Sarah Short Circuit

Heal, Nourish, Nurture

Tag: Eco

ACNEM 2016

“Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food” – Hippocrates

What an amazing weekend of learning at the Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine (ACNEM) Nutrition in Medicine conference in the Sydney. So many awesome speakers with many gems of information on toxins in our environment, our microbiome, autoimmunity and genetic influences.


Julian Cribb – ACNEM 2016

“If we do not have a ‘Right Not to Be Poisoned’, there will probably never again be a day when we are not.” – Julian Cribb Poisoned Planet 2014.

Brilliant presentation on the toxins in our environment. Most people have little notion of the contaminant spread and the impact on our bodies and minds, and the risks posed to human life now and for centuries to come. In our modern society we need to take responsibility, we alone have the power to correct, to take action and demand a new human right to eliminate toxins from the food chain.


Emeritus Prof Mark Wahlqvist AO – ACNEM 2016

“To know where we come from is to know who we are and where we may go. We are ecological creatures.” Fantastic presentation by Emeritus Prof Mark Wahlqvist AO on “Health Care Systems for Ecological Creatures: the need to know who we are” ACNEM 2016. Food is an indicator of our ecological status and the eco-vulnerable are those who as most disconnected from their ecosystem. The rapid loss of our ecosystem is contributing to our health. The wholefoods system is being transferred by each generation to a people-less food system. We are losing our food biodiversity. We are missing our ecosystem with Nature Deficit disorder. We are ecosystem dependent creatures.


Nicole Bijlsma – ACNEM 2016

Every 60 seconds 20 chemicals are registered on the Chemical Abstract Service Registry. That’s over 200,000 chemicals a week – Nicole Bijlsma – Environmental chemicals in the built environment: sources, health effects and avoidance strategies ACNEM 2016.

It takes years and generations to prove if these chemicals are safe or hazardous. Being evidence based is keeping us in the dark ages, when is sufficient evidence to act? The burden of proof is not on industry to prove safety of these chemicals. It is up to us as citizens to get involved to assess our chemical load. There are many ways we can reduce our toxic load including changing the food we eat, changing the personal care products we use and changing the way we clean our homes.


Prof Susan Prescott – ACNEM 2016

“To change the world, you have to change the menu first” – Prof Susan Prescott.

Fantastic presentation on Early life solutions to the Modern Health Crisis. Our early environment influences our development and function. Bacteria are our foundation of life and as we have co-evolved with microbes they influence our physiology and behaviour. We don’t yet understand the effect on biology of food and we don’t even know what bacteria we have lost. Our disconnect from nature is another factor in our dysbiotic drift. The health of tomorrow will depend on what we do today. Everyone can make a difference by the choices we make!


Launch of the ACNEM Primary Care Curriculum

“As a nation we must do more”. The Federal Health Minister, The Hon Sussan Ley MP launched the ACNEM Primary Care Curriculum at the ACNEM Nutrition in Medicine conference. The greatest epidemic of all time is chronic disease. Changing our eating habits and emphasising the nutrition role in medicine is important in the prevention of disease and promotion of a healthy lifestyle, and as is providing doctors with this knowledge.

Nutrition and our environment play such an important role in our health, and after attending the ACNEM conference it certainly has made me think more about what is in my food and the toxins around my home. For anyone who is concerned about the foods they consume or may have any kind of health concerns a must watch is the upcoming What’s With Wheat Documentary.

This documentary investigates

  • what has changed in our wheat that is now causing a huge increase in cealiac and non-cealiac gluten sensitivity.
  • how modern agriculture has affected our wheat crops.
  • why we as a society are getting sicker and sicker, including a rise in autoimmune diseases.
  • what we can do to make change to not only improve our own health but the health of our children and future generations.

You don’t want to miss the FREE screening of What’s With Wheat Documentary available in June 2016.

What's With Wheat Documentary - opt-in page

Green shampoo

My girlfriend Katie (@John and Kate’s Plate) and I were recently chatting all things shampoo and it reminded me of my greenwash shampoo experience last year.

I have always had oily hair as long as I can remember. Every time I went to the hairdresser they would comment that my hair is oily, that I am using the wrong shampoo and that I should try this *insert sales pitch*. Personally I thought that my hair has improved since changing my lifestyle but still on the oily side.

