26 September 2013

Sustainababy October Eco Challenge

This October Sustainababy is eco challenging YOU to HELP AUSTRALIAS NATIVE WILDLIFE.

Think of your favourite Australian native mammal or bird. Got it? Good. Now think of how you would feel if they were to become extinct. Not a pleasant thought is it? Uh uh uh.....don't think of something else just because that was too hard. Bring the picture of that native animal or bird to mind again because it is highly likely that if Australia continues as situation normal, the species you are currently thinking of may become extinct. Sooner than you think.

Australia is home to more biodiversity than any other developed nation on Earth, yet our wildlife is facing an extinction crisis.

Australia has the worst mammal extinction record in the world. 27 mammal species have become extinct in the past 200 years. Currently, more than 1,500 mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and plants are listed as threatened with extinction under Federal legislation (source: Australian Wildlife Conservancy).

Even if you live in deep dark suburbia in one of our larger cities you can do something about this crisis. The Sustainababy October Eco Challenge is your opportunity to start helping our native wildlife.  

How you help is up to you but may include some of the following:

  • Planting native shrubs in your garden to attract native birdlife.
  • Erecting a cat-proof fence to confine your cat to your property (cats alone are responsible for much destruction to our native wildlife).
  • Educating your children about our unique wildlife.
  • Volunteering or donating money towards many of the non for profit organisations actively helping to conserve our wildlife.  


Document your journey of discovery though the month for your chance to WIN an organic cotton and hemp "Black Cockatoo" Cross Body Fold Bag by Formosa Design valued at $119. With the ability to be worn three different ways, the Cross Body Fold Bag is the perfect accessory for busy eco mums.


Keen to do the Eco Challenge? This is what you’ll need to do:

  • Request to join our closed Sustainababy Monthly Eco Challenge Group here
  • For the month of October endeavour to Help Australia's Native Wildlife is as many different ways you can.
  • Write a short summary of your journey (500 words maximum) and email your summary and photographs with subject line “October Eco Challenge” to info@sustainababy.com.au before midday AEST Wednesday 6th November. Please ensure your summary is grammatically correct as the winning summary will be published word for word.
  • The winner will be contacted by email and their summary will be published on our blog no later than 5pm AEST Monday 11th November 2013.


So what are you waiting for? Get out there and give our native wildlife a helping hand!

CATEGORY: eco challenge, formosa design, native wildlife, conservation | POSTED BY: Meg Supel |

23 September 2013

Six Great Reasons to do Things the Hard Way

By: Jo Hegerty


Jo Hegerty transformed herself from blinkered consumer into enlightened earth mother and today motivates others to live sustainably through her blog Down To Earth Mother. In this guest post, Jo shares her journey and reminds us all of the great benefits of doing things the "hard" way.

Sometimes, usually when I’m hauling a basket-load of nappies up the stairs, kneading bread at 10pm or fossicking through the rubbish bin for recyclable plastic, I can understand why people are happy to live with blinkers on.

I used to shop vigorously at supermarkets and fill my green wheelie bin without a second thought. I didn’t even know that tomatoes had a season.

There was no life-changing event that turned me from blinkered consumer into enlightened earth mother. Indeed, it was what people describe as a “burgeoning awareness” of the trail of destruction I left in my wake: the factory-farmed chooks, thousands of disposable coffee-cup lids, toxic run-off from my super fizzy shampoo.

When you become a parent all the things you’re vaguely uneasy about sharpen in your mind and become a Really Big Deal. That noxious smell coming from a cheap but oh-so-cute babysuit is suddenly not ok. You do a little research and realise you don’t want cancer-causing chemicals so close to your baby’s skin. Next thing you know, you’re making your own baby wipes and looking up toothpaste recipes. True story.

I started my blog not long after my first child was born: a whopper of a son in rude good health. I intended to keep him that way. As he grew and was joined by his sister, my blog evolved and my passion increased. These days, the focus is outside my family. If I didn’t have my blog, I would be running around the streets screaming at people: “put it in the bin!” “don’t spray that on the lawn!” “that’s not really a health food!!”

As readers and customers of Sustainababy, I have no doubt we are on the same page. But sometimes, it’s not easy being green, right? There’s a reason the world is groaning beneath the detritus of convenience products: they’re so darned convenient!

