The Weekend Series: Five things we are vibing in July
You might have noticed we’re suckers for snappy sustainability initiatives, and this month we’ve found a couple of great options to help reduce your single-use plastic waste. From self-cleaning and purifying water bottles to genuinely natural drinking straws, we’ve also discovered some added motivation for protecting the planet – and it comes in the form of an underwater hotel in the Great Barrier Reef. Check out these ingenuities and more, as we share the top five things we’re loving this month.
By now, we all know how shocking plastic bottles are for the environment and that single-use water bottles are a major no-no, but those who have invested in reusable bottles also know they have their weaknesses. Take a whiff inside your current vessel and you’ll get the idea. But now a very clever little product has emerged on the market solving all our hard-to-clean woes, with the world’s first self-cleaning bottle and water purification system. It uses UV-C light – which is widely used in hospitals to sterilise patients’ room surfaces – to eliminate up to 99.9999 percent of bacteria and 99.99 percent of viruses from your water and the inner surface of your bottle, making it over 10,000 times more hygienic than a regular reusable bottle. As if it hasn’t racked up enough ticks on the checklist, LARQ is also vacuum sealed, double insulated and made from 100 percent BPA-free stainless steel. You can either press the cap to purify your water in 60 seconds, or set it to Adventure Mode and it will activate every two hours.
Have you been trying to do your bit and avoid plastic straws, but just end up with soggy paper straws falling apart in your mouth, or metal straws nicking your gums when drinking on the go? We hear you. HAY! Straws offer a 100 percent biodegradable, chemical-free solution made from a renewable source that can be composted after use – all while maintaining the same feel and level of function as the plastic straws we’re used to. This nifty little alternative is a by-product of wheat production, and makes use of the wheat stem after the grain is cut off. The best quality stems are handpicked from local farms in South East Asia (the world’s largest producer of wheat), before being cut into lengths, sterilised and packaged into eco-friendly cardboard boxes printed with soy ink. These wheat alternatives require less processing than paper straws, no additional plants need be grown or harvested to make them, and they break down within two to four months. Keep an eye out for these little beauties (or their Aussie counterparts including Stroh, Hay Straws and WHAT A WHEAT) in your local cafe, or offer a friendly suggestion to the team.
Image: HAY! Straws
Underwater hotel for the Great Barrier Reef
Last week saw a very exciting announcement for ocean enthusiasts and unique holiday seekers alike. Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones revealed the news that the Palaszczuk government is teaming up with the Lady Musgrave Experience to construct a new three-level pontoon in the Great Barrier Reef, which will offer both an observatory and an underwater hotel. The 36 x 12 metre pontoon will offer a completely new way to experience our mighty reef, with an underwater observatory boasting UV lighting so visitors can ogle the reef in its night-time splendour, and upper decks providing opportunities for diving, snorkelling and environmental data collection. The proposed design includes a performance stage, dining area, solar farm doubling as shade structures, raised sun decks and water slides. The very special hotel under the sea will sleep up to 24 people, making for a rare and highly sought-after holiday destination. The government will provide $1 million towards the project via its Growing Tourism Infrastructure Fund and the pontoon, when completed, is expected to draw an extra 16,000 visitors to the region every year and drive more than $1.8 million in visitor expenditure.
SBS World Movies channel
SBS is known and loved for its well-curated collection of distinctive and multilingual films, and now fans can enjoy the bounty all day, every day while snuggling up on the couch. The SBS World Movies free-to-air channel launched on July 1, offering 24-hour access to a broad range of flicks from all corners of the globe. The channel will broadcast more than 700 films each year, with at least half of them in languages other than English and a weekly Women in Film double feature. Expect everything from European arthouse flicks to Bollywood favourites and anime, with the first month featuring Loving Pablo, Rafiki, Brick Lane and Just A Breath Away. SBS World Movies will broadcast in HD on channel 32 – check out the guide to schedule in your viewing marathons.
Ask any South Australian local and they’ll assure you that Farmers Union Iced Coffees are an institution in their state. Hence the inevitable hype as the first collection of FUIC merch dropped last month, bringing a range of men’s and women’s tees, hoodies, sweaters and headwear boasting the carton image or famed logo. The first FUIC cartons were officially popped in 1977 after their launch by a co-operative of South Australian dairy farmers who hoped to boost milk sales, and the drink has continued to be the best-selling milk-based beverage in the state for years. It’s also one of the nation’s largest-selling flavoured milks, with more than 27 million litres of the stuff guzzled every year. Although the union promises it has some more ideas up its sleeve, this collection will be available for a limited time only so nab your bit of Aussie history and take advantage of nationwide shipping.