Are you enjoying this sustainable series as much as we are? This week we feature Odd Pod who have a range of waste free products for your home, kitchen and bathroom. I like their baby range of wipes and food storage. I wish I had had more waste free options when my kids were little!
Keep reading to find out more about Odd Pod, an awesome sustainable brand.
Brand Name: Odd Pod
Do you have a retail store, an online store or both?
Current Odd Pod Stockists:
The Bub hub & Company – Broadacres JHB
Organic Touch – Claremount CT
Lime Fusion – East London
What products do you offer?
We, at Odd Pod, offer PODS, these contain all the necessary products or simple solutions to everyday life, with other products to compliment these pods, or just the individual items on their own.
- Silicone Baby Food Prep Products; incl. meal planner and recipe books.
- Reusable Baby Wipes and related products to ease use and washing of the wipes.
- For the Nursery, like baskets and mats made from recycled cotton *will be launched very soon.
- Kitchen Food Prep items, that replaces single use plastic.
- Sustainable Kitchen and Counter Cleaning Products; incl. reusable kitchen towels and washable bin liner bags.
- Bathroom and personal care products; incl. our own zero-waste toilet paper option and reusable mini wipes.
- Lifestyle range that includes yoga mat bags to tea and plunger cosies (will be expanding to tablecloths and the like soon)
What made you start this business?
Besides the two of us always dreaming about this possibility while being stuck in a corporate world, it all basically started with the idea of providing a simple solution to baby food prep. Being moms ourselves, and having gone through wet yukky single use clingwrap or bribing hubby to squeeze out the frozen and very cold food cubes (after all we had to make the food right?!) we had to go through this learning curve in finding the best options out there, and this just wasn’t available.
We then discovered our awesome silicone food trays, that not only allows to squeeze the frozen blocks out effortlessly, but it also comes with a silicone lid. This immediately solved most of the problems we used to encounter with baby food prep, and while down the rabbit hole, also managed to source a replacement for messy single use zip lock bags (although efforts were made to wash and reuse).
This led to offering the silicone bag with the sticker labels. So unlike the multiple small containers that eventually just clog up your cupboards, especially once done with the baby food prep phase, you now have a bag that you can use for any food prep going forward. A reusable and washable, easy storage solution. This was the very first POD that we offered, making life easier by providing the one stop solution and therefore also included the recipe and meal planner books.
I think it is safe to say we’re both practically minded – that’s when we don’t have screaming toddlers around us. So, our focus has always been to provide simple solutions to moms, while keeping in mind that baby specific items costs allot of money that you end up having to get rid of. So why not offer products they can continue using post baby/toddler and at the same time promote a more zero waste lifestyle, as we want to do our bit for the environment that we are leaving behind for our children.
Through offering a plastic-free and reusable baby food prep option, we wanted to make this available to all types of households, and that is how we slowly expanded into our kitchen range.
Over time we realised the lack of certain sustainable products, that truly offers 100% cotton, natural or chemical free options and ideally, we wanted to keep it local where possible. This is the point where we ventured into making our own products after discovering it’s not all that daunting. We now also had the opportunity to improve on other designs or products. Afterall, it is more satisfying being able to offer your very own product.
We never really intended for our products to be quite so focussed on zero waste, as we are still on this journey ourselves and adjusting where possible. Although zero-waste is not our sole ethos with the solutions that we offer, we do however let that be our first option where possible but in a very unassuming way. And typically, with a zero-waste lifestyle, the more involved you get the more you want to do or change.
Odd Pod not only places allot of value in sustainability but we also value community projects that involves upskilling and upliftment. All our handmade products are currently sourced from such projects, including the products we make ourselves.
How do you choose the brands you work with?
We always look for brands or products that complements our current product range or PODS, but have realised that it always makes it easier and better to work with a brand that is completely aligned with the same values whether a supplier or stockist. This also ensures the same message is ‘shared’ out there about eco-friendly options and sustainability, especially because we are still very much creating this awareness in South Africa. And because we ourselves are still very much on this knowledge journey, we find it very beneficial to work with brands that are completely invested in a sustainable future and that can provide that guidance, not only for our personal lifestyle but possibly something we can also offer.
Where possible we also prefer working with local brands and almost naturally gravitate towards those that supports or creates community projects.
Sometimes we see other products or have these really awesome ideas that are not currently available in the SA, but at the same time quite limited in producing these locally so then forced to consider importing. We do try limit this but who knows, maybe we develop enough to the point we no longer have to fall back on this option.
Then there is also cost to be considered, we do want to make it possible for most to invest in reusable options and sometimes we must also operate within these limitations.
