Environment, Photography

Friendly Friday Blog Challenge – Recycling

Japan is a very clean country. You won’t see or find litter in the streets. Why?

Several years ago in Japan, a bomb placed in a busy commuter station waste bin exploded and this on top of a 1995 domestic terrorist attack using deadly Sarin Gas also in a garbage bin, led to the removal of most bins, from public spaces, in Japan.

Japanese Garbage Disposal

Since then, the Japanese people have been responsible for the disposal of their own rubbish. Most carry a bag and take their trash home with them when they are out and about. Consequently, you will see nothing but a clean streetscape without litter of any kind. And if you do find a public bin, it will be separated into recyclables and combustible garbage all ready for recycling.

Despite the huge population, you won’t find trash anywhere on the streets of Tokyo or Kyoto.

Not even at Shibuya, the busiest pedestrian intersection in the world.

Nor will you find any rubbish or litter in Arashiyama, Nara or at the steps of Mt Fuji.

Recycling Garbage in Australia

Australians are fairly new to the waste recycling game with only a small portion of the 70 million tonnes of waste we produce, being recycled. The rest ends up as landfill or is shipped to willing countries, usually in the third world in exchange for hard currency! Surprising? It is true and as an Australian, somewhat shameful.

Think New Product, Not Waste

Think resource, not waste, when it comes to the goods around us – until this happens, we simply won’t award recycled goods the true value and repurpose they deserve.

www.abc.net.au/news/2019-07-27/other-ways-to-dispose-of-recycling-besides-putting-it-in-bin/11350488

There are many things that might be recycled if we considered them a resource for the development of new products, rather than waste.

Paper, cardboard and plastics can be, and are, upcycled to new products; food and garden waste biodegrades in backyard compost heaps/bins; books are re-used, via book exchanges or free services such as Bookmooch.

Even Second-hand clothing can be recycled via thrift store donation bins or increasingly refashioned into new clothing and other items. Clothing giant, H& M are transforming old clothes into new items by recapturing the raw materials and spinning the fibres into new yarn so that something old can become new again, but importantly – without the added environmental cost.  

A suburban street was recently resurfaced by recycling old car tyres, saving on carbon emissions and toxic landfill space. It was a delight to drive on.

Australian street re surfaced with recycled car tyres
A road resurfaced with used car tyres in Clontarf, Australia

It’s estimated about 130,000 tonnes of Australian plastic ends up in waterways and oceans each year through littering. Especially problematic are products like wet wipes are being flushed and plastic flying away from landfill processing. 130,000 tonnes! No wonder the oceans are dying.

Do you know what happens to the waste you dispose of, in your country?

Global Recycling Day is observed around the world on 18th March each year, and thus the theme for the Friendly Friday Blog Challenge is:

RECYCLING

Up until Thursday 25th March, the challenge is to share photographs, a story or a blog post about what recycling means to you, on a circular economy, or what is happening in your local area?

Instructions on how to participate.

Include a comment below, tag your post Friendly Friday Recycling and pingback myself and Sandy, who will host the next challenge on Friday 26th March.

Recycling is a key part of the circular economy, helping to protect our natural resources. Each year the ‘Seventh Resource’ (recyclables) saves over 700 million tonnes in CO2 emissions and this is projected to increase to 1 billion tons by 2030. There is no doubt recycling is on the front line in the war to save the future of our planet and humanity.

https://www.globalrecyclingday.com/about/
Photo credit: Facebook
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Aromatherapy Products

The use of essential oils for therapeutic and cosmetic use has become mainstream in recent times. With a multitude of aromatherapy products to choose from, which ones stand out from the ‘crowd‘?

What are the real benefits of using products with essential oils?

Photo by Breakingpic on Pexels.com

How are Essential Oils Created?

Essential oils are extracted from plant material using steam or water distillation. Selected plant materials are heated with steam, water or both until the essential oil vaporises. The oil then condenses as it cools.

Being a concentrated plant oil, they should be used sparingly and always diluted in some other medium, such as plain massage oil (cold-pressed vegetable oil) or unscented base cream (but not a mineral oil cream, such as most brands of sorbolene or baby oil)…Aromatic plant oils, including essential oils, should never be ingested (taken in by mouth), as they can be toxic.

https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au

About Utama Spice Products

All the products at Utama Spice, an all-natural skincare company, are based on traditional Balinese herbal knowledge and comprise 100% natural ingredients.

The farming communities in Bali, Indonesia, produce the raw materials for Utama Spice’s natural skincare products and in so doing, support local farmers in organic farming, bee farming and seaweed farming.

The company believe: “if you wouldn’t cook with it, you shouldn’t put it on your body.”

As a graduate of the Environmental Science, it is a joy for me to discover a business, such as Utama Spice Natural Aromatherapy Products, who offer a high quality, sustainable product with a low environmental impact, one that is ethically produced in harmony with nature and respectfully for humanity.

