With Plastic Free July come and gone for another year we thought we would share a little Pakington Street gem that helped introduce us to new ways we can all live more sustainably. Live Eco, run by Erin and her mother Heather, not only opened our eyes to new ways to reconsider the way we use and recycle everyday products, but also introduced us to local makers who re-imagine waste into incredibly beautiful products. We recently stopped in at Live Eco to chat to Erin and get some inspiration.
Tell us about Live Eco, where did it all begin and what was your vision?
Using natural products has always been something Mum has done so we grew up being slightly more aware of chemicals in cleaning products, foods, make up etc. I became a Nutritionist in 2008 and over time as I helped my patients make diet and lifestyle changes, I realised how important it was to also start looking after our environment as that too helped to improve ones health. Mum and I had started swapping things over for more sustainable options over the last few years, such as bamboo tissues, recycled toilet paper, and reducing our cling film use. As we educated ourselves more and more we realised how little education there actually is about sustainability and how many people out there care very little about making changes. We wanted to help people realise how easy it actually is to start swapping things for more eco-friendly items and thought how cool it would be to have a shop with everyday items at affordable prices that helped people look after the earth. And from there, Live Eco was born!
How do you select which products you carry in your store?
Initially we just took a stab in the dark with the items we chose. Now, we keep our eye out for popular items on social media as well as listen to what our customers want to know that we have.
What simple tips do you have for people who want to begin their waste free journey?
Just pick one thing, one item in your life that you could easily swap without noticing much difference in price or use. Such as a reusable coffee cup, bamboo band aids, or recycled paper towels. Keep a tub in your kitchen, or just out of your kitchen, to put in items that can go in your recycling bin, therefore making it a lot simpler for you to recycle what you can. Watch a documentary or the series 'War on Waste'. If there has been anything that has propelled us to make as much change as we can, it has been exposure to what is actually going on in the world and in our own backyard.
What are the biggest challenges people might face if they want to go plastic free?
Plastic has made our world too easy, too convenient. So a big change that people are often faced with is a reduction in that ease, for example, remembering to take a reusable bag with them to the supermarket, or driving to their local deli or bulk food store where they can stock up on essentials without plastic. More often than not, people also have no idea of the impact of plastic, which can make it harder for them to change, if they can't physically 'see it', it doens't exist.
Where would you like to see Live Eco in the future?
We are looking forward to seeing our range grow and also getting busy enough that Dad can be our delivery driver so we don't need to use a courier! We also look forward to doing more Live Eco Parties to help educate people about how they can makes changes, and the positive impact this will have, even just from 1 person making a change.
Next time you're looking for some eco friendly alternatives, check out the Live Eco store at Shop 1/112 Pakington Street in Geelong West or via their online store. Be sure to ask the friendly team about their Live Eco Parties where you and a group of friends can spend the night being educated on reducing waste.