Last year I went to the hairdresser and an older lady cut my hair (usually I get a one of the young ones). She looked at my hair and could tell how long it had been since I had hair cut just by the length, so I figured she knows what is talking about. I got the usual your hair is oily response and said that I washed my hair this morning (I don’t like getting my hair shampooed at the hairdresser with all those nasty products). Hairdresser wasn’t impressed.

Any way, she insisted on a complimentary shampoo to show me what my hair would be like with the right shampoo, that my hair would be ‘free-er’; in my head I kept thinking sales pitch. She was talking about a mint shampoo and that the mint stimulates the scalp to increase circulation and help with the production of oil, which I could understand from my understanding the properties of peppermint essential oil. Not knowing what the shampoo was until it was all finished I checked the shampoo. DNA Organics mintiscalp shampoo; I was totally green-washed.

Despite the organic ingredients and essential oils it contained top nasties like PEG and EDTA. On top of this she blow dried my hair which I dislike too (because of how it makes my hair feel dry) but I really didn’t want wet hair whilst shopping.

So how do I know what nasties are lurking in my shampoo? I refer to my Twenty8 Ingredients Card I keep in my wallet (Contact me if you would you like one for your wallet!). Other great resources are Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and the Environmental Working Group SKIN DEEP online database allow us to search ingredients and products and make our home a safer place. This is one of the best places I trust to find out about the products you put on to your body and is designed to help fill the safety gaps left by the unregulated cosmetics industry. You can also listen to this The Wellness Guys podcast with Twenty8’s very own Kim Morrison talking about what is in our personal care products.

Shampoo RedList

From Campaign for Safe Cosmetics

After my greenwash my hair went whispy, felt less oily like squeaky clean, and I was not convinced that I liked the change in my hair. Husband came home and noticed my hair straight away and laughed at the difference at first then wasn’t happy, so definitely a difference that isn’t just in my head. So was my hair feeling like this because of the

a) using a more appropriate shampoo that I am not used to

b) using a shampoo with nasties that have stripped the natural oils from my hair

c) drying out my hair from the heat of the blow drier


d) need to investigate further?

I chose d) investigate further, so I asked the Twenty8 Health and Lifestyle Educators brains trust. Questions swirled around – how often do you wash your hair, how hot is the water, to do tie your hair up and have you tried ‘no-poo‘? Fellow HLE Sparkler Alix suggested:

The less you wash your hair, the better for its natural oils. Warm water, rather than hot, is much better for natural oil production. Under the water, before you shampoo it, comb your hair really slowly to help disperse the oils from your scalp to nourish the rest of the length of you hair. If you try and wash your hair once a week, shampoo twice and then only apply conditioner to your mid-lengths and ends. Obviously the more products you use in your hair, or ‘generic’ shampoo/conditioner, the more it strips your naturals oils so your scalp over produces.

– Track2Health

I tend to wash every 3 days or so and not overly hot showers. I only use shampoo and conditioner (which were not the greatest low-tox options at the time) and am not one for haircare styling products. I loved this tip from Alix of combing my hair before shampooing to disperse the oils, which worked for the next hair cut I had as no comments were made on how oily my hair was.  I don’t think I am ready for no-poo yet.

Many of the HLE Brains Trust recommended trying Everescents, so I made the switch. With the Everescents Organic Rose shampoo my hair has never looked so good, I have never used a shampoo that smells so divine, I get ringlets without even trying and many people make lovely comments about my hair. I love the philosophy behind Everescents:

  • Australian owned & made (even the bottles & labels!).
  • Plant based ingredients.
  • Transparent about the ingredients they choose and avoid
  • Contains pure Certified Organic ingredients.
  • Contains no Palm oil.
  • No animal testing.
  • 100% Renewable Energy.
  • Supports Camp Quality

What shampoo do you use? Do you know what is in your shampoo? Found a no nasties shampoo that works for you?


Mrs Wishy Washy

Since first reading Down to Earth by Rhonda Hetzel I have wanted to give it a go in making my own laundry liquid. I thought it would be hard, time-consuming and fiddly. How wrong I was!

I made my first batch just before Christmas and this has lasted just under 3 months including many washes for night time toilet training. No longer washing day or night cloth nappies gave me a great opportunity to start to make my own laundry liquid. For laundry powder and liquids suitable for cloth nappies look here.

