25 November 2014

Love Your Cloth Nappy and WIN


Are you a Mum of a baby or toddler wearing nappies? Perhaps you use cloth nappies on a full time basis, or perhaps you have never used cloth but are keen to give it a go, starting with just one.

If this sounds familiar, then this month’s eco challenge is for YOU!

This month, we are asking our Eco Challenge community to share the love in the Love Your Cloth Nappy Eco Challenge for a chance to win a pack of three Close Pop In Nappies valued at $106.50 from Oz Baby Trends.

For the month of December, we’re asking you to follow the journey of ONE cloth nappy and share five (5) images of the nappy in use in various settings or situations, along with a brief description of each image.


This challenge is for you if you:

  • use cloth nappies full time (feature your favourite!)
  • use cloth nappies during the day or only at home (have fun experimenting with new situations!)
  • are thinking about using cloth nappies (grab one and switch out just one disposable for your new cloth nappy each day - you will keep 31 disposables out of landfill!)

You can be as creative as you like with your entry, but here are some suggestions to get you thinking:

  • A “Dear Diary” format, taking us through your journey from disposables to cloth;
  • A montage of photos with your best tips for each situation pictured;
  • A list of the things you know now that you wish you'd known ‘then’ about cloth nappying in the situations pictured.

Note: These are just some ideas. There is no limit to what you can do, but your entry must contain five (5) images of the same nappy being used in different situations or settings.


If you are keen to be part of the Love Your Cloth Nappy Eco Challenge during December, 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.
  • During the month of December take five (5) images of the same cloth nappy in action in different situations.
  • To be in the running for the Close Pop In prize pack, use those five (5) images to tell us why you love cloth.

You can either do this by:

  • Creating a video and posting the link on our Facebook page;
  • Blogging about the Sustainababy December “Love Your Cloth Nappy” Eco Challenge on your personal or business blog (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 #loveyourclothnappy; OR
  • Emailing a short summary of your journey (500 words maximum) and supporting photographs with subject line “December Eco Challenge” to info@sustainababy.com.au before 5pm AEST Tuesday 12th January 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 15th January 2015. Our December Eco Challenge is open to Australian and international residents.

Looking forward to sharing some cloth love this December! See you in the forum.

CATEGORY: Eco Challenge, Cloth nappies | POSTED BY: Belinda Doyle |

11 November 2014

Christmas Gift Guide: Something I Want ...


1. Junior Heart Pendant by Jellystone Designs; 2. Clatter Musical Toy by Plan Toys; 3. Minimaracas by Deuz; 4. Airplane by Green Toys; 5. Stacking Ring by Plan Toys; 6. 50 Blocks by Plan Toys; 7. Motorik Rattle – Eight by Hess-Spieizeug; 8. Parking Garage by Plan Toys.

Whilst Christmas definitely is the season for giving, without a plan or limits in place, Christmas can quickly turn into the season for giving … and giving … and giving … 

How do you control the temptation to go overboard at Christmas and avoid the seemingly inevitable excess?

In our house, we set limits by using this little ditty with our children:

Something I want, Something I need,

Something to wear, Something to read."

 Over the next four weeks at Sustainababy, we’ll be featuring our gift guide for each of these four ‘somethings’. This week we take a look at “Something I want”.

Something I want” is definitely the most difficult of the four categories for us. With the impact of advertising, the “I want, I want, I want …” in the lead up to Christmas can be overwhelming. We keep redirecting our children with, “Remember, just choose one special thing.”

Ideally we try to ensure that the “I want” is made locally or under Fairtrade conditions, from renewable, recycled or organic material. This year however, the “I want” from our three-year-old is Hot Wheels.

It’s tricky when your three-year-old chooses branded plastic toys, but we are choosing to get around it with a few Hot Wheels cars and this Parking Garage from Plan Toys. I know that this garage is made from quality materials that can withstand the rough and tumble play Master Three is notorious for, and durable enough to be able to be passed down when he’s finished with it [unlike a similar plastic version].

Are you looking for a special toy for your child’s “I Want” list this Christmas? Or perhaps something for a little one in your extended family? Take a look at the eco-friendly, sustainable gift range available in the Sustainababy Eco Store.


From left to right: Hess-Spieizeug Motorik Rattle - Eight; Hess-Spieizeug Rattle - Heart; Hess-Spieizeug Motorik Rattle - Benno.

