UK Ecobrick Trainers

Lucie Mann

image9

1. When did you join the ecobricks UK

I set the group up on 5th March 2018, we had 5 other members who wanted to explore ecobricks in the UK, and look what happened!


2. What was that hooked you in?

I was looking for something I could do to help our biosphere with my health as it was at the time, little did I know how much working with ecobricks would help my health improve.


3. How do your first ecobrick go?

Not amazing! lol, but it was Christmas day 2017. In fact the second one was worst, but that spurred me on. I couldn't see how it was a building block when it was squashy?  I then went through a period of not wanting to cut up the plastic and questioning why the plastic needed washing, and for a while I made none, but something kept bringing me back to this idea that ecobricks could change things. 

That's when I set up the group to see if anyone else was feeling the same, and they were!


4. Whats it like being a trainer?

For me it has been life changing. It has helped me recover from my stroke, it has helped me regain my confidence, and although I can't do everything I did before, being an ecobrick trainer has given new skills that I may not have gained otherwise.

I get to meet so many wonderful people. One of the best bits for me is when I talk one to one to people and see that moment when my words make a difference to them. 


5. Whats your proudest ecobrick moment so far?

There are so many moments it would be hard to say. But it is always really special when I get a note in with the ecobricks I get sent to say, thank you .Although when I certified as a trainer was a moment that i hold dear. 


6. What are your next ecobrick plans?

To increase the number of ecobrick trainers we have in the UK, so we can bring real depth of change to communities and individuals. Get some larger projects built in the UK - such as a ecobrick building to house our compost toilet. 

To bring real solutions to living plastic free, and good local food being available to more people.


7. Has ecobricking led you to other changes?

Not really changes, as I have always tried to life as biosphere friendly life as possible, but it certainly made me stick with things and not take what seems to be the easy options. As a trainer it is important to me to lead by example.


8. Favourite bottom colour? 

Purple


9. Want to tell us anything about yourself?

I don't give up!


10. And finally, where can I deliver training courses?

Anywhere!  I am happy to travel to any part of the UK to help with ecobricks. 


Jeni McConnell

image10

1. When did you join the ecobricks Uk group?

I joined in October 2018. 


2. What was it that hooked you in?

I was looking for things to help me extend my understanding of environmental issues and in particular things that related to plastic and water. I was curious about the David Attenborough programmes and felt I should to know more. I joined during the mad ten days where the group numbers expanded really rapidly after someone’s post went viral. I watched and read for a while before starting, had pauses every now and again to take in what I’d learnt - and didn’t tell my husband what I was doing until I knew for sure I understood enough to articulate it in a way that didn’t make me seem too bonkers (he knows I am)! I work as a socially engaged artist. There seemed to be a natural connection between my creative way of working with others and the ecobrick ethos of building and strengthening connections with community, sharing with others, connecting hearts and minds as well as hands. Lucie Mann encouraged me to become a trainer and I’m so glad she did. I was a bit nervous starting the course, but looking back now it’s given me confidence with my voice, speaking about plastic and the environment with others comes so much easier now. I’ve developed my writing too and best of all, I’ve felt the heart-changing warmth from other people as they’ve begun to get the real depth of ecobricking and set off confidently on their own journey of discovery, lightening their plastic footprint and caring really deeply for the planet and the plastic they use.


3. How did your first ecobrick go?

Pretty terribly actually - I made one around late October 2018 and didn’t get anywhere near the right weight. I had to leave it to one side for 3 weeks until I’d calmed down enough to pick out the innards and repack it. That was a huge learning point for me.


4. What's it like being a trainer

Amazing! I trained in February 2019 under the careful guidance of the two people whose  passion for plastic has developed ecobricks to where it is today; Russell Maier and Ani Himawati. Their knowledge, patience, skill and careful thought provoking discussions really got me thinking whilst I learnt. I trained at the same time as other UK trainers Kimberly Mak and Bixie Rose Knight and our group conversations, with our different ways of thinking  challenged my own ways of doing things, which I think is definitely a good thing. 


5. What's your proudest ecobrick moment so far? 

Packing a bottle so that the ‘not currently recycled’ logo shows in full on the bottle. I use this on training courses to talk about recycling labelling and how the words ‘yet’ and ‘currently’ are added to make us respond more positively, when in truth it means ‘not recycled’ or ‘not recyclable’.


6. What are your next ecobrick plans?

I’d like to make a stool and learn about cob building.


