Four household products you can buy to help the planet

·Environment Editor
·4-min read
Three images. 1. A woman holding a wine bottle in a vineyard. 2. A woman on the toilet holding toilet paper. 3 A hand putting sunscreen on a baby's face.
Yahoo Lifestyle spoke to business people creating sustainable products for your home. Source: Getty (File)

Yahoo Lifestyle spoke with the people behind successful Aussie companies creating sustainable household products.

Their efforts are lessening the environmental impact of everyday essentials like toilet paper, packaging, sunscreen and wine.

What’s the most sustainable toilet paper you can buy?

Around 1.9 million trees would be chopped down every day to make toilet paper, if only virgin wood pulp was used, and that’s why Who Gives a Crap uses recycled materials or bamboo in its product.

Source: Yahoo
Source: Yahoo

With trees central to fighting the climate crisis and biodiversity loss, CEO and co-founder Simon Griffiths argues chopping them down “isn’t the smartest thing we could be doing”.

“I truly think it is disgraceful that we are wiping our butts with trees that we actually really need to look after the environment,” he said.

While there are many variables at play when it comes to determining which type of toilet paper is better for the environment, Simon believes recycled is better than bamboo because it’s less energy intensive to produce a paper from a soft material.

Positives:

  • Who Gives a Crap donates 50 per cent of profits to charity.

  • The company cares about reducing its carbon footprint.

  • Saves trees by offering recycled and bamboo products.

To Consider:

  • Australian product is produced in China, a country whose government has a concerning human rights record. While Who Gives a Crap won’t say in which cities they manufacture, the company confirmed it’s not made in Xinjiang or Tibet. On a positive note, Who Gives a Crap's manufacturers have been BSCI certified which means they're independently scored to ensure workers' rights, freedom of association and collective bargaining. The system also outlaws discrimination, child labour, precarious employment, and bonded labour.

What ingredient in sunscreen is killing orangutans?

SunButter Skincare just gets better each year, not only were they the first in Australia to be reef safe, their sunscreen is now the first in the world to be certified palm oil free.

An orangutan carrying a baby on its back in the jungle.
Palm oil production is destroying the forests where orangutans live. Source: Getty (File)

Company founders Sacha Guggenheimer and Tom Hiney told Yahoo Lifestyle getting certified was important to give customers confidence in their product despite the process being “incredibly rigorous”, “super time consuming” and “a little bit expensive”.

“It just leads to such huge destruction of primary rainforest which is such a vital carbon sink,” Tom said.

“And then there’s the biodiversity loss. Orangutans… are the postcard of deforestation.”

Positives:

  • Packed in recyclable and reusable tins.

  • Certified palm oil free and vegan.

  • Reef friendly.

To Consider:

  • Products currently on sale online and some products have sold out.

How can I send packages without using plastic?

The massive pile of plastic packaging accrued from her e-commerce business gave Hero Packaging founder Anaita Sarkar the idea of creating compostable mailers.

Logos for Who Gives a Crap, Sunbutter Skincare Hero Packaging and Duxton Wine.
Who Gives a Crap, Sunbutter Skincare Hero Packaging and Duxton Wines have sustainability at the centre of their businesses. Source: Getty / Supplied

“At that point I realised I was doing something really wrong,” she told Yahoo Lifestyle.

“I just saw it and thought: this is really sickening because as soon as a customer gets it they’re going to put it in the bin.”

Hero Packaging is made out of PLA, a renewable corn-based material, and PBAT, a binding polymer, which is certified home compostable.

Positives:

  • Can go into a home compost bin.

  • Made of sustainable materials.

  • Available online.

To Consider:

  • Some mailers are produced in China, a country whose government has a concerning human rights record. On a positive note, Hero Packaging confirmed their products are not made in Xinjiang or Tibet, and Ms Sarkar has personally visited their Chinese factories.

What does it mean to buy sustainable wine?

Sustainable Winegrowing Australia is a certification program whose members commit to continuously improving their environmental practices.

Duxton Vineyards, a member of the program, takes this responsibility so seriously they’ve employed environment manager Dylan Klingbiel who spoke with Yahoo Lifestyle.

A bird on a rock.
Duxton Vineyards has planted 70 acres with native flora to help the endangered regent parrot. Source: Getty (File)

While their wine brands, including Rewild, have not been certified as organic, the company works on the principle of “minimal intervention”, which Dylan explains is doing “as much as we can with the least amount”.

That means turning the soil over as little as possible, improving soil health, trialling organic products and water conservation.

“We really want to look after the natural resources we rely upon like river systems,” Dylan said.

“Most recently, we've installed some fish screens on our pumps on the rivers.”

Tree clearing killed around 87 million animals in NSW between 1998 and 2015. Source: WWF-Australia
Tree clearing killed around 87 million animals in NSW between 1998 and 2015. Source: WWF-Australia

The fine mesh, self-cleaning screens stop small fish from being sucked into their watering pumps to maintain weather health.

Positives:

  • Planted up 70 hectares of land to help conserve the endangered regent parrot.

  • Investigating new sustainable technology to combat weeds.

  • Concerned about minimising waste materials across entire business.

To Consider:

  • Culls kangaroos as a "pest species" on some vineyard sites.

Never miss a thing. Sign up to Yahoo Lifestyle’s daily newsletter.

Or if you have a story idea, email us at lifestyle.tips@yahooinc.com.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting