Why going plastic free this July is good for you and the planet

This post was originally written for, and appears on, The Botanical Store blog.

Plastic Free July is a month long challenge to try and go without single use plastics. This can be anything from take away containers, coffee cups, and straws to party decorations, make up, and skincare.

It can be overwhelming thinking about how to help the environment and lessen our impact, but each individual choice no matter how small can have a huge impact on the planet, like being aware of how much plastic we are using and intentionally seeing if we can reduce it.

Beyond recycling, that can look like:
Refusing plastic bags when offered
Remembering to take things like your KeepCup or stainless steel straw out with you
Re-using plastic you already have
Reducing the amount of plastic items you buy – like skincare in glass bottles rather than plastic!

Making a conscious change doesn’t have to feel like a burden, and it’s challenges like Plastic Free July that can bring more awareness to how much plastic we see in our lives. Take the beauty industry for example – most items come in plastic packaging and most people will go through tubes, bottles, pots, jars and bottles at least once a month.

Did you know that globally, the packaging industry for beauty and personal care products, which primarily reflects plastic packaging, makes up nearly $25 billion in sales in the US? That’s a lot of money on something that we see time and again pollute our oceans and waterways.

When The Botanical Store first opened, our founder Kim wanted to create a space where being more eco-minded was simple, fun and easy. Which is why we use amber glass jars and bottles that are refillable. When you come into store you can pick out the size you’d like, as well as the scent, and when you’ve finished you can bring the empty bottle or jar back in and we can refill it!

We hand-make our natural deodorants as well and blend our oils and teas in store – the process is very transparent and our ingredients are simple, organic and as close to nature as possible.

As Kim said in her recent interview in Sowing Seeds magazine “We’re fed the message that natural doesn’t work as well as chemical based formulations but with skincare that is definitely not true. Plant oils and essential oils are incredibly nourishing and have amazing benefits that can treat a whole range of skin conditions. We don’t need the extra chemicals, fancy formulations and the 20 different product types that the beauty industry tells us we do.”

Start with one thing and build on that. Keeping it simple and fun is what makes it easy.

Top tips for happy skin this autumn

This post was originally written for, and appears on, The Botanical Store blog.

Our skin needs different things at different stages of life; the skin you had as a teenager won’t be the same in your 30’s, if you are pregnant, or if you are over 50. Environmental factors also play a part, as does diet – the food we eat is what we are made of and our skin is one of the places that dietary issues will show up. The changing seasons also mean a change in how we need to look after our skin.

The unpredictability of the weather can mean that one day it’s humid and raining and the next it’s bright and cold, with everything in between (especially if you’re in Melbourne!).

Below are our top tips for happy skin as we embrace autumn.

Cleanse – we know that this may seem obvious, but it’s the first line in creating healthy skin. If you live in a city, wear make up or exercise daily, then removing all the dirt and debris that your skin picks up through out the day is essential. A small amount of oil cleanser will go that extra step in feeding the skin microbiome and not stripping it away of naturally occurring oils. TOP TIP – remove cleanser with a wet cotton pad or warm wash cloth for a thorough clean feeling. Check out our blog on why you should switch to an oil cleanser.

Exfoliate – now this is something that is easy to let slip as it takes a little more prep and planning but a once weekly or fortnightly clay mask is our second secret weapon. Try a gentle pink or yellow clay mask on a Sunday evening after washing your face. Take one teaspoon of clay mixed with water to a consistency you’re happy with and apply to your face with clean finger tips or a clean make up brush. TOP TIP – only let the clay dry to 60% dry. Any longer and the clay will start taking moisture out of the skin. The clay is a gentle chemical exfoliant so you want your skin to feel hydrated and plump once removed with a warm wash cloth. If you feel taut or tight the clay has been left on too long.

Tone – you can also tone in between steps one and two as well, but using a floral toner will help remove any residual clay. It is also said to close the pores and refresh the skin. TOP TIP – leave your toner to dry a little on your face before applying a face oil – your oil will go further.

Oil – the active ingredients in face oils such as rosehip, evening primrose and carrot seed oil help the skin regenerate and protect against environmental wear and tear. A rich or light oil or serum can be used under a face cream or make up, if you wear it, as the ultimate nourishing skin food barrier, particularly good for changeable weather and going from heated or air conditioned environments to outside. TOP TIP – apply using your finger tips so it’s not absorbed into your hands. If you have a crystal face roller now is the time to use it as it’s thought to help products absorb into the skin more deeply.

