Thursday, December 17, 2009

Re-using your Grey Water

Greywater is any water that has been used in the home apart from in toilets. It comprises of water used in the kitchen, laundry and bath/showers.

Reusing your grey water is a great way to save water usage which is vitally important during the times of drought we are experiencing.

Greywater can be used for watering your garden, washing cars, flushing toilets and much more.

To maximise the benefits of your greywater, it is best to use cleaning products that do not contain phosphates, petrochemicals or non-biodegradable materials.

Green Chickadee stocks cleaning and personal care products that are safe for greywater use including soap nuts, and mienviron, envirocare, enviroclean and enviropet ranges of products.

There are a lot of systems available for reusing your greywater, ranging from the simple to more complex such as installing envirocycle/biocycle septic systems or having your plumbing diverted.

One simple way of reusing your greywater is to have your washing machine hose emptying out into a large bin which depending on your home, can either be inside your laundry or outside the window.

I recently come across a great Australian invention called a Hughie. One of those simple - why didn't I think of that types of things! It is basically a shaped bucket that fits inside your kitchen or laundry sink and catches the water from washing your hands. rinsing vegetables, dishes' laundry etc. You can also put it in the bottom of your shower to catch the cold water before the water heats up. It has a plug in the bottom which makes it eaiser to use for watering your plants.
They sell for $25 plus postage of $5. The website is I've ordered one for myself for Christmas!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas is a wonderful time to show our love and appreciation to family and friends through heartfelt gifts. We see the decorative, costly, torn and crumpled wrappings piling up in a corner and think, good thing we recycle! Well, here are some jarring statistics to make us think twice about the way we wrap presents.

38,000 miles of ribbon are thrown out annually. That's enough to tie an artificial bow around the Earth!

25% more trash is thrown away during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays than any other time of the year. Landfills are stuffed with shredded wrapping paper, empty gift bags, and broken toys.

The 2.65 billion Christmas cards sold each year in the U.S. could fill a football field 10 stories high.

All it takes is a little extra thought and planning to green our holiday wrapping this season. Using items we already own - like those beautiful Christmas cards we received the year before - turns a gift into something extra special and reduces holiday waste and expense.
Gathering together with family and friends and pooling wrapping resources is a great way to share the holiday spirit and have fun at the same time. Giving kids the raw material to wrap their own gifts makes them feel special and is a gift all its own. If you're thinking: I'd love to do it, but I'm just not that creative! Keep reading for ideas to get you started.

Eco-Friendly Holiday Wrapping

You know the shows that make us laugh when a person opens their over-stuffed closet and the contents tumble out all over the floor? Waste in the form of too many belongings isn't funny when we're talking about eco-living, but the idea of storing items that can be recycled or reinvented into a gift or pretty, festive wrappings is a good one. In fact, once you get started, it could be addicting - just perfect if you're a pack-rat!

Found Art: Save beautiful artwork and illustrations from magazines you especially love, your kids' art, and the Christmas cards and gift wrap you received last year, and use them to make cards, gift cards, or wrap small presents.

Home Made:
Use brown paper bags to wrap gifts, or the backs of posters or paper, and stamp, colour, draw, use your kids' or pets' footprints dipped in eco-friendly paint, or a photograph of your kids for grandma and grandpa.

Reuse: Reuse worn clothing with pretty or festive designs, or cut out designs and glue onto blank sheets of paper, brown paper lunch bags and boxes.

Get Crafty: Crochet or knit ribbon and bows out of leftover yarn. Crocheted and knitted flowers are gorgeous and fun to make! Raffia, string, lace, pompoms, little knickknacks and treasures are all possibilities for decorating a package.

Reinvent: Canning jars (baskets, flower pots, bowls) make handy containers for all kinds of presents. Add raffia or handmade ribbon, and you have a beautifully presented, reusable gift.

Themes: Theme presents are always nice. Wrap up a loaf of spice bread in a pretty dishtowel, or embroider, paint, draw on a flour sack dishtowel and wrap up in that. Tie the ends around a wooden spoon or cinnamon sticks.

Trinkets: Buttons, string, dried flowers, leaves and berries, herbs, spices, postage stamps, beads, old keys, broken typewriter keys (the newest thing in jewelry! Could you imagine them spelling out a name on a present?), broken trinkets from barrettes and jewelry... The possibilities are endless!

Taken from the latest edition of Mi-Time published by Organic & Natural Enterprise Group

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The truth about SLS

SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulphate), it is a foaming agent used in cleaning products, shampoos, cleansers and even toothpaste. Manufacturers use it because it is cheap but suds well making you think you are getting a better product.

It is also used as an engine degreaser. Imagine what it does to the natural oils in your skin and hair!

