6 Ways to Celebrate Earth Month

April is Earth Month! While every day in our house is Earth Day, we are always trying to add more and more ways in our business and as individuals to help to fight climate change and save the planet. 

As we look forward to Earth Day on April 22, now is a great time to start planning how you might want to celebrate and what you can do to take part! Here, we share our top six favourite ways to celebrate Earth Month.

1. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Adopt the 3 R of sustainability and help to save the planet! 

Reduce what you buy. Before you make a purchase, ask yourself if you genuinely need it or if you can repurpose other items that you already have. Shopping for secondhand clothing and products helps contribute to less waste. Avoid products wrapped in plastic, and limit your food waste by only buying what you need.

Reuse plastic items as much as possible or take to a secondhand store where possible, so they don’t end up in landfill.

Recycle correctly, and choose to buy recycled products to close the loop. Focus on the proper disposal of the items which you don’t need or use any more. 

2. Ditch single-use plastics

Reduce the amount of plastic you use by switching from single-use plastic items. Think of anything you throw away after you use them, like razors, water bottles and coffee cups and instead buy a reusable water bottle that you can keep refilling and take your reusable bags with you when you next go shopping. The planet, and your wallet, will thank you!

3. Tune in to Earth Day Live

Join billions worldwide on April 22 to watch world leaders, youth activists, and social media influencers all come together to talk about ways in which we can #RestoreOurEarth

Most events are still online, as EARTHDAY.ORG will have its second Earth Day Live digital event. Workshops, panel discussions, and special performances will focus on Restore Our Earth™ — we’ll cover natural processes, emerging green technologies, and innovative thinking to restore the world’s ecosystems. 

Some local communities are also holding in-person tree planting and beach clean-ups, where possible.

4. Be An Advocate For Our Planet!

Education is one of the best things you can do to start your journey in fighting climate change. You can do this in so many ways, like sharing facts about climate change & our ocean on your social media, sparking conversations with friends & family, and even organising regular clean-ups with your community. 

Ask your local cafes to ditch plastic straws (if they haven’t already) or supply plastic-free takeaway containers. Better yet, bring your own! Encourage your friends, family and colleagues to use their thermos’. Call out those rubbish tossers! Write an email to your local council and get involved in activities that can spread awareness among your community.

5. Get on your bike

Limit the number of unnecessary car journeys to reduce your carbon footprint. The fewer cars on the road, the fewer carbon emissions polluting the air and contributing to global warming. 

Riding your bike and just taking a walk are two of the best options available. Adding a basket or panniers to your bike instantly increases its versatility. And if you don’t have a bike or don’t know how to ride one, carpool or take public transportation.

6. Invest in Green Technology and Businesses

Support green advancements in technology and businesses striving for change by investing in them. Ultimately, businesses can significantly impact the climate, with only 100 companies responsible for 71% of global emissions, so the obligation lies with businesses to make crucial changes that provide a positive impact on our planet. The big change comes when consumers demand it. 

If the threat of climate change has you questioning where your money is being invested, you may want to consider an ethical exchange-traded fund (ETF). An Ethical ETF is simply an ETF that excludes certain industries or companies from their investment holdings. Ethical ETFs can also require companies to meet certain sustainability targets in order to be eligible for inclusion. Always do your own research about which ETF is best for you and ensure you only invest what you can afford to lose. 

You can help hundreds of ways, but these are just a few easy ones to get you started. Make these a habit in April and continue them for the rest of the year. Each small effort we make to keep the Earth alive for our future generations adds up to a significant impact. 

How will you be celebrating Earth Month? 

5 Ways to Have an Eco-Friendly Valentine’s Day

Are you a full-on romantic, with Valentine’s plan carefully constructed in January? Or are you more of a last-minute, petrol station flowers and chocolate, panic buyer?

Plastic wrapped chocolates. Cute teddy bears made in sweatshops. Flowers imported from across the world. They might tell your significant other that you care, but what are the consequences for the planet, and the people making them?

Either way, if you want to celebrate the most romantic day of the year, it can be easy to get caught up in the hype. Often, this means spending money on things that aren’t environmentally kind or ethical.

Being more aware of what you consume on Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to mean missing out on all the fun and romance. You can still show someone you love them without extravagance or mass-produced plastic.

This year, have a little heart and show some love to the planet by aiming for an eco-friendly Valentine’s Day. Here’s how to keep it free from plastic and full of ethics.

1. Dinner for Two, Minus the Food Waste

A candlelit dinner is as green as it is romantic – think of the electricity you’re saving!

Eating at home can be as romantic as eating out. Set the scene with mood lighting, candles and music, and leave the washing up until the next day!

