Hello and welcome.

My name is Jo Hegerty, I am a Brisbane copywriter, freelance journalist, editor, blogger and aspiring YA novelist.

If you’re looking for engaging copy, hard-working SEO words or inspiring feature articles, please take a look at my previous experience or contact me to find out about how we can work together.

Enough about you, let’s talk about me!

As mentioned, I am a writer based in Redcliffe, near Brisbane. I’m a bit of a greenie, a complete bookworm and a parent. I come from a magazine background, via PR, with a stop-off in marketing. When I’m not writing for money, I write for love.

Scroll down to see samples of my work or use the categories and tags to the left to find the area you’re interested in.

A new life for plastic packaging

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This article appeared in Redcliffe Guide.

Did you know that most plastic packaging can be recycled into useful long-lasting products? All those chip bags and biscuit packets, the plastic sack hiding in your cereal box, the clingfilm around your newspaper – all this and more can be turned into park benches or play equipment. And, best of all, recycling this material is free and easy, thanks to REDcycle.

This innovative company was started by Elizabeth Kasell in 2012 after she despaired about the amount of waste her family produced each week. Not one to take no for an answer, Liz set up a ground-breaking partnership with Coles supermarkets to expand their plastic-bag recycling scheme to include all soft plastics.

Today, REDcycle’s green bins are located in more than 580 supermarkets and recently recycled their 100 millionth piece of plastic packaging.
Plastic packaging is made from crude oil, coal and gas; recycling ensures these non-renewable resources don’t go to waste. It also makes a huge difference to the amount of waste you send to the kerb – and landfill – every week.

Continue reading here.

Easy Green Series

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The following is a series of six posts that appeared on Childhood 101, a hugely successful Australian child development and parenting blog.

Six ways to save money… and the planet!

The one bag of trash challenge

Fun and games for green families

16 ways to help children want less

19 easy ways to green your groceries

Easy green habits just for kids

 

Climate Change is now a Moral Issue

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This guest post appeared on Natural New Age Mum.

Climate change is now a moral issue

First, let me thank Sonia for lending me her space and for the opportunity to chat with you all. My name is Jo, I’m a recovering journalist and mum to a two- and a four-year-old, and I’m on a mission to save the world.

I don’t have a cape and I can’t lift up the Eiffel Tower with my pinkie, but I do have other super powers, which I’ll tell you more about in a moment.

Before we do that, let’s talk about the global threat: climate change. These are the facts:

  • Our planet is heating up.
  • Humans are causing this to happen.
  • If we don’t act fast billions of people will die, lose their homes and/or suffer crippling illness and poverty.
  • We can prevent this from happening.

 Climate change 101

The earth has a very thin layer around it—the equivalent of a coat of varnish on a world globe you might find in a classroom—and this layer protects us from the freezing depths of space and the radiation from the sun. This thin layer, which we call the atmosphere, is made up of greenhouse gases and it regulates the temperature on earth allowing us all in our many forms to live.

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Do you want nanoparticles with your food?

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This post appeared on Kidspot.

Nanoparticles may sound like something from science fiction but they’re real, they’re used for a whole range of applications and they may even be in the food you eat. So, is that a bad thing or not?

It may sound like something from The Jetsons but nanotechnology is all around us: in medicines, sunscreens, clothing and, most likely, in the device you’re using right now. But do nanoparticles belong in our food?

So what’s a nano anyway?

The term “nano” refers to the size of a component or substance. And it means small – really small. Each of the hairs on your head is around 100,000 nanometres across. A wide range of natural and synthetic substances have been shrunk down to this size, the most familiar being silver (for it’s antibacterial properties), titanium dioxide (for sunscreen that goes on clear) and silica, which has numerous benefits for food production.

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How to choose safe clothes for your kids

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This article appeared on Kidpot.

Freaking out about the safety of your kids’ clothes? No wonder. The recall of tens of thousands of children’s jeans, pants and shorts due to unsafe levels of a toxic dye is enough to make anyone want to wrap their kids in (organic) cotton wool. Here’s how to keep the chemicals out of their cupboards.

There’s WHAT in their clothes?

If clothes had “nutrition” labels then I reckon we’d all walk around naked. First there are pesticides used when growing the fibres, then there are fungicides and preservatives used to stop them going mouldy. Next come the dyes, usually synthetic, plus add-ons like plastic prints, which contain plastic-softening chemicals.

