Zero Waste Expecting a Baby
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In ten short weeks, I will be expecting a baby. Thrilled, nervous and impatient to meet him (yes, it's a boy) are the everyday emotions that whirl through my mind and body. I'm not nervous for the birth, rather excited for that part. Instead I'm nervous for the future.

Expecting a baby has made my commitment to live a life conscious of rubbish and plastic even more important. Knowing that I am helping raise the next generation has magnified the responsibility I already feel.

We have discussed what type of parents we will be, the issues we may face, namely the struggles that will come with raising a child exposed to a lifestyle, that is counter to how most of society lives.

One thing I'm firm on, is that I don't want to push our child to live plastic free or zero waste. My hope is to be the best example of these lifestyles, encourage him through education, inquiry and kindness, but let him make his own choice. Never make him feel guilty about decisions that might be different to his parents. I believe guilt and shame are two of the worst emotions to inflict on anyone.

I live this lifestyle based around responsibility, not guilt or shame for the environment, animals, people that I share this planet with. My personal reason for going zero waste: I don’t believe the next generation should have to deal with my rubbish. It’s my responsibility. I came to this through education and inquiry myself.

Expecting a child is expecting plastic, expecting rubbish. It will happen; we know this and have accepted it. As parents, we can only do our best.

Long time no blog, but popping in to show that I'm still alive.

This year got off to a languid start. Visitors have come and gone, there have been many trips to the beach, enjoying the company of family and friends. The slowness has been welcomed with open arms. Rewind to this time last year, and I was busy researching venues, catering, and all other necessary areas for our zero waste wedding.

There were a lot of new beginnings last year, starting with our engagement and wedding a short five months later. We fell pregnant with our baby just after the wedding, a welcome surprise on the first day of our honeymoon (and kind of ruined half of our honeymoon with morning sickness). My day job was chaotic for the first half of the year, and as that slowed down, I embarked on many speaking engagements about zero waste living, plus the odd TV, radio and writing for publications that kept me on my toes too. Intermingled in all that was the Plastic Bag Free Victoria petition and submission. Then it all came to a head at the end of the year, as I quit my full time job.

My doctor told me to rest and relax as we entered this new year, and avoid all travel if I can help it. This has meant saying no to two great opportunities to talk about zero waste on a larger scale. Which is OK, there is much going on locally to keep me busy while the baby continues to grow...

  • This blog is going to pack up and move at some point, so if you see it go offline, you now know why. There will also be small changes to help make this website a better resource, especially for the Australian audience. After all, I live in Australia, and wish to inspire change here as much as possible. 
  • Zero Waste Victoria (our growing state based Facebook group) is running an information stall at the Sustainable Living Festival. It's easy to forget that not everyone reads blogs, has Intsagram or Facebook. So I'm teaming up with some of the members of the group to see how we can change that and spread the word. The first step is the info stall and a simple website.
  • Plastic Bag Free Victoria is still going strong, though we are all taking a break while we await news on the petition. I have a big blog post coming up on everything that has happened.
  • I'm booking in talks and workshops post June (aka, three months post birth). I told the Builder that I had booked my first talk for 2017, stating he would have to look after the baby for a couple of hours. There was a quick flash of fear over his face. 
  • We are slowly collecting various necessities for the impending arrival of our baby. Everything that sits in the baby room has been loaned, gifted or passed onto us for free. I'm looking forward to sitting down and writing more baby posts. It's going to be a whole new challenge for us. 
  • The Builder is moving his office home. It will be nice to see him more often. We joke that we barely saw each other last year, even though it was full of milestones. 
  • Our garden, that we want to turn into a vegetable garden, is last on the list. I'm hoping to get it ready for autumn to plant a winter crop. 

I'd say there is enough to keep me busy until the baby arrives. I better get to the shops and do some plastic free shopping for dinner. We have not made it to the farmers market for over a month, and are looking forward to getting back into it this weekend. Hope you all are having a nice start to the year. How many of you have made new years resolution to go zero waste or reduce plastic?

