DiscoverBook of Leaves - Eco Friendly Education & Inspirational Stories
Book of Leaves - Eco Friendly Education & Inspirational Stories

Book of Leaves - Eco Friendly Education & Inspirational Stories

Author: bookofleaves

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Join Irish actor and nature enthusiast, Ceara Carney, as she sits down with other activists, entrepreneurs, vegans, farmers, NGOs and your "everyday people" who are doing their bit to save the planet. From at home solutions to fast fashion or food waste, to the sciences of climate change and biodiversity, there's a wide range of angles covered to tackle this crisis.

Plastic pollution, fracking, melting ice caps, mass extinction. It's terrifying.

BUT. There are so many people out there coming up with or *being* solutions and in this podcast, we hear their stories, learn from them, and walk away with a "leaf" or two (or twenty!) to add to our own way of sustainable living. Whether you're just starting out making small steps to an eco life, or you're the master of zero waste minimalism, this podcast has something for you.

Ireland may be small but we make a mighty impact on Earth. Education and conversation is key, hope is even more so.
43 Episodes
For the final episode of 2020 and the season finale of Book of Leaves, I asked people for stories of a ripple effect they witnessed. Times when people told you that you inspired them to ditch plastic toothbrushes or the other way around, when you were inspired by someone else! Thank you to Vasco, Mark, Conor, Mies, Gerda, Sophie, Elaine, Lucrezia, Katy and Cecilia for sharing your stories! If you have a ripple effect moment, send it to me at or on Instagram or Facebook. I'll most likely do another one of these in the future, but for now, thank you for listening and I can't wait to bring you more leaves to add to your book in 2021. For more show notes in full, visit  Stay safe, and happy new year. Ceara Xx Mentioned: Animal Rebellion Protest. Dairy Is Scary video. Eating Animals by Jonathon Safron Foer. Cork Crafts. Bare Necessities Ireland. Zero Waste Festival. The Story of Stuff. Uniting Communities. Regan Russell. Ed Winters (a.k.a. Earthling Ed). Living Lightly in Ireland blog. Street Feast
For episode 41 I chatted to McKinley, a co-founder of Pax Wholefoods & Eco Goods store in Westport, County Mayo. We cover her journey from Kentucky to Tequila to cloth nappies, all will be explained in the chat... Today, the 7th of December 2020, is also Pax's second birthday! So join me in wishing them all the best and here's to many more. Dear Green Santa is happening at the moment. Tag @dear_green_santa for more! Don't forget to rate, review, share, and if you can, please support this podcast on Patreon ( ) or Buy Me a Coffee ( ). More on:  [04:25] Growing up in Kentucky. [11:45] Coming to Ireland. [14:05] Meeting Kirstin, the co-founder of Pax. [15:25] Setting up a business from scratch as the first local eco store. [18:55] Dublin vs Countryside in eco-consciousness. [21:45] How the pandemic affected business. [26:05] Tips for an eco Christmas this 2020! [29:55] McKinley's experience with cloth nappies (her kids that is, not [32:25] The Edible Landscape Project. [35:35] How McKinley deals with eco anxiety (and the recent USA election anxiety!). [38:35] 2nd birthday plans?  
For episode 40, I had the pleasure to interview Laura Kehoe, an activist, scientist, conservationist - all the ists! She has done, and continues to do, so much for the planet, it's quite mind-blowing. She is a true inspiration and I know I say this about all my episodes, but I really can't wait for you to listen to this one. We cover a lot, it's listed below and you'll find links to campaigns & resources too. I hope you get something out of this, because I sure did. Don't forget to rate, review, share, and if you can, please support this podcast on Patreon ( or Buy Me a Coffee ( More on: [04:50] Laura's path to conservation & activism. [10:35] What it was like to work with chimps & how they're doing now (check out the talk Laura gave!). [15:10] The main issues threatening chimps. [18:05] Ways in which we can help them. [18:30] The work of and what 400 Trees is about. [22:20] What is the Mercosur deal? [30:40] Having effective conversations with people about climate change, and experiencing burnout. [45:30] Managing the stress of fighting for a better world. [47:10] What can WE do regarding the Mercosur deal? [52:35] Green Santa. Resources Mentioned: The Wild Chimpanzee Foundation. Jane Goodall's Roots & Shoots programme. 'Don't Tell Me What to Do' study. The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible book by Charles Eisenstein (available free online!). Extinction Rebellion. Animal Rebellion (Irish page). Here's a video Laura sent on to me about the eco food labels we were talking about.
