#20. Arbor Day


“Arbor” is the Latin word for “tree”. “Arbor” sounds a bit like the French word for tree: “arbre”. On “Arbor Day” trees are planted, by groups of people, on well-chosen places. Of course one can plant a tree in one’s own garden, alone. How? There are important details to read about it. Arbor Day is celebrated on April 29. The first arbor day was organized in Spain, already in 1594. The first American arbor day was on April 10, 1872. Here you can find a list with known first arbor days in several countries.


Professor Suzanne Simard, Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences, British Columbia, Canada

A forest is more than a collection of trees

More and more information about trees, and their importance for all life on earth, for our human existence, is published and easy to be found, but what the Canadian professor Suzanne Simard explains about trees and forests, goes deeper. Her exceptional insight about for instance the communication of trees with each other and other life forms, how that happens, above and beneath the surface of the earth, is essential to realize the importance of a healthy forest, and the necessity of protecting the forests, not only for its inhabitants, but also for humans. Protecting even against humans, especially against those who are working in and for the so-called forestry.


Forestry

Forestry belongs to the governmental department of agriculture and food. Forests are considered to be an industry, not a very vulnerable, utterly complex and intelligent, ecological, unique biotope. On the Norwegian government website is written:

Forest industry is important to Norway. Active and profitable forestry and a competitive forest industry is of importance to settlement, employment and business development in large parts of the country. The potential for increased value creation is large.

During winter 21/22 massive deforestation has taken place in Norway, as I understand now, because it is a governmental industry, not seen as majestic nature that will need hundreds of years to recover from the damage the Norwegian forestry creates. Of course this narrow-minded view on forests is not limited to Norway. Therefore, this video, in which Suzanne Simard, professor of Forest Ecology at the University of British Columbia, Canada, speaks:



Conclusion

The forest is more than a collection of trees. Trees exist in a web of interdependence, linked together by a system of underground channels. This network connects all trees and the system in a constellation of nodes and connections: young and old communicate and respond to each other by sending each other (biochemical) signals. Mother trees – majestic nodes, or hubs, that play a central role in the communication, protection and awareness of the forest – pass their wisdom on to their descendants, their seedlings, generation after generation, sharing their memories of what is helpful and what is harmful, who is a friend and who is an enemy, and how to adapt and survive in an ever-changing landscape.” – Suzanne Simard, professor of Forest Ecology at the University of British Columbia, Canada.


Additional information


Update: NRK news, Norway
Forskere advarer: Mindre plantevekst og mer dødelighet vil prege norske skoger i fremtiden
[Researchers warn: Less plant growth and more mortality will affect Norwegian forests in the future]
https://www.nrk.no/norge/forskere-advarer_-mindre-plantevekst-og-mer-dodelighet-vil-prege-norske-skoger-i-fremtiden-1.15947177
Published: April 29, 2022
By: Anna Skifjeld

FOREST: Forest fires, droughts and pests will affect Norwegian forests in the future.
Photo: Anne Skifjeld / NRK

#19. WooCommerce

Questions: Why is the Cretan-Garden shop not opened yet? Why does it take so much time? Why is the official opening again postponed? Answer: “Because of WooCommerce!”

What is WooCommerce?

WooCommerce is an open-source e-commerce plugin for WordPress. It is designed for small to large-sized online merchants using WordPress. Launched on September 27, 2011, the plugin quickly became popular for its simplicity to install and customize and for the market position of the base product as freeware (even though many of its optional extensions are paid and proprietary). Read on here.

The mistakes of WordPress

Cretan-Garden is a WordPress website and blog. In the administration menu was from the very beginning also the word WooCommerce present. I did not know what WooCommerce was, and there was not one word written about it. There was not one question like: do you want to open a webshop? WordPress offered three options: do you want to create a website, a blog, or a website and a blog? There was no option for a shop as well. There was no warning when I chose for Baskerville 2.

Warning? Yes, because Baskerville 2 creates problems with WooCommerce, so many, that even the WordPress/WooCommerce technicians cannot solve them. Their advice after almost one year[!]: chose another theme. However, I have created already 33 pages, 18 posts, and uploaded many photos.

There is another issue, also created by WordPress. Without asking or explaining, WordPress has installed a WooCommerce plugin also in already existing, active, and old blogs/websites, while WooCommerce is not even compatible with older WP blogs/websites.

WooCommerce is accident number two in my trying to build a webshop. The first accident happened with “My Online Store“, also a do-it-yourself webshop builder, located in the Netherlands, but international.

