Alrighty, how does everyone feel about paying 1000 times more than the cost of something? No one? So how is it that we are happy to pay $3 or more for something that we can get for free? Convenience? Hadn’t really thought about it? Don’t care?
Well you should care.
Australians spend over $500 million on bottled water every year. To get that water to you in its perfectly packaged little bottle, it needs to be pumped out of the ground, packaged, transported and chilled. This creates over 60,000 tons of greenhouse gases every year in Australia alone. All that manufacturing and transport also requires over 460,000 barrels of oil. Did you also know that it takes about seven litres of water and one litre of oil to produce just one litre of bottled water? Those stats are astronomical and quite ridiculous when you think about it. When Aussies were first introduced to bottled water in the 80’s everyone thought it was a joke. No one is going to pay for something we already get for free! Well joke is on us because we spend HALF A BILLION DOLLARS on bottled water every year!
Fun fact- the WHO (Wold Health Organisation) estimate that it would cost $10 billion a year to provide clean water and sanitation to the 40% of the world who don’t have access to this everyday necessity. Australia’s half a billion spent on bottled water is a bit off that total, but a little insane when we have access to clean, sanitised water FOR FREE. Just a little food for thought (drink for thought?).
The cost of manufacture & transport is one thing, but what about the health implications of using dangerous plastics?
Most people have heard of BPA (Bisphenol-A), an industrial chemical used to make common plastics and resins found in an alarming amount of food and beauty storange containers. Think baby bottles, toys, plastic containers, microwaveable storage and WATER BOTTLES. Studies have shown that BPA can dramatically alter oestrogen levels and cause a range of hormonal problems in both men and women. BPA has been linked to fertility issues, cancer, brain development in foetuses, hormonal imbalances and even behavioural problems in young children.
Manufacturers have tried to overcome the BPA issue by creating BPA free products, but unfortunately there is another dodgy brother in the family called BPS (Bisphenol-S) which has been found to be just as harmful as BPA.
I know it’s all quite a lot to take in, considering how much plastic we come into contact with every single day. That is why I have stared #banthebottle for my 2016 resolution. By committing to never purchasing bottled water, I am taking a baby step forward in reducing harmful chemicals that could enter my system, and also helping the environment. It’s unrealistic to try and think we can avoid plastics completely, but a little awareness and pro-activeness can go a long way. Take San Fransisco! They have just become the first city in the world to ban plastic bottles and plastic shopping bags COMPLETELY! I love that city for a number of reasons but a big one is its environmental awareness. GO SF!
My vision for #banthebottle isn’t about plastic world domination. Just be aware of your surroundings, what you put into your body and give these tips a go;
- Choose glass or stainless steel wherever possible (water bottles/storage containers/baby bottles).
- NEVER heat up your food in plastic containers (ESPECIALLY in the microwave).
- Always travel with a reusable water bottle so you don’t get caught out and feel the need to purchase bottled water.
- Be aware of thin disposable containers that are designed to use ONCE. Think Chinese takeaway containers etc. Use only once and absolutely do not reheat food in these.
- Start small and take baby steps. Storage containers can be expensive so just replace one a month or as they break/get lost in the school yard.
- Think about other unnecessary plastic culprits like take away coffee cups. My friend Alyse from AAAD Nutrition, wrote a fabulous article about this just this week. You can read it here.
Remember doing something is better than doing nothing! Good luck & make sure to spread the #banthebottle message!
Kingston, h. (2012). Bottled Water – Cool Australia. [online] Cool Australia. Available at: http://www.coolaustralia.org/bottled-water-secondary/ [Accessed 12 Feb. 2016].
Toyama, Y., Suzuki-Toyota, F., Maekawa, M., Ito, C. and Toshimori, K. (2004). Adverse effects of bisphenol A to spermiogenesis in mice and rats. Archives of Histology and Cytology, 67(4), pp.373-381.
World Health Organisation, (2012). Global costs and benefits of drinking-water supply and sanitation interventions to reach the MDG target and universal coverage. Geneva Switzerland.
SPROUT SPOTLIGHT | The Merrymaker Sisters
It’s SPROUT Spotlight time! A chance for me to introduce to you some special people who have truly inspired me and motivated me to keep encouraging and inspiring others. In a world where we often see so much hate and violence, it’s always refreshing to remember that there are some truly awesome humans still sprinkling the good stuff around!
It is with a huge smile on my face that I introduce you to the Merrymaker Sisters. I say with a huge smile because these girls make me laugh so much! They remind me of my sister and I except with better food hah! I have been following The Merrymaker recipes for a while now but I got the chance to chat in person with these two gorgeous girls at the 2015 Problogger event in August. Their infectious energy and bubbly personality just made me smile and I love their evolving yet honest attitude towards food and health.
So pour yourself a tea and cut yourself a piece of Merrymaker Paleo Nutella Mud Cake (yes it exists) and get to know these cheeky sisters.
1. How many years young are you and what do you do?
Emma is 27 and Carla is 24! Spring chickens! We call ourselves Merrymakers. We’re the founders of The Merrymaker Sisters which inspires hundreds of thousands with real food recipes, positive mindset advice and ways to find and follow your purpose. It really is our dream job!
