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We Live Here introduces innovative, resourceful and optimistic products created by passionate people.

We connect consumers with product creators and makers who see a better way of doing things and who bring value to our lives -- and we tell their stories so you know the business you are supporting with your purchases.

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LED light bulbs

Bokashi composting

Water bottles

SIGG bottles

Pico solar charger for your iphone

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The official eco blog of the We Live Here team

Friday
Mar142014

Which bottle is best?

With so many reusable water bottle options out there it can be a tough decision on which one to get.  With a variety of materials, sizes and styles choosing the right bottle for you can be a daunting experience, especially when shopping online.  This blog will help you make the decision that suits your needs.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel water bottles are a great choice if you spend a lot of time outdoors and involved in physical activities.  Made from medical grade or food grade stainless steel, these bottles are strong and will handle being thrown about, while they may dint slightly it will still maintain its integrity.  While some people say they can taste a 'metallic' flavour no dangerous substances can be leached from high quality stainless steel water bottles.

BPA Free Plastic

BPA free plastic water bottles are completely safe for you and will not leach any harmful substances.  Unlike the plastic bottles bottled water comes in, BPA free plastic such as Tritan plastic does not leach harmful chemicals when the water in the bottle is heated up.  BPA free plastic water bottles are light weight and easy to clean because they are often clear so not parts are missed.

Aluminium

Aluminium water bottles combine the strength of stainless steel water bottles but are much lighter so are perfect if you are always on the go.  Aluminium water bottles require a lining on the inside of the bottle prevent the aluminium leaching into the water.  These linings are inert and designed to move with the bottle as it gets older and the inevtible dints.  Aluminium bottles can be more expensive than other bottles but are worth it for the quality and longevity. 

Glass

Glass water bottles are completely inert which means they cannot leach any substances and cannot impart any flavours or smells into your water.  While glass is the heaviest choice they are a very sturdy and strong choice as they are made from tempered glass that can withstand most bumps and drops.  If you are looking for a traditional material look no further than glass water bottles.

Hopefully this post has helped you with your decision.  What kind of water bottle do you have?

Friday
Feb212014

Kin Kin Naturals won't harm your garden



family walk in Kin Kin Kin Kin naturals has been a family run and based business since the start.  Bas d in the Nossa hinterland Kin Kin Naturals are passionate about making local, all natural cleaning products that do the job.  Dad – Felix - is a PhD-qualified formulator, who used to work for OMO. His skills level is unique in the world of eco products.  Mum - Sandy - is in charge of production and also develops our packaging designs.  While their kids – Marijn and Pippa ‘help out’ at times.
Felix and Sandy have a very simple philosophy when it comes to choosing what goes into their cleaning products – if they don’t trust an ingredient with their own children’s skin or on their own backyard, they don’t use it.  “Over 95% of Australianlaundry detergents, including virtually all eco-brands, contain alcohol ethoxylate as a main component. This ingredient is classified as very toxic to aquatic organisms” says Kin KinHence Kin Kin Naturals products are free from alcohol ethoxylate, or any other toxic ingredient.”

Kin Kin Naturals products are ultra-concentrated.  This saves packaging material and avoids needless shipping around of water and fillers.  Due to this concentration only a small amount is needed for the best results you'll enjoy the products for longer and save money.


Kin Kin Naturals
is Felix and Sandy’s baby.  They've put their hearts and souls into the products and hope you will love them too!

Explore the stories behind our other recent product discoveries here...

 

Friday
Feb142014

Dindi Naturals good for You, good for our Planet

Meet the Maker, the story behind Dindi Naturals...

As a mother of two, Pip Guyatt started experimenting with making homemade, natural soaps in order to reduce the skin irritations suffered by her eldest son. The results were amazing, and soon Pip began receiving orders from family and friends, Pip eventually expanded to supplying retail outlets and the general public who were also passionate about natural skincare.

Dindi Naturals is now renowned for making natural soaps that contain NO toxic or synthetic chemicals; and that derive environmentally-friendly ingredients from areas of fair trade and sustainability.

Pip's base is in the mountainous north-east region of Victoria, Australia, known as the Murrindindi Shire - hence the name Dindi. The location is as natural as her products, so when you use a cake of Pip's soap, you feel the freshness of the Murrindindi, and the overall vitality of beautiful Australia.

The Dindi Naturals range prides itself on not using palm oil or palm oil derived products in any of its natural skin and body care ranges.  Choosing palm oil free products avoids causing major habitat destruction and threatening many species in Indonesia and Malaysia, particularly the Orangutan population.

Explore all our recent discoveries here...

Friday
Feb072014

UASHMAMA or is that wash-mama?

While travelling through Tuscany in 2011 with her family in tow UASHMAMA (pronounced wash mama) founder Casey came across the paper bag which changed her entire world.  It was on a small Tuscan terrace eating under the umbrella of grape vines when she first saw the Le Sorelle bread bag which today we know as UASHMAMA.