My Online Store

All was really excellent, till the last moment. Then, in the middle of February 2022, after two and a half months of waiting for their solution for the occurring problems, I received the message that they could not help me. This meant that it was impossible to adjust the for me applicable Norwegian VAT rules to their system. The already existing domain name was cancelled. This could have been avoided if they had listened to my warnings, from the very beginning, in July 2021, that I live in Norway and that Norway has a different VAT system for small business than the EU. Norway is not an EU member state: in Norway I do not need to pay VAT when not selling over 65,000 kroner/about 6,500 euros a year. This means that I am not even allowed to ask customers to pay VAT for the soap they buy.

WooCommerce: not so easy and not so well working

Building a webshop is not so easy. The total of questions and answers, solved or unsolved, on forums and in videos, prove, that especially WooCommerce, is not so easy as it claims to be. Even finding WooCommerce did not happen via WordPress. After having stopped building a webshop at My Online Store, searching for another payable self-to-build webshop, WooCommerce was recommended by ProIsp in Norway, when I was chatting with them. I recognized the term, had seen it in the menu bar of the administration of my Cretan-Garden WordPress website/blog. Then I started to build, learned by doing, and asking, reading, studying. But again, at the end, when testing the shop, the problems could not be solved, and was I advised to switch the theme. That, however, is not work for amateurs like me. I could have done this with the help of the many WordPress assistants, but I learned as well, that this is often a mess also: time and again you get another assistant, who does not know anything about the case, and you have to explain it again, and again. These assistants are not all so excellent in understanding the issue, clearly not aware of the fact that WooCommerce has so many versions. Offering a new version solution which is not compatible with your older version. The many webinars and tutorials about WooCommerce prove as well that WooCommerce is really difficult, at least more complex than they pretend to be. Also, the several versions and possibilities differ much from each other. Baskerville 2, a not so old WordPress theme, but concerning WooCommerce offering a too old version that cannot be updated, should therefore be removed from the WordPress/WooCommerce list.

WordPress/WooCommerce: not so cheap

Another subject of consideration what to choose and where, is the total of costs, one pays for WordPress/WooCommerce, so for a website, blog, shop, domain name, and professional e-mail. An overview:

  • WordPress/WooCommerce, per year: 2500 kroner / about 250 euros.
  • Domain name, per year: 300 kroner / about 30 euros
  • Professional e-mail: per year 420 kroner / about 42 euros
  • Total costs per year: 3220 kroner / about 322 euros.

A normal WordPress blog, like for instance my Multerland blog, costs about 9 euros per year. This means that a business account, like WordPress/WooCommerce, costs 313 euros per year more.

The total is too much for a small business like I have, but factually for all, since WordPress as a webshop itself, does not offer the quality that fits with their prices. The technicians, there to help you, because they are included in the price you pay, are not well-informed, do not function professionally, work in a not working WordPress-support-system, and in some cases, like in mine with the Baskerville 2, they cannot even solve the problems. You do not get any discount for the fact that the shop cannot be opened because of WordPress’s not well functioning and poorly informing system. Also, I have to pay the same costs as an e-commerce with a 1000 times higher income per year. A pity that WordPress/WooCommerce has no cheaper possibilities for starters who do not have so much capital to invest or to spend. The total costs seem to be lesser in Cloudways. When I have the exact numbers I will add them here.

Cretan-Garden is migrating to Cloudways

Like in a real shop, built from stones, wood, with windows, a door, etc., all has to be ready before the shop can open. To avoid more problems, and since there are already problems that cannot be solved, another new move / migration is taking place.

My son, André van Berlo, well-informed about WooCommerce, is at the moment creating a new WordPress/WooCommerce website for me in Cloudways. It will look almost the same, the texts are the same, the pictures, but all fit in a theme that is compatible with WooCommerce, and with the latest WooCommerce. The website will be faster, and cheaper. The shop looks and works so much better! I am enthusiastic about it, and you will as well.

For those who would like to learn more about WordPress, WooCommerce, Cloudways, reviews and tips about these, comparisons, and who do not know somebody who can support in creating a WordPress/WooCommerce website, or to solve problems, visit: Mr. Geek. I found his name in my inbox: he likes this post, and follows my blog now. He has absolutely high quality information in his blog.

Patience

However. It will take some time again. Therefore, I would like to ask you kindly to have some more patience. Till the webshop is opened, after the migration, but with the same URL, nothing can be sold: it would create a chaos in the shop-administration.

Thank you so much for your understanding!

Photo by Valeria Boltneva from Pexels

#18. Global Recycling Day

From the website: Global Recycling Day

Excerpts:

  • Global Recycling Day was created in 2018 to help recognize, and celebrate, the importance recycling plays in preserving our precious primary resources and securing the future of our planet.
  • Each year the ‘Seventh Resource’ (recyclables) saves over 700 million tonnes in CO2 emissions and this is projected to increase to 1 billion tons by 2030. There is no doubt recycling is on the front line in the war to save the future of our planet and humanity.
  • Theme: #RecyclingHeroes

Global Recycling Day

Every year, the Earth yields billions of tons of natural resources and at some point, in the not too distant future, it will run out. That’s why we must think again about what we throw away – seeing not waste, but opportunity.

