Plastic Free Dunedin producing cloth bags for Dunedin – with Tess Trotter

When we consider the 100s of years that a single use plastic bag can persist in our environment, and the harmful effects of plastic in nature, the drawbacks of the plastic shopping bag definitely outweigh its limited bit of usefulness  – simply to carry our groceries from our car to our kitchen.

As a result, more and more New Zealanders are concerned and choosing reusable bags. But we still have progress to make. According to the Waste Min amendment Bill – a Green Party Members Bill that came out on the 23rd May, every year New Zealanders use approximately 1.6 billon single use plastic bags. Most end up sealed in a landfill. Some bags will end up as litter. For Dunedin, as a coastal city with a rich marine environment, even one plastic bag can be a problem if its ingested by a marine animal.

Coming to the rescue, to empower the community to transition to a plastic free Dunedin, is a newly established not for profit Trust called Plastic Free Dunedin. The group’s first project tackles the problem of single-use plastic bags. For this show my guest is Tess Trotter, a founding member of the group, and Co chair with Fi Clements. We chat about Plastic Free Dunedin’s current campaign called ‘Bags for Good’, also about Plastic Free Dunedin’s special focus on promoting local enterprise and creative endeavour, and about Tess’s personal ‘plastic-free’ hopes for the future of Dunedin. This show was recorded on the 29th May 2017.

To listen to this programme about Plastic Free Dunedin’s cloth bag action please click on http://www.accessradio.org/Player.aspx?eid=4e62087d-e212-447e-a71b-72c22a2facb4

(If you want to listen to this show and the link is not working – please let me know! We endeavour to re-air our older popular shows on request.)

This is one of many shows! To listen to other recent Eco Living in Action radio shows on the Otago Access Radio Website go to http://www.accessradio.org/ProgrammePage.aspx?PID=d6c5fa93-1644-4811-acef-71386373b70a

For more information –

  • To contact Plastic Free Dunedin go to – plasticfreedunedin@gmail.com

This show was originally broadcast on the 1st June 2017 with the help of Otago Access Radio 105.4FM. Eco Living in Action is sponsored by Sustainable Dunedin City.

Displaying some of their cloth bag prototypes. Tess Trotter (middle) with other members of the group Plastic Free Dunedin – Rachael Francis and Fi Clements

Fiona Jenkins (middle) is also an active member of the group. Pictured here with Rachael Francis and Fiona Jenkins.

 

Dunedin’s Inner City Perennial Polyculture Garden – with guest Rory Harding

Welcome Auckland listeners! If you are checking out this website and you are from Auckland, you can now listen to Eco Living in Action  on your Auckland radio community radio station  Planet FM on 104.6FM, How fantastic is that!

Of course we have all kinds of fantastic and sustainable things happening here in Dunedin! The George Street Orchard is one of them. It is an inner city food producing garden designed and tended by gardener Rory Harding. Rory uses polyculture practices in which perennial and self-seeding annuals predominate. There are no monocultural rows of plants here! The garden is inspiring and its focus and design is pioneering. Eight years in the making, it is now a fluorishing productive and intergrated system. Looking at the photos on Rory’s website, I think this must be one of the best small space temperate polyculture gardens in New Zealand. It’s simply fantastic!

On this  show I spoke to Rory Harding to find out what produce he has gathered and enjoyed this Autumn, and what he is preserving as excess.  The city environment with its concrete and tarmac provides a warmer microclimate suitable for species that usually do not grow so far south. With this in mind, Rory is adventurous in his species choices! His garden is always changing with new and interesting species being grown.

Listen in to find out what Rory has been learning from his garden this year. This show was recorded on the 5th May 2017.

To listen to this programme about Inner City Perennial Polyculture Gardening please click on http://www.accessradio.org/Player.aspx?eid=81f14f87-b93b-4ed2-b1bf-1487a7c00387

(If you want to listen to this show and the link is not working – please let me know! We endeavour to re-air our older popular shows on request.)

To listen to recent Eco Living in Action radio shows on the Otago Access Radio Website go to http://www.accessradio.org/ProgrammePage.aspx?PID=d6c5fa93-1644-4811-acef-71386373b70a

For more information –

This show was originally broadcast on the 25th May 2017 with the help of Otago Access Radio 105.4FM. Eco Living in Action is sponsored by Sustainable Dunedin City.

Rory Harding, creator of George Street Orchard inner city polyculture

Hardy Kiwi fruit. Photo taken from George Street Orchard website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rory Harding, creator of George Street Orchard inner city polyculture

 

For more photos go to https://georgestreetorchard.com/

 

Growing Organically with Polytunnels – with guest Hans Wieland, Co Leitrim

One of the more useful uses of petroleum is to make polytunnels! The advantages they brings to organic growing are substantial for those of us living in a temperate climate.

In March I spoke with Hans Wieland, Training and Marketing Manager at The Organic Centre in Co. Leitrim. Hans is both passionate and knowledgeable about polytunnels. In this show, Hans shares what we can do with polytunnels to enhance our organic growing capabilities, what design features we should look out for, and how to use them to best effect – from watering to soil amendment to aeration.

