Trish INECO BIZ
Justin from ‘Coconutsy’ shows us how easy it is to make coconut bowls from raw coconut shells!
It’s super easy to make your own coconut bowl. All you need is a coconut shell and a few simple tools to make your own rustic bowls!
If you purchase a coconut shell from the market or supermarket you can cut the coconut shell in half using a saw. Or you can purchase one here from ‘Coconutsy’ that is ready to go.
WHAT YOU NEED
- Coconut Shell
- Sandpaper – course and medium grit.
- Coconut Oil.
- Linseed Oil – or any food-safe lacquer (optional)
- Use sandpaper to sand the entire outside surface of the coconut shell until you get the desired effect.
- Work lightly if you don’t want to remove too much of the natural texture.
- Using a cloth, rub the inside and outside of the bowl with coconut oil. Coconut oil will seal and bring out the natural shine of the coconut bowl.
Note: The coconut shell will look darker after you apply coconut oil.
- Let the coconut shell dry for 1 hour and apply coconut oil again.
- Optional – After your bowl is dry, brush some linseed oil on the outside of the bowl. You will need to repeat this step drying in between to 100% seal your coconut bowl.
Connect here with ‘Coconutsy’
Do you have a special birthday coming up that you would love to make super fun for the kids and also eco-friendly for our planet? That was my wish for Noah’s recent reptile themed 5th birthday party and our little earth loving warrior had an awesome day! I wanted to share with you what we were most conscious of for this eco-party and how and who helped make it happen. I hope it gives you some inspiration on alternative ways to celebrate, whether it’s incorporating just one of these idea’s or all at your next party.
PLASTIC FREE PARTY SET UP
We started our eco-party planning with e-invites, this can be a little tricky if you don’t know the parents but luckily it worked well for us. If you can’t do e-invites try using recycled paper card or craft paper invites as most glossy printed invites can’t be recycled.
Kids parties can be big consumers of single use plastics and non-recyclable items like party poppers, plastic decor, favours and balloons. I was lucky to already be in contact with eco-party planner ‘My Little Party Hire’ through the Family Eco Life directory and knew that what I had in mind for Noah’s special day was exactly what this business specialises in doing – making eco-friendly parties easy, magical and stress-free!
Jasmin Lance is the owner, creative director and party co-ordinator for ‘My Little Party Hire’ here on the Sunshine Coast. This business offers an extensive range of party decor and individual items for hire as well as fully inclusive ‘party packages’ which include all activities, styling, set up and decor, so you have the option to just relax and enjoy the experience. We chose to do the ‘delightful little party’ package and then added a few extras that we needed. This meant that Jasmin took care of a huge amount of the organising that went into this beautiful occasion for Mr 5.
Our selected package included delivery to our party location and full set-up on the day of all these inclusions listed below. This inclusive package is a wonderful option for busy parents who want something special but don’t have the time to pull it all together on their own.
The wooden tables are custom-made for children’s height and have an overhead arch along with custom made wooden seats, large wooden birthday number 5, hand washing station with soap and towel, wooden party this way sign, full recycling system – including a Bokashi Ninja for composting, recycling bins and waste, gorgeous wooden entry arch with white bunting, wooden gift sign and basket, small drinking glasses decorated by Jasmin with the sweetest edible flowers for the kids, wooden plates to eat from at the centrepiece table, love heart platters, setting up and styling.
I can’t express enough the huge value there is in choosing a package that includes the setting up and styling! Jasmin comes from an interior design background and is just one of those people who has a talent for creating beautiful spaces. Jasmin’s spent 2 hours organising and styling the party area including a tropical greenery canopy over the kids table and eco-friendly place settings and decor, with plants, edible flowers and wooden props. All included in the package price.
If you don’t want to have a full party organised like we did, you can also opt to hire individual items from My Little Party Hire. There’s no minimum to what you can hire which means there’s a eco-friendly prop on the website to suit all budgets. The wooden numbers are an amazing stand alone feature and the wooden plates, cake platters and party signs are perfect for a simple yet beautiful party at home or in the park. These party options provide families here on the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane with a quality, plastic free alternative to help reduce waste and create magical moments for their children.
