5 Eco-Friendly Trinbagonian Brands
It's no secret that our planet is becoming increasingly unhealthy for plants, animals and humans to live on. We're facing climate change, land degradation, air/land/sea pollution and other issues at alarming rates due to our own bad habits.
To put it all into perspective :
-Every year, we extract an estimated 55 billion tons of fossil energy, minerals, metals and bio mass from the Earth.
-The world has already lost 80% of its forests and we’re continually losing them at a daily rate of 375 km2!
-At the current rate of deforestation, 5-10% of tropical forest species will become extinct every decade.
-Every hour, 1,692 acres of productive dry land become desert.
-27% of our coral reefs have been destroyed. If the rate continues, remaining 60% will be gone in 30 years.
-We have a garbage island floating in our ocean, mostly comprised of plastics . It's currently the size of India, Europe and Mexico combined! (That's 24,922,335 square kilometres of plastic)
-We are using up 50% more natural resources than the Earth can provide. At our current population, we need 1.5 Earths, which we do not have.
Sadly, the figures above are from 2014 and by now, more damage to our beautiful planet has been inflicted.
Luckily, we have those around us conscious enough to make changes necessary to preserve our environment. And, having these environmentally friendly solutions accessible to us to do our part in saving our environment.
Check out these 5 local Eco-Friendly brands :
•Trop Shop - Natural, sustainable and effective ingredients are at the heart of the small batch bath and body products creator. TropShop allows you to keep your indulgence in soaps, shimmer oils, body scrubs, candles and body masks a local affair. They're super transparent about what goes into making their products and even tells us the only two ingredients they use that aren't natural due to being preservatives. But the eco star of the show has to be their soap packaging (which is notably VERY gorgeous). Using recycled newspaper print and gentler soy based ink, it's compostable. Meaning, that it breaks down (in a compost environment) without leaving any trace of harmful ingredients.
Plus with it being soap, this makes saving our environment an everyday thing!
•Rosie Bags- Offering 100% Degradable Garbage Bags available in 4 different colours, Rosie Bags is doing it's part to help us preserve our local environment.Exactly how does it degrade, according to their website "The molecular chains in our material starts to break down in the presence of moisture, sunlight and oxygen. It will then be consumed by bacteria and fungi after the material has reduced to a molecular weight which permits them to access the carbon and hydrogen."
Available in Red(HIV/Aids), Pink (Women's Health/ Cancer),Blue (Ocean Conservation), and Purple (Alzheimer's) to further bring awareness to different causes, it's safe to say these bags are Multi-Purpose through and through. They degrade in 24-36 months (as compared to the 10-1000 years it can take for a regular plastic bag to break down) and leaves behind NO toxic residue or fragments. Where can you find Rosie Bags? At these locations!
•The Last Straw and More- From locally grown bamboo to locally produced bamboo straws, TLSM is doing her part to preserve our environment by eliminating the use of plastic straws. The straws are 100% natural, reusable, and biodegradable.
A plastic straw takes around 200 years to decompose, and about 500,000,000 plastic straws are used daily around the world. You don't need a calculator to tell you the extreme amounts of waste that a simple straw contributes. On the flipside, a bamboo straw, if properly cared for can last up to 5 years, and, when tossed out takes about 4-6 months to fully decompose with no harmful material left. TLSM was born out of the idea to practice zero waste in as many aspects of our daily lives as possible starting with something as small as a straw where locally, we have limited environmentally friendly options.
•Wakeful Wonders- I'm super proud of this brand for two reasons! One- for it being earth-friendly, and two- because its created by an old high school friend of mine! Using ethically sourced containers made from natural recycled kraft paper and 100% compostable the brand WW carries all natural skincare products. For Wakeful Wonder, the name was chosen to evoke a consciousness within us all and further inspire change, the change for us to adopt more environmentally practices in our lives. The line currently carries: Anti Bug-Bite Balm, Herbal Healing Salve, Protective Lip Balm and Revitalizing Lip Balm and made in tandem with an island lifestyle.
•De.Sign Books- Giving hand- painted Bruce Cayonne fete signs a new life, De.Sign Books upcycles to create culture-rich, innovative and eco-friendly books. With two limited edition collections - Quota and Kabuki White, the idea started when the creator needed a birthday present for a friend. What happened next was "adventure in collaboration and learning which has developed my views on our evolving Caribbean aesthetic, design, collaboration, business and innovation." If you'd like to read more on this project you can right here.
Are you an eco-friendly brand based in Trinidad & Tobago, or the Caribbean?
Then let's chat!
