Rubbish & recycling  |  2 Mar 2023

In a world of convenience, Christchurch mum Ruth Vercoe now couldn’t imagine disposable nappies being the only option for her 22-month-old son Seth.

And while at first it seemed overwhelming having to deal with the cloth nappies, after some guidance she wouldn’t have it any other way.

It was an interest in not just using disposable nappies that led Mrs Vercoe to attending the Kate Meads Parenting, Cloth Nappies and More workshop in 2021.

“We had been interested in starting cloth nappies before we went to Kate Meads but we’d been quite overwhelmed with all the information out there,” Mrs Vercoe said.

“The workshop definitely gave me a bit of confidence and made it more achievable. I remember laughing at Kate saying before we know washing poo off in the toilet would soon become second nature - or something like that – and she was so right,” she said.                                         

Waste educator and motivational speaker Kate Meads is hosting four upcoming workshops from March 6 to March 8 at venues around the city in conjunction with Christchurch City Council.

The three different sessions cover parenting, food reduction, as well as general waste reduction and ticket prices have dropped. Ticket prices now start from $10 and include a $60 gift pack of reusable products. You can also take a friend along for free (one goodie bag per ticket).

Mrs Vercoe would highly recommend everyone attend these workshops, especially if you have an interest in reducing waste or saving money. She’s planning to attend Kate’s other workshops.

“I loved Kates's pragmatic and no-nonsense approach to waste reduction - I think my biggest take-away was to just start, start small and work up rather than getting overwhelmed,” Mrs Vercoe said.

“I also loved how she used stats from the room i.e. how many children people were having to calculate nappy usage over time, and how she backed up her own anecdotal stories with evidence and numbers - all while not making people feel guilty but just more aware and empowered to make a change.”

“Now we're also a lot more aware of the waste we produce, choosing not to indulge as much in 'convenience' when there is another option or we could go without, for example if I forget my reusable cup I will have a hot drink at the cafe rather than get a takeaway cup. Our composting game has definitely improved too.”

Find out more and book your tickets here.