FOOD – Allergy free
We organised this portion ourselves and kept it pretty simple. Noah has an egg allergy and we are also a plant based family so we wanted to make sure we had lots of tasty treats and I wasn’t having to say to the birthday boy…. ‘ah no sorry sweetie you can’t have that as it has egg in it” which is something he is use to hearing at social gatherings. The kids grazed on fresh fruit, delicious raw vegan tarts from ‘Maple & Sage’, Noah’s favourite veggie crudites of cucumber, celery, carrots and capsicum, vegan carrot cake muffins, dips, croissants, hot cross buns and more. We also had an allergy free birthday cake made with a chickpea base and hired 2 large glass water urns from ‘My Little Party Hire’ for refreshments. Our amazing party planner Jasmin had one urn filled with delicious organic blue lavender iced tea which both parents and kids absolutely loved! This was made by Jasmin prior to the party and brought along on the day so I didn’t have to worry about it, now how’s that for some amazing thoughtful service?!
PARTY THEME & ENTERTAINMENT
Our wild child is all about nature, gardening, bees and reptiles at the moment so this was the perfect theme for his outdoor eco-party in a beautiful local park on the Sunshine Coast. We wanted to avoid more traditional party games that would create unnecessary waste and opted for an experience style party for Noah’s special day with real life reptiles and a face painter.
I connected with a local wildlife rescuer, snake handler and animal educator Julie from ‘Critter Catchers’ who came to the party with 2 carpet pythons named Merlin and Bane and a central bearded dragon called Bert. Julie worked and 2 other wildlife handlers spending nearly 2 hours letting the kids interact, pat and learn about the reptiles. Some of the kids were completed memorised by the snakes for the entire time and others a little more cautious but absolutely all of them were fascinated and excited!
We also had Nicole from ‘Hilltop Face Painting’ come along and paint the kids faces as reptiles, insects and animals. We opted to go glitter free to keep the activity as eco-friendly as possible. Nicole is super talented at what she does and I highly recommend getting in touch with her for parties if you live on the Sunshine Coast.
As we decided not to do traditional party games My Little Party Hire also provided lawn games for the kids to play with throughout the morning at their own leisure. Wobble boards, large wooden dominoes, quoits, bubbles along with picnic blankets for parents to sit on while the kids played.
At Family Eco Life we are lucky to work with some amazing eco-friendly Children’s brands that helped me put together eco-party bags for Noah’s friends.
I made up the party bags myself with supplies from the beautiful ‘Behind the Trees Wooden Toys’ and ‘Seeds for Tomorrow’. These included a mix of beautiful crystals, bee friendly seed mix to plant at home, wooden wiggly snakes and a sweet rubber bee. These were a huge hit with the kids and parents loved that these little brown bags weren’t full of lollies for the car ride home.
Behind the Trees Wooden Toys stocks a wonderful variety of sustainably made, mindful, educational and unique toys and gifts and they are our readers 10% off storewide with code ECOPLAY. Seeds for Tomorrow have beautiful growing kits for children with both herb and bee themes along with garden tools and positive affirmations for kids, grab 20% off this eco-friendly range with discount code of FAMILYECO20 .
Between kids and adults we had more than 30 guests and if we weren’t being conscious this could have create a lot of waste. As we didn’t have balloons, streamers or plastic decor and made the most of the reusables organised we managed to avoid having loads of rubbish and waste. My Little Party Hire’s recycling system is such a fantastic idea, everything was disposed of correctly and we mainly just had compostable food waste left that went into the Bokashi Ninja .
It was a wonderful day for Noah who finished off having a fully clothed swim in the river beside the park with some of his buddies! So many special memories created and I really can’t thank Jasmin enough for helping me bring it all together. We are so lucky to have small eco-businesses like these who committed to helping parents create conscious lifestyles and events for families to enjoy.
I also grabbed these 3 great tips from Jasmin for planning your next birthday party for kids and if you mention ‘Family Eco Life’ you can get a $50.00 voucher to go towards booking one of the My Little Party Hire ‘party packages’.
‘Check them out below…
Jasmin, you always seem to have a new and creative theme incorporated into your parties, what’s your advice of choosing a theme?
Mermaids that go glamping! Dinosaurs that wear tutus! There are no rules whatsoever when it comes to themes. Dream up something magical with your child that suits their interests. It can be totally out there, gorgeously cute and fun. Endless ideas and combinations. Start early and let the theme choice start you on your party journey!
Do you have any tips when it comes to picking a location?
Think of a place that is age appropriate, convenient for you and your guests. Keep in mind safety, shade and have a plan B for a surprise rainy day. Gum boots, raincoats and umbrellas might not represent the perfect party weather but it can be so much fun going on an adventures treasure hunt.
What do you suggest when it comes to party activities in avoiding plastic and waste?
