3 things you can do for humanity, other than just pray for it…

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Let me start by saying that there is nothing wrong with praying.

Throwing positive energy into the universe can only be a good thing. And there are plenty of reputable studies to show the benefits of prayer and meditation on stress levels and brain activity. So, by all means, pray. But once you’re done praying make sure you spend some time creating the world you have just finished asking for. Remember, your deity’s only hands are those of its followers.

And a quick note for those of you who have used the hashtags prayforparis, or prayforhumanity, but have neither prayed nor taken action: don’t be that person. You have the power to bring so much relief in a world of pain. Use that power for good, not for gaining likes and comments.

So what can you do for humanity?

…Learn about it

There are many ways to do this. Read stories written from different view points, meet people from different backgrounds, travel. These are the best (and the funnest) ways to develop an appreciation for the things that make us different – like tiles in a complex mosaic – and the things that make us the same.

And there’s also watching the news. Keeping in mind that blogs, talk shows, religous publications and a Current Affair, are not news. Even the news has to be watched with the critical thinking part of your brain switched on. Television channels pursue ratings over truth. A fair proportion has to be the truth, or noone would bother watching. But it isn’t always the truth (Media Watch has many examples) and it is rarely the whole truth.

 

Media Watch

Just remember that anything you hear, from anyone (even me!!) comes through a filter of prejudices, experiences, hopes and adgendas. Learning to unpick the facts from the soup of human BS is a very important skill.

…Contribute to it

Wherever there are people trying to tear humanity down, there are people working to build it back up again. Whether it’s through actual building and construction, through the provision of essential services, or just the provision of arms to cry in.

You can be one of these people in your own community, but if you want to go one step further and help out in other communities around the world, then donate to a cause. The IFRC (known in Australia as the Red Cross) performs great work around the globe. From responding with blood and emergency assistance to the victims of our Black Saturday bushfires, to the needs of refugees fleeing Syria – if you are looking for a cause, these guys are a worthy one. They are also on the ground responding to the Paris attacks, so it’s a great choice if you are particularly interested in helping there.

 

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…Value it

In a world where life holds such little value, there will always be strife. In the west we are happy to trade the length and quality of life experienced by millions around the world for cheaper access to clothes, cosmetics and household goods. Don’t even get me started on oil.

Make consumer choices that enhance humanity, not detract from it.

And go hug someone.

Rant over.

 

Good news for people who love Sherbies and other Allens lollies…

That’s right ladies and gentlemen, Australia is reeling from announcements that Allens will be discontinuing a number of it’s lines so loved from our childhoods including Sherbies, jubes, spearmint leaves and green frogs.

Well, OK, noone cares about green frogs. But sherbies are a school camp staple, right?

But we can all relax. I have done my research (mmm, delicous research) and have identified a number of suitable substitutes which come with the added bonus of being made right here in Australia:

Sherbet Bombs

Not as soft, but delicously fruity and fizzy just like Sherbies.

Sherbert Bombs

Pascall Jubes

Not too hard. Not too soft. The perfect jube.

Bols Mint Leaves

Available at Kmart and at a ridiculously low price, you’re mad if you are not already using this identical tasting alternative.

With all these substitutes I won’t be suffering from Allens lolly withdrawal, but then again I started phasing Allens out of my diet in first year uni, along with all of Nestle’s other brands.

After hearing in first unit marketing about the devastating affects of Nestle’s aggressive campaigns to market infant formula to mothers in developing countries, it didn’t feel like much of a choice in the end.

I won’t harp on about the details – if you want to know more I suggest you start your own research here – but needless to say, a commitment to shopping ethical does not involve contributing to the profit margins of a company that is repeatedly accused of breaching World Health Organisation standards that are designed to reduce infant mortality rates in some of the world’s most vulnerable communities because they can turn a quick buck.

So maybe don’t mourn the loss of Sherbies, but rather look forward to a brave new world of more ethical (and equally delicous) options to explore. Mmmmm.

The Fab 5: The best posts of the past year

 28 April marks the one year anniversary of All You Need is LLUF.

It’s been a year of little triumphs, terrible disorganisation and great support from my loved ones. 44 posts and over 700 visits later, I have chosen 5 of my favourites to share:

Number

The first post I published, detailing the four part philosphy designed ‘to minimise the impact that my love of pretty things has on people and planet‘, that All You Need is LLUF was born from.

about

Number

The most popular post about our delightful stay in Hepburn Springs, Daylesford – a beautiful little town in wine country Victoria which I highly recommend for couples looking for romance, families looking for fun, and just about anyone looking for the perfect spot to relax.