The last decade has been the hottest on record, and we are now facing a climate emergency of unparalleled proportions. If we don’t make significant and rapid changes, we will see continued rising global temperatures, the melting of icecaps, continents on fire and rapid deforestation.

This directly affects humanity with increased poverty, immigration from displaced communities, job losses, waste mountains and natural habitats disappearing. We have the power to make lasting changes to combat this, and with recycling being recognized in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals 2030, we are already seeing many individuals, governments and organizations taking direct action to support the global green agenda.

Recycling is a key part of the circular economy, helping to protect our natural resources. Each year the ‘Seventh Resource’ (recyclables) saves over 700 million tonnes in CO2 emissions and this is projected to increase to 1 billion tons by 2030. There is no doubt recycling is on the front line in the war to save the future of our planet and humanity.

The Global Recycling Foundation is pleased to announce the theme of Global Recycling Day 2022 as #RecyclingHeroes. This will recognize the people, places and activities that showcase what an important role recycling plays in contributing to an environmentally stable planet and a greener future which will benefit all.

Global Recycling Day was created in 2018 to help recognize, and celebrate, the importance recycling plays in preserving our precious primary resources and securing the future of our planet. It is a day for the world to come together and put the planet first.

The mission of Global Recycling Day, as set out by the Global Recycling Foundation, is twofold:

  1. To tell world leaders that recycling is simply too important not to be a global issue, and that a common, joined up approach to recycling is urgently needed.
  2. To ask people across the planet to think resource, not waste, when it comes to the surrounding goods – until this happens, we simply won’t award recycled goods the true value and repurpose they deserve.

To the website Global Recycling Day

Additional information:

  • United Nations
    • Sustainable Development Goals 2030- PDF
    • Sustainable Development Goals 2030- Website
    • Sustainable Development Goals 2030- Video
  • Cretan-Garden soaps are created from olive oil, that, because of the expiry date, would have become waste, if not used to make olive oil soap out of it. Cretan-Garden soap has no expiry date, and is therefore sustainable. This is a unique way of recycling olive oil.
  • Global Recycling Day: is salvaging the future of mankind? – IFA Paris
  • How to recycle old cellphones – Treehugger
  • Ways to reuse cellphones – Treehugger
  • The benefits of cellphone recycling – Treehugger
  • How to recycle textiles – Treehugger
  • Why can’t clothes just be recycled? – Treehugger
  • Recycling and waste – Treehugger
  • Global Recycling Day – Video
Global Recycling Day, March 18

#17. Women’s Health

Introduction to information about vulvovaginal (genital) health

The following article about the role of female hygiene in vulvovaginal health is created by three employees of Reckitt Benckiser LLC[1], a company that manufactures cleaning products. The Company produces cleaners, disinfectants, and deodorizers for household use. Reckitt Benckiser’s products serve the chemical and household products industries. This means that there are conflicts of interest. Despite that, I publish it to offer an interesting read, to create awareness about all the facets concerning female hygiene. Cretan-Garden soaps are not chemical, but natural, and are safe to be used for also intimate hygiene, if you use the soap in the right way: rinse with much water. If you never used Cretan-Garden soaps before, observe how your skin reacts. In case you suffer from vulvovaginal health[2] problems, I advise not to use any kind of soap or detergent, but to contact first your general practitioner, or an officially registered naturopath.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Women’s Health

Role of female intimate hygiene in vulvovaginal health: Global hygiene practices and product usage
https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1745505717731011
Role of female intimate hygiene in vulvovaginal health: Global hygiene practices and product usage
Review by: Ying Chen, Elizabeth Bruning, Joseph Rubino, Scott E Eder
First Published: September 22, 2017

Abstract

Women use various feminine hygiene products, often as part of their daily cleansing routine; however, there is a paucity of published medical literature related to the external vulva and how personal hygiene practices can affect it. This review article provides background information on the physiological changes that occur during women’s lives and reviews the relevance of transient and resident microbiota as they relate to common vaginal and vulvar disorders. It also discusses the need for female intimate hygiene, common practices of feminine hygiene from a global perspective, and the potential benefits of using suitable external, topical feminine vulvar washes to minimize the risk of vulvovaginal disorders and to improve overall intimate health in women around the world.

Supported by international guidelines, daily gentle cleansing of the vulva is an important aspect of feminine hygiene and overall intimate health.

Women should be encouraged to choose a carefully formulated and clinically tested external wash that provides targeted antimicrobial and other health benefits without negatively impacting on the natural vulvovaginal microbiota. Read on here.

[Additional by the admin. A.J.: daily washing with herbal olive oil soap is safe, when using the soap in the right way, which means: using enough water to rinse.]

