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:
- 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.
- 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 email@example.com.