It’s also a great excuse to enjoy the warm weather of the Australian summer and pack up a picnic and enjoy a bike ride to a local beauty spot. An afternoon in nature is good for the soul, just remember to leave nothing but footprints behind!

Whether you go out or stay in, spending quality time with your loved one over a delicious meal is the perfect way to celebrate anything.  In either case, avoid over-ordering/cooking so that all the surplus food that you don’t eat doesn’t end up in the bin and aim to eat as much local produce as you can.

2. Free From (Plastic and Bad Ethical Practices) Chocolate

If you’re feeling the love, why should that be at the detriment of someone else? The chocolate trade is steeped in bad ethics, from unfair working conditions and pay, to the use of palm oil. So this year, look for a Fairtrade box of chocolates. Warm cocoa also makes a tasty drink to share with many health benefits. Cacao is available at most health food stores, look for one without plastic packaging.

3. Finer Florals

Seasonal, locally grown food is sustainable, and the same can be said for flowers. When it comes to beautiful bouquets, keeping things environmentally friendly means that roses are out. When buying flowers, consider the amount of plastic wrapping they come in too. Would a potted plant be a better option? It’ll certainly last longer!

Also, if your flowers have come from overseas, there’s every chance that they’ve been grown and cut by someone not paid a fair wage. This is especially true at this time of year to meet demand.

4. A Handmade Valentines

You don’t need to be a genius to be creative. Remember how simple life was when you made your own Valentines cards? Just because you’re an adult now, it doesn’t mean you can’t still make them.

Can you bake a cake or cook your Valentine’s favourite meal? Can you make them a beautiful Valentine’s card? Or write a poem, a piece of music or a song? Maybe you’re good with wood or metal. Painting or sketching. Can you sew without stitching yourself up? Whatever you can create, the chances are it will be more appreciated than something bought from a shop.

If words or art aren’t your thing, something else that can be given is a massage. Set aside an hour and do a loving massage for your partner. You could also make this into a fun activity for both of you by getting your partner to exchange the massage. 

Get as creative as you like, safe in the knowledge no one else will be giving the same gift. It doesn’t matter how good it is; it’s the thought that counts!

5. Valentines Experiences

Experiences are often worth so much more than stuff. You can keep it simple with a walk in the park or an evening together playing board games with no phones or tablets. Dedicating time to each other, including the kids if you want to, can be so valuable.

Buy gift experiences like cookery class if they love being in the kitchen and you have the budget. Or simply handwrite some IOU messages, and leave them around the house. You could promise a massage, making dinner for a week or a trip to the cinema.

If you’re thinking of going away for the weekend, look for eco retreats. One that is accessible (and affordable) by train rather than driving gives you even more eco points.

Go against the grain, and do something different whilst being mindful of the planet. Often, a simple “I Love You” with breakfast in bed is more than enough.

Have less of an impact, show the planet some love and opt for an eco-friendly Valentine’s Day this year.

Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? Let us know how you’ll be spending it this year in the comments below.

6 Ways To Have A Plastic-Free Summer

We find the summer holidays one of the most challenging times to be plastic-free. The routine of the week and comforts of home make packing your own lunches in glass or metal containers, remembering your shopping bags and sipping from your water bottle easier. 

Now the summer holidays are here, and you might be out of the house a little bit more, away from home visiting family or looking for ways to treat yourself to a coffee from your local cafe. It’s all too easy to fall back into your old plastic wasting habits.

Incorporate some plastic-free activities and practises into your summer holidays. Soon they will become second nature, meaning that you will be reducing your plastic without even thinking about it! Here are six of our favourite plastic-free activities to get you started.

Take your own picnic

If you’re lucky enough to be able to explore or even travel further afield, pack up a picnic and set off for your local park or beach. 

For the ultimate plastic-free picnic, wrap your goodies in muslin or wax and store items glass or metal containers. You can also bring your own water bottles or thermos’ to drink from and bamboo cutlery, if you need them. Then all you need to do is just sit back and relax.

Remember your water bottle

Plastic bottles are the quickest thing to sink to the bottom of the ocean, and they never biodegrade. Plastic particles from bottles are also slowly eroding into your water so on a whole they are bad for the environment, and bad for your health! Grab yourself a stainless steel water bottle instead and remember to keep these on hand when you’re out and about this summer.

Visit the local farmers market

Farmer’s markets are a great activity, and a great way to save on plastic wrapping, eat organic, support local and independent businesses and have an all-round more personal shopping experience. You can find these in your local town, and more and more are popping up in cities. Bulk food stores are also another way to save on packaging, just grab your favourite refillable container!

Buy from the deli or bakery

When it comes to buying the ingredients for family gatherings or summer BBQs, try to visit your local bakery, butchers or deli. Most small businesses are happy to wrap your products in your own containers, or wax wraps so just ask!

Start your own herb garden or veggie patch

Herbs and veggies often come with a considerable amount of plastic waste. From herb portions wrapped in plastic to fruit on plastic trays, there are so many ways that you can reduce your plastic waste and growing your own is one of the best. Even if you just have space for a few small pots of herbs or salad leaves on your window ledge growing your own is a perfect activity to keep the whole family busy all summer long.

Ditch the coffee runs

We know that grabbing a coffee from a cafe feels like a treat, but disposable coffee cups can no longer be recycled. It is estimated Australians use 1 billion disposable coffee cups each year. That’s approximately 2,700,000 paper coffee cups thrown out every day! Instead, invest in your own reusable coffee thermos or some quality, fair-trade coffee that lives up to your takeaway coffee standards and make your own at home.

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5 of the best plastic-free swaps for No Waste November

If you missed our last Instagram post, this month is No Waste November – a global movement to inspire people to pledge to reduce or eliminate waste in their lives. 

The initiative was started by Roots and Shoots, a youth-led action program in over 50 counties.  Founded by Dr. Jane Goodall, the program’s mission is to foster respect and compassion for all living things, to promote understanding of all cultures and beliefs, and to inspire each individual to take action to make the world a better place for people, other animals, and the environment.

Why a month? The theory is that it takes a month to develop a habit – in this case, one that benefits the planet!

The No Waste November pledge aims to help people (especially young people) to create good habits and healthy habitats.

You can get involved in No Waste November by:⁣

– Pledging to reduce your waste throughout November

– Getting your friends involved and joining the conversation through #NoWasteNovember

– Keeping it up for the rest of the month…and beyond!

If you have already pledged, we’d love to hear how you are doing and what kind of changes you have already made in your day-to-day routine.

If you are just starting, we wanted to share some of the easiest and cheapest ways that you can make a few swaps in your life which will make a massive difference to the amount of waste you create and reduce your plastic usage.

Reuse your shopping bags

Somewhere between five billion and one trillion plastic bags are used each year around the world, so get yourself some pretty reusable bags to take on your weekly supermarket trip. These are usually more attractive, bigger and last longer too. Plus there are so many great options of bags which fold up small so you can always keep one in your bag/pocket, just in case. Alternatively, grab an empty cardboard box from an aisle for an easy option to carry those extra items.

BYO reusable drinks bottles and coffee cups

Plastic bottles are the quickest thing to sink to the bottom of the ocean, and although coffee cups are made mostly from paper, they’re hiding an interior coated in plastic. Plastic particles from disposable water bottles are also slowly eroding into your water, so on the whole, they are bad for the environment, and bad for your health! Grab yourself a Vesica BPA Free, stainless steel bottle and a refillable coffee cup/tea infuser and keep these on hand whenever you’re out and about. 

Swap tea-bags for tea leaves

If you’re anything like us and average upwards of 5 cups of tea each per day, every day then over the course of a year you’ll be sending over 2,000 tea bags to landfills. The numbers are shocking when you think about it! To reduce this swap your tea bags for tea leaves in a metal strainer instead. The tea leaves are often better quality too, so it’s a win-win for everyone.

Ditch disposables

Disposable items in your house like razors, plastic toothbrushes and disposable cutlery may seem small. Still, over a lifetime, they are going to add up to a lot of plastic in our landfills. Switch to safety razors which you can change the blades of or items made from natural/biodegradable materials like bamboo. Plus, they look much nicer on your bathroom shelf.

Avoid wrapped fruit and veg

One of the easiest things you can do is to refuse the pre-wrapped fruit and veg in the supermarket. Instead of buying that plastic-wrapped multi-packs or items like packs of 6 apples, visit your bulk shop or pick your own from the loose section and bring your own bag or put them straight in your basket. Even better if you are lucky enough to have access to a farmer’s market!

Are you taking the No Waste November pledge? Let us know in the comments!

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5 Easy Ways to Fight Climate Change

Climate change is one of the most defining issues of our time. Many people see it as the most important issue we are facing in current times. From community destroying flooding, extreme weather conditions, rising sea levels, rising temperatures and country-wide wildfires, there’s no doubt that we need to take action to find ways to fight climate change on a global level. 

Heatwaves are becoming more common, hotter than ever before and longer-lasting longer. Over the past 5 years, the country has seen temperatures rise to nearly 50 degrees (celsius) in some parts, which is not only having an effect on our health and wellbeing but also to our country and the plants and animals who live on it. 