Laundry Liquid

Laundry Liquid Step by Step

There are only 3 ingredients to homemade laundry liquid, 4 if you count the water. Soap, washing soda, and borax. The recipe I started off with was Rhonda’s blog Down to Earth Have you tried homemade laundry liquid, and Homemade laundry liquid revisited. However I was not keen on the borax, as I think ant poison straight away and I am unclear of the environmental impact. Rhonda’s blog posts have some great comments and tips at the bottom from many of Rhonda’s readers.

The recipe I choose to use was Melissa from Frugal and Thriving, a borax free recipe. This week I made my second batch.

My product cost:

  • 7.95 soap
  • 3.99 washing soda 1kg
  • Half an hour of my time

Cost of Ingredients:

  • 7.95 1 bar of soap
  • 1.00 1 cup of washing soda

Total for 10 Litres = $8.95, that’s less than a $1 a litre!

Many of the recipes I found on how to make laundry liquid or powder recommended using any old soap, or sunlight soap, or lux flakes for ease of use. Soap ain’t soap!

  • Lux flakes Ingredients: Soap, Perfume.
  • Sunlight Soap: Sodium Tallowate, Water, Sodium Cocoate, Glycerin, Sodium Chloride, Fragrance, Etidronic Acid, Tetrasodium EDTA, CI 11680, CI 16255, Potassium Hydroxide.

Sure this may be the cheap, standard option but I want my laundry liquid to be safe to use with no nasties like fragrance, perfume or EDTA. I refer to my Twenty8 Additive card when I am out shopping to check what ingredients to avoid in my personal care products. You can also refer to Chemical Maze or Skin Deep to look up the ingredients and check for yourself what is safe for you and your family.

I went looking for soap and I choose Dr Bronners Pure Castile Unscented bar soap; safe ingredients but compromising on palm oil, sorry orang-utans.

I choose the unscented soap so that I can add my own essential oils and know the quality of the essential oils that are being used with my laundry. I choose what is safe for me and safe for the environment, nothing synthetic or adulterated. I add 3-5 drops of Eucalyptus essential oil to each load as a stain remover as well as its high anti-bacterial, anti-viral and antiseptic properties. Every few loads I will add 3-5 drops of Tea Tree essential oil to a load for its anti-fungal and antimicrobial properties.


  • Use a pot just for soap making – just to be safe. I share my soap pot with my mum.
  • Best made when children are not around.
  • Washing soda can be found in most supermarkets, look on the top or bottom shelves.
  • Have enough containers handy to store more than 10L of liquid as you need space in container to shake before use.
  • The liquid is more like gel and will separate, it is still good to use.
  • Have a scoop to store with your liquid. I choose to re-purpose my plastic 1/3 measuring cup dedicated to laundry. (I have stainless steel measuring cups for cooking).
  • Have a smaller working container for everyday use and decant as needed out of the larger containers. I use a large 10L ice cream tub from my local cafe.
  • Any of the first aid oils would be a great choice to add to your laundry liquid and will give a beautiful and fresh aroma to you clothes and linen.

If you are more a powder than a liquid person, check out Stuart’s recipe.

If you are not keen on making your own laundry liquid, Jo from Down to Earth Mum has some great tips on how to choose the best laundry liquid or powder. My favourite store-bought eco-friendly laundry liquid is Kin Kin Naturals. Some other great laundry options can be found here and here.

Mrs Wishy Washy was a popular children’s book from my 1990s school days which I can still picture in my mind when I do the washing! Have you tried making your own laundry liquid?

Take my breath away

Take my breath awaaaaay!

Lately I have found myself holding my breath from the chemical bombardment I have been encountering. The toxins in the air seem to be everywhere, there is no escape. People think that this continual bombardment is ok in small amounts but we are starting to discover the accumulation effect of these chemicals and that some people may be more sensitive than others. The more I travel down the low-tox lifestyle path, the more I find I can’t stand the smell of fake fragrances and the more sensitive I am becoming to chemicals.

Do you find that you purposely avoid the cleaning product aisle at the supermarket from the toxin fumes wafting from every product on the shelf? Do you dread when you actually need a product from this aisle and make a made dash to locate and retrieve the product of choice whilst leaving the child and trolley at the end of the aisle to spare them from the onslaught? I certainly do as the smell takes my breath away.

Recently my sunglasses broke and I set out to buy a new pair from Westfield. I walked through the cosmetic section of Myer to get to the Sunglasses Hut and I thought I was going to pass out, it was so strong. How do those shop attendants work in that environment every day selling these so called perfumes?

