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What are you doing to live a greener lifestyle? Have your recent choices for energy been on the greener side of consumption? Are you aware of the size of your carbon footprint and what that includes? Living a greener lifestyle is becoming a social requirement that is touching almost every aspect of everyone’s life.

Do you even know what a carbon footprint is? Well, if you go on over to the wiki a carbon footprint is described as the total of green house gases or GHG that are caused by events, people, companies or products. That pretty much covers it all don’t you think? GHG or the carbon emissions are all caused by what, the fuel that we use to do everything we all do. All this is not any big secret of course as most scientist as well as all us regular folks have known this for years. It’s only in the last year when the prices of gas jumped that people united collectively and finally said hey there has got to be a better way. People start paying attention when it takes money out of our savings accounts, don’t we?

Yep once the problem started to cost us more of our paychecks all of sudden saving the environment became more important to a lot more of us. Please do not get me wrong I am grateful that living a greener lifestyle is not just a whimsical saying anymore and it’s a lifestyle choice that more of us are actively living a greener lifestyle. It is just so unbelievable that it took us so long to do something about it.

So, what are you doing to live a greener lifestyle?

Can you think of a few of the more common changes people have made to have a smaller carbon footprint? Did you change your light bulbs and gone to the light bulbs that last years and use less energy? What do those twisty bulbs remind you of, they remind me of the old swirly straws that we used to use for all my kids drinks!

Do you really need to live in that big house your in right now? Consider it or not the idea of living in a smaller home is getting the attention of a lot of home owners and they have a good way of shrinking your carbon footprint than some of those big homes that you see around so many communities now a days. Then there are the coming soon electric cars and the hybrids that all car makers are building now.

I know that there are hundreds if not millions of other ways to live a greener lifestyle and I know that my family is doing our part.

I hope your’s is as well, what are a few of the things that you have done to live a greener life in the last few months that would be a good tip for the rest of us?

Let us know in the comments below.

The post What are you doing to live a greener lifestyle? appeared first on The Organic Society.

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Eco-friendliness is the name of the game these days and that is also true with dog food. Now, even dog food is made from organic sources. But how healthy is organic dog food? Should you even try to feed your dog this type of food?

According to sales figures, organic dog food is really getting more popular every year. Responsible dog owners who are very much concerned about their personal health also want their dog’s health to be at its best and so they decide to feed their dog with organic food. Some people think that the commercially sold dog food is not that healthy and so they prefer to purchase organic food for their dog.

At present, no study has been conducted to prove that it is better than commercial dog food. According to the USDA or United States Department of Agriculture, the difference between commercially prepared and organic food is on how the food was processed and produced. The nutritional contents are almost the same.

Despite this fact, organic dog food is slowly taking over the market. Many dog owners gravitate towards this particular type of food because it has wholesome ingredients. They don’t hesitate to introduce the organic diet to their cherished pets.

The ingredients used do not contain antibiotics, artificial flavourings, and growth hormones. Even dog treats are now available in organic forms.

You can’t just switch your dog’s diet immediately. You need to consider a few things first. Firstly, organic food exclusive for dogs is pricier than regular or commercial dog food. If you are on low budget, then you should stick with regular dog food. Otherwise, you need to choose the best food option available that will fit your budget.

When purchasing organic food, you need to acquaint yourself with the different manufacturers. You must check their reputation and the standard of their products. You can even ask about the production process if you just like to be sure that the food is prepared well.

Of course, don’t forget to consult your dog’s vet. Food changes can definitely affect your dog so you need to consult a good vet to determine if the food switch is the best move. Dogs are of different breeds and they also eat different types of food as well. So you need to familiarise yourself with your dog’s food preference. Still, the decision is up to you and as the owner of your pet, you only want the best.

Every product has its good and bad side. True enough, organic dog food has more of the good side but don’t ignore the bad side as well. If after careful consideration of the factors involved in the food switch you still find organic foods the best alternative, then you can feed your dog freely..

Change should be introduced gradually and you can’t just rush your dog into it. By rushing things, you will do more bad to your dog than good. So learn the right way to introduce new food to the dog’s diet. You should also be patient because your dog may not like the food that you’re feeding him. But if it’s for the best, continue your efforts to switch the dog’s diet to organic food.

The post Organic Dog Food Alternative: Organic Diet appeared first on The Organic Society.

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Inflammation is the body’s way of naturally protecting itself against harm. However, when inflammation becomes chronic, the immune system is drained and the body finds it difficult to deal with illnesses.

Understanding the link between chronic inflammation, diet and exercise will help in ageing healthily and keeping chronic diseases at bay. Eating an organic, overall healthy diet and keeping active is the best way to fight inflammation.

What is inflammation?

Inflammation is a biological response of the body to protect itself from harmful internal and external stimuli and start healing. It is a part of the body’s immune system and protects us from infections, wounds and tissue damage.

