Sustainable Life


February 21, 2013
by Ana

Recycling cooking oil into soap bars

Santa Catarina has just entered the Guinness Book of Records as the city that recycles the most cooking oil in the world. There are 10.000 litres of oil recycled per day! It is a great example for many people around the world.

The project “Floripa in the Guinness” was started by the Associação Comercial e Industrial de Florianópolis ACIF and the company Ambiental Santos, a pioneer in Paraná in the collection and recycling of discarded vegetable oils and fats from the food industry and the food trade.

Soap bars made with cooking oil

Soap bars made with cooking oil

This partnership started a few years ago and was known by the name of Project Re-Oil. The project has been a great success transforming used oil into cleaning products like detergent and soap bars that are used in schools or exchanged for books and school supplies to poor communities.

Cooking oil thrown in the sink outlet causes clogging of the drains and pollutes the environment. The pollution of the environment caused by the cooking oil causes the death of plants and animals.


Imagine all this oil dumped into the sea...

Imagine all this oil dumped into the sea…

Did you know that 1 litre of cooking oil dumped into the sea or rivers can pollute about 100,000 litres of drinking water?

The community participates by donating used oils. Schools involved in the project educate children on environmental issues and even teach them, in biology classes, how to turn cooking oil into soap bars.

This is proof that it is indeed possible to change the behaviour of the population, teaching children and adults that we can protect the environment. This example of community work should be followed in other cities and even other countries.

I’m glad to see that a Brazilian city is setting an example for the world. Actions like these deserve to be shared on social media and traditional media channels. If you think so, share this article, send it to your friends and show that it is possible to build a better world.

Ocean Kids USA

Kids showing the good example in the USA.


February 12, 2013
by Ana

Recycled objects. Get inspired!

Today I would like to share some cool ideas of recycled objects. I hope this can give you ideas and inspire you to do the same!

Avocado plant

February 7, 2013
by Ana

Grow your own avocado plant

Did you know that you can use the seed from an avocado to grow your own avocado tree? Check this out!

  1. Wash your avocado seed.
  2. Secure toothpicks into the seed so that they sit out horizontally.
  3. Suspend the seed with the heavy side down over a glass of water. About 3cm of the seed should be sitting in water.
  4. Place the seed out of direct sunlight and top up the water as needed.
  5. In 2-6 weeks, roots and stem should start to sprout.
  6. When the stem is 15 to 18cm long, cut it back to about 8cm in length.
  7. When the stem has grown leaves again and the roots are thick, plant it in a pot with half the seed exposed
  8. Water the plant lightly and frequently, with an occasional deep soak. The soil should be moist but not saturated.
  9. Make sure it’s getting plenty of sunlight.
  10. When the stem is 30cm long, cut it back to 15cm. This will encourage new shoots.
  11. Enjoy your own avocado tree!

Avocado 1


Avocado 2


Avocado 3


avocado plant





February 6, 2013
by Ana

Dublin sensation: the e-taxi

Great news from Ireland! A Dublin taxi driver has saved over €6,500 (AUD 8,500) on fuel over the past 18 months driving an electric car. The companies ESB (Electricity Supply Board) ecars and National Radio Cabs have put together a trial program to evaluate the electric car’s performance. The results are very encouraging and the trial will be extended for another year.



The taxi company claims that the use of the electric car shows a net reduction of over 4 tonnes of CO2 emissions for 55,000km. The taxi driver Padraig Daly said that the e-taxi was also very popular among passengers. People are impressed how silent the car can be but also with the car’s performance compared to petrol or diesel models.

The Irish government also concede some benefits such as a grant of up to €5,000 (AUD 6,508) on the purchase price and qualification for the lowest band of road tax. Other good news is that the e-taxi also requires lower maintenance and service costs.

All these financial advantages should influence and convince more people to swap their cars for the eco-friendly version. It is true that eco-friendly cars are more expensive than ordinary cars, but companies are finding ways to reduce the production costs using more recycled and sustainable materials and also rethinking the engineering with the aim of reducing the retail price.

Canned Fresh air

February 2, 2013
by Ana
1 Comment

Canned fresh-air on sale!

What strange news yesterday! A Chinese millionaire handed out cans of “Fresh Air” in China.

Chen Guangbiao, who made his fortune in the recycling business, is worried about the bad quality of air in China.

He said: “I want to tell mayors, county chiefs and heads of big companies: don’t just chase GDP growth, don’t chase the biggest profits at the expense of our children and grandchildren and at the cost of sacrificing our ecological environment”.