What does sustainability mean to you?
As a company, to provide sustainable products where possible and hopefully at the same time create awareness in a very unassuming way. Most of the products we offer are not limited to a sole purpose, it can often be reused for something else or later, especially our baby range. We do also consider sustainability with our label and packaging options as we would often reuse boxes when available to us. At Odd Pod, we have certainly tried to make adjustments that are within our means and in no way professing that this is our only pursuit. We are about providing simple solutions and why not attempt in making these sustainable solutions while we at it.
We’re continuously in search of more ways to provide these solutions or even if it is just for supporting a community project.
We do try and incorporate these into our households too, especially with little kiddos who are very impressionable. If this is what they get used to growing up, even the smallest of gestures or changes, can make a huge difference in how they approach eco-friendly living and their behaviour towards it.
Sustainability is about making choices, yes it eventually becomes a lifestyle but one choice at a time. Always think in the lines of giving back rather than just taking. This approach makes sustainable living so much easier, and not only saving the planet for our children and generations to come, but it makes you a far better person overall.
What do you feel is the biggest misconception out there when it comes to sustainable living?
The idea that you must completely change every single aspect of your life to fit into that criteria. Every small bit that you change can make a huge difference, and one small change can also lead to another small change that makes it easier to adjust to a more sustainable lifestyle. But it doesn’t mean you have to do something that’s not possible for you. And yes, every small bit does make a difference so do not fall back on this beaten to death excuse.
You also do not have to live a limited and uncomfortable life, or gosh even worse, change your complete identity.
It also does not have to be expensive; you don’t have to go and replace every plastic item in your house for more biodegradable options and certainly not all at once. Yes, sustainable items save tons of money in the long run but approach it slowly and within your means.
What tip/s would you give to someone just starting out on their waste-free journey?
Start small, one bit at a time and just keep it simple! It will be way too overwhelming trying to adjust your entire household, life, or family for that matter, all at once.
Every small effort or contribution gets you started on this journey. Also kick it off with something that you know will be easier to do and that will fit your current lifestyle. Perhaps don’t go all gung-ho and start growing your own veggie garden if you hardly home and barely have time to serve a microwave meal, need alone attend to a garden. It will only make you feel despondent and give up on the zero-waste idea entirely. This can also be managed in a step by step process should this be something that you’re keen on, e.g. – start buying fresh veggies only. Over time get the hang of a bucket for composting and the various options this brings – start planting one potted veg, and slowly expand if this is available to you.
But this is just one aspect, if you’re all about just switching over to plastic free shopper bags for now, then consider making one small change the next month and attempt something small like this every month of the year. This can be anything like replacing single use cling wrap where possible for something like fabric dish/bowl covers or even beeswax wraps. Silicone bags for Ziplock type bags and so on. Initially there is an outlay involved but it also saves so much cost in the long run. While most importantly, it saves our environment as you won’t be filling up our landfill with more unwanted waste that cannot be recycled or processed!
Also, pay attention to materials, and not just obvious choices like glass, aluminium, or wood but also fabrics. Always try opting for 100% cotton as these fabrics do not contain plastic and therefore more biodegradable.
But it’s most definitely not all about buying. It’s about reusing what you currently have and getting into that mindset and even into planning better. You will surprise yourself in how creative you can get with storage options and how much less you also care that you didn’t bring a huge gift bag covered in glitter to the party.
Sometimes all the R’s get hammered down your throat and it feels like all of these must be achieved to live guilt-free. But don’t!! You will find that over time you automatically adjust and change and that’s what makes sustainable living so amazing. The more you do it, the more you tend to gravitate towards these options and it becomes daily living. I guess that is why it is called a journey.
What has been the most challenging part about living a zero-waste life?
TIME! While we still striving towards achieving a zero-waste life. Sometimes single use options or already made and packaged options can offer allot of convenience. Especially when juggling a very busy work schedule while trying to manage the chaos of everyday life (a.k.a. being a mom, wife, cleaner, feeder, teacher, comforter, entrepreneur) amongst everything else.
Zero waste promotes proper planning. To ensure you don’t have to resort to last minute options that inevitably end up being a quick option that will involve tons of plastic that you’ll end up dumping or having extra things you just do not need. BUT this isn’t always an available option, life still happens and almost never to what was planned in your perfect little world in your head.
What are 3 of your favourite products within the Odd Pod range?
- Reusable Kitchen Unpaper Towels
- Reusable Baby Wipe Pod – Premium
- Silicone Food trays, with lid
To find out more about Odd Pod, visit their website.