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THE SGO QUICK GUIDE TO HOLIDAY SAFETY

Summer’s here, and along with it becomes the inevitable long hours bathing in the sun, the impromptu trips to the beach, the flights to destinations near and far, the car/ coach/ train journeys to the hippest festivals and concerts, the ice creams, the partying, and everything else that defines university summer holidays. But don’t forget to consider your safety. We here at the SGO have compiled a ‘quick guide’ to holiday safety, to help make sure you have the summer you have dreamed of (and totally deserve after all that studying) and to ensure it doesn’t end in tears- sad tears anyway!

The SGO ‘Quick Guide to Holiday Safety’ contains five sections:

  1. Midnight Madness- dos and don’ts during nights out on holiday.
  2. Water Wellbeing- making sure you don’t drown while you’re out in that clear blue Mediterranean ocean.
  3. Festival Fiasco- tips on helping you avoid fiascos at festivals, including: camping safety, alcohol, clothing, packing and the word that begins with S and ends with X.
  4. Sun Safety- staying safe while relaxing in that glorious summer sun- with a cheeky photo of Audrey Hepburn to show you have awesome sun safety is.
  5. Thought for Food- helping you decide what/ what not to eat while on holiday. Guidance on food, drinks, uncooked food, water, street food.

Without further ado…

 THE SGO QUICK GUIDE TO HOLIDAY SAFETY.

End your summer holiday like this…

1a springbreak

… Not like this

1 springbreakers

(The photograph above is sourced from the movie ‘Springbreakers’- the perfect example of what not to do on your holiday abroad.)

MIDNIGHT MADNESS

Sunset in Oia, Santorini. Here is my version of the sunset shot in Oia. This is a blend of 3 shots, 1.3 to 20 seconds, processed as follows: 1) Reduce noice on all 3 raws. 2) Create HRD in Photomatix 3) Blend using Exposure Fusion, sliders set to produce the most natural looking image while still showing some detail in the very dark areas. 4) PS smart sharpen. 5) PS burn the bottom 6) Nik Brilliance and warming 7) Nik Indian summer to warm th elights, masked to not affect the rest. 8) Nik sunlight, brushed over the buildings to add more light 9) Nik Glamour Glow to remove detail in the dark areas. 10) Detailed curves lightening pn windmills. 11) Dodge buildings that were too dark.

Nothing makes you feel more alive than walking around a town on a blissfully warm night, admiring the sunsets and the shining lights from the picture perfect homes. A drink in a local bar is the perfect end to any evening, however just because you’re relaxed, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t remain vigilant!

Caution + fun= the perfect holiday

  • Having a few drinks at that super gorgeous little bar downtown won’t do any harm. Just remember the alcohol guidelines while you’re buying that third or fourth drink. Remember, the UK guidelines state that women should not regularly drink more than 2-3 units a day, and men should not drink more than 3-4 units.
  • Know your limit- drinking too much may end unhappily.
  • Keep an eye on your friends and help remove them from the situation if you think they’ve drunk too much.
  • There is safety in numbers- stick together all night.
  • Be mindful of strangers- they might seem friendly enough, but you can’t judge a book by its cover. Never accept a drink from a stranger, and never disappear with one- even if your friends know where you are, it may not be safe.
  • Keep your drink with you at all times. Don’t leave it on its own- this opens up the possibility of it being spiked.
  • Only take the essentials out with you. Leave unnecessary valuables back at your hotel.
  • Think about your nights out while packing. Take one pair of sensible shoes with you to keep your feet safe on a night time ramble.

Now, go, have fun, try that delicious looking Tequila Sunrise and have an amazing AND safe night out! 5 greek taverna

The perfect place to spend a warm summer’s evening.

WATER WELLBEING

2 water wellbeing

Spending a day on the beach is pretty much the most awesome thing ever. It is made even more awesome by a quick swim in that gloriously warm Mediterranean water. But just because you’re now officially an adult- and can swim strokes other than a doggy paddle- doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep in mind what your mum told you when you were six:

  • Don’t swim too far out to sea, and stay in the area of the beach patrolled with lifeguards.
  • Swim between flags put out by the lifeguard, demonstrating the safe areas of water.
  • Never swim in the sea alone.
  • If you get into trouble in the sea, stick your hand in the air and shout for help.
  • If someone else is in trouble, inform a lifeguard. If there is no lifeguard, call the emergency hotline for that country and ask for a coastguard.
  • Think sensibly- it’s a really bad idea to go into the sea after drinking, as alcohol slows your reactions and impairs your ability to judge distances. So when considering to take a risk- don’t. Just don’t. Keep the sea and alcohol separate.
  • Before going into the sea, ensure you know what to do if you encounter any tricky situations, such as rip currents, tides and waves.
  • Visit http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Healthyholidays/Pages/Beachsafety.aspx to find out more about these hazards, flags and further details on beach safety.

