to shop with us by reusing this Cotton Bag. Each time they bring along this Cotton Bag to make a purchase at our store, they will be rewarded with a RM 1 cash rebate to offset against their purchase as a token of our appreciation to them for using less single use paper bag.

3. What does reducing waste mean to The Olive Tree?

It was reported in The Star recently that The Malaysian Plastics Manufacturers Association estimates that the average citizen uses 300 plastic bags a year. Based on a population of 30 million, this adds up to nine billion bags used and thrown away, annually.

These plastic bags take hundreds of years to decompose and normally end up in our oceans, drains, streets and landfills. They leach chemicals and toxins into surrounding ecosystems, contaminating water supplies from ocean water, marine life and plant

We strongly believe that it is not that we do not care about the impact of our plastic bags usage, we are just unaware about the adverse impact.

Each of us can make a huge impact in our homes by making small changes in our routines like saying NO to the following:

  1. No plastic bags – Bring your own cotton bag, recyclable bag or container.
  2. No straws.
  3. No coffee take-away cups – Bring your own mug.
  4. No mineral water bottles – Bring your own bottles.
  5. No wastage of food.

4. The Olive Tree is using PET bottle for all liquid products, how would you address this in terms of using less plastic?

Our ultimate goal is to provide refill services at our stores where customers can bring their own bottles to refill any liquid products. We will be starting this service at a Zero Waste community center called The Hive Bulk Foods at Bangsar where the Zero Waste community can purchase their food and essential items by bringing their own bottles or packaging. So stay tuned. 

“We do not inherit the earth from our fathers, we borrow it from our children.” – Native American Proverb.

Let’s Reduce, Reuse & Recycle together.

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After we launched our essential oil range, we have been constantly thinking about launching our own soy candle. Unfortunately, we lacked the expertise in soy candlemaking. However, early this year, we discovered Lilin + Co which specializes in making artisanal soy candles. When we met them, we realized we shared the same vision of introducing soy candles blended with essential oils. So, for the past months, we collaborated to develop our own range of soy candles blended with essential oils.

We are really excited to share the fruits of our collaboration as each soy candle, made from 100% premium soy wax and 100% pure essential oils, is carefully hand-poured in small batches. Currently these soy candles are available in Ylang Ylang and Geranium scent, retailing at RM 69.90 each and burn time is approximately 20 hours. 

Soy wax is made of 100% soybeans oil, which is a renewable source and the wax is naturally biodegradable, making soy candles very eco-friendly. It is 100% natural (hence non-toxic) while the commercially available paraffin candle is derived from petroleum. Soy wax is a softer wax and has a lower melting point that causes soy candle to burn longer and at a cooler temperature compared to paraffin candle. This makes the soy candle lasts twice as long.

Compared to paraffin wax, soy wax burns more cleanly with lesser soot. As soy wax does not contain any petrol-carbon soot, you no longer need to worry about blackened walls.

Furthermore, soy candles burn evenly, leaving almost no excess wax on the sides of the jar.

Click here for frequently asked questions about our limited edition soy candle and care instructions. 

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Our handmade soaps are made in small batches using the cold process method. With this method, the production process takes place within 45 degrees Celsius which helps to retain the precious nutrients of the oils.
 
When oils are mixed with sodium hydroxide (lye), the process of saponification occurs. After 30 days of curing, lye is no longer present as it has transformed into a bar of soap and glycerine. The highly prized glycerine acts as a humectant, drawing moisture from the air to the skin. 
 
As our soaps retain its natural glycerine, it cleans your skin whilst keeping it moisturized. If you have dry skin type, why not try a bar today? 

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1. To prolong the use of our handmade soap, please keep it dry after use. Place it on a soap dish with sufficient drainage or a soap net. As our soap is olive oil based, it tends to melt faster when it sits in water. 


2. Do store unopened soaps in a cool, dry and dark area. Your wardrobe closet would be ideal. You may notice that droplets may form on these soaps although they are not in use. This is because the glycerine inside the soap is doing its job of drawing moisture from the air to the soap and when applied on your skin, this is one of the reasons why using handmade soap is not drying.  


