You hear about sustainability mostly in matters of the environment. There are so many definitions of sustainability. Taken literally, it means being able to last for a long time. For us, we found a really nice definition: addressing our own demands without jeopardizing future generations' ability to meet their own.It involves avoiding depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance that does not degrade the quality of life of societies.
Sustainability is one that DulcieDot has been advocating. Through the fibres we use down to our manufacturing, we think about sustainability. However, we’d like to extend this practice beyond our brand, and we’d like to start it in the place where we can begin practicing sustainability: the home. This guide is divided into two major parts: inside and around the house. We’ll also be featuring some Australian businesses throughout this blog.
Sustainability Inside The Home
Let’s start with the washing. You can minimise the number of times you wash clothes in a week. This does not only save water consumption, but also lessens the release of microfibres to our oceans. When you wash your clothes, use cold water to save up energy and make your clothes last longer. As for your wardrobe, it is best to buy less but durable quality clothes. You can even opt for second hand clothes and upcycle them. When buying new clothes, opt for ones that are made of organic, recycled or biodegradable fibres. There are also innovative garments, like those of DulcieDot’s, that are designed to grow with your child and are made from GOTS Certified organic cotton.
Your skincare regimen can make an impact as well. Using what you currently have is the first step toward switching to a more sustainable skincare routine. You don't need to go out and get a complete new skincare line right away. Recycle or repurpose the packaging after you've used up all of your skincare items. Also, go for natural ingredients such as natural oils because they are cheap and sustainable. They are also organic and produced locally. Also, opt for deodorants instead of antiperspirants. Antiperspirants usually have aluminum which can be linked to breast cancer and Alzheimer’s.
The key is to avoid toxic chemicals and go for natural ingredients. Here are two Australian brands we recommend:
Indigiearth - situated in Mudgee, is an award-winning, 100 percent Aboriginal-owned and operated enterprise. Indigiearth sources traditional land management approaches that respect the land from Aboriginal communities in Australia. Indigiearth offers a premium bush foods and skin care treatments developed from ethically sourced and sustainably harvested Australian native ingredients. Skincare featuring products are the Kakadu Plum serum and Finger Lime serum.
Bush Medijina - based in Groote Eylandt and combines traditional Indigenous native botanical bush medicine to create modern skincare utilising recipes passed down through the generations. Featuring products are skincare balms and soaps. The items are handcrafted utilising natural and sustainable materials and gathered locally. The company contributes to the community's values, knowledge, culture, and well-being by helping to strengthen values, knowledge, culture, and wellbeing. It's an all-female-run business with an all-female board of directors, 80 percent of whom are Indigenous.
Some cleaning products have chemicals in them that are potentially hazardous to the environment. You may help to avoid these chemicals from having a harmful influence on the environment by committing to utilizing green/eco-friendly cleaning solutions. Better yet, you can make your own cleaning products. Examples of ingredients (which are eco-friendly) include:
Vegetable or olive oil
Here are Australian businesses you can check for sustainable cleaning products:
Koala Eco - a company dedicated to providing you with safe, clean, and organically derived cleaning solutions. They're certified to be safe, non-toxic, natural, and long-lasting. They're not tested on animals, and they're free of hazardous chemicals and synthetic fragrances, smelling exclusively of wonderful Australian essential oils. Their bottles are also made entirely of recycled and recyclable materials.
Zero Co - offers amazing personal-care and home-cleaning items without the use of single-use plastic. Their reusable refill pouches are created from plastic trash that has been diverted from landfills and are designed to be refilled and reused multiple times. Their dispensers are also made from plastic waste collected from beaches, landfills, and the ocean.
Who Gives a Crap - is a company that makes environmentally friendly toilet paper, paper towels, and tissues. They donate half of their proceeds to help build toilets for those in need. They started offering products made of 100% recycled paper, and eventually ventured into selling bamboo paper too. They are also a B corporation, which means it must meet strict environmental sustainability, fair employment, and transparency standards.
Your food shopping and eating habits can also make a difference when it comes to saving our earth. First, we highly encourage buying organic fruits and vegetables in season. Eating seasonally minimizes demand for out-of-season produce, resulting in more local produce and local farming in your area, as well as reduced transportation, refrigeration, hot houses, and irradiation of vegetables. Better yet, grow your own produce! It is also nice to go for fresh unprocessed foods for the same benefits of that as buying produce in season.
