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Book of Leaves

Author: bookofleaves

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Each episode I interview business owners, activists and other everyday people, to learn how they contribute to living sustainably. By educating ourselves, we can then take a leaf from their book to add to our own way of living.
21 Episodes
Happy New Year!In this delightfully short episode I suggest 6 resolutions you can take your pick of for 2020, or adopt them straight away if that's your jam! I also give a quick summary and shout out to all the guests I've had in 2019 and of course to you guys, the listeners. Thank you all so much. Catch you in the new year!   Mentioned: Vita Ireland. Greta Thunberg.  Fridays for Future. Extinction Rebellion.  Veganuary. 
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. Don't forget to rate, review & share! X
In this episode I interview Holly Hughes from Vita Ireland, a charity focusing on climate justice and human rights at the same time. Their model is one many could learn from. Have a listen, rate, review & let me know what you think. If you'd like to support this podcast, check out my patreon! x We chatted about: Holly’s background before working with Vita. Who Vita are & what they do. What life is life for communities in Ethiopia and Eritrea. The importance of community led projects. How carbon credits and offsetting carbon works. How their investment programme works. Making sure your offsets are accredited by Gold Standard. How to support Vita: gift packages and impact fund. Mentioned: Goverment Climate Action Plan (intent to offset international air travel page 91). Rat Kane in Reuzi. Fionnuala Jones. Sustainable Fashion Dublin. Roz Purcell. Keogh’s Crisps.  Irish Potatoe Coalition. Dublin City Council. Noms. Follow Vita on Instagram, Twitter & Facebook and follow Holly on her Instagram here. 
In Part 2 of our Eco Christmas episode, myself and Cate continue on to talk all things Christmassy. If you haven't already go back and give part 1 a listen! And don't forget to share this podcast with a friend or support it on patreon if you can. x We continued on discussing: Gift wrapping alternatives. Christmas cards. Dinner. Pets for Christmas. Mental Health. Upcoming Markets. Cards: LoopLoop Crafts - Seeded Wildflower Cards. Nadine Love Ink - Tree Free, Dublin made cards. Dinner: Keep This Cracker - reusable cracker available at The Conscious Christmas Store.   PlanetnSustie - compostable partyware. Sova Vegan Butcher - 'Turkey' Roulade. The Happy Pear - Veggie & Vegan recipes. BOSH! - vegan recipes. Tofurky - vegan roast available in most health food stores. Moodley Manor - Irish company making plant based meat substitutes. Check out for our market spreadsheet & more info! x
Episode 16 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 recipes. All businesses mentioned are linked below. Don't forget to share this episode with a friend and support this podcast on patreon if you can! x 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. Rapuni - 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. Strip & 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!). 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: Reuzi. Little Green Shop. The Kind co. Minimal Waste Grocery. Eco Annie Pooh. Green Outlook.  Books: Chapters. Thriftify.  The Book Depository. Jewellery: Chupi. Golden Forest Boutique. Stonechat Jewellers. The Messy Brunette. ThinkThreads. Candles: Candella. Emma's So Naturals. Technology: Mind your technology to make it last with covers like Pela and anti virus software etc. Purchase second hand from CeX. Checkout for info on upcoming markets & more. Don't forget to listen to Part 2! X
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: Herpetological Society of Ireland. All-Ireland Pollinator Plan (Jane Stout).   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!  
Emma Gleeson is a professional declutterer with a background in fashion. The research she did into the psychology of consuming things makes this episode an interesting one! We chatted about a whole host if things including: How Emma came to work as a sustainable advocate. The psychology behind why we buy things and why it makes us feel good. How Emma's approach to decluttering works. Where things should go when you're letting go of them. Why we find it hard to part with some "sticky" items. Dealing with stuff on specific holidays. Organizing your children's toys. Decluttering your wardrobe. Tips for your mental health while decluttering. Charities & Businesses Mentioned: The Environmental Justice Foundation. (Listen to Pat from Reuzi's episode here). Sustainable Fashion Dublin. Friends of the Earth. Focus Ireland. Stripe & Stare. Clutter Bug. Information Resources Mentioned: Zygmunt Bauman - Liquid Modernity. Hedonic Treadmill. Alain de Botton - Status Anxiety (Book). Naomi Klein - No Logo (Book). Lucy Siegle - To Die For (Book). Kate Fletcher - Sustainable Fashion Researcher & Writer (Local Wisdom Project).   Please don't forget to rate, review and share! 
