Guilt free laundry days

By Angeliz Venter
Edited by Marcelle Jordaan

“Having an empty laundry basket is the best 5 seconds of the week”. Sounds familiar? I feel you!

Besides the fact that most people hate doing laundry, doing laundry is currently a very big problem for our environment. More than 700 000 000 of plastic jugs end up in our landfills and oceans every year! It is estimated that only 9% of all plastic gets recycled, and by 2050, there will be more plastic in our ocean than fish. What a scary prediction…

Putting the environmental facts aside, laundry days are the worse for all of us. It is not a fun activity, and most of the time, it cannot be done quickly. In the past, another factor that made laundry days even worse for me, is the fact that I could not find an affordable, yet sustainable detergent option. A lot of people suggested that I make my own laundry detergent and I thought I would give it a try… but where do you find the time to make the detergent, when you don’t even have the time to use it for the purpose you have to make it for? This relentless cycle of searching but not finding anything, combined with the busy schedule that most of us have, made me opt for the cheap bulk packs you find at any supermarket, and each time I used it, I felt extremely guilty, because I try my best to live sustainably and find eco-friendly alternatives for everything I can.

I recently found a business in South Africa called Recology. Their mission is to bring sustainable replacements for products we use every day in our country. In SA, our options are still very limited and the supermarket brands that claim to be more sustainable, are not always very reliable and then they cost you a fortune! One product Recology resells, that I was interested in immediately, was their Earth Breeze laundry detergent eco-sheets. This is basically a little sheet that you either put into the holder where you would normally put your detergent, or you put it directly in with the clothes. I prefer the latter as I’ve realized that it creates more foam this way and I am one of those consumers who struggles to believe that something can be clean where there hasn’t been foam involved! The sheet dissolves within seconds in either hot or cold water and you can also use it for hand washing your clothes. Another big plus for me is the fact that it is safe to use with a septic tank and grey water.

So, why should you switch over to Earth Breeze’s laundry detergent eco-sheets?
• They are paraben, phthalate, phosphate, bleach, AND dye free
• They are cruelty free and vegan
• It will lower your carbon footprint
• They are hypoallergenic & dermatologist approved
• Works in HE machines
• ZERO plastic packaging

I love the fact that I can be environmentally friendly while at the same time, not even having to measure out my detergent. Half a sheet can be used for a smaller load, one sheet for a full load and two sheets for heavily soiled clothes. This is an important fact to remember when using these eco-sheets. The first time I used it, I only put one sheet for a full load of heavily soiled clothes (we have dogs, and we play outside with them every day, so most of our loads are heavily soiled). When I took the clothes out, there was still some marks left over on the clothes and I thought it didn’t work, but I tried again with two sheets, and it removed all the stains. So don’t try and “save” sheets by using less, use two when you must! I also love that it saves space and is basically a document envelope size, that you can put into a cupboard and not see until it’s laundry day again. With each pack you can wash up to 60 loads, depending on usage- which is so comforting, seeing as most sustainable or organic brands only produce small quantities, which is not cost effective in the long run. The packaging is also 100% decompostable.

Earth Breeze eco-sheets are available in both a fragranced option, as well as a fragrance-free option, which is a perfect option for people with sensitive skin or eczema. I personally prefer the fragranced sheets, but we do rotate between the two sheets as my partner prefers the non-fragranced sheets, so it just comes down to personal preference and skin type. All in all, I am so happy to have found a sustainable solution for my detergent problem and I am so excited to see which other products Recology will bring into South Africa to help us make more sustainable choices!

If you want to order Earth Breeze Eco-sheets in South Africa, you can visit and use the discount code KICOCO10 at checkout!

Just Matcha, is not “just” matcha!

By Angeliz Venter
Edited by Marcelle Jordaan

I recently did an Instagram poll to see which of my followers’ drink or use matcha and what percentage of followers do not even know what matcha is. And guess what? The majority had no idea what I was referring to!

I drank my first matcha latte in 2019, before a South African Fashion week show, with one of my best friends. To be honest, I was very apprehensive of this green milky concoction and did not actually want to drink it, BUT it turned out to be one of the best hot drinks I had ever had! In case you still do not know, matcha is a powder made from specific, specially grown green tea leaves. Matcha is traditionally consumed in East Asia. The green tea leaves are grown in the shade for 3 to 4 weeks and during the shaded growth, the plant produces more theanine and caffeine. The powder is then produced and consumed by being suspended into milk or water.

Some of the possible benefits of Matcha include:

• Lowering cholesterol
• Increased weight loss
• Killing free radicals
• relief for moderate allergies
• Oral deodorant and sterilizer
• Preventing dental cavities
• Improving memory and concentration
• Enhancing cognitive function
• Boosting immune function
• Reducing blemishes, wrinkles, and sun-damage
• Raising energy levels and alertness
• Helping to improve teeth and bone strength

If you are interested after reading through all the benefits, but you are still a bit worried about the taste- matcha tastes very similar to green tea, but much more intense. It gives you a grassy, bitter taste initially, followed by a very sweet aftertaste.

Even though the most common use for matcha is a classic matcha latte, it can be incorporated into a vast array of food, so I played around in the kitchen to bring some vegan friendly recipes to your kitchen!

First up, the classic Vegan Matcha Latte!
• Bring a cup of your favorite plant-based milk (I like oat milk) to the boil.
• Add a spoon of matcha to a bowl.
• Add a little bit of the boiling milk to the bowl and whisk it with your matcha whisk until it is light and frothy.
• Pour your boiling milk into a cup with the whisked matcha on top.