The above tips can be applied to swimming pools as well. Exercise caution while in pools. Just because there is no chance of tides or waves doesn’t mean there aren’t any other possible hazards. Think safe and you’ll stay safe, inside water and out. 3 swimming pool

FESTIVAL FIASCO

7 Festival 1

Holi Celebrations at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir

A festival is like a concert, a clubbing holiday and a summer holiday al in one. It’s fun, you spend a weekend with your friends, you get to see Imagine Dragons, or Bastille, or Paramore, or Taylor Swift live. There is unlimited food available, not to mention the booze. However, no matter how fun the event may seem to be, here are many risks. So let’s talk about it.

  • Think ‘festival’ when you pack. Pack all the necessities you need. Sensible clothing, spare batteries, waterproof jacket. One thing people always forget is medication. First Aiders, such as St John’s Ambulance, are only allowed to give out over-the-counter medication. So bring your prescribed medication with you. Bring a first aid kit with everything you might need: paracetamol, plasters, disinfectant, medication for headaches and stomach upsets.
  • Find out where the medical centre is when you arrive.
  • Personal hygiene is often tricky to control at festivals. So wash your hands before you eat, after using the loo and after handling rubbish to minimize risk of illness. Always pack wet wipes and antibacterial hand wash to use, as well as washing your hands.
  • Keep your feet clean and dry at festivals, to avoid contracting blisters, fungal infections and trench foot. Wear waterproof wellie boots and dry socks wen it is wet, and take them off at night. Avoid wearing flip flops and new shoes.
  • If you are standing near loudspeakers, wear earplugs. Take breaks regularly from the music
  • Waterproof and warm clothing is essential to meeting hypothermia. But the temperature drops, try to stay as dry as possible.
  • Wax flares can be a huge safety hazard. They can spit and run, causing wax burns, especially if they are legal. So only by authorised dealers.
  • Phones are a great invention, but network coverage at festivals is often limited. So, in case you lose signal, lose or break your phone, ensure you arrange a meeting point and time with your friends, in case somebody gets lost. Don’t feel afraid to ask festival stewards for help, and refrain from calling 999 as it can put additional stress and pressure on the emergency services.
  • Camping is often a huge part of festivals, so ensure you think ‘safety’ when you choose, pitch and use your tent. Practice putting your tent up prior to the festival. Have everything you need with you to assemble and use your tent at the festival. Choose a tent with bright luminescent guy ropes so people can see them in the dark. Avoid obstructing walkways. Pack one torch for late-night blue trips, and warm sleeping bag with enough bedding. Avoid naked flames and smoking within the tent, and ensure you know the fire safety arrangements, such as where the nearest source of water is. If there is a fire in your tent, get everyone out quickly.
  • Now… let’s talk about booze. Downing two bottles of cider with your mates may seem a good idea at first, but alcohol can distort you perception, and lead you to doing some silly things– not a good idea when you’re surrounded by strangers. So stick to the legal limit, and if you think you won’t be able to stop drinking, avoid drinking altogether. You won’t regret it the next morning!
  • This tip applies to festivals, clubbing holidays and any situation you might find yourself in. On TV shows such as ‘Sun, Festivals and Suspicious Parents’, sex is a huge aspect of the young people’s lives. However, remember that sex + no condom = increased chance of an STI and increased chance of pregnancy. So, if it is likely to happen, plan in advanced. Bring contraception with you. If you have any worries, talk to a paramedic. If you realise “oops, I had unprotected sex”, head to the medical centre ASAP, who can give you advice, or emergency contraception.
  • Visit http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Festivalhealth/Pages/Survivalguide.aspx to find out more about health and safety at festivals.

15 glast

Glastonbury sign at Glastonbury Festival.

SUN SAFETY

9 sunny beach

Safety in the sun is vitally important for your health and well-being. So don’t take any risks. Memorise the tips below so you are 100% confident you are safe in the sun!

Protect yourself from harmful UV rays by wearing sun cream, sunglasses and a sun hat.