In this show recorded on 31st March 2017, I chat with Hans Wieland, Training and Marketing Manager, at The Organic Centre about  Growing Organically in a Polytunnel. Warning – you are likely to go out and buy a polytunnel if you listen to this show 🙂

 To listen to this programme about Growing Organically in a Polytunnel please click on http://www.accessradio.org/Player.aspx?eid=565a562a-bb7c-47f4-ba26-4438b92a93f3.

(If you want to listen to this show and the link is not working – please let me know! We endeavour to re-air our older popular shows on request.)

To listen to recent Eco Living in Action radio shows on the Otago Access Radio Website go to http://www.accessradio.org/ProgrammePage.aspx?PID=d6c5fa93-1644-4811-acef-71386373b70a

For more information –

  • About The Organic Centre, go to www.organiccentre.ie, or ring the centre at 00353-(0)71-98-54338. The Organic Centre is located near the village of Rossinver in Co Leitrim. Note that the centre is open from 18th February to 12th November in 2017. Open 10am-5pm Tuesday through to Sunday.

This show was originally broadcast on the 18th May 2017 with the help of Otago Access Radio 105.4FM. Eco Living in Action is sponsored by Sustainable Dunedin City.

Hans Wieland by one of the many polytunnels at The Organic Centre, Co. Leitrim. This is one of their smaller ones. But still too big to fit in my garden unfortunately!

A greenhouse should have good ventilation. This geodesic dome with no vents high up and small single door is poor in design, says Hans

Another of the nine polytunnels at The Organic Centre. Each polytunnel offers a different focus and learning opportunity, as well as crop layout, for students and visitors to see.

 

Here – a small polytunnel inside a big polytunnel! Is this how new polytunnels are born? 🙂

This large polytunnel has a wide design, providing plenty of horizontal space without being too tall.

 

 

Walking the length of the South Island – with guest Becky Cameron

We live in an increasingly frantic and speeded up world. For many people, even driving at 100km/hour has become too slow. One major growing counter-revolution to this frenzy of hurry – is Slow Travel. And when it comes to slow travel – we can’t get much slower than walking.

Walking brings us experiences that we don’t have when we jump on a plane, in a car – or even on a bicycle. It changes us in good ways – both physically and mentally.

Someone who chose to Travel Slow by walking this summer, is Dunedin artist Becky Cameron, who walked the length of the South Island taking the Te Araroa Trail. I talk to her about why she did it, how it has changed her and what benefits we can expect with walking as our predominant mode of travel.

This show was recorded on the 27th of April 2017.

To listen to this programme about Walking as Slow Travel please click on http://www.accessradio.org/Player.aspx?eid=67c9c449-f739-4a88-b0a5-c28f50bf603b

(If you want to listen to this show and the link is not working – please let me know! We endeavour to re-air our older popular shows on request.)

To listen to recent Eco Living in Action radio shows on the Otago Access Radio Website go to http://www.accessradio.org/ProgrammePage.aspx?PID=d6c5fa93-1644-4811-acef-71386373b70a

For more information –

This show was originally broadcast on the 11th May 2017 with the help of Otago Access Radio 105.4FM. Eco Living in Action is sponsored by Sustainable Dunedin City.

Becky Cameron at her destination – Bluff – the south of the South Island of New Zealand

Travers Pass – just one of the outstanding landscapes Becky passed through.

Becky found much inspiration for her daily drawings in the landscape. Here is her drawing of Travers Pass.

Home again after two months away. Becky weeding out the thistles in her garden in Dunedin.

 

Biochar for small farm productivity – with guest Dennis Enright

Is biochar the answer to restoring our productive soils as well as mitigating climate change?

Dennis Enright is an organic market gardener, and the owner of TopVeges, an organic market garden business based in Mosgiel, close to the city of Dunedin in New Zealand. In addition to organics, Dennis also has a passion for making biochar and using it as a natural soil amendment for vegetable growing and carbon sequestration. Biochar is charcoal made by the burning or pyrolysis of carbon rich materials at high temperature in the absence of oxygen.

Due to his interest in Biochar, in the last few years Dennis’s life has taken a very interesting twist! He now spends a portion of each year in remote areas of Thailand advising and assisting local farmers to create and use biochar instead of traditional slash and burn methods. His work is showing very promising results in terms of crop productivity, as well as wider environmental benefits. As part of his work, Dennis works with local organisations – Greennet and Warm Heart Worldwide.

This show was originally recorded on the 10th April 2017. I talk to Dennis about his work making and using biochar, and scientifically testing it as a soil amendment for small farmers in Thailand.

To listen to this programme about Biochar for Small Farm Productivity please click on http://www.accessradio.org/Player.aspx?eid=cbbd6220-9ef4-467a-a1d3-2ccf6acfde12. (If you want to listen to this show and the link is not working – please let me know! We endeavour to re-air our older popular shows on request.)

