So who is behind Zest Eco?
That would be me! Hi, I’m Claire and I thought it was about time I popped my head out to say hello, introduce myself and what Zest Eco is all about.
But first, some fast facts:
- I’m a mother to two kiddos
- I turned vegetarian when I was 10 (after learning what happened to the cute pet sheep on the nearby farm!)
- I’ve been plant-based for almost 2 years (and still find it a challenge, but I’m committed - I still miss a lot of dairy like cheese and chocolate!)
- I’m a dog person (we have one rescue pup so far and my daughter is desperate to add more soon!)
- I’ve lived in 5 different countries around the world (including Australia, Asia and the Middle East)
- I hate any form of sci fi (sorry Star Wars fans!)
- I don’t share my (vegan) chocolate. Even with my kids.
- I could happily eat cake for breakfast.
(I became vegetarian about 10 minutes after this photo was taken. I made the mistake of asking what was happening to this sheep who was heading to the market the next day!)
The Zest Eco Journey…
I first became much more conscious of the environment when we were preparing for our first baby’s arrival.
At a baby expo, we saw a booth selling cloth baby wipes and nappies/diapers.
We were on a tight budget, and they weren’t cheap so we did our research and were shocked when we realized the impact disposable wipes and nappies would have on the environment.
So, we decided to give the reusable versions a go… despite everyone telling us we would never last, we are now 4 years and two kids down the line and those original wipes and nappies are still being used everyday!
(The same nappies we bought in 2015 are still being used today)
(That really 'expensive' starter kit of reusable baby wipes that cost about $80 are still getting plenty of use 4 years later!)
This set us on a path of trying to reduce our impact in other ways. Things like chemicals in bathroom products, laundry liquid, single-use plastic kitchen items like straws and forks, and plastic toothbrushes became other areas where we tried to do better.
Trying To Set An Example
Becoming parents also gave us a huge priority shift - what kind of example did we want to set our little people?
What legacy do we want to leave them with?
What will the planet look like for their generation?
This stuff keeps me awake at night…
Looking For Better Alternatives
More and more things started to feel ‘wrong’ and I was always looking for alternatives to single-use items around the home.
And once I found something, friends and visitors would comment ‘oh that’s a great idea, where can I get some of those?’
I’m a big fan of cooking homemade meals for my family, and again, this was another area I kept seeing such waste.
Plastic food bags, aluminum foil and paper towels that are used for seconds and then ditched in the bin.
I realized that people generally do want to be better at the whole eco thing - or at least try.
But it’s not always easy.
Often, it’s much easier to go to the local shops and buy plastic food wrap, than try to find a cost effective reusable alternative.
And reusable items are usually more expensive up front (even though they save plenty of $$ over time).
We have become conditioned to want cheap items, and we want them quickly.
(These reusable food storage bags are my favourite kitchen eco swap so far, and I'm still finding new uses for them)
Simple Eco Swaps
So, instead of just buying reusable items and hoping others would see them on the off chance if they were in my house, I thought why not make it easy, and accessible for anyone wanting to reduce their impact on the environment to get their hands on the same things?
And so my third baby - Zest Eco was born…
Supported by my husband and another eco-conscious friend, we are working out ways to make being low waste / zero waste / eco friendly / sustainable - or whatever you want to be - as easy as possible.
The Zest Eco Way
I test everything myself before I launch it on the store (this is my way of justifying buying more kitchen items - yes I am a little obsessed!) but it also, hopefully, gives you a real insight into how the item can help you to make those small, but necessary changes in your lives.
Most importantly, I want to create a tribe of like-minded people who see all the big negative stuff going on in the world today, and know they might not be able to change it all, but who want to make their own positive difference, in their home, their own backyard, in their own ways…
Always A Work In Progress
Nothing we do is perfect and I am learning just as much as everyone else.
Do I sometimes fall off the plant-based wagon? Yes (especially when my toddler crams a piece of non-vegan chocolate in my mouth!)
Could I do more recycling, buy more from bulk-only stores, or use fewer packaged items? Absolutely.
But I’m trying.
More importantly I’m aware of the problem and I’m striving to find alternatives all the time.
My parents always used to say when I was little that I was going to be a professional animal rights protestor when I was older because I was always ranting about animal testing, eating meat and recycling - well, I reckon this is a much more valuable use of my time :-)
Thanks for joining the Zest Eco tribe - it’s great to be on this journey with you!
If you don't already follow us, here's where we hang out...
I'd love to to hear from you so please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and share your eco challenges, what works/doesn't work for you and which items you'd like to be able to swap for eco alternatives!