Magnesium oil is something I had never EVER heard of. That was until I started experiencing morning sickness three weeks into my pregnancy.

I was lying in bed crying, the Builder busy reading out morning sickness remedies that might help. Lemon in water, peanut butter, peppermint, apple cider vinegar, ginger, icy water, crackers, acupuncture, high fat foods, vegemite, milk, magnesium oil…

Each one was tested and none of them did much but tie me over for a short half hour. And ginger tea/beer/lollies/grated/pickled did nothing.

Magnesium oil helped. While it has never removed the full effects of morning sickness, it has helped reduce the nausea significantly and alleviated the dazed cloudy feeling, offering me some respite.

Before I began slathering it onto my body, I researched. With our skin being the largest body organ, I wanted to make sure it was safe. Anything that goes onto our skin, goes into our bodies. It’s technically not oil, however it does feel oily before it dries on the skin. I came upon articles, blog posts and many forums where women discussed their success with magnesium oil during pregnancy. There did not appear to be any negative side effects. Aside from a mild tingling during the first few applications.

How does it work to help with morning sickness? Magnesium basically helps regulate the hormones that supposedly cause the morning sickness, while balancing the levels of cortisol that peak and trough. It’s one of the reasons why eating endless carbs during pregnancy helps, as they stop you from reaching the low sugar trough. It’s when the low is hit that the nausea intensifies.

During my research, I found some people claimed it worked well as a deodorant. I am trialling it now and will report back in the new year.

Magnesium oil is made of Magnesium chloride flakes, I bought from The Source Bulk Foods and this oil can easily be made at home.

1/4 cup Magnesium chloride flakes
1/4 cup purified water

Put both into a pot and warm gently. As the flakes disappear, let cool and transfer to a glass bottle. Rub onto the body morning and night. For the first two weeks, I used 1/8 cup Magnesium chloride flakes to 1/4 cup purified water, then upped to 1/4 cup.

Apart from easing my morning sickness, it also helped me achieve a more sound sleep and reduced cramping in my legs at night. Two other side effects of pregnancy for some women. I can tell instantly when I have not applied it to my body.

Just a note /
there is morning sickness medication. My doctor reassured me that if I needed it, I would be able to have it. I have been able to manage my morning sickness. Morning sickness varies from woman to woman. It is a side effect of pregnancy that should not be treated lightly. Be aware that severe morning sickness is serious, and in some cases, confused with Hyperemesis Gravidarus. No woman is weak or has failed, for wanting or needing to take medication in any form to treat morning sickness (I’d love to know who invented the term morning sickness!). Nor has anyone failed at living a plastic free or zero waste life for taking ANY medication or making choices that will help create a more comfortable pregnancy. Do what is right for you :) I’m only sharing this as it helped me. Be gentle and always do things your way.
It has been a long time since I’ve shared anything about my garden. The last time I posted was two years ago and much has changed in the last few weeks.

With the upcoming addition to our family, we have turned our thoughts to the house. I have been asked by friends if we will move, so our kid can have a "proper backyard". While it would be great to have a backyard, we are lucky to have an array of public parks in our neighbourhood. Plus our proximity to public transport makes it hard for me to uproot and leave for the sake of having a backyard. I have access to trams, buses and trains, which is perfect as I don’t have a car and we are going to try being a one car family. Yes, this country girl is quite happy to stay in our suburban town house for the next five years. That should be enough time for me to woo the Builder into making a tree change to a country town ;) Regardless if that ever happens, our home without a 'proper' backyard, will do just fine.

Early in 2015 we made plans to try for a baby in 2016, way before a zero waste wedding was ever talked about, and I have been squirreling money away from then. Since we decided that I would take two years out of the workforce to be the primary carer, I thought it best to put some money aside as Australia does not offer the best maternity leave scheme for women or men. I have saved enough, but we still had to look at other areas where we can save money. Food is probably that area we could reduce spending. Truthfully, it's probably the only place, other than bills, where any of our money goes. While we are pretty good at being frugal food shoppers, we still wanted to cut down on what we spent as we switched to a one income family. So we decided to look at our garden and try maximizing each space, turning what we have into a proper food resource.

