FREE! ISSUE NINE
Walking on very thin ice
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The call of the wild
FOOD OF THE GODS
Chocolate for health
BIG Debate Targetting zero CO2
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I N S I D E – R E A L WAY S T O I M P R O V E YO U R L I F E S T Y L E
climate change, inequality & poverty can have human scale solutions if we act together now What is The Converging World ? Climate change affects everyone and we can all be part of the solution. Weâ€™re a UK charity, with a unique approach to carbon emissions. We double the value of your donation by investing in renewable energy and ALL of the profits from electricity and carbon credits funds social and environmental programmes across the world.
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We now provide to over 2500 ethically minded companies, public sector and social economy Step 1: Measure your carbon footprint organisations, including Amnesty International, Calculator: www.resurgence.org/resources CND, Triodos Bank, Unison, The Liberal Democrats, Midcounties Co-operative, The Centre Step 2: Learn to reduce your impact for Alternative Technology and many more.
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your questions to Sustained Magazine Victoria Chambers St. Runwald Street Colchester C01 1HF T. 01206 574147 E. firstname.lastname@example.org www.sustainedmagazine.com Twitter. sustained
These days we seem surrounded by what appear to be some very big problems. There’s global terrorism, an international financial crisis, water scarcity, resource depletion, mass migration, wealth inequality, global pandemics and last but not least, global warming. No doubt it’s enough to make some people want to throw their hands up in despair and exclaim, ‘It’s all too much!’ Fortunately, Sustained doesn’t think so and nor do we at The Converging World which is why we’re delighted to be working with Sustained on this Carbon Special. We both recognize the interconnectedness of all these ‘problems’ and so direct our actions to achieving more than just one result. For example, The Converging World, a UK charity, builds wind turbines in countries like India and then uses the incomes from the electricity and carbon credits to tackle social and environmental issues.
Your EDITOR David North OUR SPONSORS The Converging World 3rd Floor, Bush House 72 Prince Street Bristol, BS1 4QD T. 0117 927 7089 E. email@example.com www.theconvergingworld.com Our views The positive sustainable lifestyle magazine created by a community of people personally committed and passionate about fulfilling the vision of a sustainable existence.
I am delighted to welcome you to this issue of Sustained and am confident that, as you read it, you will be inspired to realize that beyond despair, these problems offer opportunities for us to come together and make a better world for all.
Ian Roderick, Chief Executive The Converging World
While we are a free publication, there will be a limited number of complimentary copies available in each area. As a non profit making project we rely wholly on continuing support from our subscribers, advertisers and sponsors.
What’s Inside? the carbon special SECTION EDITORS BE at Home - Laura Cook BE Free - Amy Harker BE Grounded - Paul Wagland BE Delicious - Emily Payne BE Prosperous - Peter Andrews BE Connected - Sam Henderson Trade Fair - Melissa Sterry
OUR CONTRIBUTORS Natalie Kelly Simon Bottrell Jack Woodcock Jules Peck Jasmin Mohamed Mukti Mitchell Tracey Todhunter Thomas Lay Shaun Dipper Vera North
Cover Photography Martin Hartley, eyevine
MAJOR SUPPORTERS Suma Wholefoods Low Carbon Lifestyles Ecotricity Shared Interest UK Aware
Sustained is another project by the Creative Coop, a diverse group of highly creative freelance individuals. Specialists in creative services for the social and ethical sectors, you can go online for a full list of people involved in its production ©2009 Creative Coop - Opinions that are expressed in Sustained Magazine are those of the individual writer and not necessarily those of the Sustained team.
08 10 12 14 18 22 24 44 46
What Pen Knows The iceman cometh
Ethical Shopper Everyday innovation
Lisa Loves What is a girl to do?
The Big Debate CO2 – whose responsibility?
Tomorrow’s World Elemental Energy
Jack of all Trades The road to motoring freedom
Free Range With Jules Peck
Trade Fair Business news and views
Dandelion Award The Big Lemon
Be! Yourself 26 BE at Home
32 BE Free
38 BE Delicious
Grow your own oxygen
Call of the wild
Beside the seaside
28 BE Smart
34 BE Close
40 BE Prosperous
Buy less and live more
30 BE You
36 BE Grounded
42 BE Connected
Cacao – food of the gods
Campaign for democracy
What Pen Knows Follow Pen and the Ice Team at www.catlinarcticsurvey.com
Pen Hadow, the first explorer to reach the North Pole solo and unsupported, shares his experiences of terror, beauty and the power of the human spirit. What does sustainability mean to you? I guess it’s simply based on that phrase I’ve heard, ‘treading gently on the earth.’ I often think about how carefully we all need to do that when I’m in the Arctic. The sheer beauty is everywhere and yet, however remote it is, it is under such peril from global warming. You’re about to embark on the Catlin Survey. What is that? The Catlin Arctic Survey is a collaboration between scientists and ourselves as polar explorers. It will help build on the current understanding of the factors affecting annual sea ice depletion. As the guys with the ability to trek across the dangerous floating sea ice, we’re helping them to discover what’s going on at a time when the ice is melting alarmingly fast. The results of the survey will be disseminated across the scientific community for further study. The aim is to get from about 80 degrees north all the way to the pole, which will take about 90 days. What have you witnessed that markedly reveals the effects of climate change? There has been a notable change to the landscape. There is much more broken ice than there once was, and far more single-year ice. As a result, there is more water to swim through than I used to experience. According to the scientists we’re working with, the worry is that the ice is thinning as well as shrinking. Once, we would start a trek closer to shore,
but now this simply isn’t possible from some parts of the Arctic Ocean. Even the re-fueling point for our expedition is a floating support base 500 miles offshore. What do you think should be done to rapidly reduce our impact caused by CO2 emissions? I like to think of myself as an optimist, so heavy investment in technology to reduce the energy we consume is a big factor. I’d like to think we care enough about future generations to change our personal habits too. Have you ever had experiences of terror and, if so, how have you dealt with them? Without doubt the worst experience I had was falling through the ice on my solo and unsupported expedition to the North Pole in 2003. I fell in without my immersion suit and lost a ski in my desperate attempts to get out. I then had to get back in and search for the ski, simply because it was going to be nigh on impossible to carry on without it. It was ferociously cold, terrifying and desperate. You just have to do what you have to do in a situation like that. Afterwards you realize just how close to disaster you probably came. Could you tell us about any experiences of awe that you may have had? You simply never stop being in awe of the Arctic. Perhaps the ultimate moment for me was reaching the North Pole in 2003. It was my third attempt at a solo and unsupported
trek from Canada. To reach it and realize I was right on top of the world, probably at the time the most lonely man on the planet, surrounded by such astonishing sea ice, was a moment I will never forget. I realized that I had fulfilled my personal ambition, I was there. I had done what no one had ever done before. That was truly awesome. In helping many ‘ordinary’ people fulfill dreams of arctic exploration what have you learned about their spirit? That ordinary people are capable of doing extraordinary things. With the right frame of mind and encouragement they are frequently surprised by what they can achieve. Ann Daniels, my fellow explorer on this expedition, worked in a bank when I met her. She was not the most obvious choice in the selection process, but she was the one who really put herself into the training. She has since gone on to become one of the best polar explorers today. Apart from your loved ones what do you most miss about home when you’re hundreds of miles into a polar expedition? A hot bath, Devon air and a long lie in bed on a soft mattress. When you’re at home what do you most miss about the polar regions? All of it. The ice, the wide landscape, the sound of the ice shifting, the fear, the joy and the cold. Being so remote. My personal wonderland. g
“I’d like to think we care enough about future generations to change our personal habits.”
