Everyday Hero

It’s not that you don’t want to make a difference, not that your hearts not in the right place. Just sometimes squeezing good deeds in between the morning’s mad scramble for the train and getting home in time for that yoga class with the flexible, husky voiced instructor (who definitely keeps making eye contact) is just too difficult. And sometimes, it’s just plain expensive.

Well, to make your life just a little easier, and to give you a hand making someone else’s life just a little easier, we have a short list of every day products and services that you didn’t know could make a big difference.

Who Gives A Crap toilet paper.

Not only does this Aussie NGO donate 50% of its profit’s to WaterAid (improving sanitation and access to drinking water for the 40% of the world’s population without toilets); but their paper is also 100% recycled, sans foreign chemicals, delivered to your door and super affordable!

Head over to their site to see for yourself!

who gives a crap

Jeenee Mobile

Like so many other budget SIM companies, Jeenee seems too good to be true ($35 for unlimited texts, 3GB of data and no contract – that’s cray?!), but Jeenee comes with a cherry on top. The organisation provides $850 worth of mobile connectivity (including a new smartphone, data and credit) to an Australian living with a disability for every 10 $35 SIM packs connected.

That’s right, you’re not only saving money but actually Mak[ing] A Difference too!

Powershop

This one’s just for y’all down in Victoria. Having recently teamed up with Getup! to fight for the renewable energy target, Australia’s #1 green power company Powershop is the cheapest, greenest, most user friendly energy company in Australia. Powershop is the only energy provider actively campaigning to retain the Renewable Energy Target (RET), alongside their 100% green electricity product.

They’ve also made this handy little video explaining the RET for laymen like you and me.

Make the switch today and join the only provider in Australia to allow users to check how much power they’re using before the bill comes through the door!

So there you have it, now you don’t have to miss that yoga class – making a difference without the fanfare.

Are there any products that you were surprised made a positive contribution to the world? Share them below!

Photo: Featured Image, All Rights Reserved http://au.whogivesacrap.org/

Photo: Toilet Rolls, All Rights Reserved http://au.whogivesacrap.org/

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Wax On, Wax Off: Easy recipe for candle re-use

With candles being so hot right not (pun intended) here’s how to turn old candles into a totally great (and free) Xmas pressie.

First up, collect all your old candles, chuck em’ in the freezer for a coupla’ hours, a day or so. That way the wax is easier to scrape out.

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Items you will need

  • Stove
  • Large pan
  • Small saucepan, metal bowl or coffee can
  • Candy thermometer
  • Stiff cotton string or candle wicking, available at craft stores
  • Scissors
  • Spoon or fork
  • Glass or container for new candle

Preparing Used Wax

Step 1

Fill a large pan with about 1 inch of water. Heat to a simmer.

Step 2

Place a saucepan, metal bowl or can inside the larger pan. Add your used candles, being sure not to mix different types of wax, such as beeswax, paraffin and soy wax. It is safe to mix two candles made from the same type of wax, even if they have different colors or fragrances.

Step 3

Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan, with the sensing end in the wax. When the temperature reaches 85C, your wax is ready to use.

Step 4

Skim charred bits, unused wick and other debris from the melted wax with a spoon or fork.

Pouring Candles

Step 1

Make sure your new candle holder is clean and dry.

Step 2

Cut a piece of string or wicking so it is at least 5cm more than the height of your container. Wrap your wick around a spoon or fork. Dip it into the wax briefly to coat it.

Step 3

Place the utensil across the top of your container, so the wick hangs down into the container’s center. Adjust so the wick just touches the bottom of the container.

Step 4

Pour a small amount of wax into the bottom of the container, and then adjust the wick so it stays in the center. Repeat, filling the container to about half a cm below the rim.

Step 5

Let stand for about an hour to set, and then cut the wick so about half a cm sticks out from the top of your new candle. Voila!

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How about these little cuties decorating your festive feast table?

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#tuucute g’ma will love you even more

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6 ways to use Oxfam Fair trade Chocolate

1. Chocolate mousse with cornflake crisps, by Ben O’Donoghue.

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“I had the tough job of ‘testing’ as much product as I could bear for three days and for my level of cooking and “chocolate ability” I have to say there is plenty of product that well exceeds my benchmark level of required quality. Oxfams Premium organic dark 70 per cent is a total value for money pick and cooks up nicely.” – Oxfam fair taster

 

 

  1. Chocolate Coffee Cake by Anna Gare

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Because #fairtrade chocolate + #fairtrade coffee = the best way to end a festive day.

