5 ways to treat yourself on a Sunday night

Sunday nights are all about relaxing, unwinding and rebalancing to ensure you start the week ahead in the best way possible. It’s easy enough to get to Sunday with a massive to-do list left over from the week, but it’s important to take time out and enjoy some me-time so you’re ready to hit the week ahead. Establishing a bedtime routine will help you settle down for the evening and slumber away in the night.

Here are a few of the little rituals we do on a Sunday night:

Meal Prep:

It may sound counter-intuitive as this adds another thing to your to-do list, but meal prepping can help you unwind on a Sunday night. Cooking releases your creative juices, helps you start the week organized by having all (or some) of your meals ready and it gives you a lovely dinner to enjoy on Sunday night. Knowing that you’ll start the week eating healthy nourishing foods simply ticks off too many boxes to not be included.

 

Unplug your phone:

If you find yourself in the late hours of the night glued to your screen and mindlessly scrolling through Instagram, opting for a bit of digital detox will go a long way. Sunday nights are the perfect occasion for this – you’re at home and let’s be honest, you’re probably not going to miss anything super urgent. In our digital-centric lives, cutting off some screen time will reap a bunch of benefits – from a more restful sleep, increased focus and reduced social anxiety, you’ll be able to relax and connect more with those around you. And if you want to up your game, try out the 48 Hour Challenge and put your phone away for two days during the weekend!

 

Take a bath:

There’s no better way to treat yourself than a long bath and aromatherapy on a Sunday night. The benefits? Reduced levels of stress and better sleep. Both our Poapoa shampoos and body washes use powerful essential oils such as rosemary and lemon oil to give you a boost. Before applying to your hair or body, pour some onto your hands and make sure you take in the aromas – heaven in a bottle.

Let yourself indulge:

Whatever it is that you enjoy but don’t let yourself do too often, do it. This could be a rom-com on Netflix (just make sure you do it early in the evening so it doesn’t affect your no-screen time), a glass of wine or perhaps a few scoops of ice cream. Give yourself the space to do something just for you tonight, without thinking about the consequences or judgment. It’s all about balance, so feel free to treat yourself!

Read a book:

Even if it’s just 15 minutes before going to bed, reading a book can have a number of benefits including lowered blood pressure, heart rate, and stress levels. It’s also a good way to meditate, ensuring your mind is kept away from focusing on the pile of dirty laundry or your never-ending to-do list for the morning.

Bonus: invest in a light body clock:

This is a bonus tip to ensure Monday mornings are not as bad as they could be. Body alarm clocks use light to gradually imitate a natural sunrise during 30 minutes to match our internal circadian biological clocks. This ensures you naturally wake up refreshed and has been shown to boost mood and energy levels.

Do you have any Sunday rituals that really work for you? Let us know on Instagram!

Why you should only use natural soaps

woman holding a Poapoa natural shea butter charcoal soap

You probably walk down the supermarket aisle and choose a soap without dedicating much thought to it. You simply want something that gets the job done, but did you know that not all soaps were born equal? 

There’s a lot that goes into them and there’s a huge difference between your commercial soap and high-quality, natural soaps. We really believe you should choose natural, and here’s why! 

COMMERCIAL VS NATURAL SOAPS

COMMERCIAL SOAPS

Did you know that most commercial soaps bought in supermarkets have more in common with washing powder than actual soap? 

Manufacturers of mass-produced commercial soaps, tend to extract the glycerin that is created during the saponification process in order to increase profits. 

Glycerin is highly sought after for more lucrative products (including lotions and e-cigarettes) and is extracted and sold separately at a higher price, whilst chemicals and synthetics are added to the soap to rebalance it. 

Some of these chemicals include detergents, foaming solutions, parabens, and synthetic fragrances. This is where the problem lies – and you don’t have to go far to see it. Walk into any supermarket, grab some soap and take a look at the ingredients. 

NATURAL SOAPS

Natural soaps are usually hand made through a chemical process called saponification. Firstly, an oil or fat is combined with lye, a liquid alkali, to make soap. In the case of Poapoa, we use raw shea butter & virgin coconut oil combined with lye. 

The mixture is then poured into molds to allow it to saponify (i.e. make shea butter into something that actually foams and cleans) over 24 hours. It is then taken out to dry and cure for over a month, evaporating its water content in the process. The final product is a combination of soap and glycerin, where soap will do the cleaning whilst glycerin will moisture and nourish the skin. This time-consuming yet traditional method is commonly named ‘cold process’ and ensures no preservatives or additives are needed. 

