Applications are being accepted to travel to Ethiopia to report on Newborn Health. Do you have a great blog and robust following and believe in spreading awareness about maternal, child, and newborn health? Then consider applying for a fellowship with the International Reporting Project.
What an amazing opportunity! Good luck
Deadline: 21 April 2014
I have just read an article about palm oil and I am surprised at what is happening just so that the country can make enough of it for the demands. Apparently palm oil is in lots of our products, a full list can be found in the link above. In order to meet the demands more and more of the rainforests are being destroyed, therefore taking away the habitats of the animals and wildlife that live there. They are endangering lots of species and it always saddens me to see what we are doing to out planet in the name of vanity and greed.
You can read the full story here http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/footprint/agriculture/palm_oil/ I realise it is not entirely reasonable or realistic to expect everyone to boycott the purchase of items which contact palm oil but I personally cannot support the destruction of rain forests. I was most surprised to see Body Shop on there as they are against animal testing and surely this goes against everything they stand for? I remember shopping there as a teenager buying their animal and fruit soaps, spending all my pocket money there because they were against animal testing and furthermore highlighted the animals which were endangered. It was almost like we were part of a campaign group (in our heads anyway, as we loved animals and really did care, we just did not know how to make a difference yet). So me and my friends used to go into the shop every Saturday morning, talking to the staff and purchasing yet another animal soap to show our support! Maybe it is because Anita Roddick no longer owns the company, does this mean that The Body Shop has lost its soul?
I felt I had to find out, so I visited http://www.bodyshop.com to seek the answer. Here is what the Body Shop had to say on the matter:
“Good news! Since 2011, 100% of the unmodified palm oil use in The Body Shop products has been certified sustainable by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). Our supplier, based in New Britain, Papua New Guinea, has been certified by RSPO.
The Body Shop’s soaps contain the largest percentage of sustainable palm oil out of all our products. All soaps at The Body Shop display the RSPO logo on the packaging, as a way of raising the profile of this important not-for-profit accreditation association.
ABOUT PALM OIL
Palm Oil is the most widely used vegetable oil in the world, used in everything from food to detergents, and increasingly also as a bio-fuel. The expansion of palm oil plantations has contributed to the destruction of the world’s ancient rainforests and endangers animal species such as orang-utans in Borneo and Sumatra.
Endangered species at increased risk from expanding palm oil plantations in this region include the:
- Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae);
- Sumatran orang-utan (Pongo abelii); and
- Bornean orang-utan (Pongo pygmaeus).
This expansion has in some instances impacted the living conditions of Indigenous people in the communities surrounding palm-oil plantations, resulting in frequent conflict over land, forced evictions and human rights violations. This is why The Body Shop has made a commitment to responsible sourcing of palm oil.
Watch The Sustainable Palm Oil video to learn more about sustainable Palm Oil from the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF).
THE BODY SHOP AND PALM OIL
THE BODY SHOP AND DAABON
The Body Shop began working with Daabon, a Colombian group in 2007. Daabon was not certified by the RSPO, as a national standard for Colombia didn’t exist at the time; however it had passed an independent audit using the Roundtable’s criteria. We also carried out our own visits to their plantations.
In late 2009 a problem suddenly emerged with Daabon involving a piece of land that had been purchased by a consortium that included Daabon. Christian Aid, an international development charity and its local partner in Colombia claimed people living on the land protected by the consortium were being evicted to make way for a new palm oil plantation.
For its part, the consortium insisted they had bought the land in good faith, and there were no signs of the land being previously occupied. The Body Shop did not have a trading relationship with the consortium, but as soon as we heard about this new issue we thought it sensible to investigate the matter for ourselves.
We commissioned an independent study in partnership with Christian Aid, which revealed how complex the underlying legal and property questions really were. We used the results of the study to suggest a number of ways Daabon might help resolve the issue, which they did take on board. The Body Shop concluded that an acceptable long-term solution was unlikely to be found, and as a result stopped trading with Daabon.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Where possible, buy products that have been certified as sustainable.
This at least restores some faith. Hopefully the other companies will follow suit and join the RSPO, if they have not done so already.
If you would like the option of buying Palm Free products you can find a list here, kindly offered by Borneo Orangutan Survival website.
Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear……
A show based in Liverpool like the other reality shows such as Made in Chelsea and The Only Way Is Essex. So although these programs are hardly enlightening, most (I said most) characters are painted in a reasonable light. So why, when they release a reality show based in the North of England do they have to pick the roughest people who seem unable to string a sentence together without the use of multiple swear words, and more noticeably are unable to communicate with each other without being aggressive. I live in the North of England next to another large city. We are extremely friendly, individual in style (not carbon copy barbie dolls), and although some of us may swear it definitely is not the whole of the population (or who the producers portray the population as).
