Five Safe, Stylish, and Sustainable Water Bottles!

If you are a semi-seasoned traveller, you probably have a water bottle on hand during your travels. And if you are a semi-health conscious water bottle shopper, chances are you know the beef with plastic and BPA – it’s pretty bad for you. Limited exposure to the industrial chemical has been potentially linked with increased risk of breast and prostate cancer, type-2 diabetes, heart disease, reproductive disorder, and other illnesses. Recently BPA-free plastic water bottles can be seen everywhere, claiming to be a safe solution to the health risks posed by plastic products. But is it safe?

Unfortunately, no. Research suggests chemical replacements for BPA found in these bottles, a popular one being BPS, is toxic for the human body in other ways (think heart arrhythmia) and contain estrogen-like substances. Aluminum bottles, a popular alternative, are not much better due to the bottles’ interior lining as well as materials used in the bottle caps, which often contain – you guessed it – BPA. Like plastic, it is susceptible to leaching, and also comes with the danger of its interior lining being compromised by denting. Which ultimately means you’ll most probably be consuming more chemicals than just your regular good ol’ H2O.

If the above information makes you never want to drink from a bottle again – we have good news! While plastic and aluminum are off the safe water bottle charts, there are still stainless steel, glass, and natural material water bottles that are safe and eco-friendly to use. Stainless steel water bottles are a great alternative as they do not leach, are considered safe enough to not require any sort of lining, and are sturdy enough to act as a weapon if you’re ever in a tight fix (fingers crossed you’ll never have to use one)! Glass is also chemical free and, unlike stainless steel, does not affect the taste of its contents. If you’re prone to butter fingers, you will be relieved to know that some glass water bottles come with a protective silicon sleeve while others are made of strong glass like pyrex to protect against most bottle-slip casualties.

Need some recommendations for safe, stylish and sustainable water bottles to carry on the go? Scroll down to read our top five picks!

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The Classic 27oz by Klean Kanteen – USD $20.95

The  Classic 27oz from Klean Kanteen is perfect for those who are always on the-go. Leak and BPA proof with a silicone spout, it promises a 25% higher flow rate. Klean Kanteen began in 2004 to provide a safe solution to single-use  waste. water bottles. Today, they are one of the top quality water bottles producers on the planet! Be sure to check out their entire collection here.

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Opal Marble from the Elements Collection by S’well – USD $35

Over here we have a beauty of a bottle from S’well’s Elements Collection. Suited in a lovely cream and powder blue gradient with a lovely gloss finish,  Opal Marble lets you fashionably say no to paper and plastic, keeps your beverage at an optimal temperature for 12 hot and 24 cold hours, and does not wet your bag with condensation. The 18/8 stainless steel makes it toxin-free, leach-free and BPA free! What are you waiting for? Get yours today and join them on their mission toward plastic bottle extinction and clean drinking water for children!

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SPIKED CASH 500ML by bkr – USD $40

“Inspired by the unexpected resilience and confidence you felt after a whirlwind romance and a whirlwind breakup”, the SPIKED CASH 500ML by bkr in opaque army green is THE hottest thing off the water bottle market that is sure to spice up your gym gear! Founders Tal Winter and Kate Cutler created bkr as an anecdote to single-use plastic bottles, making the act of drinking water pure and sustainable joy! Water bottles are made of glass and dressed in a stylish silicone sleeve.

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IKEA PS 2017 – HKD $59.90

If drinking water out of bottles is not your thing, consider getting yourself the IKEA PS 2017. While lacking in the style and name department, the IKEA PS 2017 allows you to drink water out of a glass mug, everywhere!  Designer Iina Vuorivirta said she “drew inspiration from regular paper take-away mugs and use the benefits to create a mug that’s kinder to our environment”. At less than US $6.50, this is quite the steal!

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Bamboo SPORT by Not Just A Bottle – USD $37

Last but not least, we have Bamboo SPORT from Not Just A Bottle. A revolutionary amongst water bottles, it is crafted from sustainable Luong bamboo and silicone (natural rubber). Bottles are individually handcrafted and comes with a unique appearance and pattern, can contain temperatures up to 200 degrees, and is completely recyclable. Purchasing the bottle also supports Martin Elsøe Jensen and Frantz Byrch Pedersen’s wonderful initiative of provide clean drinking water worldwide.

Don’t have the cash to spare on water bottles at the moment? Feel free to upcycle a regular glass bottle with a sleeve in the meantime – just be careful, it has a much higher shatter rate!