Le Sorelle 'The Sisters' is a small family run company based in Montecatini just outside the walls of Lucca. Once a popular tourist destination Montecatini has struggled in the last decade losing tourist trade to larger, more promoted areas. The village now thrives again with the growth of UASHMAMA, who employ a large group of local men and women to sew from home the paper bag you buy today.  Uashmama's paper bags are all sewn in a cottage in Tuscany, and they are proud to call themselves a cottage industry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

UASHMAMA washable paper looks and feels like leather but washes with ease. The bags are soft yet resilient, where the manufacturing process is similar to leather the paper is stretched and tanned making it durable to withstand washing and daily use.  The washable paper is made using a virgin fibre through cultivation and not deforestation. Paper that washes like fabric holding it’s form so it can be used over and over again promoting sustainability perfect for catering and homewares.

Friday
Jan312014

Don't ever buy a bottle of water again!

We've been retailing water bottles for some nine years - long before the mainstream big store retailers realised that customers wanted to buy reusable water bottles! 

On the shelves of the big box stores, we've seen the waves of cheap mass produced bottles with low or no quality control, tempting people to buy a bottle for a few dollars.  Very soon those customers realise that the lid breaks easily, the bottle taints, the pattern peels off easily and feels 'tinny'.

By contrast we've met customers proud to show us the Swiss made SIGG bottle they have been using for 10 years!  Sure it's a little battered, but it's still feels good quality and it's leak proof - it's a badge for all the adventures that drink bottle has been on.

Toting a resuable water bottle instead of consuming disposable plastic water bottles, has been a significant behavioural change in the movement for a sustainable future. People have widely embraced how easy it is to fill up your own bottle at home and use it again and again every day - saving a plastic bottle heading off to landfill or the oceans.  Although some of course do get recycled, there is still a high land fill disposal rate, particular when people are in public places.

We wonder how we can replicate this behavourial change across other aspects of daily living to effect great environmental benefit?  Why is that that people have adopted this practice so readily?  There is a health impact, which we feel has been a key part. If something impacts on a person directly such as their health, they are certainly more likely to take notice.  There has been much media coverage about baby bottles, tinned food and adult water bottles that contain the toxin BPA.  By choosing a BPA free water bottle, you are protecting your health as well as the planet's!

Friday
Jan242014

Pana Chocolate creates indulgence that's good for you

Pana Chocolates was founded by Pana Barbounis. Pana is the resident chocolatier, he lives in Melbourne and operates his business from Port Melbourne, Victoria.  Pana has been the Director / Owner of many Melbourne cafes & restaurants for over 20 years. He is passionate about raw and slow food. Taste is also important and Pana enjoys bringing people together to experience the enjoyment of cooking food through love, health and happiness. Pana never compromises on ingredients by ensuring good quality organic ingredients are used to deliver the best flavours, texture and taste in a very balanced way.

The Pana Chocolate brand began with a dream to make a lovingly manufactured, richly textured yet healthy chocolate.  Pana's dream of an organic, raw yet great tasting chocolate has been created in a range of chocolates unrivalled in the world for quality ingredients, loving preparation with a rich delicious texture that is also healthy. Pana Chocolate's mandate is that everyone, regardless of dietary requirements, can enjoy the variety of chocolate they make.

While chocolate has for centuries invoked thoughts of decadence, love, romance and a sense for the forbidden with over indulgence a constant worry, chocolate can actually be good for you. Hard though it is to believe, chocolate produced from organic, raw ingredients, containing no refined sugars and produced using minimal heat (and with loving intention) will deliver vital antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins and minerals. And it can still taste amazing and deliver that texture and feeling of decadence and luxury. Pana Chocolates are as healthy as as they are luxurious.

Using the finest raw organic ingredients from trusted suppliers, Pana Chocolate has achieved that elusive dream of a quality, lovingly prepared, organic, raw yet great tasting chocolate with absolutely no added nasties.

Pana is a father of two children who inspire him to live a more balanced lifestyle with his organic produce from his very own garden, his loving pet chickens and his passion to cook from his personally-constructed wood oven. His passion is to bring joy to everyones faces with the love of good quality food and to live life in a more harmonious way.

 

Friday
Jan172014

PackIt keeps your lunch cool this Summer

One morning in Westlake Village, CA, Melissa Kieling was packing her kids’ lunches, as she did every day.  The mother of 3 found herself filling sandwich bags full of ice cubes in an attempt to keep the apples from turning brown and the turkey sandwiches from spoiling. She thought there must be a better way to preserve perishable food without icepacks or toxic inserts. Unfortunately there wasn't and it was then that PackIt was born. The freezable, foldable lunch bag with an integrated earth-friendly gel liner that freezes and keeps food cool for up to 10 hours!

Three short years later, PackIt has grown into a defining brand built around the eco-gel liner, eliminating completely the need for ice cubes or toxic gel packs. That means you can both save a tremendous amount of water and energy over time while keeping harmful chemicals away from you lunch! PackIt is lead-free, PVC-free, BPA-free, non-toxic, earth-safe and reusable. 