It can become severe in a short span of time. For example, acute inflammation can cause diseases and conditions like sinusitis, a sore throat from a cold, acute bronchitis, etc. It can be chronic in response to unwanted toxins in the body like cigarette smoke or excess body fat. This may extend from months to years that may lead to conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, asthma and non-infectious conditions like tuberculosis, peptic ulcer, hepatitis, etc.

What causes chronic inflammation?

Stress: Stress causes activity in the brain that can lead to physical pain which may lead to an inflammatory response in the body. Hence, people suffering from stress may experience inflammation.

Poor diet: Some foods like simple sugars, high fructose corn syrup, refined flours, trans-fat-rich foods, processed meat, fried foods, etc. can trigger the inflammatory response in the body. So the consumption of these food items should be minimised as much as possible.

Unhealthy lifestyle: Consumption of alcohol, smoking, leading a sedentary life and being overweight creates a stress in the body that triggers an inflammatory response.

Pollution: Pollution causes damage to the cells which may cause inflammation.

Tips to help relieve inflammation

Regular physical activity: The regular physical activity of 30 – 50 minutes will help you reduce weight and will also help you to mobilize the joints. This will reduce the chances of developing chronic inflammation.

Relieve yourself of stress: Sleeping for a minimum of 6-8 hours a day, trying and using stress relaxation techniques, talking about how you feel, etc will help you in maintaining and lowering your stress. This reduces the chances of inflammation.

Having a well-balanced and nutritious diet: Do include all the food groups in your diet. Have foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids, fibre, magnesium, carotenoids, antioxidants and lycopene as these nutrients are anti-inflammatory.

Some anti-inflammatory foods are:

  • Olive oil
  • Tomatoes
  • Nuts, such as walnuts and almonds
  • Leafy greens, including spinach and kale
  • Fatty fish, such as salmon and mackerel
  • Fruits, especially blueberries, oranges and cherries
  • Spices like ginger, turmeric, oregano and cloves
Doctors are learning that one of the best ways to reduce inflammation lies not in the medicine cabinet, but in the refrigerator. By following an anti-inflammatory diet you can fight off inflammation for good. Foods that fight inflammation 

Organic, unprocessed, plant-based foods with a variety of colours will ensure your body is protected from inflammation. More on foods that help fight inflammation here.

Eating organic means you eat foods that have less pesticide and herbicides used in growing them. That means less harmful chemicals and toxins in your food. Studies shown that toxins in pesticides sprayed on our food can lead to health issues.

So whenever you can, try to stay active, stress less and eat healthy, organic food. If you want to eat more organic but have a strict budget, check out our post on how to shop for organic food on a budget for tips.

The post Tips on How to Help Your Body Fight Inflammation appeared first on The Organic Society.

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Worm farming and composting is a good way for people to deal with food waste. As you’re probably aware, food waste is a massive issue we face today. An issue that has a great effect on the environment, global warming and climate change. Approximately 45% of household waste and 30% of all the waste we throw away is organic and compostable.

What is composting

For those who don’t know, composting is the process of recycling green waste and organic matter and turning it into compost. Once green waste has decomposed, it becomes compost and can then be added to other soil types as a fertiliser.

Why worm farming and composting

One third of all food produced is lost or wasted –around 1.3 billion tonnes of food –costing the global economy close to $940 billion each year. Over 5 million tonnes of food ends up as landfill, enough to fill 9,000 Olympic sized swimming pools.[1]

Composting helps reduce the amount of food waste that goes to landfills. This means a reduction of methane gas,  being release into earth’s atmosphere. Methane is considered a greenhouse gas and like carbon dioxide, contributes to global warming. More on methane gas here.

Worm farms are a practical way of reducing our landfill, decreasing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing our expenditure and turns waste into a natural resource that’s highly beneficial to the environment.

Worms are amazing little creatures. These little fertilisers work with the dirt to help sustain the life and fertility of our horticultural and agricultural systems. Worms dig and aerate the soil to help keep it healthy.

With a worm farm, worms can eat up to 3-4 kg of your kitchen waste every week. They then turn it into worm castings (rich plant food) and worm tea (liquid fertiliser) that can be used to improve the health of your garden.

Keeping a worm farm is a fun way to get the whole family involved in helping the environment and making your home more sustainable.

How to setup a worm farm at home

Setting up a worm farm at home is so simple that even the kids can do it. There are heaps of brands and types of worm farms on the market.

Worm farms can be purchased from most nursery’s or hardware stores, like Bunnings. One that we recommend here is worm farms from Tumbleweed, who have a range to suit many. The worm farms come complete with instructions for assemble and use, along with other helpful tips.

Points to consider

Choose a spot protected from direct sunlight. A spot with either shade of a tree or on a balcony or verandah. A garage is also a good area.

Beware of hot days, worms need to be kept moist, not wet as they breath through their skin.

The greater the variety of material you use, the better the casting will be. Every time you add food to your work farm, remember to sprinkle over a handful of soil from your garden. The worms will use the grit in the soil to help grind up the fresh food waste. If any smells are noticed, you can add a sprinkle of bicarbonate soda to help deodorise the smell.

