Kids’ water bottle review #5: Kid Basix Safe Sporter

Safe Sporter bottle review

Our week of kids’ water bottle reviews closes with a funky little number called the Safe Sporter by Kid Basix. This one caught my eye because of the reinforced base, as we’ve had one stainless steel bottle fall out of the car and get a puncture on the base, and several have had a blow-out that means they no longer stand upright, which then means more tumbles. I also like the sporty look of the bottle! Both kids have had turns with the Safe Sporter and we’ve found it to be a great all-rounder.

The Kid Basix Safe Sporter, 12oz, is available here.

Kids’ water bottle review #4: Eco Vessel Twist

kids water bottle review ecovessel

Today we’re looking at the Eco Vessel triple-insulted Twist kids’ water bottle. I was really keen to try this bottle because of the stainless steel cap—on a steel bottle, the plastic cap is usually the weak point, whether they crack, split or break off all together—also because they look darned cool. Which they are, of course, thanks to the mega-insulation power. Alfie (almost 5) was the tester for this bottle. He was particularly excited about the added tea strainer, but soon got over the fact I wouldn’t use it (read on to find out why).

The EcoVessel Twist, 350ml, is $33.95, and available here.

Kids’ water bottle review #3: Foogo Insulated Straw Bottle

Fooogo straw bottle review

Number three on the list of kids’ water bottle reviews is the Foogo leak-proof insulated straw bottle by Thermos. This bottle appealed to me because it can keep water cold on even the hottest days, and I was keen to check out the “leak-proof” claim.

Again, we tested it for safety, usability, leakage, endurance, ease of cleaning and waste, and again Edith (two-and-a-half) was chief testing officer. She tells me this bottle is her favourite, which could be because it is pink or because of the nifty button that makes the cap pop up, I couldn’t make it out through the mouthful of banana cake.

The Foogo insulated straw bottle, 355ml, costs $27.99 and is available here.

Kids’ water bottle review #2: Klean Kanteen sports bottle

Klean Kanteen bottle review

As I said here, I’ve been searching for years for the perfect reusable water bottle for the kids.With the help of the team at online store Reusables Etc, I’ve narrowed it down to five that come pretty close and have been trying them out (well, the kids have anyway!). Today we’re looking at the Klean Kanteen sports bottle, 350ml, which I’ve found to be pretty good for Little Miss Independent.

The Klean Kanteen sports bottle, 350ml, is $19.95 and available here.

Safety: Stainless steel is the safe alternative to plastic or aluminium bottles and Klean Kanteen claim to be the first to produce a BPA-free stainless steel bottle back in 2002 (many stainless steel bottles are lined with a resin, some containing BPA, which is a known hormone disruptor). The spout is medical-grade silicone rather than plastic, which has a lower carbon footprint and is considered safe for those without a silicone allergy (this is rare). The paint used on the coloured bottles is lead-free, of course, and non-toxic.

Kids’ water bottle review #1: Lifefactory glass bottle with straw

lifefactory bottle review

Welcome to a week of kids’ water-bottle reviews! I have been asked countless time which are the best reusable water bottles for kids and I just don’t have a straight answer. The perfect water vessel would be unbreakable, it would never, ever leak, let alone flood your handbag, it would be a breeze to clean, completely non-toxic and ultimately recyclable should it wear out.

With the help of a new Australian store specialising in reusable products called, funnily enough, Reusable Etc, I have selected five kids’ water bottles that I think come as close to perfect as you can get. We’ve been using them for a few months and have reviewed them for safety, useability, leakage, endurance, ease of cleaning and waste.

As with my review of reusable coffee cups, there it no clear-cut best option that I’m going to recommend because your ultimate choice depends on your kids’ ages, how and where they use the bottle and how they transport it. I find it useful to have more than one option for each kid, you might be looking for The One that fits your needs. Either way, I’d love your feedback, particularly if you’ve used the bottle we’re talking about!

So let’s get on with it. First up, a Lifefactory water bottle review.

