Sustainable Tourism in the Yukatan Peninsula, Mexico – with Antonio Fernandez

At the end of August 2017, I travelled in the Yucatán Peninsula on the Caribbean side of Mexico. Due to its many natural assets – its beautiful beaches, freshwater cenotes and Mayan culture – the Yucatán Peninsula attracts many overseas visitors. In fact, its airport at Cancun is Mexico’s second busiest international airport after Mexico City. I didn’t make it to Cancun, but I did take a short visit to the Peninsula’s other tourist hot spot – La Playa Del Carmen.

There I met with Eco-Tourism businessman Antonio Fernandez to find out more about some of the challenges and green opportunities for tourism on the Yucatán Peninsula.

To listen to this programme about SUSTAINABLE TOURISM please click on http://www.accessradio.org/Player.aspx?eid=ff5dd51e-46c4-4f00-b66a-efe1c0b1ce19

(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.)

For more information –

  • Green Wings Excursions is a Mexican registered business focused on providing tourists with a more sustainable experience. Check out their business at http://www.greenwingsmx.com. They are also on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

This show was originally broadcast on the 7th September 2017 with the help of Otago Access Radio 105.4FM. Eco Living in Action is sponsored by Sustainable Dunedin City.

 

Antonio Fernandez, businessman, and co-owner of Green Wings Excursions

 

ATV eco-adventure activities in forests degrade this delicate ecosystem. Green Wings Excursions does not support this kind of tourism.

Due to pressures from tourism, La Playa Del Carmen has undergone rapid growth within a very short time. This photo collage from the 1970s displays what it used to look like.

One of the more recently constructed buildings, that Antonio believes detracts from this pretty town’s appeal.

 

Construction continues. Many new building are being erected daily. Check out this You Tube depicting some of the changes to this town https://youtu.be/cXMIwnIt2Fo

A ‘beach cleanup’ with a difference! Seaweed is regularly removed from the sand.

One or two days before the beach cleanup, I captured this photo of one of many Ruddy Turnstones foraging.

 

 

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Checking the Beehive in Early Spring – with Peter Grimes

Every so often I get excited with the thought of someday becoming a beekeeper. I haven’t quite got my life to a place where I can do it yet – but I’m confident it will happen. And I’m not alone. There are many reasons why more people are choosing to have a few hives in their large back garden or in a nearby paddock. Sweet nutritious honey, wax for candles and other uses, bees for pollination of our fruit trees and flowers – great products for us – and with declining populations of bees worldwide, this is a hobby that will benefit the wider natural environment. So long as you are not allergic to bee stings and you have somewhere to put your hives, there are few reasons for not taking up this fascinating hobby.

To help you decide if beekeeping is for you, I recommend you join an experienced beekeeper for a day, preferably several times throughout the year.

Join me in my visit to Hampshire, in the south of England. It’s home to Peter Grimes, beekeeper, who has kept bees here for over 18 years. For Peter, the happiness of his bees and the part they play in contributing to biodiversity is paramount. Of course he also enjoys their honey! Peter has made, what is still a passionate hobby, into a small and developing business rehoming unwanted bee colonies and selling his bee products.

This show was recorded in early March 2017, which is early spring in England, a time of snowdrops and budding daffodils. I join Peter as he does an early spring check of his hives to see how they have fared over the cold winter.

To listen to this programme about CHECKING THE BEEHIVES IN EARLY SPRING please click on http://www.accessradio.org/Player.aspx?eid=7b5334f1-999d-4f3a-895d-aaf7336b749d

(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.)

For more information –

This show was originally broadcast on the 7th Septmber 2017 with the help of Otago Access Radio 105.4FM. Eco Living in Action is sponsored by Sustainable Dunedin City.

Peter Grimes checking the hives in early spring.

Peter has several small colonies in different places.

This tool is very handy for removing combs stuck to the walls of the hive.

Spot the queen!

Toward Waste Free Living – with Sarah Sturgess

Reducing the amount of single use plastics we needlessly throw away is important but also is just one part of our potential waste stream. My guest today is recent Dunedin resident Sarah Sturgess who has taken it further and is currently living happily with almost no waste at all headng to the landfill.

Sarah is passionate about reducing her waste and she does it in ways that add to her life. She defines her zero waste lifestyle as “aiming to send nothing to landfill while being as normal as possible”

But Sarah isn’t a zero waste fundamentalist. One thing I like about her approach to her chosen mode of living is that she can relax and break the rules when she wants to.

