Reuse – Recycle – Repurpose JULY’ Mid Year Chill Competition

JULY is here and we have the awesome theme this month of ‘Mid Year Chill’

Being winter and super chilly in most states around Aus and NZ we tend to stay indoors more. It can be hard to venture out and brave the cold in a season like this. unless you are super lucky and live in one of those sunny places (like me hehe 😉 )

This is a perfect time to brush up your skills on recycling and repurposing, making use of things in your home that you might have otherwise thrown out and never thought of again. Thats right… We want to see some creative projects happening while bunkering down for the winter.

The aim: To create something useful and unique out of old items or items that would have otherwise been thrown out.

But how?: The only limitation is your imagination…use pinterest, google and other outlets similar to help spark some ideas and creativity, the options are endless.

Give me some example!: It could be…

  • Art made from recycled materials, like a mosaics for example
  • A bag made from scrap materials
  • A stationary organising station made from old tin cans and decorated with other materials or paint
  • A rug made from old t-shirts..(google it seriously)
  • heres a fun one! you could make little mini succulent pots from old corks stick a magnet on the back and bam! you have a living frigde magnet!? what? I know!!

For reals though… i’ll pop some pics below to get those creative juices flowing…what better way to enjoy this ‘mid year chill’ than to jazz up your room or study space with some awesome recycled and repurposed projects.

whats in it for me?:  Apart from the sheer satisfaction you will gain from saving the environment one project at a time…there are obviously awesome prizes up for grabs!!

ok! I’m pumped as! how do I enter? Great question!

  • Step 1 – Figure out what you are going to make! obvs! it needs to be something that uses recycled or repurposed materials.
  • Step 2 –  Make said thing and take a very proud picture of it
  • Step 3 – Post said picture on the newsfeed with a description of what you made, what you made it with and a little bit about how you will use it.
  • Step 4 – tag @livewirecompetitions and #ReuseRecycleRepurpose
  • Entries close 31st July 2020 11:59 AEST

Note: It’s totally ok and expected that you will need to incorporate some new materials into the project, BUT the aim is to create a project that is primarily from recycled materials.

Judging will be based on your creativity and the percentage of recycled materials vs new materials used.


Happy conscious enviro creating!!!


What we see on social media isn’t always true

Sometimes when you’re scrolling through your social media, it can feel like you’re being bombarded by people living perfect lives. But what you are seeing isn’t necessarily the truth.

When people use different social media, they are choosing snapshots of their lives to share with everyone else.

People post photos of their amazing holidays, their great jobs, achievements they’ve received and presents or new “things” they have bought.

Seeing these “Posts” can make you filled with jealousy, generally followed by guilt or sadness.

The thing is, these “Posts” are generally not true reflections of their lives. They are snapshots creating a “Highlight Reel” on your social media feed. People don’t take photos of their worst moments, but rather, they take photos of the moments they are filled with joy or pictures that will help them get the most ‘likes’.

It is only human to want more than what we have. We see what others have, this life that others live and think “Hey, I want that too!”. But remember, what you are seeing is their carefully edited “Highlight reel”. You don’t see their battles, their challenges, and their failures.

As Theodore Roosevelt famously said – “Comparison is the thief of joy.”

How you feel is valid. However, it doesn’t matter what other people’s lives “look like”. Your life has its own Highs and Lows and they are YOURS. Be Kind to Yourself and remember that Social media isn’t reality.


If you need help remember you can access many services from the post Here

Bookshelf full of books

Evolution of the Novel

The novel as we know it is the result of several thousand years of storytelling, a gradual evolution that begins a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away Greece.

Five books survive intact from the 1st to 3rd centuries that are known today as Ancient Greek novels. Written largely on papyrus they are remarkable for still existing in their entirety, many have been completely lost or survive only in fragments. Along with numerous places throughout what is now the Middle East they helped establish the idea of fictional stories, most long form stories at this point were presented as being records of factual historical events.

Skipping forward to the 11th century and across the world to Japan we find the The Tale of Genji. Written by noblewoman and lady-in-waiting Murasaki Shikibu it tells the story of the life and loves of Shining Genji, the son of an ancient emperor. Described as the first true novel the story features several aspects that are now accepted necessities in a novel, it has a central character, a (massive) cast of major and minor side characters, character development, and a sequence of events that follows the central character. One major element it lacks is that of a real plot, instead events simply happen and all 400 characters get older as time passes. This might have had to do with how it was likely written, each chapter being shared with the author’s friends as soon as it was finished with no greater plan guiding the story.

