the nature strip

Can a toothbrush save the world?
March 22, 2013, 2:34 pm
Filed under: Babies, Eco

Jack n' Jill biodegradable toothbrush

As a parent, it is inevitable that I will need to buy things for my baby. But I don’t take this consumerism lightly.

I have been researching some of the best eco baby buys to minimise the pressure on our earth’s resources, and to avoid smothering my son’s delicate skin with nasty and aggressive chemicals.

Jack n' Jill biodegradable toothbrush

There are many safe and green products available, at a price – but this can be as small and simple as a toothbrush.

I recently came across the biodegradable Jack n’ Jill kids bio toothbrush. The brush is made from corn starch with nylon bristles.  Once the toothbrush has seen the end of its day, you simply breaks off the toothbrush head and pop the remaining handle in to the compost.

Jack n Jill toothbrush

An interesting fact – corn starch toothbrushes take around 90 days to break down in a commercial compost. Better than a million years for plastic right? And nylon is recyclable. Bingo!

Jack n' Jill biodegradable toothbrush

Thank you to Bron at Baby Space for taking these pics!


Farmers markets: falafel, coriander dressing & sesame salad
March 18, 2013, 1:51 pm
Filed under: Food

Food straight from the farm to you. I like that idea. Sydney is lucky to have a range of farmer markets that offers fresh food directly from the producer.

Eveleigh Market stall

I have the pleasure of working for one of my faves, Eveleigh Market. Located in an old blacksmith workshop, Eveleigh Market is a real charmer. The community atmosphere at the market makes it stand out from the crowd and I applaud its strict charter to ensure all produce is local. I always end up buying so much more than planned as everything is so delicious.­

eveleigh market tomato

The colourful stalls are abundant with all sorts and it’s great to have a chat with the producers/makers themselves. There is a smorgasbord of edible delights from crunchy apples (when in season of course!), fresh bread, chutneys, flowers and more. After my wallet is emptied, I peddle off on my rusty old bicycle with bags dangling from my handle bars. It is hard to balance but the food and I manage to make it home in one piece.

When I visited last, I picked up some delicious pumpkin falafel and some coriander dressing that I dolloped on top. I also picked up some fresh, snappy greens for a sesame salad.

falafel coriander

Eveleigh Market is a community initiative of Australian Technology Park (who supplied the first two pics).

White dress.
March 8, 2013, 10:59 am
Filed under: Charity fashion


Charity shops and me. A dangerous combination. I live near three of them and they have kitted out much of my wardrobe.

A recent purchase/donation was this white dress. $12.

Black is more my colour as white is just an accident waiting to happen. But I braved it and here it is.

Being a mother to a young baby, it is very rare, let me repeat, very rare, that I make it out at night, but with my mother in law available to babysit, my partner and I ventured to the bright lights of the big smoke to a music gig. It didn’t matter that everyone around me was at least fifteen years younger with fifteen less wrinkles. It was fun.

And it is Mardi Gras time in Sydney so I got to see a rainbow… on the road.

The Nature strip White charity dress

Towards the end of the night, my partner and I were starting to show our geriatric tendencies and needed to sit down. The only place was a ledge that people had been trampling over, spilling their drinks on, and pasting their chewed up gum.

My partner: ‘Should we sit here?”
Me: “Sorry, I can’t. I’m wearing a white dress.”


Barley stew with buckwheat garlic bread
March 4, 2013, 11:05 am
Filed under: Food

Barley stew with buckwheat garlic bread

Summer in Sydney is over. Well, we thought so on the weekend. Out came the jumpers. Out came the umbrellas. It was cold, and windy, and miserable.

To keep the cockles warm I whipped up a vegetable stew with barley. Barley is a grain I don’t often see around the traps – it is being overshadowed by spelt and quinoa.  But barley is abundant in fibre and great for the digestive system as it promotes good bacteria. For someone who has experienced stomach issues in the past, this has to be good.

To accompany the barley stew I made buckwheat garlic bread. Every Friday morning I visit my local market to purchase the most divine gluten free buckwheat bread which is packed with seeds (sunflower, poppy, pumpkin) and taste. For the garlic bread, I simply combined olive oil and freshly chopped garlic and placed under the grill until golden.

This stew really did make my insides glow. It is hearty, nutritious and warming – best accompanied with a glass of red.

Vegetable barley stew ingredients: barley (soaked overnight and cooked until soft), sweet potato, English spinach, garlic, onion, tomato, soy sauce, carrot.