14 Top Picks for Ethical Living


For those keen on picking up new habits or creating change, here are fourteen special tasters of the life well-lived this festival season.

1. Waste Matters! Sharing Responsibility

Back in the day, glass bottles were returned to the vendor for a cash refund, so we could use them over and over again. Then we changed to single-use plastic packaging, and products are developed with little thought for what happens when we no longer want them. Can we turn back time and revisit take-back schemes? What would they look like today?

Sandra Murray, co-ordinator for the New Zealand Product Stewardship Council, explains ‘product stewardship’ in a New Zealand context as part of a nationwide speaking tour. Tickets by koha

Tuesday 14 March 6.30-8.30pm at EcoMatters Environment Trust

2. Conscious Layers Wardrobe Upkeep

Zip not working, buttons missing? Hole, tear or hem undone? Do you need simple adjustments such as changing lengths of shirts, skirts, dresses or trousers? We will have passionate seamstresses to mend your clothes at price not to be repeated again. So get that bag or box of clothes you keep aside for times like this and drop it off to the EcoMatters Visitors Centre for some serious mending magic, Mon-Fri 10am-4pm, Sat 10am-1pm, EcoMatters Visitor Centre, 1 Olympic Place, New Lynn.

This is a fundraiser for Conscious Layers’ sustainable fashion research events coming up in April.
Simple repairs $5; Changing zips $12; Adjusting lengths of sleeves and hems $20.
More information

Saturday 11 March – Saturday 8 April at EcoMatters Environment Trust

3. Te Atatu Peninsula Artisan & Handmade Market

Our event celebrates kiwi creativity: locally made and locally grown. We are a small and friendly market on the Library Verandah. Right in the heart of Te Atatu Peninsula, and overlooking the park all adds up to a small but terrific market in a beautiful setting. Stallholders are very passionate about what they make. You’ll find all kinds of beautiful handcrafted products which range from soy candles to handmade soaps and traditional crafts. This event is weather dependant. Updates on our blog and Facebook page.

Stall spaces start from $5. Book a stall or more info

Sunday 12 March 9am-1pm at Te Atatu Peninsula Library Verandah, 595 Te Atatu Road

4. Rags to Rugs and More

Help us keep old Tee shirts out of landfill and have fun doing it! Join us for tea and bikkies while we turn old Tee shirts into yarn and crochet rugs and other useful items. Beginners welcome! Free, no booking required.

For more info, contact Monica Foster at 09 892 4960 or [email protected]

Saturday 18 March 11am-2pm at Waitakere Central Library, Ratanui Street, Henderson

5. Grow Your Own Pantry Plot

Learn how to supplement your pantry with seasonal produce, succession crops and perennials. The focus will be on building soil fertility, crop rotation and plant diversity. We will be working in a plot of 1m x 1m square.

Adults $15, children free. To book, contact Judy Keats on.021 635 607 or [email protected]

Saturday 25 March 10am-12pm at Garden next to Massey Community House, 385 Don Buck Road

6. DIY Rainwater Harvesting

It falls! It’s free! Catch it while you can! Entertaining and multi-talented presenter Laurie Dee will show you how to calculate how much rain your roof can capture, and how to take practical advantage of it.

Every resilient home needs an alternative water collection set-up, both for the garden and for emergency use. Step-by-step rain barrel setup with tips and money saving ideas. Tickets $10

Saturday 18 March 10.30am-12.30pm at EcoMatters Environment Trust, 1 Olympic Place

7. Trash Talk: An Intro to Zero Waste

Zero waste living is a global movement that has grown exponentially over the last few years. More people are starting to realise that, through aiming to live zero waste, our everyday choices can have a hugely positive effect on the environment and we can each do our part to create a sustainable society.

Kristy Lorson, zero waste blogger and founder of Zero Waste in NZ!, leads this interactive workshop, delving into the problem of waste and overconsumption; and showing you simple changes you can make to reduce your waste. Also learn how to make your own zero waste toothpaste, with a sample to take home. Be empowered to make a difference. Koha appreciated, email [email protected] to book.

