31 December 2014

Take time out this January and WIN

 

This January we’re eco challenging you to TAKE TIME OUT for your chance to WIN a Mummy Time Out Pack valued at over $87 from the Naughty Naturopath Mum.

All mums work hard. Ecoceptional mums, due to the nature of bringing some tasks that are conventionally outsourced back into the household, tend to work a little harder.

Tasks such as using cloth nappies, cooking from scratch, planning your family meals, walking rather than driving are super rewarding for the environment, family budget and health, but they tend to rely heavily on mum to make them happen.

I know just how difficult it is for mums to look after themselves as it is something I personally struggle to prioritise, but it is SO important. If we ecoceptional mums don't put ourselves first, there is the potential that we can burn out, get run down, become resentful of the extra effort required to live greener, and throw the towel in.

So this month, we’re challenging you to look after yourself, take a break, and be mindful of where you come in the family's wellbeing stakes so you can continue to achieve your sustainable living goals.

Alisha from the Naughty Naturopath Mum has offered a Mummy Time Out Pack with her favourite products to help mums slow down as our monthly prize. This pack, valued at over $87 includes a Slow Down Blend, Calm and Clear Spray, Calm and Clear Moisturiser and Mumma Magic.


How you Take Time Out is entirely up to you but may include:

  • going to bed early or sleeping in at least once during the month
  • soaking in a bath
  • reading a novel
  • having a girls night out with your mum's group
  • treating yourself to a massage or facial

 

If you're keen to be part of the "Take Time Out" Eco Challenge during January, then this is what you’ll need to do:

  • Request to join our closed Sustainababy Monthly Eco Challenge Facebook Group here. In this group you'll meet heaps of other like-minded ecoceptional mums doing the eco challenges who can support you along the way.
  • To be in the running for the Naughty Naturopath Mum Prize Pack, tell us how you took time out in January.

You can either do this by:

  • Creating a video and posting the link on our Facebook page;
  • Blogging about the Sustainababy January “Take Time Out” Eco Challenge on your personal or business blog with a link to the Sustainababy webiste (and posting the link to our Facebook page);
  • Sending through a collation of photos documenting your journey ~ you could do this through Instagram by using the hashtag #taketimeout @Sustainababy; OR
  • Emailing a short summary of your journey (500 words maximum) and supporting photographs with subject line “January Eco Challenge” to info@sustainababy.com.au before 5pm AEST Tuesday 10th February 2015. Please ensure that your summary is grammatically correct, as the winning summary will be published word for word on the Sustainababy Blog.
  • The winner will be contacted by email and their summary will be published on our blog no later than 5pm AEST on Friday 13th January 2015. Our January Eco Challenge is open to Australian and international residents.

So what are you waiting for? Put yourself first for a change and TAKE TIME OUT!

CATEGORY: Take time out, wellbeing, eco challenge | POSTED BY: Meg Supel |

22 December 2014

My Top Three Reasons for Choosing Cloth Nappies

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At Sustainababy this month, we are asking our Eco Challenge community to show us just how much they love cloth nappies. Some of our Eco Challengers are experienced cloth nappy users, whilst others are just starting out. To kick start this month's challenge, we would love you to meet Eva Van Strijp, founder of Oz Baby Trends. As mother of five and sponsor for this month's Eco Challenge, Eva knows a thing or two about cloth! In this guest post, Eva talks about her top three reasons for loving cloth nappies ~ including a link to one of her fantastic FREE online tutorials. 

There are many reasons that people choose reusable nappies. Most people quote monetary savings, environmental impact and skin health as the major reasons for choosing cloth.

From the start, I wanted to use cloth nappies, but truth be told, there wasn’t any real reason. I just had this “feeling” that it would be better for my baby’s skin and better for our family.

I just couldn’t fathom the waste associated with using something for a few hours, then throwing it away. This wasn’t because I actually had any idea about the impact of nappy choices. It was literally just a feeling. And perhaps also a little bit of pride, after my mother-in-law declared I wouldn’t keep at it!

The financial savings and lower environmental impact of cloth nappies were added bonuses and more than eight years later, still are.

My top three reasons for using cloth nappies are lifestyle ones.

1. Simplicity.

I’m a big believer in simplifying work, parenthood, life… so how exactly do cloth nappies simplify life, I hear you ask!

I don’t believe in using a whole lot of different, dedicated products if one product will do a variety of tasks. Cloth nappies fall firmly in to this category. Apart from the fact that one nappy can be used hundreds of times as a nappy, a flat cloth nappy can also be used as a spew rag, toilet training aid, seat cover, sun shade and mattress protector!

I have heard it said that disposables help to simplify life, because you just throw them out when you’re done. While this may be true, it doesn’t take into account the numerous resources used to manufacture, distribute and dispose of 2000 nappies per child for each year they are in nappies. This process is far from simple.

Reusable nappies help me to keep my motherhood journey in focus by choosing an option that reminds me to keep things simple. I can simplify the journey without compromising on performance. I can have access to the best for my baby, without spending more than I need to. I have nappies on tap.

It’s just a matter of an extra load of washing every second day. No household chore could be simpler or more enjoyable than standing beneath a clothesline in the warm sunshine methodically pegging away!

HINT: If switching to full time cloth nappying feels overwhelming and far from simple, start with just one nappy a day. Give it a quick hand rinse in the laundry tub after use and pop it in the wash with a load of towels or clothes.

