“Start small, challenge yourself, but not too much. It is a journey of many steps.” That’s the advice from Jo, who first decided to make a change while working in Sydney.
“I was driving a 4-litre company car everywhere, putting all my washing in the dryer even if it was 40 degrees outside. We were wasteful and blissfully unaware.” They would recycle, thinking “that was doing our bit,” After becoming aware of their energy use and carbon footprint, Jo decided her family needed to make a change.
They began cycling to work, and when their son was born they started using cloth nappies and homemade wipes. “Chux cloths dipped in chamomile tea – brilliant.” They were also introduced to chemical-free cleaning. “I really liked it. I now clean my house with water, vinegar and baking soda.”
Amazed at how much soft plastic they were accumulating even when recycling, Jo’s focus then turned to avoiding “products with excess packaging, especially individually wrapped portions.”
“Now I make our own bread and buy lots of things in bulk from the Remakery or wholesalers. I think we’re eating more healthily as a result.” says Jo. “We’re saving money and filling up the kids more easily with ‘real food’.”
They mostly bike, walk or take public transport. “The car is not used much. I aim to live a more sustainable life, to lead by example and show my kids the importance of individual action and choice.” Jo says they get their ideas from “social media and good old innovation. Plus, my Mum was ahead of her time when in came to recycling. She came from a war childhood where ‘mend and make do’ was big.”
Jo’s motto? “Be the change I want to see in the world.”
Jo’s tips to help you on your journey:
Tip 1: Chux cloths dipped in chamomile tea make great wipes
Tip 2: Use water, vinegar and baking soda for cleaning around the house
Tip 3: Make your own bread – it’s healthier and more filling