04/12/2017

1/5 Christmas Gift Guide- Make the Switch

mooncup review

ethique 12 days of christmas calender

Hey! welcome to my ultimate Christmas gift guide posts.. I'll be doing one post a day this week, showing you the best that NZ has to offer this Christmas. I did a mega post last Christmas (Click here- http://www.lipsnberries.com/2016/12/christmas-2016-gift-guide-we-are-doing.html) featuring all the local NZ brands that you can support. I'm keeping the theme similar this year but also focusing on the environmental aspect. Gifts with a conscious, gifts that can make a small change, gifts that support the pristine NZ environment and gifts that I have no qualms in recommending. This Christmas, let's all be responsible citizens and acknowledge that every $ we spend speaks volumes about the kind of world we want to live in. Here are my top picks for the eco warriors in you :)

1. Mooncup from OhNatural.co.nz- $49.95

Did you know each woman will use about 11,000 disposable sanitary products in her lifetime? Can you imagine how many of them end in landfill or waterways? All of them. Ocean Conservancy Volunteers collected 27,938 used tampons and applicators on world beaches in just one day in 2013. You already know how big that number will be if we count in all the pads and panty liners we women use. Some more than others, depending on their menstrual flow.
We can definitely do better than this, considering that there are so many other alternatives available these days. I have been using my Mooncup Menstrual Cup since last 3 years. Yes! I use a menstrual cup and I have mentioned this on my social media a couple of times. It generates a lot of interest and engagement every time I post about it. I reviewed Mooncup back in 2013 and I've still been using the same cup. Best $50 I spent & in these 3 years I hardly spent a dime on pads or tampons. If you have any questions as to how to use it, put it in and get it going, I'd highly recommend reading this detailed blog-post - http://www.lipsnberries.com/2014/09/mooncup-reusable-menstrual-cup-review.html
I've covered all the questions that you might have in the blog post.

best mentrual cup review

Mooncup is a brand of Menstrual Cup made in the UK from soft, medical-grade silicone that is non absorbent, convenient, reliable and money saving. You could have it in for 12+ hours and not feel a thing (brand recommends 8 hours). There are no stuffy pants, no itchiness, no discomfort and no frequent trips to the toilet checking if pad needs to be changed. Once or twice a day, just tip the blood down the sink or while in shower. I prefer shower.
If you're thinking, gross blood!! Darling it's just your blood. This blood is sign of our fertile bodies. I'd rather see it with my own eyes and tip it down the sink than throw a blood soaked pad out in the open, to end up in landfill and waterways.


I wouldn't say getting used to Mooncup was a breeze. Like everything out of norm, it took its own sweet time. But this is the kind of effort I'm happy to put in because its good for me (no pesticide laden cotton, no tampon fibers left down there, no bacterial infection hazard, no dryness, no itchiness, no wearing baggy pants, no frequent changing of pads) and the environment (no plastic, no pollution, no waste in landfill, no money spent on sanitary products every month).

If you're keen to #MakeTheSwitch , this new year's start with a environmentally conscious YOU. Give the gift of Menstrual Cup. They can bought from Oh Natural website for $49.49. One cup will last you years. It's been 3 years that I've had mine and there's no sign of wear & tear yet.

2. Natural Deodorants

best natural deodorant review

Sorry to break it to you, while you are on your clean eating bandwagon, avoiding all kinds of junk & toxins, one of worst things you are putting on yourself, everyday without fail, is the humble deodorant.
Of corse you've heard of all the scary stories about nasties in deodorants but you've also heard that research on their side effects is still inconclusive. But would you wait for the $18 billion industry (in US alone) to tell you that its bad for you before you go looking for alternatives?

I'm not trying to scaremonger you but the list of ingredients in deodorants has always had me concerned and also the fact that this thing is used every day, directly on the largest organ of our body, our skin. There are all kinds of diseases associated with regular use of deodorants. Breast Cancer and Alzheimer's being the top 2. The ingredients in questions are Aluminuim Chloride & Chlorohydrate, Triclosan, Parabens, Phthalates, Silica and Talc. Not to forget that they even kill all the good natural bacteria. Is it worth the risk?

black chicken remedies axilla deodorant review

I gift my sister Natural Deodorants every year. She sweats profusely. She has been a fan of 'Aromaco solid deodorant' from Lush for a few years. Last year I gifted her Soapwalla deodorant from Ohnatural.co.nz and this year I'm gifting her the Black Chicken Remedies Axilla deodorant paste ($24). It's the highest rated one on Oh Natural website and often out of stock.

Also this year, after years of trying, I've convinced my Axe deo obsessed husband to give a shot to natural deodorant. This Tankis Rangaman deodorant for blokes is so perfect. Smells so warm & citrusy due to orange and clove extracts. It's made in NZ too.