  • How the sun is harmful: the sun penetrates the skin and damages the cells. These cells are at risk of becoming cancerous. This can happen whether sunburnt or not.
  • Who’s at risk: those particularly at risk include individuals with fair skin that burns easily in the sun, those with naturally red or fair hair, those with a multitude of moles and freckles, a personal or family history of skin cancer, or those who have already had sunburn, particularly when young.
  • Stay in the shade if possible, especially between 11 AM and 3 PM, when the sun rays are the strongest.
  • Never let yourself burn. Make sure you cover up, wear sun cream and reapply it at a regular basis.
  • Take extra care with children.
  • Use factor 15+ sun cream, if not stronger.
  • Noticeable change or unusual skin growth? Consult your GP ASAP.
  • Avoid using sunbeds, as health risks include skin cancer, premature ageing skin, sunburn, dryness and itching, and eye irritation.
  • It is illegal for people under 18 to use sunbeds.
  • Protect your eyes, as overexposure to sunlight increases the risk of cataract and growths on the surface of the eye. Overexposure to ultraviolet light can cause temporary but painful burn to the surface of the eye.
  • Wear sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat to reduce the amount of UV rays reaching your face.
  • Byy sunglasses with the CE mark and British standard, a UV 400 label and 100% sun protection.
  • Visit http://www.nhs.uk/livewell/skin/pages/sunsafe.aspx to find out more about health and safety at festivals.

1 breakfast at tiffanys

Holly Golightly had the right idea.

THOUGHT FOR FOOD

Food is a wonderful thing. Right now I’m thinking of Mexican Fajitas, Turkish Pilaf Rice and Shish Kebabs, Italian Pizzas, Swedish Meatballs, Spanish Tapas, Indian Curry and Chinese Stirfry. But not all restaurants, cafes and street markets are hygienic. Follow the tips below to help you choose yummy- but safe- foods and drinks while abroad!

12 drinking water abroad

  • Don’t drink tap water or use it to clean your teeth while abroad – unless it has been treated.
  • Use filtered, bottled, boiled or chemically treated water instead.
  • Bottled water with the sale intact is safe.
  • Avoid ice in drinks – unless you know it has been made with safe water.
  • Avoid foods that use animal waste as fertilisers, including:
    • Salads, for example lettuce.
    • Uncooked fruit and vegetables, unless watched in safe water by you.
    • Food is being left out at room temperature in warm environments, or has been exposed to flies.
    • Unpasteurised a products, for example milk, cheese or ice cream.
    • Raw and cooked seafood or shellfish.
    • Street trader food – unless freshly prepared and served hot and clean crockery.
  • Only dine in places which have a reputation for serving safe food.
  • Ensure you only eat food that is slowly cooked and served very hot.
  • Wash your hands after using the toilet and before eating.
  • Visit http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/travelhealth/Pages/Food-and-water-abroad.aspx to find out more about health and safety at festivals.

13 eating food abroad

Most importantly- HAVE FUN!

Use these tips with discretion. They will not apply to every situation, but they will help you remain safe, healthy and happy in many situations you face. Visit the linked web pages to find more detailed guidance on holiday safety.

Liked this guide? Read more on futurelifehappiness.wordpress.com.

Have you seen our other guides?

  1. Do-It-Yourself Spa Day
  2. The Allotment Blitz Allotmenteer’s Guide to Gardening: Getting Started
  3. Holiday the Sustainable Way
  4. How to get a Good Night’s Sleep

slogan

Love,

Meg & the SGO xxx

SGO Logo Website

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Do-It-Yourself Spa Day

Everybody deserves a spa day every now and then. As a well-done-for-surviving-your-exams treat my wonderful mother treated my sister and me to a day at the spa. So we got in a car and drove through the rain to Woodlands, a hair, beauty and holistic therapies centre in Bridge, just outside Canterbury. For the discounted rate of £25, we were treated to a shoulder, neck and back massage, and facial. For those who have never tried a massage, I would definitely recommend it; walking away from it you feel relaxed, fresh and rejuvenated. However, even at the discounted rate, a day at the spa is a treat to be saved for particularly special occasions. Which is why we have created this guide on how to have a spa day from the comfort of your own home for a much cheaper price.

1 spa cat

1 Cats enjoying a day of relaxation.

You will need:

  • Bergamot oil
  • Steaming water
  • Towel
  • Bowl
  • Pillows
  • Unscented Vitamin E cream
  • A small plant
  • Home-made spa style water
  • Candle or diffuser
  • Music
  • A photo of the ocean or a river
  • Almond oil
  • Essential oil

1) Bedroom-to-Spa Makeover

When visiting a spa, you will notice that they are decorated and arranged with comfort and security in mind. When creating your spa, arrange selection of pillows, preferably in greens or blues, in a dimly lit corner of your room. Clear away clutter and electronics from your room.