We grow some of our own food, but never enough to avoid a trip to the farmers market each week. Two years ago, the Builder added planter boxes and made space for me to grow some vegetables. It was enough to play with. At the time I could not ask him to remove the birds of paradise and palms that took up most of our courtyard garden. But over the years they grew too big and eventually, the Builder saw the space could be more useful than ornamental. It was decided that the birds of paradise, palms and other decorative plants would go. Adverts went up on our local Buy, Swap, Sell Facebook group and one by one, the plants were dug up and taken away to new homes. Now the space is empty, ready for vegetables and herbs.

Expanding our garden

Expanding our garden

Over the years, it has been trial and error, understanding what grows well and what does not. With the new open spaces, I will have to relearn how it to make it work. I don't believe myself to have a natural green thumb, but I do work hard at it. I think the Builder has more of an inbuilt way with plants that he is not aware of. But I can see it. While the garden we have is small, it is larger than many people have, and we intend to make the most of it. Properly this time.
Ahhh Christmas. Or as I call it, stuffmas. Because that is what the day has become…a day of handing over stuff. Over packaged plastic stuff.

Each Christmas, my parents would load us into the family car and we would travel west, past Goulburn to my grandparent’s farm. No matter the year, Christmas day would run in the usual order; open presents while the parents and grandparents sipped on sherry, and then proceed to have lunch. Once our bellies were full, we would be let loose to play on the farm.

One year, my brother was asked to write about his Christmas Day for a school assignment. He would have been young, still in primary school. My mother had read his report before it went off to his teachers. Recently, she shared the words my brother had written. He did not mention the presents being his favorite aspect of the day. It was playing cricket with his family. His favorite memories he had accumulated were all about doing things, not the presents.

When my mother brought up this story, I tried to recall the presents I had opened throughout my Christmases. Truthfully, I could not remember many of them. I remember the car rides, playing with the dogs on the farm, exploring the old shearing shed, generally running amuck. I remember toys played with, but they are not the things that made up the happy memories of my childhood. It was the activities I shared with my family and friends that make me smile.

I love receiving experiences as gifts and I love gifting experiences. When it comes to gifts, I’d rather choose moments over things. Not add to the unfounded belief that giving a physical object is the only way to celebrate an occasion. Happiness is not tied up with stuff.

Recently, I discovered MyBestGift. An online website that is all about gifting experiences to kids. Launched this year, the website allows us adults to find experiences for kids by age, theme and location. Looking for something not made of plastic for a 10 year old boy? Try a lesson on abseiling, kayak, skateboarding or cooking. There is also a section dedicated to parents and bubs. I’d much rather a enjoy attending a music class with my baby to come, than collecting toys, that will become forgotten too quickly.

caters for children of all ages, from newborns to 18 year olds. I spoke with founder Sara Eastwood about her venture and what it’s been like creating a site that promotes choosing moments over things and tips to have waste free Christmas. 

Creating memories with MyBestGift

Creating memories with MyBestGift

What is My Best Gift and what inspired you to start this service?
MyBestGift is an experience gifting site, dedicated entirely to kids' experiences. I have two little girls, Mila 5yo and Sophie who's about to turn 2! I realised last year that my girls already had more than they needed and I couldn't imagine them receiving more toys for every celebration, it just seemed excessive and wasteful, given they had their favourite few toys they'd always play with. As a big fan of experience gifts myself, I asked our family to give experiences to our girls instead and initially looked on the existing sites, only to find they didn't cater to kids. I then suggested ballet lessons for Mila, but the local ballet school didn't offer gift vouchers and so my parents paid for the lessons and didn't have anything to show for it so they bought her a toy as well, and the whole thing was a bit of a disaster! I felt like there had to be a better way and after doing some research, decided to start the site myself!

