Working the Workshops with Totally Tasty

22nd July 2013 by

I am lying in Lynn’s garden hammock looking out at the massive oak tree in the park next door. “You look extremely happy”, Jessie says as she walked past. I am a bit. I feel really enriched after everything I have experienced and taken part in today. This morning we woke up at 6.37am. All ten of the Otesha tour members were sleeping in the Rope Walk Permaculture Project’s garden shed just behind a mosque.Yesterday was our first day on the road and today we were introduced to the world of environmental and social workshop facilitation.

This morning we cycled to a local school to spend the morning at the, maybe paradoxically named, “inclusion unit”. It was for children who had been deemed not adapted to be within a conventional class room. The average number of children in these inclusion classes were between four and six. Students would stay on a single floor on which all of their needs were catered for. All their subjects, tutors and even lunch was provided on this level. The teachers were all amazing and it I think we learnt much from seeing how they spoke to and engaged the students. While one team delivered another workshop, my group was presenting a workshop on Fair-Trade which looks at all the different people involved in the production on bananas; from the logger who has to clear-cut his beloved rainforest to earn enough money to get by, all the way to the consumer in the UK.

Later that day, I was shown a feedback sheet with Alex, one of the students had written after the class but had seemed one of the hardest to engage. In it he  recalled with great detail several of the facts concerning fair-trade and gave many interesting suggestions for how we could improve the workshop. In the second group, also four students, was one girl who was full of enthusiasm, excitement and charisma. We had one who wanted to read many of the character cards describing what each person in the supply chain has to do. After each card she would give a particularly conscience summary of what had just been said and apply it to examples she was familiar with as well as explaining it within the greater whole of the exercise. After class, the teacher, told us this student was normally the most introverted and shyest member of the class. He had never seen her as enthusiastic and engaged as she was. We felt we had been of use and that our presence at the school was being appreciated.

The last workshop was the one I thought was most successful. The four boys in the class seemed genuinely interested in what we were talking about and shared their knowledge about pesticides and GMOs. Later in the day, we discovered that this last group we had worked with were reputed to be the most difficult to engage with. Quite a result, we told ourselves.

After some not-so-vegan egg and cheese sandwiches the school kindly provided, we headed back over to Southampton Common [we had cooked an epic dinner for ourselves there the night before] to meet a home education group. These were children who were educated by their parents or grandparents and all met up on a regular basis so as to learn and play with their kin. These children take an active role in deciding what it is they are most interested in and would like to learn more of. “I drive my grand-daughter around 200 miles a week so she can receive lesson from all the specialist teachers in the region” one parent told us. The children now in front of us couldn’t have been more dissimilar from the ones we had spent time with that morning. Surrounded by supportive, reassuring parents, they spoke, read and posed questions with clarity, self-assurance and calm. At one point when talking about the distribution of money amongst the different actors on the supply line, they took the debate completely into their own hands and we  no longer needed to facilitate and actually stepped back and watched (slightly in awe) as children of six and seven discussed who in the supply line deserved the most pay. This seemed like a million miles away from the disheartened students we had met earlier that same day.

Personally, I felt greatly privileged and enriched to have had the opportunity to experience these two polar opposite worlds. We had witnessed first hand how socio-economic segregation is passed on from one generation to the next as a result of systemic causes within our society. These skills and experiences are fantastic to get, and the whole team is developing in leaps and bounds ready for all the schools we have ahead. Thomas

Alumni Spotlight: UpCycling Chris

3rd June 2013 by

In the third edition of our ‘ alumni spotlight’ we’re speaking to Chris, from our very first year of cycle tours with the Wild Wild West gang.

1.  What tour did you go on?

Wild Wild West 2008, the first year Otesha began their cycle tours in the UK.

2. What were your tour highs and lows?

Ah. Tis too far away now to clearly remember. A low was that most of the cycle team became ill at some point on tour and had to struggle on even so. We also had only three days of sunshine over the whole five week tour which was also tough! A high was skinny dipping in the freezing sea somewhere off the Welsh coast.