Photo by Maria Eduarda Loura Magalhães from Pexels

Chapters of the article

  • Introduction
  • Physiology of the vulvovaginal area
    • The vulvovaginal area
    • Microflora
    • pH
    • Vaginal discharge
    • Protection from infections
  • Common vulvovaginal disorders
    • Vulvovaginal infections
    • Vulvovaginal itching and abnormal vaginal discharge
    • Intimate feminine hygiene
    • Guidelines on feminine hygiene
    • Common practices around the world
      • Social, culture, and religious influences
      • Vulvovaginal products summary
      • Scientific support for a properly designed feminine wash
  • Conclusion
  • Future perspective
  • References (76)

Additional information:

  1. Reckitt Benckiser, LLC – Bloomberg
  2. Vulvovaginal Health – Website with explanation
  3. Vulvovaginal Health – A modern blog
  4. Vulvovaginal Candidiasis – Website “100comments
  5. Everything you need to know about vaginal steaming – Healthline
  6. Sage for perimenopause and beyond / hormones, histamines and vaginal health – Sydney Naturopath
  7. The Health Benefits of Sage – Simply Supplements
  8. Comparing the effectiveness of Salvia officinalis, clotrimazole and their combination on vulvovaginal candidiasis: A randomized, controlled clinical trial – Research Gate

#15. Sustainability Day

Original article: What is Sustainability Day?

Did you know we celebrate Sustainability day every year in October? Never heard of it? No worries, in fact sustainability day means: a day dedicated to being sustainable and rethinking our rituals and habits. The term sustainable contradicts the word waste, the throw-away society. Reuse, recycling, reduce are characteristics of sustainability.

Sustainability Day on 27th October 2021

This year this day would fall on 27th October 2021, although it might be different depending on the country. The Netherlands celebrated it on October 8th, 2021. The main goal should be to celebrate it every single day! On this day, the organizers raise awareness towards the importance of Sustainability, and also share insights with one another with the common goal of building a well-educated, responsible community.


Why is there a sustainability day?

In the current day and age, sustainability is not something we hear once in a blue moon anymore. Even though it started out as somewhat of a trend, it has proved to everyone that it is here to stay. Still, having a sustainability day – like we have Earth Day and other celebrations – is a moment to remind us of this.

Thankfully, designers and brands are not only adopting the principles of sustainability, but they have started to incorporate sustainability in every phase of creating clothing, from eco-materials to eco-packaging, as well as how they treat their workers.

Sustainability is still a subject that many have yet to digest and completely understand, which is why (among many other reasons), we celebrate Sustainability Day every year on the 4th Wednesday of October.

Photo by Artem Podrez from Pexels

“Sustainable” translates to “to be maintained for a very long time”, which is exactly the goal, to be able to take care of the planet forever. In order to reach this goal, some spend time during their day teaching colleagues about what is recyclable in their office and what is not. Some dedicate the day to build sustainable strategies, others pledge to double-sided print on paper or buying only recycled paper and stationery. Using natural sunlight and ventilation for the day and so on

The Netherlands is no stranger to this day. ”Dag van de Duurzaamheid” they call it. The day is intended as a showcase for sustainability initiatives. Thousands of schools participate in sustainable campaigns, starting from lessons about waste separation to conferences at universities. And that’s not all, the Dutch Sustainable Fashion Week, was to part sustainability campaigns.


What are the 10 rules of sustainability?

There are many ways you can get involved, and you can do this alone or collectively, you don’t have to necessarily do something extraordinary or start a riot. To celebrate this day you could simply re-think some of your habits and rituals. As easy as that!

Photo by Lara Jameson from Pexels

Here are some ideas:

  1. Donate your clothes instead of throwing them in the bin.
  2. Today, why not ride the bike instead of the car (why not every day!).
  3. Be mindful of your water consumption
  4. Recycle, reuse, repurpose clothes (eh, not just clothes).
  5. Use a reusable water bottle, or reusable straws anybody?
  6. Support and look into brands that are sustainable
  7. If you are shopping online today, order locally.
  8. Why not try to buy second-hand clothes?
  9. Give it a go to vegan boots and bags 
  10. And finally, buy less and buy better!

Cretan Garden soaps are sustainable

Cretan Garden soaps are sustainable. The idea of the Cretan Garden webshop is born out of the wish to recycle the olive oil and herbs in the basement before they would have become expired, and therefore lost. Cretan Garden soaps do not have an expiring date because they are absolutely vegan, and the herbs were fully dried before using. All raw materials are perfectly recycled, saved from waste, and because the end-product, the soap, does not have an expiring date the soap is guaranteed sustainable. The wrapper has been environmentally-safe printed. The paper can be recycled again.

Cretan Garden soap is sustainable, biodegradable, vegan, made out of -almost expired- recycled organic olive oil and organic herbs.

