Nous ferons changer le monde! We are going to change the world!
If it is not you my little one, who will begin to change the world, who will do it?

Hello and Welcome to Sustainable Suburbia

Kirsten McCulloch, head and shoulders photo

If you want to create a healthier more sustainable life for yourself and your family, you are in the right place.

If you want to reduce the toxins in your home, the toxins you are putting into the environment, the toxins your family are absorbing, read on.

I’m Kirsten, author of Less Toxic Living: How to Reduce Your Everyday Exposure to Toxic Chemicals – an Introduction for Families. I’m also an Australian mother of three, passionate about learning to live more sustainably, creating a healthy environment for my kids, and contributing something to the communities we inhabit. And I’m now also a Norwex Independent Sales Consultant in Canberra (and online) and Leader. A bit more about that below…

My Story

My doctor may not have had good people skills, but at least he knew how to get to the point. His words that tore apart my sense of both my body and my future were delivered with cool unconcern:  “You might have a few miscarriages.”

I was sitting across the desk from my old stick of a gynaecologist in his cold office, while he told me that I’d been born with only one ovary, and what it would mean.

“It shouldn’t affect your fertility,” he said “but you might have a few miscarriages while your uterus learns how to stretch properly.” I don’t remember what questions I asked him. I was twenty-four, and having a baby seemed a long way off. Still, it felt quite cruel, this sixty-something male doctor talking about losing a baby as though it was nothing. And I remember wondering why I felt suddenly lesser. Like my body wasn’t what it should be.

But his pessimistic diagnosis eventually led me to a proactive response, to investigate everything that could benefit my fertility.

Fast forward a few years, and I was ready for a baby. Miscarriage is a lot more common than most people realise, and can also be more devastating.  I wanted to do whatever I could to avoid having any, let alone ‘a few’. I couldn’t do anything about the size of my uterus – smaller than normal, with only one ‘corner’ reaching up to my single fallopian tube. But I could minimise other risks. That’s when I really starting focussing on reducing the toxins in my life, especially the ones I put into my body.

Being a massage therapist, and the child of veggie growing, composting parents, caring about organic produce and environmental toxins wasn’t exactly new to me. In fact, I’d written a column of DIY non-toxic cleaning tips for a local ‘green youth group’ newsletter when I was only about eighteen.

But now it was personal.

Kirsten holding her then 18 month old.Fast forward a few more years (okay, more than a decade), and I have three kids, aged three, seven and eleven. So now I worry about the toxins in their lives too.** 

That’s one of the reasons I started making my own household cleaners, and am always learning to do more.

But more than that, I want to disconnect our lives from dependency on Big Corporations, on toxic chemicals that hurt us and the planet; on an economic system that is unsustainable, both in the way it trashes the world we live on, and in the way it keeps claiming to ‘trickle down’ to benefit the poor, while the gap keeps widening.

Making your own non-toxic cleaners may only be a small part of that, but it is a real part. It costs way less, reducing your dependence on big business, and it keeps the toxic chemicals away from your children, the garden and the rivers your waste water ends up in.

So are you ready to get the toxins out of your home? To create a healthier environment for your family and a healthier planet for future generations?

Start by checking out my free non-toxic cleaning printables, to help you save money and time, and reduce those toxins. You can also read my book, Less Toxic Living – I am giving away the PDF as a FREE download (there are also a paperback & kindle versions for those who prefer them).

Wondering why I made the book free? Here is where I talk about why that is, and what my aims are for this website.

Stop Press – February 2014: I am so excited to announce, I have now just signed up to be an independent sales consultant with a company I have a lot of respect for  – Norwex. They are all about reducing the chemicals in our lives, in particular in cleaning and personal care products. And while you can reduce your the chemicals in your home a lot, just by following my instructions and making your own cleaning products, I find using Norwex is even easier, and saves me a lot of time as well. If you are interested in knowing more, check out my norwex in a nutshell page, or my Norwex online store, or friend me on Facebook (and send me a message telling me you’re interested in Norwex!), where I do occasional online Norwex “parties”. If you live around the Canberra area, in Australia, you’re also welcome to contact me about seeing Norwex in action, which really is the best way to learn about it.

Who else is here?

As well as giving you straight up information here, I talk a lot about my own family’s journey. So you’ll hear about my kids – Liam, Mikaela and Eliane – and my husband Chris. I used to have a couple of other writer’s who contributed regularly, Angela & Eileen, and do still accept the occasional guest post too.


*This is from a french postcard quoted by Professor Ian Lowe in his foreword to the 2010 edition of Sustainable House.
**Feb 2018: They are now almost 8, 11, and almost 16… [back]

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  16 comments for “

  1. June 26, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    Hi Kirsten,
    I really enjoy reading your blog, there are lots of sustainable living tips that are inspiring and interesting.

    I am currently conducting research into blogs that focus on sustainable living as part of my Masters at the University of New England, Australia. I am interested to find out the positive role that blogs play in inspiring people to live more sustainably.