Foods they Love
  • Coffee grinds and tea bags
  • Fruits and vegetables scraps
  • egg shells
  • paper
  • Weeds and green waste
  • Small amounts of grass (not too much as grass builds up heat)
  • Bread in small amounts (too much can attract mites)

It’s better to put small pieces of food so it’s easy for the worms to break down.

Foods to avoid
  • Acidic citrus
  • Garlic and onion
  • Large amounts of meat and fish
  • Too much of fats/oils
  • Large amount of diary

Although, small amounts of meat and dairy is not a huge problem but it’s generally nest to avoid them as worm farms may become putrid.

Troubleshooting on the worm farm

Too much vinegar flies – too much wet waste. Your worm farm becomes too acidic so add some paper or other dry items.

Worm farm smells – too acidic or not breaking down fast enough. Don’t overfeed the worm farms. You can add less food another worm farm to help. Sprinkle a bit of bicarb soda to help with smells.

Unwelcome visitors – always cover your scraps with hessian sack or newspaper to stop unwelcome pest like rats and mice. If ants is a problem, your farm might be too dry. Add a bit of water if this is the case.

Other worm farm guest – you might find slaters, earwigs, mites, solider fly larvae and other micro ogranisms in the worm farm and that’s ok. If you population of mites gets out of hand, add a sprinkle of lime to correct acidity or a slice of melon, wait for them to cover it and remove to bury in the garden.

Points to Remember

Last but not least when in doubt, remember to follow the A.D.A.M principles,

  • A – aliveness – compost is a living ecosystem full of worms & healthy microbes
  • D – diversity – mix in a variety of materials for a a diverse range of nutrients, minerals and microbes
  • A – aeration – compost needs air to stay alive so aerate your compost regularly, with a spiral mixing tool
  • M -moisture – keep compost moist at all times as a dry compost can not decompose

For more tips on composting, visit our post on Composting Tips – How to Setup Your Own Compost.

A big thank you to Central Coast Council and the Love Food Hate Waste program for conducting great workshops and providing us with helpful guides on composting and worm farming.

The post Worm Farming and Composting at Home: A quick guide appeared first on The Organic Society.

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Organic clothing is on the rise and for good reason. Consumers are becoming more conscious of the need to live a more sustainable lifestyle. Nowadays everyone is looking for ways to help the environment. One way to help is to support organic fashion by buying organic clothing.

What is Organic Clothing?

Organic clothing is made from materials raised in or grown in compliance with organic agricultural standards. Organic clothing may be composed of Cotton, Jute, Silk, Ramie, or Wool. Although, textiles do not need to be 100% organic to use the organic label.

In order to be called organic, the piece of clothing cannot be coloured using harmful inks and dyes. Their use can be harmful to the environment especially since they can contain heavy metals and other toxic substances.The problem with these inks and dyes occurs when they are thrown out. They’re often not biodegradable and the toxic substances obviously are not good for the environment. Also, during the actual coloring process, the excess water can cause problems with our ground water supply.

Why Organic Clothing better for you and the planet?

Organic clothing has many benefits for you and the planet. The 5 mains reasons are as follows,

Reduce toxic chemicals: Most farmers use synthetic fertilisers and pesticides to protects their crops from pest. However, the materials used to make an organic clothing cannot be treated with these potentially hazardous chemicals. If birds and other small animals ingest the chemicals, they will get sick and possibly die.

Combat climate change: Organic farmers are doing their bit to combat climate change. By relying on organic farming methods instead of using toxic fertilisers, for example, organic cotton results in a 94% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Organic practices turn soils into a carbon ‘sink’, removing CO2 from the atmosphere.

Conserves water: By eliminating the use of nasty pesticides and artificial fertilisers, organic clothing keeps waterways and drinking water safe and clean. Organic methods use 91% less water than non-organic production. Also, organic farming method promotes natural, healthy soils which are more resilient in drought conditions.

Better working conditions: Using toxic, expensive pesticides, fertilisers and textile processing chemicals can cause health problems for farmers and factory workers, which can lead to sickness or early death.
Workers in factories that participate in organic processes are generally provided with better protection, enjoy decent minimum wages, good working conditions and are protected from inhumane treatment, with no child labour allowed.

Avoids GM seeds: Just like organic food and farming, organic fibre production doesn’t use GM seed. The small-scale farmers who produce the majority of our fibres need reliability, not high risks. Using locally, available organic seeds and manure allows farmers to work with the environment, in a sustainable way that is better for you and the planet.

Here’s an info graphic on the many benefits of organic clothing,

https://www.soilassociation.org/organic-living/fashion-textiles/

You can find organic apparel made from various materials. Organic cotton is the most commonly used material. The cotton plants are protected using natural means instead of synthetic fertilisers and pesticides.

Bamboo can also be used to make an organic apparel. This plant grows very quickly, so they are very easy to sustain. The resulting apparel will be very lightweight and an excellent option for summer wear. Reprocessed fleece can also be used and is a good choice during the winter.