We absolutely love planning nature play based activities! DIY fairy garden, mermaid palace, fossil digging and many more. The activity can be started with a treasure hunt to find the key elements that are needed for creating the activity. If you are limited on space, you could play the classic pass the parcel for them to receive the treasures. Our tables are the perfect height for creating their little magic activity on and the activities we arrange in our packages are all plastic free.
I hope this was helpful and inspires you with all the possibilities available for your child’s next birthday.
Find all the contact details for the wonderful suppliers we worked with below:
If you’ve been wanting to make the switch to enjoy more eco-friendly holidays, then Easter is a great time to get started!
We’ve got some amazing discounts from the Family Eco Life community of brands along with beautiful gift ideas that are both fun and kind to the environment, but first…. let’s talk chocolate!
Help save the Orangutans and say no to palm oil
Don’t stress chocolate lovers, there are plenty of sweet eco-friendly options available this Easter that you can feel good about purchasing. Here’s what to look for to help keep this indulgence as guilt free as possible!
- Choose chocolate that is Palm oil free or has certified sustainable palm oil only
- Check out ethical chocolate options by ‘Fair trade’
- Choose vegan chocolate when available
- Be conscious of plastic packaging and avoid chocolate eggs displayed in plastic windowed boxes
Check out our previous article ‘Why is palm oil so bad’ to discover some of the common names used to disguise this ingredient. You can also find some delicious Easter treats from ethical chocolate brands HERE
RECYCLING TIP – You can easily recycle small chocolate egg foil wrappers by collecting them all and scrunching them together into a fist size ball before putting them in the recycle bin.
ECO-FRIENDLY GIFT IDEAS
If you prefer to skip the chocolate and give your children lasting eco-friendly gifts you’ll love these Easter themed ideas from some of our favourite brands.
This stunning online children’s store stocks unique wooden keepsake toys as well as a wonderful variety of Easter themed gifts. Check out the super sweet ‘mini bolga baskets‘ that your little ones can use to forage with all year round, plus these gorgeous eco-gifts for something extra special:
Use code ECOPLAY for 10% off storewide with Behind the Trees Wooden Toys!
Keep the kids entertained these school holidays with these creative kits from ‘ Poppy and Daisy Designs.’ Choose between gorgeous Easter boxes and other creative kits, both with eco-friendly craft activities inside:
As Autumn is in full swing, cosy winter Pyjamas are always a practical and much loved gift for Easter. You’ll find stunning certified organic GOTS sleepwear for kids with these two beautiful Sunshine Coast businesses:
GOTS certified organic cotton sleepwear plus hoodies, tees and linen pillowcases from Gather and Moss. All Australian made with small batch production and stunning nature inspired prints. There’s still a few of the limited edition ‘Bilby’ themed PJ’s left for Easter but you’ll need to be quick! Gather & Moss
New range of 100% GOTS certified organic cotton rib-knit winter pyjamas in grey, pink and powder blue have just been added to this lovely collection. You can also find gorgeous baby sleep-suits and super soft muslin wraps perfect for the cooler nights ahead. Organic nights
CONNECT AND PLAY
If you’re living or holidaying on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast this easter check out these special release workshops for kids!
‘EASTER IN THE FOREST’ with ‘The Wild Exchange’
Discover more eco-conscious gift ideas for other occasions on the Family Eco Life directory HERE.
Wishing everyone a safe and happy easter break!
Feature business: Salt Trading Co.
Sunshine Coast mum of two and creative talent Hannah Martin is one of our Family Eco Life change-makers! Dedicated to delivering a luxe eco-soy candle brand for lovers of all things sustainable, small batch, beautiful and eco-friendly. Along with using the highest quality natural ingredients in her candles, Hannah also creates her own reusable ceramic vessels and has full control over all the creative and sustainability processes associated with her business.
I recently had a Q&A with Hannah to get to know a little more about this incredible lady! Check it out here:
Can you tell us what you did before you started Salt Trading Co.? and why the career change?
I was making macramé over at @saltyhangs, and when this opportunity landed in my lap I thought why not? Change is as good as a holiday?
What personal change in your lifestyle do you think has made the most impact on your journey as a conscious consumer?
Grocery bags! Bringing your own grocery bags is SO simple and SO easy, seriously like the easiest thing in the whole world, if that was so easy, maybe switching to other eco alternatives is just as easy? Yes? Absolutely! Just starting with one simple thing has snowballed into a million little things.
Tell us what you love most about living on the Sunshine Coast?
