Book of Leaves


Finding Solace in Nature - Alex, Understory

Ep. 56

Episode 56 is with Wicklow-based ecologist Alex Konieczka. One of her many ventures is Understory, a truly zerowaste business where she sells upcycled terrariums among other things. You can follow her on Instagram @understory_ie to keep up to date with the pieces she creates and foraging excursions she plans, or reach out to her via e-mail on

  • [03:45] An intro from Alex and her relationship with nature.
  • [09:55] When the issue of climate change dawned on Alex.
  • [13:05] The work of Understory.
  • [21:45] How she got into foraging.
  • [24:05] Her journey to veganism
  • [26:05] Climate justice project with Eco Unesco.
  • [24:15] Community work & asking the council for help.
  • [35:25] Random questions!

Click here for a resource pack Alex made on contacting your council for help!

More Episodes

Monday, May 1, 2023

Sea Shepherd Ireland - Emma Tuite

I only came across the amazing work of Sea Shepherd Ireland recently, despite them being around for years and doing absolutely amazing work! I hope you enjoy hearing country director Emma Tuite's beautiful story in how her love for the sea and its creatures developed, alongside the importance of Ireland in protecting our marine areas. Sea Shepherd are always on the look for volunteers, so get in touch with them if you'd like to know more! You can stay up to date with their campaigns on Instagram @seashepherdireland, Twitter @seashepherd_ie and Facebook. [04:30] How Emma fell in love with the sea and all its inhabitants[11:20] Crossing paths with Sea Shepherd for the first time[13:45] The Cove documentary[16:15] What Sea Shepherd do[24:45] Ireland’s responsibility as an island, and the species in our waters[31:20] Problems facing the ocean, particularly super trawlers & MPAs (Marine Protected Areas)[34:55] How Sea Shepherd intervene unethical fishing & whaling practices works[40:30] How to get involved & support Sea Shepherd[49:55] Emma’s favourite thing about the futureClick here for an article about the campaign to stop the trade of shark fins in Europe. We'll find out by July 11th 2023 what the outcome will be. Resources mentioned:Watch The Cove documentaryWhale WarsBlackfishRachel Brooks artChasing The ThunderFaroe Islands CampaignFair Seas IrelandIrish Wildlife TrustPodcasts: Ecolution & Birdwatch IrelandAs always, don't forget to follow Book of Leaves on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, leave us a review, and share with a friend xPatreon / Buy Me A Coffee
Monday, January 2, 2023

A Guide to Forest Bathing - Cathelijne de Wit

Ep. 79
If you haven't heard of forest bathing before, well you're in for a treat! And no, you can keep your kit on and leave the bathrobe at home. Forest bathing is about bathing your senses in the surrounds of a forest. The mental and physical health benefits of this are astonishing and of course, it strengthens your relationship and awareness of nature. As we head into 2023, I thought there's no nicer leaf to finish out the season on than to spend more time in nature, so I asked the woman who brought me on one of my first forest bathing trips: Cat from Forest Bathing Wicklow! I hope you enjoyed this chat as much as I did. You can follow Cat on Instagram @forestbathingwicklow. We chatted about:[05:40] How the landscape differs between The Netherlands and Ireland.[07:20] What is forest bathing?[14:30] Other elements involved such as poetry and tea ceremonies.[19:00] Optimal time spent forest bathing & health benefits.[24:35] The pace of forest bathing.[28:30] How certification to be a forest bathing guide works.[30:50] Some of Cat's favourite moments that have happened on her forest bathing journey.[38:20] Other eco tips from Cat[43:40] Random questions!Also mentioned: Shinrin-Yoku book by Dr. Qing LiNadúr for forest bathing training & eventsBecky Helmsley poet - Breathe poemThe Hidden Life of Trees by Peter WohllebenUnpacked zero waste shop in KildareClimate Love IrelandAs always, don't forget to follow Book of Leaves on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, leave us a review, and share with a friend xPatreon / Buy Me A Coffee