7. Has ecobricking led you to other change too? 

Yes, I have almost become a ‘nonsumer’ through this journey. It took a while to stop myself from seeing the bright shiny things in shops and thinking ‘I want that’, then buying it. Now I can see things and have an honest discussion (in my head) about want and need. If it’s only want, then I walk away. I only shop for food and drink now. I have enough things to last me many years and I don’t need more. This change has given me so much more time and I find that amazing. 


8. Favourite colour bottle bottom?

Orange 


9. Want to tell us anything else about you? 

I used to love doing cartwheels, but I’m not so confident with them these days!


10. and finally, where can you deliver training courses?

North West England


#ecobricks #trainer #profile #jenimcconnell#TrainerProfileJeniMcConnell

HEADER IMAGE: Still from filmed performance sewing single use plastic to make an invisibility cloak at the National Waterways Museum, Ellesmere Port.   

Tina McGrane

image11

1. When did you join the group?

I think I joined the FB group in October 2018. After seeing a re-post of a friend of a friend.


2. What was it that hooked you in?

Collecting my plastic for a week ready to cut a bit… but actually drowning in all of it before the end of the week had even arrived. 

Being in utter shock about the amount of useless, single plastic making its way into my home.


3. How did your first ecobrick go?

Not good at all!! I had two bottles on the go, impatiently trying to ram blister packets among other hard and too big bits of plastic down. I hurt my shoulder and wrists really badly so stopped for a while. 

Specifically went out to buy a wide neck bottle and tried again. Better, but still too much hard work. 

Luckily came across a very good tutorial by Lucie Mann and found the right technique…All along realising that too much plastic still meant a lot of hard work, however good my technique now was….


4. What's it like being a trainer?

Amazing and frustrating. Rewarding but time consuming. 

I am on a rather exciting journey. But like all things it is not just cupcakes and rainbows.


5. What's your proudest ecobrick moment so far?  

My son’s primary school producing 66 very happy ecobricks in one day. and more are continuing to come in.

And then there are of course those mini victories, when a friend mentions in passing that she has changed her shopping habits… or another member of the community having swapped to soap bars as to avoid plastic bottles..


6. What are your next ecobrick plans?

I’d like to learn how to built with cob and put the use and re-use to the test. 


7. Has ecobricking led you to other change too?

I have learned, am still learning (!) to asses my needs over my wants. 

It is really hard as I love stuff, and I am a long way away from a zero waste life style, but the only way out of this mess for me seems to be to stop consuming in such a greedy manner.


8. Favourite colour bottle bottom?

Pink


9. Want to tell us anything else about you?

Not really, But feel free to ask! 


10. and finally, where can you deliver training courses?

Ideally just local, Dereham is in the middle of Norfolk so anywhere in Nelson’s county, but happy to travel a couple of extra hours…

Tina Curtis

image12

1. When did you join the group?

May 2018


2. What was it that hooked you in?

I was horrified at the amount of plastic in my bin every week and when I saw the group on Facebook I joined up and my bin is now half full and I am trying to reduce the amount of plastic that comes into my home. Shortly after joining I decided to create a project with our local scouts and contacted Lucie Mann about becoming a trainer and she was just about to embark on the course as well and invited me to join her.  I haven’t looked back since.


3. How did your first ecobrick go?

Very tough! it was really hard to get it packed to the right weight but I persevered and got there in the end.  It was a big learning curve, trying to find the right stuffing stick and cutting up the plastic.


4. What's it like being a trainer?

It is really great being able to spread the word, I have only done workshops with several cub groups, some school teachers and a group of local friends but everyone has enjoyed it and gone away with a view to reducing plastic.  They are all amazed when I show them a bag of plastic that equates to the weight their bottle should be.


5. What's your proudest ecobrick moment so far?

Not sure I have a proudest moment but I am proud to be part of this movement and helping to reduce the amount of plastic likely to end up in our oceans.


6. What are your next ecobrick plans?

Looking forward to learning more about cob building.


7. Has ecobricking lead you to other change too?

Yes it has made me more conscious about buying things wrapped in plastic, I have switched to soap and shampoo bars and love them, also reusable cups and water bottles.


8. Favourite colour bottle bottom?

Blue


9. Want to tell us anything else about you?

I am a District Commissioner for scouts and love dragon boat racing.


10. and finally, where can you deliver training courses?

South West of England


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

HEADER IMAGE: Enjoying myself on an early morning paddle on the River Avon which I am very fortunate to live very close to


Document created: 10th July 2019 

image13

image14