The beaches definitely and the easy laid back lifestyle.
What is your favourite thing to do in your ‘off time’?
Go to the beach for sure, or simply chill with my little mermaids and watch Netflix, oh and with Jude of course.
What or who inspires you on your conscious consumer journey?
My kids, I really cant leave them in a garbage world. I really need to try as hard as I possibly can to make some kind of impact.
I love that you have thought of everything when it comes to providing a sustainable product, from ingredients to vessels and packaging. Did you find this challenging?
It wasn’t as hard as you’d think! Just a little more research, it certainly is more expensive but I feel like its worth it. I honestly couldn’t sell a product I didn’t truly believe in and that wasn’t truly as eco conscious as I can possibly make it.
What is something we would be surprised to know about you?
I have a condition that effects my brain and my every day life. Something I don’t talk about as I don’t like the ‘sympathy feeling’ but having the support from my business is something that makes the hard days so beautiful.
Do you have any eco-hacks you can share with our readers?
Save all your fruit and veggie scraps! You can grow MORE! You can also freeze, juice and compost them! They are really so versatile.
What was the hardest eco swap you’ve made and how did you overcome it?
I would say make up, I’m yet to find a super good quality eco make up that isn’t yellow, annoyingly I haven’t overcome it but I’ve learnt to embrace bare skin.
What are the 3 most popular candle scents in your collective?
Mudjimba: Coconut and Lime | A fresh and fruity infusion of tropical coconut and zesty lime.
The Sunday Blend: Peony and Patchouli | A blend for drinking hot chai in the morning sun and sipping strawberry gin at dusk. Aromatic patchouli harmonised by a base of sensual amber and rose with delicate notes of soft pink peonies.
Byron Bay: Clove and Sandalwood | A warming woody scent with bold beginnings of cedar wood, patchouli and peppercorn lingering in combination with spicy clove, cinnamon, amber and white musk.
What’s next for Salt Trading Co.?
I have a lot of things in the works, I don’t want to give too much away, but hopefully mid year I’ll be ready to share! I’m very excited for the future.
Just for fun, if you could be any animal in the world what would it be? and why?
A Whale! Really really big and able to swim wherever I want in the ocean.
Lastly, a quick ‘this or that’ quiz about the things you love!
Connect with Hannah’s amazing brand Salt Trading Co. HERE
Meet the founders: Jodie and Shari
Co-founders of Sunshine Coast small business ‘Bokashi Ninja’!
“According to the Australian government* food waste sent to landfill accounts for between 30 and 46 per cent of total waste and represents the greatest opportunity for improvement when it comes to resource recovery.”
When long time Sunshine Coast friends Jodie and Shari decided to join forces on a new business venture they were committed to finding a business concept with a focus on sustainable living. Following their own personal experience with the ancient Japanese method of composting called ‘Bokashi’ this Queensland based small business was born. The convenient in-kitchen composting system allows everyday Australians to keep their household food waste out of landfill by turning it into soil enriching fermented matter and natural ‘Bokashi’ fertiliser for the plants and garden.
Find out a little more about team ‘Bokashi Ninja’ from our recent Q&A below….
Can you tell us how you came to start Bokashi Ninja?
We were looking to create a product of our own that would make a difference to the
environment… we wanted to create a legacy. We were tired of throwing so many scraps in the bin each day. We new we had to do better. We looked around for alternative ways to compost and we discovered the
ancient form of Bokashi in-kitchen composting. It was such an easy and convenient
form of composting, we just new in that moment we had to share it with all
Can you tell us what you did career wise before launching your own business?
And why the career change?
We have both been in advertising all of our careers and have had our own
advertising/graphic design business together for 18 years here on the Sunshine
Coast, called Tonic Advertising + Design. We were keen to get out from behind our
desks and have some fun in our business. It’s so rewarding to be working on our own
concepts and developing our own brand, Bokashi Ninja.
Thinking back, what was the first eco-friendly/sustainable swap you made in
your personal life?
SHARI: I’d say reusable shopping bags – since I was young. Also, fixing things
instead of discarding.
JODIE: I’ve been using reusable drink bottles from as far back as I can remember –
since my days playing lots of sport. I love filtered water, so you’ll always see me with
a reusable drinking bottle in hand.
Tell us what you love most about living on the Sunshine Coast?
SHARI: I’m a 3 rd generation local, so of course I’m biased! But I’d say the
environment – beach and bush. We need to protect and respect our environment and
wildlife as more people come to call the Coast home.
