Entries by Theresa Sjoquist


Sleeping au naturel

On the hunt for a peaceful night’s kip, I visited four natural bed manufacturers and discovered some of the secrets behind a healthful slumber. Many a bad back is caused by poor mattresses, says Sukhita Derova from natural bedding company, Innature. She would know. As a professional cyclist in her youth, the sport put her […]


Blooming beautiful

Flower farming wasn’t in the plan for Craig and Mandy Purvis, but grew out of a shift away from the corporate world and towards organics. They’re now one of the few certified organic flower growers in New Zealand. Craig and Mandy are originally from Scotland, and met in the UK. Craig was a forensic examiner […]


Light-earth sanctuary

  Earth building is cheaper than conventional building – but only if you do it yourself, says Sam Southward. He built four light-earth constructions at the delightfully named Absurdistan Community near Kaiwaka.  Sam was happy to chat and share what it takes to build in light-earth. Sam (74) and his partner, Prasado Straub, have lived […]

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Recipe for an eco kitchen

Custom-made kitchen cabinetry using natural materials may be more expensive up-front, but it’s healthier, long lasting, and won’t end up clogging our landfills like cheaper products. A chat with West Auckland craftsman cabinetmaker Roland Zander about his business, Natural Kitchens, brought up a number of things to consider in creating more sustainable kitchens.    In […]


Sweet spice – Vanilla from Tonga

Photos: Copyright Heilala Vanilla On 31 December 2001 the island of Vava’u in Tonga was struck by Cyclone Waka. In winds of 190 km per hour, tree trunks snapped, houses were reduced to matchsticks, and crops destroyed. From that destruction however grew something sweet. This is the story of Heilala Vanilla. Today Heilala Vanilla is […]