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.
38 Episodes
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 ( <3 We cover: (02:45) Sebastian introduces himself. (04:55)How the switch to environmentalism and veganism came about for Sebastian. (09:35) How & why The Carrot's Tail came about. (13:20) The relationship with other vegan businesses in Dublin. (15:30) Addressing the balance of supporting small businesses and vegan options in big chains. (18:50) The initial reception The Carrot's Tail received when opened. (23:45) How they feel about the future post lockdown. (26:35) Tips for managing food waste at home or commercially. (34:10) Tips for anyone wanting to reduce their animal product intake or go vegan. This episode is also available on YouTube. Check out for more! x
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: 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 www.bookofleavespodcast.comNotes: (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
The River Poddle runs through Dublin City, sometimes underground, so not a lot of people know of its existence. Róisín McAleer, a teacher and member of Crumlin Community Clean Up group, tells us about the importance of the river and how it's being threatened right now. Have a listen and don't forget to sign the petition here! Everything else mentioned is linked below. The Planning documents are available to view here. Taking Action! Contact the River Poddle Flood Alleviation Scheme here or email them at with your concerns for this project. Use to find your local TDs and contact them too. You can also copy and paste your email and send it to: - Commissioner of Floodrisk Management - Director of Floodrisk Management Get Involved With: Irish Wildlife Trust. BirdWatch Ireland. Extinction Rebellion. One Future. If you'd like to support this podcast, you can do that here. Don't forget to rate, review & share! Ceara X
Welcome to the first Book of Leaves podcast episode of 2020. What a time to be alive eh? I wanted to ease into this season with a little message of positivity in this crazy time. I talk a little bit about mental health and suggestions for things to do to keep you busy and also talk about how it's OK to do absolutely nothing! And I read a poem for you because why not?I'll link particular suggestions I made below so you can find them. Stay home, stay safe, sending you lots of love. X Documentary Suggestions: Cowspiracy. The True Cost. Minimalism. Charity Suggestions: Dublin Simon Community. Alone. Childline. Irish Cancer Society. Civic Theatre Artist Emergency Relief Fund. Gardening suggestions, check out Episode 15 for ideas to help biodiversity. Download or sign up to Duolingo to learn a language.  Follow accounts like Sustainable Fashion Dublin for upcycling activities to do at home. If you can afford to contribute to the running of this podcast, you can do that here!X  
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. 
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