5 Key Things I've Learnt In the Past Year
As a young adult, I tend to feel I have absolutely no clue what's going on or even how I make it through some days without screaming. But, recently, I've been having some moments where I just sit and reflect on how far I have indeed come. It's not where I need to be, but, I've learnt a few things that sure come in handy now.
These are the five things that I've learnt in the past year that keep my sanity levels just high enough so that I don't go absolutely apeshit.
- Get rid of your loser friends - you might feel bad because you guys have been friends for a long time, but more and more you realise some people simply no longer fit into your life. The saying goes that 'You're the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with", so, if all they do is lime and have zero interest in anything developmental especially for themselves, they really offer no support, when you're being ambitious they cut you off and act like you're doing too much (because they're doing so much nothing), then, who are you?
Nothing should hold you back from unlocking your fullest potential and this might get in the way. Now I don't want to only complain about them, but at least offer some places to get started, the first being to get a mentor- someone who's in the sphere of where you'd like to be and would have knowledge and skills that you'd be able to use to further develop yourself.
And, be intentional about who's in your inner circle, people with qualities you admire and inspire you. Also being able to recognise strengths and weaknesses in each other and give honest feedback so that way everyone wins.
- Invest HEAVILY in yourself- If you don't f**k with you, why should anyone else? Being on a path to self-actualization requires you to level up in all the ways you possibly can. And keep in mind,investing in yourself doesn't mean (just) financially. These things acquired will last you a lifetime and create not just a better future for you, but those around you as well. So what are some of the ways I think you can invest?
First way I'd have to say is knowledge/ education. I don't necessarily mean going back to school but you can do some reading, some more research, take a class for something you've always wanted to know more about, sign up for an online course, even spend some time on YouTube learning a new skill.
Another way is to start setting goals so you can track your progress. Starting of with setting small daily goals, then weekly, monthly and so on, allows to you to see if there's any gaps in the way you do things. If you set a goal that should take 1 week and you take a month and notice your issue is time management then you can at least say that's something I need to work on.
Self care is also high on the list of self investment. You know what will allow you to feel your best self and you should absolutely do it. You deserve to feel limitless as often as you can. But this means actively practicing self care, whether it is choosing one day a week to detox from technology (no phone, laptop, tablet or tv), if its getting a massage once a month and meeting up with a friend to just talk about life. Or if you're adventurous and want to do go rock climbing, sky diving, bungee jumping, then do it. Do the things that make you feel unstoppable.
This one is gonna sound wild, especially to me, but, exercise. Your mind should be invested in and so should your body (and your soul btw). Exercise has its physical benefits but it also helps to relieve stress, improves cognitive function and honestly just helps you to feel better all round.
- Self Awareness Is VITAL to your growth- Who are you? What do you believe in? What do you like and dislike? What are you bad at? Where are you heading?
Self awareness is having a clear understanding of you, this absolutely includes whatever flaws or toxic traits you possess. And for me, this is how you will master your life, because it will allow you to have such a deep understanding of self, that you will also come to understand the things and people around you better.
You can start with something as simple as keeping a journal that will allow for self reflection but also help offload things have been taking up too much space in your mind. Practicing mindfulness habits, like meditation is also a great first step in the process to you fully knowing you.
I can give you a personal example, where I was simply angry all the time, for good reason yes. But it was affecting myself and those around me. The thing is, I simply had no control over what had happened to me to make me so angry, but what I absolutely had control over was that emotion. At that point in my life I had to do a total overhaul and really reflect and where I am in my life, where I want to be, and exactly how will I reach there.
What self awareness does is shed a whole new light on the personalities and behaviours in yourself that you would have never taken notice of before and put that all into some perspective.
- Growth puts you in some uncomfortable positions, embrace it anyway- I've seen the saying "Growth and comfort do not coexist" and I felt that. Why does it make you uncomfortable? because you're breaking an old stagnant habit and if you're so used to your habits obviously it'll feel strange.
But for growth and improvement, changes are required. You will be pushed to your limits in some cases, you will have to take risks in some cases, you will want to scream on many occassions, but, I'm telling you to embrace it all because the results are beautiful.
You will be presented with opportunities that require you to step out of what you 'think' you're capable of and force you to truly realise your potential (as I have in some cases over the last few months) and let me tell you, you're gonna love it.
- You win some, and you sure as heck lose some- It won't be great all the time. But some times will be amazing and you will feel on top of the world. However there must be balance in the universe and this means taking an L once in a while.
I'm at a place in my life where if something doesn't happen for me, I may feel sad or upset but yet I fully acknowledge it simply was not for me or it was not the right time. I'm a firm believer in that the universe gives you what you need only when you have satisfied the relevant conditions of receiving it.
So that means embracing the losses, but not letting them consume you. Because surely, you'd have learnt one thing from it.
