Green Earth Kids was born from a desire to teach children about caring for our planet. With a TV show in the making, they hope to inspire and educate children to love nature and protect the environment. A family-owned business, based in Ballarat, Victoria, they also provide sustainable kids’ products, all sourced from within Australia, with everything you need to create a plastic-free, nature-themed play space. Founders, Miree and Andy Hancock, firmly believe that if children play, explore and learn about sustainability values in childhood, they will grow into responsible and ethical adults who will help to heal our planet for generations to come.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
I have been passionate about looking after the planet for many years now. Since I realised the negative impact we humans are having on the Earth’s finite resources, particularly due to our over-consumption and poor choices, I knew something had to be done. During the decade I spent as a nanny, I came to see that most children’s toys were loaded with plastic that would end up in landfill and there was no mainstream environmental education or focus in any kids’ TV shows. This is where Green Earth Kids was born. I put together a great team of creatives and my talented husband wrote us the script for our pilot episode. The show has been almost 3 years in the making now, as it is a labour of love from all involved and created on a shoe-string budget. While the editing process was taking place, I wanted to keep momentum up so finally decided to launch our online store for eco-friendly toys, games, books and craft supplies.
My vision is to become a one-stop shop for 0-10 year olds, where parents and educators can shop with confidence knowing they are doing right by the planet and by Australian people. We launched the store in the middle of the pandemic last year and haven’t looked back. The store, the show and the original songs that some very talented musicians are creating for us currently all fit into the 4 pillars of our Green Earth ethos: Love all living things, care for the planet, knowledge is power, leave a small footprint and a big legacy.
The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
First, we created the vision for the show, wrote the script and recruited actors and tech people. Then I had to secure some funding and I am eternally grateful to those families and businesses who chose to support us. Next, we filmed over several months and enlisted the help of local musicians who share our vision for protecting the planet, to create original music. We set up a website and social media pages to start growing a following and then I started approaching local makers who were creating stunning eco-friendly toys for us to stock in our store. It was all done on a budget, from our lounge room, with lots of emails, phone calls, prayer and thanksgiving.
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
I believe the biggest point of difference that makes us stand out from our competitors in the kids eco-friendly space is that we are 100% Aussie-made. We only source and stock environmentally responsible, natural and plastic-free products from local and interstate makers. We believe that if you are importing eco toys from overseas, the embodied energy in getting those items here has now negated their ability to be eco-friendly. The closer your end consumer is to the product point of origin, the less environmental impact you make. So, for us, this is hugely important. And as Covid showed us last year, buying local is extremely important for many different reasons. As we are a very new business, we have not yet had our ‘breakthrough’ moment…but I believe it is coming.