3. Briefly, what have you been up to since the tour?

Since the tour I spent eight months in India mostly learning how to teach Yoga. I then returned to the UK and did my conventional classroom teacher training and then spent three years teaching Religious Studies in a secondary school in London. During the summer holidays I became involved in our UK festival culture and now run Upcycle and am involved in the production of Cloud Cuckoo Land festival.

4. Tell us a bit more about Upcycle.

upcycleUpcycle is the most exciting work for me. We provide the Eco-Rangers and a Free Shop to small, environmentally conscious festivals. Its creative, dynamic and energising work and the project thrives on the enthusiasm of teams of brilliant volunteers. Each summer we visit four or five carefully chosen festivals and we’re looking out for volunteers at the moment. If you’re interested to work then please see our website (www.up-cycle.org.uk) for more information or e-mail me (chris@up-cycle.org.uk) with any questions.

5. What impact has the Otesha tour had on you?

The tour gave me a huge sense of adventure and confidence to follow my dreams. Meeting the other cyclists and sharing so much passion and love for life has stayed with me since. I’ve also been on four or five cycle tours, having had the safe experience with Otesha. I felt well prepared to create my own adventures on a bicycle.

6. Are you still involved with Otesha and how?

Not on a daily basis but I often go to meet ups in London, bump into cyclists on the Critical mass cycle ride and workDSCF0412 with many other tour participants over the summer months at various festivals.

7. What advice would you give to new tour members?

Dream big and share your passion with other tour members. So much can come out of the connections made on tour.

Alumni Spotlight: Edible Ellie!

25th March 2013 by

In the second edition of our ‘ alumni spotlight’ we’re shining our energy saving light-bulbed lamp on Tastetastic cycle tour member Ellie who has done some pretty incredible things since her tour last year- read on and be inspired!

ellie-225x300

1. What tour did you go on?

I went on the Tastetastic tour of the Scottish Borders in August 2012. It was a three week tour with no upper age limit, which is why I chose it, because (at 29) I was too old for the other tours!

2. What were your tour highs and lows?

The highs of the tour were probably the friendships made with the other tour members and meeting such amazing, creative and inspiring people. Group living can be quite intense at first but the bonds formed are so true and tight that you feel that you can conquer anything together.

The low, for me was a long awaited day off, staying at a venue with particularly basic facilities (just imagine a tap in a small woods surrounded by muddy fields and cows). It rained all day and none of us could muster the courage to venture across the huge field of mud towards civilisation. Thankfully the day was saved by my solution focused Otesha buddies and together we erected a communal shelter for us to huddle under and play games.

3. Briefly, what have you been up to since the tour?

Since the tour I have been keeping busy with writing a blog about my journey into sustainable living and setting up an organic food co-op. I have done lots of little things that I wouldn’t have done before such as joining the heritage seed library, talking to a fair trade coffee grower, joining amnesty international and opening an ethical bank account. The other main activity which has been keeping me occupied is applying to become a foster carer. This should be interesting given that we have no television and don’t shop in supermarkets. I’m sure the blog will be taking on a new angle when that starts. Most of all I am looking forward to teaching the Otesha message to our foster children for years to come.

4. Tell us a bit more the food coop and your blog

Ellie food face

My blog is www.lifeaftertesco.co.uk. It mostly covers the food aspects of sustainable living and documents momentous occasions such as my first veg box delivery. I know I’m not a great blogger but quite a few people have contacted me to say that they have tried new things after being inspired by the blog.

