The Three Step Guide to Buying Cruelty Free

Firstly, The Dodgy List  Although many brands do test on animals or use animal-based ingredients (ie. non-vegan) ingredients, they get around this with some amazing marketing spin. As an self-described spin-doctor for brands myself, I still find this sort of deception repulsive.  Here’s some confusing and vague words to watch out for on product packaging:Continue reading “The Three Step Guide to Buying Cruelty Free”

MSG: What Australian and New Zealand Consumers Should Know

Mono Sodium Glutamate was a buzz word from the 80’s and 90’s. It seemed that everyone had a story to tell about the after-effects of this flavour enhancing food additive. MSG used to be a dirty word, but it seems that in the past decade, the tide of scientific evidence has turned the other way.Continue reading “MSG: What Australian and New Zealand Consumers Should Know”

Take the quiz: What New Zealand native species are you?

Take this quiz that originally appeared on the NZ Department of Conservation’s website. It is a lot of fun.  Image Source Kauri You’re one of the world’s mightiest characters. You’re tall and strong and are respected by many. But with great power comes great responsibility, and you find that often you’re reassuring people that ‘My homeContinue reading “Take the quiz: What New Zealand native species are you?”

Eight Quirky Facts About The Kea: NZ’s Alpine Trickster

Kea Nestor notabilis are an endemic parrot of the South Island of New Zealand. Playful, inquisitive, bright eyed and stunningly beautiful, keas are also incredibly resourceful. Many scientists argue that they are the world’s smartest bird. Not convinced? Here are some more juicy facts to win you over. A kaleidoscope of colour The glorious coloursContinue reading “Eight Quirky Facts About The Kea: NZ’s Alpine Trickster”

The Sky Bastard Who Ate My Ancestors in New Zealand

Introducing the Sky Bastard who terrified the shit out of my Maori ancestors in New Zealand… Common Name: Haast’s Eagle Scientific Name: Harpagornis moorei (Discovered and named by Julius von Haast in the 1870s) Traditional Name: Te Pouakai or Te Hokioi (Meaning the ‘Old Glutton’ in Maori) My Name for him: Sky Bastard (Why? Because he wasContinue reading “The Sky Bastard Who Ate My Ancestors in New Zealand”

Australia and New Zealand’s Coolest Gardens

Here in the southern hemisphere, we have a spectacular variety of ecological conditions, mammals and birds. From tropical and sweaty to arid and tinder dry. From swampy and sea level to sky-skimming and alpine. Aussie and Kiwi gardens are just blooming wonderful at any time of year. Here’s some award-winning and well-loved private gardens inContinue reading “Australia and New Zealand’s Coolest Gardens”

New Zealand: An Ode To Young Volcanic Countries

Do you think that volcanic places make the most beautiful and dramatic destinations? I believe they do. Volcanic places are the crossroads of the earth’s crust! Where the techtonic plates of the earth combine and form mountains, volcanic activity, thermal lakes and more. Think of Iceland and New Zealand, two of the most remote andContinue reading “New Zealand: An Ode To Young Volcanic Countries”