Three quick, easy homemade gifts

quick easy homemade gifts

This weekend we had three Christmas events and put up the Christmas tree yet I managed to achieve my goal of making gifts for the kids’ teachers. My hubby was all “you know you can just buy chocolates” but I really wanted to make something that went partway to matching the effort and enthusiasm of our kindy teachers, wasn’t going to end up in landfill and was free from chemicals, sugar and all the other things our immune systems don’t need at this time of year.

In the interests of keeping it real, I will be upfront and say that my house looks like we had Tas the cyclonic Tassie devil visiting for the weekend (see the picture below). But I managed to sterilise jars and make three different things to put in them while Alfie watched Ratatouille and Edith slept. So if you’re in need of last-minute gifts for teachers, carers, neighbours or anyone else who loves good food, check out the three super simple recipes below.

How to remember your reusable shopping bags

how to remember your reusable shopping bags

If I could snap my fingers and change one thing about the world I would make single-use plastic shopping bags disappear. Although this would have very little impact on the day-to-day life of most humans, it would have a profound impact on the hundreds of thousands of marine birds and animals that die from ingesting plastic bags, and greatly reduce the litter in our landscapes, waterways and streets. In Australia alone, more than 10 million single-use plastic bags are used and discarded every day (only three per cent are recycled). They take between 10 and 2000 years to break down.

If plastic bags weren’t available, we wouldn’t use them. After all, we survived most of our 200,000 years of existence without them! But in today’s modern, hectic world, convenience is king and we’re just a bit hooked on stuff we use once and then throw away. We all know single-use bags are a waste of money and resources, the trick is getting back into the good habit of actually using (not just owning!) reusable shopping bags. Here are eight suggestions to make it easier for you to be a tote-carrying eco-champion:

Read more…

Send your gifts carbon-neutral for $5!

eco friendly courier

Do you have Christmas presents to post? Well hold your horses and step away from the Post Office. The creators of sharing website TuShare have just launched, Australia’s first carbon-neutral courier service designed to “power the people economy” and make it easier for us to share unwanted goods, trade with fellow humans, and give our money to small businesses.

It’s like the PayPal of delivery services: all you need is an email address and a codeword and you can send or receive a package from your front door. There’s no standing in queues, the price is fixed at either local ($9.75) or interstate ($17.60) and you can nominate whether the sender or receiver pays the delivery. You don’t even need to write an address on the box/bag/parcel if you don’t want to. (Read on to find out how you can send your Christmas gifts for just $5).

Why Australia needs the Renewable Energy Target

why Australia needs the renewable energy target

I’m guessing we’ll be hearing a lot about the Renewawble Energy Target (RET) over the next few weeks so today we’re going to chat about what RET actually means, why Australia needs it and how the government is trying to get rid of it. I’ll also give you some ideas on how to show your support for the renewable energy target if you feel compelled to do so (which I hope you do!)

What is the renewable energy target?

The RET is a federal government policy put in place to ensure 20 per cent of Australia’s energy needs comes from renewable sources (wind, solar, geothermal ect) by 2020. It started out modestly in 2001 with a 2 per cent goal; this was increased to 20 per cent in 2009 in the light of emerging climate-change science.

How to write a letter to your MP

how to write to your MP

There was a time when the words “write to your MP” made my eyes glaze over. “I am NEVER going to do that,” I thought. Well, here we are, a few years and many letters to my MP down the track. I guess there comes a point in your life where clicking on petitions and liking Facebook statuses no longer suffices in the War On Various Injustices. If you’ve got something to say, you may as well say it properly and to someone who just might listen.

You may have noticed I’m pretty passionate about climate change and think the government’s stance is somewhat lacking in this area (I just removed eight expletives from that sentence, see tip 10 below). I have recently been badgering communicating with my LNP member of parliament on this issue and have shared my two most recent letters for inspiration.

But first, some ideas on how to find your MP and how to craft a letter or email that gets a response.