2 Design spa

2 Find your cosiest pillows and make a pillow nest!

2) Plenty of Greens

Plants are known to reduce blood pressure and stress hormone levels. The leaves act as natural filters which strip pollutants and allergens from interior air. Invest in a plant for your spa; in particular hard to kill varieties, such as spider plants, aloe plants or peace lilies, work very well.

3 plants

3 Arrange pretty plants in your room to perfect your personal spa.

3) The Water of Life

Being near water or the sound of water is proven to lower heart rate and stress levels, promoting feelings of serenity and relaxation. Take advantage of this by either floating candles in clear water filled vases (check with your landlord first), putting a water scene as a screen-saver on your laptop, or hanging photos of ocean scenes on your wall.

4 beach

4 Print this photo of the Seychelles and hang it on your wall to be admired.

4) Peaceful Rhythms

Match your choice of music to the desired mood of your spa. Fast music is shown to energise yourself, as opposed to classical music which can lower your heart rate and blood pressure. Use peaceful rhythms in your spa to settle your nervous system.

FLOATING MUSIC NOTES

FLOATING MUSIC NOTES

5 The music of life

5) Drinking Water- Homemade, Spa Approved

Anybody who has been to a spa will know that water at spas taste a lot nicer than normal water from the tap. So why not bring the spa water to your home? View Women’sHealth’s simple step-by-step recipe to recreating spa water here. If possible, use filtered water and organic ingredients. Prepare the ingredients a night before your spa day. And if you want to be particularly indulgent, drink your water out of a martini cocktail glass. Garnish your water with lemon spice or peppermint leaf.

6 water

6 Who wants boring old plain water when you can have this?

7) Scent-sational Spa Aromas

Scents have a number of purposes. They can trigger memories, change your mind set or ease pain. Surround yourself with aromas you love through candles, diffusers, naturally scented soaps, drawer liners or spices on the stove.

7 scents

7 Lavender candles or diffuser… perfect for if you’re feeling particularly anxious, stressed or restless.

8) Soothing Bath

Forget about your university work and have a rest from your busy social life for one night. Have a calming bath. Pour a few drops of bergamot oil into your bath water. The bergamot oil is both absorbed through your skin when you sit in the bath. and inhaled.

8 bath

8 … Or equally, treat yourself to a luxurious bath bomb from Lush… all of the luxury, none of the harm.

9) Bergamot Oil + No Photoshop = the Skin of Your Dreams

Instead of relying on extra expensive shop bought cream or hoping that your iPhone camera lighting will obscure that blemish, pour five drops of bergamot oil in a bowl of steaming water. Put a towel over your head and your bowl, trapping the steam. Inhale the bergamot water. The odour of bergamot oil reduces outbreaks and helps clear those in progress.

9 steamed bowl

9 Spotless skin in no time.

9) Enhance Lotions

Enhance an unscented lotion to give your skin an extra special treat! Add bergamot oil to unscented Vitamin E cream. This can be used as a dry skin lotion or a massage oil. Cheap and very effective.

10 body lotion

10 Keep this cream a secret, otherwise your friends will all want it!

10) Massage

You don’t need a professional masseur for a relaxing massage. Instead, follow this advice from body+soul to give yourself a massage!

“Mix two cups of sweet almond oil and 10 drops of your favourite essential oils,” Dallas-Kelly says.

“Rub your hands together to warm and invigorate energy flow. Start with the soles of your feet, moving towards the heart in long, firm strokes. Snuggle under warm towels until the oils have absorbed.”

11) Massage guidance sourced from http://www.bodyandsoul.com.au/beauty/news+reviews/turn+your+home+into+a+day+spa,20423

12 massage

12) Give yourself a massage to rejuvenate your skin and ease tension.

Now turn your laptop off, store it somewhere you will not be tempted to use it, and go ahead and have your spa day- right from the comfort of your own home. You deserve it for the hard work you have put into those exams!

Treated yourself to a DIY spa day but still want to visit the spa? Considering a spa day as a present for family or a friend? Take a trip to Woodlands for the ultimate in relaxation- a massage or facial! Visit http://www.woodlands-bridge.co.uk to find out more.

Liked this guide? Read more on futurelifehappiness.wordpress.com.