#14. The colour of lavender soap

The first time I saw and smelled a real lavender[1] plant, was in the year 1986. The plant was growing against the outside wall of the gîte rural[2], where I stayed for some weeks together with my family. It was the only plant there. The gîte was located in the surroundings of the (then) small village with the name La Roche-de-Glun[3] in the department Drôme[4] in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes[5] region of southeastern France.

The small shrub, where I found the name of later, was bathing the entire day in the heat of the sun, and despite that it never looked as if it was in a need for water. Used to the wealthy-leaved shrubs in Dutch gardens I was touched by the heat-resistant leaves of this one, and their colour: greyish green. The unique, fresh, strong, uplifting, relaxing, wonderful, charming smell has since then become my most favourite one. The colour of the lavender flowers is light purple, violet[6].

Photo by Anastasia Shuraeva from Pexels
Photo by Anastasia Shuraeva from Pexels

Since I am working with herbs from Crete, I searched for Cretan lavender, and found on the website “Wild Herbs of Crete”[7], a blogpost about it[8]. According to this blogpost there are two different kinds of lavender: the Lavandula Stoechas, which seems to smell more sweet, and the Lavandula Vera. I assume that Lavandula Vera [“vera”, which is Italian for “true”] is the same as Lavandula Angustifolia[9], also known as Lavandula Officinalis. For my Cretan-Garden.shop I use Greek lavender, the Greek Lavandula Angustifolia.


The colour of natural lavender soap

When one googles on images with “lavender soap”, one is overwhelmed with the colour violet, or purple, not only because of the purple wrappers or boxes, but also because the soaps are purple, violet. When I started to make lavender soap, with infusing 12 litres organic olive oil with 720 gram dried lavender flowers, I was curious how the colour of the olive oil would become after three months infusing, pulverizing the filtered infused lavender and adding the result back into the infused oil. The colour is black. Not purple. The liquid soap is as all herbal soaps this colour, and dried it has a beige / khaki colour. Not purple.


When the infused oil becomes soap during the saponification process the almost black colour turns into orange/brown, sometimes, that depends on the herb, it is red/brown. The colour of the lavender soap becomes even lighter than the colour of the other herbal soaps. The smell however is not lesser strong. On the contrary. Important to know is that the skin-nourishing ingredients of extra virgin olive oil, organic herbs, and essential oils are not affected in the saponification process.

Whenever you would like to have a violet coloured bar of lavender soap, and you find one, be aware that the colour is not natural, but synthetic. Often even perfumes, which contain synthetic fragrances, or pure synthetic fragrances have been added to mislead you even more.

Handcrafted lavender soap smells the same as the lavender plant. How does lavender smell? The scent of the lavender plant is strong, charismatic, and intensely botanical. Underlying its floral sweetness are green and spicy notes, and a woody accent[10]. When a herbal soap comes in a contact with water the smells of the ingredients become more active. After washing, showering or bathing the smell slowly disappears: natural smells evaporate quickly when they are exposed to the air. Only when you would use your own body-oil, in this case your own lavender body-oil see Cretan Garden info, §7[11] the smell of the lavender essential oil will accompany you for a longer time, in a modest way, and will not -like perfumes and fragrances- take over the personal airspace of others. Be aware of what kind of smell you “wear” when you are going to spend time in nature. Perfumes and fragrances do not fit there.


The toxic truth about perfumes and fragrances

“The toxic truth about perfumes and fragrances” is the title of a blog post, written by Karen Kingston. Since I agree with every word and sentence, I would like to recommend this blog post. You can click here to read the post.


References

  1. Lavender – Britannica dictionary
  2. Gîte rural – Wikipedia
  3. La Roche-de-Glun – Wikipedia
  4. Drôme – Wikipedia
  5. Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes – Wikipedia
  6. Violet (colour) – Wikipedia
  7. Wild Herbs of Crete – Website
  8. Greek Lavender – Website Wild Herbs of Crete
  9. Lavandula Angustifolia – Wikipedia
  10. Lavender – Cretan Garden, Page Lavender
  11. Body oil – Page Cretan Garden, §7

#13. Wood ash

The most discussed and criticized part of the soap making process is the so-called lye. Lye is the chemical substance that transforms vegetable oil into soap. There are two kinds of lye: the lye from wood ash[1] —potassium hydroxide— and store-bought lye —sodium hydroxide—. The lye from wood ash is lesser caustic and should therefore be preferable. But it is not. I explain this in the following paragraphs.

The goods of trees

The wood ashes that are suitable for soap making are from trees like the oak, walnut, beech, elm, holly, and fifteen more[2]. The olive tree[3] is also on the list, but named ash tree, the English name for the Fraxinus family[4], whereto also the olive tree belongs. These twenty trees produce hardwood.

