5 surprising eco innovations you need to know about

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Find out how technology is being used to help restore our planet

5 surprising eco innovations you need to know about

To counter the effects of climate change takes a great deal of tenacity, and thinking outside the proverbial box. But, fortunately, there are some astounding people and companies demonstrating the creativity, brilliance, and ingenuity required to face this challenge.

Here, we’re marvelling at five eco innovations, looking to reduce or reverse human beings’ impact on the world around us. From stepping up our survival instincts to agricultural advances, feel inspired and get curious about what other possibilities might be on the horizon for green technology…


Call it awe-inspiring, call it a ‘breath of fresh air’... AirCarbon is an award-winning invention, created by Newlight Technologies, that is a carbon-negative, renewable form of ‘plastic’. Not only does it not produce the typical emissions and waste that come with plastic production, but it actually cleans the air instead!

With an estimated 400 million tons of plastic waste produced annually around the world, the clever creation combats this by combining air with methane-based carbon. The end result is completely natural, meaning it can be broken down by microorganisms to provide nutrients, plus it’s been FDA-approved so it is safe to come into contact with food – offering a host of possibilities for replacing traditional plastic packaging and containers.

3D printing in construction

One of the largest polluting sectors worldwide is construction – with research by the US Green Building Council claiming the industry is responsible for 40% of worldwide energy usage, and another report suggesting it’s accountable for up to 50% of climate change.

5 surprising eco innovations you need to know about

Clearly, something needs to change. And offering the cornerstone to build a more environmentally friendly future is the possibilities of 3D printing. With several companies already exploring the potential of ‘additive manufacturing’, as it’s also known, the real advantage is the ability to use local materials in the printing, such as soil, clay, sand, and plant fibres, drastically cutting down the need to transport materials (potentially by 95%), and avoiding the use of cement. Having the printer on site also means constructors only need to print the exact materials required, encouraging less waste.

Partnering positivity for the environment, with doing good for people too, charity Habitat for Humanity utilised this technology to build a 3D printed home in Virginia in 2021, to house low-income families who volunteer with them. Incredibly, the two-bed bungalow was printed in just 12 hours, demonstrating the ability to produce eco-friendly, affordable homes in a much more time-effective manner.

Vertical farming

With the ever-increasing global population, as well as climate change impacting the success of a harvest, demand on agriculture is increasing in turn. But farmers are taking things to the next level, literally, by stacking crops in pillars, enabling them to radically increase their yield for the same square footage – potentially up to 10 times the normal amount for the same space.

What is so differe

What is secondhand stress and how do I get rid of it?

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Studies have shown that stress can be contagious. So, how do we get rid of – or avoid altogether – secondhand stress, before we start to feel overwhelmed?

What is secondhand stress and how do I get rid of it?

Stress. It can be overwhelming, can’t it? As a nation, as many as one in four (74%) of us have felt overwhelmed and unable to cope in the past year, according to figures from the Mental Health Foundation. With feelings of stress often surrounding financial worries, relationship difficulties, and feelings of being overworked and underappreciated, unfortunately, it’s not just our own stress that’s keeping us up at night.

Research has shown that thanks to emotional contagion, it’s possible for us to ‘catch’ stress, anxiety, and other emotions from others. Just watching someone else showing classic signs of stress can be enough to trigger a stress response in us, which can lead to further feelings of exhaustion, worry, and even starting to avoid certain colleagues, friends, family, and loved ones.

So, what can we do to spot the signs of secondhand stress before it starts to take hold of us? And how can we get rid of secondhand stress for good?

What is secondhand stress and anxiety?

The terms secondhand stress and secondhand anxiety refer to when you feel stressed or anxious because someone else is showing signs of stress or anxiety. Essentially, our minds and bodies are wired to keep an eye out for potential danger or threats. When we see someone else having a stress or anxiety reaction, we unconsciously can end up mimicking this, as a natural form of self-defence.

We’re able to pick up secondhand stress by seeing others’ facial expressions, hearing their voice frequency, and even picking up on specific scents or touches. What’s more, we’re more likely to experience secondhand stress from someone we know, rather than a stranger – meaning our colleague’s stress levels, and how they react to and express those feelings of stress, can have a serious impact on us.

How do you know if someone is stressing you out?

There are a number of different signs and symptoms of stress that we can keep an eye out for. These can include emotional symptoms (feeling frustrated, quick to anger, anxious, overwhelmed, teary, or avoiding others or social situations) or physical symptoms (trouble sleeping, feeling dizzy, excessive sweating, chest pains or palpitations, digestive problems, or seeking comfort from food, drugs or alcohol). But there are also signs you can keep an eye out for, that can indicate that being around someone else may be causing you secondhand stress.

These can include:

  • Stress eating or drinking when they are around (e.g. eating more when you’re around someone, as a way to self-soothe or cope with how you are feeling).
  • Checking your phone or avoiding eye contact while talking to others. This can be a sign that you are feeling uncomfortable with what is being shared, or are experiencing feelings of stress and overwhelm (though it’s worth noting that not everyone is

Simple swaps you can make for your health (and the earth)

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Sharing simple swaps you can make for your heath (and the earth).