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Love,

Meg & the SGO xxx

SGO Logo Website

LINKS TO PHOTOGRAPHS SOURCED:

1http://indulgy.com/post/Za9OG3Cwr1/at-the-spa
2http://indulgy.com/post/k1Y1lDN402/cosy-bedroom-in-caramel-and-vanill
3https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/576390452287188606/
4https://500px.com/photo/6379790/lost-by-klaus-wiese
5http://www.relaxationmoments.com/relaxation-music.html
6http://www.stylemepretty.com/living/2014/08/05/20-infused-water-recipes/
7http://www.town-n-country-living.com/how-to-make-lavender-candles.html
8http://www.indianbeautyspot.com/2014/05/bath-time-beauty.html
9http://www.brit.co/clear-skin-overnight/?utm_campaign=pinbutton_hover
10http://sewgreen.blogspot.co.uk/2010/08/make-yourself-un-stinky.html
12http://www.prevention.com/beauty/skin-care/diy-facial-massage-younger-skin


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The Allotment Blitz Allotmenteer’s Guide to Gardening: Getting Started

Writing to you exclusively from our office in Fleming building, CCCU campus, we at the SGO are passionate about helping you succeed to the best of your abilities in all sustainable matters. Whether it’s perfecting the perfect sustainable meal menu, or assisting you in promoting Fracking awareness, or working together on a water-use campaign, we are here to help you. Which is why we have released the Allotment Blitz Allotmenteer’s Guide to Gardening. This guide is for both beginners and advanced gardeners a-like. Whether you have an allotment already or if the idea is just a distant dream, we hope to give you helpful tips on making your allotment experience as successful and rewarding as possible.

So join us over the next few weeks as we release our four part series of the ‘Allotmenteer’s Guide to Gardening’, inspired by CCCU Edible Campus’s Allotment Blitz allotment events.

Why Garden?

Allotment gardening is increasing in popularity all over the UK. Allotments are a cheap and effective source of freshly grown fruit and veg, a good place to have a natter with neighbouring gardeners while you’re on a break, and a great source of physical activity. So what are you waiting for? Let’s get started!

1- Why Garden

http://tinyhouseblog.com/tiny-house-concept/allotment-sheds/

Getting Started

1) Basic Tools

The basic tools you’ll need are a fork, spade, seed rake, hoe and trowel. If you don’t already own one or don’t have much money, visit a car boot sale to find second hand tools.

7

2) Make an allotment plan

It might seem more exciting to dive in headfirst, but before properly working on your allotment, get to know your plot. Observe the path the sun takes across the sky to help with planting positions. Observe your plants as they grow to learn how long they take to grow and any problems that occur for future reference. In your plan, consider the time you will spend on your allotment. Every person and every allotment is different, but if you want to steadily improve your allotment, working on it for 4 to 5 hours a week means you will start noticing a substantial difference within your allotment very soon. If you enjoy it, spend more hours on it. Remember, picking crops can be time consuming. In the summer, visit your allotment for an hour or so each night. If you find it relaxing, it won’t seem like hard work!

2- Clearing Allotments

3) Clearing Allotments

Start clearing them slowly.  Start with a small, manageable size, perhaps inviting somebody else to join you. Dig carefully to remove perennial roots, multiple times with a couple of weeks’ gap between each dig to remove regrowth.

9

4) Start simple

Instead of diving head first into the deep end, start with easily manageable plants such as peas, sweet corn, radishes, beans and courgettes– rather than those cauliflowers and aubergines you are desperate to make.

4- Start Simple

5) Manure

Let’s think about manure. Manure is used to supply nutrients and add to biological activity of soil. Chicken manure provides the most nitrogen and phosphorous. Chicken manure is organic, however is not necessarily ecologically or economically friendly as the chickens may not be free-range.

You could make your own green crop manure. These will give you choice to choose crops for each job needed. Species belonging to pea/ clover family will improve soil fertility. Green manures will decompose after they have been dug in, improving drainage and root penetration.

Make sure your manure is organic, as it does not contain herbicide from an animal’s diet of treated food, however it is often pricy and hard to find. Sow soft compost straightaway. For other types, make your bed a month before bed making or you may discover slugs, weeds, clumps of soil and old compost.

10

6) Compost

Compost is a great fertilizer. It can enrich the soil with organic materials. When using it, mix it with the soil completely, as it provides oxygenation. Firstly, decide why you need a compost bin– for a type of compost, or for compost turning.