Hemp is one of the greatest and most versatile materials known to us. It is also known to be 3 times stronger than cotton. From food to clothing, to oil and medicine, hemp has many uses. Not only that: industrial hemp plants absorb more carbon dioxide than trees.

In order to help the environment even further, these companies will usually try to find greener powering options. If their location is suitable, they can get power from wind or water. Solar panels are also being used more frequently too.

There are certainly plenty of ways that supporting organic fashion can help protect the environment. The next time you are looking to buy new clothes, consider buying organic clothing and do your bit. So while you’re here, check out our online store for organic tees and bags.

To find out more on how you can help the planet by supporting sustainable and organic fashion, read Help the Planet by Supporting Sustainable Fashion Labels.

If you after ratings and reviews on a brands sustainability credentials, GoodOnYou is the world’s leading source for fashion brand ratings, giving brands a score based on their ethical and sustainable credentials.

The post Why Organic Clothing is Better for you and the Planet appeared first on The Organic Society.

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Dry skin (Xerosis cutis) is a common condition with many possible causes. Dry skin can also be a symptom that indicates a more serious diagnosis. Heat, hot showers, dry climates, and food allergies can all trigger dry skin. Lucky for you we have some tips that just might help dry skin symptoms and restore moisture.

6 Natural Beauty Tips to Help With Dry Skin
  1. Coconut oil. Applying coconut oil is one of the easiest and best ways to keep skin feeling smooth and silky. Coconut oil contains essential fatty oils with properties to help with many skin conditions. To find out more about the benefits of coconut oil for beauty, check out Stay Beautiful With 10 Beauty Uses of Coconut Oil.
  2. Oatmeal bath. Studies have shown oatmeal to be a great ailment to dry skin, especially when used in an oatmeal bath. Blend 1 cup of dry plain oatmeal in a food processor or blender into a fine powder and add to running bath. Soak in the oatmeal for 15 – 25 mins.
  3. Aloe vera. A plant with so many health benefits and healing properties. It’s great as a natural moisturiser and can be used many ways. It can be infused in oil or you can cut off the skin of Aloe vera and apply the fleshy part directly to your skin.
  4. Avoid allergens and irritants. Sometimes the best defence against dry skin is avoiding allergens in foods like gluten or allergens like pollen in flowers. Another thing to avoid is irritants like chemicals in cleaning products or sprays can be annoying to sensitive skin.
  5. Vitamins. When you can’t get enough essential vitamins and nutrients from food, it’s best to supplement. Vitamins like vitamin E, vitamin B3 can help with keeping skin healthy. O-mega-3, which can be found in hemp, nuts and seed are also good for skin care.
  6. Use a humidifier. A great device that releases water into the air to increase humidity helping with dry skin. It’s great to help with relieving symptoms associated to colds and sinuses as well.
  7. Water. You’ve probably heard this many times but its so important and most people just don’t drink enough. If you can get filtered water, that’s great if not, bottled water will be fine.

Things to avoid:

Coffee, caffeine and alcohol are all known to dehydrate your body and leave you feeling dry. If you can avoid these until your skin conditions get better.

Note:

If you are experiencing extremely dry skin then that can be indication of a something more serious. There has also been studies to show that dry skin could be linked to gut health and leaky gut.

Ultimately, if these tips aren’t helping, you might need to see a health or skin specialist for further treatment to help with your dry skin.

The post 7 Natural Beauty Tips to Help Relieve Dry Skin appeared first on The Organic Society.

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Everyone wants to save money but no one wants to cut back on the things they enjoy. The best way is to cut back on expenses and those expenses are usually for things we need or things we enjoy. In reality, there are a lot of things we spend our money on that we think we need but aren’t necessary, like buying coffee everyday. Yeah we enjoy it, but is it necessary?

Saving money can be simple but it takes a bit of planning and sticking to a budget. Planning or budgeting is usually the simple part, it’s the sticking to the budget that is harder.

That’s why we’ve put this list together as a reminder, to help you with saving money today.

10 Simple Ways to Save Money Today
  1. Cut down on buying coffees. Yes, that’s right. Do you need to buy coffees everyday? Maybe you can bring it from home or make it at work. With the price of coffee these days and the amount you spend each day, you could easier save an extra $5 to $10 a day. That’s around $3,000 a year.
  2. Write a shopping list.  When shopping, it’s always a good idea to prepare a list and take it with you. That way you only buy what you need when you’re and it helps you stick to a budget.
  3. Pack your lunch for work. This can easily save you anywhere from $20 plus a day. Just buy your food items when you do your shopping and pack your lunch the evening before or in the morning.
  4. Cook at home. Eating out once a week might not be too bad but if you find yourself spending more time eating out, it might be a problem. If you’ve done your shopping right, then cooking at home should be easy. If you can’t cook then invite a friend who can or learn to cook.
  5. Cancel unused memberships or subscriptions . This is so common for so many people, especially with gym memberships. To save money you must cancel unused memberships and unnecessary subscriptions that you don’t really need.
  6. Shop for specials. You never know what specials you can claim when you look for them. Yes, I’m sure you know this already so this will serve as a simple reminder. Shop for Specials.
  7. Use coupons or discounts codes. When shopping online or in person, keep an eye out for coupons or discount codes. You can do a google search to find them or you can shop on discount sites such as Groupon or Living Social for find them.
  8. Cancel unused bank accounts. If you’re one of those people that have a lot of different banks accounts, it might pay to work out which ones are worth keeping and which ones need to go. If you’re just paying fees to keep them open, it might be time to close them.
  9. Free Entertainment.  This might be frugal but you’ll be surprised at all the free events going on in your area. Visit the museum or local art gallery, there is so such you can do for fun that won’t cost you a cent.
  10. Walk or ride a bike. The best way to save money on travel is to walk, it’s free plus it helps you stay fit. If you can’t walk or your prefer riding, then investing in a bike is the next best thing. Another plus for riding the bike is it’s good for you health and also the environment.