Last Friday my neighbour had their whole unit steam cleaned and put the steam unit in the common area. I was suffocating from the toxic fragrance wafting to my unit, even husband gagged when he got home from the stench, it was that strong. Despite how cold it is we had to open our balcony door to be able to breathe, I couldn’t even smell my vaporiser with my essential oils.

Each week I take my son to his kinder gym class during Term. During a class one of the fathers was with his child and the aftershave/deodorant stench knocked me sideways. I spent most of the class working out where this particular father was just so I didn’t have to encounter the bubble of synthetic fragrances that surrounded him.

On the way to work I walked up the street behind a man with pungent deodorant. I was forced to stop and wait till he walked further ahead just to allow me to breathe. Can people not smell how strong that stuff is that they put on themselves?

At a recent birthday celebration I was surrounded by fake smells within the household. Coconut & fig foaming hand wash I had no choice but to use to wash dirt off toddlers hands. The smell stuck to my hands for what seemed like forever. The toilet block that scents and cleans with every flush. The spray and wipe used to clean up the spills. I escaped outside just to get some fresh air any chance I got.

If a chemical is questionable let’s try to eliminate it or at best it avoid it as best you can.  While I may not be able to control the entire environment, I am able to make my home as close to nature as possible and reduce the toxic chemical load. Has anyone else developed a heightened sensitivity to fake smells since reducing the chemical load in their life?

Wipe Out

At a recent birthday celebration my son managed to spread icing down his pants while eating a cup cake. Being at someone’s else home I hesitated at first on how to deal with the mess. ‘Go grab a baby wipe from inside’ someone suggested. Now that our kids are getting older and are all out of nappies I would never have thought to go get a baby wipe. I quickly went inside and grabbed a wipe. Opening the packet took my breath away with the overpowering, fake fragrance. The baby wipe was great to clean up the icing but I thought to myself how can anyone use these on their children with all those chemicals in it?

You know you're a mom when you use baby wipes

Baby wipes are an essential item for parents and tend to be used for everything, not just on babies bottoms. However, people are starting to become more aware of the hidden nasties lurking in seeming innocent products like baby wipes. The latest headline “The South Australian Government said national figures showed 15 per cent of people tested this year had reacted to the preservative Methylisothiazolinone (MI), which is used in some brands of wipes.”. I have heard numerous stories of children developing a rash around their mouth from their parents using baby wipes to wipe their faces. This preservative MI was reported last year to being linked in an increase in allergic reactions and dermatitis and was what prompted me to look at the ingredients listed on the baby wipes I was using at the time as my son had a bad case of nappy rash. Jo at Down to Earth mother has recently blogged a great post on 10 ingredients to look out for in baby wipes.

2015-06-28 004 wipes

My cloth wipes and Wot Not wipes

As I learnt more about the chemical toxins in our personal care products, as well as the issue of the fatberg in our sewers, I phased out conventional baby wipes. Being a cloth nappy family we used cloth wipes with a splash of water at home rather than baby wipes. Our family found that cloth wipes tend to get most poo-namis cleaned up using a 2-3 wipes rather 10 or more baby wipes that you feel are smearing everywhere. Husband tends to still prefer the cloth wipes even now we are in the toilet training phase as the cloth wipes are even better than toilet paper. Cloth wipes are also a more frugal alternative to conventional baby wipes. If we happened to need a baby wipe while out and about or for use at Day Care I have a packet of Wot Not baby wipes. Wot Nots contain no parabens, 100% chlorine free, no synthetic fragrances, organic as well as an Australian product.

Have you had an allergic reaction to baby wipes? Have you thought about what is in the products, like baby wipes, that you are using on your children every day?


DIY Lunch Bags

In a way to reduce the amount of plastic we use around the home I have been looking at ways to swap from the plastic zip lock lunch bags to a more environmentally friendly option. Our first step was to reuse the plastic bags where possible by washing them, not always a fun task. Another option was switching to the humble brown paper bag, however this was still a disposable alternative. I was wanting a reuseable product that was easy to use. I had my eye on the Biome sandwich wraps and have popped a few on my wish list.

I then stumbled across Frugal and Thriving’s two posts (here and here) on free bag making tutorials. I spotted the Sandwich bag tutorial and thought to myself I can do that. Mum had some fabric I could use including some rubber backed upholstery fabric swatches. Over the next two hours I whipped up a very impressive DIY lunch bag.

You will need cotton fabric for the outer material, nylon fabric for the lining, and a sewing machine plus sewing accessories.

