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About Understory

Understory is an environmental education and zero-waste organisation founded by Alex Konieczka in 2020. Understory is dedicated to providing people with the knowledge and tools necessary to take environmental-positive action. We offer a range of high-quality, tailored and interactive environmental education programmes and resources that teach sustainability and conservation practices through interactive learning experiences.

 

Additionally, we are proud to be a zero-waste organisation. Waste made by us during production or day-to-day administration is incorporated elsewhere, creating an infinite loop so that nothing goes to the landfill. Materials used in workshops are also sustainable, sourced second-hand or reclaimed. 

From our small studio near Greystones, Co. Wicklow, we use reclaimed materials to make bee nest boxes, bird houses, signs, raised beds, kits, gift boxes and cards. Products are available for purchase online and at pop-up markets. Our alternative consumerism enables you to make a difference every time you make a purchase, by diverting waste from landfill, supporting the circular economy and helping nature.

 

We are a grassroots organisation. The heart of our work is rooted in passed down knowledge, respect for all living things, immense love for nature and passion for regeneration and resilience. All profits are put back into the organisation to educate the world about responsible consumerism, protect biodiversity and divert more items from the landfill.

Understory

[UN-der-STORE-ee] noun

1.

Underlying layer of vegetation that grows beneath the forest canopy, the topmost part of the forest. Plants in the Understory are persistent and specialised in order to overcome difficult conditions and support a range of wildlife.

Alex Konieczka by Enda O'Dowd

A turning point in Alex’s career was when she became the creator of an award winning 12 month corporate sustainability programme in the Headquarters of one of the top Fortune 500 companies. There she acted as an eco-consultant, project manager and innovation researcher. Her programme engaged and inspired behavioural change in over 400+ employees and provided a scalable framework for other locations around the world. After the positive reception and encouragement of colleagues and clients, she started Understory in 2020.

Alex now works as the director of Understory, educator, youth worker, project manager and zero-waste artist. She is trained in First Aid, Child Protection and is Garda vetted.

Meet the founder

Alex Konieczka is an ecologist, holding a BSc. Natural Sciences, specialising in Environmental Science from Trinity College Dublin. Alex’s heritage, lifelong passion for sustainability and experience working as an ecologist in Ireland and abroad means she has immense understanding of this field, including first-hand experience of the challenges and ambitions of living in harmony with nature.

Alex Konieczka Speaker.

Understory in the News

Waste not, want not - Wicklow ecologist's way forward
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Irish Times
RTE News
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greystones guide logo
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RTE 2F
Dublin city FM
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kildare nationalist

Our Ethos

Sustainable Materials

We divert materials from the landfill and make products that benefit biodiversity and people. We operate with zero-waste practices and a circular economy model. 

Knowledge Sharing

We're big believers of knowledge sharing and capacity building. We work with others to achieve our common goal.

Recycled Paper

We opt for paper made completely from recycled fibres. When possible, we make our own paper from company waste, using an old-fashioned mold and deckle. 

Compostable & Plastic-free Packaging

We use recycled, secondhand and recyclable cardboard boxes, fillers and paper products, including paper tape, resulting in 100% compostable and plastic free packaging. We also try to reuse as much packaging as we can, thereby minimising our consumption.

Social Responsibility

Businesses play a big part in a community and should benefit the society. We do this by empowering others to make positive change, offering support & advice and providing our services to minority and low-income groups pro bono.

Biodiversity

Caring for biodiversity is at the core of our work. Our products are based on peer-reviewed research and specifically designed to support wildlife. Understory also adapts biodiversity enhancing practices in it's garden, including providing water, food and shelter to local wildlife including visiting woodpeckers, frogs and pollinators.