If you need some help with simple tips to save money, head over www.moneysmart.gov.au for a few tips and tools to help you start saving money today.

As always, if you have some tips or saving hacks you could share, please do share below.

The post 10 Simple Ways to Save Money Today appeared first on The Organic Society.

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When it comes to organic food, it’s not easy to find the most affordable produce unless you know how. We hear so often from people that they would love to eat organic more often but can’t afford it. So for those who would like want to know how, we will share some tips to shop for organic food on a budget.

According to a study by consumer reports, organic food can cost on average, 47% more then the conventional versions. However, the prices can vary from food to food, for example, honey and maple syrup can actually be cheaper when you buy organic.

Why Buy Organic?

The main reason to buy organic is to avoid exposure to pesticide residues found in food. Another reason is to support farming methods that are more sustainable and better for the earth’s soils and water supply. There are nutritional benefits to certain organic foods as well but it pays to check the food labels to make sure you know what you’re buying. There is a difference between organic, certified organic and natural labels.

For more info on the differences between organic and certified organic, check out our post, What’s The Difference Between Organic, Certified Organic and Natural?

How to Shop for Organic Food on a Budget

When it comes to saving money on organic food it helps to know how and where to go to buy it.

  1. Look for sales at your local supermarket – This kind of goes without saying but so many people don’t bother out because their too busy or it’s just convenient. You’ll be amazed that a little saving can go a long way.
  2. Buy in bulk – There are plenty of places where you can save money if you buy in bulk. The source bulkfoods is a great place to start, along with honest to goodness and Organics on a budget.
  3. Buy in season – Whatever is readily available and in season will in most cases always be cheaper to buy. So next time you go food shopping, know what’s in season so you know what you can save money on.
  4. Local farmers markets – You’re always guaranteed to save money when buying at organic farmers markets. Forgot your big chain food retailers, shop at your local farmers markets for the freshest organic produce. Find your nearest farmer’s market in Australia by visiting www.farmersmarkets.org.au/find-a-market/
  5. Join a community-supported agriculture – This is a great way to not just buy organic food on a budget but also a great way to support local food producers and farmers. If you’re looking for a CSA to join in you’re area, check out www.csanetworkausnz.org.
  6. Grow your own – If your concerned about what’s really organic, then growing your own food is the best way to ensure it’s organic. Even if you do all the above, it’s always good to have your own veggie patch. Not only to you save money but it’s a sure way to have the freshest, in season, organic food available.

There are also other things to keep in mind when shopping for organic food on a budget. The below chart will help you make purchasing decisions. This chart below is known as the dirt dozen and the clean 15 and can help make shopping easier.

Everyone can save money and eat organic food that’s safer and free from pesticides. Your health and the health of your family is important. So when it comes to shopping for organic food, plan ahead and you’ll be sure to save some money.

Until next time, Eat well, do good, live better.

The post How to Shop for Organic Food on a Budget appeared first on The Organic Society.

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If you’ve been following the cannabis industry, then you already know the benefits of cannabis and CBD oil. Cannabis or marijuana has many health benefits and recently it’s become one of the hottest topics today. It is now finally being recognised by the mainstream as a medicinal plant with highly therapeutic properties.

What is CBD oil?

CBD or cannabidiol is a naturally occurring compound found and extracted from flowering buds of marijuana and hemp plants. Unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) CBD oil is safe, non-addictive and won’t get you “high”.

Benefits of CBD oil

CBD oil has many health benefits from pain relief, reducing inflammation to even assisting the body in fighting cancer. Here are a just a few benefits of cannabis oil.

Pain Relief: It is known as an analgesic which helps with easing chronic pain, providing much needed relief.

Reduces Inflammation: CBD oil can reduce inflammation in the body, which makes it great for people with arthritis, joint disorders, and multiple sclerosis.

Stops seizures: According to New England Journal of Medicine, a study was conducted and found in those who were given medical cannabis, more than 40% had their seizures halved, with 5% becoming seizure free.

Helps with depression and anxiety: The most comprehensive research conducted found marijuana can help battle depression, anxiety, ptsd and more. Ref#

Fights cancer: There is research out there that cannabis oil (CBD oil) can help slow cancer growth and stop formation of new blood cells that feed cancer.