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A Jade Afternoon

Stumbled upon the Jade Market on a cloudy Tuesday afternoon, situated in two separate covered market at the southern edge of Yau Ma Tei. Brightly lit and lined with stalls upon stalls of shiny, brightly colored semi-precious stoned along with some very eager and some more laid-back vendor sat on small folding chairs – it was like being transported into a treasure trove of fairytales. A truly lovely surprise considering I was feeling poorly from the flu (it’s been over a week now) and unable to partake in more adventurous day off activities… plus I am attracted to all things simple, elegant, gem-like and shiny!

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And so, we meandered through the stalls, and before we reached the end of the first row, I had already laid my eyes on a pair of blue oval studs with gold-plated outer-overlays (? – is that a term?).  Asked about the price and was first given HK $80 which went down to HK $50 in less than a 10 seconds when we made a move as if to continue walking. Came across some beautiful jade bracelets but: 1. thought it’d be priced too high and 2. didn’t believe in my lack of haggling skills until it finally hit me that the shopkeeper had said: “Hong Kong Dollar go-jyuu en“, Japanese for 50. Suffice to say, I snatched one up right away.

They did have some bracelet made of metal material but the wear and tear on those were very visible so I ended up a shiny one most probably made of plastic.

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All in all, I’d say it’s a fine place to go for an afternoon stroll and walk away with some cheap, pretty trinkets – just be prepared to be at your persuasive best. Would probably stay away from indulging in expensive purchases because there really is no quality guarantee, that is, unless you are a jade expert yourself. Then, by all means, have at it! 🙂

Hong Kong Jade Market
香港油麻地甘肅街玉器市場
Kansu Street Jade Market
Yau Ma Tei, Hong Kong
Approx. 9AM – 6PM (M – Sun)

The Woman Behind the Uniqlo Cats

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Was hunting down sales sweaters at Uniqlo the other day when I spotted THE most adorable cat slippers. Yes. Cat. Slippers.

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To be fair, it was Yoshi who spotted the catjamas which, in turn, led me to these cat slippers. Being the crazy cat lady, I naturally had to get my hands on some but they only had them in S – M. So we took the train to the other side of town, so I could get my hands on the very last pair! Only to discover while window shopping during my break that there were a ton of L-sized ones at the outlet near work.

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But I digress. The point I’m trying to make is that, after getting these darn cute slippers I wanted this cat on the wallpaper of my phone. A quick Google search later, I find that the artist behind the series, the lovely Lisa Larson, is an accomplished ceramic artist from Sweden. At 85+ she is is still creating quaint little ceramic animals (amongst other things), and pretty successfully too as you can tell by the Lisa Larson x Uniqlo crossover collection.

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And this ugly-cute (or as the Japanese say, kimo-kawaii) cat here? He goes by the name Mikey. And I’m his newest biggest fan.

Lisa Larson
lisalarsonsweden.com

Lisa Larson in Japan
Necono Shop Shibuya
Tokyo-Minami 1-15-12
Soo Island Building
2 F Tokyo 150-0041
T: 03-5428-5162

Page One Warehouse Sale

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(Image via Instagram @littletomatogirl)

Yoshi has been searching high and low for English language learning books in Hong Kong so we were absolutely excited to learn of Page One (the massive English language bookstore that closed down abruptly end of last year) reopening their warehouse location for a massive CNY sale with 50% + off books and 60% + off gift items! We made our way over to the warehouse, located in an industrial area of town, hopped on a freight lift, and found ourselves surrounded by mountains of books. A word of advise, the books are all piled around the warehouse in no particular order or arrangement so you pretty much have to go in with a “treasure hunt” in mind. If you pay a visit looking for a specific title or genre it’ll end up being quite the disappointing experience (spoken from personal experience, haha).

Not too sure if it’s because they haven’t unpacked all the boxes yet or if everyone else bought up all the other genres during the pre-CNY sales but there were loads and loads of cooking and design books lying around and not too much of anything else! I did spot quite a bit of travel guides, novels, and a number of those “Dummy” series but couldn’t really find anything else. If you’re looking to expand your library, it’s a really good deal for English books that’s for sure!

For more info, check out their Facebook post: http://bit.ly/2kiirPC.

Page One (HK) Warehouse
Unit B, 9/F, Block B, Roxy Industrial Centre
58-66 Tai lin Pai Road, Kwai Chung, Hong Kong
(Kwai Hing MTR Exit A)
12PM – 8PM (M-F), 11AM – 8PM (Sat)