Clothing Upcycled – with guest Kirsten Koch

Kirsten Koch, a Masters student of Sociology at the University of Otago is with me in the studio to talk about upcycling in the clothing industry.

Every time we recycle, we often end up with something that is of lower quality or value. For example, a plastic bottle might be turned into insulation, or office paper could be made into toilet rolls. In contrast when we upcycle we improve the product to something that is of higher quality or value.

Kristen chats about what upcycling mean in the clothing industry? And how it can help reduce some of the waste in this industry. We chat about what’s happening globally and locally, and what Kirsten would like to see happen.

Listen to this programme on CLOTHING UPCYCLING

CLOTHING UPCYCLING was first aired on the 16th May 2019 through Otago Access Radio 105.4 FM and was supported by Sustainable Dunedin City with the assistance of New Zealand on Air. Eco Living in Action’s host Dr Maureen Howard is a Sustainable Practice Educator at Treedom NZ

Kirsten Koch 1

Taken by Sarah Flourish

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Stitch Kitchen – with guest Fiona Jenkin

Although fashion isn’t really my thing, I have aspirations to dress in a way that reflects who I am, even if most of the time the reality is that I just grab what’s closest in my clothes chest! Perhaps this is a good thing because when it come to sustainabilty the fashion industry has a very poor reputation. According to Eileen Fisher, an industry leader in the area, the fashion industry is the second largest polluting industry in the world after oil! I couldn’t find supporting statistics to back this up, however there is no doubting the very significant impacts that the global manufacture of clothing is having on the environment and on people’s health.

The good news is that there is also a Fashion Revolution taking place globally and Dunedin is part of that with the Dunedin Sustainable Fashion Hub based in Vogel St. In this hub you’ll find Stitch Kitchen, a trust doing all manner of interesting things to help people make better use of their clothing and fabrics: from running classes in sewing, to swapping fabrics, to helping people to reduce their reliance on plastics by making upcycled cloth alternatives.

In the studio today with me to talk about the sustainable fashion initiatives at Stitch Kitchen is Fiona Jenkin. Fiona has been a student, machinist, designer, retailer, business owner, image consultant and tutor.

Along with zero waste textile practitioner Fi Clements, Fiona is one of the founders of Stitch Kitchen, originally called Just Atelier Trust.

By Maureen Howard, Sustainable Practice Educator and Communicator at Treedom NZ

First aired on Otago Access Radio  on 16th August 2018.

Supported by Taste Nature

LISTEN HERE

 

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!

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

 

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.

 

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.

 

 

 

Successes in Compulsory Kerbside Composting – with Clive Catterson

The newly formed Ards and North Down Borough Council is leading the way across Councils in Northern Ireland to reduce waste being sent to landfill. In particular, it has set itself ambitious targets to reduce food waste going to landfill by introducing a compulsory kerbside collection composting scheme that takes food waste and other compostibles and composts it safely and aerobically. In addition, the Council has a fabulous smartphone App that gives detailed advice to users on exactly what they can place in their dry recycling bin as well as other Waste and Recycling information.

In a very short period, the council is already achieving very significant reductions in waste to landfill. I’m interested to know how the Council has made their initiatives so successful. Perhaps we can learn and apply some of their strategies in Dunedin, New Zealand.

On this show recorded on the 15th of December 2016 I talked to Clive Catterson, Recycling and Waste Minimisation Officer, with the Ards and North Down Borough Council.

To listen to this programme about Compulsory Kerbside Composting please click on http://www.accessradio.org/Player.aspx?eid=19068dbb-12bc-4cf2-ab82-fd487b554ec2

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 29th December 2016 with the help of Otago Access Radio 105.4FM. Eco Living in Action is sponsored by Sustainable Dunedin City.

Clive Catterson, Waste Minimisation Officer, Ards and North Down Borough Council

Clive Catterson, Recycling and Waste Minimisation Officer, Ards and North Down Borough Council

The Waste Transfer Station in Bangor

The Waste Transfer Station in Bangor

 

Ards and North Down Borough Council have a stall at the Food Expo in Greyabbey, Co Down, Northern Ireland

Ards and North Down Borough Council have a stall at the Food Expo in Greyabbey, Co Down, Northern Ireland

Shirley Howard putting a used teabag into the food waste caddy supplied by Ards and North Down Borough Council to households

Resident Shirley Howard putting a used teabag into the food waste caddy supplied by Ards and North Down Borough Council

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dry recyclable (execpt fr glass) put in blue bins, food waste including dog poo in brown bin, residual waste to land fill in the grey bin.

Dry recyclables (except for glass) are put in blue bins, food waste including dog poo in brown bin, residual waste to land fill in the grey bin.