Food packaging is also something to consider. Avoid using plastic. Opt for calico or cloth bags instead of plastic bags when shopping
Also, buy from your local farmers market, especially those who grow and support regenerative organic chemical free farming. If you don’t have access to a local farmers’ market, get home delivery fruit & veggie boxes! Instead of having hundreds of cars on the way to the supermarket, one van drives around delivering to everyone in the area. You can be more controlled and calculated with why you buy as well saving on impulsive wasteful buying and the produce being straight from the farmer is always fresher and better quality then the supermarkets. We recommend buying from Delish Deliveries for fresh produce delivered to your home!
Remember to buy and eat consciously. If you are eating meat, try to use every part of the animal or piece of meat purchased. Use leftover bones for broth etc. Factor in where and how the animal was raised, what it was fed. Choose meats that are more sustainable to consume like kangaroo. As kangaroos are indigenous to the Australian environment they can eat a variety of indigenous scrub and do not rely on the production of grain. Also being wild animals they do not need to be farmed in the conventional way, that requires clearing the land and destruction of habitat.
There are lots of sustainable plant-based meat options on the market now as well.
Buy dry foods from wholesale suppliers where you can take your own reusable jar or container in to fill up on your grains and pasta. Most importantly, try not to waste food! Waste not, want not. This could be challenging with fussy eaters, but getting kids involved with the cooking makes for a less fussy eater and they are likely to eat more.
When it comes to baby food, try to make your own. Use leftovers for puréed babyfood - it doesn’t hurt to eat the same meal a few nights in a row or cool meals that can evolve into another ‘different’ meal the next night. Here are some zero-waste tips for preparing baby food by Veronica Milsom.
Here are some energy-saving tips at home.
- Turn off anything attached to power when not in use (not on standby).
- Buy products that have a high energy-efficient rating, saving your pocket and the planet
- If you can, utilise natural light
- Switch to LED lighting, they last longer and are far more efficient than conventional bulbs
- Rug up ! Put a jumper or blanket on instead of turning heating on
- Air dry instead of using a dryer.
- Lastly, try not to throw away damaged electric appliances; have them repaired.
Sustainability Around the Home
Organic regenerative gardening is very sustainable practices when growing your own garden, it is environmentally friendly and cost-effective using no chemicals. Start from the ground up by creating nutrient-rich soil and amending it with natural compost. If you find insect pests or plant disease in your garden, opt for organic natural remedies to treat them.
The movement of regenerative agriculture is on everyone's lips! Regenerative agriculture can be transferred to your own gardening practices - it aims to reverse the negative effects of modern day agricultural practices that put chemicals and salt-based fertilisers into the earth and food we grow. It is a holistic land management technique leaving the soil (earth) in better condition than when it started. It uses the power of photosynthesis in plants to complete the carbon cycle building soil health and nutrient dense resilient crops, these practices ensure the ecosystem will be healthier and stronger over time.
Planting native plants and bush foods as they attract birds and insects that regenerate the soil. They also grow without needing a lot of intervention, by planting local native species in your garden you will improve the biodiversity creating ecosystems that maintain healthy soil. You can learn more from IndiGrow, an Aboriginal social enterprise advocating propagation of native plants to sustain people, land and culture.
But what if you live in an urban area? Worry no more. You can build a community garden in the complex, or create a balcony garden. Don’t let small spaces deter you. Instead, be resourceful and innovative. It’s definitely worth it. For great tips and ideas - Indira Naidoo The Edible Balcony teaches you how to grow fresh food in a small space.
Composts and Worm Farm
Easily reduce your carbon footprint with compositing !
Composting not only makes you more conscious of how much food you are using and waisting but it is also a simple way to minimise food waste from festering away in our landfills - it draws carbon out of the air which cuts down on gas emissions replenishes the earth creating better quality biodiverse soil and in turn healthier plants and food.
Also, a is a great way to have a composting system if you are in an urban space to cut down on food waste. Compost and worm wee creates a natural fertiliser for your garden. It’ll also reduce landfill food waste, and it doesn’t break down anaerobically so there is no build-up of methane gas. Here is a cool idea from Subpod as a compost option. They are a 3 in 1 - compost system, worm farm and garden seat.
This topic can be so overwhelming and an endless rabbit whole of what, how and where to begin, but every change helps no matter the size, and let’s face it: no matter what we use has some impact on the environment in one way or another, but there are ways we can reduce the waste impact such as the ones mentioned. So next time, ask yourself before you buy or throw out something: how many times can I use this before getting rid of it and do I really need it in the first place?
Finally, with DulcieDot, you can purchase our garments guilt-free. You are supporting a brand that values sustainability. We use GOTS-certified organic cotton textiles as well as high-quality natural biodegradable fabrics that are kind on your skin and the environment. We also practice slow fashion which poses a lot of benefits to the environment and the society.