ETHICAL Shopper Feature by Natalie Kelly
This issue’s featured products all come from UK AWARE 09 exhibitors. To win visit www.sustainedmagazine.com Hubcap Penguin | An innovative and exciting example of creative recycling, this proud penguin sculpture is formed entirely from unwanted hubcaps to amazing, robot-look effect. With other one-off pieces also available, prices are on request, at Hubcap Creatures. www.hubcapcreatures.com
Chic Cabinet | With a motto of ‘waste not, want not’ Katie Ramsden has embarked on designing high-end furniture from reclaimed pieces found in junkyards or skips plus unloved pieces needing a new lease of life. Ideal for storing sewing kit, blankets or books, it is priced on request, at Junkyard Chic. Tel: 01604 620163. www.junkyardchic.co.uk
Bird Feeder | Give our feathered friends a safe and stylish place to dine with this charming, house-like bird feeder. It can be suspended or wall-mounted so you can welcome their beautiful morning song outside your window. £12 at Nether Wallop Trading. Tel: 01264 355553. www.netherwalloptrading.com
Lemon Tree | Enjoy a relaxed afternoon sipping a refreshing herbal tea, ice-cold beer or healthy smoothy given a zesty twist with home-grown, vitamin C packed lemons. Brightening up a patio with its three or four crops a year, this evergreen tree costs £50. Tel: 0845 241 8733. www.tree2mydoor.com
Gladys Slippers | Keep toes toasty with these snuggest knitted indoor slippers. With a cute button detail and an adjustable strap, they cost £45 at Keep & Share. Why not select other pieces, such as cardigans and jumpers, from the quality collection to match? Tel: 01432 851162. www.keepandshare.co.uk
Green Oil | This non-hazardous set of products will keep you bike lubed, greased, clean and ready to roll, leaving you pedaling to perfection whilst easing your eco-concsience, thanks to its natural plant extracts that are animal, environment and human-friendly. Costing from £5 for Green Oil. Tel: 020 8313 9074. www.green-oil.net
Ethletic Trainers | Produced under a Fair Trade arrangement in Pakistan, these sneakers ensure the ultimate in ethical casual fashion – whether teamed with jeans, cords or shorts. 100% cotton canvas and FSC-certified rubber, they cost around £34, at FairDeal Trading. www.fairdealtrading.com
Tin Stool | Made from a huge catering can, this unique stool is upholstered with fabric to offer both a practical perch and a touch of colour to the home. Each a surprise design measuring H40cm by W23cm. Around £83 at The Recycle Warehouse. www.therecyclewarehouse.com
Morsbags | Help do your bit for both our countryside and wildlife by banishing the use of unbiodegradable bags in favour of a handmade holdall. You’ll save 80 plastic monsters per year clogging up the ecosystem. www.morsbags.com
Twike | With a range of 125 miles per charge and a top speed of 53mph, the supercool Twike is perfect for city dwellers - especially as road tax, congestion fees and parking in London are free! Battery-run and ten times more efficient than a normal car, it costs from £4580 at Twike UK. www.twike.co.uk
FreeRadicalised Townie | Fans of all things retro will fall head over wheels (not literally we hope!) for the amazing bikes at Really Useful Bikes whilst fans of getting the shopping done in one go (and in style, of course!) will have their bells ding-a-linging for this uber chic shopper. The Townie costs from £795. Tel: 01454 319960 www.reallyusefulbikes.co.uk
n] o b r a c [ te s ! G I B * de b a Carbon! – we hear that word bandied around these days like nobody’s business.
e’re meant to save it, offset it, think about how much of it we use, it’s the basis of life, we’re made from it and if we don’t start taking it a bit more seriously then soon it will all be gone and the world will explode – or something? Well, I’ll give it a whirl, but in between the school run, running a business, keeping up with the mortgage, dealing with the modern middle class nightmare that is homework and making sure there’s enough wine (organic of course) in the fridge (A++ rated) to last the week, I’m afraid my carbon footprint is the least of my worries. Still, politicians and the media wag their fingers at us as though we’re teenagers - walk instead of drive, use low energy light bulbs (mercuryladen by the way), turn the thermostat down and put on a sweater. Okay, I’m happy to do this in the name of energy conservation and the future of the planet but what I, and most of the rest of the population would really love to know is, is it really going to make a difference? And why should I be so worried about it anyway? Surely one person can’t be responsible for the entire world going to pot – isn’t that the plot of a Superman film? All I know about carbon is that it’s a natural element trapped in vegetation, coal, the earth, oil etc, and that releasing it into the
atmosphere causes the greenhouse effect which is why we should drive a Reliant Robin rather than a Range Rover Vogue monster. Why doesn’t someone tell us more about this stuff? I’m sure people would be a lot more willing to give saving it a go if we knew why and, more to the point, that we were being supported. But sitting shivering in our living rooms watching TV by the light of a candle seems a tad masochistic when, if you take a trip to London at any time of the day or night, half the city is lit up like Las Vegas with only five people actually using the light, heat, computers etc. How much carbon would be saved if the Gherkin building was to please switch off the lights at home time? Does Gordon Brown give Sarah a hard time for using the Downing Street washing machine more than once a day? Is Barack Obama going to refuse Air Force One and switch to video conferencing in the hope we’ll all choose Dorset over Benidorm for our summer holiday? I doubt that very much. And we’ve all seen David Cameron publicly shunning cars but I bet he tucks into his Sunday roast without a care in the world – the global livestock industry reportedly uses just as much energy as transport. And how many times have I heard disinterested friends or family say to me, ‘Well Lisa, I’d readily swap my Trojan Warrior Trailblaster for a moped if I thought
that those factories in China would stop throwing out smoke and fumes like there’s no tomorrow.’ (which by the way, there won’t be at this rate!). These are the very same people whose demand for iPods, supermarket clothing and Nikes is the reason for the factories in the first place! It’s all very well for the Government to put the onus on the homeowner to use less energy and transport, and fine us for having too much rubbish, but I can’t help feeling that’s like using a pneumatic drill to open a pistachio. What about ticking off the car companies, heavy industry, the supermarket chains and most of Canary Wharf? I’m on my children’s Eco-schools Council and it makes me smile right down to my toes to see such passion and commitment about saving energy and doing good for the environment from children as young as seven, to whom this planet, after all, belongs. But it also breaks my heart to think that unless everyone from individuals, business owners, governments and multinational organisations pulls together and takes responsibility for cutting carbon usage then, it seems to me, the earth will surely be doomed. g Passionate as Lisa? Perhaps the responses to our Big Debate over the page will help. If not, then you can find out more and have your say at www.sustainedmagazine.com/debate
he blame culture we live in continuously shuffles the subject of its scorn from one carbon clown to the next. Yesterday, some lacklustre government; today, dirty industry; tomorrow, wasteful you. In truth, of course, all three have gargantuan tasks ahead. However, when it comes to apportioning responsibility, I would always argue that the citizen holds more than industry or the state. After all, as the ultimate end users of any product or service, it is the choices we make that determine total emissions. Even those emissions for which individuals are directly in control comprise almost half of the UK’s total. Given adequate information, there should be few excuses for inaction. Whilst there are those who have recognised the need to ‘get on with it’ – the likes of the Transition Town movement – plotting the necessary changes for life in a low carbon economy, these remain very much the minority. The rest of us seem to think that ‘they’ will sort it out. But who are ‘they’? The toughest of tasks is still ahead of us: to realise that there is no ‘they’ and take responsibility into our own hands – the birth of environmental citizenship. Visit: tinyurl.com/9debate1
government that doesn’t pull its weight is the biggest obstacle to tackling climate change because the biggest changes are those that only governments can bring about. International agreements on “contraction and convergence” are indispensable, and it’s only governments that can make such agreements. It’s only government that can make the necessary national targets legally binding. Only government has the power to tilt the economic playing field in favour of sustainability by reorganising financial incentives. Only government can alter the regulations to prevent high carbon developments like airport expansions while promoting carbon-reduction industry like renewable energy. Only government can decide to stop funding roadbuilding, re-regulate the buses, and pump money into the public transport system. We don’t have time to wait until each individual and each business is ready and able to act. Only the government is big enough to fund a nationwide programme to dramatically reduce energy consumption (which in the long run will save everyone money), and only the government has the power to require this to happen. Visit: tinyurl.com/9debate2
esearch by the SDC indicates that while public awareness of climate change is high, people see public policy response as the litmus test of government urgency on this issue. “If climate change was that serious surely government and business would be doing more,” was the message. So, how? “Choice Editing” is becoming mainstream retail policy as the embarrassing flop of the Tesco carbon label illustrates - customers expect that high-carbon products should not be offered if alternatives exist. Consumers did not complain when A-grade fridges became their only option; similarly Wyevale Garden Centres were applauded when they took patio heaters off their order book. So if the market is already being greened through law and choice editing, the next steps must accelerate this success. But let’s not forget that climate change isn’t the only problem in town. Declining resources, poverty and poor health are all causes for concern; ones that the SDC has found it helps to look at through the lens of products, a process that starts with business or government, not the consumer. So my answer is not to wait for the consumer to lead, but instead to lead the consumer. That is what they want. Visit: tinyurl.com/9debate3