    We are looking for people to participate in a short online survey (5-10minutes), link below

    If you could help that would be greatly appreciated.
    Student Researcher, Master of Environmental Systems, Markets and Climate Change
    University of New England

  2. Nancy
    July 4, 2013 at 1:58 am

    Thank you for writing all these informative articles. You have a very interesting site. I would like to receive an email each time there is a new article posted to your site. Thanks.

  3. August 2, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    Hi Kristen. Thanks for visiting my blog. Love what you’re doing here!


    • Kirsten
      August 6, 2013 at 12:16 pm

      Thanks Kelly, and right back at ya! 🙂

  4. Christina Fisher
    December 23, 2013 at 11:04 am

    I am very interested in your project and will keep in touch. I live in Hawaii where we are affected by dangerous pesticide use and where we have over 1000 GMO farms. We have formed a self-organizing movement of grassroots groups. Visit our web site We have mothers and grandmothers coming together. I am both. I plan on doing community education events. Thanks for all your great inspiration. I love Australia I was there for three months in 2012.

  5. July 19, 2014 at 6:13 am

    Hi Kirsten, I just linked up over at your Hop and grabbed a button, but the comments are closed, So, I’m saying “hey” over .

  6. September 21, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    Hi, the Brunswick East Primary School (Melbourne) wants to establish a ‘Community Organic and Green Waste Hub’. The hub would provide sustainable waste options in an area of high density living and the compost would support our playground beautification program. We need votes to secure a $5000 grant towards this great environmental initiative. Would you consider voting and sharing this link on your page?
    You can vote daily until Sunday 5 October 2014.
    Kind regards

  7. Nancy
    January 14, 2015 at 10:29 am

    Was just wondering how you’re doing – and miss your info-emails! Hope all is well.

    • Kirsten
      February 16, 2015 at 4:02 pm

      Hi Nancy,
      Thanks for thinking of me! I am so touched.
      You will get an email this week, AND there’ll be a new post this week. I am back home & back to work, and having fun 🙂

  8. Hattie
    December 16, 2015 at 11:04 am

    Hi Kirsten, I am so pleased to have found your web page. I’ve just started up as a Norwex consultant in the UK as a founder member here, we launched on 1 December. I have shared your page with other leaders here as you have such fabulous information, thank you.

    • December 16, 2015 at 11:42 am

      Thanks so much Hattie, I am glad you’ve found it useful! And congratulations on being a founding member in the UK, that is awesome 🙂

  9. Ray
    May 13, 2016 at 5:07 am

    Hi Kirsten,

    Thank you for posting about reducing toxic chemicals in the family environment I think your blog is great. I noticed a few people asking about swimming pools and salt water systems for natural pool environments. My company actually has a product that works really well here and fits in small spaces as well.

    You can find out more about our iPool here

    Let me know if you’d like more information

  10. H J Constable
    June 11, 2016 at 10:40 am


    What a find I have become quite unwell and only thing pleading to eat is yoghurt and fruit it is better than nothing. I used to make yoghurt but could not remember name of sachets and as stuck in bed with no kitchen access explaining to a husband who has never made it what a yoghurt maker was we were getting no where fast.
    Quick search on how to make yogurts with sachet how glad you came out top.
    I always have HIT and dried milk powder and love my yoghurt “naked” with fruit/toasted oatflakes/chopped nuts and occasionally dribble of honey amazing when given to “I would never make yoghurt/to sour/gives you food poisoning friends/family/when daughter little friends parents would request I only gave their children shop brought tubes as they were healthy…..children when given choice Wolfe’s mine then I gave them some of tube which resulted in tuck it is like eating a sugar Lilly I rest by case.
    Yoghurt maker being taken upstairs and husband being shown how to make.
    Did you ever work our costings per usual size pot from shop/per pot with sachets and each of your methods taking it a plain yogurt as adding fruits/flavours will change cost.
    I have booked marked you so as processing can find more gems, you will not realise how finding your site has given me a boost tonight and something easy, enjoyable and minimal effort required
    Thank you.

  11. H J Constable
    June 11, 2016 at 10:50 am

    I am H J Constable so sorry for predictive text problems but I am sure mode people will get gist. I gave it to my husband to ‘re programme new internet provider and he forgot to block predictive text, along with other health issues I am experiencing loss of sight and it not till you do another read back do you see mistakes.
    I wanted to express my delight at finding site but did not want to wait as if I lose my sight life will become more challenging. To anyone reading my deepest apologies for errors.

  12. October 12, 2016 at 1:16 am

    I don’t know how or where else to ask this question so please forgive if I’m in the wrong place.
    I’ve been reading your info on making yogurt in an Easiyo maker, without Easiyo starter, and wonder if my milk kefir, made with kefir grains, could be used in that maker for a thicker yogurt. I have an Easiyo maker but have been making kefir for a little while with great results for my IBS, the symptoms Now being almost nil!
    And I must say, your write up, re the yogurt making, is so well-written and brilliantly edifying. Thank you for all the info given.
    Best wishes. I hope you are able to answer my query.

  13. January 20, 2017 at 4:58 pm

    Getting toxins outside from our home or office is very important for better healthy environment.I appreciate your idea of making our own non-toxic cleaners.I will try it too.Keep sharing!

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