Trees are multitaskers: their wood is for instance used for furniture, houses, fences, doors, plates, boats, masts, boxes, and sculptures. Their leaves are creating wonderful colours in the surrounding landscapes[5]. The blossoms of several of these trees are used in the Bach flowers remedies[6], like oak, walnut, holly, beech, willow, cherry, elm, and olive.

In the Fall
Photo: Mike
Alpherveld 1
Photo: Anna Poelstra

Last but not least: trees extract CO2 from the air and convert it into oxygen and biomass (such as wood, leaves, and roots). They release the oxygen into the air. Trees mainly store extra CO2 when they grow. Trees play therefore an essential role in the climate change, and there even exist so-called compensation-forests, created to compensate the CO2 emissions from the industry[7].

Trees, wildfires, deforestation, economic fascism, eco-terrorism and the climate change

Worldwide, during almost three centuries, a by economic fascism[8] created violence against nature took place. It has increased extremely fast after WWII. Humans plundered nature, exploited nature. This has resulted in the man-made climate change. The 2021 report about the climate change makes clear that the natural balance of nature is irreversible destroyed. We experience an increase in extreme weather: droughts and floods. Extreme droughts create wildfires. The devastating effects of the wildfires of 2021 have created a catastrophic loss of CO2 converters. There is another worrying factor: tropical forests are losing their ability to absorb carbon[9]. Wildfires create carbon. Recent evidence indicates that as much as ten per cent of wildfire produced carbon remains in the atmosphere, contributing to global warming[10].

Not only wildfires create deforestation: because of the mining of coltan, enormous areas of the rainforests in Congo have been deforested. Coltan is used by the telecom industry, to create batteries for cellphones, but coltan is also used to create batteries for electric cars[11].

There can also be other reasons that trees are hacked down: criminality and ecoterrorism[12].

Olive grove in Crete. Thirty-five years old olive trees were cut, but not by the owner[13]. Also in Israel, West Bank, this happens. “Jewish settlers have gone on a rampage in occupied West Bank towns and villages, hacking down hundreds of olive orchards just as they were about to be harvested.”[14, story of 2003, but also in 2021 this happens[15].] This is named ecoterrorism.

A form of economic fascism[8] is the extreme violence against nature for economic profit: the hacking down of trees for the rollout of 5G. Where 5G is going up, all around the world where 5G is going up, trees are coming down. The reason is: trees inhibit the progress of 5G.[16, lecture Barrie Trower, part 2, at 06:03]. Trees suffer anyhow from the radiation of cell towers. Every time you use a wireless device, you attack the trees between your device and the cell tower[17][18]. Finally, parts of the tree die, or the tree dies completely[19].

Because this kind of economic fascism takes place on behalf of democratic governments and even unions like the EU, and USA, it is not recognized as economic fascism, but essentially it is economic fascism. It is blind naïveness that makes one believe that WWII brought fascism to an end. Is the urge for 5G making the cutting down of trees a responsible choice? No. We absolutely do not need 5G. Industrialists are masters in brainwashing minds in order to sell their unnecessary products. This has to stop. We cannot endlessly continue exploiting nature for the economic growth of the rich countries. On the long term—but not that long—there is nothing left. We stare into the abyss[20, PDF, page 36, conclusion].

Conclusion

When we add all these facts up, we can only conclude that making natural soap with wood ashes is not environmental friendly, not sustainable. Trees become endangered, worldwide. Soaps, made with wood ash, are therefore not environmentally friendly soaps. When the soap manufacturer uses the wood of a tree that died naturally, the use of wood ash is ethically correct. The price of each bar of soup should be adapted accordingly. The profit of each single bar of soap made with wood ash should be donated to rainforest protection groups, or scientists who research the dramatic effects of wireless radiation on trees[18].


References and additional information
  1. Ash – Wikipedia
  2. 20 Different Types of Hardwood Trees – Pro Garden Tips
  3. Is olive tree a hardwood? – Askingglot
  4. Fraxinus – Wikipedia
  5. Trees – Gallery on Flickr
  6. Dr Edward Bach flower remedies – Multerland
  7. Bossen voor niets geplant: CO2 compensatie in rook op – RTL nieuws
  8. Economic fascism – Foundation for Economic Education
  9. Tropical forests losing their ability to absorb carbon, study finds – The Guardian
  10. Wildfires, Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Climate Change – Future Directions International
  11. Deforestation in Congo – Multerland YouTube
  12. Ecoterrorism – Merriam-Webster
  13. He went to his olive grove and found the olive trees cut – Creta Live News
  14. Jewish settlers destroy olive groves – Al Jazeera
  15. Israeli settlers destroy 100 olive trees in West Bank – Anadolu Agency, Turkey
  16. Trees hacked down because of 5G — Lecture Barrie Trower, part 2, at 06:03 – Multerland
  17. Andrew Goldsworthy ~ Tree damage: Effects of Electromagnetic Stress in Trees ~ 2011 – Multerland YouTube
  18. Collection of articles and scientific research about the impact of EMF on trees – Multerland
  19. Tree Damage – Observation Guide, by Helmut Breunig, March 2017 – Multerland
  20. Report UNESCO – PDF
  21. Protecting Crete’s ancient olive trees from being fed to the fire – Ekathimerini
  22. Wildfire ash damaging to vehicles – Sonoma News
  23. Effect of Wood Ash Waste from Black Soap- making on Heavy Metals in Leaf Amaranth, Cowpea and Maize – ResearchGate

