Using ‘mylk’ to save the planet? — creating a waste-free world with Ulu Hye
We chat to the powerhouse ladies behind the sustainable ‘mylk’ brand Ulu Hye
How did your journey with Ulu Hye begin?
We were on our way to living a waste-free lifestyle but struggled with how many milk cartons we were using each week. Shocked at the amount of rubbish we were disposing of, we dug deeper into the recycling process around UHT cartons and what we found was very disappointing – only a very small amount of these cartons were able to be recycled, majority ending up as landfill. This was the catalyst for us in trying to find a waste-free solution to plant-based milks. We engaged a food scientist to help us on our journey and proudly launched our first Nut Mylk Base to market in 2017.
What is the story behind the name?
Ulu comes from the Hawaiian meaning of to grow and to inspire and Hye is a play on Heidi’s name.
‘Nut Mylk’? – what is it?
Nut mylk is essentially plant-based milk which can be made of any nuts or seeds, and the spelling mylk is used to describe non-dairy milk products. Our Nut Mylk Base, in particular, is a blend of cashews, almonds & macadamia nuts and it’s 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). This idea has helped us so far prevent 500,000 milk cartons from ending up in landfill, and that number is only growing! All you do is scoop out the base and blend with water for a minute to make your own mylk at home. Not only are we saving cartons from ending up in landfill, but gone are the days of pouring half-empty milk cartons down the sink as you only make just as much mylk as you need, when you need. With one jar making 10 litres of mylk, you’ll essentially never run out of mylk at home again!
What is your favourite nut mylk recipe?
We have been upping our recipe game lately! We’ve been loving our Hazelnut Mylk Base with anything chocolate or cacao, especially a decadent cacao hazelnut smoothie or our chocolate lava cake. But also our mylks are so delicious on their own with granola or in simple overnight oats, you really can’t go wrong! They also make a mean bechamel sauce that we are partial too for our favourite lasagnas and mac & cheese.
What is the guiding ethos behind Ulu Hye?
It’s simple, prevent 10 million milk cartons from ending up in a landfill.
We are trying to fight the war on plastic and a simple switch to making your milk at home makes a big difference. A lot of plant-based milk drinkers don’t like the idea of making their own milk because of the time and effort required, but what we’ve created is an easy detour to get your premium plant-based milk fix just using your blender and water. It really can be easy to reduce your carbon footprint. We are constantly focused on creating sustainable solutions to everyday processes that are better for you and better for the environment.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve had to learn running Ulu Hye?
Don’t forget your ‘why’. It’s tough running your own business so it’s important to not lose sight of the bigger picture.
What are three things we can do today to help reduce waste in our lives?
Aside from making your mylk at home and reducing your usage of long-life cartons, other simple switches can be:
- Reusable bags
- Keep cups
- Waste-free toilet paper eg. Who Gives A Crap
Where is Ulu Hye heading for 2021 and beyond?
You’ll be seeing us around a lot more this year and the next! We have big plans in the plant-based food industry, aiming to rock the boat and educate! The more consumers we can get to make the switch to our products, the more we save our earth and our oceans.
Keep your eyes peeled for a fun Easter treat and we are also re-launching our DIY Condiments range which is really exciting! One small glass jar makes 6 cups of sauce at home – creamy vegan mayonnaise, hollandaise, ranch dressing and chipotle aioli!