A Little More Good » Brisbane http://www.alittlemoregood.com Good Companies, Good Causes, Good Ideas Fri, 17 May 2013 15:59:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.5.1 Download and Move to Do Good. http://www.alittlemoregood.com/blog/good-news/download-and-move-to-do-good/ http://www.alittlemoregood.com/blog/good-news/download-and-move-to-do-good/#comments Wed, 17 Apr 2013 13:56:05 +0000 Amy Height http://www.alittlemoregood.com/?p=9234 Avid runners, cyclists, and walkers: listen up! Those miles you’re logging each week at the gym or in the park can do more good than you may know. In addition to reducing stress, maintaining weight, lowering blood pressure, and increasing metabolism, these heart-healthy activities can now warm the ole’ ticker in a new way.

Check out Charity Miles, the brand new app for Apple and Android devices that allows you to log miles for a charity while you workout. It’s motivating, empowering, and an easy way to make a big difference simply by doing what you’re already doing!

Download the app for free… the rest is pretty simple!

Swipe the screen before your workout, select a charity, and get going. The app logs your miles as you go, assigning a dollar value to your distance (10 cents/ mile for cyclists and 25 cents/ mile for runners and walkers). Charity Miles is big on extending its reach – afterall, the more people inspired to move and contribute, the better! – so they ask that after a workout, users share their achievements with the Charity Miles community and sponsors. Not too tough at all, considering you’re now a ‘sponsored athlete’! Users generate more interest, awareness, and commitment from others as they continue to log miles, which amplifies the potential benefit of this app immensely.

Organizations that benefit from miles logged include the ASPCA, Partnership for a Healthier America, Pencils for Promise, Habitat for Humanity, DoSomething.org, Stand Up 2 Cancer, Red (to Benefit the Global Fund), The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, The Nature Conservancy, Ironman Foundation, Wounded Warrior Project, Autism Speaks, and Every Mother Counts.

As Charity Miles says, changing the world is a team sport – so throw on the spandex, grab your smartphone, and inspire big changes just by getting physical.

(The extra movement in your life is a not-so-hidden added benefit. Go to it!)

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Reduce, reuse, funk up http://www.alittlemoregood.com/blog/good-news/reduce-reuse-funk-up/ http://www.alittlemoregood.com/blog/good-news/reduce-reuse-funk-up/#comments Wed, 17 Apr 2013 12:14:33 +0000 Katie Fedosenko http://www.alittlemoregood.com/?p=9223

Michelle Loveday creates Funkedup Furniture. “This piece in particular had a padded seat on it. We took it off and then I decoupaged the whole thing,” she said. Photo Credit: Katie Fedosenko.

Brisbane’s Michelle Loveday rescues discarded chairs, repurposes coffee sacks and recycles denim to create sustainable seats. Michelle started transforming trash into domestic treasure as a hobby. “I just did it for me,” she said.

Michelle’s business Funkedup Furniture was born when she built cube seats for a friend’s cafe in the West End, an eclectic Brisbane suburb.

“She asked me if could make her ‘some of those groovy stools.’ We tried a whole heap of ideas to make the stools look good. We used recycled coffee bags, recycled denim jeans, recycled fabrics like curtains and stuff like that to create the cube stools.”

Michelle showcased her furniture at South Bank Markets and Finders Keepers Markets where she connected with people who were interested Funkedup. Michelle’s cubes are currently featured at Taqueria, a Mexican restaurant in Woolloongabba and at the Regatta Hotel in their cellar bar.

Her furniture is more than functional; it’s art. Her benches have been exhibited in local art galleries and markets. The marriage of form and function is natural for Michelle, who has a degree in Visual Arts. “The best class I ever took was textiles,” she said.

Michelle builds the furniture in her Yeronga workshop with her partner Jason Silabon who comes from a family-run furniture business. “They used to do a lot of the cinema seating so he knows about upholstery and timber work. He’s a handyman by trade so everything we make is to commercial standards, especially the cube seats.”

It’s a joint venture and shared passion for Michelle and Jason. “Creating the furniture is just stuff we like to do. We’ve picked them up from the side of the road and remade them so they’re structurally sound,” she said.

Funkedup Furniture is currently on display at Karen White Gallery on Wickam St near Gotha St in Fortitude Valley, a fashion and club district of Brisbane. The Gallery only recently opened it’s doors. It’s official launch is on 10 May.

Michelle met Karen White in a business course and last year they did a joint exhibition. “She’s always wanted to own a gallery like this,” said Michelle. “This is her space but I wanted to be part of it.”