Episode 39 has none other than top gals Geraldine and Taz from The Useless Project (formerly Sustainable Fashion Dublin). I'm buzzing for you to hear this chat. Follow them on Instagram @theuselessproject or find them on Facebook to keep up to date with all their shenanigans and handy eco tips for life.  Don't forget to rate, review, share, and if you can, please support this podcast on Patreon ( or Buy Me a Coffee ( More on: [04:40] Geraldine & Taz talk about their backgrounds. [13:00] Lockdown happens, what happened to SFD? [16:10] Where the name 'The Useless Project' came from. [18:55] A website you say? [24:40] Basic guide to food sustainability, how to cut down on food waste, seasonal buying & herbicides. [30:20] Sustainable fashion & home-ware. [32:00] Their favourite personal second hand finds for home-ware & fashion [33:40] How to deal when all that's going on gets a bit too much.  
It's time to talk foraging with Dermot Hughes! I've wanted to learn about foraging for so long and I'm delighted to have Dermot here to talk us through it. Foraging has a few various benefits which we'll go into. You can keep up to date with Dermot's adventures on his Facebook page. In the meantime, get your hat and walking stick ready, and enjoy the ride! Don't forget to rate, review, share, and if you can, please support this podcast on Patreon ( or Buy Me a Coffee ( More on: [05:45] Dermot's journey into setting up Forage Ireland. [11:40] The best place to start. [12:50] Sloe berries. [15:30] Wild garlic. [16:25] Edible flowers & garden plants. [17:35] Poisonous flower to avoid. [18:10] What's the point in faoraging when there isn't enough to feed everyone & we can get our food in supermarkets? [23:15] Cow Parsley. [26:15] How to keep an eye out for pollutants in forage areas. [29:15] The 3 types of foragers. [30:55] The guidelines (and code!) around how much you forage. [35:00] Foraging tools & books.] [45:10] Ways to store surplus food & prevent waste. [47:15] Closing thoughts. [50:00] A few Irish foragers! Mentioned: Wild and Free - book. Food for Free - book. Foraging Northern Ireland - Facebook group. Other Irish Foragers: Wicklow Wild Foods. Blackstairs Eco Trails. Hips and Haws Wildcrafts. Howth Foraging. Wild Food Mary. Clare McQuillan.    
Episode 37 is with Aisling Byrne, the founder of Nuw, formally known as The Nu Wardrobe. Nuw is a clothes sharing and swapping app, set up to tackle fast fashion's problems like pollution and workers' rights, which we chat about in full in this interview! Follow Nuw on Instagram @wearenuw, Twitter or Facebook for sustainable fashion inspiration and info on worker's rights.  Don't forget to rate, review, share, and if you can, please support this podcast on Patreon ( or Buy Me a Coffee ( More on: (02:25) Aisling introduce's herself and her background. (09:20) When the idea behind Nuw sparked. (15:10) How the app works. (23:40) The difficulty of finding plus-sized clothes when thrifting, and how Nuw is working to overcome it. (27:05) Plans for bringing menswear on to the app. (29:45) Crowdfunding. (33:50) How to upload clothes to the app. (39:10) Where the line falls by supporting slow fashion and not causing a loss of jobs by boycotting certain companies. (47:20) Closing thoughts. Also Mentioned: Suas educational development volunteer programme. New Frontiers programme (run by enterprise Ireland). Dublin Simon Community. Love Your Clothes.