The recent ACCC recall was due to high levels of azo dyes, compounds that have been found to cause cancer. On the one hand, this gets a high-five because the clothes (and pillowcases) were recalled. But the other hand wants to slap someone, because what the hell are these dangerous chemicals doing in our kids’ clothes in the first place?

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Celebrating Inspiring Women

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My interview with 1 Million women…

1. Describe yourself in 3 words?

Busy, happy, blessed.

2. Tell us a bit about your story, what you do, what you’re doing at the present?

I am the editor of Down To Earth Mother, an eco-living blog aimed at busy mums. I started my blog because I wanted to inspire women to make better choices for the environment and their families.

I try to keep it light and practical on Down to Earth Mother because no-one wants to have a finger wagged in their face. We talk about the big issues, but also the details of how to incorporate sustainability into our already hectic lives.

The blog has been going for a few years now and it’s high time I reward my loyal subscribers, so I’m working on a free ebook to say thanks. I’m also working on a few collaborations because I want to reach as many people as possible. If each takes just one eco-living tip from my blog and acts on it, I’m a happy lady!

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Tiny is the next big thing

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This article appeared in Body+Soul, the national health supplement in News Limited Sunday papers.

TINY living is a growing counter-culture movement that advocates living on a smaller scale.

Smaller homes, fewer possessions, freedom from debt, living a simpler back-to-basics lifestyle – these are the pillars of this mini movement.

Advocate Malcolm Holtz, who has designed a range of “micro homes”, says small can be “poignant and poetic”. He asks people to recall how happy they have been in the small spaces they inhabit on holidays, such as tents, caravans, boats, beach huts and cabins. By downsizing our living space, he believes we can upsize our quality of life.

Smaller homes

Micro, tiny or small homes are nothing new. In busy cities and developing nations, cramped quarters are common and necessary when population exceeds housing supply.

What is new, however, is the emerging trend of “voluntary simplicity”, where a small number of people, across all demographics, have been making the decision to forgo the large, four-bedroom house in favour of more modest accommodation.

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Raising green kids

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This article was published in Green Lifestyle, formerly G Magazine.

How incredible to live in a time when the pendulum is swinging back to a more sustainable way of life; towards a future in which our children will take responsibility for the Earth rather than taking it for granted.

On any day, my three-year-old might help Daddy rinse beer bottles ready to be refilled, spread straw over the veggie patch or pass nappies to hang on the line. By the time he starts school he will be an old hand at recycling, frugal with water and well versed in the plight of koalas.

But while it’s one thing to train a child to sort rubbish, it’s another to have them understand why we do it, otherwise the whole cycle starts again. So how do we raise children to think like eco-warriors? It may seem obvious, but if you want your kids to grow up believing they must protect the earth and its resources, they need to get out and smell, touch and feel nature itself.

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Home remedy

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This article was published in Green Lifestyle magazine (formerly G Magazine).

They’re our sanctuaries away from a polluted and hectic world, but what if your home is also an unhealthy haven? We look at the potential causes and fixes for a home that could be making you sick.

Despite our ‘great outdoors’ reputation, Australians spend 90 percent of our time indoors. But while ‘sick building syndrome’ is commonly recognised as a widespread problem in the workplace, what about at home? Raphael Siket, President of the Australasian Society of Building Biologists and director of Ecolibria, says many people are unaware that persistent health issues may, in fact, be caused by their homes.

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Would you hire a birth photographer?

birth_photographerThis article was published in Practical Parenting magazine.

There are a number of good reasons to consider having a professional capture the birth of your baby. For one, it frees up your partner and care providers to get on with their jobs instead of trying to take photos. The fly-on-the-wall nature of birth photography means that your partner is in the picture too, and you’ll get a range of shots that together show those special moments. And of course, the quality of the images is far superior to what you can take with your phone’s camera.

Katrina Ferguson had the birth of her daughter Olivia photographed. “After birth, the details become hazy and it’s difficult to remember all that happened,” she says. “To later be able to relive the experience through photography and one day be able to show your child the pictorial story of her birth is an incredible thing.” As founder of Melbourne studio inVision Photography, Katrina also captured the birth of all three of Carla Mahony’s children. For Carla, birth is a hugely important occasion that should be commemorated. “I felt I was doing the most significant work of my life and I wanted it recorded,” she says.

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