It causes skin and eye irritation and can lead to eczema and acne.

It accumulates in the body's organs such as liver, heart and brain.

It can lead to cateracts in the eyes and poor eye development in babies and children.

Because it does microscopic damage to the lining of your mouth when used in toothpastes, it allows bacteria in leading to mouth ulcers. A study of toothpastes made without SLS lead to a 60% reduction in mouth ulcers.

Long term exposure to SLS in shampoos caused damage to the hair follices leading to hair loss. It also causes dandruff, which often leads to more frequent shampooing, increasing the problem.

On a scale of 0-8 of surfactants with 8 being the highest, SLS rates 5.2 - extremely irritating.

The Manufacturers Material Data Safety Sheet on SLS is horrific.

Often SLS is altered to make it less abrasive and foam more creating Sodium Laureth Sulfate SLES. 1,4-dioxane may be created during this process, contaminating the product. 1,4-dioxane was one of the principal components of the chemical defoliant Agent Orange.

Monday, November 2, 2009

What's really in your toothpaste?

I've noticed that there is a trend towards 'herbal' toothpastes on the supermarket shelf lately. As with most personal care products, this is just a ploy to make you think you are buying a product that is better for you. A quick look at the label will tell you that the active ingredient is the same as with the regular toothpastes on the supermarket shelf.
So what is actually in the toothpastes?
There are no regulations in Australia that state a manufacture has to list all the ingedients in toothpastes. All they need to list are the active ingredients. Only a small portion of the total.
The most common active ingredient used in Australia is sodium monoflurophosphate (a form of fluoride). There are actually no conclusive studes to show that the addition of fluoride reduces tooth decay.
The following information is taken from the book "Dangerous Beauty"
The largest US study of 39,000 school children found that the decay of permanent teeth was virtually the same in both fluoridated areas and non-fluoridated areas.
In the United States, the FDA now requires a warning on all fluoridated toothpastes as follows: "If you accidentally swallow more than used for brushing, seek professional help or contact a poison control centre immediately".
Other common ingredients in toothpaste are saccharin, sodium lauryl sulphate, glycerin, triclosan, propylene gycold, glyceryl nitrate, fragrance and colour. None of these have any funtion in dental hygiene. Some of these ingredients have been found to be more toxic when ingested via the mouth than when taken intravenously.
Makes you think twice next time you brush your teeth doesn't it!

Miessence toothpastes stocked by Green Chickadee do not contain fluoride, aluminium, artificial sweeteners or detergents. Nothing but natural ingredients. Available in Mint, Anise or Lemon.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Preservative Free Cordial

I recently wrote to P & N Beverages regarding their decision to add benzoate preservative back into their cordials. Their's was previously the only cordial avaiable that did not contain benzoate preservative and coal tar dye colours.
This was part of a compaign being run by Additive Alert. Here's the link
The preservatives used are 211 and 223. Both of these preservatives are not recommended for asthmatics, and 211 is also linked to hyperactivity and adverse behaviour effects in children.
I received a response today which basically said that the preservatives met requirments set by Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ).
NOT GOOD ENOUGH!!!! Just because FSANZ approves the use of these preservatives doesn not make them OK. Buying cigarettes is not illegal for adults but we still know the health effects associated with smoking.

Following is a PRESERVATIVE FREE Cordial you can make yourself

6 Lemons or Oranges
2 cups Sugar (can be raw if you like)
1 teaspoon Citric Acid
1 Litre Water
Juice the oranges and lemons well. Place juice in a
large saucepan and add the water and sugar. Slice
4-6 rind segments off the juiced oranges and add
to the saucepan (being careful not to use the pulp
or white part of the citrus)
Bring the mixture to the boil. Then turn down heat
and simmer for 35 minutes. Add the citric acid.
When cooled, strain the cordial and carefully pour it
into a bottle. Store in the fridge. Serve diluted.
NOTE: Citric Acid is sold as a powder and can be
found in the baking section of the supermarket.

Monday, October 12, 2009


My blog has been sadly neglected lately :(
Last month was very busy with the Great Down Under Nappy Hunt. Always a lot of fun. Spent WAAAAYYYY to much time hunting myself but I really enjoyed looking around at all the talented WAHM's out there and their websites.
At Green Chickadee I've added some more new products in the household cleaning section. We now have soap nut powder as well as the soap nuts themselves.
I found the best way to use them is to make up a liquid by putting the powder in my washbag I got with the unground nuts (you could use a stocking or old sock instead). You then put it into a jug of boiling water and leave overnight. Use 2 teaspoons of powder for every cup of water. It gets the good stuff out without leaving any residual on your clothes and the liquid can also be used for other cleaning like floors, bathrooms toilets. Use 1 cup of the liquid for a full load of laundry.