What has been the challenges developing My Best Gift?
I'm not a developer, so that was always going to be my biggest challenge in starting an marketplace online. I brought on a business partner early on, who has the tech experience and knowledge, so we compliment each others skill set.

What surprising lessons have you learned along the way?
I've been really pleasantly surprised by how many people want to help you succeed. I've learnt that if you share your dream with people, they'll do whatever they can to help. I've had complete strangers offering their skills, networks, feedback and encouragement, it's been really incredible.

I realised last year that my girls already had more than they needed and I couldn't imagine them receiving more toys for every celebration, it just seemed excessive and wasteful, given they had their favourite few toys they'd always play with.

So many people assume that giving a present involves buying and wrapping a physical gift. Do you have tips for people on how they can approach/talk to family and friends, asking for no physical gifts?
Yes! Talk to your friends and family about your childhood memories, we remember the things we did and the people we were with, not each and every barbie doll we had. The opportunity to give those experiences is so much more meaningful and creates lasting childhood memories, which is something they'll cherish if they understand the impact they'll have. Whether it's their first surfing lesson, ballet lessons, or a jet boat ride or a trip to the local wildlife park, it's going to be memorable!

They can also get creative in giving their experience gifts! You can set up a treasure hunt in the backyard, with little clues leading them to their ultimate treasure, their experience gift voucher! We have lots of ideas on how to 'wrap' your experiences, you can find them here.

Creating memories with MyBestGift

Creating memories with MyBestGift

Christmas is fast approaching (eek!). What are two easy actions you will be making during the holiday season to reduce rubbish?
1. Experience gifts!! (no surprises there!)
2. And Secret Santa. Instead of everyone trying to buy something for each and every person, just one gift, that you can take the time to think about what that person would really appreciate.

What plans does My Best Gift have for the future?
So. Many. We're launching in the five capital cities prior to Christmas and will be working really hard to continue to grow our coverage in those cities and expand into other areas. We'll also be expanding our offering next year, so stay tuned for our updates ;-)

If you could ban one item of single use plastic from anyone using it, what would it be?
Plastic bags!

Many zero wasters keep their rubbish in a jar. It’s a weird concept. Someone described rubbish jars as a kind of waste taxidermy. Of course, living zero waste does not require any rubbish to be housed in a glass jar. Or kept in the home at all. I simply started to keep mine because a) I thought that’s what living zero waste entailed b) I could track what rubbish I was creating to make improvements and c) continued because it’s a great example of what can be achieved when I give talks on waste reducing.

Recently I have been wondering if it’s really setting the best example. Is keeping all the waste in my jar asking for change? Sure, it shows that with thought and intention, the consumers rubbish can be reduced. But now I am not as convinced that hoarding every little but it of it, in a glass home, is the way forward.

I do wonder if the zero waste movement is taking too much responsibility for the rubbish we don’t want to create. No one living zero waste wants to create rubbish, and we are forever trying to avoid it. For instance, I have several straws in my jar that I specifically did not ask for…but now are my responsibility. Why is it my responsibility?

The first month of my pregnancy, I was very ill. I couldn't keep anything in my stomach. Including water. It’s kind of scary. No food was staying down, which meant no nutrients. So I did what probably most new Mum’s do, and followed the doctors’ orders to buy a pregnancy multivitamin. I chose the most well-known brand, Elevit. They come in blister packs, that are made of half plastic and half aluminum, packed in a cardboard box. There was probably another multivitamin in a recyclable jar, but I grabbed this brand because I knew of it and I also could not be bothered sussing out another brand. At that stage getting out of bed was difficult. Trawling the internet or pharmacy for a more sustainable option was the last thing I wanted to do. My only concern was my baby and finding a discreet place to be sick after I left the pharmacy.

The brand I chose is the most popular and trusted pregnancy multivitamin in Australia. I know that I should have picked one that has recyclable packaging. And I take full responsibility that I did not. As I mentioned, my stamina for making a sustainable decision was non existent, so I went with what I felt was best for my body and baby. 