Pauline McDonogh is the Prevention Officer for the Southern Region Waste Management Office. She is an Environmental Scientist with over 25 years experience in environmental auditing and waste management. She also set up, an amazing online resource for finding out how to dispose of our waste in Ireland. This episode, I chat to her about their upcoming campaign: Reuse Month. Don't forget to rate, review, share, and if you can, please support this podcast on Patreon ( or Buy Me a Coffee (   More on: (03:45) An introduction to Pauline's role and the Southern Waste Management Office. (05:20) A circular Vs linear economy. (08:50) The Irish figures of recycling, composting and how they can be improved. (11:00) The green economy: how jobs can be created. (12:20) Reuse Month, what it's all about. (15:40) What events will be happening. (18:35) Foodwaste in Ireland. (20:15) How their upcycle challenge will work. (23:45) What is (Hint: it's super great!). (27:05) Pauline's personal tips for people trying to tread lighter on the planet. Much love, Ceara X
On the first day of lockdown I moved into a new house within 5km of The Carrot's Tail. The vegan café quickly became a fortnightly highlight for me and my housemates. In this episode, I talk to Sebastian, one of the founders of the business, about his personal journey to veganism to the running of the café. Give them a follow on Instagram @thecarrotstail or Facebook. Don't forget to rate, review, share, and if you can, please support this podcast on Patreon ( or Buy Me a Coffee (
Augustina is a fountain of knowledge when it comes to menstruation. From the eco friendly reuseable products available, to how we should change the relationship we have with our periods, there is nothing we don't cover in this chat. Have a listen or watch on YouTube and make sure you follow We Live Our Values on Instagram (@liveourvalues) or Facebook to keep up to date with Augustina! Don't forget to rate, review, share, and if you can, please support this podcast on Patreon ( or Buy Me a Coffee ( Check out for more. Thank you friends X (03:30) An introduction to Augustina. (05:30) When her awareness of period product waste came about, (09:00) The pricing of reuseable products. (13:50) Reuseable pads with 'a heavy flow'. (17:15) Being discreet with our periods. (18:15) How to wash pads. (25:30) How long to wear them for. (29:50) Menstrual cups. (37:20) Menstrual discs. (39:15) Menstrual sponges & reuseable tampons. (41:25) How people are dying from embarrassment. (43:30) Observing your period for changes regarding health. (47:20) The sexualisation of women & period products. (49:00) The SHAME. (01:06:30) Free Bleeding. Mentioned: Thinx. Put A Cup In It. Lunette. The Vulva Gallery.
In episode 33 I chat to Megan from Native Events about, you guessed it, the events industry! You can stay in the loop on their insta @nativeevents_ or Twitter @NativeEventsIE. Don't forget to rate & share this episode, and if you can, support on our Patreon or Buy Me a Coffee platform would be much appreciated. (03:20) Introduction from Megan. (06:50) What are the sustainability issues in the events industry? (08:50) The solutions Native Events are practicing. (13:25) The eco solution to toilets. (16:00) Dealing with tents & sleeping bags left behind at festivals & Attention Attire. (21:35) What we as festival goers can do to influence events to be greener. (23:40) How Megan feels about the ongoing pandemic's effects. (26:20) Megan's personal advice on living a more sustainable life. (28:35) The process NE have when working with someone's event, big or small. Also Mentioned: Body & Soul. D-Light Studios.
Ruth Leeney is a conservationist, fellow activist with Extinction Rebellion, and vegan, working hard to preserve our under water world. We covered so much in this chat and still didn't get to talk about everything, so I know for sure, there'll be a second interview with Ruth sometime in the future! In the meantime, you can support Ruth's work through Women4Oceans on their website.   Check out for more detailed links & if you can, please support this podcast at or  We covered: (05:40) Ruth's background and when she became eco consious. (08:34) Scuda diving in U.K. Vs Australian waters. (13:44) How the community Ruth works with in Mozambique are being affected by over fishing. (17:40) How the locals have been impacted by Climate Change. (23:44) What, if any work is being done by NGOs or governments to aid and educate in this crisis. (28:40) What is Blue Justice? Read this link for more. (32:35) How we in the first world countries can help. (37:28) Why Ruth first became vegan and how she manages working in coastal fishery communities considering that. (45:15) How to know if the fish you do buy is sustainably sourced. (48:20) How to avoid trawled fish. (49:40) Dynamite fishing. (50:40) The plastic Ruth has seen on her dive adventures around the world. Also Mentioned: Climate Justice by Mary Robinson. Mothers of Invention Podcast.  