How Indigenous wisdom can inform sustainability practices

“Sustain the one who sustains you and the earth will last forever” — Robin Wall Kimmerer

I’ve never heard of the importance of caring for the earth spoken so poetically and convincingly as Indigenous author Robin Wall Kimmerer of the Potawatomi Nation in Oklahoma. In her book Braiding Sweetgrass, she speaks of heavy topics in an uplifting way, weaving imagery and her love for the natural-world between indigenous wisdom and the science of plants. I’ll leave some excerpts from the book below so you know what I mean:

“To love a place is not enough. We must find ways to heal it.”

“Even a wounded world is feeding us. Even a wounded world holds us, giving us moments of wonder and joy. I choose joy over despair. Not because I have my head in the sand, but because joy is what the earth gives me daily and I must return the gift.”

Today, the Indigenous viewpoint of nature offers a guidepost for a new way of living that considers the natural world and our place in it.

It’s no coincidence that 80% of the world’s remaining biodiversity is on Indigenous Land.

These cultures have been custodians of the earth for the longest time, rooted in deep recognition that they’re not seperate but a part of nature.

“When we speak of the living world as kin, we also are called to act in new ways,” says Kimmerer “so that when we take those lives, we must do it in such a way that brings honour to the life that is taken and honour to the ones receiving it.”

“The canon of indigenous principles that govern the exchange of life for life is known as the Honourable Harvest.” she continues “They are “rules” of sorts that govern our taking, so that the world is as rich for the seventh generation as it is for us.”

I’ll leave an excerpt below from Kimmerer’s book Braiding Sweetgrass that describes this sentiment so perfectly:

“The guidelines for the Honourable Harvest are not written down, or even consistently spoken of as a whole—they are reinforced in small acts of daily life. But if you were to list them, they might look something like this:

Know the ways of the ones who take care of you, so that you may take care of them.

Introduce yourself. Be accountable as the one who comes asking for life.

Ask permission before taking. Abide by the answer.

Never take the first. Never take the last.

Take only what you need. Take only that which is given.

Never take more than half. Leave some for others.

Harvest in a way that minimises harm.

Use it respectfully. Never waste what you have taken.


Give thanks for what you have been given.

Give a gift, in reciprocity for what you have taken.

Sustain the ones who sustain you and the earth will last forever.”




Planting kelp to cool the ocean

In return for the resources we use to keep our skin protected, we donate to The Climate Foundation’s marine permaculture project to plant kelp.

Kelp sequesters carbon faster than trees and helps cool the oceans down (which regulate the atmosphere) and restores biodiversity.

Packaged in an infinitely recyclable material to reduce the amount of resources taken from the earth.

75% of all aluminium ever created is still in use today, while only 9% of plastic (this includes recycled plastic) is recycled.

Sun Juju is vegan, thus reducing our carbon footprint

Animal agriculture is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than all transport combined. At a conservative estimate, 2,500 gallons of water are used to produce a single pound of beef. Animal agriculture is also the leading cause of ocean dead zones (as well as species extinction and water pollution).

Offering a reef safe sunscreen

In 2018, Hawaii banned sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate. In January 2023, Hawaii will also ban sunscreens containing avobenzone and octocrylene. “Oxybenzone is really toxic to the juvenile form of corals,” Craig Downs, a forensic ecotoxicologist, told CNN. “When it washes off your body and into the ocean, the chemicals can cause “bleaching, deformities, DNA damage, and death in coral.”

Avobenzone is also an endocrine disruptor and can reduce coral resilience against the high ocean temperatures that are killing corals worldwide through global warming. “Studies show fish exposed to octocrylene exhibited endocrine disruption, brain deformities in larvae and reproductive toxicity,” said ecotoxicologist Downs. “Because octocrylene bioaccumulates, what does that mean for people eating these fish, especially pregnant women. Avobenzone may cause a dysfunction with the powerhouse of the cell, which may kill cells and induce a bleaching effect in corals.”


Carbon negative

To make any product requires taking in some form from the land. To take in a way that honours nature, my ultimate mission and wish for Sun Juju is to become a carbon negative business, meaning we absorb more carbon than we create and regenerate more of the natural world than we take.

100% localised

Our formula is made and manufactured in Western Australia, however our tins are sourced in China due to the limited startup capital and limited packaging options here in Australia. In the near future, we aim to completely localise Sun Juju and remove the carbon footprint from the distance our tins have travelled from China to Australia.