Also now in stock are Enviroballs. The Washball lasts for 1,000 washes (costing only 5 cents per wash) replaced laundry powder or liquid and elimates the need for fabric softener.
Their dryer ball naturally softens clothes and cuts down on drying time reducing energy consumption.
I'm in love with the stainstick. Smells loooovely and works a treat on my 7 year old son's school skirts which come home in a disgusting state!
With all the testing of soap nut powder and the Enviroballs that have been happening in our house over the past couple of weeks my laundry pile is gone!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Green Chickadee has just adopted Andy Pandy the Panda. Feel free to feed him as much bamboo as you like by clicking on the 'more' button. Just remember to leave some bamboo for me to use in my cloth pads :D

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Voting is now open for the Connect 2 Mums ausMumpreneur Awards.

Green Chickadee is nominated for the Eco Award, For Women Award and New Mumpreneur Award.

Vote and you could win a Sesame Street Pavement Cycle values at $49.99, plus they are giving away 5 Sesame Street Novelty Rompers valued at $24.95 each.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Live Chat

Please join me Thursday 20th August for live chat at Connect 2 Mums

*10am Qld time, Thursday
*prize giveaways drawn by ‘Rando’
*pre-register to win prizes
*20% discount for attendees - special code will be given out at the event
*insider secrets
*BYO coffee & choccy

Lucky numbers for prize giveaways.

1. Seanne
2. jo Debnam
3. Rebecca
4. Kym Teale
5. Jayne Day
6. Vicki Wallis
7. Rose Leah
8. Nicole Grant
9. Rebekah
10. Sandy
11. Samantha
12. Jodie Quinlan
13. Helen MacMillan
14. Kylie
15. Theresa Tan-Letts
16. Jodie Maher
17. Jaki

Aloe Vera gets thumbs up as natural oral care ingredient

US dental researchers say work they have been conducting into
aloe vera suggests that it is an excellent ingredient as a tooth and
gum cleaner.
The results found that the aloe vera gel invariably equaled the
performance of the commercial brands and in some instances
actually proved to be more effective at controlling cavity-causing
The research also highlights the fact that aloe vera tooth gel
tends to be less harsh on the teeth than commercial toothpaste
because it does not contain such abrasive elements found in
other compounds of the same nature.
Miessence® toothpastes have been formulated with organic
aloe vera for more than 10 years! Available from Green Chickadee
Read the full story:

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Cheeki BPA free drink bottles now in stock.

About BPA
– Bisphenol A is extremely widespread among many household plastics such as baby bottles and food storage containers. BPA is a chemical used in the manufacture of plastics and epoxy resins and is a known carcinogen that has been linked to brain synapse, reproductive and developmental impairments. Canada announced in 2008 it’s intent to ban the sale of baby bottles containing BPA’s.

Furthermore, repeated use of common disposable bottles (PET) can cause the plastic to break down and carcinogens to leach into your drinking water. Try leaving a full plastic bottle (re-used) and a full Cheeki bottle overnight and next morning take a sip from each – the difference in taste is incredible.

Environmental Concerns - Unless disposable plastic bottles are incinerated, they will be around in landfills, oceans and parks for hundreds of years. Most of us nowadays like to think that we are environmentally conscious, yet take a look at how many people are buying, carrying around and throwing out plastic bottles on a daily basis! Its mind-boggling. (not to mention the health risk, the taste or the expense). Millions of plastic bottles are thrown out – it’s really one of modern life ’s most ludicrous “developments” (not to mention the energy consumed in transportation and refrigeration).

Economy – you only need to refill your Cheeki bottle approximately five times as compared to purchasing five bottled waters to “break even”. We then hope you refill your Cheeki bottle five hundred times – for free!! (that’s a saving of about $1700!)

Visit to view the range.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


My blog has been very quiet lately because I have been working frantically on new products.
Keep an eye out on during July for new patterns in cloth pads, BPA free bottles from Cheeki and hot and cold packs in two sizes.

Monday, June 15, 2009

30% off Organic Baby Skin Care

Head on over to for 30% off organic baby skin care until midnight 17/06/09 only.

Totally free from:
· toxins
· synthetics
· preservatives
· allergens
· perfumes
· essential oils

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

After posting about my favorite authors, I did a quick check to see if any of them were bringing out any new books soon.
I found that Marian Keyes has a newsletter! It's like ablog of what she's been up to lately. This might not mean much to everyone else but I am excited. I signed up and now feel like one of those celebrity stalkers.

My Top 5 #3 Authors

I love a good read although with 4 kids and a business I don't get as much time as I would like!

