30 April 2012
Many mothers are renowned for caring for all their family members before themselves. Mother's Day is a therefore a wonderful opportunity to celebrate motherhood and for families to show appreciation towards their mothers.
Sustainababy has combined with Billie Goat Soap to offer one lucky follower the opportunity to WIN* both the popular Billie Baby Gift Set AND a Mother's Day Pamper pack. These gift packs will ensure both baby and mother are treated this Mother's Day.
From the days of Cleopatra, milk has been used as a luxurious moisturiser. Goat's milk contains proteins, amino acids and Vitamin A to nourish the skin. With a pH similar to human skin, goat's milk is the perfect natural moisturiser. All Billie Goat Soap products are proudly Australian made from goat’s milk, using a range of local ingredients and are NOT tested on animals.
The Mother's Day pamper pack contains the famous Billie Goat Plain Goats Milk Soap (100g), All over Goat's Milk Moisturiser (100ml) and a Plain Hand and Body Wash (250ml) all contained in a gorgeous silver satin toiletry bag. The Billie Baby Gift Pack contains a Billie Baby Liquid Body Wash (250ml), Billie Baby Cleansing Bars 2 pack and the decadent Billie Baby Bath Soak (120g).
To WIN the two gift packs with a combined retail value of over $70, simply comment below in 25 words or less why the mother in your family (and it could be you!) needs to be pampered this Mother's Day.
This competition is now closed. Congratulations to Tanya Gray who is our winner! We will contact you shortly to arrange to send your prize.
*Winner will be chosen at random. Giveaway only open to Australian residents.
28 April 2012
Image source: Global Exchange Fair Trade Blog
In February 2012 many of our followers submitted their best eco parenting or green living tip for their chance to WIN a $200 Sustainababy gift voucher. Tips were published daily on our Facebook page and we kept a tally of likes, comments and shares to determine the most popular tip and winner.
Many innovative tips were submitted and we'd like to thank all who entered or commented on the tips for sharing their ideas with our environmentally-conscious community.
We are proud to announce Sharyn Williams as the winner with this tip:
"Use what you have for art/craft stuff for children and recycle where possible, i.e. keep any old mail/envelopes for drawing on; cut up old clothes/bras and use the material, buttons, zippers for craft; if you do want to buy "cheap craft" items where possible pull apart and reuse once craft item is no longer needed; use everyday items such as toilet paper rolls, egg cartons; make own play dough; use painted butchers paper for wrapping up presents etc."
Congratulations Sharyn! We'll be in contact shortly with your voucher details.
27 April 2012
Given the amount of time babies spend on their backs and tummies in the first few months, it is worth investing in a quality playmat. Add the fact that babies love to chew and snuggle into their mats, a natural or organic option provides peace of mind for parents.
Since my first pregnancy in 2009, I've been searching for an eco-friendly, organic baby playmat. I can now thank creative sisters of French brand Deuz for ending this long time search of mine.
Available in both fuchsia or blue, the Deuz organic cotton baby playmat measures 100cm x 100cm and is machine washable. It features natural wood rings, a removable cover and terry towelling back. Available now at Sustainababy for $122.90.
23 April 2012
By: Laura Trotta (BEng (Environmental), MSc(Environmental Chemistry))
Photo Source: Narelle Debenham, NaturedKids
Nature play is lacking or sadly absent for many children of today. Increased urbanisation, smaller backyards, parents working longer hours with lengthy commutes, higher electronic screen times and tight schedules of organised activities have all contributed to making the outdoors a restricted place for our young ones.
Parents have the ability to give their children the outside playing opportunities and free play time they possibly enjoyed as a child.
Children are healthier and happier when they have the opportunity to play outside every day. A recent study conducted by the University of Western Australia reported the following positive benefits of nature play1:
- A decreased risk of children being overweight when more nature is present in their neighbourhood.
- Playing in natural environments assists with building children’s motor skills.
- Nature contact enhances children’s learning and development including, but not limited to, children’s personality development, cognitive functioning, attitude and school behaviour.
- Contact with nature, especially during middle childhood, has an important role to play in children’s mental health.
- Children’s manage stress better when they have more contact with nature.
- Time in nature assists the performance of children with ADHD.
- Children displaying delinquent behaviour benefit from nature-based programs such as wilderness camps.
Photo Source: Narelle Debenham, NaturedKids
Teacher, nature playgroup facilitator and mother of three, Narelle Debenham runs NaturedKids an outdoor program for babies to five year-olds and their families to explore and connect with nature in their local area. Narelle also provides training for adults to inspire nature play.
