Wed, 31 Jul 2013 22:35:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Zero Waste Market Challenge / / Mon, 22 Jul 2013 18:21:56 +0000 admin /?p=596

Earth Matters and the Eco-Society Partner to host the Zero Waste Market Challenge!

Weeeeeow we have some exciting stuff happening this summer :)

The Earth Matters Zero Waste Youth Project and the Eco-Society are excited to be collaborating on a serious project for August 2013!  The Zero Waste Market Challenge will be running at the Wednesday Markets on Baker Street for the month of August.  This is an opportunity for vendors and customers alike to reduce waste by bringing your own everything to the market (Bags, bowl, spoon, mug, cup etc).  Participating vendors will be encouraging customers each week, and providing tokens for the raffle.  There will be weekly trivia questions, and many opportunities for great prizes.  Customers will have the opportunity to purchase reclaimed tent material bags from the Zero Waste Youth Project for $2-$5.  Local vendors will be selling exciting options for bags as well!

Earth Matters is a program of Nelson CARES Society.  The Zero Waste Youth Project has been running as a project of Earth Matters since fall 2012.    Using tents left behind at festivals as a medium, we have been sharing the message of waste education with both Nelson’s youth, and our surrounding community.  Over the year, the tents have transformed into re-claimed produce and shopping bags and are for sale to our community as a reminder to save a plastic bag and reduce your waste!

The Eco-Society is a non profit organization with a mandate to realize the vision of a regionally sustainable post-carbon society.  The Eco-society has been successfully hosting the Saturday and Wednesday markets since 2001.

For information about this event please visit:

See you at the Market!

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March 20th / / Thu, 21 Mar 2013 22:49:22 +0000 admin /?p=582

Finally a picture of Sarah and Heather together!  The trusty coordinators of the Earth Matters Upcyclers…

Below is a great shot of Faye, Rylan, Nic and Spencer working hard on their tent bags! upcyclers teachers upcyclers 4 Pictures courtesy of Susy Hamilton, Nelson Daily News Online.

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So much has happened in the past couple weeks / / Sat, 16 Mar 2013 01:07:59 +0000 admin /?p=578 Hello everyone, I’d like to start off by introducing myself. My name is Kevin Disher and I am going to be the EarthMatters Blog Writer for the next little while.

These last two weeks at the youth center have been extremely productive, and the group of people we have working on the project is simply phenomenal! The number of brilliant idea’s being tossed around and the fact that many of them are turning into reality is very encouraging. In fact thanks to the help of all of our lovely volunteers we are expanding the scope of our tent recycling to include flags and banners for use by the Nelson Cares Society. These will then we used during the Love your Tent Campaign this summer. Stay tuned for more information on that!

Next Wednesday we are going to be trying assembly line style production of our recycled tent bags for the first time. If all goes well production will be in full swing and EarthMatters will be well on the way to reducing the impact of Shambhala Music Festival on the environment. Here’s a sample of what we’ve accomplished so far to give you an idea of what to expect when our bags hit the shelves at the Shambhala Merch Tent!

To help raise awareness for the Love your Tent Campaign one our volunteer’s Fae has been working on designing a logo, and I’ve gotta say that it is coming along beautifully. The end result should be quite the site to behold. Here are a couple pictures of the design so far!

Over the next few weeks I am going to be trying to make the blog more interactive so If you have any questions or suggestions on a topic you would like discussed please feel free to get in touch with me using the contact form below. I will gladly do anything within my capabilities to help.
Also i am debating whether or not adding a discussion forum to the site and would be a good idea and would like to know what sections you think belong in the forum.
For example:
Love your Tent Campaign
Gardening Tips and Tricks
Idea Swap

Each of the topics will be listed as a sub-forum where everything can be discussed freely by all of the users of our site.

