Back to work eco-kit

Green Lifestyle

Having trouble getting into a great green routine this year? These eco-essentials are sure to help you ease back in to working life.


Pukka has a great range of certified faritrade, organic green teas. Even the gorgeous packaging is certified as being sourced from responsible forests by the Forestry Stewardship Council.

Credit: Caitlin Howlett

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Your green desk

- Plants:
Indoor plants greatly improve air quality and your wellbeing by providing oxygen, as well as helping kick-start a process to remove other toxic gases from the room. Check out our list of some of the best indoor plants.

- Charcoal:
Bamboo charcoal has billions of porous pockets that absorb odours, moisture, and chemicals from the surrounding environment. It's also good to help stop the negative electromagnetic effects on your body of sitting next to a computer all day. Bamboo charcoal can even purify drinking water and enrich it with minerals. The stylish Moso bamboo stalks from Pure Bamboo are $21.95.

- Moisture:
It gets dry in an office, but an effective moisturiser can help make the typing more comfortable. We love Kosmea's rose hand cream for $19.95, or if you prefer unscented, there's Dr Bronner's Organic Body Balm. For lips, keep it healthy with something like Ecostore's lip balm in a stick.

- Clean & green:
We're not saying anything untoward about your workmates, but it makes perfect sense to keep hand sanitiser around as it can prevent the spread of germs – hopefully meaning you won't get as sick, especially around flu season. Perfect Potion has an all-natural hand sanitiser for $8.95 (50 mL).


- Crackers:
Spiral's tamari crackers are great to keep on hand for nibbles throughout the day.

- Be Good:
The Be Good organic trail mix from Honest to Goodness (100 g, $3.80; 200 g $6.75) is perfect to much on at deadlines.

- Not just for babies:
Don't judge us too harshly, but have you tried the Bellamy's Organic apple snacks? Ok, they're meant to be aimed at kids, but they're so darn tasty that we don't think kids should have all the fun: plus they're GM-free, and don't use any palm oil.

- DIY snacks:
Even better than store-bought, you could get your own dehydrator and make your own snacks! Fowler's is offering Green Lifestyle readers a discount if you quote the code SNPDEC14 until 30 February 2015.

- Mood booster:
Alter Eco chocolate is the most velvety, divine choc, and it's certified Fairtrade, Carbon Neutral, Vegan, and USDA Organic with FSC-certified wrapping. Does it get any better than this?

Keeping hydrated

- Tea:
Sure you might need the occassional cup of coffee, but keep yourself sane with a regular supply of great quality, fairtrade, organic green tea. Pukka has a great range of green teas, including the 'clean green' tea with sweet fennel, dandelion root, nettle, tumeric and Sicilian lemons to add a pep into your step (20-pack, $7.95). The gorgeous packaging is also Forestry Stewardship Council certified. And Spiral's Organic Green Tea Bags are another all-time favourite.

- Straws:
With 1 billion plastic, petroleum-based, non-biodegradable straws used everyday worldwide, you can do your bit to reduce single-use plastic by carrying around your own straw. But even if you don't ask for a straw when you order that juice or smoothie at your local cafe, watch your waiter like a hawk, as they're likely to give you one anyway as it's a habit for them to add one. Check out the U Konserve stainless steel drinking straw from Ecolateral (2-pack for $12.95), and don't forget the cleaning brush too ($5.85).

- Insulated bottle:
Design company S'Well have taken the insulated bottle market and tipped it upside down! Sexiness and insulated thermo bottles are not typically used in the same breath, until now. Designed for performance, S'Well thermo bottles will keep cold drinks cold for 24 hours and hot ones hot for 12. 10% of all sales go to build safe and hygienic water sources in Africa and India through a partnership with WaterAid. Get the gorgeous satin finish from online store Until for $59.95.

- KeepCup:
Designed and made in Australia, every self-respecting greenie needs a KeepCup. They're great to keep on hand for a range of uses, so think outside the box too.


- Better than tuna:
An old staple for lots of people is tipping the contents of a tin of tuna into a salad, but be sure to choose from the Greenpeace tinned tuna guide to make sure your choice is sustainable. Even better, switch to something meat-free, like marinating your own raw mushrooms, or you could add some of Spiral's black olive tapenade.

- All the essential vitamins:
We all know it's hard to keep a balanced diet during stressful times, but it's when our bodies need it most. Help prevent yourself from getting sick by sprinkling the Lifestream Ultimate Veggies on your meals to make sure you're getting all the essential vitamins you need.

- Smoothie-to-go:
Take a smoothie with you to sip on throughout the day, and although we'd always advocate a balanced diet over supplements, you can easily add in some healthy powders, such as Amazonia's Raw Nutritional Range.

- Wholefood:
IKU Wholefood keeps fairly well, so you can pop past a store to get very reasonably priced, healthy food for the whole family. We won't tell anyone if you take the credit for it too...

Keep calm and carry on

- Lifelong companion:
Lunchboxmania's stainless steel tiffin carrier will make it easy to remember your lunch. The separate compartments are great for keeping foods separate, and they're also super handy for weekend picnics.

- DIY lunch:
A new store helping the world to become a better place, My Two Nanas, has a range of ethical products for your low-impact lifestyle. Check out this Retro giraffe lunchbox for $34.85, which is non-toxic and BPA-free. The insulated inside is removable and washable, and there’s even a handy pocket for your reusable cutlery and cloth napkins.