1. Cut a rectangle from both the cotton and the nylon fabric.

2015-04-01 001 Bag

Step 1

2. Fold cotton fabric right sides together. On one side mark from the top approx. of third of the way down. Sew from this mark down towards the middle fold. Repeat for the other side. Repeat process on nylon fabric.

2015-04-01 002

Step 2

3. Create a box corners on both the cotton and nylon fabric by folding each corner into a 90 degree triangle and sewing across the tip. Cut off the excess leaving a seam allowance.

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Step 3

4. Turn the nylon bag now right side out and insert into the cotton bag so that right sides are together.

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Step 4

5. Sew around one one flap starting from divide around to the other divide, leaving an opening in one spot.

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Step 5

6. Turn the bags right side out ensuring the nylon fabric is turned to the inside as the lining.

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Step 6

7. Top stitch around both flaps.

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Step 7

8. Fold one flap down and sew this down through the side seams, reinforcing at the join points (areas of stress).

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Step 8

9. To close the bag, flip the folded flap over the upper flap

2015-04-01 009

Finished product!

I did not follow the dimensions in the tutorial as my size was dictated by the size of the pre-cut swatches I had for the inner lining. Note to self: rubber backed fabric is difficult to work with, especially if you are new to using a sewing machine. Husband was so keen to use them after they were made I had not even had a chance to pre-wash them (don’t worry I didn’t let him use it till it was washed). Please remember these bags are not watertight or waterproof.

Now all I have to do is make a few more lunch bags and perhaps play around with the dimensions to create different sizes. I still have some rubber backed swatches so I may go looking for the Green Lifestyle Magazine I have somewhere with the bowl covers tutorial. Keep you posted if I find it!


Beautiful Bread

The other day I was out shopping and overheard a mother say to her young son of similar age to mine “Let’s go get some beautiful bread”. The mother and son then walked into Subway. I cringed at their choice of ‘beautiful bread’.

One the first changes we made as a family was our bread. I started to look into other bread options as a way to be eco-friendly. I had started to explore the local farmers markets and other local retailers as a way to break up with the supermarkets. I was also looking into ways to reduce the amount of plastic our family consumes and had the bread bag in my sights. To me it was better to reduce rather than recycle bread bags.

I started off buying bread from local bakeries rather than the supermarket as these local loves would be fresher having not contained the preservatives to be able to be transported from factory to store and to be able to sit on the shelf longer. When we could we would indulge in artisan spelt bread from the local farmers markets. There was such a difference in taste with the fresh local bread as well as my tummy felt not as bloated. Cutting down on the additives and preservatives had to be a good thing.

After researching options into how I could make home-made bread and looking at various bread making machines we decided a Kitchen Aid would be a worthy investment on our real food journey. Having never made bread in my life and armed with a dough hook I set about baking my first loaf. The first few months we used a store bought packet of bread flour. It was great as the quantities were already measured out and the instructions on the box were easy to follow. Once I got my confidence up we progressed to a bulk bag of the same bread flour and I was able to adapt the quantities of flour to the size of the loaf I wished to bake. We found smaller loaves were easier to bake and less wastage as bread only stays fresh a couple of days.

DSC_0802 bread packet

Fresh home made bread

I discovered this little image that really resonated with me 10 signs You’re Gluten Intolerant. Bloating – Yes; Keratosis Pilaris – Yes; Feeling tired after gluten meal – Yes; Hormone imbalances – Yes; Migraines – Yes; Inflammation – Yes; Mood issues – Yes = 8/10. I never had considered that my fatty acid deficiency be secondary to a gluten intolerance. As I learned more and more about real food and how the food industry has manipulated our food, I started looking alternatives to the refined wheat flour. I got my hands on books like Grain Brain by Dr Perlmutter and Wheat Belly by Dr Davis; they were a game changer for me.

Gluten intolerance - JERF

(via Just Eat Real Food Facebook)

Reading the Changing Habits, Changing Lives Book made me question how often was I really eating this refined wheat flour? It turns out that most of my diet was wheat, breakfast, lunch and dinner. So change was needed and I slowly transitioned from refined wheat to ancient grains like spelt and Einkorn, I choose foods that didn’t contain wheat like rice pasta or gluten-free pasta, and I became conscious as to how often I was eating refined wheat.

