Sustainability, our earth, our animals, our plants, our people, our little YOGA festival and no-waste nomads with The Rubbish Trip.

Photo Credit: Ales Krivec from Unsplash

So we at wild & grace like to do ‘our’ or ‘a’ bit towards leading a more sustainable life.

We’ve written and shared a collection of stories about our journey doing this, and a dear pioneering or walking the talking friend, Sarah Williams (Yoga Teacher, Educarer, Creative and Being-Carer extraordinaire).

You can find those stories here:

and here:

and here:

And also (a new conjunction shared to us via Premajyoti’s puja practice at Yogatech earlier this month, to be used in lieu of ‘but’) last weekend little YOGA festival hosted Liam Prince and Hannah Blumhardt Two No-waste Nomads from Wellington. This whole-hearted couple have lived zero-waste for 2.5 years (and counting). They crowdfunded their current 6 month Te Ika a Maui tour with ‘The Rubbish Trip‘, left the capital on the 1st of July (to herald Plastic-Free July) and are living off $10 per day each, this made possible by the warmth of both themselves and people they’re meeting whilst on tour, who are opening their homes to them. They plan to venture to Te Waipounamu for a further 6 months, should funds ‘present themselves’.

66 of us gathered in the Scout Hall, 13 May Street, Mt Maunganui, Aotearoa – home to Mount Runners & Walkers,  The Yoga Collective, Scouts & Girl Guides and our little YOGA festival.

There were men and women, children, people from far, close and wide.

What an event we had.

Hannah opened this FREE 90 minute workshop speaking in Te Reo Maori. Her reo was friendly, proud and rapid – we were jealous or perhaps inspired is a more kind-to-self way to put it. Liam and his golden dreadlocks stood supportive, soft & strong, and tall as a Totara. Together they delivered a funny, deeply-intelligent, disturbing at times hopeful in others, fast-paced other times more measured later, always captivating and forever encouraging ‘talk’. It was to powerpoint. It was GOOD powerpoint, where neither of them looked to the screen, and where the images and links gave texture to what they said rather than re-hammering it. TEDX Tauranga – get a load of these two…

To top the cosy, rainy (did we say loudly-rainy) winter’s afternoon off, Hannah had whipped up a zero-waste shared kai (in another someone else’s kitchen), replete with Trade Aid dark chocolate (the entire packaging compostable in a household compost) and moreish chickpea crackers with hummus.

They’re to release an individualised list of BOP shops we can purchase zero-waste products from, but from memory they directed us towards Bin Inn, Choice Fruit & Veges, Be Organics, Wild Earth Organics, The Indian Produce Stores, local Butchers and Bakers, local markets and roadside stalls, local fruit & vege shops, and the ‘pick and mix’ bins at supermarkets.

Thanks to Night Owl Cinema who lent us their projector and The Scout Hall who lent us their space, for this on-a-shoestring community event.

As promised we’re writing up which workshops have a sustainable focus or message within our festival programme and what we’re doing to minimise waste at our event:

In order they appear in the programme:

Saturday 9.45am – 10.30am The Joys of Edible Weeds with Julia Sich

Julia will explain to us which weeds we can eat in our garden, what they’re rich in, and encourage us to make her famous green weed smoothies for ourselves and our whanau.

Saturday 10.45am – 11.30am Teacher in the Paddock (Jane Powell) gives a workshop on How to make your own Sauerkraut.

We’ve done this workshop before. You can see the pics here. Jane is a wealth of knowledge. She’s led Weston A Price chapters, she and Kevin run after-school & holiday programmes from their farm in Papamoa, along with school visits. They provide a small collection of family’s with raw cow’s milk. They run a host of other workshops around pro-biotics, general gut health, and making your own cheese.

Saturday 11.30am – 12.15pm Aqua for Teens with Mig McMillan

Mig is often seen walking, even though she owns a car. She draws slightly dark, always witty black and white line drawings about the more shadowed sides of life. She has been a Playcentre Mum. She is still a Mum. She plants a garden in front of her mural-ed fence. She makes people laugh and change, and she comes to the festival to share how to stay out of jail when a greenie (eco-activist) living with a house rammed with teenagers who don’t want to be (as green as you). Her tip be aqua with your teen, instead of green. She promises to entertain (or we do on her behalf).

Saturday 3.00pm – 3.45pm Bee-keeping with Seaside Bees

This couple run sea-side bees to satisfy their love or ‘bee’ hobby. When they’ve got enough stock they rent hives to BOP homes. They run short evening classes on Urban Bee-Keeping. You’ll be able to continue learning after this ‘taste test’.

Sunday 11.15am – 12.00pm How to Set Your Face Free with Lucy Aitkenread from Lulastic & the Hippyshake

We met Lucy during a parenting course (of which she organised) with Robin Grille author of ‘Parenting for a Peaceful World’ in Thames. She, her husband and their two girls now live in a yurt in a Karangahake Gorge. She’s hot off the Europe-festival-season touring with the aforementioned ‘talk’. She’s radical and real, gentle, quirky and dizzingly brave and articulate. She has a kick arse blog and you tube channel with crazy amounts of worldwide followers. We love being in her company and we think you will too.