At the start of the blog I was researching organic food wholesalers, which, If I’m honest, was just for myself, but I soon realised that I couldn’t afford the minimum order of £325 and even if I could I didn’t have room to store it. This is when the idea of starting a food co-op became a goal. It took a while (I took a gap month to learn how to knit) but with the help of some of my friends we managed to decide how the co-op would work and how to make it socially inclusive, by omitting a membership fee and having the food delivered at a community venue. I am proud to say that we had our first delivery in February and have been enjoying some really top quality food, which we couldn’t afford to buy in the shops.

5. What impact has the Otesha tour had on you?

The Otesha Tour really changed the way I think about my personal actions. I would say that I was fairly disempowered when I came to the tour. Having spent most of my adult life working as a carer and then working in betting shops I used to think that the green movement was limited to middle class people. Even though I was interested in the issues I thought it was a group I could never join. “I would love to do more for my fellow man and the planet but I can only just afford to look after myself thank you”… I used to think. About half way through training week I realised that the only barrier to living more ethically was my own way of thinking. I stopped putting my energy into supporting unsustainable systems and started to think of ways I could make an impact where it mattered.beachgroup1

Since the tour, family members have said that the changes I am making are futile in the face of things, which is what I used to think so I try not to take it to heart. I believe that we can never know the true reach and impact of our actions, but the most obvious impact my actions have had is on the way I feel. More connected to nature, more meaning to my daily actions, more time spent in the present moment, more involved in my community.

6. Are you still involved with Otesha and how?

I am a proud member of the Otesha alumni and this group provides me with loads of information and networking opportunities. Unfortunately because I live so far away from London I feel that I have missed out on some amazing Otesha opportunities and get togethers, however I have met up with tour members since the tour and continue to stay in touch with Otesha-ites wherever they may be.Ellie and trailer negotiating stream - credit Emily Connor

7. What advice would you give to new tour members?

Ellie’s top tips to tour members would be:

· don’t take any white clothing with you whatsoever,

· don’t bother with “waterproof” shoe covers but do take waterproof socks

· Avon skin-so-soft not only repels the Scottish midge but also can be used to start a damp fire

· take lots of photos- it is a magical experience you will want to remember

· make time to play games

· take every opportunity you can to have a wash

· and most of all -keep going!- the universe has a funny way of providing you with exactly what you need at the right time and never gives you a challenge you can’t handle.

8. Describe your Otesha experience in 3 words, a picture or action:

Life. Affirming. Experience.

T South handstand at sunset - credit Emily Connor

Western Quest goes West Country proper!

8th October 2012 by

After a wonderful stay at the West Town Farm in Ide, Exeter, it was sadly time to move on and head further West to the gorgeous hilly countryside of the Dartmoor National Park. After a difficult start to the ride (anyone who knows the giant hill to Dunchideock leaving Ide will know what I am talking about) the rest of the 20 miles to Ashburton were relatively flat and really beautiful, a wonderful ride. On arrival at The Husbandry School, a few miles outside of Ashburton, we were greeted by yet another steep climb to the farm itself but were rewarded  by arguably the best view of the whole Western Quest cycle tour at the top.

Thanks to Jonty and Carole we immediately felt welcomed and at home on their lovely farm and were treated to the luxury of a bath and comfortable night’s sleep – much appreciated with an early start and hilly six mile cycle to Landscove primary school the next morning. Despite our fears, the six mile cycle across the Devonshire hills to Landscove raced by at 8am, due to the lack of trailers, tents and panniers weighing us down.

 

We were immediately welcomed at this small but friendly rural school in Landscove and enjoyed performing our play to the whole school. Although the play is aimed at students aged 8 and over, the years 1 and 2 really seemed to enjoy it and some of the songs had the best audience participation of the whole tour – a great start to the morning. After the play we split into two groups and led workshops on transport and energy. The school were impressively already taking many ‘green’ measures, such as an energy saving campaign and signs around the school informing us to switch appliances off when not in use, a small allotment in the playground where students were learning to grow their own vegetables and school lunches made from ingredients from a local organic farm. The students were therefore very receptive to our workshops, which seemed to both refresh and embellish ideas on what action we can take in our everyday lives to be more sustainable.