For more information see www.azerowastewarrior.wordpress.com or the Facebook event page

Saturday 1 April 2.30-3.30pm at Green Bay Community House, 1 Barron Drive

8. Film Screening: A Plastic Ocean

An international team of adventurers, researchers, and ocean ambassadors go on a mission around the globe to uncover the shocking truth about what is lurking beneath the surface of our seemingly pristine oceans. Filmed in 20 locations over four years, in beautiful and chilling detail, this documentary shows us the global effects of plastic pollution – and introduces technology and solutions that can, if implemented in time, change things for the better. Join us up at the beautiful Lopdell House for an evening of education and inspiration. It will be an unmissable opportunity for our community to connect around this issue and talk solutions with our special guest speakers. Secure your seat and be part of the wave of change. Email [email protected] to book.

Thursday 6 April 7-9.30pm at Lopdell House, 418 Titirangi Road

9. Compost Systems & Compost Teas

Tour of compost systems onsite at EcoMatters with focus on the end product obtained from each system, the fertilizers! We will cover cold composting, worm farms, Bokashi and compost teas. Learn how to use them to increase the nutrition of your edible plants. Free. To book call Judy at 021 635607 or email [email protected]

Saturday 1 April 12.30-2.30pm at EcoMatters, 1 Olympic Place

10. EcoDay

EcoWest Festival will end with a bang with EcoDay, the biggest eco family day in Auckland! This free event will take place at the EcoMatters Environment Centre & Olympic Park with live music, great food and a variety of eco activities to enjoy. The full programme will be revealed on the EcoDay webpage soon.

Sunday 9 April 11am-4pm at EcoMatters Environment Trust & Olympic Park, New Lynn

11. All About E-Bikes: ‘Further, Fitter, Faster’

This is a transport revolution! E-bikes are becoming a success story for sustainable transport around town. Conversion of your bike will flatten those hills and put the fun back into riding.

Brent, a former electromechanical engineer, will tell you all need to know about ebikes, from the practicalities of converting your existing bike to purchasing new.

In association with EVolocity, sponsors of the secondary schools Electric Vehicle projects and MeloYelo, E+Bike offers kits, advice and installation of motor systems to your existing bike. Bring your bike along for a free assessment and test ride a converted bike on the day. Tickets $5

This workshop will be happening simultaneously with the kids art workshop Dream Weaving, so bring along the kids and learn all about e-bikes while the kids are getting crafty!

Saturday 1 April 10.30am-12pm at EcoMatters Environment Trust, 1 Olympic Place

12. Solar power or solar hot water

Solar energy should play a big part in the future energy mix in NZ but there is too much confusion and misleading information out there. We hope to debunk the myths, and summarise compelling facts on the state-of-the-art solar technology.

Find out how solar energy produces hot water or electricity, and how to maximise solar hot water production and solar power. Is solar power more effective than advanced solar hot water? Which system produces the most energy? Can solar electricity heat water? Get to grips with the economics and life expectancy of a system. Tickets $10

Wednesday 5 April 6.30-8.30pm at EcoMatters Environment Trust, 1 Olympic Place

13. Restore Rosebank

Find out about Rosebank’s fascinating history and enjoy fantastic views across to the city whilst helping restore one of our special places. During this practical session hosted by Whau River Catchment Trust we will be restoring the estuary banks fringing the Motu Manawa Marine Reserve with native trees. Gloves, tools and refreshments provided. Free, no booking required. If you would like to bring a group please phone Sandra 021 295 0302.

Wednesdays 29 March & Wednesday 5 April 10am-12pm, 481 Rosebank Road, Avondale

14. Waste Matters! DIY Pads

Ladies, menstrual products come at a cost for your wallet and the environment.

Claim back corporate control and learn how to make your own sanitary pads. Quirky and practical, Keradwyn is a talented teen who will show you how to simply and easily whip up your own.

This is a practical workshop, bring an old cotton towel, any old cotton or fleece material (old shirts, skirts, jumpers etc that can be cut up). Sewing machines supplied.

Wednesday 22 March 6-8pm at EcoMatters Environment Trust