JODIE: My dad was born in Maleny, this could be why I was drawn to move here
almost 20 years ago. There is a wonderful energy on the Coast.
It’s reflected in our stunning beaches, the natural surrounds and the people who live
here. I love the passion and care our local community shows towards our
environment. I feel blessed to live in the most perfect place in the world.
What is your favourite thing to do in your ‘off time’?
SHARI: I love being in the garden and walking ‘Roger’ the dog along the boardwalk
and around the streets of Coolum.
JODIE: I like time out and quietly meditating by the beach, or swimming in the pool or
ocean. The water is my happy place.
What or who inspires you on your conscious consumer journey?
Our customers inspire us! We notice the older generations have an excellent
disposition for not being wasteful. It’s a way of life for them from when they didn’t
have so much and didn’t waste what they had when they were growing up. It’s very
refreshing to see. For us, we get exited when we see children being sustainable, learning to compost,
cleaning our beaches, educating those around them, and doing all the small things to protect our planet.
They are our future and they are setting a great example for all of us.
What would be your top tip when it comes to composting with Bokashi?
Our tip is to ‘do something’. Do any kind of composting. Find what suits you. One
household can reduce their rubbish going out to landfill by around 200 bags a year if
they compost. That’s saving money, reducing single use plastic bags, reducing toxic
methane gas going into our atmosphere and strengthening our plants and soil.
Imagine if everyone composted!
What is currently growing in your garden? Any tips?
SHARI: Bananas! I have about five bunches all about to ripen at once. So I’ll be
making lots of banana smoothies! I often share with the neighbours…and it comes
back in kind, as my neighbour next door makes the most amazing banana bread!
JODIE: I’ve recently planted a heap of new herbs in a big herb pot. I make sure they
are positioned to receive the morning some and protected from the hot afternoon sun
and of course a little boost of nutrient-rich diluted Bokashi fertiliser once a week. It’s
so handy to have your own favourite herbs in the garden. When I have too many
herbs at any one time, I pick them, mix with olive oil and freeze them in ice cubes for
later. Less waste!
What was the hardest eco swap you have made and how did you overcome it?
SHARI: I can’t pinpoint one thing. I think for me it’s changing your mindset. Looking
at future purchases and choices to be good quality, long lasting and environmentally
friendly. … and heck, do I even need it?
JODIE: I was struggling with my food waste, as I make lots of smoothies, salads and
soups, plus I live in an apartment, so always traipsing up to the bin to get rid of my
smelly rubbish bag. To be honest the biggest eco swap I made was to change one
simple daily habit in my home and that was, I started Bokashi composting.
What’s next for Bokashi Ninja?
We are very excited that Brisbane City Council has introduced a Compost Rebate
Program of up to $70 off a composting system. It’s a great incentive for Brisbane
residents. They can now potentially start Bokashi composting for as little as $28* with
our Bokashi Ninja Single Starter Kit. It would be wonderful to see more councils’
provide a similar incentive to encourage more people to be more sustainable in their
homes and stop sending millions of tonnes of food waste out to landfill to rot.
*After rebate. Excludes delivery.
Special offer for Family Eco Life readers: NINJA10 for 10% off at check-out.
Find out more about the composting units available HERE
Making resolutions and goals for the year ahead is a great way to kick start new habits but I personally find starting them on 1st January is way too much pressure. December is just too busy with school events, festive gatherings and visitors, not to mention Christmas itself. Then January continues to be super busy in our home with school holidays, more gatherings and getting ready for the new school year, so this is a time i really want to relax and enjoy with family and friends without complicating the time and putting pressure on myself.
It’s fairly common to hear that many people set goals on New Years Eve and then break them by the end of the first week of January – if this sounds like something you’ve done, you’re not alone, in many ways the words ‘new year’s resolution’ have become cringe worthy in society. One of the best ways to keep your new intentions is to make them achievable and to feel good about the process!
Based on this I encourage everyone who hasn’t started or has given up already to give yourself a break and set your eco-goals and intentions for 2021 with realistic timing. You didn’t need to start them on the 1st day of the new year or even in the first month, set them for a time that works for you, mine will start once Mr. 4 returns to Kindy for February.
After you figure out when you want to start working on your goals don’t go overboard, it’s better to focus on a few that will really make an impact and sustain them instead of creating an unachievable list.
My personal eco-intentions for 2021 are about getting more familiar with ethical brands in fashion (this was also on my list last year), making food go further with more creative recipes that are based on seasonal produce, doing a short course on sustainability in business and finding new ways to reduce waste associated with kids – there is so much more waste with kids, anyone else feel this?
