Zero Waste


Make Your Own DIY Cutlery Wraps

Cutlery Wraps
Pop this DIY cutlery wrap in your handbag to help you avoid using single use disposable cutlery when you eat take out.

This weekend I got my “craft on” and decided to make a couple of these pretty cutlery wraps; one for me and one for the present box.

They are so easy to make and all you need to be able to do is cut and sew straight lines on the sewing machine.

Armed with some bright coloured cotton fabrics, a ruler and pencil, some cotton tape for the tie and a sewing machine and away you go!

To make it easy for you and because I am a visual learner, I created a short video tutorial, but for those of you who prefer to read a step by step, here are the instructions:


  • Cut two rectangles of coordinating fabric 50 x 25cm and place them right sides together.
  • Cut 50cm of tape and fold it in half.  Measure up 25cm on the long side of the rectangle and pin the tape so that the bulk of it is inside the rectangle parcel but the fold peaks out just enough be caught when sewing the side seams.
  • Pin around the edges and then sew a 1cm seam around the two long sides and one of the short sides.
  • Trim corners and turn the whole thing right side out pushing out the corners with the end of your scissors so that they are pointed.
  • Iron it flat and tuck in 1cm on the open end in order for you to sew it closed.
  • Sew a half centimetre around all four sides of the rectangle.  Fold up one short side 11cm and pin.  Sew the 11cm along both sides of the same edge at the half centimetre mark to create one large pocket.
  • Mark 4 x 3cm pockets from the left side (the fifth large pocket will hold your napkin). Sew along the lines to create your pockets for cutlery etc.
  • Depending on your cotton tape you may need to fold up and sew a half centimetre hem to stop the ends from fraying.
  • Place your cutlery, drinking straw, and napkin in the pockets, roll up and go!

If you make one for yourself please give me a shout out, and be proud that you are helping to alleviate some of the load single use disposable plastics have on our environment.




Whip It Good! Body butter that is…

Bathrooms are a scary place, they seem to accumulate plastic packed lotions and potions, cellophane wrapped cosmetics and tubes and tubs of tinctures and treatments.  As you have probably heard me say before… “before I knew better” as a family we collected all those little single use guest giveaways, body products, plastic combs, toothbrushes and shower caps, mending kits, shoe wipes and even sanitary bags.  Ashamed I am.  So now I am on the band wagon of mitigating our waste I have accumulated recipes instead of freebies, replacing chemical laden creams with coconut, sweet almond, and essential oil bottles, boxes of bicarb, bamboo toothbrushes and home made cotton makeup remover pads.

You are probably wondering what the benefits are of creating your own DIY Cosmetics?  Apart from the cost saving, these homemade solutions contain no harmful chemicals and can be fragranced to suit the individual, I even dare to say that MY DIY natural deodorant is the BEST one I have ever come across.

Always on the look out for a new product to make that replaces it’s plastic packaged alternative, I stumbled across this recipe for Whipped Body Butter and thought I would give it a go.  If you are having trouble finding shae butter or cocoa butter check out your local health food store or go to Australian Wholesales Oils website.


Only four ingredients go into making this rich body butter you can make right in your own kitchen.
Body butter ingredients

Ingredients – in equal quantities (I used half a cup)

  • Shae Butter
  • Cocoa Butter
  • Sweet Almond Oil
  • Coconut Oil

Melt over a double boiler.

Place in the refrigerator to harden for about 1 hour.

Beat with electric mixer, scraping down the sides as you go, until it resembles whipped cream.

Add five to 10 drops of your favourite essential oil and mix well.

Scoop into bottles and store.

Take a look at the video for instructions and explanation as to the benefits of the essential ingredients. Let me know what you think!

Zero Waster’s Traveller Companion 2nd Ed.

Travelling overseas as a Zero Waster can be a daunting experience if you want to stay true to your values and not take home unnecessary rubbish.  So I was excited and humbled to be asked by Inge Echterholter from the Zero Waste Bloggers Network to be a co-author for the second edition of the Zero Waster’s Traveller Companion.

Today was photo day and we made a family day of it travelling from Nerang to Southport and back, stopping at some regular haunts to take some images to upload to the ebook.

My thanks to all who participated and just know that all that you are doing, even the small things,  is making  a real difference to help individuals leave a lighter footprint on the Planet.