If you'd like to give a healthy gift to your loved ones this Christmas, consider solid natural deodorant. They are going to love them. They can be great stocking stuffers too.

3. GoodFor Lifetime Thermal Bottle- $39 from Ohnatural.co.nz 

good for thermal bottle review

 I'll tell you what my biggest turn off is! When people buy water, or worse lightly flavored fancy water in plastic bottles. I'm sorry don't we have enough plastic in the world already? Yes! we all buy water at some stage. In emergencies, in times when you didn't plan an outing, but living in a country like NZ, where councils spend millions treating water, why are we not drinking tap water? Why shame in that? Unlike my homeland India, we are blessed to be actually able to open our tap, fill a glass of fresh water and drink it straight. If this isn't a blessing, what is? Consider yourself lucky because clean water availability is a major infrastructure issue in most countries.

It must have come from my mum, because I can never leave home without a bottle of water. It has to be very rare event for me to buy water. I do annoy husband as I fill up liters of it before we leave for any trip. Why not I say! Its a natural resource to be used. Why do I pay for water that is made by a company whose manufacturing unit might be using millions of liters of fresh water each day and wasting so much of it, all the while polluting waterways and then packaging them into single use plastic bottles that eventually end up no where.

There is a very powerful quote that I live by "Every single piece of plastic that was once made, is still out there". It's not going anywhere. It's on this planet forever. It'll end up in landfill, only to be there for god knows how many centuries. Most end up in waterways and ultimately in the ocean, where they disintegrate slowly into small sized particles that the marine animals ingest and eventually end up in us when we eat them. The chunky pieces get eaten by marine life mistaking them for fish, only to add to the many kilograms of trash in their stomach which they eventually die of. How is that acceptable? You can't be blaming governments to take action when we are continuously throwing away plastic waste everyday. This is our only planet & we are responsible for our own actions.
I refuse to use supermarket plastic bags unless I really need them. I take my own bags. I've replaced all my drink bottles at home with steel ones. No buying of water, no storing them in hazardous plastic.

best thermal bottle nz

And now I've added this Thermal bottle to my stash. This GoodFor bottle keeps drinks hot of 12 hours and cold for 24 hours. It is way more beautiful than a plastic bottle and I can use it so many ways. It is made of 18/8 Stainless Steel and is available for $39 from Oh Natural. The bottle is available in 4 colors on their website. I was so torn between White and Sea Green.
There are many other brands in the market that sell thermal bottles. Consider companies that make your products ethically and support local initiatives. Easiest way to make your money talk!

4. Ethique Advent Calender- $55 from Ethiquebeauty.com & Farmers NZ (for individual bars)

Continuing on from my plastic bottle rant above, did you know that bulk of what makes our shampoos and body washes is water, this can range from 70-90% depending on products and brands. We are essentially paying money for some ingredients dispersed in water packaged in a plastic bottle. No wonder this environment crisis is all too real in modern times. It almost feels  like more the convenience, more the plastic.

ethique solid shampoo bars review

Ethique is a NZ brand that makes amazing Solid bars for everything from shampoo, conditioner, body wash, scrubs, foot balms, shaving bars and what not! You get the flow right? I have used this brand since it was born back in 2014. Their Damage Control Shampoo bar is a family favorite. I posted a glowing 5 star review of it too. The brand was called Sorbet Solids back then. They went through a major rebranding and make way more cool products now. All their products are free of water and are thus concentrated & chock full of potent yet naturally derived stuff. The bars last 3-6 times more than your traditional bottled products. Even their packaging is compost-able and water soluble. Till date, Ethique has saved 150,000 plastic bottles from going into landfill. That is a massive achievement . I'm certain the team will achieve their target of 1 million bottles soon. The brand is BCorp certified, Vegan and Cruelty free. They also support a lot of charities and environmental causes.

You have to check them out for all things solid & sensational. What better way than buying their Christmas Special Advent Calendar that has samples of 12 of their bestselling products. This is bound to sell out fast. I've only tried their amazing shampoo and conditioning bars before so I'm really excited to try out their face & body products (Solid face serum anyone?). The calendar is available in NZ only and also exclusively on their website. If you follow me on Instagram, you already know about it because I've been opening one product a day on my stories. Today's day 4 is on there now!

Are you ready to #GiveUpTheBottle yet? This is the best gift you can give to your loved ones or even as a treat to yourself.

ethique nz

Loooong post I know! I tend to go on and on when it comes to things and brands that I'm passionate about. I hope I've convinced at least one of you to make the switch to eco friendly and sustainable products. That will be my job done. One person at a time.

Did you like the gift ideas in this post? Which one is your favorite? Talk to me in the comments below :)

Come back again for more unique gift ideas tomorrow!

Love
Nishu

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