Eco-friendly, sustainably made, zero waste, environmentally conscious, plastic-free … whew. It may feel like doing your bit for the environment is getting more and more complicated but, in reality, we can make a big impact with small gestures.
At home, replacing plastic items such as cling wrap for beeswax wraps, or standard toothbrushes for the bamboo kind, which are biodegradable, are great first steps. Or swap your harmful cleaning products for all-natural alternatives that are kinder to the environment. You’ll find some excellent stores below that sell these products and more.
Instead of buying a keep cup, coffee lovers can sign up to the Green Caffeen program (see below) and say goodbye to single-use coffee cups. And rather than contributing to fast-fashion and mass consumption (we’re looking at you, mega-store lovers), consider shopping at second-hand stores or opt for locally handmade products. We’re betting you can pick up something unique that usually lasts longer and is made with less impact on the environment.
Here, some of our favourite stores to start your eco-friendly journey.
PURE BULK FOODS, ETTALONG BEACH
A healthy and waste-free lifestyle is the mission for Pure Bulk Foods, a beautiful store in Ettalong that offers bulk shopping of wholesome and nourishing foods. Mostly sourced from Australian growers, the products here are organic where possible, high quality and affordable, meaning you can stock up on your pantry essentials without the supermarket crowds and support local business at the same time – win, win, win. These quality foods are packed in recyclable jars or you can fill your own containers from home, minimising unnecessary waste. And while you’re there, browse other sustainable goods, including re-useable cooking and baking utensils, all-natural cleaning products, and body products such as shampoo bars and organic toothpaste, to up your eco-friendly game at home. Shop 7, 46–48 Picnic Parade, Ettalong Beach purebulkfoods.com.au
KeepCups are a great idea, unless you have the memory of a fish. That’s where this free ‘swap-and- go’ coffee cup program is brilliant. Scan the app at a participating cafe and you’ll get your coffee in a reusable Green Caffeen cup, which you swap for every coffee you purchase. If you forget your cup – no dramas – simply grab another and you’ll be reminded on the app to return your cups within 30 days (or you’ll pay a $12.99 fee). About 30 local Coast cafes are taking part in the scheme to reduce coffee cup waste, including Duck Duck Moose in Wyong, ParkLife Coffee in Terrigal, Kincumber Post Cafe, and Hardwick’s on Blackwall cafe in Woy Woy[CG1] . Find out more at lovecentralcoast.com/news/green-coastal-cafe-crawl
SORRY GRANDMA, LONG JETTY
What’s more sustainable than a pre-loved item? We have many a second-hand store on the Central Coast, but if you have a penchant for nostalgia, make a beeline for Sorry Grandma at Long Jetty. This retro cavern is lovingly filled with vintage bric-a-brac including kitchenware, cane furniture, wallpaper, art and a ‘kitsch cupboard’ full of fun oddities. You can peruse handmade products by owner Skye Hicks herself, crafted from recycled materials, including cushions made from vintage tea towels, quality children’s clothing in bright retro fabrics, and coats fashioned from wool blankets.
HAPPY GREEN PLANET
This local online collection of eco-friendly products will have you kissing goodbye to some common plastic household products for good. Do your pocket and the planet a favour by replacing plastic pegs with longer-lasting stainless steel ones, single-use plastic wrap for reusable beeswax food wraps, plastic toothbrushes for the sustainably produced bamboo kind, and more.
Forget mass production and fast consumption. With the planet and its people in mind, these exotic homewares and accessories are sustainably handmade by artisans from around the world. Curated by Avoca Beach local Sophia Willcocks, you’ll find hand-woven storage baskets from Indonesia; beaded jewellery created by young people in Cambodia, and brass bowls hand-beaten in India, among other exquisite items. Each purchase helps to fund a sustainable income for the artisan and in turn helps to preserve the traditional skills and heritage of these local communities.
TAKE 3 FOR THE SEA
From small beginnings on the Central Coast, Take 3 for the Sea is now a global initiative cleaning up the oceans three pieces of rubbish at a time. And besides ridding our local beaches of rubbish, you can also help by purchasing merchandise. From reusable coffee cups to organic Indian cotton T-shirts to clean-up kits featuring a hessian bag and gloves, every purchase will help to fund education programs that teach about the importance of keeping our beaches and oceans plastic-free.
ERINA FAIR – COFFEE CUP RECYCLING
There are collection points at Erina Fair to recycle your takeaway cups under the Simply cups program. Recycle your cup to reduce the 20.3 million cups that go into landfills.
WORDS MEGAN ARKINSTALL
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