Not too long after this, the doctor discovered my thyroid was not functioning properly and I needed to get onto a medication pronto. Again I followed the doctors’ orders, and took the medication. This time it was packaged in aluminum blister packs. No plastic. Everything can be recycled. I didn't even ask or look for a sustainable packaged option.

I began to wonder why Elevit didn’t do the same, or use glass and plastic bottles. Each fortnight, I began emptying a blister sheet of Elevit, placing it into my jar, the same thought of 'why don’t they' floating in my mind. Then I wondered if we should always have to compromise our decisions because of packaging, especially when it comes to health? Is that truly fair? Will that make the big companies take notice?

Stuffing this rubbish into my jar is not going to push for any change. Elevit has been good. I can’t fault it, other than the packaging. But holding onto it, is not enough. I can help make a change and my rubbish can do more than sit there.

It's my responsibility to speak up if I want to see change.

So now I am saving up all the Elevit blister sheets, and I'll send them back to Elevit (Bayer) with a letter and suggestions on how they can provide better packaging. Because there are alternatives. They exist and they can make a change. It should not always be up to me.

Living zero waste is not just about making better choices for myself. It's demanding better choices for everyone. One of the most effective actions to reduce waste is asking for change at the source. There is not a low waste alternative to everything yet. But if I start speaking up, maybe one day there will be.  

I’m not just stopping at Elevit. In my jar are blister packs for Nurofen and Panadol. I know these can be housed in plastic bottles. I have seen it in the US and sometimes I see it here. Though now that option seems to be less available.  I have seen my own thyroid medication housed in aluminium, so why can’t they do the same?

I have airline tickets in my rubbish jar. I can send them back, explaining the risk of BPA on the tickets and asking for another option like digital boarding passes. My old mascara tube, the broken sunglasses, plastic food stickers...I can identify sustainable solutions for each. So I am going to let the companies know. 

I'm not trying to get rid of all my rubbish. I still have plenty left in that jar and no doubt, much more to take responsibility for in my future.

Imagine if we all started doing this? Having conversations that asked the producer to make smarter decisions rather than us zero wasters constantly avoiding items or stuffing it away into a jar. These companies might have never thought about sustainable options in the original design. They might not know about the zero waste movement. The responsibility of rubbish sits equally on the shoulders of both producer and consumer. I believe we are going to have to work together to make less rubbish, and for us zero wasters that just might entail speaking up. 
The principle of zero waste living is much bigger than glass jars and bulk food shopping. Shifting the attitude and perspectives on how we can better manage our resources is the main principle sitting at the movements core. It's about rethinking, not filling up jars. 

Treeincarnation is a Melbourne based business challenging the wasteful mindset of the tree removal and furniture making industry. 

Melbourne is a wet and windy city. It’s not uncommon to see tree removal and branch pruning after a storm, namely for safety reasons. The trees and branches collected are turned into mulch and firewood.

While acres of forests are cut down to make cheap furniture, Treeincarnation founder Nick Peardon questioned why the wood from felled trees on our suburban streets was not being used to build furniture instead. Treeincarnation will remove trees, branches and old stumps and turn this wood into furniture. 

It's inspiring learning about businesses that are helping to challenge the status quo of waste in many different areas.

I interviewed Nick about his business and how he is hoping to change people’s perceptions in the tree felling and furniture industry.

Interview with Treeincarnation

Interview with Treeincarnation

What is TreeIncarnation? What inspired you to start the business?
Treeincarnation is Melbourne's only (and perhaps Australia's) tree removal company that makes furniture from the trees that are being cut down. The business was founded on the dissatisfaction with the way things have always been done - referring to the amount of waste that is rife across the board. Typically when it comes time for a tree to be removed, it is either cut up for firewood or disposed of as mulch. Treeincarnation is all about making as much furniture from trees already being cut down to decrease demand for deforestation and habitat destruction.