PackIt has expanded into a wide range of freezable bags to keep everything cold from your lunch to your groceries to a bottle of wine or two for that friend’s BBQ that is across the other side of town, as well as many other innovative uses.  PackIt keeps your food cooler longer so you don’t have to worry about it.

Wednesday
Jan082014

Three tips for reducing waste this New Year...

With the New Year well and truly settling in many people a finalising their resolutions.  If you haven't made any resolutions this year why not try reducing the waste in your life for 2014.  With these three simple tips anyone will be able live a life with less waste.

1.  Invest in a reusable water bottle

Every year Australians spend over half a billion dollars on bottled water every year!  That is an amazing amount of single use water bottles being consumed, on top of that only 40% of these water bottles get recycled with the rest making their way to landfill or our waterways.  By investing in a reusable water bottle you help reduce the amount of waste impacting our environment and you also save yourself money at the same time!  We Live Here stocks a wide range of aluminum, glass, stainless steel and BPA free plastic bottles, look out for our blog next week on which reusuable water bottle is best for you.

SIGG 0.6L Traveller Series Water Bottle

2. Compost your food waste where possible

Composting helps reduce the amount of waste you send to landfill.  Even households that are already composting can probably compost more, new research has found that almost half of the food waste in their rubbish bins could have been composted.  Composting at home for just one year can save global warming gases equivalent to all the CO2 your washing machine produces in three months.  Even if you live in an apartment or small home you can dispose of your organic waste yourself by using a bokashi system, while not strictly composting the bokashi bin system uses microbes to ferment your kitchen waste so that it can be more easily borken down in a composter or by simply burying the waste in youror a friend's garden.

Bokashi Bin (1 Maze Bin Kit + 500ml Spray) - Indoor Composting

3. Say no to plastic bags and take reusable shopping bags with you

Australians dispose of an estimated 4 billion shopping bags a year with less than 5% of those being recycled, the rest end up in landfill and waterways.  If you do need to use plastic shopping bags we recommend returning them to your local supermarket to be recycled, most major supermarkets now offer this service.  Instead of using plastic shopping bags we recommend using reusable shopping bags instead.  We recommend the omnisax range of strong, colourful, reusable bags.

Envirosax reusable shopping bag - Rolling Stone (bag 4)

What are your tips for living a lifestyle of less waste?


Friday
Nov222013

Tony Hansen master craftsman from Hansen Galleries

Hansen Galleries – Meet the Maker…

 

Tony Hansen is Hansen Galleries.  He has been a reputable wood turner in Australia for many years.  Tony is not only a skilled traditional wood turner, his talents as a pioneering designer of contemporary Australian wood art are renowned.

Tony’s love and appreciation of wood began when he went to the Kimberley in the north of Western Australia.  He was working mustering cattle on horseback with 20 Aboriginal stockmen.  His fellow stockmen taught Tony how to make traditional boomerangs and didgeridoos.  “We’d walk a whole day to get just a few pieces of wood. The way they use wood is so caring. It starts from a basic respect for the tree. They never cut anything they don’t use, they’d climb right out on a branch just to get the piece they wanted, rather than cut the whole branch off” says Tony.

Tony remembers that when they made things they did it for enjoyment.  If one person didn’t want to make boomerangs they didn’t do it.  They never hurried their work, they wanted to do it properly.  While Tony has a great respect for this aspect of the work he says he can find himself getting impatient if he works on one task too long without seeing results.  That’s why Tony loves creating his pieces using a wood lathe he says “You can stand for a few minutes at a wood lathe and get a good result. I get a lot of satisfaction from quickly making a quality product.”  He just likes to see something happen.

Meet our other makers on our recent discoveries page...

 

Friday
Oct182013

The Redecker Company 75 years & growing

The Redecker Company has been family owned and operated for 75 years and is now in its third generation.  The company was started by Friedrich Redecker who learnt the craft of brush making Soest School for the Blind after he lost his sight at only age four.  Through his entrepreneurial spirit Friedrich built up a small company over time and was able to provide for his wife and three sons.

http://redecker.de/tl_files/redecker/images/01_uber_uns/DSC_6133_RED.jpgWhen Friedrich passed away in 1986 at age 72 it seemed that that was the end of his small brush making company as none of his sons wished to carry on the tradition.  His youngest son Gernot Redecker and his wife decided they would work off the remaining materials and sell the brushes at a local market stall.  All the brushes were sold out during the first weekend of the market stall – more materials were ordered.  Soon the little company that none of the sons wished to continue was booming and the Redecker legacy lived on.

The company quickly grew and expanded out of the family cellar into a renovated barn and finally into new offices and warehouse space.  The Redecker Company was no longer just selling at small market stalls they were wholesaling internationally and exhibiting at the top trade fairs.  Friedrich would never have thought his little brush making business would become so big.

Change and ongoing development have always been good company tradition at Redecker: In January 2009 one of the two children, Felix Redecker, joined the company. The continuation of the “Redecker family tradition” into the third generation has been secured.