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Five steps to a greener and safer clean

Check out this 5 step guide to buying cleaning products you can trust. These ‘fresh green clean’ tips highlight the kinds of products that are simple and safe, have minimal risk of triggering Asthma or chemical sensitivities, minimise transport and packaging, are suitable for grey water use and provide proof of claims.

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101* things to do about global warming: is one right for you?

Dalmatians in 1925Many of us despair of the endless arguments about the best way for government and business to reduce carbon pollution. But there’s plenty of simple and easy actions we can take in our own lives  – it’s better to act than get frustrated or complain, right? And individual actions add up and create momentum for community change.

You don’t need to be a ‘carbon warrior’ to make a difference – we’ve consulted widely to identify actions that are easy to take but also have an impact on the issues that matter most – energy use, food, transport and the stuff we buy. Some will save you money as well!

*maybe not quite 101!

Take it easy

First up – don’t worry about things you have done in the past or things you can’t do. As Alexx Stuart says “ Don’t be down on yourself for how you’ve done stuff yesterday, once you learn a better way. Be excited about the changes you are going to make today.” Continue Reading →

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Otter Interview: GECA’s Rupert Posner on green products and ecolabels

Rupert Posner

Rupert Posner from Good Environmental Choice Australia talks with Otter about choosing green and safe products, and how ecolabels like GECA can help.

What is an ecolabel and how does it help consumers?

An ecolabel is a useful tool that helps consumers make informed decisions about the products they purchase.

Going green is something we hear about often. Recycle your tin cans and plastic bottles, re-use your plastic bags or better yet, purchase a jute bag and avoid them altogether. These issues are fairly well-understood, but what about buying shampoos that don’t contain harmful substances? Or purchasing a paint that has a lower level of volatile organic compounds? Or what about if we buy toilet paper that is made of recycled paper? Is that all we should be considering? And how do we know with certainty that a product we buy really is better for the environment? Can we trust what is written on the packet? Continue Reading →

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How to choose an employer that’s right for you

Success - boat and wharf on peaceful lake

Success (Flickr/Grinapple) 

Believe it or not, an average worker  spends about 15 per cent of their life in the workplace. After a particularly hectic week in the office, you may think that figure surprisingly low but it’s still a large chunk of our lives in which many of us leave our ethical concerns at the door; putting them instead in the hands of our employer.

In daily life, we may make conscious choices to minimise our environmental impact, promote social sustainability, or minimise harm to animal, but how do we make sure our employer operates with a similar outlook? While we may strive to live a life that meets our personal ethical views, how can we make our time spent at work consistent with these values? Continue Reading →

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Otter Interview: Patrick Walker’s sustainable home

Patrick Walker

Patrick Walker talks with Otter about how he created his dream sustainable home by renovating an older property. Views of Sydney harbour and the bridge a bonus.

Why did you decide to renovate an older home?

My wife and I love older houses and wanted to renew one, bringing it up to the highest environmental standards, but retaining the essential period feel and character.  The fashion to  “knock down/rebuild” a perfectly serviceable old house and replace it with a new one because it’s “cheaper” is the height of wastefulness. That cheapness, like many other things, does not take into account the environmental impact of not using what is already there. Continue Reading →

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ECO-Buy’s Stephen Reardon on buying printer paper and the value of the KeepCup

Stephen Reardon and his KeepCup


How effective do you think consumers can be in creating positive change through better purchasing decisions?

I think consumers hold loads of power since ultimately  manufacturers need their business. If there was a total boycott of a particular product or company worldwide then that company would go out of business in a few months.

Political democracy is indirect – we vote for a party and then they run the country. But consumer democracy is quite direct. We are constantly voting every time we make a purchasing decision. One dollar one vote! Continue Reading →

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