overnment needs to provide the framework and certainty for all stakeholders’ commitments to reducing carbon through regulation of our choices and behaviour. Without this, there is no compelling incentive or reward for carbon reduction. Business needs direction from government: long-term goals which cannot be brought about without regulation. There are also opportunities for business to provide low-carbon technologies and services to its customers. In reality, the public’s carbon contribution is tiny compared to business. If government regulates the choice and use of hydro-carbon technologies while delivering sustainable energy into our homes, the actual impact on the public will be small – we will still be able to drive cars, heat our homes and watch tv – and the public’s impact on the environment will be negligible. So, government should regulate and direct; business continue to make economic decisions based on the regulatory environment; the public should save money while it can from energy efficiencies, until the government chooses, on our behalf, which energy to use. Visit: tinyurl.com/9debate4
veryone who accepts that the escalation in greenhouse gases is largely the result of human-created pollution should therefore recognise that this pollution must stop. However, this has not been recognised - not by governments, nor by corporations, nor by the media. All parties need to understand and act on this. Until we actually stop the pollution at source, no amount of offsetting, carbon crediting or carbon capture and storage will solve the problem. Indeed such evasive action avoids the fact that the worlds’ most powerful industries - oil, coal mining, logging, concrete - must end. The problem is, a corporation - that abstract entity - has more power and rights than the tree it fells or the air that it pollutes, to make way for ever -expanding business. Indeed our corporate laws favour and actively promote continual growth, at the cost of the environment. To simply address the problem by using market mechanisms to restrict the emissions, or by implementing energy efficiency measures will not resolve the problem. Protection is not afforded by damaging a little less. It is the equivalent of saying “protect your child, don’t beat it so much”. Visit: tinyurl.com/9debate5
he role of government, business and the public in moving us toward better management of carbon emissions is intrinsically linked. Businesses require clarity on future regulation from government in order to make strategic investment decisions; corporations are more likely to take action if their shareholders request it and the buying power of the public will influence the direction of business innovation towards low energy products. Doubtless, climate change can only be tackled through collaborative effort, but we are making progress. Central and local government came together last year to encourage those organisations supplying services and goods to the public sector to measure, manage and report their green house gas emissions and climate change risks. Action on climate change has become a necessary part of business. Through our work at CDP we have seen time and time again that when companies are requested to provide information on their carbon emissions by a group of organisations they are significantly more likely to respond than if asked by just one. The message is clear: working collectively is far more powerful than acting alone will ever be. Visit: tinyurl.com/9debate6
very business that does not respond to demands from the public will fade away. Similarly, government does what the electorate requires. If our leaders ignore the wishes of voters, they will lose office. It may be an uncomfortable thought but individuals are the only group that can force democratic societies to make significant cuts in emissions. The role of citizens is central: we hold all the strings. Our job is to demand that governments introduce the policies that will incentivize businesses profitably to offer low carbon goods and services. We need to show through the ballot box and the goods and services we buy (or don’t) that we demand a society that is not based on excess consumption and heedless fossil fuel use. It is tempting to blame business and government for not doing enough. The attack is unfair. The people in these institutions are simply acting on what we tell them. Until governments begin to believe that electorates really want action on carbon emissions, they will continue to talk about climate change and do little to get businesses to change. No excuses - the public has to commit to emissions reduction. Visit: tinyurl.com/9debate7
eaths from climate change related illness have been estimated at 150,000 people every year by The World Health Organisation. We are already in climate crisis. Floods in Bangladesh have recently increased in number and strength taking away the lives and livelihoods of thousands yet the people in Bangladesh are not responsible for this destruction. It takes just ten days for the average British citizen to emit as much carbon dioxide as the average Bangladeshi will all year. One key way to cut emissions is shifting electricity generation away from coal towards cleaner alternatives such as wind, wave and tides. But the UK government has not yet invested the money needed in developing these new technologies. Instead, the government is considering allowing a new generation of coal power plants to be built. One plant, proposed by energy company E.ON at Kingsnorth in Kent, would emit more CO2 every year than the whole of Ghana. The climate crisis is so urgent we need the government to show ambitious leadership in cutting British emissions. Visit: tinyurl.com/9debate8
“There is too much packaging in food shops. There needs to be less packaging and more recycling.” Basil Edwards 41
“I could be more green. People could use the parks more and cars less.” Dorreen Nolan 77
“We are a drop in the ocean, its all futile when big industrial nations like India and China are causing most of the problems.” Peter Grayson 74
What do you think are good ways for the nation to reduce its carbon footprint quickly ? “There could be better technology in cars. Also redusing the number of cars on the road would help.” Kemp Byrathithyagaras 25
“A better recycling scheme in Sheffield would be good.” Ben Poleykett 28
Photography by kind donation of Thomas Lay. For more information about his work you can visit him online at: www.thomaslay.co.uk
“I drive, but i don’t want to give up my car unless there is an appealing and reliable public transport system.” Angela Talford 39 sustainedmagazine.com
“Introduce car pool schemes and allow cars with two or more people in to use bus lanes.” Abigail Poleykett 39
“Use public transport, ride bikes and get out of cars. I used to drive around the corner to see my mum - now I walk.” Salina Hill 28
“Encourage bike use more and get people out of ther cars. The amount of traffic is horrendous.” Gareth Knott 40
“I think there should be a one car per family rule, and we should definitely reduce our flying.” Ming Paavana 21
“Its a long term project. People are making unnecessary journeys and there’s single people in the cars.” Malcome Crehem 56
Do you have an opinion? It is time to speak up and have your say - lets work together and find the solution sooner rather than later!
“There should be government legislation and limits on rubbish from the packaging of consumer goods.” Ben Francis 20
Come to UK Aware at Kensington Olympia, on the 17th April at 12.30pm to have your say. For a full speaker list visit: sustainedmagazine.com/debate
“We should be seeking and developing the alternate fuel sources that are suppossed to be out there.” Scott Smedley 28
“I don’t know much about it, i think if its important we should learn more about it.” Joe Smith 23
“There needs to be more education about it in schools. I don’t really know what the carbon footprint is.” Abby Steer 18
“There should be more windmills. We need to use more of that sort of power.” Amir Reza 16
TECHNOLOGY Yo-Yo Powered MP3 Player tinyurl.com/TWyoyo
1. PEOPLE POWER
Based on the same principles, designers in America have created a revolving door that generates electricity for the building as people walk in and out. A similar device is in use at a Netherlands train station and powers the station café’s LED lights. Speed bumps that generate electricity as cars drive over them are also being introduced in the UK to power streetlights, traffic lights and road signs.
Enhanced geothermal systems http://tinyurl.com/dh7k9s
Kinetic energy is one of the fastest evolving renewable energy sectors and all over the world kinetic devices are already generating electricity from people power. At the Golden Sunbeam School in Essam village, Ghana, students from Brigham Young University have installed an electricity generating merry-go-round to power rechargeable LED lights in classrooms, so as the children play they help power their school.
The Gravity Plane www.fuellessflight.com
Several Yo-Yo powered technologies are in development to power handheld devices, such as an award winning Yo-Yo powered MP3 player which is charged by just 10-12 tosses each hour. Other innovative kinetic energy concepts include ‘Crowd Farm’ by James Graham and Thaddeus Jusczyk, which turns the mechanical energy of people walking or jumping into energy, and piezoelectric backpack straps which can be attached to a backpack to harvest energy from the mechanical strain of the straps.
2. GEOTHERMAL In Iceland five geothermal power plants produce around 26% of the nation’s electricity (the steam driving turbines) and also provides heating and hot water for around 87% of the nation’s buildings. This resource isn’t limited to places like Iceland though. Geothermal systems can be artificially engineered. Projects of this type, called ‘enhanced geothermal systems’ (EGS), are going on in France, Germany, Australia and the USA, utilising expertise and manpower previously applied to the oil and gas industry. Geothermal power plants emit 90-95% less greenhouse gas than coalfired power stations.
3. PULLING POWER Gravity is one of the universe’s fundamental forces and the quest to generate power from it is thousands of years old and for very good reason. Gravity is available everywhere and all the time – 24/7. More importantly it is scalable meaning output can increase with demand. Hundreds of prototypes and patents for gravity-powered devices exist like the Fuelless Gravity Motor, which can generate electricity for your home, and Hunt Aviation’s Fuelless Gravity Powered Plane. Inventor Rajesh Mulchandani has proposed a device that generates power from both an upward and downward direction in a column of water but there is no flow of water – just gravity and buoyancy. Theoretically, this means that energy could be generated in bodies of water such as lakes and reservoirs.
Tomorrow’ s World:
elemental energy earth
Feature by Melissa Sterry Design by Simon Bottrell
The Large Helical Device tinyurl.com/TWfusion
Nevada Solar One Collector www.solargenix.com
That energy is a fundamental human need, even for primitive living, is without question. For the modern world it is absolutely essential. With the looming threats of fossil fuel depletion and climate change the race is now on to find effective sustainable alternatives. Melissa Sterry, director of think tank www.societas.ltd.uk explores the possible options.