She passionately believes "when regularly immersed in their natural environment, children’s involvement in nature during their formative years guarantees eco-literacy, care for our natural world and environmental sustainability."
Narelle encourages parents to introduce their babies from just a few months old to nature-based activities in the back yard and offers the following nature play ideas for children to enjoy.
- Make worm stew (mud pies).
- Feel moss, leaves, feathers and other textures.
- Tickle their cheek or tummy with a flower or feather.
- Walk bare-footed.
- Float petals in a bowl of water for a beautiful swirling water play.
- Read stories or enjoy family meals outside.
- Make daisy chains or put buttercups under their chin.
- Play drums. Put a stick inside a large gumnut to make a drumstick and turn some pots upside down for drums.
- Lie on your back under a tree to look at its canopy.
- Lie on tummies to sniff the grass and look for creatures in the “grass jungle’’.
- Make a dinosaur garden: use plastic dinosaurs, grab a potting tray and make your dinosaurs a prehistoric garden with loose materials from the yard.
- Plant a vegetable garden and tend it together.
- Look at raindrops on nasturtium leaves, with tiny magnifying glasses, and roll the drop carefully around the leaf without letting it fall off.
- Make a bird’s breakfast. Grow sunflowers along the fence and then watch when the cockies and parrots come along to eat them.
- Grow sunflowers in a circle then tie their heads together to make a cubby.
- Collect leaves, feathers, seed pods and other natural items from the yard or while on a walk. Put them in a dish or bowl near the front door to create a nature plate to remind visitors of nature.
- Don’t toss your child’s first, or outgrown shoes, away. Instead, keep the memories alive by planting a succulent or other small plant in the shoe and using it as garden art.
- Using a stick, scratch your child’s name, a smiley face, noughts and crosses or other shapes in the soil.
- Let children collect and play with sticks to build an elf or fairy cubby or a home for their small toys.
- Create a collage on the ground (no glue), using leaves, twigs, flowers and other items from nature.
- Fly a kite.
- Find a place to lie under a tree or in a secret place to close your eyes and focus on sounds. Ask children to respond to sounds. For instance, how do they make you feel? This can lead to poetry or discussion on the effect of sounds in a city, why animals use sound and so on.
- Talk about smells as you walk together to raise awareness of the subtleties and effects on feelings.
- Grow herbs, make potpourri and explore why and how plants smell.
- Allow children to make their own mini-landscapes. Encourage them to consider terrain, vegetation, rivers, drainage and so on. The landscape could be modelled on an imaginary place, a place from a story or a real place and could include toys.
- Put on a coat, grab an umbrella and go outside in the rain. Explore how things change in the garden when they are wet and have fun with the puddles.
- Go outside at night and look at the stars and moon.
- Plant seeds or seedlings and, armed with childsized gardening tools, give children the responsibility to care for their garden.
- Read outdoor-themed stories outdoors.
So what are you waiting for? Grab your kids and head outside and you too will reap the benefits nature has to offer.
1. Martin, Karen, Dr (Feb 2011), The University of Western Australia, Putting Nature Back Into Nurture: The Benefits of Nature for Children.
About the Author: Laura Trotta (BEng (Environmental), MSc (Environmental Science)) is an eco mum, environmental engineer and founder of Sustainababy. She lives in regional South Australia with her husband Paul and son Matthew. Thank you to Narelle Debenham of NaturedKids for contributing to this article.
18 April 2012
By: Laura Trotta (BEng(Environmental, MSc (Environmental Chemistry))
Turn old cards and clothing into green craft materials and watch your child enjoy making their unique recycled collage
Children love gluing and sticking but art materials can add up over time and clutter your home unnecessarily. Turning items around the home such as greeting cards, magazines and old clothes into green craft materials makes both monetary and environmental sense!
Recently I cut out pictures from my son's 2nd year birthday cards, added them to material from some old bras, and watched him create a colourful recycled collage on the back of some recycled cardboard. Gravitating to the colourful pictures (and away from the pretty material), he created quite the eco masterpiece!
Note: the older child will delight in carefully cutting the pictures out themselves under supervision.
About the Author: Laura Trotta (BEng (Environmental), MSc (Environmental Chemistry)) is an eco mum, environmental engineer and founder of Sustainababy. She lives in regional South Australia with her husband Paul and son Matthew.