Cream – if you prefer the feeling of a cream then look for one that is easily absorbed and hydrating. Adding an eye cream will also help nourish and soften the delicate skin around the eye. Cucumber seed oil helps hydrate and replenishes elasticity. TOP TIP – use the pad of the ring finger on your left hand to apply eye cream in small dots. It has the gentlest pressure out of all our fingers.

As you may know our skin is the largest organ in the body and it absorbs everything that we put on it so using organic, minimal products is essential.

Head over to our shop or come and see us in store and let us help you find skincare products that are right for you.

A guide to intention setting

This post was originally written for, and appears on, The Botanical Store blog.

We know that it’s now March, however, this is apparently the time where most New Years resolutions have fallen by the wayside and the novelty of the fresh start every January promises has lost its shine.

It’s easy to want to throw in the towel but having a more reflective process that allows you to set intentions that guide your year ahead can be a far more satisfying and simpler way of sticking to goals that really matter.

We hosted an evening of how to set intentions with purpose and clarity which can be used to frame any new chapter, not just a new year.

See below our guide to intention setting

REFLECT – to look ahead, you need to know where you’ve come from. It’s hard to do at the time – that’s why hindsight is such a wonderful thing! Take the time to ask yourself questions such as “What have I understood about myself in this process/year/project?”, “What was my biggest lesson?”, “What were the high points of celebration?”, “Who was I at the beginning of this process/year/project? And how have I changed?”. Smell is one of the strongest senses so maybe use essential oils in a diffuser or burner for each of the different phases. For ‘reflection’ what about Harmony?
RELEASE – it’s important and incredibly healing to release any repeating negative thoughts, patterns or beliefs that could be getting in the way of you realising your goals and desires. One way of letting go is to hold a symbolic ritual where you write down on pieces of paper these thoughts, patterns, beliefs, people, situations etc. and then either burn or bury them. The physical act of changing the state of the energy establishes the release and letting go. If you are burning the paper make sure you do it in a fire proof vessel in a well ventilated area with water on hand!
STATE – Now is the time to state what you are calling in. Ask questions that make you think beyond that first layer like “How do I want to feel during this time?”, “What are my values?”, “What are my desires and goals?”, “Why do I want those things?”, “What help or support do I need to see them actualise?”. Maybe the Nourish essential oil blend would compliment the ‘state’ phase.
SECTIONS – It can be daunting to look at all areas of life over a period of time. We used our Magic of I planners as a guide to divide life into 8 sections – Spiritual, Mental, Work, Love, Money, Social, Physical, and Inspiration. By creating focused streams it allows you to be clear on what it is you’re hoping to achieve in a specific time frame – whether that be in a week, month, quarter, or whole year. Take one or two sections to focus on per month or 6 week time frame and don’t forget to break down those big goals into small actionable steps. An accountability buddy is always good for keeping you on track and make sure you include asking for help and support with things that you don’t know how to do.

Here’s to living with focused attention that sees us achieve our dreams!

The benefits of baths

This post was originally written for, and appears on, The Botanical Store blog.

Baths and bathing have been a large part of human health so much so that every culture on the planet has a bathing tradition! ⁠

Whether that’s Turkish hammams, Japanese onsens, Roman baths, or Swedish saunas, the list is endless for people harnessing the power of being submerged in water – whether hot or cold!

But why are they so good for you?

Baths can help relieve tired and sore muscles, promote deep sleep, and reduce stress.⁠

They are also good for irritated skin if you suffer from eczema or other skin conditions especially if you add in oils.

By adding bath salts you’re amplifying the benefits with added magnesium, iodine and calcium.⁠

The most benefit comes from having a bath that’s not too hot either as sometimes that can cause heat stress on the body, so it’s best to make it around body temperature – 37 °C.

Saying that though, steam from a hot bath does wonders if you’ve got a cold, especially if you add in some eucalyptus or tea tree essential oils to help clear blocked noses.

And on the complete other send of the spectrum there is a case made for ice cold bathing or submersion, a form of cryotherapy, for improved immunity, reducing inflammation and helping lymphatic drainage.

A Great Way To De-Stress

And finally they are thought to be a great de-stressor thanks to lowering your blood pressure and their naturally supported solo time away from the demands of every day life – even if you are taking a particularly thrilling Netflix season in for company.

So next time you’ve got some spare time and a shower just isn’t going to cut it. Prepare for some you-time and draw yourself a bath, find a good book or podcast, light a candle, pour in your bath salts, and lie back and relax.