Do any of these resonate with you? Tell me what does! Tell me what doesn't!
Tell me what you've also learnt in the last year or in life in general!
Image taken by: https://www.instagram.com/edwardkcharlesofficial/
My 5 Favourite Local Products Right Now!
Local products are sprinkled throughout my daily routine because more and more types of products are becoming available.I am disgustingly ecstatic every time I see something new that I've been wanting to try and then it becomes available locally, and better yet, it's locally made.
It goes without saying saying that I'm a sucka for all things local (that's what this blog is focused on..right?!?!!?). So it's only fair that I share with you the top 5 products I am absolutely loving right now.
1. Arôme Candle Company- Sometimes, I need to just sit my behind down and relax. And Arôme is making it 5 times easier for me to actually do that. With a range of scents from floral, to fruity, from coffee to outdoorsy, whichever fragrance brings peace into your life, you're sure to find it here. It's been only recently I've incorporated candles into my relaxation routine and I'm really confused as to why the heck I never did it before. And this Bamboo scent really lets me clear my head and refresh. I usually light it on the floor of room on a large tile we had from tiling our kitchen. I then lay on my bed, close my eyes, take some deep cleansing breaths and let the candle do the rest.
If you're a lover of candles or just looking to add something new to your relaxation routines, this is surely a great place to start.
2. Organic Essence by Mel- Organic, handmade hair and skincare products? That's right! This brand first caught my eye with their Shampoo & Conditioner bars (which I also 1000% recommend btw), but as a skincare junkie, when I saw the Rose Gold Facial Elixir I knew I just HAD to get it. Judging from my last post, you know I take my skincare very seriously and finding local products to include always get me super excited. Made with Avocado, Sweet Almond, Jojoba, Rose and Vitamin E Oils, I knew I had to get my hands on it mainly because I have dry skin and all of these ingredients are super duper for that and I must remain moisturized at all times. And, because surely, anything with gold flecks in it are a yes from me because who doesn't like shiny things?
Anywho, since using it I've genuinely seen my skin improve in the way it remains moisturized (all day) and if I skip a day (because I sometimes forget) I'm not battling with dry patchy skin like I used to. And, thanks to the Vitamin E oil, there's also less marks, I would 1000% say The Organic Essence is needed in your collection.
3. Sumptuously Orgasmic- These artisan crafted jams, jellies, chutneys and pepper sauces are tasty, spicy, goes with everything and a great addition to basically any dish you could think of. If you anything about me, you know exactly which of these (PEPPER SAUCE) is my favourite. I'm that person that cooks with peppers and then adds more pepper to their food because, well, what's food without pepper?
Since SO came into my life I've gained a pepper sauce for every occassion, my eggs for breakfast, that macaroni pie for lunch and that roti and bodi for dinner- COVERED, literally! My latest find in the Tomato Chutney is the perfect combo of sweet and savoury so that I can add excitement to really just about anything i eat.
4. Teaspott- As an avid tea and coffee drinker, finding a local tea company is heaven sent! I drink tea(or coffee) for everything, stressed? Tea! Happy? Tea! Sleepy? Tea! Hungry? Tea! Fed up of every one and everything? Definitely TEA! And TeaSpott is fueling my hot beverage obsession over and over again with the super wide array of teas. I usually try 5 new ones every time just because there's so many to choose from and I still haven't found a favourite because truthfully, I love all.
If you have a hot beverage addiction like me, then you've just found your new favourites. You're welcome!
5. SavonArt Scentsations- More skincare? You bet your ass it is! But right now the SavonArt Scentsations lip scrub is an essential in my stash. I have dry skin and unfortunately this translates to my lips so a regular scrub is a must. A couple nights a week just before bed I apply the scrub, rub it in, get my scrub on, then wipe it off and apply a bit of Vaseline Lip Therapy after. Needless to say for the next few days those things are super kissable AND they come in various (delicious) scents/flavours like Margarita lime, Watermelon, Butter Cream, Papaya. If you're looking to add some lip care into your skin routine, this is the perfect place to start!
The M Word...
Oh the M word....
The word people are apparently terrified of saying...
The word that so many people pretend doesn't exist...
I can only talk on my experience with this as not everyone's is the same. But, you may still resonate with the feelings and thoughts that I'm constantly plagued with.
Over the past 6 years I have developed both depression and anxiety,due to a really traumatic experience in my life.
I have gone weeks where I cried day after day, not wanting to be here, wondering what it would be like to end my life. I have taped my bedroom curtains to the wall so that they don't blow up and allow anyone from outside to see me, I fear someone might be staring at me. 6 years later and my curtains are still taped to a wall. I have wondered my these things happen at all, not just to me, but to anyone. Why do I, or anyone at all have to feel like each day is a burden, draining the life out of me.