For more info, check out the video with Dr Axe and Dr Bill Demoss as they discuss many other benefits of CBD oil.

CBD Oil Benefits for Pain, Anxiety and More (with Dr. Billy Demoss) - YouTube
The different ways to use CBD oil

There are many ways to use cbd oil and every way has it’s purpose, it’s all up to personal preference.

Tinctures: There’s tinctures which is probably the most popular where you apply a few drops under the tongue.

Ingest: You can ingest it by either in the form of a capsule that contains cbd oil or by swallowing a small amount through a dropper.

Topical Cream: You can use it as a topical cream which in most cases would be used to treat skin conditions.

Edibles: You can make edibles like cookies and gummies. You can get creative and add it in just about any recipe.

Vape: If you not familiar with any of the above or you like to smoke, you can use cbd oil as vape juice and smoke it.

How to make CBD oil at home

So are you ready to make your own cbd oil at home? Then follow this easy recipe to make cbd oil, the Rick Simpson Way which we followed here.

This will take 3 -4 hours to process.

Ingredients:

  • 99.5% Isopropyl Alcohol. Use 2 gallons (7.57 liters) per pound or 2 cups (~500 ml) for an ounce of cannabis. We also suggest chilling your alcohol in a freezer overnight. It will separate the trichomes from the flower more easily.

Equipment:

  • Two stainless steel stock pots or food-grade plastic buckets.
  • Long wooden stirring spoon or 2×2 piece of chemical-free lumber.
  • Stainless steel rice cooker. Caution: A rice cooker with a non-stick surface will leach chemicals into your oil. Stick with stainless steel only.
  • A common electric cooling fan and extension cord.
  • Plastic funnels.
  • Coffee filters.
  • Empty clean plastic bottles.
  • Stainless steel measuring cup.
  • Coffee Warmer.
  • Large syringes.

Procedure:

Step #1
Place your weed of choice in a steel pot or food-grade bucket. Dampen the plant matter with chilled isopropyl alcohol (your solvent), and then crush the mixture with a wooden spoon or 2×2 for about five minutes.

Step #2
Add more alcohol until the plant matter is completely immersed. Again, crush and stir the mixture for a further five minute. The crushing action is technically called a “wash” because you are washing the trichomes from plant matter.

NOTE: Trichomes are the resin glands of the cannabis plant. They contain THC, CBD, and other medicinal cannabinoids like CBN, CBG, and CBT. These trichomes are the thing that gets you “high”, cures your insomnia, reduces chronic pain, and may even cure cancer.

Step #3
Block the lip of the pot or bucket with a lid or your 2×2 and slowly pour the solvent into the second bucket. Try to keep as much of the marijuana plant matter in the first bucket for the next step. It’s okay if some gets through—you’re going to strain it later. But you want as much of the cannabis material left over in the first bucket as possible for the second round of washing.

Step #4
Pour more chilled alcohol into the first bucket until the plant matter is again immersed. Crush the cannabis with your wooden utensil for five more minutes. This step is known as the second wash.

Step #5
Again block the lip of the pot or bucket and slowly pour the solvent from the second wash into the bucket with the solvent from the first wash.

NOTE: The majority of the medicinal resins (75-80%) will be dissolved by the first round of washing. The second round of washing usually dissolves the remaining 20-25%. Because of that, a third round of washing isn’t necessary.

If you do choose to do a third round of washing, keep the solvent from that round separate from the first two rounds. The third-round solvent should be used for topical applications, while the first- and second-round solvents should be reserved for ingestion.

Step #6
Leave the solvent to sit while you recycle any leftover plant matter into your compost. Once converted to super soil, you can use it to grow more organic marijuana.

Step #7
Rinse out the first bucket.

Step #8
Place a coffee filter inside a plastic funnel and insert the funnel through the mouth of a small plastic bottle. The size of your straining container will depend on how much solvent you used in the first few steps. You can also use a number of smaller straining containers instead of trying to find one large container.

Pour the mixture in the second bucket through the coffee filters to strain off any excess plant matter. Filter the solvent as many times as it takes to remove all the plant matter.

NOTE: At this point, the solvent will have taken on a dark yellow color. Don’t worry. The color comes from the healing resins which are now dissolved in the alcohol. The color and the smell are also influenced by the terpenes that are present on the cannabis plant.

Terpenes are the pungent oils that create the distinct tastes and smells of the numerous pot strains. These flavors can range from sweet and fruity to skunky and earthy to everything in between.

Step #9
Set up the rice cooker and the electric fan outside or in a well-ventilated area.

CAUTION: Make sure that there are no “sparks, open flames, or red-hot elements” in your workspace because the alcohol fumes that you will cook off in your rice cooker are highly flammable and toxic to inhale.

Set up your fan so that it circulates air towards the vents on the bottoms of the rice cooker. See the picture above for a simple illustration of the cooker/fan arrangement. The reason for the fan is that it will prevent the alcohol fumes from condensing to a point where they can ignite.