Why switching to a natural deodorant is a good idea

This post was originally written for, and appears on, The Botanical Store blog.

Is There A Natural Deodorant That Actually Works?

We’ve all spent our fair share of time on public transport or a night on a dance floor and known that our fellow humans were among us simply by scent alone, and in my youth I was so paranoid of smelling that I would use a roll on and an aerosol deodorant (I know!) but surely there must be a happy place in between chemical annihilation and clearing a one-metre radius everywhere you go.

Enter the natural deodorant!

Now some work better than others and we’re pretty sure to have cracked the winning formula here at The Botanical Store.

So let’s break it down…

Antiperspirants are designed to block your pores and stop you from sweating, this isn’t a good thing because  we need to sweat to regulate our temperature. Deodorant prevents bacteria from mixing with the sweat and creating a smell or odor. Harsh chemicals used to do this though are thought to cause other health problems later down the line (you can read more here.)

So to save the day is the natural deodorant – one that allows you to sweat, keeps the natural bacteria that live on your skin alive and keep you smelling fresh, and the bad bacteria out!

We find it’s the perfect balance of natural oils that nourish the underarm and odor-eating, natural ingredient hero – bicarbonate soda (some people may be sensitive though so always do a patch test and make sure it’s suitable for you). As well as the power houses Lavender and Lemon essential oil for more antibacterial action.

Blended with other high performing plant-based ingredients a paste is created that a pea-sized amount under each arm should see you scent free all day. Of course if you’re exercising at the gym, hitting the dance floor, presenting that big pitch at work or raising your heart rate in anyway, a second application may be needed.

All our deodorants are in a 120ml jar that is made to be refilled when you’re finished.

Grab yourself one in our online store here or pop into store to find out more and grab a jar for yourself!

How to…love yourself

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When I first thought about writing this post, I didn’t feel entirely like I had an answer. I mean, it’s a hard thing to pin down isn’t it, self love? It’s so subjective, and if you’re anything like me, a moveable feast depending on what day of the week it is.
But after mulling it over for a while, the thing that I landed on was this…

It’s a shift in perspective and a question.

What do I know to be true?

Inherently, that whoever you are , you are so worthy of love, you are the most deserving. But that can feel like a conceptual leap most times.

So what’s the first step? And what does that look like practically?

For me it’s what some one who loved me would most likely tell me to do… eat something delicious that a human being has cooked (i.e. not from a packet), make sure there is a colour other than beige involved (i.e. fresh veggies), drink water, call home, move your body, rest, sleep, get out in nature, and take care of yourself, as well as someone you love would.

And then I’d say, how often are you doing this? Self-care, and self-love, are not things to be relegated to a Sunday, a bubble bath, or a holiday to some far flung place that you’re smashing on the credit card and thinking about later. It’s about what you are doing every single day.

Finding a pocket of time to notice something, to ask for something, to just let yourself be fully 100% you and let that be seen by someone. To find play and fun and joy, because as adults they are usually the first things to go. Take up salsa dancing (I’ve just started!), revisit a hobby you used to love as a kid (horse riding anyone?), spend time with or watch someone really funny. Sometimes when the concepts feel too vague, it’s an outside-in job, rather than an inside-out one.

Lastly, it’s about recognising that the times we are most likely to make change are when we are forced to. And right now I think we’re in a genuine self-love deficit.

Because what else is there? We are already very well practiced in the alternative. Shopping trips, endless scrolling, FOMO, comparison, more consumption, more take, more separation.

Most things in the modern world are geared to divide and conquer, to remove ourselves from this place of inherent worth because it’s so much easier to control when we’re all plugged in and happily participating in the biggest magic trick of all time. If you’re busy looking over here, you’re not looking over there.

We must have the courage to ask to see it all. We must have the courage to build better boundaries and know when we are being pushed and asked too much of. The system continues to feed into itself, it won’t change because you’ve identified the problem, you have to change.

You have to be brave and lead a one person revolution that steps out of the societal expectation and step into your power.

Both are uncomfortable, neither is easy. But it rests with you. And to do it, you must rest, you must turn inward and recharge. To shift perspective and understand that your merit is not based on someone else’s approval or that your output is tied to your worth. Learn how to rest., learn how to be gentle and kind to yourself first.

Our most important relationship is with ourselves and how we honour our soul and spirit. So give yourself a break and treat yourself as the biggest love of your life. Because we are all in this lifetime-long-term relationship until the very end.  And I think that that person deserves to be unashamedly loved.

Timing is everything…

Hello old friends, or maybe some of you are new.