2. Why do you eat the way you do?
In a nutshell… it makes us fell good! The way we see it is that we should all be doing things that make us feel our bests. Keep experimenting because this will always change too! Our diet is paleo inspired, but we include a few well prepared grains as well as good quality dairy sometimes!
3. What does wellness mean to you?
Wellness is about filling your life with more good! Good energy, good words, good food, good friends, good fun. Anything that makes you happy and feel good, falls in to the wellness sphere!
4. Can you tell us a bit more The Merrymakersisters.com?
It’s a place where our readers can come for advice, ideas and inspiration. A place where you’ll leave feeling happier and healthier! We’re all about quick, easy and delish healthy recipes, as well as sharing our advice on how to flip your positive switch ON!
5. What’s your advice for people who often feel overwhelmed by all the diet & nutrition information out there? Any quick tips?
1. Don’t be intimidated by the ‘no list’ concentrate on what you can eat and filling your plate with good stuff.
2. Try new food, recipes, websites, cook books, cooking styles and make the whole process fun and enjoyable.
3. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all when it comes to being healthy. Find what works for you and what makes you feel good!
6. What’s your favourite healthy meal?
Oh! There are SOO many! But at the moment, we can’t go past our new Sweet n Sour Chicken! It’s ridiculously YUM!
7. Whats it like working so closely together?
We are seriously blessed to have found our bliss… our purpose for being on this planet! And yes… that is to merrymake over the world! Working with your best friend every day, doing what we love is the BEST. THING. EVER! It’s made us even closer and really appreciate our sister bond.
8. Top ‘Oh My God PINCH ME’ moment from 2015 so far?
That would of had to been when we held a copy of our book for the very first time! It was crazy to see our recipes on paper… looking oh so pretty! Make It Merry has been a huge success already and we’re really proud of it!
9. What’s happening next?
We’re launching our very first Make Life Merry Challenge! Which is 4 weeks to a healthier, happier you! We kept getting emails about our readers wanting meal plans and extra support! Make Life Merry includes done for you meal plans with never before seen recipes as well as a private Facebook group where our members get daily guidance, advice and support! It’s a really exciting time here in Merrymaker Land!
10. Favourite quote?
Would have to be… follow your bliss!
Follow Carla & Emma!
Are You Sabotaging Your Fitness Goals?
So you have been working your butt off all winter hoping to be in your best shape for spring, yet nothing seems to have changed? There is nothing more disheartening than committing to something only to find your hard work has not quite paid off.
If you still can’t seem to jump the bridge from meh to marvellous, then check out these common mistakes that could be sabotaging your health and fitness goals.
DIET – This is usually the major issue. Nothing will change unless your diet does. There is absolutely no way around this. Your body needs the best most nutritious foods to be the best version of itself, and without them not much will change. As cliché as it sounds, a healthy diet needs to become your lifestyle. It is no longer about a “12wk challenge” or “14 days without sugar”. A good, balanced diet needs to be EVERYDAY. ALWAYS.
SHORT CUTS – Are you constantly making little excuses during your workouts? “I’ll just run at ¾ pace today because I’m feeling a bit tired” or “I might just do push ups on my knees because I’m not really feeling it today.” Those little excuses add up to BIG consequences in the end. There is nothing worse than a half assed workout. No one wants to get up at 5am only to excuse their way through a whole session. Exercise does not need to go forever but it needs to be good quality. A 20min HIT (high intensity) circuit will do wonders compared to a long un-motivating treadmill walk. There is absolutely nothing wrong with taking it easy some days, but be real with yourself. Do I genuinely need to take it slow or am I just being lazy?
SLEEP – Sleep is one of the most important things for a healthy body and mind. It effects everything from our work efficiency, mind clarity, hormones, hunger cravings, weight loss & more. Plus everything is just a whole lot harder when you are tired! The good news is exercise and sleep go hand in hand. If you have been active during the day, your body will be tired and ready for bed. However if you have been sitting on your butt all day at work,you’re probably just mentally tired not physically tired, which usually means restless broken sleep and a groggy start to the next day. Then when you’re groggy you usually make poor food choices which make you feel worse and more lethargic and the vicious cycle continues. If you’re not getting enough sleep, chances are it is affecting many aspects of your life- not just your health and fitness goals.
HORMONES – Balanced hormones are paramount for good health. When lifestyle (diet, stress, prescription drugs incl. The Pill etc) or predisposed genetic issues (Addison’s, Graves, Cushing disease etc) cause our hormones to go off kilter, so many aspects of our health can be compromised. Weight loss, weight gain, moods, digestion, gut health, sex drive, monthly cycles, skin, hair, energy levels- all these things can be effected by unbalanced hormones. It is important to find a good GP, Integrative GP or Endocrinologist if you think you may suffer from hormonal imbalances.
Remember to get the best results you need to get serious and really listen to your body. Take note of what foods make you feel bloated or crappy. Notice how you feel when you finish a great exercise session. Start an evening routine to get you relaxed and ready for bed. All these little habits will add up to BIG results if you stick with them in the long run.