Best regards,
Kevin Disher

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Sewing: Parts of the machine and tips to help you succeed! / / Wed, 20 Feb 2013 20:51:04 +0000 admin /?p=574 For those of you interested in learning more about sewing…
I have decided to include the parts of the sewing machine here- this is very helpful when following patterns or just working with others to be able to navigate around the machine.  Challenge yourself and try to learn a new name!
Interested in advancing your technique?  Here is a great article from threads magazine, ’20 Ways to Improve your sewing’.
Check it out
Power switch: used to turn your machine on and off
Presser foot: detachable metal device that holds the fabric down against the feed dog
Presser foot lifter: usually at the back of the machine, this raises and lowers the presser foot
Throat plate: metal plate covering the feed dog, with a hole for the needle to pass through
Feed dog: small metal device with teeth that carries the fabric forward or backward when sewing
Needle: moves down to interlock the upper thread with the bobbin thread and up tightening the stitch
Thread take up: goes down releasing the upper thread allowing the thread to interlock with bobbin thread and then goes down to tighten the stitch
Upper tension regulator: can loosen or tighten the tension of the upper thread, creates a balanced stitch
Thread guide: directs thread from the spool to other parts of needle
Spool pin: the rod that holds the spool of thread
Bobbin winder: mechanism close to balance wheel for winding the bobbin
Balance wheel {or hand wheel}: on the right side of the machine, controlled by the belt and if turned will put the needle up and down
Stitch length regulator: controls the length of the stitches, make this longer for a gathering stitch
Stitch width regulator: controls the width of stitches, usefully on a zigzag stitch
Bobbin case: under the feed down, it is a metal case holding the bobbin that directs and controls the tension of the lower thread
Foot control {pedal}: the gas pedal of the machine, making it stitch

Sew ya later,


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Love your Pants Workshop! (Feb 14) / / Wed, 20 Feb 2013 20:40:12 +0000 admin /?p=572


FEB 14th 2013 from 4-8 pm @ NDYC

On Valentines day a lovely group of us gathered to learn about patch work from the talented Marya.  We had chocolate treats from the bakery, tea, and lots of materials ready to be worked on.  The idea behind the workshop was to provide youth with repair skills to fix up old clothing that may no longer work/fit/be stylin etc.  We came away with quite a few techniques to use on our clothes!  If you were at the workshop and want to practice your new skills, come on out to our meetings Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4-8 pm.  Did you completely miss out (or were you busy with your loved ones)?  We are happy to share sewing skills any time you are free.  See you at the youth center!

Here is just a sampling of some of the topics covered…

Quilting - This is a great way to use up old scraps and come away with a very usable (and cozy!) result

Applique- Applying an ornamental device to another surface.  Can use this technique to   patch up knees on jeans!

Felting/darning- lafazio needle felting SO FUN!  This was my personal favorite technique.  I had never felted before and did not realize how easy it it!  You simply take raw unspun, wool, and use a felting needle to poke it into the surface you are working on. I chose to make a heart on my skirt for Valentines day :) You could essentially felt anything under the sun…to the right of the skirt check out the complicated needle-felted art pillow case!

Embelishmnets- This is anything that adds design interest to the piece.  Embroidery is often used in sewing.

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FEBRUARY and MARCH: Calender of Events / / Wed, 13 Feb 2013 23:47:34 +0000 admin /?p=561 We will be busy over the next few months!  Check out our Calender of Events :)

Look forward to seeing you there,

Sarah and Heather

Earth Matters Upcyclers’ Coordinators

Nelson and District Youth Center, Wed/Thurs, 5-8 pm

February 2013 Calender UPDATED March 2013 Calender

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Wednesday February 6th- PHASE 2 begins! / / Thu, 07 Feb 2013 22:33:08 +0000 admin /?p=548 So we met last night at the Youth Center for our first meeting of PHASE 2! Sarah and Heather had the room looking great, everything has its place now and it really feels like a working space.  They had an array of delicious snacks- fruit, veggies, chocolate, cookies, trial mix and chips n’ salsa (my personal fav!).

We began the night fairly informally with introductions, thoughts on what people would like to get out of their time with us, and things that we are hoping to accomplish with the group.  We talked a lot about waste in nelson because we had Anders and Johannes from Norway join us.  They wanted to know some differences in waste education/waste disposal between our countries.  Apparently Norway is sending some of their garbage to Sweden to be incinerated and then they get the by-products returned and store them in landfills.  Check out this interesting article for more information on the Swedish Waste to Energy Incineration program…what are your thoughts on burning garbage for energy?? .

