Meet the founders: Jodie and Shari
Co-founders of Sunshine Coast small business ‘Bokashi Ninja’!
“According to the Australian government* food waste sent to landfill accounts for between 30 and 46 per cent of total waste and represents the greatest opportunity for improvement when it comes to resource recovery.”
When long time Sunshine Coast friends Jodie and Shari decided to join forces on a new business venture they were committed to finding a business concept with a focus on sustainable living. Following their own personal experience with the ancient Japanese method of composting called ‘Bokashi’ this Queensland based small business was born. The convenient in-kitchen composting system allows everyday Australians to keep their household food waste out of landfill by turning it into soil enriching fermented matter and natural ‘Bokashi’ fertiliser for the plants and garden.
Find out a little more about team ‘Bokashi Ninja’ from our recent Q&A below….
Can you tell us how you came to start Bokashi Ninja?
We were looking to create a product of our own that would make a difference to the
environment… we wanted to create a legacy. We were tired of throwing so many scraps in the bin each day. We new we had to do better. We looked around for alternative ways to compost and we discovered the
ancient form of Bokashi in-kitchen composting. It was such an easy and convenient
form of composting, we just new in that moment we had to share it with all
Can you tell us what you did career wise before launching your own business?
And why the career change?
We have both been in advertising all of our careers and have had our own
advertising/graphic design business together for 18 years here on the Sunshine
Coast, called Tonic Advertising + Design. We were keen to get out from behind our
desks and have some fun in our business. It’s so rewarding to be working on our own
concepts and developing our own brand, Bokashi Ninja.
Thinking back, what was the first eco-friendly/sustainable swap you made in
your personal life?
SHARI: I’d say reusable shopping bags – since I was young. Also, fixing things
instead of discarding.
JODIE: I’ve been using reusable drink bottles from as far back as I can remember –
since my days playing lots of sport. I love filtered water, so you’ll always see me with
a reusable drinking bottle in hand.
Tell us what you love most about living on the Sunshine Coast?
SHARI: I’m a 3 rd generation local, so of course I’m biased! But I’d say the
environment – beach and bush. We need to protect and respect our environment and
wildlife as more people come to call the Coast home.
JODIE: My dad was born in Maleny, this could be why I was drawn to move here
almost 20 years ago. There is a wonderful energy on the Coast.
It’s reflected in our stunning beaches, the natural surrounds and the people who live
here. I love the passion and care our local community shows towards our
environment. I feel blessed to live in the most perfect place in the world.
What is your favourite thing to do in your ‘off time’?
SHARI: I love being in the garden and walking ‘Roger’ the dog along the boardwalk
and around the streets of Coolum.
JODIE: I like time out and quietly meditating by the beach, or swimming in the pool or
ocean. The water is my happy place.
What or who inspires you on your conscious consumer journey?
Our customers inspire us! We notice the older generations have an excellent
disposition for not being wasteful. It’s a way of life for them from when they didn’t
have so much and didn’t waste what they had when they were growing up. It’s very
refreshing to see. For us, we get exited when we see children being sustainable, learning to compost,
cleaning our beaches, educating those around them, and doing all the small things to protect our planet.
They are our future and they are setting a great example for all of us.
What would be your top tip when it comes to composting with Bokashi?
Our tip is to ‘do something’. Do any kind of composting. Find what suits you. One
household can reduce their rubbish going out to landfill by around 200 bags a year if
they compost. That’s saving money, reducing single use plastic bags, reducing toxic
methane gas going into our atmosphere and strengthening our plants and soil.
Imagine if everyone composted!
What is currently growing in your garden? Any tips?
SHARI: Bananas! I have about five bunches all about to ripen at once. So I’ll be
making lots of banana smoothies! I often share with the neighbours…and it comes
back in kind, as my neighbour next door makes the most amazing banana bread!
JODIE: I’ve recently planted a heap of new herbs in a big herb pot. I make sure they
are positioned to receive the morning some and protected from the hot afternoon sun
and of course a little boost of nutrient-rich diluted Bokashi fertiliser once a week. It’s
so handy to have your own favourite herbs in the garden. When I have too many
herbs at any one time, I pick them, mix with olive oil and freeze them in ice cubes for
later. Less waste!
What was the hardest eco swap you have made and how did you overcome it?
SHARI: I can’t pinpoint one thing. I think for me it’s changing your mindset. Looking
at future purchases and choices to be good quality, long lasting and environmentally
friendly. … and heck, do I even need it?
JODIE: I was struggling with my food waste, as I make lots of smoothies, salads and
soups, plus I live in an apartment, so always traipsing up to the bin to get rid of my
smelly rubbish bag. To be honest the biggest eco swap I made was to change one
simple daily habit in my home and that was, I started Bokashi composting.
What’s next for Bokashi Ninja?
We are very excited that Brisbane City Council has introduced a Compost Rebate
Program of up to $70 off a composting system. It’s a great incentive for Brisbane
residents. They can now potentially start Bokashi composting for as little as $28* with
our Bokashi Ninja Single Starter Kit. It would be wonderful to see more councils’
provide a similar incentive to encourage more people to be more sustainable in their
homes and stop sending millions of tonnes of food waste out to landfill to rot.
*After rebate. Excludes delivery.
Special offer for Family Eco Life readers: NINJA10 for 10% off at check-out.
Find out more about the composting units available HERE