 

The energy workshop was interesting to build on the work the school was already doing and the students enjoyed energy charades and were very surprised at which electrical appliances use the most energy. After doing an energy audit of the school the students had many great ideas on how we can continue to reduce our energy consumption, at school and at home, which we were really pleased to hear. The transport workshop with year 6 also went well, with students eagerly learning about different forms of transport and which are least polluting. As a result of the workshop many students pledged to use public transport when possible and car share to school with people who lived near them. They also said that they felt more confident to maintain their bikes, which we were really happy with.

All in all, we had a great experience at the small but pro-active and welcoming school, which was really interesting both for the students and us. We happily left the school to meander back to The Husbandry School, along the country lanes in the September sunshine, filling our tupperwares with blackberries as we went; a wonderful and inspiring morning’s work.

An Otesha farewell with food

13th September 2012 by

We always knew that Charlie would only be with us for half of the tour, but the moment of her departure had seemed so far away. With sad faces and heavy hearts, we bid her farewell in Bristol.

But of course, this being an Otesha tour we were going to celebrate and not cry about the loss of one of our members! So the cooking team got to work on a 5 course feast made up of local ingredients from the fabulous Feed Bristol, where we were staying, and the Bristol Sweetmart.

One thing we’ve all taken out of this tour is how easy it is to cook healthy, local and organic food on our budget of 5 pounds per person per day. As we’re promoting a sustainable, local lifestyle, it’s important to us that we walk the talk. Our food mandate means we’re eating vegan food that is from the UK, or the EU if it can’t be grown in the UK, and we’re avoiding soya and palm oil.

We buy most of our foods from the farms we stay at or the nearest farm shop and local greengrocers and wholefoods shops. At first, wading through the packaging was hard work – just because something says it’s ‘made in’, ‘manufactured in’ or ‘produced in’ Britain, does not mean the ingredients are British. So we check for signs saying EU agriculture and use our common sense to decide if products are likely to be British. Unless we’ve got it all wrong and cumin seeds do grow in Guildford, we’re hoping we’re doing okay… and all without a supermarket in sight. Woo! For Charlie’s leaving party, we enjoyed a wonderful meal of homemade houmous, English melon, Italian olives, local curried vegetables, tabbouleh, beetroot and green salad and blackberry and apple crumble.

After a delivering our workshops and performances all over Bristol, we rode on to our next stop in Chew Magna. We arrived later than expected due to two punctures and a burst tyre but we timed our arrival perfectly to see the sun set over the pituresque Chew Valley lake where we set up our tents. We were staying at The Community Farm and were greeted by the lovely Claire and the infamous mid tour retreat package from the Otesha office.  As expected, it contained a lot of postcards to spark pupils’ individual actions, ideas for the retreat and a big bar of chocolate. Less expected were wonderful, positive messages from the Otesha team, thanks guys!

 
We contemplated the previous two weeks, what we had achieved, what we hadn’t, what we wanted to get out of the next few weeks and the Otesha experience as a whole. We then reconvened to chat over our thoughts and celebrate the tour so far with ‘The Great Big Pat on the Back’ where we counted up miles cycled, projects visited, punctures, best views, and highs and lows in general.

The second day was more relaxed and began with volunteering on the Community Farm, with jobs ranging from picking cucumbers to pruning raspberry bushes. We then had a wonderful feast with all the volunteers, well deserved after a morning’s work. The Community Farm, a co-operative vegetable box scheme farm seems to be really established, despite being in its early stages. We were treated to a tour of the farm by Ben and heard about big plans for the new education centre, where numerous courses will be run, ranging from foraging to bee-keeping, so if you are interested and in the Bristol area watch this space.

We had a wonderful, relaxing, mid tour retreat, thanks to the Otesha team, the Community farm and the beautiful weather. It was a great chance to reflect and re-cap on our play and workshops, thoughts and aspirations, which helped us to feel prepared to enter schools; the next phase of the Western Quest tour.