Furthermore, I was delighted to read the products contained:

  • No Synthetic Oils
  • No Synthetic Fragrances
  • No Artificial Colours
  • No Synthetic Preservatives
  • No Surfactants
therapy products

Aromatherapy Product Review

I found the Aromatherapy product range from Utama Spice, based in Bali, Indonesia to be a beneficial and therapeutic asset in, and around, my home. All the benefits of the essential oils are available, beautifully presented, in an easy to use pump pack.

Utama Spice Lip Balm

Being someone with sensitive skin, it was refreshing to find the Utama Spice Aromatherapy lip balms and liquid soaps were highly moisturizing, with no hint of dryness or irritation.

With all the benefits of natural ingredients like coconut oil and beeswax, infused with essential oils to lock in moisture, the aptly named WellKiss Lip Balm was a standout favourite for me.

The Tangerine and Peppermint Lip Balms were very much appreciated by my daughter, in the windy weather that we frequently experience, living here, by the coast. The whole family will be thankful for that level of protectiveness for the sensitive lip areas, come wintertime.

Utama Spice Liquid Soaps

Utama Spice’s range of Liquid Soaps

The Man of the House found Lemongrass Liquid Soap excellent for showering and bathing and that fresh scent lingered pleasantly in our bathroom, after use.

If you are looking for something a little stronger to use on tougher cleaning jobs, Utama Spice offers an Antiseptic liquid soap which has the benefit of Neem Oil as an active ingredient to kill germs.

Body Butter Moisturizers

For those needing an intensive moisturizer for ultra-dry skin, an application of the Tropical Flower Body Butter, after showering, is an excellent remedy for cracked heels, as well as any rough spots on knees and elbows.

Moisturizing Soaps and Lotions

Lavender Liquid soap and Coconut Moisturizing Lotion with Pure Lavender Oil.

I suppose it is no surprise that the Home by the Sea overall favourite Utama Spice Aromatherapy product, was the Lavender Liquid soap and Coconut Moisturizing Lotion with Pure Lavender Oil.

Yoga Mat Energizing and Sanitizing Spray

Yoga mats can become notoriously grotty if you’re using them outdoors, so the compact size of the Utama Spice Yoga Mat Energizing Spray, was brilliant, meaning I could keep it in my handbag, for regular use after Yoga and exercise sessions.

The added bonus of knowing the essential Oil of Lemon, Bergamot, and Mint were helpful in sanitizing the mat was most reassuring, especially given the current Covid pandemic.

Three varieties of Yoga Mat Spray
Photo Credit: Utama Spice.com

Quality Control of Utama Spice Aromatherapy Products

The company maintain strict hygiene procedures to ensure the products and the raw materials are checked at every stage of production, thereby guaranteeing the highest standard of quality control to create a well-made, but still handcrafted, natural beauty product.

Utama Spice Customer Service

Utama Spice maintain a supportive and friendly culture with its customers and shipping is prompt, with tracking options for orders at no extra charge. With a flat rate of $10 shipping, (free for orders over $100-AUD), the location is no barrier for customers worldwide.

If you have any issues with your order they will go above and beyond to make sure you are completely satisfied.

Discounts and giveaways are offered to customers who subscribe to their website.

Utama Spice Products Product Review Recommendation

I am very happy to commend their products to you and was thrilled with their products. I will be ordering more supplies.

Online Store – Utama Spice Products

It you wish to order, you can find the Utama Spice store online.

Please note that I received no monetary incentive for this review. It is the unbiased and honest opinion of StPA.

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Sunday Sayings – Our Environment Let’s change the World

Climate change is an important issue that each of us can contribute to increasing awareness about, through our photography and posts. So today, on Sunday sayings, I explore several environmental quotes that resonate with me. We can make a difference in our daily practices wherever we how in the world, however we live.

Do you know how?

Friendly-friday-photo-climate

One planet, one experiment

– Edward O. Wilson

We have been showcasing photos on our interpretation of climate change on Friendly-friday-photo, a weekly photo challenge on WordPress.

[If you wish to join in see more Friendly Friday.]

I find there to be profound wisdom in proverbs, sayings and quotes and I marvel at the way they are so succinct in communicating messages to the reader.

Mostly anonymous, they come to us from past generations and from across cultures. They speak of the experiences of lives lived and lessons learned.

Quotes, like proverbs, make us think more deeply about something.

Join in the discussion by leaving a comment.

Everyone’s opinion is important. What is yours?

Something serious to ponder about.

#OneWorld Let’s change it.

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Friendly Friday Photo – Climate Change

1984 – contemplating the Environment

1984 – Australia.

A skinny slip of a girl was studying the Environment at University. She learnt about planet earth and how fragile it was; how global temperature might rise at least 2- 3 degrees, and how this warming might lead to cataclysmic and irreversible ramifications for life, on earth.