If you’re still setting your intentions these 4 below are great goals to add to your list if you already have the basics like reusables, single use plastic free living, low-tox cleaning, growing herbs and veggies underway. If you’re ready to tackle some more sustainable living practices in 2021 these might be of interest:
CORRECTLY SEPARATING HOME RUBBISH
It might sound simple but often it isn’t done correctly based on your local area, unfortunately different councils have different capabilities in their recycling facilities. Starting to understand your local councils recycling capabilities and sorting your household rubbish correctly will make a positive impact. There is a lot of waste that ends up in landfill even though it can be recycled or composted but it’s often placed in the wrong bin or should have been sent to different organisation. By starting to understand your household rubbish and where it belongs, you can certainly reduce a large amount of landfill.
TIP – A great way to help keep achieve this is to colour code some indoor bins. Having different colours for recycling, organics, soft plastics and residual waste. Make sure you also become familiar with places like Office works, Bunning’s and Terra-cycle who can take items that you can’t put into your roadside bins.
START A COMPOST BIN
A compost bin not only helps to keep the food waste out of landfill but it also gives you great soil for your garden. Setting up a compost bin is fairly simple and you can buy outdoor units from places like Bunnings and gardening stores. If you have limited space don’t let that stop you! Check out the easy indoor composting system ‘Bokashi Ninja’, a fabulous compact in-kitchen system that helps create natural fertiliser in a matter of days and can also compliment bigger outdoor composting bins. We use this system at home and couldn’t do without it now.
Reducing your consumption is one of the best all round things you can for the environment as it can be applied to all area’s of your life – food, water, paper, energy, clothing, consumables. Start with some of the big offenders like paper and energy and then move onto something else once you’re ready.
40% of industrial logging around the world goes into making paper. In landfill paper releases methane, a greenhouse gas 23 times stronger than carbon dioxide. Even though recycling paper and using recycled paper is better than it going straight to landfill, the best option will always be to reduce consumption.
Here are 10 easy ways to cut down on paper usage:
✔ from the yellow pages phone book.
✔ Unsubscribe to junk mail.
✔ Select digital magazine subscriptions.
✔ Change your banking to e-statements.
✔ Join your local library.
✔ Take paperless notes.
✔ Change to paperless bills.
✔ Select a digital receipt when available.
✔ Choose recycled paper, use it on both sides of paper and only use the amount you need.
Reducing energy use in the home doesn’t just reduce your carbon footprint it also saved you money on those quarterly bills. Here are some energy saving tips to get you started…
✔ Turn the air conditioner up two degrees in summer and down two in winter.
✔ Turn off lights and unplug electronics including your computer when you’re not using it.
✔ Reduce the temperature on your water heater slightly.
✔ Check the seals on your fridge and freezer. If these appliances are not sealed tightly they will need to work harder to maintain the cold temperature.
✔ Hang your clothes outside to dry as much as you can and only use the dryer when completely necessary.
I think the simple act of expanding your knowledge and awareness of sustainability, climate change and green living this is a great intention to have on your goals list as it keeps you motivated and informed. Here is a list of fantastic documentaries worth watching throughout the year. Your intention could be to watch one a week or 1 a month, whatever fits in with your lifestyle.
AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH: Based on the predictions of Al Gore nearly 15 years ago about the impact of floods, droughts, hurricanes & climate refugees.
2040: Australian filmmaker Damon Gameau positive vision of the future in 2040 and how we can achieve it.
A PLASTIC OCEAN: International scientist travel to more than 20 locations around the world revealing the cause and consequence of plastic pollution in our oceans.
THE TRUE COST: 2015 documentary that delves into the human and environmental cost of fast fashion in countries such as Bangladesh, India and Cambodia.
BEFORE THE FLOOD: Leonardo Dicaprio’s findings after a 2-year worldwide investigation on the effects of climate change.
RIVERBLUE: This documentary shows the devastating effect of how chemicals used in manufacturing clothing effect the river systems.
COWSPIRACY: The Sustainability Secret. Leonardo DiCarprio presents a film about the environmental impact of meat and why back in 2014 no one was talking about it.
OUR PLANET: Sir David Attenborough’s eight-part Netflix series on how global temperature rises are affecting wildlife around the world.
CHASING CORAL: Photographers, scientists and divers travel the oceans to discover the effects of coral bleaching and what it means for our eco systems.
THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING: Naomi Klein highlights the connection between our economic systems and the crisis facing our planet.
MISSION BLUE: World-renowned oceanographer Sylvia Earle mission to explore the dire condition of Earth’s oceans.
New years resolutions or intentions as we like to call them in 2021 can be as little or as big as you like. Remember to think about what you want your goal to be without the pressure of specific start dates and focus on taking little steps to get there.
We would love to hear what you are planning on changing or doing in 2021?
The excitement and joy of Christmas through the eyes of a child really is a magical thing to be part of. I can still remember all the anticipation of the festive season when I young. Excitement to see relatives we hadn’t seen for atleast a year, special gatherings, games with siblings and cousins, so much yummy food, giving thanks and not sleeping Christmas Eve for the chance of hearing or seeing a glimpse of Santa and the Reindeers.
Then when I became a mum to my little boy Noah, I discovered an entirely new level of Christmas excitement. What it is to experience the festive season and Christmas day as a parent is truly special. Watching the love, happiness and wonder on my little ones face is something I will treasure every year of his childhood and making the festivities start a little earlier is all part of the fun.
Last year I put together an eco-advent calendar with fun activities, acts of kindness and crafts for us to do together. Choosing to follow an eco-friendly advent calendar doesn’t just mean avoiding plastic trinkets or too much chocolate and candy, it also provides an opportunity to explore nature, connect as a family and create memories.
This advent calendar was based around easy activities we could do as a family with our then busy 3 year old, although children many years older than this will still get enjoyment out of these ideas.
Check out Pinterest for lots of inspiration on making a fun advent calendar for these activities to go in – there are so many cute DIY ideas!
Click this image below for your FREE copy of our eco-advent calendar…
Christmas is fast approaching and although this time of year is about coming together with family and friends, being grateful, showing thanks and enjoying the magic of the season, it’s also a time for gift giving. As someone who is a conscious consumer I like to be mindful of what we buy but as a mother, gift giving at this time of year is just so special, the excitement of Christmas Eve and the joy on my little boys face when he opens his gifts makes my heart melt. I think the important thing for this time of year is to be mindful with the choices you make and try to minimise waste. I’ve got some tips to help you make this process eco-friendly without losing the excitement and fun.
Find gifts that your loved ones are really going to enjoy, not something you just buy for the sake of it. Be mindful by keeping it simple, making it personal and not going overboard. If you can’t find the perfect gift consider an ‘experience’ gift, a voucher or even a donation to their favourite charity.
SECRET SANTA THEMES
If you have a large family circle it’s a good idea to consider doing ‘Secret Santa’. It saves so much packaging, money and is way less stressful. I also love the idea of doing a secret Santa ‘theme’. If your family all has similar interests you could theme it around that. The idea is everyone buys something to a certain value and only within a certain theme. Here are some eco-friendly ideas to give you some inspiration:
- Exclusively hand-made
- Something from your local market
- Edible gifts
- Gifts that grow
- Gifts that educate
- Gifts that showcase the place you live
- Gifts for self-care
- Something you make yourself
GIFTS FOR CHILDREN
When it comes to buying for your children look for quality gifts that won’t break before the new year has come. Look for toys made from eco-friendly, sustainable materials like wooden toys, growing kits, organic cotton pyjamas and clothing, creative play and plastic free items. If you are buying things like beach toys choose those made from silicone and with toy trucks and cars try to get the sturdy metal variety for older kids or recycled plastic options like ‘green toys’ for toddlers and little ones. Find a great range of these types of gifts from the small business children’s brands in our eco-gift guide! Lots of amazing discount codes in there too!
SUPPORT SMALL BUSINESS
Supporting small Australian businesses not only keeps your money close to home, supports other families and the local community but you can save financially on international shipping costs and avoid the much bigger carbon footprint that it attracts. You can view our small business eco-collective here
CARDS + TAGS
Consider sending out an e-card to your family network or use recycled paper cards instead of the traditional plastic and glitter coated cards. A great alternative to using traditional gifts tags is to use small wooden clothes pegs – these can be reused every year and are super cute and unique! If you’re after something special you can even find cards infused with seeds that can be planted in your garden. Don’t forget to get organised with some compostable sticky tape too.
The amount of paper wrapping waste over Christmas is huge and many people may not realise that most of this paper can’t be recycled due to the dyes, texture, laminates and additives used like glitter. Alternatively why not try something that’s eco-friendly, zero waste and looks beautiful?