My favorite authors are:

1. Sophie Kinsella - author of the Shopaholic series. Didn't get around to seeing the movie so will have to wait for the DVD.
2. Cathy Kelly - nice chic lit author
3. Marian Keyes - her books are always entertaining
4. Monica McInerney - can't put down books
5. Kathy Reichs - bit different to the others but I love the science/mystery side of it plus she throws in stuff about the personal life of her character Tempe Brennan.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

29th May

When I started this blog I had all kinds of ideas for posting information about all kinds of things especially environmentally friendly info for home and body but this week making up orders has taken priority.
I've sold over 50 pads and 10 slings so my sewing machine is getting quite a workout and I'm getting cramps in my hands from all that cutting.
I hope to get some info posted soon - although the sales are nice :)

Friday, May 22, 2009

My Top 5 #2 - Movies

If I really started thinking about it, I'd probably come up with a lot more but these 5 immediately spring to mind.

1. Mama Mia - showing my age a bit but when I was a child I LOVED Abba

2. The Notebook - bawled my eyes out at the ending

3. All the Harry Potter Movies. I was just as disappointed as my 10 year old son when the release date was delayed at Christmas

4. Miss Potter

5. Any screen adaptation of a Jane Austen novel

Well not technically 5........

My Top 5 #1 Smells

I thought I'd blog about my favorite things (a bit of a Julia Andrews thing).

My first are smells, although maybe aroma's would be a better term!

In no particular order:

1. freshly mown grass
2. roasted coffee
3. the smell of rain after a hot summer's day
4. the smell of a new baby. They have a special smell all of their own that they lose after a couple of months.
5. chocolate

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Benefits of cloth pads

Cloth menstrual pads that is. Now before you say EERRRR YUCK!!! GROSS!! Read the following, it may change your whole view on disposables.


Manufacture of disposable pads and tampons involves use of chemicals such as additives, bactericides, fungicides, absorbency gels, glues, fibres, and cancer causing dioxins the residue of which remains in the pads and tampons.

Use of cloth pads eliminates the concerns associated with the potential risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome resulting from use of tampons.

Many cloth pads have an inner core of bamboo. Bamboo has antibacterial qualities. This helps reduce bacteria that cause unpleasant odours.


Disposable pads are made from chemically treated wood pulp – YUCK!

Disposable pads and tampons add to landfill. Not only are the pads themselves made from non-biodegradableable products, the packaging themselves (outer wrapper, individual wrapper, plastic strip!) also add to landfill. Even when cloth pads wear out because they are made from natural products, they can be composted!

There are approximately 5.5 million females in Australia between the ages of 12 and 51* (the average ages of starting and finishing menstration). If all of these used disposable pads and tampons, averaging 10 per month, that would add up to 660 MILLION pads and tampons added to landfill EVERY year. That's a big pile!!!

Manufacture of disposable pads involves bleaching resulting in pollution to waterways from effluent, not to mention the chemicals and gels that provide the ‘superabsorbancy’ claimed by disposable pad and tampon manufacturers. A lot of cloth pads have an inner core of bamboo. Bamboo grows quickly and requires no pesticides. With sufficient rainfall, no additional irrigation is required.

Women spend on average $10 a month on disposable pads and tampons. This adds up to about $120 a year. For the cost of a few months disposable pads, you will have enough to last years with the potential saving of thousands over a lifetime.

Just for fun:

Instead of boring white, cloth pads are available in fun colours and designs.


You have to wash them!This is really not a problem. Simply rinse them in cold water and soak in a basin of cold water until you are ready to put them in the washing machine with any other load of washing! The soaking water can be added to your compost heap or used on your garden – it is a natural product after all! *statistics from 2006 Australian census of population

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Book Review - Women of the Outback by Sue Williams

This book has impressed me so much that I've been telling everyone I know about it so I thought I'd share it with everyone else too!
Women of the Outback tells the stories of 14 women who live or were born in outback Australia.
These women are all an inspiration to me. The hardships that they have gone through and still come out on top and smiling is amazing. Death of husbands and children, loss of fingers and even limbs! That on top of living in one of the harshest climates on earth.
My personal favorite is Sharon Oldfield. She was raised in the suburbs of Sydney having been born in Scotland and migrated out to Australia with her parents as a child. Sharon met a farmer from the Birdsville area and went to live there after they were married.
She was left with 3 young children to bring up when her husband was killed in a light plane crash. Instead of packing it all in and moving back to suburbia, Sharon decided to manage the property herself despite knowing very little about farming. She was very successful in her venture and went on to be a leading force in setting up OBE, the organic beef company that is a colaberation between many farmers and now exports their products.
If you are interested, their meat is sold in Australia under the name Cleavers Meats in Woolworths and Coles and some IGA and Franklins stores.
Not to take anything away from the other 13 w0men, all of whom have become my personal heroines.
I recommend this book to everyone.