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2. Practicality.

One of the things I’ve discovered on this parenting journey is that the things that are simple are usually also practical.

Cloth nappies are a totally customisable nappying option for your baby. Different nappy brands can be mixed and matched, you can add absorbency or remove it, you can pass them on to other children, they can be washed anywhere there is a fresh water supply.

But the most practical part? They’re always on hand. You just don’t get low or run out in the same way that you do with disposables. When you’re low on disposables, you need to make a trip to the local supermarket. This is a big deal for us with five kids, living 20 minutes from the closest shops. When you’re low on cloth, you make a trip to the laundry and press a few buttons on that awesome invention we call a washing machine.

Cloth nappies = practical perfection for time-pressed parents.

HINT: If budget restraints are preventing you from adding a few extra much-needed nappies to your stash, try one of our no-sew emergency nappy options.


3. Self-sufficiency.

Using cloth nappies has helped me to be less reliant on the shops. I can inch my way free from the restraints of consumerism; even if it’s only one less thing in my shopping trolley each week… it’s still one less thing!

Once I have my stash, that’s it. With the correct care, my cloth nappies can last for one child or even more. I don’t have to keep adding nappies to my grocery bill on a weekly basis.

Sure, I can add to my stash if I need to, or top up with some fresh nappies for a new baby, but the difference between being tied to a supermarket chain for a basic necessity of life, and having nappies at my fingertips, is significant.

HINT: Switch to reusable wipes and swim pants, and you can be totally independent of this section of the baby aisle. Bliss!

Moving forward

Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can. You can do this, Mama! You can switch to one (or one more!) cloth nappy a day. I’ve got your back.

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When Eva is not wrangling five children or running a business, she’s eating chocolate, listening to podcasts or creating awesome resources for parents with babies.

Eva’s latest resource – Cloth Nappy Intensive – is a FREE 6-part eCourse that teaches the inquisitive parent exactly how to choose, use and love cloth nappies. You can sign up for this free course HERE. 

CATEGORY: Cloth, eco, nappy, challenge | POSTED BY: Belinda Doyle |

10 December 2014

November Eco Challenge WINNER

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We love a lot of things at Sustainababy, but if you’ve been following us for a while now you’ll know that the plastic bag is most definitely NOT on our ‘love list’.  This month at Sustainababy we asked our Eco Challenge community to break up with the plastic bag and Turn It Loose by saying, “No!” to plastic in the supermarket, around their bread and in the home. Sound tricky? Hear how our November Eco Challenge Winner, Kara-Maree Nevell turned it loose and ditched plastic bags around her home.

Hi, my name is Kara. I am a stay-at-home mum to one adorable little toddler.

My ‘Turn It Loose’ Journey began while I was out shopping! I’ve put together a little excerpt taken from my shopping adventures:

It was an ordinary Sunday down at my local Harris Farm Markets. I had my trolley and started collecting fruits and veggies when... I had a light bulb moment and may have even said out loud, “THE CHALLENGE!” “I’m supposed to ditch plastic bags... OOPS!” I didn’t have any reusable bags with me. So I decided just to turn it loose straight into the trolley (except for the grapes and mushrooms). Well, you can imagine what happened next. I had people rushing to pick up kiwi fruits and whatever else was tumbling down onto the floor, from the top basket of my trolley. (Yes, I was slightly embarrassed).

At last, I was standing at the checkout, “PHEW!” My family had finally caught up to me. George, my husband, glanced at the trolley, proceeded to give me a strange look and said, “Um, the loose stuff is going to be a bit of a challenge.” (Hmm... um, I didn’t think about that). I apologised* to the checkout lady for the loose fruit and vegetables strewn all over the conveyor belt that she also had to somehow weigh...

*NOTE: Instead of just apologising, I should have also added that I was looking at ways I could reduce my household wastage and contribute less to landfill.

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Although I didn’t get off to the best start with the ‘Turn It Loose’ Challenge; I think it was the most important experience of my journey. Yes, I had forgotten all about the challenge and was totally unprepared. BUT at least I made the decision to ditch plastic bags, which was the first step towards change. Since then, I have actively taken further steps to ensure my family ditches plastic, such as using reusable shopping bags, produce bags and bread bags.

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Below are just a few suggestions and tips to help you and your family ‘TURN IT LOOSE’!

  • TAKE up the challenge! DITCH plastic or at least reduce how much you use!
  • INVEST in some:
    • Reusable Shopping Bags: Keep them in your car, so you don’t keep buying them!
    • Reusable Produce Bags: These are important so that your produce doesn’t end up on the shop floor. Produce bags are great for the fridge too. Keep your fruits and veggies in them. Brands: 4myearth, Onya, and Norwex.

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Last of all, I would like to thank the teams at Sustainababy and 4myearth for challenging me to ‘Turn It Loose’. THANK YOU!

Congratulations Kara! A fantastic effort to ditch the plastic and thanks for sharing your journey. For your efforts you have won a 4myearth prize pack of two bread bags, two cotton produce bag packs (three bags in each pack) and a food cover value pack valed at over $100. Enjoy!

Thank you to 4myearth for sponsoring the November Turn It Loose Eco Challenge.  If you would like to sponsor future Sustainababy Eco Challenges and introduce your product or brand to our large following of eco parents, please contact info@sustainababy.com.au

CATEGORY: Eco Challenge, plastic, 4myearth | POSTED BY: Belinda Doyle |