To listen to other Eco Living in Action radio shows on the Otago Access Radio Website go to http://www.accessradio.org/ProgrammePage.aspx?PID=d6c5fa93-1644-4811-acef-71386373b70a

This show was originally broadcast on the 27th April 2017 with the help of Otago Access Radio 105.4FM. Eco Living in Action is sponsored by Sustainable Dunedin City.

For more information –

 

 

Dennis assesses soil quality on the test and control sites that have biochar added/not added. To the right of the photo is ‘Vermis the Worm’. Dennis plans to use him as a voice for talking about soil, particularly for kids. Vermis has travelled to various parts of Thailand and other places!

A pit is a simple and effective way to make biochar.

Why I like hitch-hiking – with guest Paul Armstrong

Is the idea of hitch-hiking something you regard with horror, or with fond memories of travel adventures from your youth?

According to WikiTravel.org, hitch-hiking in New Zealand is classified as Common, Easy and Legal. This mode of travel is good for our planet, for the simple reason that it turns single occupancy car travel into shared travel thus reducing the personal carbon footprint of each occupant.

Apart from the lofty goals of mitigating climate change, there are of course many other reasons why people hitch-hike – from the interesting people you can meet to low cost travel. In this show I chat with local Dunedinite Paul Armstrong who has hitched many times before and thoroughly enjoyed it. We chat about the unexpected as well as the expected joys of hitching, and share some of our life enriching hitching stories.

Please note. The risks of hitching are low but potentially serious. Before you stick your thumb out, I recommend you check out the website HitchWiki.org. Here you will find many safety tips, as well as as information on where to hitch in the various countries you visit, what to wear, and so on.

TO LISTEN to this programme about Hitching please click on http://www.accessradio.org/Player.aspx?eid=b5b3a5ea-512d-4346-862c-6fcfcc6ad3bb. (If you want to listen to this show and the link is not working – please let me know! We endeavour to re-air our older popular shows on request.)

TO LISTEN to other Eco Living in Action radio shows on the Otago Access Radio Website go to http://www.accessradio.org/ProgrammePage.aspx?PID=d6c5fa93-1644-4811-acef-71386373b70a

For more information –

This show was originally broadcast on the 3rd December 2015 with the help of Otago Access Radio 105.4FM. Eco Living in Action is sponsored by Sustainable Dunedin City.

Paul Armstrong

Old tools for new livelihoods – with Stephen Wood from Tools for Solidarity

Tools For Solidarity is a small charity based in the cities of Belfast and Downpatrick in Northern Ireland. The charity collects, refurbishes and sends old unwanted hand tools and sewing machines from here in Ireland to skilled tradespeople living in Africa, helping them to secure productive livelihoods for them, their families, and their communities.

Tools for Solidarity has been running since 1992, and over the years it has slowly developed and expanded on the initiatives that it has chosen. There is so much that I admire about this charity. In particular, its passion for overseas aid work, its reuse of unwanted tools, the sustainability education work it does in schools and its commitment to giving meaningful work to people who have special needs. On top of this, the organisation is run in a way that includes a commitment to consensus decision making, equitable pay and a non-hierarchical structure. Fantastic!

In this show recorded on 29th March 2017, I visit Stephen Wood from Tools for Solidarity at their Belfast workshop to talk to him about some of the work that this charity is doing.

 To listen to this programme about Tools for Solidarity please click on http://www.accessradio.org/Player.aspx?eid=c320e66b-bb71-4fa5-924e-3097b86e1031. (If you want to listen to this show and the link is not working – please let me know! We endeavour to re-air our older popular shows on request.)

To listen to other Eco Living in Action radio shows on the Otago Access Radio Website go to http://www.accessradio.org/ProgrammePage.aspx?PID=d6c5fa93-1644-4811-acef-71386373b70a

For more information –

  • About Tools for Solidarity, go to http://www.toolsforsolidarity.com/ Contact – Tools For Solidarity,
    55A Sunnyside Street, Belfast BT7 3EX. Tel Tel: +44 (0)28 9543 5972. E-mail: tools.belfast@myphone.coop

This show was originally broadcast on the 4th May 2017 with the help of Otago Access Radio 105.4FM. Eco Living in Action is sponsored by Sustainable Dunedin City.

Stephen Wood, along with his brother John Wood, are two core volunteers at Tools for Solidarity, without whom it would not exist.

Outside the Tools for Solidarity workshop in Belfast. There is also another workshop in Downpatrick (not pictured here).

Sewing machines are donated to Tools for Solidarity. These are refurbished and converted so they can be operated manually without electricity before heading off to Africa.

Stephen Wood in the hand tools section of the workshop

Tool boxes are the latest venture of Tools for Solidarity. Each is targeted to a specific trade skill. Still at planning stage, it is hoped they can be distributed to young skilled workers in Africa.

Hand saws sorted according to teeth size. Excellent sorting and labelling skills are required at Tools for Solidarity!

Laura Rio Fernandez, a sustainability educator, leads the Education for Sustainable Development Programme that is offered to schools by Tools for Solidarity.