5. SOLAR POWER Though 150 million kM away, up to 1 kW per square meter of power reaches the Earth’s surface from the Sun. If we harvested it all, the amount of sunlight hitting the Earth’s surface in one hour is enough to power the entire world for a year. There are two primary ways we can collect that power: Photovoltaics (PV) and Concentrated Solar technologies. Parabolic Trough, Parabolic Dish and Power Tower are the common forms of the latter and each technology uses mirrors to focus sunlight onto central receivers. PV involves light falling on a solar panel, where the photons from sunlight knock electrons into a higher state of energy, creating electricity. The global market for PV is growing at around 40% per year, driving down prices due to both new technologies and mass production.
4. NUCLEAR POWER Cold Fusion Publicly many scientific institutions discredit Cold Fusion, now more commonly referred to as Condensed Matter Nuclear Science (CMNS) or Solid State Fusion. However, since the first claims made for it 20 years ago, research has quietly continued. Though experiments have only achieved mixed results it’s possible that it could be a very cheap, abundant, non-polluting, radiation-free energy source.
A pioneering PV concept is Ross Lovegrove’s Solar Tree, which is a street lighting system with ‘branches’ that follow the sun. They also respond and adapt to the architectural environment and the weather, escaping shadows and following the sun to optimize energy generation. Another revolutionary PV technology is Californian company Cool Earth’s concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) system. Literally reshaping solar energy their inflated solar concentrators are shaped like balloons and are primarily made of inexpensive materials.
Hot Fusion This involves replicating the process of the Sun. Sounds scary but as the amount of fuel (plasma) used at any time is very small a ‘chain reaction’ can’t occur and, as there is no radioactive waste, this makes Hot Fusion a potentially safe, clean and virtually limitless energy source.
Bio-Tic The old saying goes ‘where there’s muck there’s brass’ and so is the case when it comes to biopower: the conversion of methane from decaying matter into energy by burning it to produce steam. Landfill sites can be tapped for their methane that can also be produced from biomass by anaerobic digestion, which involves using bacteria to decompose organic matter. In industrialized nations the main biomass processes of the future are likely to be direct combustion of residues and wastes for electricity generation, bio-ethanol and biodiesel as liquid fuels and combined heat and power production from energy crops. Before long we can expect to see all industrial food waste being used to create biopower products. Gasification This involves subjecting waste to extreme heat to produce syngas - a blend of carbon monoxide and hydrogen, which can be used as a fuel source. High upfront and operating costs, and relative inefficiency, mean gasification will not be widely used anytime soon. However, it is expected that the technology will fast evolve and the processing costs will drop. Although gasification will help clear waste, as we will simultaneously run out of many of the Earth’s natural resources the balance between recycling materials for goods and recycling waste for energy will be a fine one.
Hydrogen Fuelled Car http://tinyurl.com/lifecar
The Amazing Lepidodgera http://lepidodgera.com
6. RUBBISH POWER
7. H2 POWER Hydrogen is not an energy source in it’s own right, but a carrier of energy. Research continues into hydrogenoxygen fuel cells. Researchers at the University of Purdue, USA have developed an organic technique for producing hydrogen from water, which requires only water, a catalyst based on the metal rhenium and an organic liquid called an organosilane. Purdue’s team estimates that 7 gallons of water and organosilane could combine to produce enough hydrogen to power a car for approximately 240 miles. Meanwhile, at the University of California, researchers have engineered a strain of green microalgae that could, with further refinements, produce huge amounts of hydrogen through photosynthesis.
Though the horizontal axis wind turbine (HAWT) is currently a more familiar sight than the vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT), that is all about to change. VAWTs have many advantages. They operate at wind speeds as low as 5 mph, are much quieter, require less space and pose no threat to passing birds. Expect to see VAWT technology powering billboards in Piccadilly Circus before 2012. Another exciting new wind-power technology are Magenn’s power air rotor products - bird and bat friendly, air-born generators. The first Magenns come to market in 2010 and it’s likely they’ll be in widespread use by 2015.
VIVACE System www.vortexhydroenergy.com
Vertical Axis Wind Turbine www.ecopowerusa.com Lockheed Martin OTEC system http://tinyurl.com/TWotec
8. WIND POWER
9. OCEAN POWER
10. HYDROKINETIC POWER Brits may complain about how much rain we get, but it could be a blessing in disguise. Scientists at French laboratory CEA/Leti-Minatec have developed a system that recovers the vibration energy from raindrops. Another visionary development comes in the form of the Vortex Induced Vibrations for Aquatic Clean Energy machine (VIVACE) which applies the same principles fish use to swim in order to generate power from currents of less than 2 knots. This is achieved by harnessing what are known as ‘vortex induced vibrations’ caused by the flow of liquid over a cylinder-shaped object.
Oceans produce two types of energy: mechanical energy from tides and waves and thermal energy from the sun’s heat. As an energy concentrator the energy per square meter of a wave along the Northern coasts of Europe can generate 20,000 to 70,000 watts compared to around 100 watts from ground-level solar and 1000 watts from wind. However, only a small amount of the ocean’s energy can be captured and therefore ocean energy is not a standalone renewable energy solution. Britain is one of the best-situated nations in the world to harness ocean energy and British and Irish engineers have developed the bulk of ocean energy technologies. Ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) systems generate electricity using the temperature difference between deep and shallow water. The Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii is one of the world’s leading test facilities for OTEC technology. Hawaii is an ideal location for OTEC due to its warm surface water and easy access to very deep, very cold water. India has a floating OTEC plant near Tamil Nadu and its government is sponsoring research into the devlopment of more OTEC facilities.
JACK OF ALL TRADES
Driving Change Feature by Jack Woodcock Photography by Fortish
Nine years ago, as the first summer of the new millennium drew to a close, a handful of farmers and lorry drivers staged crippling fuel blockades across the country.
shops, homes and even family and friends have become located further and further away from one another, making us all the more dependent on our cars which, in light of the impending oil crisis, can only mean one thing: trouble.
By the fifth day the protestors had slowed the flow to petrol stations down from 126 million litres a day to less than 5 and queues stretched for miles from the forecourts of petrol stations.
Or does it? Could this situation possibly be viewed as an opportunity? If we think of the car in the way we have been encouraged to throughout our lives, as the ultimate means to personal freedom, then no, the threat to our beloved car will seem like a crisis. However, perhaps there’s another way to see the automobile beyond the advertisers’ tinted spectacles of myth and mirage.
eople’s first reaction was to hit the shops and petrol stations. Within a day or two panic buying had become so frenzied that some suppliers started rationing. After just three days the BBC reported ‘the fuel crisis’ had brought ‘chaos to hospitals, ambulance services and pharmacies’ and the military was on standby. Sainsbury’s warned the Government that they could guarantee food for only a few more days.
Nine years on and the end of oil is upon us. Although global demand is rapidly increasing some scientists predict supplies will begin to fall in just a few years, some say they already are! One of the many effects of the quickening recession has been reduced investment into finding new oil fields. Right now we’re sitting on top of a time bomb. When it goes off it will signal the return of rocketing fuel prices and new problems of supply. What will this mean for a society that has been entirely reshaped by the car? With increased private ownership – to such an extent that it’s rare for a household not to own a car – our jobs,
Including depreciation the average running costs of a vehicle go into the thousands. An example of a Renault Clio at www.whatprice.co.uk gives a figure of £2503. Apart from this huge financial cost, car owners have the hassle of being off road due to repairs, servicing and MOTs and the lurking problems of breakdowns, broken wing mirrors, bumps and scratches, chipped windscreens, MOT failure, losing the precious no-claims bonus, parking fees and parking fines, wheel clamping, speeding fines and penalty points. There’s also the daily grind of traffic jams, parking restrictions, rush hour, the school run, and exhaust and noise pollution affecting everyone, not just car owners.