Climate Queens Podcast. Jaque Custo documentaries. The Unnatural History of the Sea by Callum Roberts. Cyclone Idai. in Mozambique, 2019. Down To Earth Wholefoods shop (as the best stocked wholefoods store in Dublin when Ruth first went vegan!). UK Marine conservation society sustainable fishing list. Vita as an Irish charity assisting local communities in Ethiopia and Eritrea fight against climate change. Women4Oceans, a network of women working on conservation and research that Ruth is involved with. ParCo, a charity that does beach clean ups around Vilankulo in Mozambique. Protect Africa's Sawfishes, Ruth's own research project she works on. Don't forget to please rate, review & subscribe! X
Episode 31 is with Lynn Haughton from The Upcycle Movement. The ability she has to re-imagine 'waste' and her drive for sharing the knowledge she's learned is nothing short of amazing! Make sure to follow her on instagram @the_upcycle_movement, Twitter @upcycle_ireland and Facebook. If you can, please support this podcast on Patreon ( or rate, review & share. X For all shownotes, check out: (04:20) The difference between UPcycling and REcycling. (06:15) What inspired Lynn's eco journey & the start of The Upcycle Movement. (13:40) Why wetsuits? (19:35) How Lynn gets the wetsuits. (21:40) The process from receiving the wetsuit to shipping out a new product. (26:20) Seal Rescue Ireland. (31:10) The strangest things Lynn has upcycled and other upcycling companies. (36:15) Lynn's bird box family (the bird-box is called 'Wireless CCD Bird Box Camera Kit' from UK Wildlife Cameras.
It's finally time to talk toothbrushes! In this episode, as part of Plastic Free July, I chat to Joe & Niamh about what inspired them to set up Bambooth, an Irish bamboo toothbrush company. "Every year, 3.5 billion toothbrushes are used, at least. And every toothbrush that's ever been used, still exists today." Check out for more links and if you can, please support this podcast at or share it with a friend! We cover:  (06:15) An introduction to Niamh & Joe. (10:00) What is was like becoming entrepreneurs all of a sudden. (11:40) How toothbrushes have been bad for the planet. (12:50) The moso bamboo that's used. (14:05) The nylon bristles & how to recycle them. (19:10) How often you should be changing your toothbrush! (20:05) Why the toothbrushes are colourful! (24:00) How hard it is to get stock into bigger shops & chain supermarkets. (27:20) How they find the time and energy to run Bambooth with their other jobs & courses. (30:10) What Joe & Niamh do outside of Bambooth to live more eco friendly. Resources mentioned: Dirty Business documentary on plastic being sent abroad. Blue Planet. Drowning in Plastic documentary. Jane Goodall Institute. Coral Reef Alliance. Marine Conservation Society. Plastic Oceans.  
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. Check out for more show notes and don't forget to rate and review! You can also support this podcast at (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: Teagasc. River basin management plan. Aisling's article on food security.  Thanks for listening! Ceara X
In this episode I chat to Edwin Alblas on behalf of Climate Case Ireland about their upcoming case in the Supreme Court on the 22nd of June. Don't forget to sign their petition: Check out for more links. If you can, please support this podcast on Patreon ( Ceara x (04:45) An introduction of Edwin. (08:30) Who Friends of the Irish Environment are. (10:20) What the Climate Case is about. (14:05) How the previous hearings went. (18:20) Examples of other success stories around climate change cases (Urgenda Case). (23:15) The financial cost of Ireland not meeting EU targets. (25:55) How FIE are raising funds to do this case. (Donate here)  (27:55) What happens if we lose the case. (32:50) How Edwin deals with constant knockbacks, being an activist. (38:00) Why FIE also hold talks and workshops. (43:00) The positive results for tackling climate change. Also Mentioned: Ireland's Mitigation plan. The Fumbally Stables. Jenny McNally (McNally Family Farm Dublin).