Hi friends! Hope you’re having a lovely morning! I’m looking forward to a hike with some friends and catching up on some SEO and other blog work I tend to put off as long as possible. 😉

Since we’re a bit into January of the New Year, some of the dust has settled and we can dial into some of the things we’re going to work on. I know that so many of us are looking to make healthy changes for ourselves, our families, and also the earth! In today’s post, I wanted to share some ideas for simple swaps and changes you can make in your routine. Please keep in mind that this isn’t a list to do ALL THE THINGS. Take a look and see which ones would be helpful for you and applicable to your lifestyle, and start with the one that feels the most reasonable and important to you. Once you’ve done it, maybe add in something else over time!

I find that habits are so much more powerful when we take the time to individually build them into our routine. There’s no need to overwhelm ourselves by trying to do everything at once, and some things on the list may not apply to you or be something you care about, and that’s ok, too.

Just sharing some ideas for inspo and if you have any to add, please chime in the comments section – I’d love to hear them!

Simple swaps you can make for your health (and the earth)

Assess water quality and invest in a filter

In many US cities, our tap water is… not it. Some places are better than others, but you can check out the quality of your local tap water here. Our lovely Tucson water is loaded with arsenic, in addition to nitrate and radium.

Unfortunately fridge filters don’t do a great job at filtering out the chemicals, bacterias, pharmaceuticals and pathogens. Our very favorite is the big Berkey – it makes water taste amazing – and I also recommend the Aquasana. Another option is Therasage. If you’re filtering out all of the bad bacteria, sometimes necessarily minerals are also filtered in the process. To add minerals back in, you can use real salt (like Redmond’s), trace mineral drops, or try the Sakara beauty drops <— this is what I use.


This is something I want to do this year. Every time I throw away food scraps and a myriad of other things, I think to myself, “You should compost that.” I know our garden would love it, and even if you don’t have a garden, there are local farmers who will accept drop-off compost, and some larger cities offer compost pickup.

Use less paper towels

Guys. This has been once of my goals for years, but I haven’t found a suitable replacement. I use way, way, way too many paper towels. If you have an option you love, please shout it out in the comments!

Decrease your morning stress (alarm clock, meditation practice, etc)

When you wake up to a loud, blaring alarm clock, you may be setting yourself up for a huge cortisol spi

Strawberry Blueberry Banana Smoothie

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Strawberry Blueberry Banana Smoothie brings summertime straight to your glass. Sweet and creamy, this good-for-you smoothie is an easy way to start your day or refuel in the afternoon.

Strawberry Blueberry Banana Smoothies

My family loves smoothies and I make them several times a week either with our breakfasts or as snacks. Pink, purple, green, blue, brown, they come in countless colors and flavors. Strawberry Smoothies and Blueberry Banana Smoothies are some of our favorites that get made often.

A while back, I combined both of those smoothies into this one and it was an instant hit.

Strawberry Blueberry Banana Smoothie

This is a very simple combination that we all agree is delicious. I like to freeze all of the fruit ahead of time so that the smoothies get cold without any ice needed. On the rare occasion that I forget to pop some berries in the freezer in advance, I’ll add an ice cube or two but it waters down the flavor a bit.

When strawberries and blueberries are on sale I buy a ton to freeze so we always have smoothies on hand. If you prefer, ready frozen berries from the freezer section work beautifully in this smoothie recipe, too.

I prefer smoothies that are similar to a milkshake consistency and frozen bananas are the key. I buy extra bananas and simply peel them and put them into a ziploc bag in the freezer.

When I am ready to make a smoothie, I just grab however many I need and toss them in the blender. It’s also a great strategy for using bananas that are getting overripe and gives smoothies the perfect consistency.

Strawberry Blueberry Smoothie

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Creme Brulee Amish Baked Oatmeal

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Creme Brulee Amish Baked Oatmeal

Have you tried baked oatmeal before?? It’s so delicious, I can hardly stand it! We are huge oatmeal lovers, but this Amish creme brulee version wins the grand prize!

A few years ago some friends went out to brunch with us (yes, we are total brunchers and if you haven’t caught that bug, by all means JUMP IN!!) and we had this glorious amount of food delivered to our table. When in a group, always order many things so you can sample the menu, am I right?! I knew, absolutely KNEW that the french toast at Gourmandise was going to be my winner and was flabbergasted (when’s the last time you wrote that word? 😏) when it was the oatmeal!

A photo of two pieces of creme brulee baked oatmeal sitting on top of some vanilla oatmeal sprinkled with fresh blueberries, raspberries and strawberry slices all in a white bowl with a spoon in the bowl.

Now, you know I am an older woman at heart, so it shouldn’t surprise you that I LOVED the oatmeal, but to be the winner? That takes something special. Well, since I’ve been on this baked oatmeal kick, why not try a Gourmandise Creme Brulee Amish Baked Oatmeal?!

Just try to not pick off the entire topping, it is HEAVEN!!

What is Amish Baked Oatmeal?

Amish baked oatmeal like a warm oatmeal cookie but in casserole form that is made with oats, milk and a few other ingredients you will already have on hand. Traditional oatmeal is like cereal with a creamy porridge consistency. Baked oatmeal is more like a casserole or bread pudding. It is super versatile with endless amounts of add-ins or toppings. I’ll go into that more later in this post.

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