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

(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 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

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.




Intensive Meat Production – with Carl Scott

When it comes to sustainable living, the decision of whether to eat meat or not provokes some intense discussions! There are plentiful arguments for and against having animals as part of a food production system. On one hand they can be an integral part of a sustainable Permaculture system – picture hens scratching in the food forest, providing eggs, meat and pest control services. On the other hand, large scale intensive animal production systems are usually associated with animal suffering and environmental pollution. Likewise there are arguments cited for and against the vegan diet. In its ‘sustainability’ favour, it is the diet with the lowest ecological footprint in terms of energy required to grow calories (of unprocessed food product). Its potential drawbacks, at least here in New Zealand, are that adopting a vegan diet may result in people consuming more food that has been shipped over long distances, or is more highly processed. This can also happen with an omnivorous diet however.

One of the things that concerns both vegan and meat eating environmentalists are the methods used in industrial intensive meat production. On this show we look at industrial meat production, its environmental impacts and how we as individuals and consumers can support more sustainable and humane systems of food production. As well as eating more healthily!

My guest is Carl Scott who is passionate about animal welfare issues and is Co-Chair of the Dunedin Otepoti Vegan Society. As well as being vegan and active in promoting this lifestyle, Carl has led a number of campaigns to help improve the welfare of animals in New Zealand. Perhaps the most memorable, for Carl as well as for us, was in 2011 when he spent 31 days in a 190cm wide by 130cm high cage to highlight the plight of caged hens in New Zealand. He gained mainstream media attention and thousands of fans from all around the world. Carl is also passionate about doing his bit for sustainable living. When he lived in Waitati he had an electric bike and worked on an organic market garden.

To listen to this programme about Intensive Meat Production please click

For more information –

This programme was originally broadcast on  the  5th November 2015 with the help of Otago Access Radio 105.4FM and is supported by Sustainable Dunedin City. The radio show Eco Living in Action is hosted by Maureen Howard, a Sustainability Educator and Facilitator.


Carl Scott

Carl Scott











Carl lives for 31 days in a cage to show the relative size

Day 16 of the 31 days that Carl spent in a cage to highlight the plight of battery cage hens.




Local medicinal herbs – with Tracey Loughran

In terms of conventional medicine we are very fortunate to have a good medical health system here in NZ. In some areas however we can take our own action and grow and use local herbs that will assist us to stay in good health or help cure some ailments. The environmental benefits are clear – a herb is less processed than a tablet, we have the benefits of local production, and zero packaging!

So what can we take and how should we take it?

In this programme I chat with Tracey Loughran from Fluorish Naturopathy about some of the local medicinal herbs that can be grown in our own backyards, what they are useful for, how we can prepare them and use them.

To listen to this programme about Local Medicinal Herbs please click on

To find out more about

This programme was originally broadcast on  the 2nd April 2015 with the help of Otago Access Radio 105.4FM. Eco Living in Action is hosted by Maureen Howard and is supported by the Dunedin City Council.

Tracey Loughran, naturopath at Flourish

Tracey Loughran, naturopath at Flourish Naturopathy

Organic Raw Milk – with Cath Belsey

A growing number of people are choosing to return to the way our grandparents used to drink milk – unhomogenised, unpasteurised and organic by default.  Raw milk. When it is produced and collected in a sanitary way, it is touted to have wonderful health giving properties. It also tastes great too.

In this programme, I spoke with Cath Belsey who lives north of Dunedin where she owns and works a small certified block of land and milks a few Jersey cows for her own use and folks in her community.

We chatted about the benefits of raw organic milk both for our health, the health of the animals, and the health of our environment. Cath explained that some of the features of producing small quantities of raw milk for the public, including diverse pasture species and her pasture fallowing regime, how she practices a strict cleanliness regime during milking and storage of the milk, and how raw milk can be obtained by the public. In particular Cath emphasises that consumers get informed as much as they can about the issues around raw milk. There are many sites and some books on the subject.

To listen to this programme about Organic Raw Milk please click on

To find out more about

This programme was originally broadcast on  the  29th January 2015 with the help of Otago Access Radio 105.4FM. Eco Living in Action is hosted by Maureen Howard and is supported by the Dunedin City Council.

Cath Belsey

Cath Belsey in the OAR studio

Sourcing GE Free Food in NZ – with Philippa Jamieson

A few days before airing this show, I was chatting to a friend about GE food (as one does!) and she said that what most concerned her was that we hear nothing about it in our news any more. But GE (genetically engineered) or GM (genetically modified) food has not gone away. According to an article by Rebecca Reider in 2014 in the NZ Herald, GE food has crept onto our supermarket shelves despite the huge protests against it 15 yrs ago. Growing GE crops for human food is very much a sustainability issue as well as an animal welfare and human health issue.

In this programme, I chat with Philippa Jamieson about GE food, where we are consuming it, what it means for our environment, our health, our economy, – and how we can avoid it if we want do that.

Philippa is the Editor of Organic NZ magazine – a position she has held since 2008. She is a writer and has written “The Wild Green Yonder: Ten seasons volunteering on New Zealand’s organic farms” chronicling her experience of “WWOOFing” – working as a volunteer on organic farms – around New Zealand from 2002 to 2004.

To listen to this programme about GE Free Food please click on

To find out more about Organic NZ go to To find out the latest news on GE in NZ (from a GE free perspective) go to GE Free NZ at

This programme was originally broadcast on  the  13th November 2014 with the help of Otago Access Radio 105.4FM. Eco Living in Action is supported by the Dunedin City Council.

Philippa in the garden

Philippa in the garden

Organic NZ magazine provides up to date information on GE news in NZ

Organic NZ magazine provides current updates on the presence of GE in food in NZ