Episode 27 is with Mary Reynolds who chats about We Are the Ark, an initiative to encourage people to give back some land to nature. Check out their website ( and join the Facebook group for more information and support! Please rate & review this podcast and if you'd like to support this podcast you can do so on or x More on Notes: (04:50) What inspired We Are The Ark. (08:05) Where the name came from. (09:00) The importance of putting a sign on your ark. (11:25) How much land is 'enough' for an ark. (13:30) What it means to be a guardian of the earth as opposed to gardener. (16:00) Is an ark compatible with pets and children? (19:00) Getting an ark started. (22:40) Giving sovereignty back to the land. (25:00) Growing food in a wild garden.  Learn more about forest gardening here! (30:35) Restoring your land to what it was before. (34:20) How to go about turning public or government land into arks. (36:30) How we can make sure our artificial outside lights stop damaging wildlife. (38:45) Closing thoughts from Mary. (43:20) What we need going forward to get systematic change. Resources mentioned: The Garden Awakenin book; Mary's TEDx Talk. From What Is to What If by Rob Hopkins. Extinction Rebellion. If you like this episode, you'll also like: Episode 12 Why it’s time to join the Rebellion- Cormac Nugent, Extinction Rebellion. Episode 15 Bringing Biodiversity Back into your Garden or Balcony- Collie Ennis. Episode 25 Bia Hero & Grow Your Own Food – Sinéad, XR.
For episode 26, I chat to Fiona from All Things Fiona Lily about re-imagining clothes destined for landfill and setting up her own zero waste coffee shop in Donegal. Follow Fiona on instagram @allthingsfionalily to keep up to date with orders and get some positive content in your feed! If you'd like to support this podcast, you can buy me a coffee or check out my patreon. Don't forget to rate and review. X We chat about: [4:43] When Fiona became more eco-aware. [07:55] The journey from working in fast to slow fashion. [10:20] How much unsold clothes are sent to landfill. [11:30] How Fiona finds her stock. [16:05] How the 'faulty' jumpers are repaired. [16:55] The conflicting worry that stock might dry up. [18:30] Where the positive designs come from. [21:00] The setting up of her café Simply Green. [33:30] Quick guide to washing clothes with polyester in them. Also Mentioned: Organic centre training courses. Ninecrows. Whitehill eco farm. GuppyFriend. Cora Ball. 
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. You can support this podcast on Patreon or a once off donation on Buy Me a Coffee. Thank you! 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: Vegetables for the Irish Garden by Klaus Laitenberger. Small Changes in Drumcondra. All Ireland Pollinator Plan. We Are The Ark.  Please rate, subscribe, review & share!
While toilet paper has been disappearing off the shelves, a lot of people have made the plunge to switch to a paperless toilet routine by opting for a bidet instead. So I thought I'd research the differences between the two with the environment in mind (but I also touch on money, health & cleanliness!). So listen in, or watch on YouTube, to find out how much of an impact your carbon buttprint is Don't forget to subscribe, rate, review and you can support me on my Patreon here. Every little bit helps, thank you! X (03:35) Definition & History of the Bidet. (07:15) Our use of toilet paper. (13:17) Pros & cons of toilet paper. (17:35) Water Usage. (Watch this Netflix documentary on the Earth's water supply here.) (21:17) Pros & cons of the bidet. (27:19) Types of bidets. (31:24) Flushable Wipes. (32:45) Vascó's & Cecilia's personal bidet stories. (37:00) How much resources an Irish person could save switching to a bidet considering we use on average 10.5kg per capita a year. (38:20) Eco toilet paper options. Buy Eco Toilet Paper: Down2Earth Materials. Reuzi. (Listen to Pat in episode 8 here!) Cheeky Panda paper at  Little Green Shop. Who Gives A Crap. Tushy. GreenPeace guide to Toilet Paper Brands. For resources, check out  
OK, you may have forgotten what day of the week it is but the Easter Bunny has not! This Sunday, the 12th of April, is Easter Sunday. This is a holiday that, like many others, has good intentions but so much waste involved and is linked to the heavy carbon footprint of chocolate. In this episode, using the research I've done I delve into: A very ...very... brief history on Easter.  A look at the carbon footprint of chocolate.  Consumption of Easter Eggs in Ireland & the waste involved. Eco friendly treasure hunts (buy reusable wooden eggs here). Ethical decor and dinner suggestions as opposed to eggs and lamb. Reports & Surveys Used: Euromonitor Chocolate Report. Euro 2017 Chocolate Stats. University of Manchester report on the Environmental Impacts of Chocolate.  Repak Easter Survey.  Don't forget to rate, review and share this episode and you can support the podcast here.  Ceara X
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