My Reusable Life: Natalie Decorte
What’s your go-to reusable item?
I have a beautiful keep cup from' Pottery for the planet (www.potteryfortheplanet.com)
a birthday gift from my friends that is a few years old now but it still gets noticed.
Your top tip for never leaving home without it?
It has to be spare bags right?! There is hardly a time I leave the house and don’t come back with something extra, whether it’s shopping or side-of-the-road treasures, kids are always picking things up, asking me to carry everything, so packing a few foldaway bags, one in every hand bag ideally, that way you don’t have to remember when running out the door.
How do you try to be a conscious consumer?
Purchasing for quality and longevity, supporting eco friendly and local businesses that are committed to sustainability. Eating foods in season and grown locally. Reducing our meat consumption. We try to prepare a few vegetarian dinners a week despite my husband being a massive meat lover. I prefer buying the imperfect picks options at the supermarket, salvaging food that would normally go to waste. I also like to check the discounted section of the supermarket to see if there is anything I can pop in the freezer or cook in bulk. Doing this also forces me to explore cooking different dishes and cuts of meat.
The best eco tip you’ve heard and have adopted?
Getting a hold on our food waste has made a massive difference in our household. Despite our best efforts my kids tend to waste so much food, and I wanted to do more than just eat the toast crusts from three kids as my breakfast every morning. We started with the compost and veggie garden, and now we have two chickens that eat most of our leftovers that haven’t already tried to be salvaged. Over time I have adopted loads of small changes to reduce and reuse food, bread ends blended into breadcrumbs and frozen, roast chicken bones to make a soup the next day, wilted vegetables and herbs into quick pickles, or pesto or chilli sauce. I am loving the Cornersmith books at the moment, so many delicious recipes using seasonal produce and food scraps I would have previously thrown out. We have had friends comment on the small size of our kitchen bin which only gets filled every few days. I am quite proud of that! Some of our other waste reducing practises are taking soft plastics to the supermarket to get recycled and also eliminating plastic wrap and disposable serviettes/ Kitchen towel at home. It does take a little extra effort and getting used to but now it's just our normal. Also loving shampoo bars at the moment.
Favourite eco brand?
Koala Eco (https://koala.eco). A fantastic family business, eco friendly, chemical free cleaning products that smell heavenly. I used to make my own but I do find I have less time to do it these days and when a product also looks so pretty sitting on your sink, I'm totally sold. Another brand I love is Joonya baby wipes (https://www.joonya.com/). Also a family run business, these wipes are my absolute favourite and I have tried many! Biodegradble, non toxic, and they are the perfect size, only need one per change (unless there’s a blowout).
Small or big - what’s your current eco aim?
Our red bin is never full but the amount of plastic and glass we go through I find a little uncomfortable to witness. I know not a lot of what goes into our recycling bin doesn’t get recycled so trying hard to reduce the amount of plastic trays and punets we discard. Maybe we also need to drink less wine…
Your favourite place to buy fresh produce or package lite food?
Bondi Markets on a Saturday morning of course!
What eco alternative are you thinking about investing in?
I would love some LEPAAR skin care products (https://lepaar.com/). They were used on me once for a shoot and have been wanting some ever since. I also just found out they sell some pretty special garden hoses. Will put them on the list too.
What did ISO make you realise you could live without?
Excess after school activities. We are really going to scale these down for next term and make more time for family games nights and playdates with friends.
What ISO habit do you hope to carry forward?
Making bread! Have taught myself to make sourdough and focaccia so that’s at least three quarter less plastic bags a week!* Natalie was photographed by James Schulz *