Sorry Liverpool but I do not see how this will do you any favours…..unless of course you are all like the show portrays you (though I highly doubt it). If I was a Liverpudlian I would be feeling rather embarrassed as to how the show is painting you.
I long to travel. I have 11 years to save. I will be 45. My youngest child will be 16, and if they wish they can travel with me. I will be going whether i travel alone, with my children, a partner or friend. This is something I have to do. I am drawn to India as I feel I need to travel there to connect to my deeper spiritual self. I want to go there to experience the culture, food, sights, attend temples and a yoga retreat.
One of the places I must visit is Taj Mahal, for the sheer beauty of the building. It is a must see once in my life time.
On my travels I plan on spending some time in an Ashram. This is something I must do. I am not certain as to how long I will stay. I wish to go and stay for as long as I feel necessary. There are many Ashrams to choose from but as I was truly inspired by Eat Pray love I plan on visiting the on
“The ashram Gilbert visited, therefore, is Gurudev Siddha Peeth where Muktananda is buried”.
“Gurudev Siddha Peeth, the first Siddha Yoga ashram, is a “shakti peeth”, a center of spiritual energy. It is situated in the historic and sacred Tansa Valley, in Maharashtra, India. The ashram is imbued with the spiritual power of the Siddha Yoga Gurus and the countless hours of sadhana and spiritual practice that Siddha Yogis have performed there.” http://www.siddhayoga.org.in/Gurudev_Siddha_Peeth.html
I am not sure if this will be possible as I have began to look into how you are able to attend the Ashrams and there is an application process you must go through. I feel a Yoga Ashram is best for me, given my commitment to yoga practice. I also believe it is through yoga that I myself is developing spiritually.
I also plan to visit some destinations in India which are described as the most spiritual in the country. since this trip for me is about developing my own spirituality it seems fitting that I visit these if possible.
Bodhgaya is the most important Buddhist pilgrimage place in the world. Located in the state of Bihar, it’s here that Lord Buddha became enlightened during intense meditation under a Bodhi tree. The exact spot is now marked by the sprawling Mahabodhi Temple complex. The town is also home to dozens of Buddhist monasteries. Those who are interested will find plenty of meditation and Buddhism courses and retreats on offer. This is a place which will definately be on my list. I cannot visit India without missing out this place.
The Ancient Haridwar (the “Gateway to God”) it is one of the seven holiest places in India, and one of the oldest living cities. Located at the foothills of the Himalayas in Uttarakhand, it’s particularly popular with Hindu pilgrims who come to take a dip in the holy waters of the fast flowing Ganges River and wash away their sins. Unlike Varanasi, the water is clean and fresh in Haridwar. The evening ceremony Ganga Aarti, a daily ritual once the sun goes down, looks fabulous.
Another definate must see for me due to my ties with yoga is Rishikesh- the birthplace of yoga, is a popular place to come and meditate, do yoga, and learn about other aspects of Hinduism. It’s situated on the banks of the Ganges River, surrounded by hills on three sides, not far from Haridwar in Uttarakhand. Rishikesh lures those seeking knowledge and peace with its numerous ashrams and yoga institutes. It’s particularly popular with spiritual seeking foreigners, while Haridwar holds more significance for Hindu pilgrims.
Amritsar was founded in 1577 by Guru Ram Das, the fourth guru of Sikhs. It’s the spiritual capital of the Sikhs and gained its name, meaning “Holy Pool of Nectar”, from the body of water around the Golden Temple. The exquisite Golden Temple attracts pilgrims from all over the world. It looks particularly arresting at night when it’s beautifully lit up, with its imposing pure gold dome illuminated.
I have this ‘knowing’ that in order for me to grow as a person I need to travel to expand my mind. It is something which is built inside of me. I know that I will travel at some point, and when the time is right the opportunities will present themselves. Until then I use the time to plan where I will go, and can only dream of my up and coming adventures.
With Spring fast approaching, it has got me all excited thinking about the up and coming festivals I have booked for this Summer. Which got me thinking once again about a festival I have to attend in my life time. I recently learnt about The Burning Man, Nevada, USA. The cost currently appears to be in the region of $380 . Obviously with the cost of flights of say approximately £600 I’m going to need to save for this for some time. It is not the type of thing I can impulsively decide to attend. So, what is it? A week long festival of music, and what can only be described as a truly hedonistic event. It promises to offer art of all forms, you cannot buy anything apart from coffee and ice. You can however trade. You must bring things with you to trade and this is all part of the charm of this wonderful event. From what I have read pretty much everything goes on here.