Western Quest – tales from a slick and well-oiled performing machine

21st August 2012 by

Friday 17th August

Last Friday, a sweaty, slightly confused-looking group of strangers heaved their bikes up a stony track and arrived at a barn on the top of rather large hill in Gloucestershire. It was the start of Otesha’s Western Quest Cycle Tour. One week later and we’ve been transformed into a slick and well-oiled performing machine, ready to bestow our dramatic talents onto unsuspecting school children. Sort of.

We’ve spent our training week camping at the beautiful Highbury Farm near Redbrook, Gloucestershire. The farm is 25 acres of rolling countryside and ancient woods, including a section of the Offa’s Dyke trail.  The community living here, The Stepping Stones cooperative, are aiming for self-sufficiency and responsible land use with rainwater harvesting, sustainable woodland management, food growing and efficient heating. They’ve even built some of their own houses with reclaimed materials.

However, despite being in a beautiful place, we have been working VERY hard! Our days have been filled with rehearsals for the play and workshops that we will be performing in the schools; learning about and using consensus decision-making; getting to know each other with numerous ridiculous and imaginatively-named games such as ‘poor little kitty cat’ and ‘Bipedibop’; deciding on our food mandate and then implementing said vegan diet. We’ve also learnt a lot about bike maintenance – be prepared to be impressed by our ability to fix our own brakes. Wowee.

The play is quickly taking shape. Jamie Oliver, Simon Cowell, Jessie J and AntorDec make regular appearances in the barn on the hill. Jenny is learning quickly about sustainability and the banana pirate has been banished from this fair isle. Soon to be famous characters include the ‘udderly exhausted’ Morag the cow, Tom the ‘blushing’ tomato and Ant or Dec with their questionable Geordie accent. It will be a hit.

As preparation for the cycling that we will be starting next week, we went on a training ride to Symonds Yat on Tuesday.  A near-vertical hairpin hill made for a bracing start to our first group adventure, especially for the poor Sara and Katie who were bravely battling with the effect of gravity on two rather large trailers.  But after stopping for a breather on the Symonds Yat Rock and munching on our celebratory quarter-of-the-way-there flapjack, we were soon well on our way to a local, free-range ice cream and a bracing dip in the river in the village of Symonds Yat.  OK, we were over an hour late back for dinner at Highbury Farm, and had to reluctantly pass the leisure centre and its promise of the our first showers of the week, but we have high hopes about our stamina, if not our hygiene, for the weeks ahead.

When managing to dodge the (frequently) torrential rain, we’ve spent evenings huddled around a camp fire, watching shooting stars and occasionally sampling Highbury Farm’s homemade apple wine.  The fabulous Jenny Tree and Ally have cooked us wonderful meals of vegan fajitas, quinoa stew and apricot soup. The pulses and beans are producing rather predictable results, but they’ve kept us well-stoked for the endless play rehearsals and gruelling schedule.

We’re looking forward to moving on on Sunday and taking what we have learned on the road. We leave behind fond memories of bananas cooked in the fire; Himalayan Balsam; the beautiful Wye Valley; stunning sunsets; our inspiring Otesha gurus, Sam and Iona; and our wonderful hosts. Look out Stroud, here we come!

Tasty Tales – Bread Matters

8th August 2012 by

Hello!

Welcome to the second blog post of the Tastetastic food sustainability tour! We write to you from the magnificent Scottish Borders, a land of beautiful rolling green hills, many happy sheep, and an enthusiastic bunch of foodie cyclists, who have come from far and wide to embark on a 3 week Otesha extravaganza.

We started our tour in sunny Edinburgh, our first task being to cycle en masse through the capital and navigate our way to our first host – Bread Matters – who have kindly welcomed us to their home on Macbiehill Farm for our five days of pre-tour training.