Join me as I ask Sarah why she lives a zero waste lifestyle. More importantly, how does she do it? And what tips does she have for those of us who are passionate about reducing the amount of waste that we send to landfill?

This show was recorded on the 14th August 2017

To listen to this programme about TOWARDS ZERO WASTE LIVING please click on http://www.accessradio.org/Player.aspx?eid=82d31654-d7f7-48c4-811d-f78fdba7c5ab

(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.)

For more information –

  • Connect with Sarah on Instagram at @wastefreesarah
  • Sarah recommends “Zero Waste Home” – book by Bea Johnson
    Treadingmyownpath.com – blog by Australian Lindsay Miles
    Facebook Zero Waste Support Groups: Worldwide – “Journey to Zero Waste”
    NZ- “Zero waste in NZ”

This show was originally broadcast on the 31st August 2017 with the help of Otago Access Radio 105.4FM. Eco Living in Action is sponsored by Sustainable Dunedin City.

 

Sarah Sturgess with her waste for June 2017

Some of the very useful things Sarah has in her bag that help her live waste free.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plus! The TOWARDS WASTE FREE LIVING guide – by Sarah Sturgess Click Here!

Building with adobe and brick – with Seth and Cris Phillips

This radio show comes to you from the city of Guanajuato where I stayed for over a week while travelling south from the US. Guanajuato is a small, beautiful, historic city set in the Mexican highlands of Guanajuato municipality.  It was declared a World heritage Site in 1988 by UNESCO due to its unique history and arctitecture.

My guests for this show are Seth Phillips and Anna Cristina Marin Fonseca. Seth and Cris have created a unique lifestyle here, renovating their home which is on an 820sqm property, very large for here in the city. In this space they’ve established  approximately 40 fruit trees, have hens and have implemented a range of permaculture/sustainable living actions – such as greywater for the fruit trees, rabbits that cut and fertilise their grass, worm farms that feed their fruit trees, and a humanure composting toilet.

Join me as I talk to Seth and Cris about their adoble house which has been part renovated and part built from materials from the property. In particular Seth has developed a new technique of combining brick and reinforced cement with adobe blocks to create strong and breathable adobe walls.

On the property they have built another dwelling for rental so if you like the sound of this place you are welcome to come stay!

This show was recorded on the 30th July 2017

To listen to this programme about BUILDING WITH ADOBE AND BRICK please click on http://www.accessradio.org/Player.aspx?eid=79e52900-dd9e-4227-9d79-1a337e4a1d54

(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 show was originally broadcast on the 17th August 2017 with the help of Otago Access Radio 105.4FM. Eco Living in Action is sponsored by Sustainable Dunedin City.

Cris and Seth Phillips with their daughter Katia

Seth has combined brick with the adobe walls using a unique method (as far as he knows). The bricks provide strength and adhere well to both adobe and to concrete.

Exterior of Seth and Cris’ adobe and brick home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Humanure composting system in foreground. Hen run in the background.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This homemade solar oven can be swivelled manually to follow the sun. Cris is a keen cook who uses little electiricy, instead using the power of the sun. She makes everthing from scratch including grinding and processing the corn for their tamales. You’re very unliley to find any packaging in this house.

 

 

 

 

Solar dehydrator

Cris loves cooking with her insulated box oven. Food is brought up to temperature on the hob or the outdoor solar oven and then placed in the insulated ‘haybox’ to continue cooking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Building with adobe and brick in Guanajuato – with Seth Phillips

This radio show comes to you from the city of Guanajuato where I stayed for over a week while travelling south from the US. Guanajuato is a small, beautiful, historic city set in the Mexican highlands of Guanajuato municipality.  It was declared a World heritage Site in 1988 by UNESCO due to its unique history and arctitecture.

My guests for this show are Seth Phillips and Anna Cristina Marin Fonseca. Seth and Cris have created a unique lifestyle here, renovating their home which is on an 820sqm property, very large for here in the city. In this space they’ve established  approximately 40 fruit trees, have hens and have implemented a range of permaculture/sustainable living actions – such as greywater for the fruit trees, rabbits that cut and fertilise their grass, worm farms that feed their fruit trees, and a humanure composting toilet.

Join me as I talk to Seth and Cris about their adoble house which has been part renovated and part built from materials from the property. In particular Seth has developed a new technique of combining brick and reinforced cement with adobe blocks to create strong and breathable adobe walls.

