This Female-Founded Startup Wants To Make Home Cleaning More Sustainable

Did you know the average Australian uses 130 kg of plastic per person, each year, and each person uses at least 50 single-use plastic bottles as home and personal cleaning products? Makes sense, I feel like I’m always visiting the supermarket to stock up on cleaning products (which end up being some of the most expensive products on my shopping list, too).

Enter Happy Human: a female founded sustainable startup revolutionising how we use plastic at home, with their waterless and refillable cleaning products.

Their business idea revolves around removing water (80% of existing cleaning products contain water, meaning unnecessary energy and environmental costs due to weight and transportation), and condensed the cleaning formula into a tablet, which reduces plastic production processes and carbon emissions. All you need to do is fill your forever bottle, pop in a tablet, and you’re good to go.

“Happy Human began from my love for scuba diving. Over the years I watched my favourite diving sites turn from beautiful paradises to plastic dumping grounds. I started to rethink how I was personally using plastic, and gradually cut down on my own single-use plastic consumption to contribute,” founder Vinnie Ong tells Women’s Health.

“When it comes to everyday essentials such as your hand wash and cleaners, I found it challenging to find accessible plastic-free alternatives that didn’t break the bank. That’s where I learnt water makes up to 80 percent of these home and personal care products and single-use plastic packaging can be avoided if we remove that from the ingredient list.

“In addition to packaging, shipping water around the world also means more pollution and unnecessary carbon emissions. And that’s how Happy Human was born, we created a refillable and concentrated “just-add-water” cleaning range that reduces single-use plastic waste and carbon emissions. Easy to use and affordable for all Australians.”

Working with some of the best scientists and designers in Australia, Happy Human created their products by condensing ingredients into convenient dissolvable cleaning tabs wrapped in compostable paper packaging. And don’t worry, they’re just as effective as your supermarket buys.

“Our products are tough on germs, grease and grime and all of them are non-toxic – safe for babies and pets. Our range to date is a general multi-purpose cleaner and a hand wash, which have gentle antibacterial formulations that have been tried and tested against major supermarket brands and have proven to be just as effective, without all the nasties,” adds Vinnie.

What’s more is that the packaging and Happy Human’s range of reusable bottles are incredible chic, so you won’t feel the need to hide them in your laundry cabinet.

“Happy Human is an eco-friendly product, so we took our time to make sure we thought of everything to ensure this was the case – either 100% recyclable or compostable, including the tablet wrappers and tape used to seal the boxes,” she explains. “Working with a Melbourne based designer, we created the packaging with re-use in mind, our clear and minimal bottles are timeless and can suit any home. We also wanted people to be excited to display our products on their countertops, so we opted for a simple, fun and fresh colour palette and design for our tablet wrappers – because sustainable choices don’t have to be plain and boring!”

So what’s next? “We want to help stop billions of single-use plastics that end up in the ocean and landfill globally, not just in cleaning products, but across all consumer categories as almost all of them still come in single-use plastics! Our first milestone is for 10,000 Aussies to swap to refill options which ultimately helps 500,000 single-use plastics from being thrown away each year!”

Sounds good to us.

Vinnie’s tips for a sustainable household

“I believe in the power of individual impact makes a difference. The average Australian uses 130 kg of plastic per person each year, imagine what you could achieve in reducing it if you looked at refillable or reusable solutions. Some simple swaps can include;

● Instead of plastic cling wrap, use beeswax wraps

● Instead of throwing out food scraps into your bin, look at composting systems

● Instead of buying new clothes, look at shopping second hand or rental

● Instead of recycling, look at refillable solutions like Happy Human where condensed ‘just-add-water’ formulas

“We’re facing a climate emergency, plastic alone contributes to 13% of the world’s carbon emissions. The more plastic we make, the more fossil fuels we need and we can help by reducing single-use plastics. In Australia, of the almost 3 million tonnes of plastic that our country produces each year, 95% is discarded after a single use and 130,000 tonnes leak into the ocean. Customers are also seeing the impact of their purchasing power, through supporting eco-friendly brands consumers are doing their bit for the planet.”

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