Michelle's latest creation. Photo Credit: Katie Fedosenko. ]]>
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Mobiles for medicine http://www.alittlemoregood.com/blog/brisbane/mobiles-for-medicine/ http://www.alittlemoregood.com/blog/brisbane/mobiles-for-medicine/#comments Fri, 05 Apr 2013 03:56:26 +0000 Katie Fedosenko http://www.alittlemoregood.com/?p=9150 It’s hard to believe that the first mobile phone call was placed 40 years ago this week by Motorola engineer Martin Cooper. In the past four decades mobile phones have revolutionised business and daily life for billions of people.

But have mobiles revolutionised medical practice? While medical apps for smart phones are on the rise – there’s apps for diabetes management, baby heart rate monitoring and more – medicine on mobile phones has not been as prevalent, until now.

Rachel holding a mobile phone by White African

Mobile phone users in developing countries could one day use sensors developed by CSIRO to test for infectious diseases.

Australian science for mobile phone users in developing countries

Researchers from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia’s national science agency, are developing an inexpensive mobile-phone based sensor to diagnose infectious diseases such as malaria in developing countries.

A range of sensors will be attached to the mobile device through what Dr Scott Martin, leader of CSIRO’s Medical Devices Stream, and his team call a smart cable, developed by The Nossal Institute for Global Health. Sensors are being developed for urine or breath analysis.

“The mobile phone would then receive the data through the smart cable, which would process some of the measurements, in order to give the user a diagnosis of whether they have the particular condition, be it an infectious disease or whatever, and then they would get an immediate result of whether they were suffering from that condition,” said Dr Martin in an interview with Glen Paul.

Once the results are in, the mobile phone user could be told to consult a doctor or receive a suggested treatment from the software.

“It may actually tell them what they have and then go ahead using technologies that The Nossal Institute already have for mobile phones in order to tailor a regime of treatment for that particular person. And that might take into account what’s available locally, but it also might take into account the size, the sex, and so forth of the person, and tailor the dosage particularly for them,” Dr Martin said in the interview.

The mobile phone may celebrating its 45th birthday before this technology is available.

“There’s a lot of work to do just to get the technology to a point of proof of concept, which we’re undergoing at the moment, and then we need to develop it into a fully fledged medical device which could then be sold. This typically takes a number of years, and I would be quite nervous about guessing a number of years on that, but I would say at least five years,” said Dr Martin.

Keep reading 

Feature image credit: “kiwanja_handsets_20” © 2007 kiwanja, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

Inset image credit: “Rachel holding a mobile phone” © 2008 whiteafrican, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/


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Celebrate sustainable seafood http://www.alittlemoregood.com/blog/good-news/celebrate-sustainable-seafood/ http://www.alittlemoregood.com/blog/good-news/celebrate-sustainable-seafood/#comments Thu, 14 Mar 2013 07:01:33 +0000 Katie Fedosenko http://www.alittlemoregood.com/?p=9046

Red and Pink Salmon are some of the MSC certified seafood you’ll find at Coles to celebrate Sustainable Seafood Day Australia on March 15.

Throw a sustainable shrimp on the barbie this week, Australians. March 15 rings in the annual Sustainable Seafood Day Australia.

Why sustainable seafood? The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) put it best: the fish we choose today will directly affect the health of our oceans tomorrow.

The international Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is leading the charge on protecting fish for the future. There are seven Australian MSC certified fisheries including the Western Rock Lobster, which was the first MSC certified sustainable fishery in the world. Watch this 5 minute video to find out why those fisheries got involved.

It’s not just an Australian issue. According to the AMCS, 80% of the world’s fish stocks are overexploited. Add destructive fishing gear and poor aquaculture practices and you’ve got a recipe for global marine crisis. Consumers can help by buying sustainable seafood.

How to buy sustainable seafood

In Australia, sustainable seafood is marked with the blue MSC ecolabel. Over 200 MSC labelled canned and frozen seafood products are available at major grocery stores including Coles and Aldi.

Tuna melts and grilled Wahoo on the meal plan this week? Make it easy to pick sustainable products at grocery store with the Sustainable Seafood Guide iPhone app.

Looking for sustainable seafood outside of Australia? 

Check out Canada’s Oceanwise, Britain’s FishOnline  and the United State’s Seafood Selector. If you’re a global seafood connoisseur, check out Greenpeace’s Red List.

