News for November 2017

Have you seen our latest newsletter?

We are excited to share some news with you. Read on to find a letter addressing the changes and the next steps for the Taranaki Environmental Education Trust from the Chair, Boyd Benton, photos from the 25th Anniversary celebration, and the last workshops before the summer holiday. Not to mention a whole calendar of great events not to be missed in our region. 

 Graham, Founder, and Kati Freeman, Trust General Manager, catch up together at the Taranaki Environmental Trust's 25th Anniversary Celebration. 

Graham, Founder, and Kati Freeman, Trust General Manager, catch up together at the Taranaki Environmental Trust's 25th Anniversary Celebration. 

Future Living Skills Event

Come and hear from local and national experts on what it means to live sustainably!

When: Saturday 28th October 2017

Time: 4:45pm - 6:30pm

Where: TSB Community Trust House, 21 Dawson Street New Plymouth

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What: Experts talk about better ways to live more sustainably. 

5:00pm - Kati Freeman, General Manager of the Taranaki Environmental Education - Introductions.

5:10pm - Daniel Wooley of local sustainable design company GreenBridge with present 'Designing an Eco-property'. Daniel has a Degree in industrial design and previously worked in Australia and London. Prior to founding Greenbridge he ran his own design and project management business in Wellington.

5:45pm - Rhys Taylor, founder and National Coordinator of the Sustainable Living Education Trust and co-chair of the NZ Association for Environmental Education will present ‘Future Living Skills - starting in your house and garden’. Among his many other roles, he tutors in South Canterbury for the Future Living Skills courses, is a trustee of Sustainable South Canterbury Trust and works on local government waste minimisation education. 

Please be seated by 5pm.


Great Success for Seedsavers Taranaki - Sale at Newstart Gardens

This past Wednesday, Seedsavers Taranaki held a sale for their first round of open-pollinated, localised seed, saved by growers from all over our region. These seedlings are adapted to our climate, are generally more resistant to pests and disease and they can be better for our nutrition as well.

Read more about why locally saved seed is beneficial. 


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Last Round of New Plymouth Workshops for 2017

Tēna koutou,

Kickstart your summer with some new learning opportunities and meet others who are on the same buzz.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the 2017 Sustainable Taranaki workshops. Your support has been invaluable to the growth and development of this program brought to life by the Taranaki Environmental Education Trust. We've had quite an impressive response, with most workshops selling out in the first few days, and we've had some fantastic facilitators who've contributed invaluable knowledge to help us all live more sustainably. 

We hope you will join us for our last round of workshops, and if you have any questions, suggestions for future workshops, or overall comments about our program, please be in touch by emailing

Zero Waste Cooking

This our first workshop where the participants contribute to the design and content. Once you have purchased your ticket, our Workshops Coordinator, Erin, will be in touch with you to find out what foods typically go to waste or wind up as leftovers in your fridge at home. From this feedback our facilitator, Annabel, will use her creativity and know-how to put together content for the workshop that directly matches the needs expressed by the 15 individuals attending. Annabel will share her ideas relevant to the requests and provide simple ways to use the food that commonly ends up in the scrap bin. 

There will be cooking demos, recipes to try for later, and obviously lots of food to eat during the workshop!  Explore the different parts of commonly used vegetables and learn new ways to use them and turn them into healthy meals. The children at the kindergarten grow all vegetables that will be used in this demonstration where the workshop will be held. 

10 tickets are still available for purchase  HERE!

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Edible Weeds Workshop

We all have them... but do we use them? Learn from locally situated naturopath, Kelly Phillips, and discover a plethora of ways to make use of your weeds.  Learn to safely identify them, discover the right places to gather spray-free varieties, and acquire cooking techniques to incorporate these into your regular diet. Discover the medicinal properties of several varieties and find ways to support the health of you and your family. This workshop will be held at a garden featured on last year's Sustainable Backyards Trail and those who attend will gain the confidence to identify and utilise their all-too-familiar weeds that may have once been cast aside. Not to mention, a beautiful weed tea will be served!

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Edible Weeds Sold Out! Email to let us know you'd like a ticket if someone cancels. 


Read more about our South Taranaki Workshops and our Previous Workshops.

If you have any suggestions, please email

Sustainable Backyards Trail 2017 - Featured Stories

This year Sonja Slinger will be featuring the owners and their properties of the Sustainable Backyards Trail 2017 to take place the last week this October and first week in November (28th Oct - 8th Nov).

A couple of Americans in love with New Plymouth and their lifestyle are opening their town garden to the public come spring. Sonja Slinger takes a sneak preview ...Sonja Slinger: American couple take on new gardening ...