NOTE: For your own safety, please follow the instructions and make sure the area is well ventilated.

Step #10
Fill the rice cooker as much as three-quarters full with your marijuana solvent mixture. Don’t fill the cooker all the way up or it will boil over.

NOTE: At this point, you may be wondering why you are using a rice cooker instead of a crock pot or just a pan and the stove. Rest assured that there’s a very good reason for this choice. We’ll outline the benefits of the rice cooker before we move on to the next step.

The purpose of the next few steps is basically twofold:

Separate the alcohol from the dissolved cannabis oil.
Decarboxylate the cannabis oil.
The vaporization (or boiling) point of isopropyl alcohol (the solvent you used in the first few steps) is around 181℉. The vaporization point of cannabis oil is a little over 300℉. The decarboxylation temperature for cannabis is in the low two hundreds (210-230℉).

You ave to maintain just the right temperatures so that your solvent boils off, your oil doesn’t, and the leftover oil is decarboxylated.

Rice cookers are automatically set to maintain temperatures in the decarboxylation sweet spot. These temperatures are enough to get your solvent boiling but not enough to vaporize the oil. Crock pots often exceed 300℉ and a pot on the stove can be difficult to maintain a consistent low two-hundreds.

Now that you know why you’re using a rice cooker, we can move on to the actual separation process.

Step #11
Set the rice cooker to its highest setting to boil off the alcohol solvent. Be sure the fan is running and is aimed at the rice cooker so the alcohol fumes don’t condense and explode.

Step #12
As the liquid level in the rice cooker drops, pour in any remaining solvent but don’t exceed three-quarters full. This step depends on how big your rice cooker is and how much solvent you produced in the first few steps of the process. If you only have a small amount, you may not need to keep adding solvent.

Step #13
When you’re done adding remaining solvent to the rice cooker, and the level in the cooker is reduced to about two inches, add ten to twelve drops of water to mix. The water will help the remaining solvent boil off and will cleanse the oil of solvent residue.

Step #14
Hold the rice cooker with oven mitts and swirl it’s oily contents while the last traces of alcohol boil completely off.

Step #15
When the process is near completion, you will notice three things:

The leftover oil will emit a crackling sound.
The oil will begin to bubble (that’s the source of the crackling sound).
Steam will start to escape from the oil. It may look like smoke, but don’t worry, it’s dark steam.
When those three criteria are satisfied, the separation process is almost done.

Step #16
Wait for the rice cooker to switch to the low setting and then turn it off.

Step #17
Let your fresh cannaoil mixture cool for about five minutes.

NOTE: Rick recommends that you proceed with the next step even though some strains of cannabis can produce an oil that is finished and ready to use at this point.

Step #18
Pour the mixture into a stainless steel measuring cup, and place the cup on a coffee warmer to completely remove any water remaining in the mixture.

This process can take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour or more. It all depends on the terpenes and flavonoids found in the strain you used to make your oil. The terpenes and flavonoids can cause the oil on the coffee warmer to bubble for quite some time.

Step #19
You know the water has been vaporized when all bubbling has ceased. Remove the measuring cup from the coffee warmer and set it aside to cool.

Some oily residue will remain behind in the measuring cup and the rice cooker and you can choose to use as you please.

Step #20
After the oil has cooled, draw the warm mixture up into large needleless syringes and allow the mixture to cool into a thick grease like substance that you can easily squeeze out of the syringe. Place the syringe in a cup of hot water if you have trouble squeezing it out after it has cooled.

Note: If you’re not going to use your cannabis oil right away, store it in a dark bottle with a lid or a stainless steel container and place that container in a dark, cool place. This keeps air and sunlight from damaging your valuable creation and helps the oil maintain its medical potency for a long time.

If that’s too long of a recipe to follow, you can check out Endoca CBD’s video on how to make cbd oil at home easily.

CBD Oil: How To Make Cannabis Oil at Home - Easily! - YouTube

So there you have it, a beginners guide to cannabis oil and how to make cbd oil at home. If you have any questions, see below to some frequently asked questions but if in doubt always check with reputable resources and medical experts in the cannabis industry.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is cannabis and CBD oil legal in Australia?

Currently, under Australia law, cannabis is still hard to legally obtain. You can always seek advice from a medical professional to assist with prescribing cannabis for medicinal purposes.

Can I die from overdosing on cannabis or CBD oil?

Probably not, unless it contains synthetic additives that might contain toxins.

If I use CBD oil, will I fail a drug test?

Yes, if you use cannabis oil, you will fail a drug test.

Is hemp oil and cannabis oil the same thing?

Hemp is part of the cannabis family, even though both have similar properties and uses there are slight differences. E.g. Hemp has low THC so you can’t can’t help off hemp but it does contain cbd and can be used for oil.

The post How to Make CBD Oil at Home: A Quick Guide to Cannabis Oil appeared first on The Organic Society.

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Shopping can be confusing at the best of times, and trying to find environmentally friendly options makes it even more difficult. Our Sustainable Shopping series asks experts to provide easy eco-friendly guides to purchases big and small. Send us your suggestions for future articles here.