Rainbows could be a thing of the past in some parts of Australia

That student also learnt how inland river systems were polluted by effluent from cities and how excessive irrigation for agricultural crops led to saline soils and dying river systems, in this the driest continent, on earth. She learnt how her country would begin to experience more drought, wild weather events, fire and more hardship on the land in coming decades.

Rivers break their banks in extreme weather events

Furthermore, she read how scientists detected die-back and bleaching of coral in the Great Barrier Reef due to run-off of fertilizers draining down from agricultural land into the sea, during rains.

She learnt how everything in the natural world is interconnected.

If one part of the ecosystem breaks down, or disappears, it has a deleterious domino effect on other parts, with potential species extinction and irreversible damage to nature.

She learnt along with rising sea levels, that there is not a single species in the ocean without plastic materials in its gut; that fisheries are disappearing and that the only marine species flourishing in the alkaline marine environment is Jellyfish.

In University classes, she discussed how we as humans, along with other predatory species will feel the concentrated effects of endocrine disrupting petrochemicals and accumulated pesticides. And that we might see evidence of this first in plants, second in animals that feed on those plants, and lastly in us, the carnivores that eat the animals, because we are at the top of the food chain.

Everything is connected.

disposable plastic
Plastic washed up on beaches
green tree frog

She learnt that frogs are a good indicator of the health of the environment and that frogs and bee numbers are dwindling.

The student then learnt about the hole in the ozone layer and how the polar ice sheets could melt resulting in a rise in sea levels; meaning some low lying countries will become uninhabitable.

Rising sea levels could threaten low lying coastal communities

For this student, who had grown up in the shadow of potential nuclear extermination in the Cold War era, soon realized an even bigger threat to the planet was, in fact, man himself.

Checkpoint Charlie – a hot spot in the Cold War

What kind of world would her potential future children be gifted with?

She left her work in the environment field as she could not bear to hear it any more.

artsy photo
Looking outwards, not inwards

Now no longer a student, but a Mother, that women began to facilitate and promote environmentally friendly practices in her own circle. She spoke about her concerns with friends, family and her wider community, and slowly changed attitudes of those around her, and increased awareness, in her own microcosm.

seal kiss

That former student learnt that education and knowledge can be a powerful vanguard for change in community thinking and ultimately, in the halls of government. The student, who had read so much gloom and doom in her University years, also learnt that there is HOPE.

Slowly, as temperatures began to rise, folks began to know the world was indeed a finite place and could no longer absorb man’s destructive ways.

Sustainable practices, solar and wind power and recycling became mainstream. Single use plastic bags were banned or minimized. Threatened forests and animals were protected and land clearing practices examined in terms of their biodiversity loss or environmental value. Salinity in rivers and streams began to be addressed and is now understood as both a threat and a challenge.

And the public started to realize that Climate Change is real.

Friendly Friday Photo challenge

Friendly Friday Photo Challenge will have a new weekly prompt next week here on Something to Ponder About. Thanks ever so much to my co-host TheSnowMeltsSomewhere for her Friendly Friday Climate Change prompt.


Please check the comment section on her post for other entries to this challenge.

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This topic is especially dear to my heart and in highlighting this issue through photography, we can also increase awareness. I will pop down from my soap box now.

Amanda

#OneWorld Let’s change it!

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Proverbial Friday – Global Wisdom

I find there to be profound wisdom in proverbs, sayings and quotes and I marvel at the way they are so succinct in communicating messages to the reader. Mostly anonymous, they come to us from past generations and from across cultures. They speak of experiences of lives lived and lessons learned. Quotes, like proverbs, make us think more deeply about something.

Each Friday, I post a Proverb or Saying and a Quote that I find thought-provoking. 

I hope you will too and join with me in a discussion on what we can learn.

The proverb and quotes this week focus on environmental concerns.

 

 

I conceive that the land belongs to a vast family of which many are dead, few are living, and countless numbers are still unborn

– Nigerian Chief

A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. - Franklin D Roosevelt #eco (Find more green quotes on SustainableBabySteps.com)

 

Source: www.sustainablebabysteps.com

 

The activist is not the man who says the river is dirty. The activist is the man who cleans up the river

– Ross Perot

 

and a final quote this week:

Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them

– Albert Einstein

 

 

 

 

The Nigerian Chief recognized that we can never truly own the land. We are merely transient tenants. Inherent in this saying, is the understanding of the mortality of ourselves and of our planet.

Of environmental problems, can they be solved by increasing and augmenting awareness? Or can one team or sector of society make a difference? I think it needs to be a cooperative, collaborative team effort. A problem tackled by all, and for all, ages. Yet, in our our little corner of space, we can change the world for the better. But, if we heed Einstein’s quote – can everyone do that?

 

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                  Now posting on Fridays

 

Linking also to the Three day Quote challenge over at Purple Pumpernickel.

Proverbial Friday – Something to Ponder About