Goldbush Micro Farm Workshops and Tours

This September, Michelle and Jared open their Micro Farm to the community for a workshop and a Micro Farm experience at a very affordable rate. If you didn't have a reason to drive to Hawera, now you do! Their property and the amount of work that they'v done in such a short period of time is both inspiring and astounding. 

Take a look at their flyers to find out more and to book your place on their upcoming workshop and tour dates. 

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Stratford High Undertake Waste Audit

The Impact team helped students at Stratford High undertake a waste audit this week, assessing what materials in their waste stream could be diverted from landfill. In particular, the group  are interested in the amount of food waste that is generated by the school, and how this could be used to feed chooks they would like to introduce on site at the school. Three days of waste from the school was collected, sorted, weighed and analysed by a team of 25 students. They found that 47kg of food waste is generated per week. That would feed quite a few chooks! Well done Stratford High on taking the initiative to look at their waste stream and what can be done to divert it to a good use.

 Approx 50kg of Food waste produced per week

Approx 50kg of Food waste produced per week

Bubble House Build Completed! Upcycle Taranaki

Marfell Community Cafe Bubble House

by Upcycle Taranaki

The last few months has seen a huge community effort coming together to complete the Bubble House located at the Marfell Community Cafe. It has been a fun project starting and ending with Pepper Construction who helped get the frame in at the beginning and put the roof on to finish off the project. In between, Upcycle Taranaki has been coordinating with up to 60 volunteers from Taranaki Timebankers, New Plymouth Volunteering, the Wolfpack, and locals, to Highlands Intermediate and Francis Douglas pupils offering their time. Approximately 300 hours was required to get to the final product; a community asset to benefit the local Marfell Community by providing them a greenhouse in the Community Gardens....

At the same time, approximately 1000 bottles have been saved from entering the rubbish and recycling process creating a positive environmental benefit. Steve and Upcycle Taranaki would like to thank everyone who helped out along the way with special mention to Ruth from Tu Tama Wahine and Marie from Volunteering New Plymouth and a huge shout out to Trent the volunteer gardener who turned up on most Bubble House working bees and did a lot of work on the Bubble House, and in the gardens themselves. We look forward to keeping everyone involved and informed of future projects through Facebook where our upcycling community can stay connected. 


 Steve Bates celebrating the beginning stages of his bubble house project. 

Steve Bates celebrating the beginning stages of his bubble house project. 

Sustainable Shopping - ST workshops

The Sustainable Shopping workshop will be led by two local experts, Lucinda Searle, mum and co-op expert, and Lorella Doherty, the creator of Rethinking Plastic Revolution.  This workshop will provide insight around sustainable packaging and shopping options to make trips to the grocery store more environmentally friendly and affordable, as well as learn the ins and outs of setting up a bulk buying group or co-op. Not to mention, you will learn to make your own beeswax wrap to take home and use in lieu of plastic. There are 10 Tickets left so be quick to secure your place. 

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DIY Natural Body Products - Sustainable Taranaki Workshop

Learn to make your own body products as Krystel Watts from Watts Good Creations demonstrates how to whip together a sugar scrub, lip balm, and lotion bar. We are anticipating another sell out with only 14 tickets left. If you are going to her DIY Non Toxic Cleaners workshop, this will be another to add to your good time for environmentally friendly and cost saving gift giving this holiday season!   


Read more about the benefits of all natural beauty products.

 What is different about my WGC handmade soaps?

What is different about my WGC handmade soaps?

September Message from Sustainable Taranaki's GM

Happy Spring to all of you! August has been a productive month for the Trust, with two booked out Winter Pruning and Chickens workshops (thankfully with no rain!), our Impact team out supporting some great groups of young people in South Taranaki, and lots of work behind the scenes to launch October's 2017 Sustainable Backyards Trail. We're excited to share the website for this exciting flagship event with you for the first time in this newsletter!

Many thanks to the following organisations for their support of our work over the coming months: the Ministry of Youth Development, the Lions Foundation, the Southern Trust, and some great sponsors for the Sustainable Backyards Trail (announcements coming soon).

I attended a great Study Tour of Resource Recovery Centres in Auckland at the end of August, learning more to inform the design of another major project the Trust is involved with: the Community Reuse and Recycle Centre in New Plymouth, where we'll run resource education programs from mid 2018. Thanks to all the inspiring organisations who shared their experience with the 34 of us on the tour, pictured here in our high vis brights!

Ngā mihi,

Facilitator: IMPACT Youth Environmental Action Program

Facilitator: IMPACT Youth Environmental Action Program

Applications should be emailed to the General Manager of the Taranaki Environmental Education Trust at and include a cover letter, CV and names and contact details of two referees. Please address the key selection criteria above. Applications close at midnight Sunday 21 May 2017.