It’s sometimes difficult coming up with gifts for baby. Although they can’t communicate their wants to you just yet, these wooden rattles made from renewable timber resources by Hess-Spieizeug are sure to be a hit. The rattles are fantastic for developing grasp, listening skills, visual tracking and general play.

Hess-Spieizeug also make a beautiful range of pram toys, available here.


From left to right: Plan Toys Clatter; Plan Toys Tambourine; Plan Toys Oval Xylophone.

This range of durable musical instruments from Plan Toys can really take a beating! All products in the Plan Toys range are made to the stricktest quality standards without compromising the company’s environmental and social responsibilities.

Take a look at these gorgeous organic dolls, just waiting for a cuddle! From left to right:


For the full range of toys made from sustainable materials, visit the toy department in the Sustainababy Online Store here.

CATEGORY: Eco-play, gift, Guide, Christmas | POSTED BY: Belinda Doyle |

8 November 2014

What my kids have in their lunchboxes


Over the past couple of months at Sustainababy we've focussed on promoting healthy kid's lunchboxes (Love Your Lunchbox) and reducing plastic consumption in your home (Turn it Loose).

I'm passionate about both these topics so I thought I'd share a little of how I tackle them in my own home.

But before I get started on the whole lunchbox thing. I want to set something straight.

I don't pack my kid's lunchboxes.

Most of the time, Mr Sustainababy does.

Generally this is because once the kids are tucked up for the night, that's when I take off my mum hat and replace it with my business owner hat. Hubby makes his lunch for work so it kind of makes sense that he packs the kid's lunchboxes (except on the no kindy days when I make it over breakfast). Anyway, I'm getting off track.....

So, my husband assembles the lunchboxes, generally from food I've made throughout the day. This generally includes homemade bread (sourdough rye) and yoghurt, made every couple of days in our Thermomix. Homemade pizza (bases also made in the TM) are included every week or so as a treat. Often he turns the natural yoghurt into a tzatziki dip and the boys love that with crackers or vegetable dippers too.


Homemade yoghurt, made every couple of days in our Thermomix.

The food is placed in the kids bentos lunchboxes and yoghurt is either in a container that fits inside the lunchbox or occasionally, a reusable food pouch. So no cling wrap or snap lock bags are used!

Even though our bread is homemade and free from preservatives and plastic packaging, so it's about as good a wheat-based bread you can eat, I'm hoping to increase the number of days where our kids have bread-free lunchboxes. It's all about breaking the habit and getting the kids to eat different things. Let's say we have some room for improvement here and I'm loving the ideas I'm getting from Jessica Donovan's Natural Super Kids ecourse and Lisa Corduff's Small Steps to Wholefoods Program.

Given we make our own bread, yoghurt and dips, this also significantly cuts down the amount of plastic waste generated from our household. We also shop with reusable shopping and produce bags so don't bring home any plastic shopping bags or those plastic freezer bags from the produce department. 

I have to admit the trend of supermarkets to package fruit n veg up on trays with plastic wrap (especially the organic produce!!) really irks me.

We receive a fortnightly delivery of fruit, veg, dairy, meat and pantry staples from Affordable Organics in Adelaide and much of this is packed loose. However, on my "off week" I do need to top up some produce from the local supermarket and sadly, some of this is packaged.

(Note: we live approx 600kms north west of Adelaide and the nearest farmers market is about that same distance away. There is only one supermarket in town. The next closest substantial supermarket is 275kms away. You can see why I LIVE for my fortnightly organics delivery.....).

When it come to using plastics in the home, we use decent storage containers for our food in the pantry, fridge and freezer. I cannot remember the last time we purchased plastic wrap or snap-lock bags.

We just don't need them. 

We use Wrap It Green Reusable Food Wraps instead. I've also been eyeing off the food covers and bread bags at 4MyEarth

And when it comes to drinks. I drink loose herbal tea and tap water, because it's extraordinary. Every family member has an ecococoon stainless steel water bottle. These bottles have the added benefit of being insulated and keeping water cool throughout the day - even on a forty plus degree day that is all to common where I live!

So there you have it, simple measures my family does every day to ensure we pack a healthy lunchbox and reduce our plastic waste.

I'd LOVE to hear what you do! Feel free to share below.

About the Author: Laura Trotta is an environmental engineer, ecoceptional mum and founder of Sustainababy. She lives in Outback South Australia with her husband and two young sons.

CATEGORY: plastic free, lunchbox | POSTED BY: Meg Supel |