#12. Sappho, and the origin of soap

The following article is a machine-translation of “Η οικογενειακή επιχείρηση του Οδυσσέα Ελύτη που έφτιαχνε σαπούνια”, “The family business of Odysseas Elytis who made soaps”, published in News on July 21, 2017. Odysseas Elytis (1911-1996), was a Greek poet, essayist and translator.[1]. His real name is Odysseas Alepoudelis. The name Alepoudelis[Αλεπουδέλης] is also the name of the soap factory in Heraklion, Crete.

Odysseas Alepoudelis was born on November 2, 1911 in Heraklion, Crete and was the son of Panagiotis Alepoudelis, a businessman from Lesbos[2], who had one of the largest and most famous soap factories in Greece.

The Alepoudelis soap factory was founded in Heraklion, Crete, in 1895. In the time of World War I, Elytis’s father, Panagiotis, moved his soap factory to Athens, to the area of ​​Piraeus. The Alepoudelis family, and of course Benjamin Odysseas, also moves to Athens. However, the origin of Elytis’ father, Lesvos, was determining the choice for a soap factory.

What we all know today is that a traditional soap, made from olive oil (a product that – remarkably – abroad is considered particularly valuable and a kind of luxury), comes, according to Greek mythology, from Lesbos. A legend tells that the women of ancient Lesbos washed their clothes in the river (as all women did at that time). So they noticed that the animal remains, along with the fats from the animals that were burned as sacrifices in the ancient sanctuaries near the river, swept away the ashes and formed a pale yellow stream that ended up in the river. On the days when the yellow stream flowed into the river, the clothes were washed better. And the soap was made! According to the ancient Greek legend, the soap got its name from the famous poet of Lesbos, Sappho[3][4].

[The word soap is related with the Latin word “sapo”, the French “savon”, the Italian sapone, and the Spanish “jabon”[5]. Those who have studied medicinal herbs and their active ingredients know about the so-called saponins[6], which have indeed characteristics of what we name soap. The word soap, and the term saponification[7] are therefore without any doubt only related with the term saponin. Admin]

Sappho (c. 630 – c. 570 BCE)

Until the time of the industrial revolution, all over the (known) world, soaps were produced in exactly the same way as the women of ancient Lesbos invented it. There have been soap factories on the island all these centuries. After the revolution of 1821, until the destruction of Izmir[8] (1922), soap making was a very lucrative Greek productive activity, with Lesvos soaps being exported from Constantinople[9] to Alexandria[10] and New York.

It should be noted that shortly before the Asia Minor[11] catastrophe, over 50% of Greek soap exports were from Lesbos. It was also the sttlement of 1 or 2 soap factories in the country.

One of the most famous soap factories (originating from Lesbos, based in Crete and then Piraeus, as mentioned above) was the company “Alepoudelis”, owned by the family of the poet Odysseas Elytis. “Alepoudelis” soaps were known all over the world, thanks to the pure olive oil they contained and the softness they offered. The “Alepoudeli” factory was one of the most modern at that time (of the first decades of 1900), and at the same time it was a huge export company since most of the production was exported to Egypt, Turkey, England and the USA. When Elytis’ father died in 1925, the business passed into the hands of Pangiotis’s younger brother and co-founder of the soap factory, Thrasyvoulos Alepoudelis, Elytis’s uncle, had the business idea to establish a separate department in the company, for the production of soaps that used only excellent olive oil and coconut oil, something that then put them at the top of European quality standards.

The company “Alepoudelis and Co.” also had branches in Crete, Corfu, Thessaloniki and – of course – Mytilene (Lesbos). The production of the soap factory continued unabated, surviving the enormous obstacle of World War II. Despite the huge business and commercial success of the company that bore his ancestral name, however, Odysseas did not want to deal with it. In fact, according to the information regarding his biography, the main reason that he changed his name to “Elytis” was precisely to separate his position and his … fate from the family business. The rest is history of course for the Greek poet … As for the family business: Alepoudelis soaps are produced until today. If you take a closer look at the well-known green soaps that are sold in many tourist shops throughout Greece, you will see the brand “Alepoudelis” in them.

The family soap-business lost Odysseas, but Art welcomed him.