This unique oil base gives special properties to the soap. Coconut oil adds moisture and disinfectant qualities, whilst shea butter has skin healing properties and is great at hydrating your skin without leaving a greasy residue. Leaving your skin feeling soft, clean and nourished.

hand washing with natural soapsPUTTING PLANTS IN YOUR SOAPS

Instead of adding synthetics, there are a number of genuinely natural and good-for-your-skin ingredients that can be added to create different types of soaps. For example, oatmeal and charcoal are great to increase exfoliation and remove dead skin cells. 

Essential oils, commonly used in aromatherapy, are another key group of ingredients. They are natural oils distilled and extracted from plants or fruits. They each have a number of healing properties and add their unique, subtle aromas to the soap:

  • Rosemary oil is one of the most powerful essential oils out there. Working as an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory herb, it helps soothe skin irritations and stimulate hair growth. The scent is so lovely it’s been proven to reduce stress levels too. Find it in our Moringa & Rosemary Shea Soap.
  • Tea Tree oil: originally from Australia, tea tree is a potent antibacterial and antiviral oil that can tone and clear tired skin. Find it in our Charcoal & Tea Tree Shea Soap.
  • Orange Peel Oil: apart from its antibacterial and antioxidant properties, it’s full of citrus-y vitamin C and helps rejuvenate and soothe your skin. Plus it smells amazing! Find it in our Neem & Orange Shea Soap.

After adding different natural ingredients, the end product is a good-for-you soap without the need for any chemicals or synthetics that will clean and nourish your skin. This is exactly how we make soaps at Poapoa!

THE BAD STUFF IN COMMERCIAL SOAPS

  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS): A foaming solution commonly used in cleaning detergents that can irritate and dry your skin. It’s also linked to a number of health problems.
  • Parabens: a chemical preservative used in store-bought commercial beauty and grooming products to extend their shelf life and prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. Not only is it a synthetic product, but it’s also been linked to an increased risk of cancer.
  • Triclosan: most soaps labeled antibacterial will include triclosan, a commonly used pesticide to stop bacteria from growing. Not only can it dry and irritate your skin, but it makes its way down drains and into our water supply systems harming algae and the fish we eat.
  • Chemical fragrances which can be absorbed through your skin and pose health risks including allergies, dermatitis, and respiratory issues.
  • Synthetic colours: if you see any ingredients on your commercial soap that start with ‘D&C’ plus a number, you’re probably looking at a synthetic colour which is usually derived from petroleum or coal – a big red flag for us. 

NATURAL SOAPS AND THEIR BENEFITS

We hope that by now we’ve convinced you to ditch your old bar of commercial soap and opt for a more natural and honest product. To sum up, these are some of the main benefits of natural soaps:

  • A natural product that is genuinely good for your skin and uses absolutely no synthetics or harsh chemicals
  • Smoother and softer skin without irritation
  • Essential oils that will add healing properties as well as mood-boosting scents

However, not all the benefits are just for you. By supporting natural products made in small batches, your reach is much wider… 

  • You help local communities. In our case, these are in Kenya and Ghana!
  • You support small brands trying to make a difference
  • You support the planet – by only using recyclable packaging and plant-based products

Have we convinced you? 

If you want to try a high-quality soap with oodles of natural ingredients, try us at Poapoa. 

Click here to have a look at our range of natural soaps including Neem & Orange Shea Soap or Charcoal & Tea Tree Shea Soap and learn more about the natural ingredients we use at Poapoa.

The Sustainable Scrapbook – Vol. 012

Volume 12

Welcome to Vol.12 of The Sustainable ScrapbookPoapoa’s fortnightly newsletter helping you discover the latest sustainability news, apps, products & ideas.

In this #earthday edition we feature:

We believe that for our grandchildren to inherit a beautiful world, the change makers need to be heard.

This is our way of sharing their voice with you.

The time is now.
After Blue Planet’s “post-plastic” impact, British treasure’s Sir David Attenborough & the BBC have again teamed up to highlight an apocalyptic plight. This time, climate change. Their hope is that by supplying the facts, we will make better choices for a brighter future. Never has a TV programme been more important.   

Watch Sir David lay out the facts.