I had the absolute pleasure of visiting Seal Rescue Ireland in Courtown to interview Melanie. Her extensive knowledge of conservation made this a really enjoyable educational episode, although sometimes very saddening due to how Seals are suffering at the hands of humans. Have a listen, share it around and be the eyes and ears of SRI when you're out along the coast. We covered: Melanie's background before coming to work for Seal Rescue Ireland. Facts about the seals that are native to Ireland and how their populations have fared over the years. Why SRI end up needing to rehabilitate seals. How pollutants end up in the sea and what we can do to stop them. The importance planting trees, particularly Riparian buffers, has on the health of the sea. The relationship between seal conservationists and the fishing industry. The benefits of Eco-Tourism. How SRI rehabilitate their seals and releases them. What to do if you see a seal on the beach: Stay at least 100 metres away. Call SRI's hotline number: +353(0)87 1955393. Keep your dog on a short lead. Do NOT approach the seal or try drag it into the sea! Adopt a Seal here. Your adoption certificate will be e-mailed to you as well as regular updates! Mentioned in Intro: Climate Queens Ireland. Fridays for Future Ireland. Extinction Rebellion Ireland and Rebellion Week (7th-13th October).
For episode 12 I asked Cormac Nugent for an interview on behalf of Extinction Rebellion Ireland. It's a long episode but you don't have to listen to it all in one go! Cormac has been with the group for a few months and hosts some of their public 'Heading for Extinction' talks. He knows an awful lot about the climate crisis situation and more importantly, what we need to do about. We cover a LOT in this episode so it's longer that usual but you won't notice the time going. We sure didn't! Some of the highlights we talked about are: How Cormac became involved in Environmentalism. The Montreal Protocol: protecting the ozone. Who Extinction Rebellion are, their demands and values. Why they do disruptive actions. What The Climate Emergency the Irish government declared means for us and the climate emergency measures bill. A brief science of the climate crisis: previous extinctions, carbon absorption by the ocean, coral reefs, soil degradation. The temperature rise, why and how it happens, what needs to be done to stop it. Tree cover in Ireland and the problem with sitka spruce. Our carbon budget. What a just transition means. Electric cars Vs public transport. The top 3 causes of climate change. Erica Chenoweth’s studies including the 3.5% rule. Rebellion Week. What you have to do to risk arrest. Examples of affinity groups: Plant Bandits and The Bumble Bees. Advice for battling eco-anxiety. How to get involved: Social Media Channels: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Joining your local group (or setting one up if there isn't one!). Via your College/University XR society. Again, you can set one up if there isn't one! By attending local Heading for Extinction talks, NVDA workshops and monthly meetings, all events are listed on their Facebook page here. Share XR's events and posts online and with your friends and family. Donate to their GoFundMe by clicking here. Join protests in person. Find and join your nearest strike on the 20th of September! [Sign up to be a steward here.] School-age students have self-organised marches around the country and they need you to attend. Dublin: Gathering 12:00 at Customs House, marching at 12:30 to Merrion Sq., rallying 13:00 - 14:00 at Merrion Sq. in front of Govt. buildings Cork City: Gathering on Grand Parade St. from 12:00, marching at 12:20. Kerry (Tralee): Meet at County Buildings, Ratass, at 9am Clare (Ennis): Meet at The Height, O’Connell Square at 9am Drogheda: Demonstrating from 13:00 outside St. Peters's Church, West St. Galway: Demonstrating from 13:00 - 16:00 in Eyre Square Navan: Demonstrating from 13:00 - 15:00 at the Market Square Limerick: Marching from Arthur's Quay Park at 13:00, finishing at City Hall. Dundalk: Demonstrating from 12:30 - 15:00 in the Market Square Kenmare: Demonstrating from 9:00 - 13:00 outside the Courthouse Dingle: 12pm at the Town Park Other Causes to Suport: Climate Connect. Friends of the Earth. Stop Climate Chaos. Educational Resources: Latest IPBES Report (Biodiversity Loss). IPCC Reports. Cowspiracy
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. (Check out for shownotes with pictures.) The two of us chat about: A bit about Annie, her background and why she made the switch to cloth nappies. The different types of cloth nappies from Birth to Potty to All in Ones (see the pic below!). How often you change and clean them (and how to clean them!). The try before you buy scheme. How the loans at Cloth Nappy Library Ireland work. Using reusable wipes/cloths. Advice for parents on a sustainable journey. Donating nappies. Events, Groups & Meet-Ups Mentioned: Nappucino Coffee mornings (find out more in your local Cloth Nappy Chat facebook group). Earth Baby Fair. Baby Wearing Ireland - Wear a Hug Fair. Friends of Breastfeeding. Cloth Nappy Chat (Facebook). Tidy Towns Leixlip - Be Green Fair. The Baby Market. Where to find some beautiful cloth nappies as mentioned by Annie: The Filling Shop (Galway). Happy Baby (Gorey). Earth Mother (online store).