2014-11-29 002 einkorn

Changing Habits Einkorn Flour

We continue to eat bread in our household, however it is no longer two loaves or more a week from the supermarket. I will bake a small loaf of either spelt or Einkorn bread as a treat for the weekend. I didn’t think I would be able to live without bread as a staple in my diet but I don’t miss the 2 hour food cravings and upset tummy from eating refined wheat. My chicken skin is improving and I rarely have a migraine. I am grateful to enjoy the freshly baked beautiful bread made with love in my kitchen.

And there is so much more delicious food out there to eat other than refined wheat!


What's With Wheat Documentary - opt-in page

To Market, To Market

This weekend we were back in the swing of our routine and back at the farmers’ markets after the Christmas break. It was great to get all our yummy real food, but it was also great to see the smiling faces of the stall holders and have a social chit chat along the way.

Visiting the farmer’s markets has been an important part of our weekends for the past 12 months. The food quality and variety is impeccable, you can see what is in season and everyone is so friendly, some even notice when you have missed a week or two. Depending on what week of the month it is, depends on who you may find, some stall holders are monthly and some are regulars every week.

We started going to our local farmer’s market as a way towards breaking up with the supermarkets, particularly the big two. I was inspired by Down to Earth Mother on why and how Jo broke up with the supermarkets. The Sustainable Table ethical food pyramid was featured in a post by Down to Earth Mother, and I loved the simplicity of it. I decided to focus on changing our shopping habits by exploring our local farmers’ markets, and sourcing as much as we can from the farmers’ markets instead of the supermarket.

ethical shopping pyramid

Sustainable Table ethical shopping pyramid

So what is in our shopping basket this week at the markets?

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2015-01-17 005 big egg

600g supermarket egg vs 800g+ farmers’ market egg

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Tray of 20 eggs

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Wootton Valley Meat grass fed lamb mince, bacon and scotch fillet

2015-01-17 011 Milk

Unhomogenised milk and yoghurt, cultured butter and soft cheese

And the fruit and veg in the above photo!

A bonus with the market’s is when we can treat ourselves to yummy lunch whilst soaking up the sunshine.

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Stevensons Fine Food sausage roll

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Stevensons Fine Food pie and mash with gravy

Check out your local area and see if there is a farmer’s markets near you.


Changing Habits

Tinkle Tinkle Little Star!

No that is not a typo. I am starting toilet training so we are singing, reading and doing everything we can to make it encouraging. So I thought it best to share with you a change that we are making in our family, our toilet paper.

Now think very carefully… how many sheets of toilet paper do you use? Write this number down now and remember it.

Toilet paper,  a necessity of modern life.  But have you ever stopped to think about how it is made? How the paper is sourced? The environmental impact of toilet paper? Like most people I had not given this a thought. Is there an environmental alternative? Do you envisage environmental toilet paper to look and feel like newspaper?

This post from Down to Earth Mother got me thinking about this conundrum. I came across Down to Earth Mother from reading Green Lifestyle Magazines  Feb/March 2013 issue about raising green kids (great article to read). From here I follow Jo as she blogs about making greener choices.

Over the past 12 months I had the idea of switching to a greener toilet paper. The reasons it appealed to me were:

  • Better for the environment by saving the trees, reducing the land fill, using less oil, water and electricity
  • Better for my family, as we wouldn’t be wiping our behinds with chemicals like nasty chlorine, fake fragrances and bleach
  • No plastic packaging
  • Made from recycled materials like office waste paper or sustainable forest plantations like bamboo and sugar cane
  • A supermarket free alternative as I could order environmental toilet paper on-line

So how to make the switch? What options are out there?

  • Who Gives a Crap – 100% recycled paper, no chlorine, inks, dyes or weird perfumes, packaged in paper, double length (400 sheets), 3 ply toilet paper with on-line subscription and free shipping. Down to Earth Mother gave a great review. A few of the blogs I follow and Facebook groups I am part of have also spoken highly of this product, particularly as it donates to 50% of profits to charity.
  • GreenCane – 70% bamboo and sugar cane, non-chlorine bleached, plastic free packaged, large (300 sheets), 2 ply toilet paper. Down to Earth also reviewed this product.  GreenCane also have kitchen paper towels.
  • Caboo –  New to the game in late 2014. 100% bamboo and sugar cane, no recycled paper, chlorine bleach free, panda bear friendly, free of inks, dies and perfumes, large (300 sheets), 2 ply toilet paper. Caboo also have tissues in a range of sizes, kitchen paper towels and paper napkins.
  • Supermarket Green options. Standard 200 sheets long generally.
  • Cloth – we are a cloth family for nappies and muma cloth but not sure we could go this far.