In fact, driving is the most polluting act an average citizen commits. It’s also the fastest growing source of domestic carbon emissions accounting for 22% of all UK CO2. Despite this, plans have recently been announced to spend up to 80% of transport budgets in the next five years on 92 major road-building schemes. Resources for these roads (and cars using them) need to be extracted from the earth creating further damage and depletion. And in the construction of cars we mustn’t forget the practice of ‘planned obsolescence’ where cars are designed to break in order to encourage you to buy new. What a waste! The impact on humans is another issue that needs to be considered. Every year, 1.3 million people around the world are killed and 34 times that number are injured in traffic accidents. By 2020, 17 million more could die and over 200 million could be seriously injured and permanently disabled on the world’s roads. In fact, the problem is such that according to the World Health Organization’s report, Global Burden of Disease and Injury, road trauma ranks with malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS as a leading global cause of death and disability. Cars are also associated with a host of health problems such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, motor neurone disease, cancer (including Leukemia),
“maybe it’s time to consider whether we need to take a new look at how we get from A to B” immunosuppression, heart disease, obesity and respiratory conditions (car fumes are the prime contributor to the estimated 24,000 deaths each year in the UK from respiratory failure due to air pollutants). In a study conducted by the Department of Public Health in Taiwan, scientists found that the traffic fumes can also damage human DNA.
the car you simply couldn’t get to work, or you hate your job and have always wanted to work from home! Making the shopping easier is not a benefit if there are local shops that you could use, a bicycle, a bus service, a delivery service, veg box scheme or farmers market. Even £10 for a taxi once a fortnight for a big shop will be cheaper than owning a car.
Is this freedom? Is this sustainable? Should everyone on the planet own a car? Maybe it’s time to consider whether we need to take a new look at how we get from A to B. Perhaps, the first step any of us could take toward a solution (a small improvement even) would be to let all those facts sink in, then weigh them up against the benefits that a car provides. Saying that a car gets you to work is only a benefit if without
Lots of schools, businesses and shops are developing transport policies to reduce the need for vehicles. Car sharing is on the rise. Walking and cycling are good for you. The more people who use public transport, the more services will be created, fares will decrease and transport budgets will be diverted away from road building schemes. Of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean having to give-up the car as a
means of getting about. You can get a greener car next time round or, if you only want one occasionally, you can hire. You can even hire by the hour. Why not join a car club to enjoy ‘a car when you want one not when you don’t’? In the end, all you need ask yourself is, does owning a car mean more than getting to where you want to go? If the answer is ‘no,’ then smile – you’ve taken the first step to freedom. g inspiring Alternatives: carclubs.org.uk, carplus.org.uk, sustrans.org.uk, liftshare.com/business, cyclemaps.org.uk, sustainable-transport.net, bettertransport.org.uk, nationalcarshare.co.uk, yumshare.co.uk, bigbarn.co.uk, thegreencarwebsite.co.uk, freerangereview.com, thebiglemon.com
Citizens Vision by Jules Peck Illustration by Jorge Cacho
You are NOT what you buy
veryday we are bombarded with messages saying ‘buy this and you will be happier, fitter or sexier.’ The message of the online Wiki book (www.citizenrenaissance.com) that I am writing with my friend, Robert Phillips, is that ‘you are NOT what you buy.’ We are for a shift away from extrinsic values, which encourage selffocus, acquisition, and passive consumerism. As an alternative, the book proposes a renaissance of ‘intrinsic values’ such as personal (not economic) growth, emotional intimacy and active community involvement – the key to wellbeing. Of course, such views aren’t particularly new but their urgency is being felt more than ever with a global depression underway, climate chaos approaching, and the impending peak of our energy and food supplies. Something has to give. The idea of wellbeing is more complex than just ‘happiness’ – in fact, it is more about leading a flourishing, meaningful or virtuous life. The Greeks referred to this more holistic view as ‘Eudaimonia’ - a state where public and personal interests are in accord. In Aristotle’s view, to be a truly flourishing individual, you must be an active participant in the flourishing of community. Thatcher had it all wrong – there really IS such a thing as society. Not just in a self-interested manner, but in a deeper way which respects the lives of all.
The novelist Ben Okri summed it up so very well recently, when he said, ‘The meltdown in the economy is a harsh metaphor of the meltdown of some of our value systems. Individualism has been raised almost to a religion, appearance made more important than substance. The only hope lies in a fundamental re-examination of the values that we have lived by in the past 30 years’. And how might we do that? Personally, I’m with Vaclav Havel who believes ‘that the only option is a change in the sphere of the spirit, in the sphere of human conscience. It’s not enough to invent new machines, new regulations, new institutions. We must develop a new understanding of the true purpose of our existence on this Earth. Only by making such a fundamental shift will we be able to create new models of behaviour and a new set of values for the planet.’ This calls for what Professor Tim Jackson of the SDC describes as ‘the re-emergence of some kinds of meaning structures that lie outside the consumer realm.’ Having worked closely with business and politics, my view is that right now there is a terrifying vacuum of values, vision and leadership in our political discourse. And it’s hard for business to do the right thing when it’s designed to make money and little else. Our politicians are, to borrow a phrase from the wonderful Thomas Homer-Dixon, like drunkdrivers in the fog. It’s time that we, the citizens,
took back the controls. A renaissance of grass roots citizen advocacy is all that can save us now. Luckily, just the kind of renaissance we need is beginning with the kind of groups described by a friend of mine, Jeremy Leggett, as ‘scalable microcosms of hope.’ Websites like moveon.org, getup.org, localeyes.org, 38degrees.org and dosomethingaboutit.org mean online digital democracy is giving people a new voice and real politcal power. And what does this citizen power need to call for? Well, it’s nothing short of a radical updating of our current operating system - no sticking plaster will do. Jeremy Paxman says we are witnessing the ‘end of capitalism.’ Our current form of corporate-consumer-capitalism has been shown to be a fundamentally flawed system. We urgently need a Green New Deal to act as a transition phase to a steady state, economic development (not growth) paradigm, which aims to maximise the wellbeing of people and planet – not the bank balances of the rich. And we must beware the snake-oil sales-people trying to flog us the dead-ends of green consumerism and cheat-neutral ‘offsets’. Those are phoney solutions. It’s time to wake up, get angry (in a positive way), unite and become a citizen. It’s our only hope. g Jules Peck is an adviser to corporate, NGO and political citizens. He would welcome your feedback on his book at www.citizenrenaissance.com
BE AT HOME
Grow your own oxygen Feature by Laura Cook Illustration by John Lock
Most of us live in a centrally-heated, artificially-lit bubble, where the air we breathe can actually be more polluted than outdoors. Short of working in the countryside, what’s the solution? Surprisingly, the humble houseplant.
he compounds used to treat soft furnishings, floors and walls have been shown to give off small quantities of harmful gas. Facial tissues, shopping bags and sofa upholstery emit low-levels of formaldehyde, whilst wood stains and varnished skirting boards can harbour traces of benzene. Before eco-issues filtered into public awareness, our homes tended to be fairly well-ventilated. This meant that small amounts of toxic substances would simply disperse. However, in a bid to become energy-efficient we have insulated and thoroughly sealed our houses, reducing air circulation. This prevents heat loss and saves energy, but has undesirable repercussions for the air we breathe – with no escape route, harmful gases can accumulate. Poor air quality has been linked to the controversial sick building syndrome (SBS), the name given to a cluster of symptoms including headaches, low-level depression and concentration difficulties. Though the diagnosis is a contentious one (with experts unable to agree on both symptoms and the very existence of the condition), it has raised awareness about
our living environment, and the effect it has on our well-being. Carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides are produced by gas fires whilst formaldehyde, benzene, toluene and trichloroethylene gases are emitted from the likes of treated furniture, paint, floor tiles, carpets, clothing and cleaning supplies. Short of ventilating our homes (with loss of energy) or opening the window (which invites polluted city air), what can we do to improve air quality? Most advanced air-purification systems are expensive and often ineffective, and whilst we might choose environmentally friendly paints, many of the toxins mentioned are simply unavoidable. One possible solution comes from an unlikely source: NASA research. Scientists have spent years developing sustainable, breathable atmospheres for astronauts living on space stations and their experiments have found that indoor plants are excellent air-purifiers, removing carbon monoxide, benzene, formaldehyde and toluene from the atmosphere as well as converting carbon dioxide into oxygen. Surprisingly, some of the best varieties are already familiar to us, such as spider plants, peace lilies, rubber plants and ferns.
Although they seemed to go out of fashion during the eighties, houseplants are making a comeback. As well as being superb air filters, they have a number of psychological advantages. Many of us leave the house in the morning, spend the day in a building, before returning home (and thus indoors) again. As a result, it is easy to become alienated from the natural world. It is here that houseplants can help to redress the balance, letting us shed a little of our urban shell. It’s not necessary to turn the home into a jungle – one plant per hundred square feet is enough to clean the air and show you that there’s a world outside the walls. If you’re really pressed for space, try a tiered planter or small varieties in brightly-coloured pots. Once in place, houseplants generally require little attention beyond occasional watering and yearly re-potting. If your home suffers from the common urban complaint – lack of light – try the Chinese evergreen or snake plant, both of which are comfortable with shady conditions. Read on for our top 12 organic air purifiers - the ‘Undirty Dozen’ - that will also bring some of nature’s beauty into your home.