Episode 10 is here already! This one specifically looks at plastic and I talk to Claudia Tormey about it. Claudia works for Friends of the Earth and runs their #SickOfPlastic campaign. Have a listen to learn about: How and why Claudia came to work for FOE. Who are Friends of the Earth & what do they do? Why plastic is such a problem. Fracking & drilling for oils in Ireland. The LNG terminals (take action here!). How to Shop and Drop. What's been happening to our waste. Advice on how keep it together as an environmental activist. Take action by signing their Sick of Plastic campaign petition here! Other campaigns & causes mentioned: Voice charity. Scoop Foundation. Young Friends of the Earth. ChangeX.   Media Mentioned: Erin Brockovich the movie. Active Hope by Joanna Macy & Chris Johnstone.   Don't forget to rate & review!  
It's time to awaken our inner child with Sharon from Jiminy! This woman is an inspiration for anyone who wants to just do something for the planet from micro activism to evoking huge changes within corporations. We chatted about: Sharon’s background before Jiminy. What’s the exact problem with toys? The challenges Sharon faced of finding eco friendly toys. What are Toy Miles? The criteria products must fill before Sharon orders them. How she encourages her suppliers to do plastic free shipping. Borrow kits, how they work and how you can help! Personal advice from Sharon as to how we can help the planet.   Sharon's Eco Influences: Zero Waste Ireland Facebook Group. Trash Is For Tossers. Online Activism Course with Pachamama Alliance. Living Lightly in Ireland. The Crafty Mum.   Products & Other Businesses Mentioned: Playpress. Bioblo. Binabo. Coco Den H'Aut Shadow Theatre Sets. Bio Glitter. Piggy Paint Nail Polish. myfibo Boomerangs. Wooden Beads. Green Earth Organics. St Anne’s Park Market. Susty Planet (Compostable Partyware). You can also find Jiminy's list of Stockists across Ireland on their website here. If you want to get in touch with Sharon, be it as an eco toy producer, potential stockist or to offer a party kit, her e-mail is or contact here via the Jiminy Website. Don't forget to follow Jiminy on Instagram and Facebook too!    Please rate, review and share this episode with a friend! Ceara X
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! Mentioned in this episode: Seal Rescue Ireland. Cloth Nappy Library Ireland. The Bernard Shaw.   Keep up to date with Pat and Reuzi on Instagram (@reuzi.e), Facebook and Twitter!   Don't forget to rate, review and share! Ceara X
Episode 7 was recorded a few months ago with Dr. Ailis Brosnan, I've just been waiting for the right time to release it! We chat about: The basic food intake and tips she suggests for eating a plant based diet. Her diet in regards to her active lifestyle. A brief look into raising vegan children. What services she offers for people wanting to improve their health or physique or transition to a plant-based diet. The road she followed to working in her field of health psychology and sports and also transitioning to vegan diet. Her Mizen Head to Malin Head journey, find out how she got on here! Check out Dr. Brosnan's website here where you can find access to her online coaching and services. Resources mentioned: The Vegan Plate by Brenda Davis. EAT-Lancet Commission Report. Cronometer Nutrition Tracking App.   Don't forget to review & share! - Ceara x
In episode 6 we talk to Simone Tiso, a multi-talented human, who takes the time to share some of the research he's built up over the years on sustainable eating. We cover: Simone's background in Italy. How he came to live in Ireland. The differences he noticed in sustainability between here and Italy. What The Lead Forge is and why he set it up. How relying on dairy and beef in Ireland is affecting us. A brief look at Factory Farming in Ireland. The Almond tree problem in California. How Positively Eventful came about. Basic tips for becoming or eating vegan. Resources mentioned in the episode: An Inconvenient Truth. Cowspiracy. The China Study. Anonymous for the Voiceless. Dr. Gregor - How not to Die. Dr. McDougall. Dr. Colin Campbell. IPCC Intergovernmental Governmental Panel on Climate Change Report World Watch report on Livestock and Climate Change (On the Longshadow of Livestock report by the UN FAO)   Businesses Mentioned: Lion.L Raw Kitchen. Little Blue Frog Chocolates.  Cork Crafts. Malay Kitchen.   Don't forget to review & share! - Ceara x