However, I had reservations.

  • I want to try before I commit to buying a bulk amount. The idea of 48 scratchy unpleasant toilet rolls is not appealing in the slightest.
  • With the recycled options, where is the waste paper products coming from? If it was printed paper, what about the potentially toxic dyes? I didn’t want to switch from one chemical to another, like BPA, in my toilet rolls, I wanted it to be low-tox.
  • The upfront cost of ordering a 48 pack of toilet rolls on-line and potential subscription, would involve tweaking our tight budget compared to a say $8 pack from a supermarket as part of our regular shop.
  • Where I was going to store 48 rolls with my cupboards already at the point of overflowing?
Toilet Paper

Our current selection of toilet paper – Caboo, GreenCane and Aldi.

So I put it off making the switch. I choose a better supermarket alternative from Aldi, checking the forestation certification and buying a bigger pack to reduce the amount of plastic packaging. In November 2014 we ventured out to the Eco Xpo, and were pleasantly surprised to find a couple of the environmental alternatives GreenCane and Caboo, so I got my chance to try by buying a few of the toilet rolls.

But what about the cost (based on my calculations)?

  •  Who Gives A Crap 400 sheets 24 pack = $0.31 per 100; 400 sheets 48 pack = $0.25 per 100.
  • GreenCane 300 sheets 48 pack = $0.29 per 100.
  • Caboo 300 sheets 12 pack = $0.28 per 100. (based on what I paid at Eco Xpo).
  • Aldi Confidence 3 ply 190 sheets 24 pack = $0.20 per 100; Confidence 2 ply 12 pack = $0.12 per 100. (based on Aldi online shopping list).
  • Green Supermarket Options e.g. Naturale 180 sheets 12 pack = $0.24 per 100; Safe Planet Ark Long Roll 12 pack = $0.23 per 100. (based on Coles online).
  • Standard Supermarket Options e.g. Kleenex 180 sheets 12 pack = $0.46 per 100; Quilton 180 sheets 12 pack = $0.30 per 100. (based on Coles online).

If you got lost in my number crunching above, the sum of it all is there is only a few cents difference per 100 sheets depending on the roll you choose, with the eco options being slightly more expensive than average unless you buy in bulk.

I am loving Caboo, the toilet paper is soft, strong as it doesn’t tear off in pieces, the price is reasonable and the roll is longer than standard so less frequent toilet roll changes is a bonus. The tissues are also soft and I didn’t get a red sore nose using the tissues recently when I was sick. Now to find a local retailer …

Caboo tissues

Caboo Tissues

Now, to your answer to how many sheets of toilet paper you use, say that number of good things about yourself. Enjoy your day!



My land is your land

This land is your land, this land is my land
From California, to the New York Island
From the redwood forest, to the gulf stream waters
This land was made for you and me.

2014-12-18 003 King Parrot

King Parrot on our balcony

This song has been sung many a time around a camp fire and resonates with me each time I take in the beauty which surrounds us. I live in a beautiful part of Australia and am privileged to live part way between the beach and the bush. I am grateful for the morning I spend with my family sitting by the beach, watching my son run back and forth between the waves, building sand castles, giggling with delight. I am grateful for the afternoon on the beach spending quality time kicking back and relaxing with friends and watching a pod a dolphins swim close to shore. I am grateful for the day I spend soaking in the sun on a ferry ride with my son on our glorious Sydney Harbour. I am grateful for the animals that share our environment and come visit regularly. I am grateful for the National Park on our door step beckoning me to step foot within her serene nature on a invigorating bush walk.

2014-12-05 014 Sydney Harbour

Ferry ride on Sydney Harbour

There is beauty in our world and we all must protect what we have before it is too late, before we lose and damage what we have. We need to make better choices with the way our world, our technology, our conveniences impact our precious and limited environment. Otherwise there will come a time soon (or we are already there?) where there is no beauty, only a landscape littered with rubbish, plastic debris and pollution, choked with toxins leaching into our bodies poisoning us slowly. Though the land may be made for us, it wasn’t made for us to trash it. We need to be grateful for our land and what it provides for us so that we can all live and prosper happy healthy and fulfilled lives.

nature - food matters

(via Food Matters)

(Words and Music by Woody Guthrie)

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