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Chocolate Muffin with Dried Cherries, by Simon Bryant

oxfam-fair-chocolate-muffin-with-dried-cherriesWha’ what? Picnic Perfect

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Crunchy Chocolate Mousse, by Véronique De Meyer

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  1. Chocolate Hazelnut Brownies

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Serious question: who doesn’t love brownies? Report them in comments below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Oxfam fair Pedro Ximinez Tiramisu, by Andrew Blake.

oxfam-fair-pedro-ximinez-tiramisu

“As a chef I taste a lot of coffee. It pains me to know that so much of it is grown in unfair working conditions – I am thrilled that now there is an option to buy a coffee that compromises neither its quality of taste nor the quality of life of its growers.”

 

 

 

 

For more mouthwatering Oxfam fair recipes, check out http://oxfamfair.org.au/recipes/

They say money can’t buy you love, but pretty sure chocolate makes friends.

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The Jam Plan

With summer just around the corner, Christmas looming and the holidays in sight it’s not surprising that thoughts of impending heat waves, gift shopping, and starting that eight week bikini body challenge to a slimmer, smarter, healthier you have entered your mind. Here to put your thoughts at rest, we’ve got a few idea’s to hold off that holiday boredom, tick a couple of prezzie’s off the x-mas gift list and make a small difference this yuletide season.

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Since the boom of #foodstagram and clean eating blogs, there’s been a real revival in home cooked meals. However, what’s been left on the shelf is some of the more traditional recipes in basic grocery production. Making your own beverages, preserves, bread or even yoghurt has been forsaken for store bought goods, often with inferior flavours, unnecessary additives and a greater environmental impact.

3 big reasons to get cookin’

  1. It’s healthier.

We’ve been hit over the head with this one, but’s its true – choose fresh, choose homegrown, choose homemade jam over the bikini body challenge.

  1. It’s greener.

When you buy organic or grow your own food, you know exactly what’s gone into that process (not chemicals, that’s for sure) and simultaneously reduce your ecological footprint through local production.

  1. It’s a big tick.

Ticking those Christmas gifts off your list as you hand out your homemade chutney, mince tarts and lemon cordial to the fam, is the biggest relief of all (and what an ego boost too).


Apricot_tree

Maybe the best thing about Summer (and this is somewhat disputable) is the fruit that starts appearing on your tree’s and in your lunch box; mangoes, peaches, nectarines, berries etc., I could go on (and I probably will), there is so much potential. Here are our favourite fruity foods to try this summer:

–       Lemon Cordial

–       Jam

–       Pineapple Chutney

–       Tomato Sauce

–       Bread

–       Peach Tart

 

Got any favourite recipes? Post them in the comments below!

Photo: Apricot, Fir0002, All Rights Reserved http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Apricot_tree.jpg

Photo: Raspberry Jam, Laura D’Alessandro, All Rights Reserved www.flickr.com

Photo: Stawberry Tart, CeresB, All Rights Reserved www.flickr.com

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#3Changes to Social Media: A Challenge

Now if there’s anything my 2 loyal followers on Instagram can tell you, it’s that I love nothing more than filtered photos of food. I like looking at them, I uploading them, I even like photos of people taking photos of their food. I am a practising foodstagram enthusiast and I am only about 20% embarrassed about admitting it. “Give me the well-lit restaurant and some stable wi-fi,” goes the Ancient Roman proverb, “And I will show you 5 likes on Instagram.”*

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I’ve reached a point now where my Instagram has become a kind of time capsule of poor culinary choices. While this isn’t necessarily a really a bad thing, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about whether or not it is a good thing. In a world facing extreme poverty, growing inequality and food insecurity, I feel like my burger pictures on Instagram are starting to look like meaningless adventures in indulgence. Maybe it’s time for me to rethink the way I use social media. Maybe it’s time for all of us to rethink how we use social media.

So where do we start?

This year, Instagram announced that it had reached 200 million users with 41% of those users between the ages of 16-24. More than ever, young people around the world are connected through a process of continual sharing. While social media has already proved itself effective for facilitating important (and not so important) discussions, there are still some things that we can all do to get involved. One could even say that there are #3THINGS you could do to get involved, so I propose a challenge: #3Changes.

From now until Christmas, I will commit to #3changes to the way I use social media:

1. Once a week, I will try to upload something thought provoking (ie: not food) on Instagram. The @3things insta is a great place to get ideas.

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2. At least once a week, I will post a link on Twitter (or Facebook) that contributes an interesting perspective of a current social issue. Here’s one to start with about feminism.

3. Once a week, I will research and blog about a current social issue that I have never written about before. Ethical fashion? Fairtrade chocolate? Eco-friendly travelling? The possibilities are endless.

By changing the way we currently interact – changing it in a way that is thoughtful, inquisitive and engaging – maybe we can start shaping the future of the global conversation. What will your #3changes be?

*May not be real quote

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