If you ever feel like you simply can’t be bothered going to the farmers’ market or scavenging for second-hand clothing, here are six great reasons to keep up the good work:

You are a Supermum: single-handedly protecting your kids from the un-known dangers of long-term chemical exposure

  • You are teaching your children to value the earth by doing, not talking
  • Your family will seamlessly meet the likely challenges of the future, such as fuel and water shortages
  • When you’re 65 the benefits of your commitment to green living will be evident in your health, your face and your level of happiness
  • Green living costs less. It really, truly does.
  • With all that baking, gardening, walking and cycling, you never need to go to the gym. Ever. Hooray!

What are your reasons for green living? Share in the comments below.


About the Author: Jo Hegerty is a writer, blogger and mum of two. She lives in deepest, darkest suburbia near Brisbane and strives to have the greenest house on the street. For tips, advice and inspiration on green living, visit Down To Earth Mother 


CATEGORY: Down To Earth Mother, green living, Jo Hegerty, benefits | POSTED BY: Meg Supel |

13 September 2013

August Eco Challenge WINNER

By: Belinda Doyle


Master 2 sporting some groovy Aussie made wear on his recent "local" holiday to Mount Kosckiusko

Belinda Doyle signed up to the Sustainababy August Eco Challenge to buy Australian Made for an entire month. This is the story of her journey...........

With two toddlers under the age of 27 months, time is definitely of the essence. Lately I have used this as an excuse for getting into lazy, eco-unfriendly habits. When I discovered that over half of our weekly grocery bill was made up of imported products, I decided that it was time for a change. Bring on the Sustainababy August Eco Challenge to Buy Australian Made.

Our first grocery shop was a disaster. With Mummy busy reading product labels, the toddlers ran riot! I grabbed our usual grocery culprits and left the store that day feeling defeated. I am proud to say though, that by the end of the month we managed to convert 90% of our grocery shop to Australian made products.  We also managed to save money, become somewhat of a local celebrity and to make new friends along the way. Here’s how we did it:


Time saving

  • We switched to online shopping with a retailer who identified the country of origin in their product information.
  • We found a local boutique retailer who shared a passion for Australian Made. The retailer was happy to point us in the right direction and to research hard to find items for us.
  • I networked like crazy, telling anyone who would listen about the challenge. We were put in touch with ‘people, who know people’ on a similar mission. I became known as ‘oh, the one doing that challenge’.
  • I created a box on the bench in which to place used items and then research Australian Made alternatives when I had a free moment. Discussion groups have been great for this.


Money saving

  • We are probably a bit late to catch on to this one, but with the help of a new friend we discovered the local farmers’ produce market. With the time I save not being in the supermarket, we now make this a weekly social outing and love the fruit spruikers!
  • I picked up an Australian Made face cleanser that is half the price (and I argue even better) than my French import.
  • We made our own toddler snacks rather than opting for pre-packaged, imported ones.
  • Disillusioned by confusing country of origin labelling, we (inadvertently) got a head start on the Sustainababy September Eco Challenge and switched to natural cleaning products we made ourselves from clearly labelled base ingredients.
  • Instead of holidaying overseas, we changed plan and took a mini-break in our own backyard, Mount Kosciuszko.


It wasn’t all smooth sailing though. I failed to convince my two year old that the Australian Made bike helmet really was more fashionable than the Chinese import.  My ten month old let me know exactly what she thought of Australian made infant formula and my husband absolutely refused to give up his Norwegian cheese.

There are still some difficult items that I am working on, but we did manage to solve the problem of those pesky New Zealand kiwi fruit. Living in one of the coldest part of the country we planted our own vines. Can’t wait to harvest our first Aussie made Kiwi!

Congratulations Belinda! You have won the Australian Made UIMI merino wool Poncho in Dove Grey for your effort! Valued at $259 it is sure to keep you warm while you duck outside to check in on your kiwi fruit!

Thank you to uimi for sponsoring the Sustainababy August Eco Challenge. If you own an eco brand and would like to sponsor future Sustainababy Eco Challenges and introduce your product to our large following of eco parents, please contact info@sustainababy.com.au.  

CATEGORY: eco challenge, winner, Australian made | POSTED BY: Meg Supel |