Erin Leigh – the workerBe

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Founder of WorkerBe, Erin Leigh would describe her business as a wellness revolution, but not only is she taking our office workers health by storm, she has now paired up with permaculture activist Linnea Lindstroem to connect with the growing “edible city” movement! They are starting a series of urban farm sites throughout Wellington, with the first one right here in Newtown called WorkerBe Oasis.

“…if we can have a fast food restaurant on every corner then we can have urban farms in every city.” Nice vision.


Melissa Keys – the conscious consumer

Melissa Keys

Local organisation Conscious Consumers were recently described by the Herald as a “phenomenon,” as since only 2010 they have been helping to shape a better world in the NZ hospo industry by accrediting the good stuff that 300 cafes and restaurants do, and communicating that to 40 000 Conscious Consumers, who have signed up to support those businesses.

Melissa Keys is one of the backbones of the Conscious crew, and in this interview she talks about why she cares about the work she does and why she wants us to be part of their next revolutionary idea, the ‪#‎GoodSpendCounter‬‪#‎CountMeIn‬!

The Good Spend Counter will mean that more free range produce, fair-trade coffee and more local suppliers will be supported by our cafes. That can only be a good thing for our animals and our local economy and our environment, so yes please #‎CountMeIn.

For more info,  only one week to go.

Neil Anderson – from one night parties to a 500 year plan

2015-05-25 14.20.58 Not every city in the world can boast an eco-sanctuary just 10 minutes from it’s center and while we Wellingtonians may sometimes take the 20 year impact of this for granted, ranger Neil Anderson certainly doesn’t, even after working there for 15 years. In this interview we hear about Neil’s diverse daily work at the sanctuary and how he went from creating one night parties for Louis Vuitton, at New York Fashion Week to working towards a 500 year vision for Zealandia Ecosanctuary.

Jennifer Whitty – the space between

Space Between Image


The first time I heard that Massey lecturers Jenn Whitty and Holly McQuillan were creating a fashion range made of up-cycled New Zealand Post corporate uniform waste, I thought they had they had a huge job in front of them, but it seems they are up to so much more than that.
In this interview lecturer and designer Jenn Whitty talks about the label and concept for Space Between. ” We don’t have a waste problem, we have a design problem.”

Although Space Between are not showing, NZ Eco Fashion Week is kicking off it’s third year this week, so demand is certainly rising for less harmful but just as stylish fashion options.

For more fashion that considers it’s environmental impact

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.


James Coyle – Newtown Festival recycling heroes

Newtown Festival Frecycling.

Newtown Festival is upping it’s game again, not only by being NZ’s biggest and best (biased yes) street festival, but also in it’s recycling front with an unprecedented 12 recycling stations! They want to show Wellington that they can put on a huge party, without sending a mountain of waste to landfill.

In this interview Newtown Festival programe coordinator, James Coyle talks to B-Side Stories about how they are going to do it, why this is good for the event and how we can all help.

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



The Sew Good Cooperative Mums – a common unity

SewGood_CUP_20141128_6040These are the Mum’s from The The Common Unity Project Aotearoa Sew Good Cooperative at Epuni School in Lower Hutt. Of all the stories B-Side Stories has done, this one is possibly the most powerful, Why? Because their story is a community led response to the economic and social pressures facing a huge percentage of our country. These women are doing it for themselves.

After founder Julia Milne has taken a few awards this year as the Overall Winner at the Wellington Airport Community Awards and the Sustainable Champion at the NZI Sustainable Business Awards for her work and vision on the project, we thought we’d go and have a chat with the Mums to see what the best things about the year were for them…..and it wasn’t what we thought.

If you think these women were doing an awesome thing please vote here as they are in the running for a grant that will really help their Koha Kitchen come to life.Closes Dec 11 so please do it today. It takes two clicks.

Thanks to Virginia Woods-Jack ….Photographer


Oliver Vetter – love your coast


Sustainable Coastlines have had a massive impact on New Zealand beaches by educating nearly 110 000 of us about caring for our coasts, as well us getting 35 000 of us to pick up over 1,000,000 million litres of rubbish. Now Welly has our own Sustainable Coastlines representative, a big welcome to Oliver Vetter, who is already very busy leading the Love your Coast campaign through schools, a harbour dive clean up this Saturday and a beach clean up at Makara next Saturday.

In this interview Oliver shares his take on why we have so much rubbish on our beaches, how you can start your own beach clean up through Sustainable Coastlines and even though he has alot of dirty work to do,why  he loves his job.

Angela McLeod – UN Women helping Solomon Sisters

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Angela McLeod has been advocating for women for a very long time and is now president of UN Women Aotearoa New Zealand.

To commemorate International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, yes that is White Ribbon Day coming up next Tuesday the 25th, UN Women Aotearoa are holding an event called Journey to Justice, to launch a project that aims to reduce violence against women in the Solomon Islands.

In this interview Angela explains what the UN Women NC Aotearoa do, why it is important for us to support our Pacific Sisters in the Solomon’s and a small but effective thing we can do in everyday life to shift our attitudes toward equality for women.

And if you want to know how to get involved with this event

  • Did you know there are 600 000 people located across 9 provinces and over 100 languages in the Solomon Islands.
  • Approximately 2/3 of women in the Solomon Islands have reported experiencing physical or sexual violence ( according to  2009 study).
  • 37% of sexual violence happens before the age of 15.
  • Violence against women is widely accepted by both men and women.
  • There are relatively little support services or other forms of assistance for women who have experienced this abuse.

UN Women Wrkshp in Honiara Mphoto Marni Gilbert


Thanks to Marni Gilbert for this shot of  the Transformational Leadership Workshop in Honiara, 2013