Sustainable Living

A couple of weeks back we were lucky enough to be invited and attend the Melbourne sustainability festival. The weekend held many inspiring talks and welcomed practitioners, permaculture enthusiasts, designers and eco friendly types to educate others and sell products that keep the world happy! Here are a few tips on how I try and live in bitesize form. I will be sharing more across the coming month so please revisit the blog to find out more or keep an eye on our facebook and instagram for more information and inspiration. I will also be looking into how you yourself can retain a sustainable health as we enter an ever growing and developing nature and congression to do our part in making the world , each other and ourselves smile.

Get creative with sustainability

Here is a small way in which you could make  your first friendly footstep.

Recycle, Reuse and Revamp your clothes

What you choose to buy and wear each day can often be worn in many different ways and more than once before you chuck it your washing basket. If you are mindful before you toss your clothes in the dirty laundry; not only are you helping save the environment but also your pocket. You will cut down on water bills and washing liquid / powder / soap.

So before my clothes visit the Laundry I follow these simple rituals;

  • The sniff test
    Sometimes you can save your clothes with a gentle hand wash or spray.
  • The small spill
    If I have spilled something down myself (Happens a lot).. Can I just wash that said area in the sink and then swill and leave to dry naturally?

Be mindful of your choice of washing liquid / powder.

#Whentheworldgivesyoulemons

Lemons are cheap and as well tasting and smelling fresh and lovely they also act as a natural cleaning agent. Other natural condiments you can use to clean your space and face and teeth are; Bicarb Soda, Vinegar, Cinnamon,Turmeric and Honey. No need to therefore make your pockets, wallets and environments an un-happy and stinky place.

You can clean your kitchen, clothes and surfaces with these above simply pure and organic natural agents.

Personally, I squeeze lemon juice into water to clean my dishes unless it is super sticky and dirty. I also squeeze into my laundry - and will keep dried flowers and lavender inside my drawers to keep the fabrics smelling fresher for longer.

Be thrifty when taking care of your Face & Body & Hair.

Oranges and Lemons & lime are also great spot defence agents. The acidic and sourness can be used in tiny amounts to pop on your spots... and yes it stings! ...But trust me, no pain, no gain!

Honey and Turmeric

You can use Aloe Vera-Coconut oil or Milk-Banana as vegan alternatives.

Pop these natural organic ingredients onto your face and reap the rewards with super soft and beautifully glowing skin.

Cinnamon & Banana & Coconut are great soothing and moisturizing ingredients.

Cinnamon is a stimulating, warm and spicy ingredient which encourages hair to grow.

Banana and aloe vera are both Deliciously cooling and moisturising ingredients which keeps your hair and skin soft, silky and smooth.

Coconut Oil - Extremely moisturising. Just be careful not to put too close to your roots as your hair will look slightly greasy- just allow enough time for it to wash out. Over night is a good tip and wash out in the morning.

Say no to plastic wherever possible

Use empty jars to store leftovers. (I save everything) If you eat good food .. another story. You can often keep your leftovers and have for supper or the next day and for a long while after- (ingredient depending)

Use a reusable travel mug / bottle when out and about.

Don’t forget to bring and use your own shopping bags.. (Canvas are great!) and washable! I got mine from independent illustrator Tabby.

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Reduce purchasing items in containers or tubs that can’t be reused or recycled. - anything in reusable containers are a great shout- just look for them! Or where ever possible off the shelf, without the plastic - just wash it before you use.

It is difficult to do these things all the time but if you do your bit and try and be mindful- every little will help to make the world a little happier. When we buy something we are also generally getting charged for the name and packaging as well so just think about this. Is the product needing to have a package.. Do you need the branded version ? etc etc.

Shower with less water

Spend less time in the shower. How about setting yourself a challenge to reduce your shower time by five minutes, or challenge yourself to the shortest shower you can. Make it fun- get a personal best. (Please do safely of course) Just cutting two minutes from your shower time can save ten gallons of water.

Make collecting water part of your lifetime Bucket List

Use jugs, jars and containers to collect rain / unused water- you can use this to water your garden and many other ways.

Walk, Hike or bike where you can

Yet again not only saving the environment and your pockets.. You're also saving your body here. Think of the exercise and good this will do too your body. Using your feet and legs to walk, cycle or run will reduce the pollution set into the atmosphere by cars.and lower carbon emissions.

These are just five top tips- I try to live by. I have set a personal challenge of a waste not want not weekend in which I am going to be super mindful even more than usual on my wasting. Why not join me? If you take photos of you doing so .. please don’t forget to share your ideas with us @govindavalley #govindavalley

The world is beginning to change and I am happy that more and more people are becoming aware and mindful of the choices they are making. As we advance into this new millennium we are shifting into higher consciousness which means we will be shifting towards more renewable energy, sustainable travel and business, eco-friendly products, green technology and sustainable designs which will change the way we live. Don’t get left behind. Enjoy and explore the alternatives.

There is so much information and tips on how you can do your bit online! Go explore! … and if you're extra adventurous Go raw!

Written by: Isabella Kavanagh

Govinda Valley

Govinda Valley retreat, 51 Lady Carrington Road, Otford, NSW, 2508