 

Make a real fashion statement.
Even though we know better than to choose fast fashion, our desire to look good with ease can lead to bad choices. thredUP has the answer! The world’s largest online secondhand shopping store, thredUP supplies stylish, affordable fashion with a smaller environmental imprint. Win-win.

Conscious fashion looks awesome.

 

Making refilling easier than recycling.
Plastic is killing our oceans but we still rely on it. How can we buy less plastic but not lose quality of life? Splosh has a solution — & it’s actually easier for the consumer: high-quality cleaning products delivered to you in refillable, life-time bottles. Order your products online > clean your home & clothes > order refills. Zero-waste, simplified.

Time to wash away plastic waste!

 

Party for good.

Let’s be frank: sustainability can be a real party-pooper. With glitter, plastic cups & paper plates now outlawed, a birthday arrives with a slice of guilt & dollop of shame. Don’t worry, though, Susty Party has your back! They provide sustainable, compostable alternatives for everything you’ll need to entertain. Even better, they partner with disability charities meaning your purchases help a good cause. Social credibility enhanced.    

You can go to the ball.

The Sustainable Scrapbook – Vol. 011

Volume 011

Welcome to Vol.011 of The Sustainable ScrapbookPoapoa’s fortnightly newsletter helping you discover the latest sustainability news, apps, products & ideas.

In this edition we are looking at:

  • Loop: the latest zero waste platform (run by big brands)
  • Love Food, Hate Waste: how to cook with off-cuts and leftovers 
  • Plastic Free: a new exciting plastic free consumer trust mark
  • Flora: an app to increase your focus and productivity

We believe that for our grandchildren to inherit a beautiful world, the change makers need to be heard.

This is our way of sharing their voice with you.

Big-brands backing zero-waste!
A new zero-waste champion, Loop, is about to change the way we shop forever. Household staples are delivered to your door in sleek, futuristic metal pods, and when you’re done, the container is collected, cleaned & reused. Eight of the world’s largest contributors to plastic waste have signed up. Could this be the circular solution we’ve been waiting for? 

Yet to be launched and backed by a cohort of consumer giants, Loop promises quality, affordability & convenience. When big corp goes loop, what’s left for smaller brands like Poapoa

Luckily, amazing humans are launching zero-waste shops around the country (and stocking Poapoa): find us at The Refillery in Edinburgh! 

Say farewell to plastic waste!

Love food, hate waste
It takes water, energy, fuel & packaging to produce the food we love & buy. We all agree it should never be binned; however, it isn’t always easy to know what to do with off-cuts, over-ripes or leftovers. Love Food Hate Waste can help. Their site is brimming with excellent advice & delicious recipes to help you waste less good food.

Snippet – How to use cauliflower leaves: “Eat more of your greens by giving these outer leaves a thorough wash, then popping them in a bowl with oil and spices. Lay them in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast in the oven until crispy – bish, bash, cauli leaf nosh!”How to eat it all.

Patently plastic free
Recycling can be confusing: what goes where, is this that, does this symbol mean recyclable or…?

A Plastic Planet are here to help with their PLASTIC FREE consumer trust mark. Like the recycling symbol, this can be placed on products to instantly inform consumers who want plastic-free choices without confusion. 

Plastic power to the people!

Stay focused, together

When FOMO strikes but you need to focus, a new app might provide the motivation you need. You & your friends can login, set a timer & disconnect together. The difference? A digital tree begins to grow once the timer starts and whoever picks up first kills it. For added motivation, each digi-seed that grows into a tree means Flora will plant a real one! Win-win.

Get stuff done & save the planet!

The Sustainable Scrapbook – Vol. 010

Volume 010

Welcome to Vol.010 of The Sustainable Scrapbook: Poapoa’s fortnightly newsletter helping you discover the latest sustainability news, apps, products & ideas.

We believe that for our grandchildren to inherit a beautiful world, the change makers need to be heard.

This is our way of sharing their voice with you.

Eat Earth into good health

The first science-based Planetary Health Diet has been devised. The diet is a “win-win” as it would save at least 11-million people a year from deaths caused by unhealthy food and prevent the collapse of our natural world. Luckily, it’s delicious.

Ready to change your diet to save the world?

Infinite trips for everyone

What’s free to use, nonpolluting and can carry you almost anywhere on Earth? You’ve got it — a bicycle! And now, Bikemap.net has 4-million user-generated routes for you to try. Totally free & easy to use, you can now avoid unwanted hills or uneven paths. Just remember to ride safely, wear a helmet and, at night especially, be easily seen.

