The Tucker Story
I've worked as a corporate professional for many years now and for a number of global brands who set me up for a comfortable life. I studied till I earned a Doctorate, because I could, with the support of my family. It was time to semi-retire and focus on putting my family first.
Before I chose to semi-retire, my husband and I went on a trip to the Maldives. Everyone's paradise holiday destination right? Well this is where my friends Shaahina, Asad, Rafu and Aru Ali live. I grew up with them in Singapore where they had come to study.
To anyone who says that climate change is not real and a figment of the 'Greenies' imagination, I challenge you to go see the devastation climate change has had on island nations. This is their home and the rising temperature of the oceans has had a significant affect on the corals and sea life. I have seen it for myself.
10 years ago I visited the Ali family with my son. It was Christmas time and I still say it was one of the best holidays of my life. I learnt how to Scuba dive! Shaahina took me down many times and I can still remember how breathtakingly beautiful a reef is.
My words then where, "It looks like an underwater gardener comes down to maintain this garden". I took in the beauty of the colours and how perfectly everything was arranged and how abundant the sea life was.
Untouched by humans, looked after by scuba divers, I wanted to keep diving just to absorb the beauty. I have seen gardens on terra firma that looked just as pretty, but all because of passionate gardeners. I promised to come back with Paul to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary in God's own land.
What a life changing trip the second trip was. The reef was dead! I was devastated. I couldn't describe to Paul what had been there before. The beauty and magnificence was lost. The temperature of the ocean was too warm for the corals and they have died.
Shaahina then told me that she had joined a global anti-plastic organisation called Parley. Go look them up. Celebrities from all over the world, including many Australians support Parley to get rid of Ocean plastics.
The photograph you saw above is taken by Shaahina on one of the Maldivian islands.
Shaahina has many business in the Maldives and can sit back and enjoy life, but being passionate about her country and the devastating affect plastics were having on her home, she set up an NGO to educate the islanders not to use single-use plastics and to trap plastic rubbish.
Inspired, I returned home and decided that I needed to do more than just stop using single-use plastic. Plastic-free beings with me. My endeavour is to rid my household of all single use plastic. But that isn't enough. I know every little contribution helps, but I know I can do more. Tucker@BelliDowns was born.
I hope that through education and finding replacement products for the plastics in your household, I can make a bigger contribution to the anti-plastic movement. Donating a significant part of the profits to programs such as Shaahina's NGO means I am serious about making a difference.
Hence, Tucker@BelliDowns started with it's first product line, Tucker Tins. Stainless steel lunch boxes, just like I used when I was in school, to replace plastic lunch boxes.
Our second product line, Tucker Wraps, our beeswax wraps have been tried and tested in my kitchen. I ran out of Ceran (Plastic) food wrap and have never replaced it. This showed me how easy it was to make a change. With the help of a local beekeeper who supplies the wax, I've started making the wraps so I may share them with you.
Soon to be added are Tucker Bags, cotton, washable bags that you can use to bag your fruit and vegetables at the supermarket. I cringe every time I have to snap a plastic bag off the roll. We will also be adding Jute shopping bags which are made from a renewable fibre.
I am very grateful to any support you can give my cause, be it buying a Tucker@BelliDowns product, finding ways you can reduce your households plastic or spreading the message around your home and workplace.
I look forward to reporting exactly how much you have contributed to support education programs such as Shaahina's. Go the Parley Maldives Facebook page to get updates on the great work being done by the team and how your contribution is making a difference.