This year I was invited to join the judging panel for the Australian Non Toxic Awards, a role that involved testing and critiquing a large range of zero waste products for the home. I love testing new eco products at the best of times and enjoyed this task of choosing the best new sustainable products in Australia.

The full list of winners can be found on the Australia Non-Toxic Awards website, but I wanted to take the opportunity to showcase a few of my favourites here for you. I encourage you to support these eco businesses so you can reduce your environmental impact and in turn, help them make a bigger impact.

 

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1. zero waste home gold award – enviro hanger

Every now and then you come across a sustainable product that has the potential to tip an entire industry on its head, in a good way! The Australian designed Enviro Hanger is one of those products.

Enviro Hanger is a family-run business striving to ensure the environment is protected for future generations. Their core mission is to eliminate waste by replacing plastic hangers in retail stores with 100% recyclable paper-based hangers. It’s a worrying statistic that 85% of plastic hangers in use find their way into landfill or the ocean.

I saw first-hand how clothing hanger waste builds up when I founded and ran eco baby store Sustainababy for six years. Despite being an online store, some manufacturers sent clothing on a plastic hanger, so retailers could take the clothing straight from the box to the display stand. Well these plastic hangers were useless for me and I ended up having a large basket at my monthly market stall where locals could help themselves to hangers for infant and child’s clothing. For this reason I see huge potential for Enviro Hanger to revolutionise waste in the retail clothing industry.

I love that the Enviro Hanger is compostable and is made from recycled materials. It’s 100% non-toxic, produced from clean, recycled craft card and is made without the use of heavy metals and chemicals. The hangers are created with a circular life span in mind: soon the company will offer clients the opportunity to turn their recycled hangers into paper bags, cartons or satchels, to be used again within the same store.

The hangers are ethically manufactured in a single factory in China, which also operates as a social enterprise, training and employing unskilled labour to pack the hangers. They can be flat-packed to maximise efficiency in shipping and ground transport also.

This might all sound too good to be true but it gets better. The Enviro Hanger is strong and durable and performs just as well as a conventional wooden, plastic or wire clothes hanger.  If you’re a retailer you can also brand the Enviro Hangers as your own.

For more information on Enviro Hanger, go to envirohanger.com.

2. Zero Waste Food Storage Gold Award – The Swag

Another great Australian design took out Gold in a zero waste category of the 2020 Australia Non-Toxic Awards. The Swag by Swag Australia keeps food fresher for longer and removes the need for plastic bags or storage containers in your fridge.

The Swag is a fabric storage bag for fresh produce and is made from 100% unbleached, unseeded cotton.

I’ve been a Swag-convert for many years now in my own kitchen. I love that fact that they come in all sizes (so you can get a Swag to fit your celery and spring onions) and that they can just be rinsed in your kitchen sink or washed in your washing machine.

Swag Australia is all about giving back. From giving customers back those extra days or weeks fresh produce can last, to acting consciously and thoughtfully and making a difference to the place we live, and the earth as a whole. 

Swag’s products are handmade with love out of India and proudly built to last years. Their female-owned and managed manufacturer is ethical and fair trade compliant using SEDEX International monitoring. The company donated 100% of its profits in the past financial year to Destiny Rescue, freeing children trapped in human trafficking.

Swag Food Storage Bags start at $19.99 and can be purchased HERE.

 

3. Zero Waste Food Storage Silver Award – Agreena 3-in-1 wraps

I was also really impressed with another Zero Waste Home product, the Agreena 3-in-1 wraps. I love how versatile these silicone sheets are; they can be used as baking paper, plastic wrap and aluminium foil— genius! Greener alternatives for aluminium foil in particular, are hard to come by and these sheets are just as handy covering a baking tray in the oven as they are to having biscuits baked on them or wrapping a sandwich.

Those of you in small kitchens or apartments will also appreciate that Agreena doesn’t just save on waste, it saves on clutter in your kitchen drawers.