Bread Matters, in Peeblesshire, provides weekend courses teaching people about the importance of slow fermentation, a traditional method of making nutritional and tasty bread. Recently, industrial bread-making techniques have arguably led to a rise in many health problems such as wheat intolerance and other digestive ailments. Bread Matters is seeking to educate people about the benefit of Real Bread – better bread for individuals, communities and the planet.

Bread Matters has been a great place to start our tour, as it is an example of a local initiative that is building a vibrant (and resistant) local food economy. The founders of Bread Matters have grown varieties of wheat (and other grains), and processed it by gently milling on a small scale. The flour that is produced is crafted into beautiful bread, and this bread is sold locally through innovative community-oriented distribution networks. This approach to local food is a ‘message’ that we hope to take with us on tour, to inspire a new generation to become more engaged with where their food comes from, and how it’s produced, as well as forging community ties through the sharing of nutritional, wholesome food.

During our time on Macbiehill Farm, we have been thrown into a whirlwind of learning workshops, thought-provoking discussions, scrumptious vegan food, and (perhaps most importantly) sowing the seeds to build our own tastetastic community. As a group, we have shared our stories, experiences, knowledge, and values with each other. There’s also been lots and lots of laughter (and some tears, too). Not to mention, being treated to use the most LUXURIOUS compost loo EVER! Courtesy of Andrew and Veronica of Bread Matters.

It’s really hard to believe that we are only 4 days into the Otesha experience – it’s as if a magic spell has been cast to temporarily stretch out space and time, with everyone happily saturated with ideas, excitement and positive energy.

This is just the beginning, and everyone is itching to get on the road, get cycling up more hills (!!) and start putting into practice everything we’ve been preparing for during training week. (But first, we are spending a vigorous afternoon tending to the small-scale agro-forestry project at Bread Matters, as a work exchange to thank our generous hosts).

Are we ready? Yes we are!

PS. A massive thank you to Amy and her team for spending 2+ hours sharing with us how to love our bikes (and maintain them).

Tasty Tales – The Journey Begins

6th August 2012 by

Thursday 3rd Augst

Tupperware Feast

It’s so very nearly begun! After two weeks of learning and sorting in the Otesha office in London we (Kerry and Tamsin, tour liaisons) are pretty much ready to go. We have a day off tomorrow to sort out our personal stuff and then we will be setting off with a group trailer each on the train to Scotland!

So what do the next three weeks have in store? Well we will be cycling around central and southern Scotland with 18 other people, walking (or pedalling) the sustainability talk, learning lots about sustainable food, spreading the Otesha love and inspiring young people through a variety of workshops to change their world. This is the first ever three week tour and there are so many wonderful pedallers on it that we are going to be cycling on two different routes so we can reach even more people. Half of the group will be heading North around Fife and then back down south of Glasgow and the other half are going to the south, through the Borders, even dipping a toe into Cumbria before heading back up to the Clyde Valley.

Our food workshop in action

 

So in the last two weeks we have been photocopying maps, planning routes, phoning up everyone else on the tour to check how they are getting on, making a routebinder with all of the whens and wheres of the tour and all of the nearest facilities and double and triple checking the group trailers with all of the cooking, workshop and bike equipment in. We have also been learning about bike maintenance, working in schools & our tour liaison responsibilities on tour. All very important and every little bit brings the tour a bit nearer and convinces us that it really is happening! Now we are ready and raring to go, let us at that open road…

Starting as we mean to go on

26th April 2012 by

Before every Otesha bike tour,  members gather for a training week. Aside from offering a chance to meet fellow change makers (and start lasting friendships) it is a time to prepare for what’s ahead, forging a strong team to bring real, lasting change wherever they ride to. It’s a bit like starting a day with a hearty breakfast.