"The thing about plastics, they don't break down, they break up." Episode 5 is all about the plastic pollution invading our coastlines and how it's getting there. We talk to Richard from Clean Coasts to learn how to deal with it! In this episode, we cover: Who Clean Coasts are and what they do. How Richard came to work for Clean Coasts. Where the litter on our coastlines is coming from. The effect on deep sea creatures.  What we as individuals can do to stop this plastic invasion. Think Before You Flush, 2 Minute Beach Clean and Beat the Microbeads campaigns. The EU's plan to ban single use plastics. Interested in volunteering with Clean Coasts? You can get in touch with them here. Don't forget to share this podcast with a friend, rate & review! -Ceara
In this episode I interview entrepreneur Rónán Ó'Dálaigh. You'll soon hear Rónán is a man of many ideas regarding social change. He has been involved with several initiatives and business thus far such as SEDco, Impact Events and the star of the show: Thriftify, a one stop online shop for second books in charity shops nationwide. In this episode, we talk about: How Rónán realised he had an interest in entrepreneurship and positive social change from a young age. Advice for entrepreneurs starting out. His background in big corporations. Why SEDco started and what they aim to achieve. What Thriftify is and how it works. If you'd like to get in touch with Rónán, you can e-mail him at or visit their website 20% Discount code: Failte20 Make sure to follow them on Facebook, Instagramand Twitter too! Mentioned in this episode: SEDco. Thriftify. Impact Events. Changemakers Exchange Network. Catalyst Events Series. Social Entrepreneurs Ireland. Social Innovation Fund. Community Finance Ireland. Irish Social Enterprise Network. Connect The Dots. Don't forget to rate, subscribe and review the podcast!
In this episode, we interview Peadar, the man behind Small Changes, a zero waste shop now in Drumcondra, Dublin where you can get all sorts of refills and organic, local products. We talk about: Peadar's background leading up to opening Small Changes in Gorey, then Drumcondra. The research and criteria products undergo before they reach the shelf. Where their fruit and vegetables come from. Getting involved with community gardens. Convincing suppliers to go plastic free. The ripple effect of making small changes and grassroot movements. Advice for people looking to live more sustainably. The future of Small Changes. Mentioned in this episode: Green Earth Organics Beechlawn Farm Dublin Community Growers Dublin City Farm The National Botanic Gardens King of Kefir If you're interested in collaborating with Small Changes, you can e-mail Peadar at Before May 24th 2019, Irish Citizens should check out this link by Stop Climate Chaos to make sure their TDs are considering the Climate.Please subscribe, rate and review!
"When you know, you can't unknow." In this episode with Aoibhéann, we cover: What inspired her to live sustainably. What's happening (or not happening) with Irish politics in regards to the planet and how we can effect change in our government. Mary Robinson. Personal choices we can make to help the environment. Businesses, causes and incentives mentioned: Sustainable Fashion Dublin The NU Wardrobe Stop Climate Chaos Kaffee Form Coffee Cups (Available to purchase in Dublin in Beo in Stoneybatter among other places!) MoonCup Thinx Documentaries: The True Cost (Available on Netflix)   Follow Aoibhéann on Instagram: @aoibheannmccann   Don't forget to rate, review, subscribe and share!
In this episode we meet Vasco Carto, the man behind Cork Crafts. We'll be covering: Vasco's background, from Portugal to County Cork. How cork products are made, from tree to shelf. How cork compares to leather. The unsustainable side of the cork industry: illegal labour and cheap production How to diffrenciate between 'counterfeit' cork and legitimate, sustainable cork. Follow him on Instagram and Facebook to keep an eye out for his upcoming markets. And let us know if you have any feedback! Ceara x
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