3. Don't be put off if your bar of soap is slimier or not as aesthetically pleasing as the soaps you bought prior. This is because we use unrefined olive oil in our soaps and with all natural ingredients, they do vary from each harvest and yield. The slimier version is caused by the batch of unrefined olive oil which is richer in humectant properties and produces more glycerine (slimy transparent layer) that keeps your skin moisturized. So, be rest assured that the bar of soap still cleans and moisturizes just as well.

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Remember The Olive Tree? I talked about them last year when they first launched in Malaysia (post here). The Olive Tree products are veganbiodegradable and made of the highest quality natural ingredients sourced from plants. All products are made in Australia and strictly against animal testing. This year, they've grown and now they carry more products, which include essential oils and carrier oils. Let me explain further about them and ways to use them.

Essential oils are natural plant extracts and can be found in leaves, flowers, seeds, wood, roots and fruit of a plant. Essential oils are highly concentrated oils that have a strong aroma and are normally extracted through distillation or cold pressed. The Olive Tree's essential oils are 100% pure and do not contain any additives, bases or synthetics. In fact, there are many ways you can use essential oils. These are my favorite ways to use them.

 

4 Ways To Use Essential Oils:

  • Diffusion - Sometimes during the day, I would be so involved with work and at times it stresses me out when I need to think of ideas of what to write and what not. I was introduced to French Lavender Essential Oil by a staff at The Olive Tree and I thought, why not give it a go. She specifically told me not to use a burner to burn the oil, but instead, use a diffuser. Apply 3-5 drops of essential oil per 100ml of water. I tried it recently, and I think the scent itself calms my senses. At times, I use it at night and it did help me to sleep better.
  • Massage - I can honestly tell you that I'm a sucker for massages. Every time when my shoulder muscles are tense, I look forward to a massage. Most of the time, I would use the massage oil from the spa, but now, I take my Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oilto the massage parlor which I've pre-mixed with 20 drops of the French Lavender Essential Oil. That's the good thing about The Olive Tree's Carrier Oil. You can mix it with any of the essential oils that suits your needs.

  • Bath - Who doesn't love a good bath? I definitely do! For a full body bath, I would drop about 5-6 drops of French Lavender Essential Oil in a tub of warm water. I feel really relaxing after the warm bath. If I would need some energy, like when I need to stay up late at night to finish up some work, I would use the Sweet Orange Essential Oil instead. It uplifts my spirit and helps me to stay alert.
  • Hand & Body Wash - I have an adorable dog and since he's an indoor dog, I need to clean up after him quite a bit. Due to that, I realized that I wash my hand a lot times in a day. By using a normal hand wash, they get really dry after a few days. At times I would forget to lotion up and my skin will crack at some areas and it's really uncomfortable. Since I started using the Pure Liquid Castile Soap, I realized that my skin isn't as dry and it doesn't crack anymore, even if I forget to use the lotion. This soap is so gentle that you can use it on babies and young children as well. I love the scent of the Sweet Orange Essential Oil, so I added about 20-25 drops into the whole bottle of soap to make it smell like oranges.

 

This is the great thing about The Olive Tree's products. You can customize it however way you want with whatever scent you wish.

 

I couldn't help, but to tell you how much I love their products and I would strongly recommend it to everyone. Their products are affordable, yet natural. They do send their products all over Malaysia and delivery is FREE with any purchase of RM100 and above. Why not buy online and have it deliver right to your doorstep?

 

For further information about The Olive Tree:

Store Location: Lot FK5, First Floor, New Wing, 1 Utama Shopping Centre

Online Store: https://theolivetree-organic.com

Promotion Counter: 1 Utama New Wing LG Oval 

Hope you'll love the products as much as I do and happy shopping!

 

*Pictures taken in collaboration with The Olive Tree. All opinions are my own.

Source: http://www.diva-in-me.com/2016/12/4-ways-to-use-essential-oils/

Almost all of the pictures in this blog post were taken by Yen of Diva in Me. 