For me, training week was a real buzz because it confirmed that I had made the right decision in signing up for an Otesha tour – a choice that was going to be a real catalyst for positive change in my life and outlook. We began with practicalities – first up was bike maintenance. I soon learnt my Dad’s ‘technique’ was way over generous when oiling chains and I was shown punctures really don’t take 3 attempts to stick (as well as tips to avoid them in the first place). Workshop completed, I was confident and able to maintain and safety check my bike. A further session on group riding shared best practice of how to ride as a group safely on the road.

That done, we moved on to discussions and workshops on sustainability, group living and consensus decision making. Being able to speak openly and contribute fully to discussions and decisions enabled the group to respond positively to any situation. Early on, I felt consensus decision making could take an age – but once the ground rules and hand signals were in place, each decision was explored fully and consensus was soon reached. Any extra time taken was easily paid off by knowing it the group was behind the decision, everyone has had a chance to contribute and importantly, that the right action had been taken. Writing our food mandate was the first real test of the teams consensus decision making skills.. the mandate acknowledges the fact that the food we eat has wider impacts, and also that different people have different needs with the food they eat. We shared opinions, practicalities and debated issues before agreeing on a a mandate that would dictate what the team ate for the weeks ahead.

Then began the rehearsals. I am no actor. When my friends heard I was going to be  in a play, they were eager to see me to perform – if only to confirm that I am not an actor. Luckily a role in an Otesha play simply requires enthusiasm, a sense of humour and a bit of bravery –  no sonnets, monologues or dramatic stage falls required (except when making the Banana Pirate walk the plank).

This year, the tours are starting from suitably inspirational places. Walking the talk is a core part of our ethos, and so we’re happy to be hosted by projects with shared values.

For Western Quest, the tour will be hosted deep within the beautiful Wye Valley, at Highbury Farm. It is the home of Stepping Stones – a Co-operative inspired by a vision of finding ecological and socially sustainable ways of living together as a community. At the moment they are exploring ways to manage the land without the exploitation of animals. As the site is reliant on a spring for water we will see how important saving water is, especially relevant as much of the UK remains in drought.

For our food themed tour – Tastetastic, we are being kindly hosted by the folks at Breadmatters. They passionately champion the lost practice of home baked bread through workshops, books and by producing some fantastic bread. To say Thank You, we’re planning to build a solar dryer to dry produce from their small holding without consuming electricity. Excellent!

By demonstrating the best of sustainable innovation with practical and positive steps, our hosts will provide a perfect base from to launch this summer of change making tours.

If you or someone you know wants to saddle up and change the world then applications are still open – see the Cycle Tours page. or email us at cycletours@otesha.org.uk.

Your creativity can save it from landfill!

5th October 2011 by

This month we’re challenging you to get creative and breathe new life into some poor thing destined for landfill.  The options are endless, but here are some ideas to start you off.  Once you’ve finished crafting email us pictures of your masterpieces to iona@otesha.org.uk.

Friends of Otesha are likely to know that we turn quite a lot of these…

into these…

But even after we’ve made tetrapak wallets for ourselves, friends, mums, dads, distant cousins, dogs, and cats, and shown every child we meet on cycle tours how to do the same, there are still more tetrapaks around than we can justify turning into wallets.  So, what’s the most weird, wonderful, and also useful tetrapak creation you can invent?

Tetra paks aren’t the only tricky things to recycle though – this monthly challenge came into existence when Hanna was hunting around for something to do with her old light bulbs, and stumbled across a blog full of innovative ways to use those old lightbulbs.

And so this becomes a double challenge, not only are we asking you to save stuff from landfill (or landfill from stuff) and get creative – here’s a gentle little prod to change your light bulbs too.  It’s pretty tough to get hold of bog standard light bulbs these days, so if the only ones you can lay your hands on are still burning away above you as you read this, take ‘em out and switch ‘em for something a little more energy efficient, then you can get crafting (please wait for the bulbs to cool down first!).

Bonus points if you can incorporate tetrapaks and light bulbs!


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