11. Areca Palm 5. Rubber Plant
(Ficus elastica) Does very well at removing all indoor toxins, and is especially effective at removing formaldehyde.
6. Dracaena 1. Spider Plant
(Chlorophytum comosum) This variety is effective at removing formaldehydes, and tests have shown that it can remove more than 95% of the carbon monoxide in a room.
2. Peace Lily
(Spathiphyllum) This Lily excels at cleansing alcohol, acetone, trichloroethylene, benzene and formaldehyde from the air and does very well under artificial light – one for the office.
Easy care Dracaenas between them cover the common household toxins of benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene.
(Chrysalidocarpus lutescens) A fast growing and beautiful plant, which releases large amounts of moisture into the air: a great choice if you want a tall plant for dry, air conditioned spaces.
12. Mother-in - Law’s Tongue (Sansevieria) The ultimate un-killable plant. It does a sterling job of removing benzene and trichlorethylene, but watch out - it is sharp!
7. Chinese Evergreen
(Aglaonema) These are very tolerant plants that can flourish for years. Great for removing benzene and toluene.
8. English Ivy
(Hedera helix) Beautiful yet poisonous – so don’t eat it! English Ivy rates highly for breaking down benzene and looks great in a high hanging basket, where tots and pets can’t reach.
3. Ficus Alii
In recent years this attractive South East Asian plant has increased in popularity. It’s easy to grow, resistant to insects and is an efficient air purifier.
(Aechmea fasciata) Long lasting pink and blue flowers make this a real statement plant. Excellent for formaldehyde and xylene.
(Dendrobium) Excellent for removing acetone, ammonia, chloroform, ethyl acetate, methyl alcohol, formaldehyde and xylene.
10. Golden Pathos
(Epipremnum aureum) Especially effective at removing formaldehyde and it was also found to remove 75% of carbon monoxide from a room.
designers & makers
Feature by Natalie Kelly
As the High Street creates another ‘must-have’ trend, there’s now a network of creative designers offering timeless charms to treasure forever.
The perfect piece to complete both smart and casual outfits, si:su’s Mathilda one-of-a-kind vintage cotton shirt costs around £85 at Green Trading. www.greentrading.co.uk
Look the part while you rustle up tasty treats in this Perfect Cuppa Tea 65% poly 35% cotton twill apron, priced around £19 at Tee & Toast. www.teeandtoast.com
Forget skyscraper-high Manolos, these Mai kimono kitten-heels are what style-savvy ladies will be wearing this season. Price on request at Hetty Rose. www.hettyrose.co.uk
Fresh, fun fashion for cool kids comes courtesy of Little Chook’s nature-adorned clothing including the Oak Tree organic cotton T-shirt, priced from £15. www.littlechook.co.uk
Keep tiny toes toasty thanks to All Things Fabric‘s cute Time For Tea cotton and fleece baby’s shoes, £8, at Folksy. www.folksy.com
Whether it’s a day at the beach, a riverside run or countryside stroll that takes your fancy, look bold and beautiful in this zesty WWF hoody, £110 at Good One. www.goodone.co.uk
Ensure your princess is dressed to impress this summer with milk & jam’s charming bold-stripe Miss Nautical cotton girl’s skirt, priced around £30 at www.milkandjam.co.uk
Formed from recycled inner-tubes, the Angle bag is a unique, robust alternative for carrying a laptop, books and lunch with ease. It costs £62 at Re-Collect. www.re-collect.net
With a little pocket for keeping treasured toys, secret finds and sweeties safe, this Blue & White Check cotton girl’s dress costs £12, at Daddy’s Old Shirt. www.daddysoldshirt.co.uk
Lili Draws Pictures’ hand-made 70’s fabric Blue Bow Flower Shower clutch purse, showing retro revival at its very best. Expect to pay from £14. www.lilidrawspictures.etsy.com
Adorned with graphic trees on one side and spots on the other, the Woodland cotton jacket offers two wonderful ways to wrap-up tots in one. Expect to pay around £30 at Kitschy Coo. www.kitschycoo.co.uk
Fans of all-things vintage will love this apple-green wool Chain dress with its 50’s-esque design, neat buttons and a belt, priced £28 at Extinct Design. www.extinctdesign.co.uk
Feature by Jasmin Mohamed Illustrations by Favna
You’ve probably already heard the amazing news of the century that chocolate is good for you, very good for you, but beyond the words ‘super food’ and ‘antioxidant’ do you know why?
ccording to David Wolfe, co-author of Naked Chocolate: The Astonishing Truth About The World’s Greatest Food, ‘Every study on chocolate is pointing to the same conclusion: there is something in chocolate that is really good for us. That something is the raw cacao bean, the nut that all chocolate is made from. The cacao bean has always been and will always be Nature’s #1 weight loss and high-energy food. Cacao beans are probably the best kept secret in the entire history of food.’ According to the studies cacao is a highly complex food with more than 300 chemically identifiable compounds. It is very rich in antioxidant flavanols, having twice that of red wine and three times that of green tea. The beauty of antioxidants is that they help to prevent the effects of free radicals which are associated with cancer, arthritis, heart disease, infections, cataracts and diabetes. Raw chocolate also contains protein, fats, calcium, iron, carotene, thiamine and riboflavine whilst its high levels of magnesium are ideal for maintaining muscle and nerve function, keeping the heart rhythm steady,
supporting a healthy immune system, helping your body absorb nutrients, maintaining cell health and keeping bones strong. Magnesium also helps regulate blood sugar levels, promotes normal blood pressure and is known to be involved in energy metabolism and protein synthesis. Magnesium deficiency is considered by many scientists to be at the root of a host of conditions like heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetes and depression. What’s more, raw chocolate contains several different compounds that act as mood enhancers and it also has appetite-suppressant properties. For this reason it is often added to weight loss products to help control hunger. Oh, and just in case you aren’t sold yet, according to Dr Gabriel Cousens there are compounds in cacao that facilitate ‘youthening and rejuvenation.’ Nice. Too good to be true! Well, with your own cacao and a few recipes, you can experiment at home in the name of scientific endeavour. Search online to find a supplier of “raw chocolate” or “cacao” or get a starter kit from our friends at www.chocchick.com and try this simple recipe from Choc Chick Ella, aged 9 (and 3/4!).
120g Raw Cacao Butter 4tbs Raw Cacao Powder 1tsp Vanilla Bean Extract 2-3tbs Agave Syrup (add more to taste) 1 Cup Mini Marshmallows (for a healthier version use nuts or dried fruit instead) 1.5 to 2 Cups Rice Crispies Small cake cases or baking tray Grease-proof paper Step 1 - Melt & Mix Chop cacao butter into small pieces, place in a bowl and put on top of a saucepan of water (Bain Marie) and gently melt on low heat. Once cacao butter has melted turn heat off, mix in vanilla and raw cacao powder. Add agave syrup and mix, stirring with a whisk. Once the agave and cacao has blended, stir in mini marshmallows (or fruit and nuts) and take bowl off the saucepan. Step 2 – Mix & Set Mix in rice crispies and stir. Pour mixture onto baking pan lined with grease proof paper or spoon into small baking cups. Place in fridge and leave to set for half an hour to an hour, and enjoy!
Call of the wild Feature by Mukti Mitchell Illustrations by Baden Powell
We discover the art of living in the wild - a vast field of knowledge, practicle skills and earthy wisdom.
knew I was going to enjoy a weekend in the woods, but I had no idea how much. I might have guessed we would make rope from bark, fire from sticks and shelter from leaves, learn to walk silently like a fox and see a deer’s tracks in the grass. But it was connecting with my own nature that produced a depth of pleasure I could never have anticipated.
I met Thomas Schorr-Kon at the Buddhafield festival two months before. In his tracking workshops I discovered, to my pleasant surprise, a part of me that was completely at home in nature. The techniques also had the wonderful affect of switching off my chattering mind just like that. There was a calm, centred wisdom about Thomas that I seldom encounter. His teacher, Tom Brown Junior, was taught by an American Indian and is thought to be one of the best trackers in the world. Thomas told us that at the end of his first week of training with Tom Brown he could track mice across gravel. I bought a knife and flint there and then, and booked myself on the Introduction to Wild Craft Survival course at Trackways, East Sussex. We set up our tents between the trees, filled our mugs with tea and sat around in a glade as Vicky, Thomas’ assistant, arranged her bow drill to make a fire. She sawed the bow
back and forth, the spindle drilled deeper and the little wisps of smoke grew thicker and blacker until, in just a minute, Vicky rolled the smouldering soot onto a ball of dry grass, blew hard and it burst into flames. Within minutes we had a campfire. Wow. By nightfall we had each made a yard of rope from tree bark, and we sat into the evening burning wooden bowls and spoons for ourselves with embers from the fire.