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The Olive Tree News by Hui Ling Chan - 10M ago

You may find the soap a little wet at times. A quality bar of handmade soap will tend to "sweat" in humid weather due to the high content of natural humectants. A humectant is a substance that absorbs moisture from its surroundings but not from the soap itself. The soap "sweating" does not affect any of the soap's abilities. Soap "sweating" demonstrates that the humectant agents in the soap are just merely doing their job of accumulating moisture from the air, leaving your skin moisturized.

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When switching to natural hair care routine, during the initial stages, your hair may feel stiff, sticky or dry as natural hair care products detox your hair from petrochemical polymer which acts as a coating agent. All these transitional inconveniences which can last between 2 weeks to 2 months will gradually disappear as your hair and scalp adjusts to the natural hair care regime.
Tips to using natural hair care:-
1. Thoroughly wet your hair before applying shampoo.
2. If you want more lather, apply more water to the shampoo or shampoo twice.
3. Rinse your hair thoroughly.
4. Rinse with apple cider vinegar to help balance the pH of your hair and remove the buildup that resulted from the used of styling products and conventional shampoos.
5. Use a conditioner and comb from midlengths to ends of hair, then rinse thoroughly.
 
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1. After use, please keep soap away from sitting in water or away from the showerhead where water may collect.

2. Place soap on a soap dish to help drain away the water.

3. Place it in a soap bag and hang it up to dry.

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The Olive Tree News by Hui Ling Chan - 10M ago

Notice the transparent gooey layer on your handmade soaps? Well, that is highly prized glycerine which is extremely moisturizing for your skin. Glycerine is the by-product of the soap making process. It is a humectant which helps moisturize your skin as it draws moisture from the air. In commercial soaps, this glycerine is removed and added to other products like body lotions. However, in handmade soaps this lovely glycerine is still intact which leaves your skin feeling smooth and moisturized after use. 


Our handmade olive oil based soap does have that visible layer of glycerine when it sits in standing water because olive oil by nature is a very soft oil and tends to melt faster. Other plant oils like coconut oil and palm oil can be added to olive oil which will make the bar of soap harder, lather more and hence, last longer. However, currently our handmade soaps use no other plant oils except for olive oil, thus it does tend to be softer compared to other soaps which have added plant oils. 

The key to prolonging the use of handmade soaps is to keep it dry between use.

So, the next time you see a layer of glycerine on your soap, don't be afraid to use the slightly messy bar of soap on your skin as it will help moisturize your skin.

 Why not try a bar of natural handmade soap today? Shop now.

 

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The Olive Tree News by Hui Ling Chan - 10M ago

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) are both surfactants and foaming agents. As a surfactant, it traps oil and grease so that it is easily rinsed away with water. As a foaming agent, it creates rich lather which is widely perceived as having more cleaning power.

SLS and SLES with their rich lather unnecessarily strips off the body’s natural oil which can cause the skin to be dry, flaky and irritable. The rich lather removes our skin’s natural oil leaving our skin feeling squeaky clean. This is one of the main causes of oily hair and scalp. In order to compensate for the lack of the protective barrier of natural oil, the scalp overproduces sebum which leads to dull and lifeless hair.

Since both SLS and SLES are inexpensive and highly effective foaming agents, they are widely used in most personal care products from shampoos, body washes to toothpastes and can also be found in some industrial cleaning agents such as floor cleaners and engine degreasers.

SLS is a known skin irritant. As such, it is commonly used in clinical testing as a primary skin irritant to test the effectiveness of healing agents on irritated skin.

SLS also pollutes our groundwater and is harmful to fishes and other aquatic organisms. It is undetected in many municipal water filters and ends up in the tap water that is consumed.

SLES is derived from manufacturers adding ethylene oxide to SLS which results in a much milder and less irritating alternative. The drawback of the ethoxylation process in SLES is the possible contamination from the byproduct called “1,4-dioxane” which is a probable human carcinogen.

Although both SLS and SLES are primarily coconut oil derived, they have been mixed with other chemicals through an elaborate process resulting in a chemical which is highly different from the original coconut oil.

At The Olive Tree, our products are free from SLS and SLES.

So, why not get one today?

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