This area of the Amazon would have once been entirely green. Photo by Astro_Alex.

As more and more people turn towards vegetarianism or veganism, soya is becoming an increasingly popular meat alternative and a standard product on supermarket shelves. Due to environmental concerns, many people have made the switch — beef is one of the most environmentally unfriendly products globally — but soya may not be that much better. The bean has been linked to increased deforestation, reduced biodiversity, carbon emissions and soil erosion. But how can a plant cause so much destruction?

Brazil is one of the largest soya producers in the world. According to an International Grains Council report, the country will…


The Chanel №5 bottle is famous for its sleek and simplistic design. Photo by Jess Bailey on Unsplash

Few perfumes are as famous or as revolutionary as Chanel №5. With its mixture of eighty individual scents, the fragrance was considered ground-breaking at the time of its debut in Coco Chanel’s Paris boutique. Marilyn Monroe made the perfume sexy when she told a reporter she wore nothing but №5 to bed. And when the fragrance was rebranded in the 1970s, it was advertised as something new — a scent created for a woman’s private enjoyment and not to attract men.

Throughout its history, it has emphasised the paradoxes in women’s lives, from the original complex scent in a simplistic…


Photo by Anton Darius on Unsplash

Are they a quintessential British flower? Amy Hetherington investigates the real origins of daffodils in the UK and how they became the national symbol of Wales.

How did they get here?

Daffodils are favourites among British gardeners — they’re bright, cheerful and grow easily, but they’re not native to the UK. As a member of the narcissus family, they originated in southern Europe and North Africa and were especially prevalent in the western Mediterranean. The Romans believed that daffodils had healing powers. So much so that they brought the flower with them to Britain. Since then, they have flourished despite our cooler climate and no more so than in Wales.

Isn’t the leek the national symbol of Wales?

Yes, the leek is a national symbol of Wales and was so long before the daffodil. The origins of this are…


Yoga seems to be the perfect lockdown exercise. You don’t need much space; it can be practised in the comfort of your own home and has proven physical and mental benefits. But is it really that easy?

Now gyms and other sports facilities have closed, yoga classes have gone online. This is great news for those who want to continue their practice during a lockdown or who struggle to get to their local gym’s classes. But this change does come with a price. Iyengar yoga teacher Tanya Devonshire-Jones and student Lucy Dalley explained why.

Tanya’s dog joins her for yoga practice.

What is Iyengar yoga?

Iyengar yoga is a purist form…

Amy Hetherington

Journalist, blogger … and ex-archaeologist. Previously written on topics concerning disability, music, mental health, online dating and archaeology. Loves dogs.

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