Once a year, tens of thousands of people gather in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert (also known as “the playa”) to create Black Rock City, a temporary metropolis dedicated to community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance. They depart one week later, having left no trace whatsoever. This seems like the ultimate festival to me. The thought of thrusting myself into a week event where money is not a factor and you can reconnect with your roots is the ultimate for me.
From the research I have done, it is would seem that no matter how many pictures I put on here, or how I describe the event, there is just no way that anyone can get an true representation of what the festival truly is or what is actually is like. the only way to do that, is to go. I am just a little worried that once I have been to this festival that nothing else will ever compare. Imagine going to the ultimate festival and not being able to beat it…..I reckon I would deal with it 😉
Have any of you been? If you have I would love to hear about your experience.
Finally, a refection of the documentary which makes some sense, see link (above) to the Independent’s response to the TV series ‘Benefits Street’ which was on Channel 4 at 9pm on the 7th January 2014. The country we live in sometimes makes me feel so sad. We are consumed with negativity and covered by a big black cloud that is the media feeding us with mostly absolute drivel.
Channel 4 should be ashamed of themselves. The people who were featured in this documentary are real people trying to live real lives. Yes the majority of them are on benefits, for what reasons it is unknown, and for this reason alone who are we to judge? How about the government stop reducing the benefit payments, put a hold of the rise of the cost of living and see what happens then. Maybe you might just see a reduction in crime? One thing is for sure, continue to make the cuts and this situation will only worsen. To target a street which is predominantly made up of single parents, unemployed and people with addictions is a cheap shot. The fact the documentary stated there were around 15 different nationalities on the street says a lot. Lets not forget it was the government who let all these nationalities in. These are now on benefits in our country with no jobs. Funnily enough the documentary did nt feature the other nationalities! I believe these people have been tricked into taking part, with one resident saying “They said they wanted to film for a TV show about how great community spirit is in the street and how we all help each other out on a daily basis,” said Ms Roberts, 32. (4 News)
This type of documentary is not cutting edge. It is no wonder people are growing up and becoming bullies, because they are surrounded by it every not just from people on the street but by the media. Channel 4 have picked on the poor and defenseless, adding fuel to the fire of the picture the government are trying to paint of people on benefits so that they can justify even more cuts. The truth is these people are not a representation of the mass.
On a lighter note, it has been reported that the ’50p man’ selling items, not only trying to make a wage for himself, but help out his neighbours has been offered a job-on the back of the documentary. I sincerely hope this is true as this will install a little faith in humanity.
Documentaries like this is are so damaging. This is not the first, there have been many documentaries like this such as Skint (Channel 5), People Like Us (BBC3). This is the reason why everyone who receives help from the government are seen as the dregs of society. However, being a single working mum of three children and also studying for a degree in Psychology I can assure you I do not receive anywhere near as much money as what people believe I do. I can barely afford to pay my bills every month thanks to the increasingly expensive rising cost of living and the reduction in help from the government. The government are here for one thing…..to govern….to control and I know that until I can get myself in a position where I do not need government help I will always be trapped. The harsh reality is we are often imprisoned in our own lives and left with real little choice of how to live our lives, as we are financially controlled by our own country and forced to live a life which is seen as socially acceptable. It is time to start thinking outside of the box. We all need to wake up and take a stand. Stop believing everything you see, read and hear and question what is actually going on and what is important in life. It is difficult at first, but once you start you will wonder how you have managed to just coast along in ‘zombie nation’ for so long.
Its not too often that I will ‘cut and paste’ another bloggers post into my own, but I must admit when I read this I have nt agreed with someones comments so much for a long time. Just like the pub trade, the club trade is in danger of dying. I am lucky to belong to a social circle which includes underground dj’s which hold their own nights. The cost of the nights are reasonably priced, alcohol is cheap at around £2/£2.50 and the music is always great. The venues are carefully selected usually just outside of the city, ensuring we don’t get trouble makers coming in off the street. It’s no surprise that the organisers are also responsible for holding free parties in the area. It’s these people that know how to keep the spirit alive. You can turn up, dressed in whatever you like, dance however you like and do whatever you like, as long as you want to party and have a good heart. Not like majority of city mainstream clubs where if your face does nt fit then you are not getting in. Not that I would be bothered, as usually these are the clubs where the bouncers are like something off Judge Dredd which causes the ultimate ‘on edge’ atmosphere and you cant get into the toilets because they are full of people checking themselves in the mirrors.
Wow….look at some of these homes, I could easily live in something like this. Not only is it more sustainable but I often question how many of my material objects I actually need!
But I think this one has to be my favourite. It looks enchanted almost….
In fact I think my ideal home would be an extravagant tree house 🙂
What do you think? Could you give up all your mod cons for a simpler life in these beautiful surroundings?
- Sustainable Living Video (simple-green-living.com)