“Since 1910, Australia’s climate has warmed by more than 1 degree Celsius (or 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit). In fact, without action, Australia is expected to warm as much as 5 degrees Celsius (9 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2090.”

Climate Reality Project

We know this doesn’t sound like much every day, you may be thinking “a degree or two here and there can’t hurt”, but in a country that is already hot and dry a degree, or 5 degrees, is a huge concern.

The Paris agreement was signed in 2016 limiting global warming temperature rises to a maximum of 1.5C but the fact is that even at this temperature, we are already seeing the huge impact of climate change. Not only does the rise in temperature cause our bushfire season to be longer and bigger, but droughts and heatwaves are also affecting our food production from agriculture and livestock, and the rise in water temperatures are also killing the Great Barrier Reef and affecting our Oceans.

We know that fighting climate change is not an easy task. Rising CO2 concentrations – and related global warming – will only stabilise once annual emissions reach net-zero, but there are some easy changes we can make to our day to day lives to help the cause and help our own health. We’ve put together a few ways to fight climate change which you can easily implement in your household today.

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Learn the facts and speak the truth!

Education is one of the best things you can do to start your journey in fighting climate change. We know there is A LOT of information out there, and far too many opinions about the right and the wrong way to deal with the situation, but reading the information out there is a great way to start on top of what is currently happening and how you can help. After all, the more you know, the more you can do!

Follow some independent news channels, join The Plastic pollution Coalition, follow some environmental influencers or eco-friendly business accounts on social media to get bite-size amounts information throughout your day if you’re overwhelmed by long, scientific articles and news stories. 

Once you have some information, talk to your friends and family and see what they are doing to help or what information they can offer. It doesn’t need to be a huge debate or an argument over the breakfast table but sharing ideas is the best way to spread the word and begin to influence others. Each small step goes a long way! Do you really need 3 soy sauce filled plastic fish with you sushi lunch, maybe you could ask for a squeeze from their large bottle. Sadly ironic right?….Eating fish, with the help of plastic fish, that kill the real fish, by eating the discarded plastic fish and then we eat the real fish poisoned by the plastic fish. 

Reduce, reuse, recycle

Energy, resources, fossil fuels, and environmental impacts all go into producing clothes, textiles, white goods, phones, computers etc. so focus on buying second-hand, up-cycling or reusing old things you have in your house. 

Focus on the proper disposal of the items which you really don’t need or use any more and find loving homes for them or find appropriate recycling points. Limit your food waste by buying only what you need and buying local food to reduce your food’s carbon footprint by the number of miles it has travelled.

Reduce the amount of plastic you use in any way you can by switching from single-use plastic items, like razors, water bottles and coffee cups and instead buy a reusable water bottle that you can keep refilling and take your own reusable bags with you when you next go shopping. The planet will thank you!

Eat your way to climate stability

The decisions we make about food can have a profound effect on the environment. Buying organic and local whenever possible, growing your own, only eating sustainable seafoods and eating more meat-free meals will all make your diet more climate-friendly. It’s not just about what we consume thought but also how much of that food we waste.

Food waste is responsible for 6% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Once in landfill, food waste breaks down and emits greenhouse gases, including not only carbon dioxide (CO2) but methane (CH4) – a gas 25 times more potent than CO2. Therefore, reducing the amount of food you send to landfill and composting any waste can help to reduce those CO2  emissions. 

Adjust your thermostat

Greenhouse gas emissions occur anytime non-renewable energy is used to heat our houses. One of the top tips for saving CO2 is to turn your thermostat down by 2 degrees C in the winter and up by 2 degrees in the summer. These are temperatures that you won’t even really notice, but make a huge difference to energy saving.

Try to think about when you will really need the house heating too and only turn the heating on when you are in the house. For example, if you’re heading for a trip away for the weekend and it’s the summertime, you could probably knock the heating off while you are away.

Likewise when it comes to your air conditioner, open up your house when the cool change comes in the evening and sleep with a light cotton sheet.

Walk or ride, don’t drive

Draw a 2km circle around your house and try to walk as much as possible within that circle. Walking or cycling is better for your physical and mental health, but ditching the car to limit the number of unnecessary car journeys are also a great way to reduce the number of carbon emissions you contribute to the atmosphere. Adding a basket or panniers to your bike instantly increases its versatility.

Use it as an excuse to explore your local area too, instead of driving off to that beauty spot or packed beach for a walk on the weekends, make the most of your own backyard and explore local parks and rivers within walking or riding distance of your house. You might be surprised at what you find!

There are hundreds of ways you can help but these are just a few easy ones to get you started. Once you get these in place you will be able to and want to, start introducing more and more into your daily life. The future is in our hands. The time is now to make our own small efforts to keep the Earth alive for our future generations.