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Ep 29. Food Security in Ireland – Aisling Wheeler

Despite what we hear about Ireland doing well in terms of food security, it's far more treacherous than we think. Aisling Wheeler talks me through the problems Ireland faces, how it all changed and what we can do to make it better.

  • (05:35) The definitions of food security & food sovereignty, and how we fare in Ireland in regards to that.
  • (10:35) Organic farming in Ireland.
  • (11:45) The knock-on effects of relying on imported goods.
  • (15:45) What changed in recent decades to make our food system insecure.
  • (18:30) What has been done, if anything, in policy or government to help with food security.
  • (22:20) Soil health in Ireland - fertility and drainage.
  • (28:30) The difference between monoculture & permaculture.
  • (32:45) Growing your own food at home, encouraging farmers to diversify & CSA.
  • (37:35) Buying food in season & our relationship with food.

Also Mentioned:

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Ep 25. Bia Hero & Grow Your Own Food – Sinéad, XR

For episode 25, I chatted to Sinéad Renu Sheehan from Extinction Rebellion about a new campaign called BiaHero. This community led campaign encourages people to start growing their own food at home and provides a support network for all your questions via a group on Facebook.

In this episode, we cover:

  • [02:20] The definition of food security. 
  • [06:00] Why BiaHero started and the importance of it in regards to food security.
  • [11:10] Where to start when it comes to growing your own food: the seeds.
  • [15:24] Getting the right soil.
  • [17:15] Why you usually. start sowing inside first.
  • [20:41] How to choose what to start planting.
  • [23:50] What you can grow all year round.
  • [25:00] How to manage surplus products.
  • [29:05] How to be creative if you don't have any land.
  • [33:09] Guerilla Gardening.
  • [34:25] Composting & feeding your plants.
  • [40:00] How to care for your food during a dry spell.
  • [43:30] Knowing what food needs vertical support.
  • [45:10] Planning for next year.

Don't forget to join the community Facebook group for more tips and to answer any questions!

Also Mentioned:

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Ep 19. Simple No Waste Life – Timi Nicholson

Episode 20 is a casual chat with Timi Nicholson, one of the early members of the inspirational Zero Waste Ireland Facebook Group and host of the day to day sustainable blog, Simple No Waste Life. In this episode we chat about:

  • A bit about who Timi is and how she fell into the sustainable way of living.
  • Home hacks - going without or making your own.
  • How Simple No Waste Life came about.
  • How Timi found the transition to cloth nappies (with the help of Cloth Nappy Library Ireland).
  • Sustainability in Hungary.
  • Climate Anxiety.

Click this link to find Book of Leaves on your podcast provider!

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Ep 16 & 17: A Sustainable Christmas

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Episode 16 & 17 is all about Christmas! I sat down with sustainable guru Cate Russell, fellow actor and friend and we delved into sustainable solutions for Christmas from gift suggestions to recipe suggestions. All businesses mentioned are linked below. Don't forget to share this episode with a friend!

In Part 1 we covered:

  • An quick intro to Cate and how we feel about Christmas.
  • Real vs Fake trees.
  • Decorations: fairy lights, garlands, tinsel, baubles, making your own.
  • Where & how to recycle electronics. Find your local WEEE drop off point here.
  • GIFTS (see detailed description & links below).

Gifts

  • Monitor what you need to get and how much you're spending. I mention this Xmas Gift app. 
  • Ask your friends/family what they'd like or need.
  • Offset their carbon with a charity like Vita.
  • Plant a tree with a charity or company like Grown. 
  • Gift a plant.
  • For kids you can make them a book with scraps of paper, paint a t-shirt, knit a toy.
  • Sustainable clothes, accessories, jewellery or candles. Brands linked below!

Clothes, Bags, Accessories:

  • Jump The Hedges - upcycled tarpaulin to water resistant yoga bags, bum bags etc.
  • Grown - organic cotton t-shirts & jumpers & they plant a tree for every sale.
  • The Upcycle Movement - upcycled wetsuits to bags, earrings, pencil cases etc.
  • Cork Crafts. - traditional cork products (learn about cork in episode one!) such as shoes, bags wallets etc.
  • ReKINDle. - beautiful hand-painted denim jackets, patches & tote bags with earth friendly messages.
  • Fresh Cuts. - shop in Dublin selling their own eco branded clothes among other brands.

Socks & Underwear:

  • Stór - bamboo and organic cotton underwear for men.
  • Rapanui - underwear and clothes and they take their own stock back to recycle.
  • Thought - organic catoon, bamboo & hemp socks, underwear & other clothes.
  • Ecoalf - swimwear and clothes from recycled nylon plastic taken from the ocean and beaches.
  • Stripe & Stare - mostly use modal from beechtrees to make knickers and other clothes and, their knickers are compostable.
  • Patagonia - have a shop in Dublin as well as an online store and sell outdoor wear including sustainable warm socks.
  • Molke - all their colourful underwear is manufactured in Scotland and sustainably sourced.
  • Swedish Stockings - luxury detailed tights and stockings from sustainable material (plus they have this amazing scheme for taking back old tights which I didn't mention in the episode!).

Books:

Jewellery:

Candles:

Technology:

  • Mind your technology to make it last with covers like Pela and anti virus software etc.
  • Purchase second hand from CeX.

Toiletries:

Make sure they'll actually use what you give them!

  • LUSH - all ethical, mostly vegan, take back their plastic containers to recycle into new ones.
  • Bodyshop - cruelty free natural products (though they use a fair bit of plastic).
  • Superdrug - own brand toiletries are all free from animal testing but again, they use plastic.