I have panic attacks where I sometimes end up throwing up because my body is reeling from whatever triggered it, and lots of things trigger it, dogs barking, having to mash brakes suddenly while driving, getting a phone call, hearing an unfamiliar sound while trying to fall asleep...and the list goes on and on. I've had panic attack last mere minutes, I've had panic attacks that lasted hours, but I can say that they all feel terrible. It always feels as though I am trapped, screaming to be let out, but still I'm stuck and I'll never get out, that this is where I meet the end.
In all of this, I've taken the decision to not take any medication, I don't want to feel like my life is dependent on it. For me, becoming self-aware was the biggest breakthrough I've had in identifying situations that made me behave in certain ways. For a long time I was angry all the time, I would lash out, I would scream and throw things, today I'm not angry, but I do feel often feel burdened by life itself.
I've tried desperately to implement self care, which for me is reading a book, talking to someone when I feel like giving up, going to the beach or anywhere outdoors where I can get fresh air, finding new hobbies (blogging is something I started when life had me at my worst), occasionally treating myself to a food I love, taking a nap when I really it, asking for help when I really need it and a few other things.
I know I didn't share much, but for me its a start to being more open about my traumas and dealing with mental illness. And if you need to talk, if you need someone to listen, I'm always around because sometimes what we need most is each other. Maybe I'll continue this post later, maybe I'll stop here.. but I'm on the journey to getting better, to becoming myself again.
There is no shame in your story.
You are not alone.
You are loved.
You are strong.
(Featured Image is from equalityinstitute.org)
Time to Unwine'd
I know it's only Wednesday but its been a long, difficult week for both of us. Right?
So how about a glass of the good stuff, you know what I'm talking about- WINE!🍷
Island Vine Wines
IVW boasts "finely crafted Trinidadian wines using a Polish method handed down by the Osika Family", meaning every glass you pour was nurtured for that very moment.
With flavours like Sugarcane, PawPaw, Pineapple and even Sparkling Mango (yes you read that correctly), they ensure that every bottle is a unique experience that immediately takes you seaside lounging.
Island Vine ain't no joke when it comes to doing wine the right way either! These bona-fide winemakers uses only the best equipment, on their Facebook page I quickly learned about an antique authentic French carboy or "demijohn" as commonly called in France which is used in the fermentation process to ensure quality control.
That's super cool right?
Tucuché Country Wines
Getting its name from the mountain peak sacred to the Amerindians, El Tucuche, for this brand is a symbol of Home. El Tucuche also towers over the winery that crafts what we know as Tucuché Country Wines , so as to say 'I'm looking over you always,' and, it gives the purest base, straight from the spring for their wines. Using seasonal and exotic fruits found right here in Trinidad & Tobago, Tucuché is churning out Guava, Pommecythere, Banana, Noni and even Banoni ( I had to google to find out what this was and apparently its is an apple -TCW you can call me out on this if I'm wrong), but you name it and they're turning it into wine!
Pairing fruits and spices to create the most inviting blend is definitely their forte and asking for another glass is sure to follow. Using warm colours and rich flavours in every bottle, each "enticing bouquet evoke memories and dreams of ancestral times and the vibrant plumage of the hummingbirds" as stated by their story in Facebook!
V Toria Rhonda Winery
Years before it was a winery, this estate was an Orchard with a sprinkling of cocoa and coffee. Today, this 2nd generation wine maker produces some of the finest wines made from our local fruits all her own vineyard and winery. Wine, in her opinion is what brings people together to create new experiences and memories to last a lifetime. These semi-sweet wines are made in Rio- Claro, Trinidad from a variety of tropical fruits and dried grapes (raisins) to create the bold flavours .
Apart from the impressive packaging and flavours the website introduces you to Victoria Wine Club where you can get a 10% discount on your purchases and other exclusive benefits. There's also a listing here making the bottles even easier to find to entertain at your next lime.
L'eau Pont Winery- Tropical Fruit Wines
Once in a while, I meet wine that makes me go WOW! So imagine, the tangy, tartness of sorrel marrying the rich taste of Port, did you imagine it?
Yeah sounds amazing right?!? Now what if I told you I like neither sorrel, nor Port ( at this point you might be judging me, its okay though) but TFW had me seriously questioning my taste.
This family affair produces flavours like Pommerac, Mango, Banana, Sorrel and Pineapple all from their micro-winery!
Light, refreshing, mellow, elegant all can be used to describe a pour from an L'eau Pont Wine, so how about some wine?
Be sure to click to see more on these wineries!