Sustainable Living: The story behind Victoria’s most sustainable home

The business committed to teaching Victorians how to live sustainably in their day-to-day lives.

Tucked away in the community of Rosebrook, Victoria, you’ll find Nature’s Way Eco Sanctuary, a unique, self-sustaining home made entirely out of straw bale! Taking the builders over 5 years and 746 bales to complete, the owners are now opening their home to show others the way towards sustainable living and minimising consumption whilst enjoying a comfortable lifestyle.

Power to the home is supplied by a solar Photovoltaic energy system, which consists of 52 PV panels that feed three 4 KW inverters that source power to the home. For heating, a heat pump is used for hot water while a hydronic floor heating system is in place. The house also features a 48-volt, 900-amp hour battery bank to power the house at night.

During the construction, builders utilised eco-friendly products and materials, including plant-based paints and finishes that were sourced locally.

The overall energy consumption of the home is also minimised by quality insulation as well each room having cross-ventilation, allowing for passive cooling in the summer and hydronic floor coils for heating in winter. They also harvest water from a large roof area with water, stored in two 22,000 litre tanks that supply the house via a pressure pump system, with hot water generated by a roof-mounted, evacuated tube, solar hot water system.

Other self-sufficient practices in action across the property include raised bed vegetable gardens, a fruit tree orchard irrigated by a worm farm, free-range chickens, rotational grazing of a small herd of boar goats for chemical-free meat production and honey bees for both pollination and supply of honey.

To book a tour of this amazing sanctuary, please contact Tina on 0487 238 624 or (03) 5568 1240. Tours run from October to the end of April each year on Sundays and Mondays, commencing at 10am and 2pm. Bookings are essential, with a cost of $15 per person for adults, $8 for children over 12, and $12 for seniors. All the owners ask in return is that all visitors take one of their ideas and apply it to their own way of living in order to reduce their domestic energy consumption.

For more information, visit click here

Local Businesses We Love: Great Ocean Road Woollen Mill

Offering sustainably sourced fibre and recycled rainwater

The brainchild of husband-and-wife team Nick and Isabel, the Great Ocean Woollen Mill offers an attractive range of ethical and sustainably produced yarns and garments, from cozy knitwear to beanies, scarves and accessories.

Based in Timboon, Victoria, Nick and Isabel established the business in 2015, committed to making productive use of the fibres from their herd of alpacas, each of whom grow fleece each year. With certification from both Ethical Clothing Australia and Australian Made and Grown, all products are made onsite and sourced within a 100km radius, reducing the overall carbon footprint. With a passion for sustainable and local products, Nick and Isabel source all wool from Geelong, with both the farm and mill operating on solar power electricity.

We suggest the Alpaca Merino Ribbed Beanie, made from pure alpaca fibre, making it the perfect accessory for those cold winter mornings!

To check out their range of eco-friendly, locally sourced and made products, please click here

Local Businesses We Love: Live Eco

Meet the owners behind an online eco store helping Victorian consumers to be more eco-conscious.

Committed to showing consumers how easy it is to be eco-conscious in their purchases, mother and daughter duo Heather and Erin started Live Eco, an online eco store offering a wide range of products from fashion accessories to kid’s products, cleaning and kitchen items, personal care items and everything in between. Each product sold has one thing in common; they are all eco-friendly, reusable, biodegradable or made from recycled material.

The business has also teamed up with innovative recycling company TerraCycle, offering consumers a convenient recycling service for items that are more difficult to recycle such as oral care products, razors, beauty products, mobile phones and much more. Offering free pick up with any service, the Live Eco team will collect unwanted household items and recycle them in a sustainable and ethical manner.

Be sure to check out the Onya Reusable Shopping bag, a lightweight, durable shopping bag made from recyclable drink bottles as well as the Eco Bling Recycled Wood & Tyre Bow Ties, made from recycled floorboards, tables and tyres!

For more information please click here.

Local Businesses We Love: Little Earth Nest

The team at Little Earth Nest are on a mission to offer parents and families a sustainable choice when it comes to household products! 

A family business on a mission to provide original, eco-friendly resources for the environmentally conscious, Little Earth Nest offers a wide range of natural, organic and environmentally friendly products ranging from kids toys to household care products.

Beginning in 2006, the business now operates an online store as well as physical store in Grovedale, Geelong, allowing founder Pip to help families understand the benefits of eco-friendly products for both the environment and their children.

Among the product highlights includes the Replay Recycle range, a range of recycled plastic tableware for children, featuring bowls, divided plates, sippy cups, cutlery and tumblers. Equally as colourful and quirky as they are environmentally friendly, the Replay Range is a great way to take a positive step towards reducing the production of single-use plastics.

The business also operates a blog, sharing their eco-friendly tips, from recipes to daily living advice and inspiration, offering advise on sustainability, permaculture, pregnancy and parenting.

For more information, please click here.