For more info and to download the ebook (first edition, second edition coming soon!), stayed tuned to this page or visit




Nicole from Brumby’s Bakery at Pacific Pines happily fills my home made bread bag with family staples.
Bliss Health and Bulk Foods has a huge selection of produce from bulk bins which you can pack into your own bags or they will weight the containers you are using and you can pack straight into those.
Lifeline at Southport has won Best Op Shop (Thrift Store) on the coast. A great assortment of preloved garments, books, homewares and even vinyl records!
My latest haunt is the new Stellarossa Cafe and Restaurant in Nerang where you can purchase a keep cup and receive a free upgrade or BYO cup and/or straw.

Start Your Urban Veggie Garden with Kitchen Scraps!

Reasons people give for NOT  starting their own vegetable garden:

  1. I live in an apartment and have no space
  2. I haven’t got a green thumb and gardening takes time and patience
  3. Starting a veggie garden is expensive!

I had the privilege recently of filming a segment on The Point TV with Gerald Pauchman.  My segment was a piece on starting a vegetable garden on a balcony with recycled containers and kitchen scraps.  YES kitchen scraps and YES it can be done.

Here is the 7 minute segment which will persuade you to make that veggie garden and stop the excuses.  Let me know what you think in the comments below and if this interests you, don’t forget to subscribe to my Youtube Channel.

Happy Gardening!



DIY Bees Wax Lip Balm

On this zero waste journey I have learnt how to make so many products from scratch that I would have bought in plastic packaging that would have no doubt been cardboard boxed and plastic shrink-wrapped too.  I am hooked on making DIY cosmetics and so far my repertoire includes:

DIY Deodorant – never buying regular, store bought deodorant again, mine is so much better and cheaper!

DIY Toothpaste – the jury is still out on this one.  I love it but my teeth are very sensitive.

DIY Lip Balm – love, love, love it!

And other products for the home:

DIY Cleaning products – never going back, no no no!

DIY Liquid Soap – super cheap and easy to do.

DIY Beeswax wraps – beautiful, a great gift and no more plastic wrap!

DIY Bread Bags and Produce Bags – once you have made these they last and last.

DIY Totes – Totes great!

Anyway, here is my video showing you how to make the beeswax lip balm.  I bought the shoe butter in bulk (even though it came delivered in a big plastic tub which I am sure I will reuse for laundry powder or something), from Australian Wholesale Oils, and it was SO MUCH CHEAPER than buying at the health food store.


Just a side note that beetroot food colouring is not fat soluble so as the lip balm is cooling use a chopstick or spoon to swish and swirl the teaspoon full of coloured water through the product to disperse it.

Happy cooking!


Ditch Plastic Wrap and make Bees Wax Wraps instead!

I can’t tell you the last time I used a roll of plastic wrap in my kitchen.  When I decided to transition to zero waste and help save the planet one baby step at a time I just gave the last roll away!

I have heaps of containers which I use every day but there are often occasions when it would have been great to have some sort of cover for a bowl of leftovers, a piece of cheese or fruit or to cover something someone else had brought over for a party.

Bring on the bees wax wraps!

Here is my video on how to make a gorgeous alternative to using the dreaded plastic wrap.

Give it a go and let me know how yours turn out.

I also made some as a gift, and they look beautiful.


Edible Cutlery!

Imagine this… over 120 BILLION pieces of plastic cutlery are used and discarded in India every year, 120 BILLION!!!!!!!  Without an alternative except endless washing of silverware in potentially unsanitary conditions until recently when an amazing mind came up with this idea, edible cutlery.  Made predominantly from millet and spices (or sugar for the sweet variety), these spoons are not only saving the planet but are nutritious and tasty.

I sincerely hope they make it out to this country and the USA where we discard so much single use plastic ware because of our addiction to take away food.  Plastic doesn’t biodegrade (t photo degrades which means it just breaks up into smaller and smaller pieces of plastic) and leaches toxic chemicals into landfill and ground water and inevitably our oceans.  This is a fabulous alternative and a healthy treat.

Talking Trash with Julia – zero waste toothpaste

zero waste toothpast

So going through my bathroom I am so ashamed of the amount of plastic packaging I have been responsible for bringing into the house.  Toothpaste was next on the agenda, so here is a video on how to make your own.

I’ll check back with you in a couple of days to let you know the verdict.





via Talking Trash with Julia – zero waste toothpaste – YouTube.

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