In 1605 in Spain author Miguel de Cervantes published Don Quixote, considered by many to be not only one of the greatest novels ever written, but also the beginning of modern European novels as we know them. Into the following centuries the novel continued to solidify into its current form. Originally considered the shorter cousin of the great epics and romances it became instead the longest form around, spawning the shorter novella in the process.

By the approach of the 20th century plots and themes have begun to diversify, a trend that has accelerated exponentially in the last few decades. We have genres now that would’ve been unthinkable 100 years ago. To this day novels continue to evolve, both in how they’re written and read. We’ve progressed from papyrus to parchment to paper, and now we have dedicated screens on which to read our books.

Novels are exciting (to me at least), and their constant evolution is one of the best parts.

For more discussions on whatever aspects of books interests you just log in or sign up to check out the Livewire Book Club!

Orange washing machines

Washing your clothes for a healthier world!

Can you guess what daily practice produces half a million tonnes of plastic microfibers a year which contributes to ocean pollution …

are you ready…


YEP! It is estimated that 35% is entering our oceans from the simple daily chore of washing the clothes we wear.

Why is this happening & how to make a change?

Synthetic clothing is tipped to be the culprit, this includes polyester, nylon and acrylic fabrics just to name a few.

Now I know what you’re thinking… not everything you wear can be a natural fibre, like imagine your bathing suit made out of cotton… maybe not the best choice!

However we can still make informed choices when choosing the clothes we wear.

Obviously natural and organic fibres are better at breaking down… but what do you do with all the polyester/ nylon gear you have?

Here’s 4 handy tips to help minimise the release of plastic microfibers each time you wash: 

  1. Try to only wash your clothes when you need to. Airing your clothes can sometimes be enough just after one wear instead of putting it in the wash every time.
  2. Wash your clothes at a lower temp. Cooler washes can lead to releasing less microfibers.
  3. Fill your load! Make sure your washing full loads on a gentler cycle. Gentle cycles cause less friction which can help with mircofibre release.
  4. Try your best to air dry your clothes… Only use the tumble dryer when absolutely necessary!

Wanna find out more?

We’ve got more articles full of tips and info about the clothes we wear and ways you can make a change! To check them out just log in or sign up!

Goby the plastic eating fish sculpture

Save our Seas from Plastic!

I have two fantastic environmental ideas to report. Firstly:

Adidas has teamed up with Parley for the Oceans, a group specifically brought together to raise awareness of the beauty and fragility of the oceans, and to collaborate on projects to help end their destruction.

Together, they produced the Ultraboost running shoe, made from plastic salvaged from the sea. On average, each pair of shoes used 16.5 plastic bottles each along with 13 grams of gill nets. Selling over 1 million pairs between 2017-18, Adidas has moved to launch multiple production lines over the next few years, using recycled waste from our oceans.

Parley ultra boost running shoes made from sea plastic


Meet Goby!

Goby the plastic eating fish

Goby is a fish made from barbed wire and mesh, produced by a hotel in Bali, Seminyak, and installed on their beachfront. Goby is hungry and wears a sign saying, “Goby loves plastic, please feed him”. The hotel has been working for more than 5 years to be Earthcheck certified every year, working on reducing waste, energy and water consumption and engaging in strict recycling practices. With the arrival of the wet season and the beaches of the Island being swamped by trash washed away on the shores, the team is constantly engaged in intense beach cleaning sessions, ensuring the garbage is collected and sent to recycling.

It has been predicted that in 50 years, if we don’t change our ways, there will be more  pieces of plastic than fish in the sea. We need a Goby on every beach and we need more innovative ideas like these two to help change our plastic trajectory.

Can you think of any clever ideas to stop plastic getting in the sea, or how to get it out?

Check out the Parley website for inspiration.

