Companies against animal testing

I’m currently making the switch to ethical and organic products! This includes skincare products, shampoo and make-up. I’ve already been using Nature’s Gate organic shampoo and conditioner for a few months and they smell amazing. I used to wash my hair twice a day because my scalp always felt itchy, but ever since I made the switch, on some occasions it’s even possible for me to wash my hair once every two days. 😀

So anyway, I found this list of companies which do not test on animals, via Peta. That doesn’t mean they’re organic, though. But it’s a good start if you’re looking for ethical products. Now is there a list of organic skincare companies??? Or do you have any favourite organic skincare products to share?

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Just accept

Earlier today, I was feeling down about some things that have been going on in my life. Things have been tough, because I’ve experienced a change in my lifestyle in the recent years, and I so desperately hope that the people around me would see the good in that change and want to change to. I wish they would stop eating unhealthy foods, spend less time in front of the television or their iPhones and be more engaged in their lives instead of going through the motions.

Then I read this. Leo Babauta writes about how we can try to stop trying to change people. He reminded me to accept, notice and appreciate. And to stop worrying.

Work-life balance

While WWOOFing in the farm, sometimes it’s easy to lose track of time while working in the fields. The church bell rings at noon and at 6pm daily, and that’s our cue to stop work. I’d always remember Stéphane saying, “You can stop when the bell rings. Don’t work for too long.” No one ever said that to me in the corporate world! In fact, most employers expect you to stay past your official working hours. What a contrast!

Stéphane and Françoise also gave me the weekends off, so I could go hiking or visit neighbouring villages. Here are some photos from my hike:

Nos enfants nous accuseront

Documentary: Nos Enfants Nous Accuseront/That Should Not Be: Our Children Will Accuse Us/Food Beware: The French Organic Revolution

I chanced upon this documentary this morning. According to a friend I made in Lyon who works with companies involved in industrial farming, France is one of the biggest pesticide users in the world. This documentary raises the question of the risk we’re exposing ourselves and our children to with the use of agricultural chemicals.

Buying bulk foods

I was looking up environmental news when I saw this infographic. It’s not Earth Month – I don’t even know when Earth Month is. But we don’t have to wait for that special month. This is something we can do all year round:

(source)

This is what I’m committing to for the rest of the year. The climate where I live (Singapore) isn’t the most ideal for storing food, but I plan to do this for food that last longer and food that I eat very often – pasta, spices and beans. Here’s to saving money and saving the Earth!

Country living

In July, I spent 2 weeks working in a farm in the south of France. I’ve heard of WWOOF (Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms) and have been toying with the idea for a while. Then I got tired of the meaningless work I was doing, so I quit my job and began my journey of learning about organic living. WWOOF is an exchange. Volunteers provide help and host farms provide lodging, food and plenty of information on how to lead an organic lifestyle.

I start my day by feeding the pigs. The pigs enjoy a lovely platter of kitchen scraps mixed with organic feed that keep them happy and healthy.

Every morning, my host Stéphane and I would milk the goats. It took a while before I got the hang of it and admittedly, I was rather slow at it. Sté[hane could milk 4 goats in the amount of time I take to milk 1!

No one is stressed in the countryside. We chat while working, take long lunch breaks and enjoy wine over homecooked meals. Everyone smiles and says hello. Villagers offer me lift back to the village when they see me walking along the road.

Francoise is an excellent cook. I had so much fun in the kitchen with her. We’d pick fresh vegetables and herbs from their garden and she’d let me smell every herb before we added them. Everything was fresh and tasted much better than supermarket-bought produce.

When I left the farm, I had 4 more weeks of travelling ahead of it. There was excitement, of course, but I left with a heavy heart. After years or searching, I found the exact lifestyle I wanted. But I knew there’s a lot of work to be done before I can have any of this. It’s a learning process, and a very long one. But I’m not giving up and I’m bring these lessons home with me.