Download the app & get peddlin’

Positive thought creates positive action

We all suffer from negative thinking from time to time. It’s a pain. It doesn’t just keep us low, unmotivated or frustrated, but also keeps us distracted. A more positive populace will act more positively. Forbes compiled a list of 11 ways to help you push those negs aside and focus more on what’s good. 

Don’t let your mind bring you down

Guilt-free sparkles

Post Blue Planet II, many of us are aware of Earth’s plastic problem. Thankfully, micro-plastics have been ditched en masse… other than glitter, it seems. But worry not,
Eco Glitter Fun has a cruelty free, vegan, biodegradable solution to keep the party going without mass extinction to worry about.

Switch your glitter & party on!

The Sustainable Scrapbook – Vol. 009

Volume 009

Welcome to Vol.009 of The Sustainable Scrapbook: Poapoa’s fortnightly newsletter helping you discover the latest sustainability news, apps, products & ideas.

We believe that for our grandchildren to inherit a beautiful world, the change makers need to be heard.

This is our way of sharing their voice with you.

Follow us on Instagram!

UK clean energy victory!

The UK’s renewable energy capacity now outdoes its unsustainable cousin. Although there’s a way to go before the UK can lay claim to complete cleanliness, the stats suggest it’s on the right track!

How has renewable energy capacity tripled in just five years?

Share your journey

People have hitch-hiked forever. Now, though, there’s an app for it.
With BlaBlaCar, you can search 100’s of scheduled journeys and hop along for the ride. Not only will this get you from A to B with ease, but will ensure fewer 1-person cars on the road (great for environment & traffic!), save you money & offer the chance to make a friend.

Buddy up for your next journey

Cold showers are what you need.

Want to feel better? Want clearer skin & stronger, softer hair? Want to save money, time & energy? Then add a cold shower to your morning routine. This might sound too good to be true, but, overshadowed by its more comfortable cousin, cold water therapy is as old as water itself.
Don’t believe us? Read here & try for yourself.

Catapult your morning routine

Pledge allegiance to the microbiome!

Heard about the personal microbiome? It’s only one of the most important scientific discoveries of the century!
You are full of tiny lifeforms that do you good. However, you need to keep them healthy. How? Well, it’s as easy as drinking an Olipop: a soda full of what your microbiome needs.

Drink to good health

The Sustainable Scrapbook – Vol. 008

Volume 008

Welcome to Vol.008 of The Sustainable Scrapbook: Poapoa’s fortnightly newsletter helping you discover the latest sustainability news, apps, products & ideas.

We believe that for our grandchildren to inherit a beautiful world, the change makers need to be heard.

This is our way of sharing their voice with you.

Follow us on Instagram!

“Ditch cling film & switch to soap…”

In 2018, you probably heard about the blight of plastic pollution on Earth. Want to know what you can do to help? The Guardian have compiled a list of ten simple changes you can make to lower your plastic reliance. Not only will you decrease your carbon footprint but you’ll save money, too. 

Anti-plastic alternatives at your disposal

Shop green

Sometimes our desire for a greener lifestyle is met by obstacles. A Slice of Green provide the way around with their one-stop green shop. They sell everything you could want from reusable cups & containers to zero-waste lunch kits. If you’re still looking for the metal straw or non-plastic wrap, the search is up.

Ethical products that care about the planet

Welcome to the future of transport

Imagine a future where you scan your map app for an electric scooter, find one just outside your door, unlock it with your phone, hop on and ride off into the sunset without noise or air pollution. Well, Lime Econduce have made that future the present. Neither are yet available in the UK, but European & Latin American folk are there already. 

Discover the future here here

Breathe. You’ll feel better.

Wim Hof, AKA The Iceman, has mastered breathing. His mastery has enabled him to run up Everest in his shorts & hold his breathe for 10 minutes. His breathing technique can also bring instant calm. Listen to it taught here. 

Learn Wim’s four-minute de-stress

The Sustainable Scrapbook – Vol. 007

 

Welcome to Vol.007 of The Sustainable Scrapbook: Poapoa’s fortnightly newsletter helping you discover the latest sustainability news, apps, products & ideas.

We believe that for our grandchildren to inherit a beautiful world, the change makers need to be heard.

This is our way of sharing their voice with you.

Follow us on Instagram!

