Getting Greener with Heidi Peuten




March 8, 2023

From humble beginnings on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, Heidi and Vasia are the first movers and shakers to introduce a world first homemade nut milk base...

As if reducing the amount of methane from cow’s milk wasn’t enough, Heidi and her Ulu Hye co-founder Vasia have been tackling the plastic problem, one reusable jar at a time since 2017.

We sat down and asked Heidi to share some of her (and Ulu Hye's) story.

Here’s what she told us…

How did Ulu Hye come about?

As regular plant-based milk drinkers, my business partner Vasia and I were shocked at the amount of plastic containers and cartons we were throwing away each week, with the majority ending up in landfill. We created Ulu Hye in 2017 because we wanted to fight the war on plastic waste with a superior alternative milk product that was better for people and better for the environment.

Our vision is to reduce the amount of waste and UHT cartons in households, and our mission is to save 10 million of those cartons from landfill.

When we first started Ulu Hye, there wasn’t one single plant-based milk offering a more sustainable solution. Our Mylk Bases are an easy detour for anyone who wants to make their own plant-based milk at home without the plastic and waste.

What does being sustainable mean to you?

Sustainability means making mindful and eco-friendly choices everyday in every aspect of our lives (where we can) to minimise our impact on the planet.

The core of our business at Ulu Hye is promoting sustainability. We only work with businesses that have a strong sustainability focus, from where we source our raw materials, to our infinitely recyclable glass jars, eco-printers and manufacturers – it’s what we’re passionate about and these values are also reflected in our personal life. We’re also in the process of getting our B Corp certification to demonstrate our commitment, transparency and high standards when it comes to social and environmental responsibility.

What green initiatives are you most proud of?

As our Mylk Bases were a world-first product, it was challenging to actually create this ‘milk in a jar’ product as we had no blueprint of what to do or how to go about it. Our Mylk Bases are manufactured in a way that makes it a condensed version of what you would find in a plant-based milk carton (but without the water), to do this, we had to find the right manufacturing equipment and also dedicate a lot of time into research and development, working alongside a food scientist to get our formula just right.

Instead of plastic, our Mylk Bases come in a reusable and infinitely recyclable glass jar, with one jar making up to 10 litres of plant-based milk at home – that’s 10 plastic cartons that we’ve essentially saved from entering landfill. Since 2017, we’ve rescued over 800,000 plastic cartons from entering landfill – this is definitely something we’re most proud of.

We’ve also extracted the water from our product which significantly reduces our carbon footprint when it comes to transporting our products. As one jar makes up to 10 litres, we’re transporting 100 jars (1000 litres) instead of 100 plastic cartons (100 litres).

Our Mylk Bases come in a recyclable, reusable glass jar and when added to water and blended, creates up to 10 litres of fresh, creamy milk. It’s essentially ‘milk in a jar’, allowing you to create delicious, homemade milk in 60 seconds right from the comfort of your own home. Gone are the days of having to duck to the shops for milk as you can now make what you want, when you want it, without any waste. All ingredients used in our Mylk Bases are of the highest quality, organic where possible, vegan, paleo, gluten-free, sugar-free, soy-free, and are free of emulsifiers, additives, thickeners and preservatives.

What has been the most surprising or rewarding thing you’ve encountered on your journey to becoming more sustainable?

The most rewarding thing we’ve encountered on our business journey is definitely the beautiful community we’ve created. It’s heartwarming to be supported by other businesses in the sustainability space and hear positive feedback from new and loyal customers. It reinvigorates us and inspires us to continue innovating sustainable food solutions.

Why is being a founding partner of the Green Economy important to you?

We believe that small changes can create a big impact and by streamlining the shopping experience with a curated selection of eco-friendly brands and helping consumers make a difference every time they shop is inspiring. We’re proud to be a founding partner and support climate action in a way that’s simplified, meaningful and champions Australian businesses.

Who else do you think is doing sustainability well and why?

Definitely Great Wrap! Their compostable stretch wrap is so innovative and solves two huge eco challenges: food waste and plastic. Not to mention the massive market reach for their product in both commercial and residential. It’s been inspiring watching their journey and success, and I can’t wait to see what’s next for the Great Wrap team!

A big thanks to Heidi for sharing her story

If you're keen to try some delicious plant-based milk that's made with the planet in mind, check out Ulu Hye here

Or if you're a business that's interested in finding out more about joining the Green Economy, get in touch today