Next, set up your bin. 16-gauge plastic-coated wire mesh and hardware cloth are good. Or build it from wooden pallets, snow fencing and a rabbit hutch. Reserve an area for composting. Burn plant rubbish in a bonfire or incinerator.

Materials that you can put in your composting bin include yard waste, such as grass and hedge trimmings, leaves or tree bark and wood chips. You may use household waste such as spoiled produce, fruit and vegetable peel, tea bags and coffee grounds. You could also use human hair, or even fabric scraps! Garden waste such as plants and weeds can be used, however avoid using diseased plants.

3- Manure

7) Work with what’s there

If broccoli is growing, leave it. If an onion is growing, take careful of it. Not only does it make the task easier for you, but you have an interesting garden from the get go.

Vegetables

8) Little and Often

Make sure to consistently tend to your allotment. Visit it on a regular basis for a small time, and don’t abandon it when the weather gets bad. This ensures that your allotment will steadily improve, and you don’t have the large task of deweeding and maintaining your allotment after leaving it for some time.

5- Work with whats there

9) Choose crops that don’t spoil

Being at university is a busy time and we understand if you can’t visit your allotment every day. Which is why, when considering vegetables to grow, it is important that you choose those that won’t spoil if you don’t harvest them immediately. These vegetables include chillies, potatoes, rhubarb, artichokes, beetroot, carrots, kale, onions, garlic, shallots and spinach.

8

10) Digging

Prepare the ground by digging it to remove weeds. Dig a trench to the depth of the spade, and barrow the soil to the other end of the plot. Fill up the new trench with soil from the previous one. Move backwards as you dig. Fill the final trench with the soil from the first.

6

Simples! Now have a go at getting started on your own allotment.

In Blog 2 of the ‘Allotment Blitz Allotmenteer’s Guide to Gardening’, we will be discussing ‘Weather’ and how to deal with tough conditions!

Catch you next time,

Meg & the SGO xxx

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Holiday the Sustainable Way!

Everybody loves a good summer holiday. Whether you’re venturing afar to outback Australia, or chilling on the beach in Tunisia, or taking a short weekend break to Cambridge, a moment of consideration should be given to the environment and society no matter where you go. Going on holiday shouldn’t be an excuse to abandon good, environmentally-friendly habits for a week. It may seem tough to make holidays sustainable, what with airplane exhaust fumes and holiday destinations readily becoming globalised. Here are our top ten tips for squeezing every inch of sustainability out of your summer abroad.

0 Seychelleds

Don’t let your vacation destroy this beautiful paradise.

1) Cultural Research

Understand the environmental you are visiting. Learn about the natural environment, culture and history to truly experience and understand the destination you are visiting. Talk to locals, visit historic attractions, try local cuisine and participate in local activities and events.

1 Tribal Dance

     Participate in an Aborigine tribal dance while travelling in Australia.

2) Support Locals

While we don’t suggest you go crazy, buying local products and produce helps support the locals, who may depend on tourism for their income. So go ahead and buy a loaf of Turkish Ramadan bread to take home for your parents, a Greek vase, or take part in a Native American healing ritual. As long as you don’t spend over your limit, it can only do good!

3 Support Locals

3) Sustainable buying

While it’s important to support locals by buying their produce, consider its origins before purchasing. Never buy products made from endangered wildlife and certainly do not bring it back home- in many countries, this is illegal!

31 Sustainable Buying

4) Fuel Thinking

It’s hard to completely stop fuel use when vacationing, unless you’re walking or cycling to or through your destination. Instead, think of ways to cut down on fuel use. If you’re travelling within the UK, take a coach or train to your destination instead of driving. If you’re flying to your destination, book direct flights instead of changing. Walk or cycle as much as possible in your chosen destination. It may be more economically costly, but it will do a world of good for the environment! Remember, staying closer to home is the best way to reduce your carbon footprint. So if you want to be truly sustainable, consider a camping trip in the UK rather than a resort holiday in Greece.

2 canadian mountains

Inter-rail across the stunning Kananaskis Mountains in Canada, rather than drive.

5) Proper Waste Disposal

Don’t let your good habits turn bad. Continue to recycle while on holiday. Dispose of your waste properly at the designated facilities. Dispose with care to protect the wildlife, and to leave the destination a beautiful place for future generations to enjoy.

4- Recyling

6) Sustainable Planning

Plan your holiday with sustainability in mind. Ensure you book your holiday with companies that engage in sustainability, perhaps through energy efficiency or recycling initiatives, or through actively helping to preserve communities and the environment. Similarly, make sure your hotel is green as well!