“Despite having travelled 25,000 miles by land and sea, one of the most exotic places I’ve found is an English woodland.” The art of living in the wild is a vast field of knowledge and we were simply opening a window, yet we covered so much in those two days, which also included a wonderful balance to the practical skills in the form of Thomas’ earthy wisdom. We each made a wooden bow drill and our own fire, after which I simply had to stand back smiling for a few minutes to enjoy the immense pat on the back my deeper mind seemed to be giving me. Our genes
must know from millennia that making fire is sacred and has countless times been the difference between comfort and death. Quite simply, making fire by friction for the first time is a truly wonderful moment. After learning to move quietly and gently, we played a game in which half the group shared stories around the campfire while the rest of us disappeared into the dark woods to try to get as close to the fire as possible without being seen. There I was, lying on my stomach in the woods in the middle of the night, and I was having the time of my life! After an hour of creeping, crawling and wriggling on my belly between ferns and under branches I was three feet from the circle before someone said ‘Hey! There’s someone there!’ This is where I want to go: where fifty yards of English woodland is a universe of mystery and beauty worthy of a lifetime’s study; where medicines and nutrients abound in the hundreds of species I’ve lived with all my life; and where the tracks of foxes, deer, badgers, and stoats criss-cross the mud and moss in the telltale signs of a sophisticated and balanced kingdom of life. I have travelled 25,000 miles by land and sea, and one of the most exotic places I have found is an English woodland under Thomas’ guiding wisdom. g
get fresh air Thanks to Ray Mears, bushcraft has flourished in recent years so there’s now a host of schools around the country. You’ll easily find lots of courses for beginners, families, women, young people and groups by googling or visiting bushcraftmagazine.co.uk/coursesevents.php Natural Pathways in Kent (natural-pathways.co.uk) specialises in courses for women and families and, in the Southern Hebrides, Islay Bushcraft (islaybushcraft.co.uk) takes a gentle approach to bushcrafting by the sea with courses for families. They also do fishing, wildlife tracking and spotting (whales, otters, game, birds etc), even bushcraft and cycling! Courses can be expensive so for the enthusiatic youngster there’s the Scouts (scouts.org.uk), Guides (girlguiding.org.uk) or, better still, the Woodcraft Folk (woodcraft.org.uk) who have a bushcraft programme specially designed for them by one of the best - John Ryder. It would also be worth joining www.bushcraftuk.com which is a great forum (actually it’s a mind-boggling resource on all things bushcraft) where you can find out about courses and even ask the other members for their opinions. There’s often local ‘bushmeets’ organised which you can attend for free, or very little, and pick up skills from the veterans.
FOR THE DIARY
UK AWARE 09 - 17th to 18th April Sustained is hosting the Big Carbon Debate on the Friday and members of the team will be there both days so do say hello. Visit: tinyurl.com/diary9-1
BIG BANG!! - Saturday 9th May - A global day of action to mark World Fair Trade Day with a colossal programme of drumming from first light to last light. Visit: tinyurl.com/diary9-2
Introduction to Self-building an Earthship - Early June - This course is for anyone interested in building their own home and learning about the construction of an Earthship. Visit: tinyurl.com/diary9-3
Drovers Walk - 27th June - Follow in the footsteps of the Drovers of old who used to drive their sheep, cattle or geese over the Welsh mountains to the markets of England and Wales. Visit: tinyurl.com/diary9-4
Scotland – Afore the Midgies – There’s no better place to be in May than the Highlands and Islands but if you can’t go ‘til later Avon Skin So Soft is apparently the ultimate midgie deterrent! Visit: tinyurl.com/diary9-5
Feature by Tracey Todhunter
I live in Ashton Hayes, a village in rural Cheshire. Nothing special about that you might think...
ut how many rural communities can say their local pub landlord shared a couch with Graham Norton and gave eco tips to millions of television viewers during the 2007 Live Earth concerts? Ever since a local resident got together a few friends to initiate the Ashton Hayes Going Carbon Neutral Project in 2006, my village has been under the media spotlight. We’ve had visits from MPs, journalists and researchers who’ve tried to figure out why a small community like ours would support the parish council’s ambition to make us ‘the first carbon neutral village in England.’ Many village clubs and societies supported the Going Carbon Neutral Project: the Brownies set up a light bulb library so families could try out a range of energy saving light bulbs in their own homes, volunteers from the Gardening Club helped school children plant native trees and the Ash-worth Time Bank made sure that the project newsletter was hand delivered to every home. They also hosted ‘carbon clinics’ at monthly coffee mornings and organised Pilates, walking groups and Tai Chi in the village so people didn’t need to drive to local sports centres. For a while it wasn’t unusual to walk into the local pub and hear people comparing the size of their gas bills or organising car shares to work the next day.
It’s pretty clear that the success of community carbon reduction projects depends on the support of community groups and organisations. People who spend time with their neighbours develop trust and mutual concern, so are more likely to share information and work together on projects, whether that’s saving carbon, fundraising activities for the community or lending a helping hand to those who need it as we all do at some time in our lives.
of projects, where the community takes control of its energy and food production – not just the consumption – are increasingly common.
Surprisingly, the Time Bank and other voluntary groups rarely feature in media reports about our village. They are almost invisible, taken for granted. These groups are a kind of ‘social glue’ which create the strong sense of community our village is rightly proud of. The Government’s Rural Advocate, Stuart Burgess, visited Ashton Hayes in 2007 and observed that it wasn’t just a concern for the environment which inspired people to reduce their energy demand, it was also a sense of shared experience (and a desire to save money too!).
No doubt we would continue to thrive if we abandoned our goal of carbon neutrality, but take away our Time Bank, gardening club, ballet classes and football team and the situation would be very different. Rather than be seen as an ‘eco-pioneer’ I’d prefer to be known as the kind of person who willingly waters her neighbour’s plants when they’re on holiday, finds time for a cup of tea with the elderly gentleman across the street or collects a prescription for a friend in need. Find the communities where these kinds of things are commonplace and you’ll probably find a low carbon community, certainly one that could make rapid reductions if it chose to. This growth in low carbon communities isn’t just about the planet: it’s about people. When we have respect and tolerance for our neighbours, care for the environment follows naturally. g
Through this community spirit Ashton Hayes has cut its energy demand by 20%. Our story has also inspired similar communities in the UK to raise their game: up and down the country solar panels are appearing on village hall roofs, water wheels are creaking back into life in our rivers and food is being grown on any available land. These kind
Tracey Todhunter lives in Ashton Hayes and is a freelance writer. She is also P/T Policy and Campaigns Manager for the Low Carbon Communities Network. She has one daughter, a dog and a pony. Her carbon footprint would be much smaller if she could kick her tumble drier habit.
e r u t l u c a m r e P BE GROUNDED
hos t e e o th ure. t n o cti cult u i r d g o a r t nt An i ermanen of p Laura e by r u t a Fe
n every aspect of our lives, we produce waste. When we grow vegetables, use water in the home or buy food we create some form of output, whether this be organic matter (such as leaves, and peelings), liquids (used bath water or washing-up water) or gases (CO2 emissions from transporting food). The tendency to create waste is not a purely human trait – all living things create ‘outputs’ of some kind. So why is it that our waste is so much more damaging for the planet? Natural processes form a continuous loop – trees shed their leaves, creating leaf litter for forest floor animals. These small creatures become prey for larger animals, whose waste is broken down by soil-dwelling microbes. This, in turn, creates a rich growing environment for plants. In terms of permaculture, this is called a ‘closed-system’. For humans, the scenario is rather different. The avid recyclers among us may re-use our carrier bags, but ultimately there are too many in production. Unless production stops, the system becomes flooded. Indeed, many common plastic products simply end up in landfill sites. This is what the permaculturist would call an ‘open system’ – in other words, we are left with an output which cannot be turned into an
input. If, on the other hand, we try to emulate beneficial relationships in the ecosystem, we can develop closed systems where production and consumption are mutually dependent: this is the essence of permaculture.
garden, and try to find creative ways in which to turn outputs into inputs. Regarding ‘waste’ as a resource, rather than a nuisance, will help you see your own growing projects with fresh eyes.