What have been the challenges in your business?
In the early stages of development, in mid 2015, we were up against various challenges that were preventing us from turning our dream into reality. This predominantly revolved around the fact that most of the trees we were removing were 'green' and thus took anywhere between 6 and 18 months to effectively dry out, and thus be in a state where they could be used as materials for making furniture.

This timeframe was hardly feasible to be worked in with the markets' demands. We set out to find ways in which we could reduce this turn around time. This brought us to the concept of incorporating the green timber into the design, which ultimately enabled us to reduce the turn around time down to a couple of days for handful of products.

Take us through the process of turning an unwanted a tree into one of your stools?
The first thing we need to be wary of when we're salvaging timber from trees is the fact that we need to make it feasible to dismantle the tree safely without breaking anything, get the job done in a timely manner so we can remain competitive, and be able to cut big enough sections out of the tree at time so they can be up cycled into furniture. There is no rule book for this as it's all uncharted territory, however we find the use of ropes, pulleys and lowering equipment to be the best method so far.

Once we have the pieces of timber safely yielded from the tree, it is time to measure them up and cut them to length. Once we have done that, the off-cuts are dealt with and the soon-to-be stools are ready to be transported back to our yard and then turned on our v. large lathe.

Interview with Treeincarnation
Treeincarnation is all about making as much furniture from trees already being cut down to decrease demand for deforestation and habitat destruction.

What are some of TreeIncarnation’s achievements so far?
I have to say as the Founder and Managing Director of the company, the most proud moment of mine would have to be seeing the dedication of our staff ever since we starting recruiting in alignment with our vision. I've had people call up wanting to volunteer, purely because they hold what we do in such high regard. My team truely understand and resonate with the fact that we are doing so much more than making furniture from trees, we are building the Great Wall of China when everyone else is just laying bricks, so to speak. The plan is to get as many other companies as possible to minimise waste as well rather than do things just 'because that's the way it's always been done'.

Tell us TreeIncarnation plans for the future?
I'm not sure whether this is just a distraction, somewhat aligned with what we're trying to achieve, or part of 'what I'm here to do' (in a spiritual sense), but there is serious talk of expanding into the treehouse business. There is so much on my plate atm that makes me nearly cringe at the thought of doing more things, however I can seriously see it come into reality in the not too distant future. We have already started our first one, and the plan is to put the word out as soon as Treeincarnation is relatively streamlined / running sufficiently without any dependance on any one key member of staff. The only problem with building treehouses is that it's hardly aligned with what we're aiming to achieve (minimising waste and inspiring the industry to do the same), however we are of the opinion that the world needs it, and that's good enough for me.

Where can people buy your furniture? Do you do custom made pieces?
If people don't have a tree they need to have removed and are looking to purchase an item from us, we will have an online store fully setup in the not too distant future where people will be able to navigate our products and checkout with a customised item, tailored to how they want it. However in the meantime, we do have a few partnerships with local retailers who stock our stools - visit Gaudion Furniture or Norsu Interiors for more.
Making zero waste or plastic free makeup is not for everyone. Having the time, space, resources, finding ingredients package free, or at the least in reusable and recyclable packaging can put this aspect of zero waste living in the too hard basket. Luckily, there are pre-made products that tick the zero waste packaging box for some.

Last year, I set myself the mission to look for ready made zero waste beauty products that would suit people wishing to live a low waste lifestyle or plastic free lifestyle. I picked two product lines to investigate; lipstick and mascara.

Review: Plastic Free Zero Waste Urb Apothecary Tint Stick

This is not a paid review at all. I bought this for me to use, because sometimes I get busy and don’t have the time to make my own lip cream.

Luckily, there are people out there that LOVE to make beauty products for a living. Etsy and other online stores is the space to find them. This is where I found a lipstick and cheek tint in compostable cardboard, ticking all the boxes for a consumer looking for a ready-made zero waste lipstick.

I have had my UrbApothecary Tint Stick for almost a year and continue to wear it almost every day. I even wore it on my wedding day and recently on national TV. No one knew that the packaging was, gasp, made of cardboard.