5 Travel Agency

7) Clubbing holidays

Destinations such as Ayia Napa, Ibiza, Kavos and Magaluf are well known for their vibrant nightlife and extreme clubbing. While this is fun for tourists, this behaviour may have inadvertent effects on the local community. Families with young children will not want to hear screaming and shouting at 3 o’clock in the morning. Similarly, local residents will not appreciate discovering broken glass bottles on pavements. Consider the impacts of your actions on the local community before embarking on this type of holiday. Vacations that are truly sustainable do not negatively impact on the local community.

7 Clubbing holidays

8) Dress code

Take the advantage of following the local dress code to explore the local culture. Dress appropriately by learning about local conventions. Remember that dressing modestly is an important aspect of many cultures.

8 Dress code

9) Bon Jour!

Learn the local language before or during your trip. Use the language you have learned to talk to locals and develop relationships with them.

9 Languages

10) Enhance the destination, instead of hinder

Make it one of your aims to not just leave the destination how you found it, but leave it better than you found it! Make the conscious decision to improve the destination by picking up trash, volunteering or donating money.

10 enhance destination

Preserve the stunning beauty of the Greek islands for years to come.

Did you know there is such a thing as sustainable tourism?   

This…

11 unsustainable tourism

… To This

12 sustainable tourism

Help prevent the destruction of natural features such as coral reefs by thinking sustainably while on holiday.

Sustainable tourists aim to make only a positive impact on the environment, society and economy when visiting their chosen destination, using local transportation, accommodation, entertainment, food and shopping. Sustainable tourists should respect local cultures and environment, buying locally unfairly, protect water, energy and endangered wildlife, take responsibility for their actions, protect and enhance destinations. Everybody should be a sustainable tourists, no matter how close or far away from home they are travelling.

Following the 10 above steps will not only help you become the best sustainable tourist possible, but help preserve our beloved tourist destinations for many years to come!

Love,

Meg & the SGO xxx

SGO Logo Website

LINKS TO PHOTO SOURCES:

http://www.ventures-africa.com/archives/53286
http://www.kaskus.co.id/thread/51d7753c611243734e000005/mengenal-suku-aborigin-australia
http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/best-family-trips/marrakech/
http://www.remotelands.com/destination/thailand
http://christophermartinphotography.com/tag/canadian-rocky-mountains/
http://www.postwink.co.za/recycling-bins/
http://www.theguardian.com/travel/2008/feb/10/travelnews
http://cyprusdailyweather.com/cyprus-activities/
http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/chickasaw-nation-fight-save-dying-native-american-language-1447670
http://bestfrenchlessons.com/how-to-say-greetings-and-goodbyes-in-french/
http://greece.greekreporter.com/2013/08/09/tourist-arrivals-in-greece-take-off/
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-1360229/Coral-reefs-wiped-2050-new-report-warns.html
http://newscenter.sdsu.edu/sdsuniverse/news.aspx?s=71060

 


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How to cope with Deadlines & Exam Stress!

Deadlines and the exam period is nearly upon us. I know if your anything like me the pressure is on and the stress levels may be high, so the Student Green Office has come up with a ways to help prepare you for deadline and exam pressures.

Top Tips on handling Deadlines:

  • Create a list of things you need to get completed: in date order of deadlines.
  • To help plan and achieve all your deadlines, break them down and make them more achievable
  • Make a time plan for each day to help achieve your workload if you have more than one essay due.
  • Make sure you take regular breaks and drink plenty of water (or coffee) and eat regularly to  keep your mind focused.
  • Give yourself plenty of time to proof check your work and make changes.

Top Tips on handling Exam Pressure:

  • Speak to your lecturer in regards to the topics you need to focus your revision on.
  • Many people revise differently find what works best for you and stick with it, even if your friends way is different.
  • Take regular breaks  from your revision. To help retain what you have learnt.
  • Keep hydrated and fed as using all that brain power can be draining.
  • Get plenty of sleep and relaxation time.

Let us know what you do to to prepare for deadlines and how you deal with exam pressure.

Love

Jess & The SGO

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Simply Divine Chocolate Tasting

So I know this is a little late as this happened in February but we really wanted to share this experience with you all:

chocolate tasting

Despite the bitterly cold February chill, guests near and afar braced the biting winds of the quaint seaside town and gathered in the warm, bright premises of Whitstable’s Victoria’s Boutique to experience what can only be referred to a luxurious necessity: Divine Fairtrade Chocolate Tasting evening. A must-go to event for everybody interested in Fairtrade or with an obsessive love for all that is chocolate.