Vegan Matcha Flapjacks
• In a mixing bowl, combine 250ml cake wheat flour, 50ml sugar, a teaspoon of baking powder, a heaped teaspoon of Matcha and a pinch of salt.
• In a separate jug, melt 15ml of butter and add 250ml oat milk to the same jug.
• Create a hollow center in the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients to it.
• Mix all the ingredients together.
• Spray your pan with Spray and Cook and allow pan to heat up.
• Add a tablespoon of batter in a small circle or oval and wait until a few bubbles shows on the top before you flip it to the other side.
*Sometimes I add vanilla if I want a sweeter taste, but it is perfect just like this!

Vegan Matcha Banana Bread
• In a mixing bowl, combine 250ml cake wheat flour, a teaspoon of baking powder, a heaped teaspoon of Matcha and a pinch of salt.
• Add 100ml sunflower oil to the bowl (yes, I know, it is a lot, but it helps keep the bread moist and replaces the use of an egg).
• Add 200ml of oat milk.
• Add two chopped ripe bananas to your mix.
• Mix all the ingredients together.
• Spray your bread pan with Spray and Cook.
• Add your batter to the pan and sprinkle some almond flakes on top.

In all these recipes, I have used Just Matcha’s matcha. In the flapjacks and banana bread I used their culinary grade matcha tea and for the matcha latte I used their superior matcha tea. I have used quite a few different brands and latte sachets over the years, but I can honestly say that Just Matcha’s products are the best quality I have tasted so far, and it is SO green! Just Matcha sources their matcha directly from a matcha plantation in Uji, Kyoto in Japan, which is the birthplace of Japanese tea culture. Each leaf is handpicked, which produces a smooth and mellow flavor and deep aroma.

I would keep using Just Matcha and it would take a lot for me to use another brand again! If you want to order some superior quality matcha from Just Matcha, use our discount code MATCHALOVESKICOCO at for 15% off.

Big brands helping consumers take small steps towards sustainability

By Angeliz Venter
Editor: Marcelle Jordaan

Sustainability is not a one size fits all. Each person’s journey looks different and different individuals feel differently about the subject of Iiving sustainably, but I believe that if every person on earth just makes one small change in their daily lives, it will have a BIG impact!

If you are anything like me, you try to make sustainable changes in your day-to-day life, but must revert to small local brands or a DIY option at home. Don’t get me wrong, I love supporting local brands that are striving for sustainability. These brands indirectly contributed to big companies taking these steps, but I have always wondered why the big role players in these industries did not also strive to be more sustainable.

As bigger brands and companies realized the impact of their choices on the environment, and the loss of profit that came with not catering to consumers’ needs to be eco-friendly, they jumped on our sustainability bandwagon, and we finally have one of the biggest role players in the industry joining our mission… COLGATE!

When I first heard about their new campaign and efforts toward sustainability, I was ecstatic, because this is what we have all been waiting for. A big company caring, understanding and making the changes that consumers want to see. Colgate introduced their Colgate Naturals products and their #sustainablesmiles campaign a few weeks ago and the response to it has been overwhelmingly positive. The aim was to show consumers different ways to be sustainable, ranging from recycling, growing your own fruit and vegetables, making sustainable swops in your personal care routine, like using a menstrual cup, bamboo earbuds, changing from one use plastic containers for shower gel, shampoo, and conditioner to bar soaps and ultimately just switching from your normal Colgate product to their natural product, with natural ingredients, recyclable tube and 100% biodegradable packaging.

So, what is part of the Colgate Naturals range? Firstly, they created a bamboo toothbrush, that is 100% biodegradable. The slim tip bristles are infused with charcoal, which delivers a deep, yet gentle cleaning, which means there is no compromise on the efficiency of the brush. The bamboo handle is naturally water resistant, but also coated with natural beeswax to minimize the absorption of water. With dentists suggesting that you replace your toothbrush every 3 months, this was an URGENT sustainable swop for me, as plastic toothbrushes are not biodegradable, cannot be sufficiently recycled, reused, and ultimately just end up in our oceans and coral reefs.

Next up is the Colgate Naturals toothpaste range. I absolutely love all three flavors and switch between them quite regularly, as each product has different qualities and problems that it focuses on. Colgate Naturals toothpaste with Aloe Vera is the one I use the most as it gives a cool, refreshing, and clean feeling afterwards. It focuses on gum care and consists of 97% natural ingredients. It is formulated with carefully selected minerals and 100% natural origin Aloe Vera and Green Tea extract. The Colgate Naturals toothpaste with Hemp-Seed Oil gives a soothing sensation, while it refreshes your breath with a 100% natural herbal Anise flavoring. The hemp seed oil is also of 100% natural origin and the product has 97% natural ingredients. Lastly, the Colgate Naturals Charcoal toothpaste assists teeth whitening in an affordable manner, and it is a healthy yet sustainable alternative to conventional teeth whitening at a dentist. It is filled with 93% natural ingredients and the activated charcoal is 100% natural from the origin. Furthermore, all three variants are vegan, gluten free, sugar free and comes in a 75ml recyclable tube which lasts a few months depending on your daily usage.

Being sustainable can sometimes seem like a “hippie” concept and something you can only be a part of by starting everything from scratch. But making sustainable changes in your day-to-day life does not have to be intimidating. I started my journey of sustainability without even wanting to, my mother-in-law gave me reusable make-up remover wipes for Christmas a few years ago that she made herself and only through that act did I start to consider my impact of using one use wipes and cotton balls multiple times a day. This concept rolled over into other aspects of my life. My journey was not a once off thing that I did perfectly and never looked back- I am continuously learning and choosing to change. By taking the first step- which could just be you, changing from a plastic toothbrush to bamboo, and switching out your non-recyclable toothpaste tube for the Colgate Naturals range- you are already having an impact on our environment and the future of the next generations to come. Just start by taking the first step.

The Colgate Naturals range are available at all major retailers worldwide.