THEN we started making tents!  Nic, our expert sewer, joined us and taught everyone the steps in turning the leftover Shambhala tents into Reusable shopping bags.  We all ended up starting and finishing most of a bag.  It was awesome to watch each bag evolve in its own way.  Some people were adding in buckles and straps, others added mesh and others added a tent window (see thru shopping bag! so cool!).

Excited that the project is back up and rolling!  Common down to the Youth Center Wednesdays and Thursdays from 5-8 pm! Great people, great food, great conversation, great experiences.

Looking for resume building skills or volunteer hours!?  Interested in getting a high school credit for particapation?! Show up or email us with questions- [email protected]

Looking forward to seeing you all again soon!
broken tent 001

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Our Project Enters Phase 2…with a Film Night! / / Wed, 16 Jan 2013 21:34:23 +0000 admin /?p=538 We are excited to announce the beginning of the next phase of the Earth Matters Upcyclers Project. Starting on Monday, January 28 at 7 pm at the Nelson District Youth Centre. Come on out for a documentary film and discussion, free snacks, and see the Upcycling Laboratory, complete with 2 sergers and sewing machines! We will be showing The Clean Bin Project, a documentary about a Vancouver-based couple who attempt to live “waste and consumer-free” for a year.

There are some big things coming up for the Earth Matters Upcyclers Group starting in February! We will be having regular open hours for work with the sewing machines every Wednesday and Thursday nights from 5-8 pm starting in February.

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Upcyclers’ Show and Tell / / Fri, 11 Jan 2013 22:17:54 +0000 admin /?p=536

Bring your latest reuse/upcycling/crafting with left overs project to show.

Or bring ideas you’ve seen of things you’d like to try.

This is a chance to network, skill share and idea map creative reuse here in the Kootenays.

We will have snacks and a brief presentation about the Zero Waste Youth Project.

This event is open to anyone. No commitment necessary.

If you are curious about the Zero Waste Youth Project or want to meet other folks making new while making do, this is the perfect chance.

Access Details:
The open house will be happening in the upstairs meeting room in the youth centre, which is up one flight of stairs. Access from the rear can be arranged for folks needing to avoid the stairs. Please just let us know. The youth centre has washrooms designated male and female, including access stalls on the main floor of the centre. Other access inquiries and questions can be addressed via phone: 250-352-6011×17 or email: [email protected]

Check out our facebook event.

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Exciting Momentum / / Fri, 11 Jan 2013 22:17:10 +0000 admin /?p=535 This week we welcome another participant blogger Alex to share her insight on the project thus far:


“It’s only my second week meeting with the Zero Waste Youth Project and I already feel like this project has so much momentum. Every time I come home after a meeting I’m buzzing with excitement at where we’re going. Not to be dramatic but I feel like this project is everything I’ve been wanting to do in the last few years, culminating in one powerful group. And we have so much power–I can feel it at every gathering.

This week, we started with our usual check-in and then talked about some of the progress that’s been made. Pretty quickly after that, we had a snack break and then moved down to our new space to paint.

Part of what feels so extraordinary about this project is how fast it’s moving. Every week we make a ton of progress and I know this is largely due to the incredible work of our facilitators, Sarah, Heather and Kori. It felt so good to show up, get handed a paintbrush and start painting. There were no overwhelming discussions about what colours we would paint. We just kind of decided in a simple flow of consensus and then we went for it.

Of course there were some interesting results as we amateurly attacked the walls with our brushes but it turned out pretty great. The pressure wasn’t on creating a perfectly painted wall, anyway, it was to create something, to move forward and decorate a space where so much more creating is going to happen. And we did that which felt amazing.

Starting out with a 3 tone gradient in a Lazure style.

The wall has a beach feel

The space comes together with the help of many.

I can’t put into words how psyched I am to watch and take part in this project rolling on. It feels so good to be somewhere and do things, as simple as that may sound. I eagerly await the rest of the journey.”


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