On the property they have built another dwelling for rental so if you like the sound of this place you are welcome to come stay!

This show was recorded on the 30th July 2017

To listen to this programme about BUILDING WITH ADOBE AND BRICK please click on http://www.accessradio.org/Player.aspx?eid=79e52900-dd9e-4227-9d79-1a337e4a1d54

(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.)

For more information –

  • To find out more go to

This show was originally broadcast on the 17th August 2017 with the help of Otago Access Radio 105.4FM. Eco Living in Action is sponsored by Sustainable Dunedin City.

 

Seth has combined brick with the adobe walls using a unique method (as far as he knows). The bricks provide strength and adhere well to both adobe and to concrete.

Cris is a keen cook who uses little electiricy instead using the power of the sun. She makes everthing from scratch including grinding and processing the corn for their tamales. You’re very unliley to find any packaging in this house.

Co-housing Community Celebrates 35 years – with Karel Slot

Before I set sail with a freighter ship for the Americas, I couchsurfed at a co-housing community in Rotterdam in the Netherlands, with Host, Karel Slot.  The co-housing initiative, called Centraal Wonen Zevenkamp, is now 35 years old! Karel is one of its founding members.

In a co-housing community, people can own or rent their own property but share common resources such as meeting rooms, tool sheds and vegetable gardens. It is a wonderful way to live more sustainably and have community.

According to the intentional communities inventory book Eurotopia Edition 2014, Centraal Wonen Zevenkamp is situated on 13 ha in the region of CW7 on the edge of the city of Rotterdam. There are over 100 people living here, a mix of men women and children occupying up to 60 houses. Sustainability and neighbourly help are two of the main fields of action for the community.

According to Eurotopia, the community is situated in the most beautiful part of Rotterdam. And I can believe it! Dragon flies, parakeets and butterflies greeted me as I approached this co-housing initiative just a short walk from the Metro station that leads to the city centre.

I’m keen to find out what life is like in a co-housing initiative and what are some of the reasons for the success of this particular co-housing initiative.

Join me as I talk to Karel and also to Anton van Aart who Chairs the Co-housing group. (This show was recorded on the 4th of July).

To listen to this programme about CO-HOUSING please click on http://www.accessradio.org/Player.aspx?eid=46c10657-2d13-4e72-be31-65df96434e73

(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.)

For more information –

This show was originally broadcast on the 3rd August 2017 with the help of Otago Access Radio 105.4FM. Eco Living in Action is sponsored by Sustainable Dunedin City.

Some of the communal rooms of Centraal Wonen Zevenkamp (CW7) where community activities such as art take place.

Karel Slot and his very useful human powered vehicle. Decorated by a friend in the community.

A co-housing community benefits from its members’ skills and interests. The community has a few beehives. For example, on the day I visited, one hive decided to swarm. Members with skills in bee keeping collected the swarm.

The community’s communal garden. There are also larger wider community gardens very close by.

Close by community garden where Karel contributes a his time.

 

Move water with a Ram Pump – with guest Mike Cahn

My guest today is Mike Cahn, who along with Suzie Cahn owns Carraig Dulra farm – a hill-side four acre smallholding  in Co Wicklow that provides education about permaculure and sustainable living.

When they bought the property over 10 years ago, one of the challenges of Carraig Dulra was that it was not on the mains water supply. Instead Mike and Suzie were given water use rights to a stream below the property.

To solve the challenge of getting water up the hill to be used on the property, Mike installed a hydraulic ram pump. Mike is full of enthusiasm for this system. Like solar power, it doesn’t need mains electricity. Instead the pump is powered by the water flow itself. In addition, the hydraulic ram pump has some unique sustainability features that, for Mike, make it a more sustainable choice than solar.

Join me as I ask Mike how how it works, and what he loves about this system.

To listen to this programme about HYDRAULIC RAM PUMPS please click on http://www.accessradio.org/Player.aspx?eid=9f8c5a3e-b63f-47c4-b4b4-4aa02b4974d2

(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.)

For more information –

  • Carraig Dulra website – www.dulra.org
  • On facebook – Carraig Dulra

This show was recorded in early June 2017 and originally broadcast on the 3rd August 2017 with the help of Otago Access Radio 105.4FM. Eco Living in Action is sponsored by Sustainable Dunedin City.

Mike Cahn holding a fitting from a hydraulic ram pump

Fittings for the ram pump

Close up of the valve system