erik zydervelt- changing the way we move


Word on Welly streets is that people can hardly wait for Mevo Car Share, New Zealand’s FIRST electric car share, to be launched here this spring. MEVO came through last year’s Smart Energy Challenge, and now looks set to not only disrupt the current car sharing system, but also be a shift in attitude for us “must own our own car kiwi’s” by being a cost saving, better experience alternative to car ownership. Founder Erik Erik Zydervelt talks to B-Side Stories about the journey.

Thanks to Stuff for the photo.

Nina and Alex discuss Wellington People’s Climate March

12182607_953113708087628_7005723098928286675_oLast week Mike invited Nina from Generation Zero and Alex from WWF in to B-Side Stories to tell us why they’re joining forces in the build up to the People’s Climate March on Saturday 28th November.
Listen to the interview below:

Daniel Kinne – the fair trader

Daniel Fair Trade FortnightDaniel Kinne is a coffee farmer from the highlands of Papua New Guinea. He is also a founding member and the chairman, of the Highland Organic Agricultural Cooperative (HOAC) which includes 2600 farmers.

He is here to celebrate Fair Trade Fortnight, through Fairtrade New Zealand and to share his stories on the impact we have on communities like his, when we buy Fair trade.

But what fascinates me, is that this man manages to get the 2600 farmers of this collective to make a decision together on how to spend the premiums ($ from their sales) for their community . Is he learning from us or are we learning from him?


Daniels coffee can be drunk at Kokako, available at Common Sense Organics and Esquires.

Wellington was the first Fair Trade City in New Zealand.

In 2013 New Zealanders spent $69.3 Million dollars on Fair Trade goods.


Ben Dowdle – Unmasking Palm Oil

28April 093

Ben Dowdle is an amazing young 20 year old who has been at the front line of the Unmask Palm Oil  campaign since he was 16.

I got to talk to Ben at the Wellington Zoo last week and it was news to me that even if we are buying anything with vegetable oil there is no guarantee that this is not Palm Oil. AAARgh so my family is still unknowingly contributing to rain forest deforestation.

In this interview Ben’s talks about the problem and the solution, mandatory labelling of palm oil, that he has been campaigning for across New Zealand and every state of Australia. It is interesting that most of the rest of the western world has taken this up and of course sustainable Palm Oil plantations are the result.

So please take the time to support Ben and sign below asking minister Jo Goodhew to make it a priority to stand up for to get mandatory labelling for Palm Oil so that you can choose what is in your food.

Or you can go the  Wellington Zoo by May 22nd, where they have a card you can sign, up by the Sumatran tigers, who are already at great risk while the deforestation for Palm oil continues.

Press Release from Wellington Zoo below,

Wellington Zoo is proud to support the Unmask Palm Oil campaign by asking government representatives in New Zealand and Australia to demand clear labelling of vegetable oil on all food products.

Palm oil is estimated to be in about half of all products available in supermarkets, but most are labelled as ‘vegetable oil’. Mandatory labelling will allow consumers to make informed choices about the products they buy.

The wild homes of critically endangered species, like Sumatran Tigers, are at risk from deforestation, as large areas of their habitat are cleared to make way for large palm oil plantations in South East Asia.

However, palm oil can be produced without deforestation. Wellington Zoo and Unmask Palm Oil support the use of Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO), which certifies palm oil plantations to ensure they are deforestation free. While boycotting all palm oil may seem like the obvious solution, we believe a boycott will only shift the problem to other parts of the world and onto oils which are less productive than palm oil, therefore requiring more land.

A consumer wanting to make the switch from conventional palm oil in order to demand Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) will soon discover that Australasian labelling laws make it nearly impossible to make this simple ethical choice.

Mandatory labelling will help us to choose sustainable palm oil – and, in turn, help Sumatran Tigers and countless other animals that rely on these wild habitats to survive.

If you’d like to choose what’s in your food, come to Wellington Zoo this autumn. We have a community action station in the Asia Precinct until 22 May, where you can send a postcard to Minister Jo Goodhew, asking her to vote ‘yes’ to clear labelling of vegetable oil on products.

Russell Silverwood, Charlie Hanna, Rory Wagner, Ryan O’Connell, Sofia Robinson – The Smart Energy Revolutionists

Smart energy

Would you consider moving your business goods by bike, using biogas produced by some of the 1 tonne of coffee grinds only 30 of our cafes go through in a week OR taking your friends on a tour of Wellington on an effortless E-bike? Well these are the kinds of ideas that were explored and some kicked into businesses from the Smart Energy Challenge earlier this month.

In these interviews we talk to  Russell Silverwood from No Car Cargo, Charlie Hanna and Rory Wagner from CoffeeCo, Ryan O’ O’Connell and Sofia Robinson from Switched on Bikes about where they are at with their city changing, energy reducing  ventures.

And just so you know we are not joking;


Ryan and Sofia have a pledge me campaign going where you can pre-invest in the E bike experience. help them out to kick start the face of Wellington.

Catherine Hill, Deirdre Marshall, David Laing, Michelle Ducat – Car Free Families

Car free familiesHave you ever wondered how you’d cope if you didn’t own a car? Me too! So in this interview we found four Wellington and Lower Hutt families who, by choice, are car free or nearly car free.

They talk about why, the challenges, tips, and some unexpected benefits of not owning or using their cars.

Many thanks to those who contributed to this interview.

Aaron Packard – the 350 man

Aaron Packard

Aaron Packard is one of those guys that gives you faith that the world will be an ok  in the future. With Global Divestment Day about to hit this Sat Feb 14th, Aaron gives us an understanding of what it’s all about and also talks about his work at as Oceania’s Region Coordinator which oversees all of 350’s operations across Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. And he also founded 350 Aotearoa right here in his home town of Wellington. Wow.


For more on Aarons work with checkout

Gina Rembe – smart energy

Gina RembeIt is so exciting to meet bright young Wellington women such as Gina Rembe, who is one of the crew leading the 2nd round of the Smart Energy Challenge, that just kicked off last week. The project won a Sustainable Business Network award for last years efforts, in which one of the three successful projects saw Aro Solar crowd fund PV panels onto the Aro Valley Community Hall as part of these citizen led solutions for climate change.

To find out more about how to be involved in the challenge, what makes Gina so motivated and pretty keen on Wellington listen in. But if you’ve got any budding ideas get them in by Feb15th.

more info here



Emily Dowding Smith – arctic snorkeler


Meet Emily Dowding-Smith an ex Welly girl, (well Taranaki really) environment lawyer and scientist who has just returned from a test run, snorkeling the Arctic as part of a team of 10 women selected to raise awareness about disappearing sea ice and altered eco systems. And she was the only kiwi. Wow! In this interview Emily shares her reasons why this trip was important to her and her perception on what she saw on this once in a lifetime experience.

For more on this and Emily’s other adventures read her blog

Robin Hammond – an eye for injustice


Wilton boy, Robin Hammond’s commitment to human rights photography has lead him to win many coveted awards for his work.

In this interview we talk to Robin about how he ended up in African prisons to show us what is happening when the support system for people with mental disability fails post war. He also talks about his photo shoot ” the Dark side of Denim” which showed the environmental effects that denim production had on a small African village. And what he saw in Tuvalu as the people on this beautiful island start to drown under the effects of climate change.

Robin was here to be inducted into the Massey Creative Hall of Fame, as well as to accompany the World Press exhibition featuring his award winning photographs from the “Condemned” series and to see his Mum and Dad.

The World Press exhibition is on at the NZ Portrait Gallery, Shed 11 until September 21st.