All posts tagged: sustainability

Nothing superficial here – Arlesheim, Switzerland

This week in Arlesheim, Switzerland team has taught me that nothing is superficial at Weleda – It’s with purpose. Or not at all. My week in Switzerland, the birthplace of Weleda and Anthroposophy – which helps guide the principles of Weleda, has helped me discover the deeper reasons behind why Weleda do the things they do. If it doesn’t work to strengthen the balance of the body, mind and spirit it has no place here. From people to plants to purpose – nothing happens by accident here. My wonderful guide the week was Christoph Lüthi. He has been with the company for many years and you would be hard pressed to find a person with more well-rounded knowledge of the Weleda products, philosophy and the region around Arlesheim, Switzerland. Anything I have learnt this week, I owe it to his calm explanations and wealth of wisdom. Where it all began Together we took a tour of the Goetheanum, built by Weleda’s founder, Rudolf Steiner, as a center for the anthroposophic movement and its various activities …

Falling in love with the city of cyclists

The Dutch have the reputation of being one of the happiest nations in the world With their sustainable, healthy lifestyles, accepting nature and liberated attitudes it’s no wonder they have smiles on their faces. Holland is home to 17 million people… I could honestly be very tempted to make that 17 million and 1. To quote an iconic Australia ad for Qantas… “I’ve been to cities all over the world. From New York to Paris and old London town… but no matter how far, or how wide I roam”.… I’m sorry Qantas commercial from 1997… Holland is the first country to tempt me away from calling Australia home.” Why I’ve got a big crush on the bicycle capital of the world Did you know that Holland has more bikes per capita than any other European country? I love ride bikes rather than using taxis when I’m traveling. The wind in my hair always makes me feel free, I get my bearings so much quicker when I have my own wheels and there’s no barriers that stop …

Bending the circle of life back into shape

Seeing new born nature at work with Natuurmonumenten – Holland’s largest nature conservation organization. Iwas lucky enough to join Hanne and José, two of 400 Natuurmonumenten forresters to visit the nature reserves in Pietersberg, Maastricht. Here, Weleda and Natuurmonumenten, are working together to restore nature. Sorry to share this statistic with you but only 15% of biodiversity is left in Holland. But this isn’t a sad story, if anything, the opposite. The wonky wheel doesn’t have to be the circle of life We know that we are doing some pretty damaging things to our planet. We’re a bit bent out of shape and we know we are not enjoying the smoothest of rides into the future. But what I am loving learning is it doesn’t take much to straighten ourselves out, and bend the circle of life into shape. Together we stood overlooking the perfect ‘before and after scenario’ of new born nature at work. To our left is the ENCI quarry which will be returned to Natuurmonumenten in 2020 and turned into limestone based nature. …

Busy hands. Big conversations.

Harvesting Primula with Jan Graafland, Garden Manager in Zoetermeer, NL. The European chapter of Global Garden has begun and the Netherlands has put on such a great show. It wasn’t meant to be a harvest day today but when nature calls, Jan the ‘Nature Manager’ of Weleda Zoetermeer and I came running. When the bees are buzzing around the small yellow Primula flowers it means it prime to get picking. Things run on nature’s calendar here. Here the bees are the boss. Busy hands made for big conversations as together Jan and I picked the 700 grams the in-house pharmacists needed to turn the flowers into natural medicines for the heart. There is a Dutch saying, that goes along the lines : ‘Talking and knitting go hand and hand, but one mustn’t forget about the knitting.’ That might have been a gentle reminder that I was getting too enthralled in the conversation and I needed up the pace on my picking. The harvesting to processing happened in Zoetermeer with-in an hour and a half… that’s fast …

The best of Brazil

Today, I am leaving the vibrant country of Brazil. A place as warm as the people themselves. A s I wait at the airport I can’t help but reflect on the week that was, and want to share the experiences that it brought me. Here’s my best of Brazil. Monte Azul – A favela built with opportunity The experience that will stay with me forever is seeing power of community working together to build the São Paulo favela of Monte Azul. I’m not just talking about bricks and mortar… they did that too. But the more important thing that they have built is a community that wants to make sure that all its inhabitants can overcome the odds. I spent the day wandering where it all began with Hully, a volunteer now full-time employee of Monte Azul. She explained to me that a high proportion of the Monte Azul population was unemployed, so the community put them to use, to build natural birthing clinics, woodwork centers, medical centers, libraries, recycling plants, gardens and nature reserves, …

Planted with care. Sourced with respect.

‘Lead plants’ are the heart of Weleda’s plant-rich skin care and natural medicines. Today I went to the Veraloe gardens in São Paulo Brazil, just one of Weleda’s local suppliers of the lead plant Bryophyllum. People call it ‘The Life Plant’ or ‘The Miracle leaf’ due to its wide range of medicinal uses and also the wonderous way it self-reproduces, even without soil. That’s miracle enough! Weleda aims to unlock the inner benefits of Bryophyllum, and each unique lead plant so it can work in harmony with our bodies and our own restorative abilities. It’s nature helping nature. This relationship between nature and people is the key to understanding the plant’s beauty, balance and restorative benefits. To make these products, Weleda sources top quality medicinal plants from all over the world. These precious raw ingredients or ‘lead plants’ come from the Weleda gardens, longstanding partner farms and certified wild collection. Sourcing ethically since 1921. Since the beginning Weleda has respected the environment and our natural resources. It’s not just a bandwagon they have jumped on …

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Top five things I learnt from Weleda Australia

Question everything. Learn Something. Answer nothing. T his is the first thing I learnt in my first week of the Global Garden journey. It’s been full of thought provoking experiences. I have asked a million questions and have learnt so much. ‘Don’t worry, there’s no chance that after one week I’m professing to be a ‘guru’ with all the answers. But I did want to share my top five learnings from  my week in Sydney, Australia.’ Some of the ground we have covered this week Sowing seeds and taking Biodynamics at Warrah Farm Building a Bee Hotel with Alison from Bee-cology as part of the Weleda Bee B&B school program Detoxing the beauty bag in an Eco Make Up Masterclass Celebrating our oceans and Project Aware’s milestone of removing 1 million pieces of debris from our ocean floor Learning to get my Leica camera off auto-mode with Photo Workshop Australia Sydney in a snap shot What is biodynamic farming, and how is it different to organic? Biodynamic gardening is the next step to organic farming. …

Healthy soil. Healthy people. 

Biodynamics 101 Biodynamics is a massive topic, one very hard to distil down. I asked Rob from The Warrah Society Biodynamic Farm to give me the simple low down. The Global Garden journey will give us lots of opportunities for a deeper understanding of Biodynamics, but for now let’s start at the start. In 1924, German farmers came to the founder of Weleda, Rudolf Steiner with their concerns about increasing use of chemicals deteriorating the quality of their soil. The philosophies Steiner shared with them during this time became the principles of Biodynamic farming that are so popular today. These principles are fundamentally very simple. ‘Less chemicals going into the earth means less chemicals going into human beings.’ What is Biodynamic farming? Biodynamics is a farm-forward approach to healing the planet through conscious agriculture. It’s about nature helping nature by taking the art of farming and enriching it with a philosophical and spiritual meaning. With the purpose to create ecological, social, and economic sustainability. ‘Biodynamic farming is much more than a method, it is a …