A good winter coat is an investment, and puffer jackets are a timeless classic that speak to the mountaineering, outdoor lifestyle of Patagonia and Kathmandu, whose names alone evoke wintry wildernesses and wild geese in flight.

If you’re looking to replace your old winter coat, there is every possibility that one of the Michelin-man-looking puffer jackets has caught your eye for its warmth, lightness and associations with trekking through the wilderness.

However, the environmental, ethical and social impacts of your puffer jacket might not leave you feeling so warm and fuzzy. Here is a guide to the considerations you should keep in mind when looking for your winter jacket, and where to find the best options.



Read more:
From the Somme to the catwalk: the story of the trench coat

Quality of materials

The most common fibres for winter coats are wool or its synthetic imitation, acrylic. For puffer jackets, the outer shell is typically made from polyester. Polyester is a synthetic fibre derived from a non-renewable petrochemical origin, the use of which contributes to greenhouse gas emissions.

According to the Materials Sustainability Index, recycled polyester is a better environmental choice than virgin polyester, and its use is becoming more common. Emerging recycled fabrics from used coffee grounds are also in use in outdoor wear – see Mountain Designs.

The fluffy interiors of puffer jackets also need to be considered. A top ethical concern is the treatment of the birds whose down and feathers are harvested for jackets. Reports have emerged of geese and ducks being live-plucked for down and feathers.

Certifications such as the Responsible Down Standard and the Global Traceable Down Standard are a means by which companies can assure consumers that the down in their puffer jackets was ethically sourced, using the best practice of animal care. Each standard ensures there are no live-plucking or force-feeding practices, and that the animals providing down and feathers are humanely treated according to the five freedoms of animal welfare.

However, buying an expensive coat does not automatically mean that a company has its house in order, just as buying cheaper “fast fashion” puffer jackets need not necessarily mean that the down is unethically sourced. Whatever the price of the jacket, check first whether the company has signed up to the Responsible Down Standard.

The main alternative to down is polyester filling, such as the recycled polyester ECOdown. Unlike duck or goose down, ECOdown does not lose its insulating qualities when wet. The flip side is that polyester down is slightly heavier than duck or goose down. Brands that use ECOdown include Trenery and HoodLamb.

There are also other natural alternatives, such as batting made from merino wool, as used by Icebreaker, or the recycled goose down used by Patagonia.

Manufacturing processes

The long supply chains through which our garments arrive can mean that labour abuses continue to occur. The 2018 Ethical Fashion Guide was released this month, so have a look at how local brands have fared in terms of supply-chain transparency. Throughout April, Fashion Revolution Day aim to connect and inform the public about the issues facing the estimated 60 million garment workers worldwide.



Read more:
Three years on from Rana Plaza disaster and little improvement in transparency or worker conditions

Well Made Clothes is a website that allows you to choose clothing that aligns with your values, be they environmental, social, ethical treatment of animals, or all three.

Coat care

The final choices are those you can make as a wearer. For the workaday, bundled-up commuter, choose a high-quality garment in a hard-wearing fabric in a classic style and it will last you many seasons (real seasons as well as fashion’s artificial ones).

Again, fibre matters in longevity. Wool coats have a natural insulating quality. Acrylic, a synthetic substitute for wool, can develop pilling and does not have wool’s natural advantages.

Selecting a brand that will repair your damaged coat ensures that you remain motivated to care for your garment. Finally, in terms of disposal, brands such as Kathmandu and H&M offer a take-back service at the end of the garment’s life (although effective recycling of these garments remains a wicked problem for retailers). High-quality coats will always be in demand at op shops.

Why not wear what you wore last winter?

Retailers might not like this, but you should ask yourself whether you even need a fresh coat and, if so, whether it needs to be bought new. The most environmentally friendly item is the one we already own. Increasing sales of second-hand clothing result in savings in carbon emissions, waste, and water usage per tonne of clothing (see page 38 of this report).

Despite the supposed vagaries of fashion, winter coats are an excellent example of a garment that need not require constant refreshing, but rather can be worn for many seasons if cared for correctly.



Read more:
Sustainable shopping: for eco-friendly jeans, stop washing them so often

However, if you seek a winter wardrobe refresh, the enjoyment of rugging up in a new coat can be experienced at a lower cost economically and environmentally by buying second-hand, whether through eBay or op shops, or swapping or buying informally through friends in your social network. Engaging in the sharing economy through clothing renting platforms such as Lána can allow you to rent a show-stopping coat for a special night out.

Given the many considerations involved in the choice of coat – whether concerns over workers’ rights, cruelty to animals, or environmental impact – all we can do is make informed choices according to our individual values. For this reason, my first stop when doing some “sustainable shopping” will always be my existing wardrobe.

Alice Payne, Senior lecturer in Fashion, Queensland University of Technology, Queensland University of Technology

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

The post Sustainable shopping: where to find a puffer jacket that doesn’t warm the Earth appeared first on The Organic Society.

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