Fair Grotto - HSMR

Number

The first to go ‘viral’ … ok, so the term ‘viral’ might be a bit of an overstatement. This is the first to be shared on Facebook by someone else. In particular the lovely people at Taygra Shoes Australia who were excited to be mentioned in the post.

Family of Taygra

Number

 My Mum’s favourite post. And there is no higher seal of approval.

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Number

The one that won…or at the very least was a favourite of the blog Living Well Spending Less who allows other blogs to post their best spend thrifting ideas to their Thrifty Thursday page.

BeetrootThrifty ThursdaySpring onions

So there you have it. Five of the best. A big thankyou for sticking with me so far, and a toast to the year ahead Champagne

Aussie products to get you through the Aussie summer!!

Bagara beach

Things are heating up here in Australia!! And it couldn’t come soon enough as far as I am concerned. Looking forward to wading in the ocean, long lazy days reading a book under a tree, a dip at the local pool… ah summer bliss.

But summer isn’t always bliss. Skin damage, heatstroke, and the blinding glare of the afternoon sun can leave you feeling a little ravaged. And who better to know how to help with this issue than some dinkie-die Aussies themselves?

So let me share with you some great Australian made products that can help you through the summer months:

Cool Cossies

Rival Swimwear is Australian made and has swimwear for everyone – from tiny tots having their first splash in the paddling pool, to Iron men looking for that perfect pair of budgy smugglers. Women who want to train seriously, or women who just want to look nice while they make a fool of themselves pretending to swim can both find something that works for them with this brand. In the interests of full disclosure, let me confirm that I fit squarely into the later category.

Sunscreen

Super Sun Protection

I love Hamilton Sunscreens Everyday Face Sunscreen. Provides you with high protection, and a sweet little tint to help you look your best. But they also have toddler sunscreen, and normal sunscreen, and spray sunscreen. Who new you could have so many types of sunscreen. They have recently upgraded their entire range to 50+, which seems crazy to someone who remembers her mother talking about how ridiculous it was that sunscreens were going up to 15+. But we got used to that, and now I always use 30+. I guess it’s just a matter of time before 50+ becomes normal too.

Gaia

A bit of pocket relief

In the height of summer I will have a face spray bottle by the bed, one in my handbag, and one in the fridge. It’s so nice when you are hot and flusted to cool down with a quick, sweet smelling spray. One of my favourites is GAIA Rose Otto and Lavendar Refreshing Toner, pictured below.

Good Quality Glasses

I have two pairs of sunnies that are about a million years old, and still going strong. So I am not in the market for a pair of Australian made sunnies myself right now. But if I were, the first three brands I’d hit up are:

  • Spotters for sports style sunnies
  • Glarce for high end fashion sunnies
  • Topheads for something cool and biodegradeable

 

Happy summer people!!

 

LLUF – less; local; used; fair

This four part philosophy may not be all I need, but it does come in useful during my attacks of consumer-guilt, a problem which I am fairly sure I inherited from an entrenched family of waste-not-want-not-ers. The gene pool had become somewhat diluted through the generations though, because although I generally waste-not, I find there are still plenty of shiny things that I want. So to minimise the impact that my love of pretty things has on people and planet I spend a fair bit of my time looking for ways to incorporate this philosophy into my life.

Now this blog isn’t designed to preach on how you should live your life or do your shopping – but I wanted to share my experience, research and passion with anyone who it might help. So take a little, or take the lot, here are some reasons why it might be useful to you:

1)      It will save you money. At least the tips for buying less and for buying awesome used (second-hand) items will. My research into the most reasonably priced Australian made and fair trade options may also help to save you money. And at the very least will save you time, which equals money, so money saved. Hooray!

2)      It will help to create Australian jobs. Not only will buying locally made and grown help to create jobs in the Australian manufacturing and agricultural sectors, but buying second hand and fair trade helps to support the small businesses trying to carve out a living in these markets.

3)      It’s better for the environment. Landfill, blah, blah; declining resources, blah, blah; carbon footprint, blah, blah. You’ve heard it all. The fact is buying used saves on resources and landfill. Buying local reduces carbon pollution and ensures your goods are manufactured under Australian environmental standards. And many fair trade businesses sell a range of recycled and hand made products.

4)      It’s better for the people who make your products. If the news coverage of last year’s factory collapse in Bangladesh has taught us anything, there is no shortage of unconscionable spending cuts that companies will make in the pursuit of a higher profit margin. Buying Australian made and fair trade helps to ensure that the people making your products have been treated like actual people.

Not to mention, of course, that it will lead you to some of the coolest and rarest buys in your life!!

So whether you’re interested in saving a bit of money, saving the Australian manufacturing industry, or just paving the way to a brighter tomorrow for everyone, I like to think I have something for you.