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!

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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.

Belfast, a Sustainable Food City – with Kerry Melville

There are many people passionate about good sustainable healthy food in Dunedin, such as the grassroots collective – Our Food Network Dunedin, as well as Dunedin’s permaculture movement and the great increase in community gardens around the city. In particular it is exciting that currently work is being carried out by the Dunedin City Council to implement an action plan to support local food producers and businesses, promote local food events, and generally assist Dunedinites to obtain healthy sustainably produced food. It is with this knowledge in mind that I am especially interested to see what is also happening in other cities.

While writing this I am in Northern Ireland, and for this show I travelled to Belfast its capital. Belfast is home to approximately 334,000 people, and like Dunedin it has embraced local food resilience – aiming to support a thriving local food economy that is healthy as well as environmentally sustainable.

Kerry Melville is Coordinator of the Belfast Food Network, an NGO that has received funding to initiate a wide range of activities that will help promote a thriving food economy in the city that is both sustainable, healthy and equitable.

Kerry was born in South Africa, has spend many years in England and since 1999 has lived in Northern Ireland. She says she is passionate about this little country and that it is almost as beautiful as New Zealand which she visited for five months as a WWOOFer in 2005. (As I was born in Northern Ireland and live in NZ – I also must agree!)

I spoke with Kerry on the 29th July 2016 about the exciting initiatives and achievements of the Belfast Food Network. I have included photos from the September 2016 Feeding the 5000 event in Belfast, which the Belfast Food Network coordinated along with Friends of the Earth NI.

To listen to this programme about Belfast – a Sustainable Food City please click on http://www.accessradio.org/Player.aspx?eid=248f1317-d84d-473f-905b-cccbb6061c07

For more information

This show was originally broadcast on the 4th August 2016 with the help of Otago Access Radio 105.4FM. Eco Living in Action is sponsored by Sustainable Dunedin City.

Kerry Melville, Coordinator of the Belfast Food Network

Kerry Melville, Coordinator of the Belfast Food Network

The Belfast Food network obtained food from farmers in Northern Ireland that was surplus and would otherwise have gone to waste. The food was served by volunteers. Friends of the Earth NI and Hare Krishna group ?? coordinated preparation and cooking.

The Belfast Food Network  and Friends of the Earth NI collaborated for the Feedin the 5000 event. Surplus vegetables from farmers in Northern Ireland were donated – food that would otherwise have gone to waste. The food was  prepared and served by volunteers and cooked by Iskcon Belfast.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kerry, in action at the Feed the 5000 event in Belfast, 2016.

Kerry and volunteers at the Feed the 5000 event in Belfast, 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Public Place Composting and Recycling

Here in Dunedin we have a good reputation for using kerbside recycling, and many of us also compost at least some of our food waste – turning it back into valuable nourishment for the garden.

But what about recycling and composting in public places? Public Place Recycling is something that we  are getting the hang of since the Dunedin City Council introduced public recycling bins around the city. In fact, currently Dunedin has the best public place recycling record in all of New Zealand.

Our topic for this programme is PUBLIC PLACE RECYCLING AND COMPOSTING – focusing on what’s happening at the Otago Farmers Market. The Otago Farmers Market have improved and extended their recycling and composting systems for members of the public coming to the market. They are leaders in Dunedin, and possibly New Zealand. I’m especially interested in this issue because in August I volunteered along with other members of the North Dunedin and South Dunedin SAC (Sustainable Action Communities) groups to assist people at the Otago Farmers Market with using the public recycling bins there. Helping people sort their waste is a lot of fun!

My guest for this radio show is Kate Vercoe, General Manager of the Otago Farmers Market. Kate has spearheaded this new collection system. We talk about the benefits and challenges of public place composting and recycling. Kate shares tips for setting up this system.

To listen to this programme about Public Place Composting and Recycling please click on http://www.accessradio.org/media/download/201509181609381442549378-NZOA64k-2015-09-17—Eco-Living—Public-Place-Recycling-and-Composting—Kate-Vercoe.mp3?_uid=1442548918-819-13

For more information –

This programme was originally broadcast on  the  17th September 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.

 

Brigid Bloom, volunteer with SAND (Sustainable Action North Dunedin) 'wo'mans the recycling hub at the Otago Farmers Market

Brigid Bloom, volunteer with SAND (Sustainable Action North Dunedin) ‘wo’mans the recycling hub at the Otago Farmers Market

Aug to Sept 2015 026

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Linda Street and her son, volunteers from the group Sustainable South.

Linda Street and her son, volunteers from the group Sustainable South.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gail Kirk and her grandson - member of the SAC group Sustainable South

Gail Kirk and her grandson – volunteers for the SAC group ‘Sustainable South’