Cookie Monster slow motion

Yummy No-Bake Cookies

An image of no-bake cookies on a tray with chocolate on them


  • 1 cup of Toasted Coconut flakes (Aldi and Woolies do them)
  • 1/2 cup of Prunes or dates, or dried apricot (soak in water for an hour first if using Apricots)
  • 1/3 of cup of your seed of choice; I used sunflower and chia
  • A tablespoon of water (if needed)
  • Half a teaspoon Coconut oil
  • Chocolate chips


  1. Pop the dried fruit, toasted coconut, and seed of choice in your food processor (Adult supervision is needed for under-16s)
  3. Roll your mixture into balls and flatten onto grease-proof paper on a cutting board or basking tray
  4. Place them into the freezer for 5 mins
  5. Melt chocolate pieces in the microwave with the oil and stir
  6. Remove the cookies from the freezer and dip into the melted chocolate
  7. Pop the coated cookies back in the freezer for 5 mins
  8. ENJOY!!

I keep mine in the fridge in a lunchbox…. but they don’t last too long!


What’s ChIPS All About?

If you’ve been on Livewire a while, you might have heard members or the chat hosts refer to ChIPS. We mention it a lot because ChIPS is really awesome, and we think they do great work!

ChIPS stands for Chronic Illness Peer Support. ChIPS runs in both Sydney and Melbourne, and each location runs a bit differently.

Melbourne ChIPS is a support group for people aged 12-25 who have a chronic illness, and are ready and willing to talk about it with their peers. ChIPS runs things like camps with medical professionals in attendance so you can go away worry-free, social get togethers, and leadership training.

Every member of ChIPS takes part in an eight week or intensive group program, where they get to meet other people who understand what it’s like to live with a chronic illness and share their experiences and challenges using discussion, music, art and other group activities.

Melbourne ChIPS is run by both a dedicated team of cool peeps at the RCH, but also by the ChIPS Reference Committee. Ref Com is made up of young people who meet monthly and they decide what happens in ChIPS; from organising fundraising events and developing promotional material, to planning the January ChIPS camp and providing feedback and ideas for all ChIPS activities.

You can check out more info on ChIPS Melbourne in their 2018 ChIPS Brochure (click that link to download it!). They’ve also given us a downloadable copy of the ChIPS magazine ChIPS Wrapper 2018. You can also get info on the RCH website, or by getting in touch with Chips directly on (03) 9345 6616.

More info on Sydney ChIPS coming soon!

Are you a ChIPS member? Have any awesome stories to tell? Log in or sign up to let us know

Classroom seating

14 Things I have learned being a high school student with a disability . . . by Rep_McTruides

Back to School

1. Just because you were born different doesn’t mean you are seen as “different” by the other students.
That’s right! Never think you are different! We were all born different! Because if we weren’t and the world was perfect, everything would be boring!! You are just like everyone less, but with added flair!!!

2. Your disability shouldn’t be the thing that defines who you are as a person!
Your disability shouldn’t stop you from being your wonderful, bubbly bright self! Let your colours flow, and let your passions be heard!

3. Just because you have special needs doesn’t mean you are less valued as a student
This is so true!! You are just as valued as every classmate, the truth is you still participate in the same class activities, learn the same things, do your work and complete assignment and homework!

4. You are just as capable to achieving academic success 
Don’t you dare think you don’t deserve that A, you worked hard for it! Your disability wasn’t the thing that was stopping you was it??

5. The way you look doesn’t matter, its a part of you – embrace it!
You can’t Change or hide the fact that you have a disability so why not embrace it!

6. Don’t conform to others because of your disability, let others conform to you!
You don’t have to always sit on the side lines because your afraid that you’ll prevent your friends from having fun! Why let them have all the fun??? Instead, tell them you want to join in and watch them think of a creative way for you to join in on all the action!

7. If people take advantage of your disability, then you need to find some better friends!
Bullying isn’t fun for any of us, and you’ll agree it’s much WORSE when you have a physical disability. If this is happening to you, don’t put up with it, find some besties that embrace and accept your disability!!

8. Don’t hide, you have nothing to be ashamed of, you are beautiful!
Don’t be self-conscious of what others may think of you, remember they all have flaws too! Be proud of your body!!

9. Don’t be afraid to answer questions about your disability
The more people in your school that wants to know more about what happened, the more likely it is that they will come to understand and accept you and be educated!!

10. Remember you are just like everyone else, a student who came to school to learn!
The fact is, at the end of the day, everyone is at school to learn. Worrying about others opinions of what they are thinking of you are not important, they will only affect you unless you let it!

