s The more plastic I see being collected off our local beaches, the more determined I am to reduce my own reliance on plastic products in my home and in my business. I am co-leader for our local Beach Patrol group, organising monthly beach clean-ups in our area. By using a Keep cup (if a café won't accept reusable then find one that does) and remembering to shop with your own sustainable carry bags is a start in reducing the plastic that is clogging up our landfills and waterways.
As business owners, we can also be pro-active in reducing plastic pollution by selecting products and packaging that contain minimal or zero plastic. When we first launched Lucky Little Penguins, there were not as many plastic-free alternatives around, but over time, we have sourced out like-minded businesses which supply products and services with a zero waste focus. If your manufacturer sends products heavily wrapped in plastic packaging then why not ask if an alternative can be used. One of my manufacturers now tissue wraps my charms in groups of 10 instead of each charm being packaged individually in a plastic bag.
We also found a like -minded business for printing our greeting cards and display cards. Print Together only stocks 100% post consumer recycled cardstock and prints with non-fossil fuel inks. The cards are posted to me in a cardboard box packed in paper not plastic. It was also important that our cards had plastic-free cellophane slipcovers made from compostable cellulose. Even better, our greeting cards can also be supplied without packaging Any glitter used on a greeting card is Bio-Glitter, a certified biodegradable product made from the leaves of plantation grown eucalyptus trees. When you purchase Bio-Glitter from the Glitter Tribe, a tree is planted in a bushfire ravaged area.
Lucky Little Penguins uses 100% recycled paper and envelopes. Cards with Bio- Glitter are best recycled with cardboard.
Pens have always been problematic but there are refillable pens around and we recently started using bamboo pens. The tape used to secure our paper packaging is also made from paper. This means that the tape and wrap can all go in the recycle bin. We stay clear of any plastic post bags when posting our products out to customers.
Getting rid of all wasteful plastic in a business is a challenge and we at Lucky Little Penguins are far from perfect. But just being mindful of the impact of plastic pollution on our oceans and wildlife is a step in the right direction. Also, beware of greenwashing by some businesses that claim to care for the environment. Thicker plastic bags are now being used by many retailers since the thinner plastic bags were banned in some Australian states. Remember, just because a plastic bag is thicker doesn't make it better. More often the so called 'reusable' plastic bags are not reused. Thicker bags just take longer to degrade in the environment into microplastics. Scientists are reporting microplastics are entering food chains and being ingested by not only animals but by humans as well.
Why not conduct your own plastic stocktake at home or at work to assess what plastic product can be substituted with a sustainable alternative for a better, healthier planet.
The Boomerang Alliance is a go to for information on green washing: Are You Being Green Washed? Avoid False Packaging Claims
A plastic bag is still a plastic bag. no matter what you say.
.Zipper Charm Pizzazz
Zipper charms are great accessories that can be used to add bling or interest, not just to purses or parkas, but to anything a zipper charm can latch onto.
Check out the many ways you can use zipper charms:
Personally, I'm forever on the lookout for tops and bags with zippers to hang my charms on. Okay, I admit it, I'm crazy for zipper charms! Another way I wear zipper charms is on my fave boots.
My home town has a southern right whale nursery at Logans Beach. Visitors come from far and wide, eager to catch a glimpse of these amazing mammals. So it's only natural I have southern right whale charms hanging off the back zips of my black suede boots.
I wear a sun hat with penguins and whales when I collect marine debris off our local beaches. The charms are a reminder to me why it's so important to remove plastic litter from our coastal habitats. Warrnambool is not only famous for its whale nursery, but it is also home to a small colony of little penguins. And of course, there is nearby Tower Hill where you'll find Australia's most famous tree hugger-the charming koala!
Please leave a comment on how you wear your zipper charm and which one is your favourite.
How you use your zipper charm is only limited by your imagination!
Only 4 ingredients required to make these buttery penguin cookies.
You will need the following:
*300g softened butter
1 cup of icing sugar
3 cups of plain Flour
1 tsp Vanilla extract
Biscuit baking tray
Penguin cookie cutter
*Substitute with Nuttelex for vegan cookies.
Preheat the oven to 160 C and line a biscuit baking tray with baking paper
Put 300g softened butter roughly cut into cubes into your mixing bowl
Sift 1 cup of pure sugar over the softened butter
Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Beat butter, icing sugar and vanilla essence until a creamy consistency.
Sift 3 Cups of plain flour.
Add sifted flour to the creamed butter mixture in 3 portions. Combine the flour with the butter mixture using a large metal spoon.
Form the combined cookie dough into a flattened mound on to a large sheet of baking paper. Wrap up in the baking paper and place in the fridge for 10-15 minutes.
Remove the chilled dough from the fridge and place another large sheet of baking paper over the top of the dough. Start rolling the cookie dough evenly to approximately 3mm using a rolling pin.
Lightly flour your penguin cookie cutter and press firmly onto rolled out dough. Repeat cutting out penguin shapes. You may need a spatula to lift the cut shapes onto your prepared lined baking tray. You can keep gathering up small pieces of dough and rolling out to the desired size until most of the dough is used up. Place the shapes into a preheated oven on lined baking trays.
If there is no space left to bake all of the cookies at once you can place the uncooked cookies in the fridge while the first batch of cookies are baking. Chilling dough helps to minimise the cookies spreading too much while baking. Makes around 40 buttery penguin cookies depending on the thickness of the dough.
Bake in a preheated oven for 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Don't forget to wait for your cookies to cool slightly before you lift them onto a wire cake rack. The cookies are delicate and buttery so care is required when handling.
Store the cooled penguins cookies in an airtight container.
Purchase the cookie cutter recipe gift card
Ever wondered who made those cute little penguin sculptures in Warrnambool's main Street? Well, they were commissioned by the Warrnambool City Council as part of the Liebig Street Renewal Project. Julie Squires is the artist who came up with the concept of the bronze penguin street sculptures called "Where's the Water?" The cheeky penguins are bolted down onto sandstone blocks so they won't go off wandering down the street to Middle Island.
I think Julie Squires' sculptures relate to both young and old and are a nice change from scratching your head thinking, okay, what the hell am I looking at here?
In June, the bronze penguins get cosy hand knitted scarves to keep them warm during the chilly Warrnambool winters. And If you happen to be passing by, don't forgot to rub one of our iconic bronze penguins for luck.