Fish-free fish ‘n’ chips

Traditional British fare re-imagined by meat-free Merlins, Quorn. The world’s desire for fish has seen ocean’s over-fished & heavily polluted leaving once plentiful fish stocks replaced by industrial fishing equipment. Quorn’s fishing-free solution is a victory for all, no matter their dietary habits.

Why not give it a try? You might just love it.

NASA… for your living room

The super-brains at NASA have a few difficult questions to answer for in terms of their global emissions; however, they have been wonderful enough to provide us with a list of the best house plants for air filtration.

So deck out your living room like the space station and breathe easy.

Check out the best air filtering plants on Earth

12 apps for ethical shopping

This incredible list features 12 invaluable apps for any conscious consumer. From clothing donations & swap-shops to ethical alternatives & farm-box deliveries, there’ll be an app or two to help you make a difference.

Shop better with ease

The art and science of Japanese Forest Bathing

We all know being in the great outdoors makes us feel better. But what if time in the forest was proven to improve health and well-being?

In the 1980’s the Japanese made waking in forests (AKA Forest Bathing) a national public health programme. Now science has proven the secret power that lies under the leaves.

Walk to wellness

The Sustainable Scrapbook – Vol. 006

Volume 006                                                     21st January 2019

Welcome to Vol.006 of The Sustainable Scrapbook: Poapoa’s bi-weekly newsletter helping you discover the people, products and ideas leading the way to a sustainable planet.

We believe that for future generations to inherit a beautiful world, the change makers need to be heard.

This is our way of sharing their voice with you.

Enjoy!

Follow us on Instagram!

Charity shopping in the palm of your hand

With the fashion industry emerging as one of the most polluting, One Cherry aims to make sustainable second-hand shopping convenient for everyone. Their app enables you to browse charity shop stock on your phone making it easier to buy used treasures rather than always buying brand new.

Second-hand bargains await!

What’s your diet’s carbon footprint?

We all want to decrease our carbon footprint but, without adequate knowledge, it’s hard to know what works best. Well, according to new scientific studies, eating less meat and dairy is a good place to start, and this handy calculator from the BBC can help you to see the difference you’ll make.

To discover the climate impact of what you eat and drink, click the link.

Food Carbon Calculator 

Feast your mind

Tonight, lay back with a mug of Fairtrade tea and feed your mind some enlightened viewing. 

Here are five documentaries made by social entrepreneurs. They’re designed to inspire, inform and, fundamentally, bring positive change.

Who knows? — Tonight you’re watching an inspiring doco, and tomorrow you’re down a wikipedia rabbit hole, shunning fast fashion or starting your own heart-felt project.

Binge-watch & learn

Refugees find their voice

Every refugee carries with them incredible knowledge on a topic thousands of UK students want to learn: their language. Chatterbox is a social enterprise set up for refugees to deliver language courses to UK students.

Find out more or book a lesson

Sustainable Scrapbook Vol. 005

Welcome to Vol.005 of The Sustainable Scrapbook: Poapoa’s bi-weekly newsletter helping you discover the people, products and ideas leading the way to a sustainable planet.

We believe that for future generations to inherit a beautiful world, the change makers need to be heard.

This is our way of sharing their voice with you.

Enjoy!

Follow us on Instagram!

Change, please!

Homelessness has doubled in the UK since 2010, and the coffee industry is facing a skills shortage. Change Please says why not solve both problems at once.

Change Please is London-based social enterprise that employs homeless people to serve Londoners coffee. They provide full barista training, London Living Wage and housing, bank account and wellness support.

Find their super coffee carts here

The hi-tech way to stay hydrated

If just one in 10 Brits refilled a water bottle once a week, there’d be 340 million less bottles in circulation every year! However the big issue is where to fill-up when you’re away from home.

The good news is there’s now an app for that. Refill marks all the places you can fill up on for free!

Download the app.

The low-tech way to stay hydrated

Sometimes the perfect solution is the most simple. Ecofiltro has just that! Their water filtration system uses just 3 natural materials, clay, sawdust and colloidal silver, to make undrinkable water drinkable! They aim to provide 1-million rural Guatemalans with clean water by 2020. To date, they’re one quarter of the way there.

Simplicity at it’s best.

Buy a Guatemalan school a lifesaving filtration system

Saving lives from the sky

When we think of drones, we think of bombs taking lives. However, in Rwanda, fixed-wing drones are saving lives by delivering blood to rural areas. Proof again that technology is only as evil as the hands that control it.

See Rwanda’s Zipline in action