11. Your disability shouldn’t stop you from perusing your dream career!!
You can do all things! Don’t ever think you can’t be a scientist, because it wasn’t cut out for people like me with a disabilities, I mean look at Steven hawking’s!!! It’s never impossible to achieve your dreams, all this are possible with some determination and passion!

12. You have a voice, use it!!
Don’t be scared to speak up if you have a disability! Your opinions and thoughts are just as valued, so never think they aren’t there’s no such thing as silly answers!

13. Don’t give up you have been through much worse!
When times get tough and homework, school drama and Assignments get the best of you, remember you have been through much worse!! Always remember you are one tough cookie! YOU got this, take a break, chill and always ask for help!

14. Remember to smile because you’re one amazing person and people need to see that!
Remember you are never alone! High school can be tough business but, consequentially, people who were born with a disability or sickness tend to smile more!!! So, show off that wonderful smile!!!!

Spread the love

What things have you learnt being a student in high school with a disability???
Login or Signup to share, we’d love to know!!!

Written by Rep_McTruides

clay beads being painted

DIY Clay Beads

Liz gives making her own Clay Beads a go, read below to see how to make your own.

DIY Clay Beads

Have you ever seen those beautiful pastel coloured spheric beads? I always use to look at them and think, how are they made? Well it turns out you can make them with Clay!!

What you need:

  • A handful of air dry clay –  you can generally find this at spotlight and majority of art stores like Riot and Eckersley’s will have it also 🙂
  • A straw (this is to make the whole in the centre of the bead)
  • Acrylic paint and paint brush – you can buy this from the same places as where you got your clay from, and also most $2 shops should stock this.
  • Some thick cord or string for your necklace.

Step One:

Roll 5 small round balls the size of a cherry aprox 2.5cm diameter. I did a few small ones too just to play around.

Step Two:

Get your straw and gently push it through the centre of your beads until it comes out the other side. Careful not to warp your bead in the process.

Step Three:

Place the beads on a sheet of baking paper or something non absorbent and leave to dry overnight. you will know they are ready when they turn a white colour. like this

Step Four:

Painting!! Yay the fun part, if you are after the simple pastel colours just mix your paints to get the colours you desire. If you are wanting some more details, you could wait until your base colour is dry and then add lines or dots, or symbols 🙂 let paint dry for a few hours. or use a hair dryer if you are impatient like me! as you can see i used the end of a paint brush to hold the bead while i painted it! made it so much easier and made sure i didn’t get any finger prints on there.

Step Five:

When paint is dry, simply thread your beads onto your cord or string and tie at the back, keeping it long enough for you to place over your head. or do a slip knot so you can adjust it 🙂

I also made another style as well just to change it up 🙂

heres how they turned out

** go crazy with your own shapes, you could even make geometrical shapes or smaller beads for bracelets etc.


Login or signup if you want more craft tutorials or to share your creations with the community!

paper cutout pig design

Year of the (Smelliest) Pig

February 5th was the beginning of the Year of the Pig!
Many people don’t realise just how many different pigs there are, so let’s have a look at some of the most interesting pigs out there.

Truffle Hog working with keeper

This well trained pig is a truffle hog, one in a long line of useful pigs performing a very specialized job. The use of pigs to hunt truffles goes is believed to go all the way back to Roman times, and the first well documented use dates back to the 15th century.

Truffles are an incredibly valuable commodity, farming them is difficult and they’re only available for a portion of the year, hence most of them are dug up in the wild. The job of a truffle hog is to sniff about for the distinct scent of ripe truffles, which their keeper can then dig up to sell for an enormous amount. The more common black truffle is worth a pretty penny but the rarer European white truffle can be worth $6000 dollars or more per kilo!

The scent of a ripe truffle is similar to the mate attracting scent given off by male pigs, this means female pigs can be turned to truffle hunting with very little training. The downside is that pigs really like eating them, and when coupled with their very destructive way of digging they can literally eat into profits if not kept under control. Unlucky truffle hunters have been known to lose harvests, and even fingers, to aggressive pigs. This has lead to the rise of truffle hunting dogs as challengers for the role. While they need more training to perform the job they’re also much easier to control.

Want more interesting pigs or to share your own animal knowledge? Log on or sign up to let us know!