It’s been a while…and by a while, I mean a good few years.

As seems to be have been a trend of annus horriblis 2016, 2017, 2018, who was I but to follow suit.

A break up, a bout of glandular fever, and then visa waiting limbo, it feels like 2019 has finally been the break in the clouds, the sun has popped out and I’m kind of left wondering…well, just wondering.

Wondering what to do next, wondering what the next move should be, wondering if I’ll ever nail not succumbing to carbs on Saturday nights (no I know, I won’t, I’m OK with that, because…CARBS people.)

And I feel I’ve come a little bit of a full circle. I’ve taken a couple of run ups at this blog/business/brand/idea, and the intention is always there but then, well, you know, life.

But now, after deciding to leave my lovely job of the last four years, I’m now thinking that Moloko may just have been right…the time really could be now.

Look, the last three years haven’t been all bad. I became a yoga teacher, I learnt reiki, I gained a nephew, I gained a family of friends, I’ve travelled, I’ve done some pretty fun stuff.

And I’m at an age (33 and proud of the silver threads I’m earning on the daily) where I know a bit too much and the hiding places are getting fewer, or at least smaller.

So I guess this is a blog to say, I’m back.


How are you?

How have your last three years been? Let me know…I need inspiration for these musings so if I can chuck in my pennies worth on helping out, then I want to.

So what do you want to know/hear/see/think/feel? Comment below, or pop me an email on jolippold@hotmail.co.uk.

Love x

Learning how to take the pressure off


This post was originally written for, and appears on, the Loving Earth blog.

We’re well into 2019 now and at LE HQ we reckon this year it’s time to get real about making a difference in our personal lives, for the sake of our climate . We’re going to dedicate our content over the next 12 months to personal changes that have a tangible impact. Stay tuned!

While musing on this idea, we kept coming back to how much we’re bombarded by information and how much pressure that exerts on us to be, do, have this and this and this and the other thing and that one….Recently Marie Kondo has sparked a wave of contemplating what ‘sparks joy’ in our lives, and we’re asking what if we brought that concept into a wider arena; the food we eat, the way we exercise, how we spend our $$.

What if we just let there be a bit more space in our day to day? A pause to take a moment and regroup. What if we let ourselves take a minute after a meal so we can digest? Or let ourselves have some silent time after the Netflix and the snacks? Sit down to a quiet cup of tea, screen-free, before jumping into the car and speeding down the freeway. This may sound like time wasting or being idle, but it is vitally productive because it’s regenerative to your mind and nervous system.

We’ll start to see the word more this year, but what does regenerative mean? To us it’s making products that renew people, communities and our planet. It’s about the whole system and raising our collective wellbeing on every level. It’s helping regenerate The Commons; the forests, the soil, the oceans, rejuvenating the wellbeing of the individual, the restoring purity of whole food.

It’s not just about agricultural practices, it’s a lot more personal than that, and a lot more practical to our day to day life. We’ll be digging into DIY composting, with a step-by-step guide on how to do it. Sharing tips from special guests and experts on how to shop in bulk and other ways they’ve have found to relieve this pressure that living today has. Let us know if there is something you want us to explore or have any questions you want answered. We’re here to get to the bottom and make this as simple and fun as possible.


5 minutes with…Erin Rhoads


This interview was originally conducted for, and appears on, the Loving Earth blog.

We sat down with Erin from ‘The Rogue Ginger‘ to chat about Erin’s own journey of zero waste living and her pursuit to live plastic free.

Where did you grow up and does Melbourne feel like home now?

I grew up in Moss Vale, New South Wales. A small country town sitting between Sydney and Canberra. While I love Melbourne there are times I long to swap the city for small town life again, especially as I get older. My husband is a born & bred Melburnian and I don’t think I’ll be able to convince him to make the tree change. Well, maybe if we find a small town within Victoria where there is consistent AFL coverage.

Any tips on how to stick to your values when travelling?

I like to remind myself that I’m a guest when I travel. And we all love guests who are kind and helpful, not messy and disrespectful. So I make sure the decision that none of my choices will leave a mess for those who live there permanently to clean up. I always make sure to take cloth shopping totes and reusable produce bags, along with a water bottle, container to avoid single-use plastics and a cutlery wrap full of regular cutlery. I also like to learn a couple of phrases like “no bag” and “no straw, please” when visiting foreign non english speaking country.

How have your views changed since starting the blog?