You can buy sustainable soaps and toiletries (and more!) from these Irish retailers:

Cards:

In Part 2 we continued on discussing:

  • Gift wrapping alternatives.
  • Christmas cards.
  • Dinner.
  • Pets for Christmas.
  • Mental Health.
  • Upcoming Markets.

Dinner:

Upcoming Christmas Markets

CountyDateMarket & VenueHostsTime
CorkEvery SaturdayCork Craft Market @ Princes Street Church, CorkThe Fair Alternative10am-5.30pm
Every SaturdaySkibereen Farmers’ Market9.30am-2pm
13th DecGreen Friday 2019 @ St Peter’s, CorkTBC
DublinDaily until 31st DecMakers Market @ Om Diva BoutiqueOm Diva Boutique10am-6.30pm
Sun: 12-6pm
Sundays until 22nd DecChristmas Market on the Green @ The Well, Stephen's GreenUrban Markets Dublin12-5pm
13-15th DecThe Fumbally Christmas Market @ The Fumbally StablesThe Fumbally Stables13th: 1-8pm
14-15th: 10am - 6pm
14th DecSustainable Fashion Dublin Flea @ The Workman’s ClubSustainable Fashion Dublin12-5pm
14th & 15th DecMade in Stoneybatter @ The Work and WeldersLilliput Stores11am-5pm
14th & 15th DecChristmas Eco Craft MarketNational Botanic Gardens10am-4.30pm
19th & 20th DecA4 Winter MarketA4 Sounds19th: 3-10pm
20th: 12-5pm
Kerry14th & 15th DecOld Market Flea @ The Laurel’s Hall, Killarney11am-5pm
Meath22nd DecMarket @ Sonairte, LaytownSonairteTBC

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Ep 15. Bringing Biodiversity Back into your Garden or Balcony- Collie Ennis

Collie Ennis is a fellow podcaster (check out The Critter Shed!), Science officer with the Herpetological Society of Ireland and a research associate at Trinity University Dublin. He's also a great laugh to have the chats with and a fountain of knowledge. We delve into all things critter related in this episode.

In particular we cover:

  • How Collie came to work with critters.
  • How important invertebrates are to biodiversity.
  • Why invertebrates are struggling today.
  • How climate change is affecting them.
  • The hidden species of Ireland from newts to toads.
  • How to easily turn your garden or balcony into a haven for invertebrates on rented or owned land.
  • What happened at the Tallaght Wetlands.
  • Advice as a community member on how to protect a local patch of land, vital to species, threatened by development.
  • Working with neighbours to turn estate greens into bio-diverse areas.
  • Growing food in a garden full of bugs.

Mentioned:

You can follow Collie on Twitter or Instagram and don't forget to checkout The Critter Shed podcast (who are on Twitter and Facebook).

Let me know what you think of this episode and don't forget to rate, review and share!

 

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What to do for Invertebrates on your land:

  1. Provide a water source either level with the ground or with a ramp of rocks around it so animals can get to and fro. Place in an underwater plant from a local canal or pond.
  2. Plant vines (like Clematis) around your garden so frogs can climb in and out. You can also knock a brick or small hole out of your garden wall on either side so animals like hedgehogs can come and go either direction.
  3. Plant wildflowers recommeded by the Pollinator Plan. If you're renting, plant pots with over flowing plants like nasturtiums.
  4. Pile old decking for bugs like bumble bees. (Let it rot!)
  5. Bring in some rotting wood (from deciduous trees, not pine)and fallen leaves for insects to feed from.
  6. On a balcony, place out a bucket or tray of stagnant water. Plant some wildflowers in pots.
  7. Sit back and enjoy the life around you!
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Ep 11. Cloth Nappies: the “How”s and “Why”s – Annie Byrne, Cloth Nappy Library Ireland

In this episode I give a brief mention about the Amazon Fire and what we can do about it before getting down and dirty with all things nappy related with Annie from Cloth Nappy Library Ireland. Whether you're a current or soon-to-be parent or know someone who is, or just like learning new things, this episode is for you.

The two of us chat about:

Annie's Cleaning Advice

  1. Do a cold rinse first.
  2. Then a hot wash at 60 using whatever detergent you use.
  3. Depending on hardness of water you can do a rinse at the end.
  4. Airdry the outershell.
  5. Most of the padding/boosters can go in the dryer.
  6. That's it!

Events, Groups & Meet-Ups Mentioned:

Where to find some beautiful cloth nappies as mentioned by Annie:

Annie's collection!
Annie's collection!

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Ep 8. A Minimal Waste Lifestyle from Kids to Corporate, Reuzi – Pat Kane

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I had the absolute pleasure of chatting to Pat Kane, the force behind Reuzi. She is doing great work for the planet from providing sustainable products to educational services in schools and businesses on the why's and how's of living a greener lifestyle.

In this episode, we touch on:

  • Pat's childhood in Brazil.
  • How Reuzi came about.
  • How sourcing and shipping products work.
  • The corporate talks, home visits and parties she hosts.
  • Eco bricks, how to make them.
  • Producing minimal waste with babies (nappies and wipes!).
  • Making your own cleaning products.
  • Advice for starting out on your own minimal waste journey
  • The future of Reuzi!
Pat giving one of her talks at a primary school!

Mentioned in this episode:

 

Keep up to date with Pat and Reuzi on Instagram (@reuzi.e), Facebook and Twitter!

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