My tops picks are:
FABRIC – we did most of our wrapping with fabric last year and it was a great success. You can use pieces of fabric you have at home or check the offcuts bin at your local fabric store or head to the op shop as scarves work great. The best thing is you can use it again next Christmas. The style of fabric wrapping you will want to achieve is a Japanese method called ‘Furoshiki’. There are more than a dozen different ways to wrap gifts this way depending on the shape and size of the item. Check out some ideas and instructions here.
BROWN PAPER – We absolutely love the natural look of recycled paper and it particularly looks beautiful at Christmas under a green tree. Choosing this type of wrapping paper means less waste and less pollution when it’s being made. Just make sure it doesn’t have that waterproof feel, as these ones have a coating and can’t be recycled.
JARS + TERRACOTTA POTS – home-made treats, plants, candles, jams and any small gifts go perfectly in jars and pots. There are so many sizes available and this option means the packaging is completely reusable.
KIDS ARTWORK – Do you have piles of beautiful paintings and drawings that the kids have brought home from school? These masterpieces will make the most thoughtful and personal wrapping paper ideas for your nearest and dearest. This idea is one the grandparents are sure to love!
DECORATING YOUR GIFTS
Skip the plastic bows and junky Christmas merchandise and go on a foraging adventure with your children or friends. Leaves, seedpods, paperbark and berries make stunning decorations for Christmas gifts. Dried flowers and herbs like Rosemary from the garden also add a touch of natural beauty when tied with jute or cotton twine. If you prefer to do some crafts, try making small salt dough ornaments and dehydrated orange slices, these look amazing together with a touch of greenery. Find the recipes for these and lots of amazing discounts from our small business eco-community by signing up below for our free ECO CHRISTMAS GUIDE!
Wishing you a wonderful festive season
How to mindfully design your outdoor space
by Nikki Rowe from Weaver Green
When designing our homes both inside and out, a finished space is obviously the aim, and the usual way of approaching the task is to have it completely finished in the quickest time possible. It can take a little longer to mindfully create your space, but ultimately you will end up with a space that stands the test of time, and is a great fit for you and your family in the long term.
The first step in designing your outdoor space is the planning! There are a few questions you should ask yourself first: What is your budget? Set aside a budget or make a longterm plan to save for the key pieces you would like.
Timeframe: Is there an event you particularly need the space ready for or can you live in the space for a while so you can think about how it may best be utilised. Also have a think about what you plan to use the space for most: Entertaining? Relaxing? Meals? Weigh up what you will be using the space for and how much space needs to be allocated.Get on Pinterest and create a mood board; it will really help you to narrow down the look you are after.
Buy quality: When it comes to buying furniture you really do get what you pay for, so buy the best you can possibly afford. Do your research, and even if you can only buy one chair a month, within a year you will have furniture that will last for decades, rather than falling apart in the first couple of seasons.
Lighting and plants: the right type of lighting can really make an outdoor space become magical, so it is important to put some thought and planning into illumination. Solar Fairy lights and festoon lighting are inexpensive and easy to install. A little herb garden with all your favourite herbs , include some that keep the mosquitoes away such as peppermint, basil, lemon balm and rosemary, or something for the bees, like thyme oregano, lavender or jasmine. A lattice climbing frame can become a fragrant wall of Jasmine in quite a short time!
Outdoor Soft Furnishings: Soft furnishings are the final piece to really bring the space together. Our gorgeous range of Weaver Green products are the perfect fit! Made entirely from recycled plastic bottles, UV stable, stain and mould resistant, hardwearing and machine washable. The best part is that they are ethically and sustainably produced, and to date, over 100 million plastic bottles have been recycled, 40% of which were taken directly from waterways, preventing them from reaching our oceans!
Choosing your Outdoor Rug : Outdoor rugs add an element of comfort and luxury as well as helping to define separate seating areas. As our rugs are made from recycled plastic bottles (but you wouldn’t know it!), they are perfect for bringing a little bit of luxury to your outdoor space. From Hamptons to Boho, we really do have a rug for every style of decor and design. The style of your outdoor space should reflect the style inside the house, and it’s nice to keep a thread of colour running through both spaces. Outdoor cushions, throws and blankets are another area where it is worth investing in something that is not only beautiful, but will last. Our mould resistant and UV stable material is perfect for outdoor areas, to make a comfortable haven for all seasons!
To view the full range and get inspiration visit the Weaver Green website or call into their showroom at Noosaville:
Find all the website information and contact details HERE