I’ve come to realise that far to much responsibility to “save the environment” has fallen on the consumers shoulders. We are the ones constantly expected to do the right thing, when really businesses can and should make changes. While voting with our dollars is important, it’s even more important to write letters demanding action be taken by businesses and government for change to happen fast.

What’s your favourite Nicholas Sparks book/movie?! (check out Erin’s blog here)

The Notebook, hands down for both book and movie.

Can you tell us the most frustrating thing you’ve found since going zero waste?

When people tell me they couldn’t make any of the changes I’ve made, while claiming their own personal actions wouldn’t matter anyway. Of course our individual actions matter and us humans are great at making changes when we are supported by one another without judgement. That’s one great thing about the zero-waste movement is the lack of judgement and support for doing the best you can to becoming a better custodian for the planet.

What was the best piece of advice your mum gave you?

See as much of the world as you can and do whatever you want that will make you happy. I’ve managed to do both. Thanks Mum!

You’re a parent to a nearly two-year-old, how has becoming a mum impacted your lifestyle?

Yes, becoming a mum has impacted my lifestyle but not to the level I was fearing. Right now he is little and I can still make a lot of decisions for him. When he is older I understand it will get harder to navigate once he’s in school surrounded by others who don’t follow our zero-waste lifestyle. I can only do my best and will strive to lead by example. Hopefully in three years time there would have been more changes and some of what we do will be embraced by more people.

What three things can people do right this minute to help move them closer toward zero waste?

Reduce how much food waste is going into your bin. Each year, one out of five shopping bags worth of vegetables, fruit and bread are put into the bin. Before doing the grocery shopping sit down and write a list, keeping in mind to choose ingredients that can be utilised over several meals. A shopping list will help you stop wandering supermarket aisles grabbing food you don’t need or buying items on sale that you might use, but probably won’t. And don’t forget to write down on the list what fruit and vegetables you already have at home to stop you from buying more. It’s so easy to go on autopilot reaching for something like carrots when you might have two at home that need to be eaten.

With organic waste making up close to 40% of our bins, look into setting up a compost for a larger yard, while worm farms and bokashi bin are ideal for a smaller home or apartment. ShareWaste allows those without the option for the above to log on and search their area for others in the community who would like to accept food waste. Keep food scraps in the freezer between drop offs to reduce smell. When organics like food are in landfill they decompose slowly and producing harmful gases like methane and carbon dioxide, that adds to global warming. When food scraps are composted they are no longer waste, instead they become food for the soil. Use your new compost to help grow herbs and vegetables, preferably the ones you eat often.

Choose plastic free produce and buy fruit and vegetables loose, and not wrapped in plastic. Invest in reusable produce bags, either made from old sheets, sold in health food stores or found on Etsy. If plastic free produce are hard for you to find in your area join the #plasticfreeproduce campaign with activist Anita Horan. She offers materials on her website anitahoran.com to help you communicate to store owners you’d like food wrapped in its own natural skin and not plastic.

Is there anything that you’ve not yet been able to substitute or go without?

Not yet 🙂

What was the hardest thing to give up/reduce your use of?

Chips at the start but I got over that quicker than I thought I would. You just end up finding something else to snack on. Most bulk food stores have fun salty snacks. My favourite is murukku.

Who do you think is at the forefront of changing the way we live at the moment?

I think it’s the individuals in our communities who are standing up and asking for change at the forefront of a movement. We often want to look for celebrities making waves, and yes they can influence this in a big way. But often these movements begin in our local neighbourhoods. There is a wealth of people to connect with and learn from right here in our communities. Jump onto your local council website to see what free classes or workshops are happening around you. You might be inspired to run a workshop yourself.

Clare Press (Wardrobe Crisis and Rise & Resist), Sarah Wilson, Rebecca Prince-Ruiz (founder of Plastic Free July), Heidi Taylor (Tangaroa Blue), Bea Johnson, Beth Terry, Ronnie Kahn…and so many more!

What’s the most unexpected connection/ aha moment/ life hack you’ve experienced since starting your zero-waste journey…or in life generally?!

That i’m not just a consumer, i’m a citizen first, and I have the power to help dictate how our stuff is packaged and presented to us, where it comes from, who makes it and the conditions they are made under. Living zero-waste isn’t only about reducing waste, it’s also about reassessing everything we’ve been told is necessary to live a happy and fulfilling life.

The best and the worst thing about writing a book?

The worst thing would be when your publisher has sent it to the printer knowing you can’t make anymore changes. And the best is being told how helpful your book has been for people who thought their actions didn’t matter and now they feel more confident to be the everyday eco warrior our world needs.