Made from 100% platinum food grade silicone, Agreena’s packaging is recyclable and the their packaging for distribution is also home compostable and made from renewable resources. 

The company is in the process of acquiring their BCorp accreditation and is committed to responsible manufacturing processes at every step of the way.

Agreena 3-in-1 Bakers Sheets retail for $24.95 and can be purchased HERE

4. Zero Waste Kitchen Gold Award – Good Change Reusable Eco Cloth

Good Change have made a great sized, absorbent eco cloth that’s compostable at the end of life so it’s no surprise they took out a Gold award. I’ve been using my Eco Cloth daily for a couple of months now in my kitchen and it’s performing beautifully! Their absorbency is equivalent to 25 paper towels, yet they’re really easy to wring dry.

The Good Change Eco Cloth is made from cellulose from wood fibre, cotton and environmentally friendly pigment.  As they’re made from natural fibres, they dry quickly and are more hygienic than slow-to-dry bacteria-ridden sponges or cotton cloths.

Good Change are another company that loves to give back. For every pack of eco cloths they sell, a month’s worth of clean drinking water is donated to a family in Cambodia, as coordinated by B1G1. They are also actively involved in local beach clean-ups in an effort to protect ocean wildlife. Good Change partners with like-minded organisations who have a similar ethos and believe that joining forces will help to create bigger change.

This in one product where your impact extends past the purchase!

Eco Cloth retails for $12.99 and can be purchased from goodchangestore.com.

5. Zero waste kitchen silver award – resparkle foaming hand wash

Resparkle has ticked so many boxes with their Foaming Hand Wash. Not only is it non-toxic, uses all safe ingredients and saves SO much on packaging waste, space and resources in transport, the product is made in Australia by a social enterprise that generates meaningful employment for people with disabilities. Resparkle outsources their production to social enterprise Brunswick Industries, who provides meaningful employment to people with disabilities within a supported environment. 

Resparkle Foaming Hand Wash drastically reduce unnecessary waste by keeping just the essential ingredients, packaging their home & personal care range in reusable glass bottles and their refills in home compostable, plastic-free sachets made from corn. I LOVE how the refills are a small sachet of powder. You simply add water to make up the foaming hand wash. This saves SO much volume and weight in transportation and storage, which would have a big impact on reducing carbon emissions.

Get behind this innovative and quality product that is set to turn the body products industry on its head (in a good way!).

The Resparkle Foaming Hand Wash Kit (with glass bottle) retails for $28 and a 4-pack of refills retails for $19.50. Purchase from resparkle.com.au.

6. Reusable Straws Gold Award – Ekoroo Collapsible Straw by Eco Shop Co

The alternatives to single-use plastic straws have grown notably in recent times and the variety of straws in this category reflected this variety. I liked how the Cheeki Stainless Steel straw had a rounded end (great for safety) and the We Might be Tiny Silicone Straws are fantastic for kids (I recommend silicone straws rather than stainless straws for kids for safety reasons). But I love the Ekoroo Collapsible Stainless Steel Straw for me.

Considering that most times we use a straw is when we’re on the go, I love that this straw can be retracted into a small stylish canister that easily fits into a handbag or purse. I love that it comes with a collapsible cleaning brush too. So smart!

Made from 304 (18/8) food grade stainless steel, the collapsible straw is durable and hygienic. The Australian owned business also avoids any plastic in their product packaging, opting for paper instead.

In partnership with i=change, Ekoroo by Eco Shop Co donate 1$ from every sale to an environmental project such as Greening Australia, and they also donated bamboo toothbrushes to the Australian Bushfire Relief and to FIJI Kids.

The Ekoroo Collapsible Straw retails for $20 and can be purchased at ekoroo.com.

