When Lucinda and Sean Flynn’s first child came along, they wanted to use natural, sustainable baby products. Living in the small Victorian town of Hurstbridge, 30 km, north east of Melbourne, however, meant this was no easy task.
Without the stores or services, Lucinda decided to make sustainable products such as cloth nappies available for her and other families in the town. This first business was called Rosy’s Garden, named for the Flynn’s youngest daughter, and it was only the beginning.
More than 13 years later, Sean has quit his job and he and Lucinda now run Going Green Solutions. The business combines the couple’s early dream of making sustainable products more accessible to all, underpinned by their priority for family and a sense of community.
The business now offers a wide range of sustainable alternatives that are mainly sold through an online marketplace. Its offerings include green alternatives for a huge spread of products – from straws and bottles, to plastic containers, toys and gifts.
They have sustainable alternatives for almost any catering need: from popular events to private dinner parties. Other customers include the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Swinburne University, Sofitel, and a host of councils across Australia.
Lucinda says people who are new to sustainability are often pleasantly surprised by the low cost. A pack of 1000 wooden forks, for instance, is just $54.23. Other retail packaging products are a little more, but worth it for the benefit in waste management. Hamburger “clams”, for instance cost $50.82 for 250 items and chip containers are $74.25 for 500.
The outlet also has a brick and mortar shop in Hurstbridge that doubles as a community hub – home to recycling projects, educational programs and more. Lucinda says this is her favourite part of the business.
“What I really love is talking to people, encouraging people, letting them know that anyone, anywhere can make a change,” she says.
But for Lucinda and Sean, it has always been about doing a little better, not being perfect. For them, sustainability means looking at what you’re currently doing and figuring out a few changes you can make.
“And not feeling guilty,” Lucinda adds. “It’s okay to slip up, you’re human.”
At the core of their products is this idea of what it means to be human. Eco friendly is a great goal, Lucinda says, but unless the design is appealing and convenient people won’t use it.
“Sustainability really is not using disposable stuff; reusable is the best. But that’s the dichotomy in our business… we’re trying to weigh up many things to do the best.”
And, she says, there is no doubt that more people are trying their hand to think the same way. Products such as their bamboo cutlery travel set have risen in popularity, with people wanting to replace single use plastics wherever possible and practical.
Photographs courtesy of Jordan Spargo.