An end to the use of single-use plastics was once a far-fetched dream, but with recent laws banning single use plastic bags and Aussie businesses like the Sunshine Coast’s Go For Zero showing consumers how to live well without plastic, this vision could be reality sooner than previously thought.
A finalist in the running for this year’s Sunshine Coast Business Women’s Award for Micro Small Business, Go For Zero’s online store sells toxin-free, waste-free Aussie household products and has grown from strength to strength since launching in November 2018.
This Plastic Free July, founder Ellie Degraeve is urging Coast residents to join the global challenge, and try a toxin-free, low waste alternative to something they use in daily life.
“The choices we make add up,” Ellie said. “If every person in the world stopped using one single-use piece of plastic for one day, we’d avoid over 7.6 BILLION items of plastic on that single day.
“At Go For Zero we stop plastic at it source. We simply only sell sustainable alternatives for your everyday products, so you don’t have to even think about plastic (or try to recycle it).
“All of our products are sustainably packaged in reusable, compostable or easily recyclable material that contains little to no plastic.”
More than 30,000 families have chosen to reduce waste and chemicals in their homes with Go For Zero since it launched two and a half years ago.
Becky’s story – going for zero toxins and plastic
Currimundi resident Becky Tennant discovered Go For Zero at a pop-up store and said it had helped her family of four live a more sustainable lifestyle.
“It’s not as hard as you think,” Becky said. “Making a few small changes – like using wax wraps in lunch boxes instead of cling wrap, and stainless steel bento boxes. Mine have lasted years, and when they do eventually die they can be recycled.
“Because you’ve got a website like Go For Zero’s, you don’t have to go to a thousand different websites or shops, it’s there and you can just buy that soap, those sunscreens. I rely on Ellie’s selection of products because it hasn’t failed me yet – they’re always toxin free, which is very important to me, and always good for the earth.”
About Go For Zero
Ellie began her toxin-free and sustainable journey when her newborn (Gracie) developed rashes using ‘mainstream’ skincare products.
“Determined to help my daughter, I dedicated my time to research product labelling,” Ellie said. “I was horrified to discover how many harmful ingredients regular hygiene- and household items contained (and it is safe to say that I became a bit of a toxin-free nerd).
“When I researched and tested toxin-free products, I saw a high amount of vendors still producing top quality products in plastic containers. This created a sore spot in my heart and fire in my belly to only provide products that are safe for you and our planet.
“From stinky garlic face masks, extremely ‘turmericy’ drinks & deodorant that stains clothes, I have gone above and beyond to make sure that I test and personally LOVE each product that Go for Zero sells.”
Driving change through awareness
Go For Zero is driving change through awareness. It posts daily videos on how to use various products, publishes a blog about sustainable living, and sends a weekly ‘Feel Good Friday’ email highlighting positive news for people and planet, from around the world. Ellie’s positivity is inspiring, if not downright contagious.
“Reducing waste and chemicals is a process that does not happen overnight,” She said. “It’s about making progress and not putting that pressure on yourself to be perfect.
“It is our job to make it easier for people to reduce waste and chemicals in their homes, with our products and free tips.
“I try to inspire people in a fun way with my videos, which show how easy to use our products are. Like the dish and laundry soap, our best seller – it’s really amazing how many supermarket products this one product replaces. If you use it the way we show you to, you don’t need surface sprays, floor cleaner, dish liquid, hand soap or laundry powder.
“When you buy with my family business, you get quality, safe household products and you become part of our community of people committed to doing good with every dollar. We have so many returned customers now – it’s a real community. And many of them rely on our rigorous selection process to know which products are truly sustainable and safe to use.
“I have customers writing to me saying, ‘your videos made me realise how to start making this change. I was on the edge but now I’ve jumped.’ Honestly when I hear that, I do a little dance. It’s the best.”
Giving back to charities with every online order
Go For Zero also donates $1 for every online order to charities, contributing $11,000 to non-profit projects in the past 10 months alone. At the checkout the customer chooses one of three purpose projects which clean the sea, plant trees and feed Aussies in need. They include Seabin Australia, which takes plastics as small as 2mm out of the world’s marinas and ports.
“The Sunshine Coast is home to so many bright innovators – Seabin inventor Andy Turton for example. He’s a sailor from Mooloolaba. Many people in our community are creating earth-saving technologies and as a business we get behind these organisations, sharing our profits with them.”
Further reading and viewing:
· Go For Zero: Your How-to guide to Plastic Free July