Now if you clicked the link, you would have noticed that the tint stick is wrapped in a sticker. So did I. Stickers like this are not recyclable or compostable. But seeing how this was one of the only ready made lipstick/cheek tints I found in compostable packaging, I decided to contact the seller asking if they would be able to send this item without the sticker. As it is made in small batches, the maker complied easily, saying that when she makes the next batch (which mine would be from) she would keep a sticker off my one.

This is one of reasons why I encourage people to check out Etsy or other small online stores for zero waste beauty items. They are run by individuals or are small businesses, making it easier to have a direct conversation about what you (the consumer) would like. This is especially handy too when making requests on how your items should be packaged and sent (no plastic please and bubble wrap please). Same with local markets or local boutique makeup businesses.

Review: Plastic Free Zero Waste Urb Apothecary Tint Stick

UrbApothecary Tint Stick is a mainly plant based product. The red colouring comes from a plant called alkanet. Being free of mica and iron-oxide, it does require a couple of applications to provide a bold colour on the lips. On my pale cheeks, one application is more than enough.

A touch up after four hours on the cheeks and one hour on the lips suits me fine, depending if I'm eating or drinking. It has a sweet smell, nothing too overpowering or strong. I don’t know if I would classify this as tint, it does not stain the way my beetroot lip/cheek tint does. It does provide colour though, just not an instant bold colour. You gotta build that up.

It’s small (7cm long) and light weight, allowing for easy transportation.

I recognised all the ingredients, but punched them into the EWG database to double check their safety. All came back with safe recommendations. It is free of synthetic preservatives, synthetic fragrances, cruelty free, palm oil, paraben and SLS free, plus organic and ethically sourced materials ticked boxes for me.There is also a vegan wax option too.

Review: Plastic Free Zero Waste Urb Apothecary Tint Stick

The cardboard case has held up well. The application is just like a regular lipstick with a push up function.

I did check with the seller and also the maker of the packaging if there was a lining of plastic. There is not. Instead it has a lining made of oil that is safe for composting. I’m about two months away from finishing this tint stick and will do the hot water test to double check it is indeed lined with only oil and not plastic. One of the reasons I gravitated towards paper based casing was the composting factor. If I lost this, it should break down in the natural environment quickly. I'll be quick to update if this is not the case. But until then I am trusting the maker and packaging company that is indeed free of a plastic lining.

UrbApothecary Tint Stick was shipped with no plastic too. A request I made. The lipstick came in a plain cardboard envelope, held in the small white paper envelop with paper tape seen below. It also came with the business card.

Review: Plastic Free Zero Waste Urb Apothecary Tint Stick

It was great to find a ready made cosmetic in cardboard. While there are more options in glass and metal, I prefer cardboard for a couple reasons. Cardboard can break down in my simple backyard compost. Cardboard is welcome and beneficial to the composting process. While resources, energy and transportation are needed to make the cardboard packaging, if I choose to compost it then I don't have to recycle it, which is a labor intensive industry too. If I have the choice, I will choose composting over recycling. Most glass packaging comes with a metal or plastic lid. Plastic lids smaller than a business card are harder to recycle and can escape the sorting process. It's best to ask your council or closest recycling centre if they accept them for recycling and how best to hand them over (usually as a bundle so they don't get lost). Metal lids and containers can be lined with plastic. This usually does not stop them from being recycled, but i'm trying to cut down on plastic where I can. So cardboard is my preferred packaging and if it works just as well as plastic, then why not choose it.

The only downside is that the product is made in the US. So there is the shipping miles included for us Aussies. However, I have found out there is an Australian company called Dirty Hippie Cosmetics that is set to offer some products in compostable packaging soon, including a cheek/tint stick.

Until then I’ll continue to use UrbApothecary Tint Stick as I am very VERY happy with it.

I’d love to know if you found this review helpful. I’d also like to know if there is a similar products available here in Melbourne or other parts of Australia? Have I missed it? Is there a Australian beauty business that has low waste as a priority? Are there any big brands that are trying to reduce their packaging too?