Sunday 11.30am – 1.00pm Outdoor Explorers meet at Moturiki / the old Leisure Island ‘rock’ on the beach opposite Hopukiore/Mt Drury.

Outdoor Explorers is like a Forest School, or kindy/school outdoors without teachers but with parents who facilitate or observe their childrens’ exploration. It’s entirely outdoors, and runs once a week from 10am – 2pm on a Friday during Primary School Termtime (come rain or shine, but not civil defence warnings). Natasha and Tamra are both Playcentre Mums who’re passionate about nature and allowing our kids to be kids, curious, adventurous and able. Come watch your children (and your own inner child) come alive in nature. Experience the wonder, joy and sensations of discovery, play, creativity, adventure in the elements.

Sunday 12.30pm – 1.15pm Crochet your very own cotton dishcloth with Kate Bruning of Greedy for Colour

Geared towards those with some crochet skills under their belt, Kate graces us with her joyful spirit and shares her skills and creativity usually given to Stanley the Rabbit and other such world-famous characters. Kate lives in Whakamarama on a farm, visits the  library once a week and returns with too many books to carry from chin to palm, and has successfully gone from publishing a well-devoured blog to an equally loved book. This woman is a global craft sensation. She always dresses like a flower – with a heap of colour hence the name of her blog, she’s greedy for it.

Sunday 2.00pm – 2.45pm Learn the love of Compost with Joe Montalto

We found Joe in the Mount Community Gardens tending to his plot. We poached him then and there. A man who’s in love with a Yoga Teacher, this guy will help you fall in love with compost, and encourage you to persuade those reluctant family members to get themselves a worm farm. More on worm farms later. 

Sunday 2.15pm – 3.00pm Sewing with Boomerang Bags

Boomerang Bags are an awesome initiative and thanks Jenni from Herbal Potential for introducing us to them. They sew and stamp bags (hence running a live workshop within our festival) and put these hand-made heart-felt bags on stands outside shops around town, for people to borrow (when they’ve forgotten their own re-usable bag) and return at a later date (no questions asked). Isn’t it ‘tops’ that people are finding gentle solutions to aggressive problems such as the pollution of waterways from single-use plastic bags and other plastic waste?

Whilst we’re talking about plastic waste you may like to go see:

The Plastic Ocean at Tauranga Rialto Cinema 8pm Thursday 31 August. Thanks EcoWarehouse for promoting this showing. The screening of The Plastic Ocean relies on pre-sales so get in touch if you’re keen to go, as your email may mean it goes ahead.

And about those worm farms. Tauranga City Council runs awesome regular workshops in how to run a worm farm. Here’s the next event Saturday 23 September (the weekend after the little YOGA festival) Come along to this 2-hour interactive workshop to learn the art of worm farming. Take home your own worm farm bin, worms, lime and compost so you can get started straight away. The workshop is subsidised by Council with a nominal fee ( $23.50) charged. The take home pack is valued at $180. The workshop is catered to beginners of worm farming with little or no experience, or for those who would like a refresher. If you don’t need a worm farm you can come to the workshop at no cost, however, you still need to register. The workshop is open to Tauranga City Council residents only. One worm farm will be issued per household. Up to two people per household can attend.  Kia ora TCC, nice one.

Another BOP hero is The Nappy Lady. She runs workshops throughout the Bay (and the country) helping parents decide which re-usable nappies to invest in, every families needs are different (crazy as it seems). Our young family used reusable nappies (most of the time not so much at night or in the newborn phase we will confess) and once we were over that 6/10 week hump found re-usables to be non-leaking, easy to use, and more natural for our babies bodies (without having that deodorising and moisture sucking technology wrapped around their trying ‘to breathe’ genitals 24/7).

What a tome of a post this is turning out to be.

Sponsorship Opportunity

We’re currently looking for a sponsor so we can pay a waste minimisation ‘group’ such as Why Waste, Waste Wizard or Waste Watchers to manage our 3-day festival waste. Email if your organisation would like to put their name to this important and helpful cause.

As we also promised here’s the other ways little YOGA festival is minimising our footprint.

  • Joe’s compost workshop will see the foodwaste from the event remain on site for the Mount Community Garden’s compost system.
  • There will be 3 bins on site 1) compost 2) recycling and 3) landfill (guess which one we’re ‘leading’ to be empty)
  • We’ve said no to plastic straws and will be selling metal ones instead, thanks to Paper Plane, and our co-op shop initiated by the generous-spirited Jenni from Herbal Potential.
  • We’re selling metal drink bottles, keep cups, metal straws, cotton dishcloths, cotton bags via the aforementioned co-op shop.
  • We’re providing filtered water via a hose for people to re-fill their drink-bottles.
  • We’re having a wash-up station on site.
  • We’re only using paper plates (and when we grow up and have more space will use ‘the exchange’ for our plates in the future).

We look forward to meeting more of you very soon, perhaps at the little YOGA festival, perhaps around our Bay of Plenty of good times (in the holistic sense of the word).

little YOGA festival is FREE for kids under 14 years who attend with an adult.

You can get your tickets here:

P.S. We’re hoping to sell out, to tautoko our contributors and festival-delivery team and to have a bustling little YOGA festival village full of heart and adventure.

Photo credit: Brad Huchtem of Unsplash

Written by Emily with wild & grace

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