7. Reusable Drink Bottle Gold Award – EcoVessel

Thanks to the 2020 Australian Non-Toxic Awards I’ve found the perfect reusable drink bottle for me. I like EcoVessel SO much. I love the fast flow rate, silicone bumper at the base to protect the bottle (and my wooden floorboards) from denting when the inevitable happens and it’s dropped while full. I also love the modern colours, style and handle attached to the lid that enables it to be easily carried when I have my hands full.

EcoVessel doubles as a thermos and comes with a removable tea strainer. I only used it in this capacity once as it became my go-to water bottle instead.

EcoVessel is made from 18/8 (304) food grade stainless steel bottle with copper base. It has a food food grade silicone lid and mouthpiece.

EcoVessel have designed a line of premium reusable products that push the boundaries of what’s possible in an insulated bottle. Committed to sustainability, they are a proud member of 1% for the Planet and also donate 5% of their website sales to environmental non-profits including; Leave No Trace, Protect Our Winters, Surfrider Foundation, Water for People and Friends of The Koala. 

EcoVessel have also partnered with Elkay to create a social enterprise program that aims to actively reduce single-use plastic water bottles in schools. Together, they are bringing refill stations and reusable bottles to students, while building awareness about the plastic pollution issue harming our environment.

Ecovessel retails for $75 and can be purchased at ecovessel.com

8. Reusable Drink Bottle Silver Award – Ekoroo Stainless Steel Drink Bottle by Eco Shop Co

I live in Adelaide, the hottest capital city in Australia and one that regularly experiences heat waves. For this reason I drink A LOT of water in the warmer months and one drink bottle just isn’t enough if I’m out for longer than an hour or so in summer.

I love a large (1L), insulated, stainless steel, fast-flowing water bottle in such situations and the Ekoroo Stainless Steel Drink Bottle by Eco Shop Co is perfect in this regard. The 1L bottle is made from 304 (18/8) food grade stainless steel and has a silicone ring to ensure it doesn’t leak and a beautiful cork overlay.

Ekoroo retails for $45 and can be purchased from ekoroo.com

9. Reusable Cup Gold Award – Cheeki Insulated Coffee Mug

Just like I’ve just found the perfect reusable drink bottle and straw, I’ve also just found my new favourite reusable cup, thanks to the 2020 Australian Non-Toxic Award.

The Cheeki Insulated Coffee Mug is perfect for my herbal tea when I’m on the go!

Made from 18/8 food-grade stainless steel mug with a pop-able polypropylene lid it’s boasts a clever slender design that’s easy to hold and is double insulated so your hand doesn’t get too hot.

I love the ability to pop open the lid so my drink can cool down. So many insulated coffee cups don’t have this ability and the hot drink can’t cool to a temperature that’s safe for drinking unless you completely remove the lid. At the same time I appreciate the clever design of the lid and that it’s also leak proof when shut. The capacity is also perfect. It was easy to hold, durable and more enjoyable to drink from than a reusable cup with a silicone lid.

Cheeki are a sponsor of Clean Up Australia’s educational waste-wise program called the Environmentors. They also proudly support the National Breast Cancer Foundation and the Lord Howe Island Conservation Volunteers Program, which helps conduct important research in marine pollution, particularly plastic pollution.

The Cheeki Insulated Coffee Mug retails for $42.95 and can be purchased HERE.

Final Thoughts

The Australian Non-Toxic Awards are a great showcase of the most innovative ethical and sustainable products on the market. I enjoyed judging the Zero Waste category this year and am thrilled to share my favourite products with you. I encourage you to support these eco businesses so you can reduce your environmental impact and in turn, help them make a bigger impact. Together we can make green mainstream.

 

OVER TO YOU!

Have you tried any of these fabulous zero waste products? Share what you love about them below!

 

For strategies and support to ditch single-use plastics, join my FREE 5-day Plastic Free Challenge. In just five minutes a day for five days you’ll learn how to break up with single-use plastics in and around your home and while out and about.

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Laura
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