References and additional information:
  1. Odysseas Elytis – Wikipedia
  2. Lesbos – Wikiwand
  3. Sappho – Wikiwand
  4. Guide to the classics: Sappho, a poet in fragments – The Conversation
  5. Soap – Online Etymology Dictionary
  6. Saponification – Merriam Webster dictionary
  7. Saponin – Wikipedia
  8. Izmir – Wikiwand
  9. Constantinople – Wikiwand
  10. Alexandria – Wikiwand
  11. Asia Minor – Wikiwand
  12. Alepoudelis Soap Factory – Blog In Silencio
  13. Documentary: Αθηνά & Σαπουνοποιίες στο Ηράκλειο / Athena & Soap Factories in Heraklion – YouTube
  14. All bar none: How ancient soap making methods are reinvigorating Crete – Geographical

#11. Shampoo

Shampoos are just another kind of soap, a liquid soap, and with as many chemicals as the most of the industrial soaps and detergents. Even the neutral shampoos can contain chemicals. Read therefore the information on the box or container before buying a soap or shampoo. Soap is per definition alkaline. Shampoos therefore as well. To make a shampoo more neutral, by lowering the alkalinity, the industry uses mostly chemicals, acidic chemicals. To make a shampoo lather the industry adds special chemicals, named sulfates. An informational article about it: The facts about shampoo lather. Lather is not a guarantee that your hair and scalp become clean though.

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Shampoos, all sorts of shampoos, the many brands, all are claiming to be the best for your hair, offering for every hair type another shampoo, another conditioner, another hair mask. I have used for as long as they exist pH nautral shampoos, hair conditioners, masks, but my hair was, despite the neutral pH of the shampoos, and the beautiful natural conditoners, and masks, never really okay. My hair is thick, curly, dry, fluffy, and now I am becoming grey it is even dryer. I have tried everything. Because of the mentioned characteristics of my hair it is impossible to have it long. Not even half long.

Herbal olive oil soap as a shampoo bar

I have started lately to use my own herbal olive soap for hair washing, to see what happens. It looks better and better. . The most significant difference is that I do not need to wash my hair more than once per week. My hair looks and feels normal, is so much easier to be dressed. I was wondering why.

Though pH neutral shampoos can be used every day, the question is if washing your hair every day is really okay for hair and scalp. My thoughts go far back in time when hair was washed just once per week. That had a reason: the skin of the scalp is not the same skin as on the rest of your body. Every single hair is growing out of the scalp-skin and it is the skin that keeps the hair in a good condition. We need indeed hair conditioners and hair masks when we wash the hair daily. But if we offer the skin of the scalp the time to do their work in their own natural way, and if we do not immediately destroy their work, by daily taking away what the skin itself produces, namely sebum, we do not need hair conditioners as we do now. Daily washing the hair is maybe okay according to shampoo manufacturers, but it is a matter of logic thinking that the natural resistance of the skin and the hair will decrease because of exhaustion, or will become overactive at the very beginning, when the daily shampoo attacks start, even when the shampoo is pH neutral. Using a neutral shampoo once per week was for me not the solution. Reason to use it more. And that did not work either.

A natural conditioner: argan oil

My own experiences with my oily cold process herbal olive soaps are that washing my hair with it once per week is really enough. After making my hair towell dry I use a teaspoon pure argan oil and spread it over and through the towel-dry hair and massage it into the scalp and hair. I let the hair dry naturally. My fluffy, dry hair is gone, but I expect that hte condition of my hair will improve more. In a few weeks I will add an update here.

To make it more personal I have added about 20 drops of rosemary essential oil to the 50 ml bottle, and stirred it very good. Argan oil and essential oils can be bought at House of Deli, Crete:

Additional information
  1. What ages hair? – PubMed
  2. Hairloss due to electromagnetic radiation from overuse of cellphone – ResearchGate

My personal experiences with EMF and hair loss: during the time that I was not aware of the impact of EMF on my health, not informed about symptoms of overradiation, I was indeed losing so much hair that I was wondering what was going on. I have written about this in my blog Multerland, in several posts[Archives 2017-2018]. It was the start of a private study about EMF. The consultation of an osteopath was helpful to stop my bad physical condition: she worked on my scalp, neck, and it felt as if a layer of glass broke and my scalp was back to normal again. After several treatments my hair was growing again. The new hair looked like baby hair, but after some months it was back to normal. The only way to get rid of the effects if wireless radiation is to live in an EMF free environment. I bought the Acousticom2. This calibrated device is able to measure EMF. In this way I could find the rooms where the radiation is almost zero, or at least the less, where to put the bed, where the desk with computer. Of course all wireless is turned off, the smart meter is turned off, the Wi-Fi is turned off, also in the computer and printer. All is cabled, I do not have internet on my cellphone and mostly the cellphone is on flymodus.

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