HELPING YOU MAKE BETTER CHOICES
We care about the choices you make and we believe that we have a responsibility as a retailer, to help you to make better, informed choices. We hope that you find these articles, reviews and insights useful as you look to improve your wellbeing and to make the choices that will enhance your lifestyle and health.
We also believe that together, we can do this and make better choices for your home, your family, the community you live in and the planet we all inhabit.
If you have any suggestions for topics, please get in touch and we will add them to our plans for future articles.
We all know that we waste too much and that the throw-away culture remains a huge issue in society. Over the past few years, the political agenda has been dominated by efforts to reduce waste and minimize the negative impact of the disposable culture on our planet. From David Attenborough to Greta Thunberg, world leaders are being urged to act upon the crisis, but it is not just the big and powerful that can make a difference; small changes that we make to our lifestyle and habits can make the world of difference.
The most recent UK Government data indicates that on average, the percentage of household waste that is recycled is a pretty disappointing 45%. On a more positive note, 70% of packaging waste was recycled.
So, we have a long way to go and we can all make a difference, big and small, that can contribute to a better outlook for our communities and our planet. Here are a few simple steps that you can take to reduce waste and don’t forget to read our pledges on waste and use of recyclable materials.
For a material that takes up to 400 years to decompose, we have a very disposable mindset with regards to plastic drinks bottles. Despite the best efforts of campaigners, over two million tons of plastic waste has been dumped in our oceans globally this year so far, and it kills 1.1 million seabirds and animals each year.
Get yourself a refillable water bottle or coffee cup and see the massive difference you can have. They come in many shapes, colours and styles and include some fantastic innovations to stop spills and keep drinks hot or cold. The best tip is to ensure you have a selection of bottles and cups available for each occasion. One for the office, one for the gym and one for trips out. Try the One Green Bottle 1 litre and 2 litre stainless Steel canteens for size.
Using natural products around the home can reduce waste through materials and usage. What about using a loofah to wash your dishes and surfaces instead of sponge or a metal scour brush? A loofah is a vegetable-based scrubber, that acts as a biodegradable and recyclable exfoliating surface scrubber. It is absorbent, yet rough enough to get rid of hard-to-remove stains. It is plastic free, which not only minimises plastic usage from your daily routine, but it also reduces the number of microplastics that get washed down your sink.
Switch to a bamboo toothbrush. Approximately 3.6 million plastic toothbrushes are purchased around the world annually, and over 99% of these are plastic, so the plastic toothbrushes that are thrown into landfill sites each year will take over 450 years to decompose. But when recycling a bamboo/organic toothbrush, it will decompose back into the earth within 4-6 months.
Adopting an efficient approach to your personal purchasing is possibly one of the most significant steps you can take to reduce your household and personal waste. There are two threads to this approach which involve buying only what you need with perishable items and buying in bulk with non-perishables.
When buying a bathroom cleaner, order a 5 litre product and refill at home, rather than thirteen 400ml bottles. Think of the number of bottles that won’t have to be made, transported and disposed of through this very simple act.
Cannabis plants are made up of more than 100 different cannabinoids, which are chemical compounds that act on cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) in cells that alter messages sent to the human brain. These specific receptors are responsible for regulating your neuro-hormones, so, they help to maintain a natural balance in your body, and support your overall wellness too. All cannabinoids have different impacts on the body and are concentrated to different extent in certain parts of the cannabis plant. It is also worth noting that, there is a big difference between the CBD that you are prescribed by a healthcare professional, and the CBD oil you can get on the high street. CBD available in shops is of far lower strength than the oil used in clinical trials.
The majority of cannabinoids are controlled substances under the Misuse of Drugs Act, but the use of CBD oil is legal in UK. In 2019, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) introduced the need for any CBD products to be authorised for sale in the UK under their Novel Food Guidance and from March 2021, only products which were available for sale in the UK in February 2020 and for which the FSA has validated its novel food status will be allowed to remain on the market.
If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, taking any medications or under medical supervision, please consult a doctor or healthcare professional before use of any CBD product.
It is important to recognise that CBD is a relatively new product that has gained popularity very quickly. There is still a lot we don’t know about CBD extracts, and there has been very little research about the effects they may have. There is a great deal of anecdotal evidence of the benefits of these products to relieve chronic pain, ease anxiety and to generally help people gain a balance in their everyday lives.
There is ongoing research to identify whether these claims can be supported by evidence from clinical trials, but it is too early to be certain that the claims can be supported by clinical evidence. At the moment there is one cannabis-based medicine that has been licenced for treating epilepsy, called Epidyolex. It contains pure CBD and is a very different product to the products that are now widely available online and in store.
We are committed to helping you make better choices that have a positive impact on your wellbeing and lifestyle. In the Blossom & Root Wellbeing and Lifestyle Store, we offer a limited selection of CBD products in forms that will suit your lifestyle and daily routine from oils to super convenient oral sprays and a relaxing bath bomb. Whichever form you take, we believe that you may benefit from CBD products and that these may have a positive benefit to your wellbeing and general health. Take a look at our full range here.
From about late March/early April to the end of September, the majority of people should be able to make all the Vitamin D they need from sunlight on their skin. However, it is widely recognised that many people who work indoors or who choose not to expose themselves to direct sunlight may not be able to maintain Vitamin D levels without a dietary supplement.
The Department of Health and Social Care recommends that you take a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of Vitamin D throughout the year if you:
- are not often outdoors – for example, if you're frail or housebound
- are in an institution like a care home
- usually wear clothes that cover up most of your skin when outdoors
If you have dark skin – for example you have an African, African-Caribbean or South Asian heritage – you may also not make enough Vitamin D from sunlight alone.
The best source is sunlight on your skin, but with darker days and lockdowns we have not been getting enough; deficiency is common and It’s widely accepted that to take a Vitamin D supplement is a good thing, but if you are in doubt, you can test levels, even at home.
Vitamin D is also found in a small number of foods. Sources include:
- Oily fish – such as salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel
- Red meat
- Liver (not as popular as it used to be)
- Egg yolks
- Fortified foods – such as some fat spreads and breakfast cereals
As this list shows, if you are following a plant-based diet, you are unlikely to be gaining enough Vitamin D from food sources.
The general consensus is that adults should take 10 micrograms of Vitamin D throughout the year. A microgram is 1,000 times smaller than a milligram (mg). The word microgram is sometimes written with the Greek symbol μ followed by the letter g (μg).
Sometimes the amount of Vitamin D is expressed as International Units (IU). 1 microgram of vitamin D is equal to 40 IU. So, 10 micrograms of Vitamin D is equal to 400 IU.
Improving your intake of Vitamin D can help your body fight infection and disease. The sunshine vitamin not only helps to protect you physically, but can support your mental wellbeing as it can play a role in regulating mood and guarding against depression. After all, it isn’t called the Sunshine Vitamin for nothing, as it creates the same feelings that going out on a lovely summer day for a stroll would.
Research has found that people with depression who received Vitamin D supplements noticed an improvement in their symptoms, and that Vitamin D deficiency was more common in those who were experiencing anxiety and depression. Signs of deficiency include tiredness, aches and pains, severe bone or muscle pain or weakness.