Divine Chocolate, a chocolate manufacturing company formed in 1998, decided to donate its shares to Kuapo Kokoo, a Fairtrade-certified cocoa farmer’s organisation in Ghana. Since then, it’s thrived as a company, fully invested in assisting global farmers, and to use the power of chocolate to delight and engage. They aim to bring people together to establish global trading relationships, empowering producers and consumers along the way. It sells a lavish range of chocolate including Milk Chocolate with Toffee and Sea Salt, Dark Chocolate with Chilli and Orange, Dark Chocolate with Raspberries, White Chocolate with Strawberries and Milk Chocolate with Almonds.

Victoria’s Boutique, a cosy little boutique on Whitstable High Street, showcasing a variety of vintage designer outfits, was jam-packed when we arrived. When we entered the store, we immediately noticed the ‘chocolate tasting table’, a table laid out with chocolate and wine galore. Shepherded over to receive our complimentary glass of wine and sample of chocolate, Divine Chocolatier Erik Houlihan-Jong was busy preparing for his talk on the ethics of Divine chocolate.

chocolate tasting 1

After we’d finished our wine and chocolate, and listened to Erik’s fascinating talk on the Bar to Bean chocolate making process, we finally arrived at the time in the evening we were most looking forward to: the chocolate tasting. Eric broke up a bar of Dark Chocolate, Chilli and Orange, for us to try. He instructed us to hold the piece of chocolate, but not eat it yet. Instead, we should observe the chocolate with all of our senses. First, we need to consider the appearance of the chocolate, as it varies in colour. Touching the chocolate, it should feel silky, and begin to melt with the warmth of our finger. Then holding the chocolate up to our ear, we should snap it. The snap should be clean. Finally, take time to smell it. Similar to wine tasting, there are many aromas associated with chocolate. When we finally came to eat it, we first put the chocolate on our tongue and left it there without eating. Finally, we let the chocolate melt on our tongue.

chocolate tasting 2

Eating what seemed like our 200th sample of chocolate (sssh, I didn’t say anything), Erik explained to us how Divine chocolate helps farmers in third world countries. Cocoa trading company Kuapa Kokoo aims to ‘empower farmers in their efforts to gain a dignified livelihood, to increase women’s participation in all of Kuapa’s activities, and to develop environmentally friendly cultivation of cocoa’. The company weighs, bags and transports the cocoa to the market in the most democratic way, not cheating the farmers, and passing savings onto members. Divine chocolate is made from the best of Kuapa’s cocoa beans. This has led to the development and farming communities farming skills are improvements on standards of living including water, health, education and sanitation, and increased awareness of child labour.

Upon leaving the Boutique, my first thoughts were ‘when is the next Divine Chocolate tasting?’ I came away with a few (or lot of) bars of chocolate and a desire to taste every single flavour of Divine chocolate in my life. It created a warm feeling in my heart to know that by buying Divine chocolate over a non-fair trade brand, I would be helping the livelihood of farmers on Ghanaian cocoa plantations.

chocolate tasting 3

Interested in hosting your own Divine Chocolate Tasting Evening? Click on this link http://www.divinechocolate.com/uk/sites/default/files/img/TastingGuide.pdf to download the official Divine Guide to Chocolate Tasting, containing information about the Divine chocolate story, the Bean to Bar process, chocolate flavours and flavour wheel, organising your very own Divine Chocolate Party, and using wine.

Can’t afford to host this tasting evening, but still want to shop ethically? Visit this page for top tips on ethical shopping: http://www.ethicalconsumer.org/buyersguides/food.aspx

Visit http://www.divinechocolate.com/uk/ to find out more about this truly Divine company.

Love

Megan & The SGO
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Fairtrade Hot Chocolate!

I love a good old hot chocolate, especially when I’m stressed or it’s really cold outside.

So as it is coming to deadline time and exams I think it would be great to share this amazing recipe by Savannah-Jade also in celebration of Fairtrade Fortnight. Which started this week and ends 8th March.

If you are wondering what Fairtrade is or want to know what the SGO is doing, please have a look at our previous post here:

How to make your very own Fairtrade Hot Chocolate:

fairtrade 2

 

Please send in any of your recipes for Hot Chocolates and Tweet us at @StudentGOffice with photos of your Hot Chocolates.

Love

Jess & The SGO

xxx

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