Fresh canned air - China








Air pollution is measured in terms of PM2.5, or particulate matter 2.5 micrometers in diameter, which are absorbed by the lungs. The World Health Organisation located in Switzerland recommends a daily PM2.5 level of 20 and says that levels greater than 300 are serious health hazards.

It is known that air pollution can cause several types of heart and lung diseases. The quality of Beijing’s air is very often higher than 500 and on the 12th of January 2013 it hit the highest ever 755!

The handed out soda pop-sized cans of air were free on the 30th of January, but are usually for sale to people trying desperately to escape the smog.

I found this news very sad and disturbing. Is this what we want to leave for our children? I really wish that people would understand that we cannot keep using natural resources forever. Like everything in life, if you keep using without replacing you will get to the point that it will be over.

Before getting to the point where we will have to buy fresh air to stay alive, we should think about our way of living and see what we can change in our daily routine that would make a difference. If everyone does a little bit everyday, at the end this little bit will make a huge difference!


January 7, 2013
by Ana

Easy herbs and olive oil

I found this picture on Facebook and I think that’s a great idea to preserve herbs and use in your pasta dishes. It is also healthy; there are no preservatives or anything artificial. It’s just some herbs and olive oil! So easy to use, how lovely is that?!

Freeze & Preserve Fresh Herbs in Olive Oil

roupa verde

January 6, 2013
by Ana

Clothes that change colour according the acid rain?

New Year, new ideas! This might sound like a science fiction movie, but it is a real project, made by a real fashion designer. Dahea Sun, a Korean born, based in London has developed a type of fabric that indicates the level of pH contained in the rainwater.

The famous song “Purple Rain” is totally in line with this concept! The fabric is dyed with pigments called ‘anthocyanins’ usually found in some vegetables such as red cabbages, eggplants and blackberries. That’s why the collection has a beautiful palette of purple colours.

Screen shot 2012-11-18 at 9.42.50 PM

The acid contained in the rain can be a threat to public health. She believes that fashion has a direct link with the environment and I totally agree with her. With her new collection she want to raise awareness and responsibility regarding global warming issues, but in a poetic and sophisticated way. The collection is lovely and I really like the shapes, colours and textures used by her.

Screen shot 2012-11-18 at 9.50.11 PM

She also developed an app for smartphones which potential wearers can upload and record rain pH readings online to create a worldwide database of real-time environmental data.

Screen shot 2012-11-18 at 9.46.57 PM

Screen shot 2012-11-18 at 9.45.29 PM



To know more about her project and how does it really works; I invite you to visit the websites below:

Sun Dahea  &   Rain Palette



December 17, 2012
by Ana

Last Minute Xmas presents!

Xmas is almost there. Have you bought all your presents? Not yet? Here are few great ideas for eco-friendly Xmas gifts.

Watch made from sustainable wood. We Wood plant a tree for every watch sold. I love the idea and they have really cool designs. Available in some watch shops across Australia you can also buy online. I don’t know if you can get it in time for Xmas, but it is worth checking out their website.

You buy a watch, they plant a tree.

You buy a watch, they plant a tree.

Recycled skateboard jewellery can be a really cool and original eco-friendly gift.Vibrant colours, resistant material and beautiful designs, I really like the whole concept. Available in USA, Canada, Australia, Netherlands and Belgium; MapleXO really rocks!

Recycled Skateboard earrings
Skateboard_BraceletsRecycled ring

In the same theme, I also found iPhone and iPad cases made with recycled skateboards. Grovemade also have cases made with bamboo that you can personalise the way you want.

iPhone cover skateboards

iPhone cover bamboo

If you are looking for something different and useful, I think that’s a really cool gift!

Check out their website

Do you have a musician friend or your partner is a music fan? What about offering something made with recycled vinyl records? You can find clock’s, bowls, coasters, plates, all kind of things made with old recycled vinyl records. That’s groovy man! Check out these ideas!

Record clockRecords CoastersRecord Bowls

Handbag top cansThe website NOVICA in association with National Geographic has a really cool section of eco-friendly gifts that you can purchase online. They offer products made by many artists from around the world. I selected one Brazilian artist that makes handbags with soda can tops. It is really cool to see how many things you can make with such a small and insignificant item. It literally transforms bin to beauty! You can also read the full story about each artist.

What about giving a wallet made with real fire hose?Wallet fire hose Ted

Such a strong material, it was a really clever idea to re-use it making the Ted coin wallets. You can find them online at the Ecoutlet website or on the Ted website.