Image: School of Salmon © 2009 KWDesigns, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

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In support of sourdough http://www.alittlemoregood.com/blog/good-news/in-support-of-sourdough/ http://www.alittlemoregood.com/blog/good-news/in-support-of-sourdough/#comments Wed, 06 Mar 2013 12:09:21 +0000 Katie Fedosenko http://www.alittlemoregood.com/?p=8988

Angela and Sam introduce the benefits of sourdough and show off their starters, sour puss and Steve the Starter. Notice their great aprons. Photo credit: Katie Fedosenko.

In the age of Gluten-free and Paleo diets, grains are getting a bad reputation. While many grains, such as wheat, are commonly processed with harmful chemicals and stored improperly, not all grains made are the same. Nutritional consultant Angela from The Art of Eating is standing up for the humble seed.

Angela and her colleague Sam, founder of The Box, ran a Sourdough Starter workshop at in Brisbane’s eclectic West End neighborhood on March 4.

Sourdough bread starts with three simple ingredients: wheat grains soaked overnight, wholegrain wheat flour and water. Starters are stored in glass or plastic containers at room temperature and fed daily with flour and water for four days until they are activated. Starters are then stored in the refrigerator and fed once weekly.

I attended the workshop because I’m interested in preparing clean and nourishing food for a healthy body and bank account. I went home with my own starter, ‘The Sour Patch Kid’, and better understanding of bread.

What’s good about making your own sourdough?

My starter, the sour patch kid. Photo credit: Katie Fedosenko.

  • Sourdough is often easier to digest because the culture partially breaks down the flour used to make the dough.
  • Eating sourdough made with flours such as spelt, kamut and rye can prolong the sensation of fullness because of the high fibre content.
  • If you’re using organic flours, there will be no additives, colouring or preservatives in your sourdough.
  • Sourdough is vegan.
  • Sourdough can be made with a variety of flours including rye, spelt and kamut. Dried fruit, herbs or nuts can be added to flavour the bread.

Angela and Sam shared nine recipes for sourdough including: white macadamia; rye, caraway and semi-dried tomatoes; and hazelnut and apricot breakfast bread. Here’s one of the recipes generously contributed by Angela.

Recipe: Balsamic Caramelized Onion and Rosemary Sourdough


  • 1 cup of white flour
  • 2 cups of wholegrain flour
  • 1 cup of culture
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Sprig of rosemary


Slice onion in rings and sauté with olive oil, brown sugar and balsamic on a low heat for 15-20 minutes, or until soft.

Line a ceramic or Pyrex dish with baking paper. Alternatively, grease it with oil and dust with flour.

In a plastic or glass bowl, mix a cup of culture and a cup of water. Add the salt and stir with a wooden spoon.

Place the flour in a separate bowl. Make a well in the flour and pour the liquid into the well. Add the caramelized onion and rosemary and stir the dough until well combined. Don’t be afraid to use your hands and elbow grease to ensure the dough is smooth. Since you’re using culture, there’s no need to kneed.

Put the dough into the prepared dish, cover with a clean tea towel and place in a warm spot overnight or for eight hours so the dough can rise.

Once risen, your sourdough will be ready bake in the oven. Preheat the oven to 200-220 degrees Celsius and bake the dough for an hour until it forms a golden-brown crust.

The bread lasts for up to five days. Slice and freeze your bread to store it for longer.

Recipe credit: The Art of Eating.

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Strike a power pose http://www.alittlemoregood.com/blog/good-news/strike-a-power-pose/ http://www.alittlemoregood.com/blog/good-news/strike-a-power-pose/#comments Wed, 27 Feb 2013 05:33:17 +0000 Katie Fedosenko http://www.alittlemoregood.com/?p=8937 We know that our body language affects how others think of us but does it affect how we think of ourselves? Researcher Amy Cuddy found that we can trick ourselves into feeling confident by adopting power poses.

In her 2012 TED talk ‘Your body language shapes who you are,’ Cuddy explains how she and her team measured the amounts of cortisol and testosterone in test subjects who took either power poses (arms in the air, limbs open) or submissive poses (limbs cross, shoulder hunched).

In simple terms, cortisol is a chemical that corresponds to stress levels and testosterone corresponds to confidence. Ideally, you want low cortisol and high testosterone.

Cuddy found that people who adopted power poses for two minutes had just that, lower cortisol and higher testosterone, than those who adopted submissive poses.

I found learned about Cuddy’s talk during lunchtime yoga thanks to instructor Kat at Shri Yoga in Brisbane’s city heart. Taking Warrior 1 pose gained more significance.

Since leaving the mat, I’ve found myself sitting tall and conscious of keeping my legs and arms uncrossed. Even with those simple changes, I feel it already.

Image credit: “Rocksteady Warrior 1” © 2011 lululemon athletica, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

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