Successful Sustainable Living Workshops During 2013

This weekend just past was the final workshop for 2013 that Kim and I have been running under aptly named business, Little Green Workshops.  During each school term, we have taught at least three classes, usually within the same month. 
November was exceptionally busy for us with three classes and one presentation. 
Earlier in the month we taught soy candle making.  We had seven students, all very eager to learn how to make soy wax candles.

Kim loves teaching this workshop, and she does all of the instruction for this one.  I am her obedient helper for this course.

This is the way she sets up each student’s workstation.  They get to take home quite a few candles and a small box of melts.

Here are some of the students creations.  Some great candles were produced on the day.
The very next weekend, it was Soap making class.  In this course, I do all the chemistry and instruction, with Kim washing up between sets.  Then we swap roles, and Kim does the what to when you get home demo. We teach four students at once, with a maximum class size of eight.

These are all the wooden soap moulds that I made for the class.  I am getting a bit of a dab hand at these.  I can whip up eight moulds at home in about 3 hours without rushing.

This is the set up for the students.  The table in front is where I make the first batch of soap as a demo, and the four student workstations are set up against the wall.  This is so we have adequate ventilation after adding the sodium hydroxide to the water to make lye.

This was a great class with everyone taking home a 1 kg block of scented and coloured soap, which in 4 weeks will be ready to use.  Kim also sets up a little shop to sell materials and equipment that the students may want to purchase.

Last week, Ben and I gave a presentation about Computer Security in the Home.  I scared the bejeebers out of eight ladies at the Diamond Valley Library, and quickly got their attention within the first five minutes.  I talked about the methods that cyber criminals can steal your money, and how to prevent getting scammed.  I also discussed malicious software on desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones.  They were so grateful at the then of the class and I expect that they all went home and changed all their online passwords to stronger ones!

One lady even admitted to have fallen for the very prevalent Microsoft Support call scam.  This scam is where they (the bad guys) call your home around 7pm pretending to be Microsoft and convince you to let them fix your computer even though there is nothing wrong with it.  They then fleece you of your credit card details or Internet banking credentials or charge you US$160 for the privilege of scamming you.  She now knows better.  I give these presentations because I believe that if I want people to learn about all the great stuff online, like say sustainable living, I want them to be safe learning about it.

That takes us to Sunday just past.  I taught a Mozzarella and Ricotta class for five student at Melton South Community House.  Kim was my assistant for this one.  There is not much washing up after the class as each student brings their own pot and spoon.  I provide the ingredients and the camp stoves.

It is a great little class and everyone goes home with their own Mozzarella that they have made.  Quite a bit was eaten at the end of the class as well, because we serve up some sliced baguette so the class can try their cheese.  Kim then plays shop, and sells kits if the students want to make more cheese at home.

So, that was the very last class for 2013, as we now take a break over the hot summer months and begin again in March 2014.

I can proudly announce that we will both be teaching people sustainable living skill in 2014, both locally and around the Greater Melbourne area.  I have a few sustainable living presentations booked already that will be held during February (Sustainable Living Festival event), and all our other classes are locked in for the first term at Melton South.

If anyone is interested in attending a class, you can find all the course dates over on our Little Green Workshops website, within the tabs for each subject.

Thanks so much to all the students who attended our classes during the entire year.  Both Kim and I are very excited about what 2014 may bring!

Here’s to a great year ahead teaching people new skills in the new year.

Have you attended a sustainable/simple living workshop near you during 2013?  What did you learn and was it worthwhile?


  1. Michelle Gaboya says

    Hi Gavin, I’ve just come across your blog, looks really interesting! Will be following along from now on :)

  2. says

    I love the way you two work together. You are certainly a good example of strong marriage, friendship and parents. Kim is looking gorgeous as usual. Love love love her hair. Nope, i havent had the pleasure of attending one of your courses yet but im sure that will be remedied in 2014. Watch Out! Cheers.

    • says

      I agree 100% Lynda. She is a wonderful partner and we do work so well together. Love her to bits as well.

      Would love to have you along to a workshop in the new year!

      Gav x

  3. says

    I certainly did attend one- the soy candle workshop. I was daunted when I first walked in and saw all the bits and pieces but it was surprisingly easy to do. Kim was a great teacher and everything was laid out for us. I’m looking forward to making a few more in my own home in the next few days. I’m not sure why but I also found it very relaxing!!

    • says

      Thanks for the great feedback rivergirl. It is very relaxing, isn’t it. Kim really knows her stuff, and is a stickler for detail, which makes all the workshops flow so well.

      The pre-work we do the day before is revolves around a checklist so we never forget anything!


  4. says

    I attended a soap making course earlier this year which was simply awesome, although I’m yet to put what I learned into practice. I also attended a cheese making course learning to make chevre, feta and ricotta. Again, I’ve only made mozzarella (from your kit) and ricotta since but I’ve had a blast making both. Now I have my full cheese kit and all I need for soap making I MUST get into action. I think with a few days of cold weather coming up, starting tomorrow where we’ll have the fire burning again I really MUST make some soap. I reckon I can put it on to melt and all that late afternoon so Martin is home when it comes to lye and trace stage, just so I’ve got 2 kid free hands. :)
    I also attended a sourdough workshop which was awesome but now that we’re gluten free I no longer use the information. I miss making bread though I tell you.

  5. says

    I sure wish I lived closer! I would book a spot in each class!

    I think it’s great that you are sharing with people what you have learn, by way of this blog, and by teaching classes. It helps people like me, who haven’t found anyone or a place to learn yet, to be able to do things at home and be successful.

    Thank you for your blog posts. I’m enjoying your journey as I’m having my own.

    Have a great day.

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