In the organic garden we find examples of how we can create continuous loops or ‘closed systems’. Peelings from our own home-grown vegetables can be used to create compost, which then fertilizes future crops. Here, the output (waste scraps) becomes the input, and therefore cease to be ‘waste.’ The word permaculture is an abbreviation of ‘permanent agriculture.’ The idea is to produce long-term food sources which avoid the necessary huge inputs of short-term systems. For instance, perennial crops require less energy to grow as the soil does not need to be turned each season.
Advocates of permaculture are interested in expanding the scope of these projects to include community-based closed systems. Modern living is essentially isolating and individualistic – how many of us actually speak to our neighbours, much less know them well? However, a sustainable permacultural system involves localised cooperation, with each producer swapping and sharing both inputs and outputs. There are already a few schemes in most towns which can be improved or used as a starting point. For instance, most local authorities operate a community composting site. Can you organise an urban gardener’s market, where growers swap their excess vegetables for other things they need? Can you share compost with a neighbour who doesn’t have room for a heap? While we can use permacultural systems in our gardens, to be truly effective it involves a community effort, of which our own, closedloops form a small part. g
Choosing plants which are suited to the local climate will also save water and, potentially, the need for heated glasshouses. Where heat is needed, decomposing manure can serve as a hot bed in which to grow warmth-loving plants, the non-edible parts of which can also be put back into the system. When applying these principles to your own garden, try to take the whole picture into account. Look at what is produced and consumed by the
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To find out what’s going on in your area visit the Permaculture Association (PA) at www.permaculture.org. uk If there isn’t a group as yet – start one! The PA can offer advice and support to get a new project off the ground. Get a video from the PA and organise a showing. Invite other local groups with shared interests such as organic gardening groups, allotmenteers, seed-swapping clubs and local eco-activists like those in the Low Carbon Communities Network or Transition Towns.
If you’re short of ideas get inspired by Hackney’s ‘Growing Communities’ project (www.growingcommunities.org) where residents are growing their own alternative to air-freighted food. Specialising in mixed salad bags and other crops which can be produced without mechanical harvesting, the Growing Communities team run their own fully organic vegetable box scheme. Initially, members worked on a local farm but the success inspired Growing Communities director, Julie Brown, ‘to find land in Hackney by cycling around and peering over hedges and under fences.’ The rest, as they say, is history.
When planning your vegetable plot, make mistakes on paper rather than in the garden – a little forethought will allow you to make the most of your space. If you are building raised beds, it’s important to get the location right – you have to sacrifice an area in full sun – but you won’t regret it when harvest time rolls round though! Cut-and-come-again salads are an easy option for the beginner and a fortnightly sowing of mixed lettuce and rocket will keep you in crisp, peppery leaves until the first frosts. Carrots are another easy choice – sow now for tasty, sweet roots in mid-July to August. Whilst fresh vegetables make for a great harvest, there are other ways to reap the rewards of a community-based project. For starters, the tips and practical demonstrations you’ll get from old-time allotmenteers are second to none. You can swap crops and seeds, borrow tools and pool labour for various projects. If you have a lot of sowing and planting to do, consider contacting the local school or youth club who may be happy to tend your plot – but be ready to part with a few veggies along the way! Finally, if you’ve reached broad bean saturation point why not drop a bowl round to the neighbours?
No doubt you’ve heard the news about the incredible losses suffered by our beloved friends, the bees. They do such a mighty job pollinating our plants and giving us honey, wax and their colourful company. Help them out by creating a hive (www.beeginners.info & www.bee-craft.com) or some bee-friendly areas in your garden. They like Bee Balm, Catmints, Comfrey, Cone Flower, Echinacea, Globe Thistle, Hemp Agrimony, Hyssop, Jacob’s Ladder, Lavender, Lemon Balm, Lungwort, Marjoram, Meadowsweet, Mints, Orpine, Rosemary, Sage and Thyme.
Due South For Perfection Feature by Emily Payne Design by Simon Bottrell
If you do like to eat beside the seaside, then you’ll be no stranger to over-priced chips, but head down to Brighton’s front for some scrumptious seasonal surprises. On a chilly Febraury night the cosy, arched-ceiling restaurant, Due South, is filling up. There’s an open kitchen and an air of comfort and uncomplicated class. Ours are some of the best seats in the house, overlooking the sea; the same sea where much of our dinner will come from. In fact 80 per cent of the restaurant’s ingredients are supplied by independent businesses from within a 35 mile radius of Brighton beach. As a result, the menu changes monthly. So while late Winter sees us tucking into a gorgeous cauliflower soufflé, next season’s vegetarian option will be all about asparagus (note to self: come back next month). Much of the other 20 per cent is made up of European wines, though there are plenty of local bottles to try, including the East Sussex Sedlescombe dry, 2007, from Roy Cooks - the oldest organic vineyard in the UK. It’s a clean drop, with an easy floral flavour, which perfectly compliments fish. My partner starts with oysters accompanied by a beautiful onion dressing. His main is an organically-farmed roast partridge sitting
“There is no better way to understand food than to grow it yourself.” on gingerbread – which penetrates the dish and by all accounts is borderline perfection. I start with whipped local goats’ cheese with truffle brioche, a moreish radish chutney and micro leaves. It is presented exquisitely, almost too good too eat. My soufflé with fritters and fondue is effortlessly toothsome, and I can’t get enough of the sumptuous leaf salad. In fact, I’d happily name it the best salad I’ve eaten. Reuben Waller, the warm and knowledgeable manager, explains where each ingredient comes from and suggests a Sussex wine to accompany the meal. Head Chef, Michael Bremner, says, ‘There is no better way to understand food than to grow it yourself. We recycle anything and everything that can be, the tables are made from re-claimed
wood, the paper we print our menus on is FSC approved; even the inks we use are green approved. All the cooking oil is taken to be used as bio diesel, we collect produce from farms for ourselves and deliver to other restaurants at the same time to reduce pollution.’ And it doesn’t stop there. The Due South ethos is expanding. ‘We wanted to get involved with the local community, working with children, their teachers and parents. We began helping to create local school gardens so that students could learn to grow plants, understand the cycle of the seasons and also taste what they’ve grown before going on to study delicious ways of using the ingredients in the kitchen.’ The evening is perfect and, to top it off, Reuben suggests we share a pudding platter. Consisting of magical culinary delights such as bitter chocolate fondants with Horlicks ice cream, dreamy cardamom pana cotta, a cinnamon doughnut and the piece de resistance – an iced rhubarb crumble in a shot glass. Something tells me that my days of cider and chips on Brighton beach are over. g
" Recipe: Due South Asparagus Three Ways Due South’s Asparagus three ways consists of a smooth creamy soup, a super fresh salad and a light soufflé – each illustrating the difference in textures and subtleties of flavour that the vegetable has to offer, whilst ensuring that none of the stalk goes to waste. All the dishes are easy to make including the twice baked soufflé which can be prepared in advance to the set ramekin stage - at which point it can be refrigerated to finish off later.
General preperation 1. Take 24 asparagus stalks. 2. Trim the hard base of the stalks and set aside trimmings to flavour the soup – then snap off the ends of the stalks. Cut the “flower” heads off and set aside for the salad. 3. Use a vegetable peeler to peel the remaining stalks leaving the centre portions intact. 4. Set aside the peelings for the soup and blanch the remaining stalks in hot water for about 5 minutes then cool quickly in cold water to retain texture and colour.
Soup Asparagus peelings and trimmings from the base 2 shallots chopped 1/2 leek chopped 2 celery sticks chopped 1 pint of vegetable stock 2 tbsp of crème fraîche Olive oil Seasoning 1. Saute the leeks, shallots and celery in a pan with butter until soft. 2. Add the vegetable stock and the asparagus peelings then simmer gently on a moderate heat for 20 minutes. 3. Remove the pan from the heat, add the asparagus trimming and using a blender blitz until smooth. 4. Mix in crème fraîche and season to taste. Serve either hot or cold with olive oil.
Salad Asparagus tips 3 tbsp mayonnaise (homemade if possible) 2 tbsp chopped capers 2 tbsp chopped shallots 1 tbsp Dijon mustard 1 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice 1. Slice the asparagus tips lengthways – arranging lengthways on a serving dish. 2. Prepare the dressing, mixing capers, shallots, mayonnaise and mustard together. 3. Add lemon juice and pour over dressing.
Twice baked asparagus soufflé 30g butter 3 tbsp flour 100ml milk 2 whole eggs (separated) 25g asparagus puree 25g grated cheese 4 sheets of filo pastry 50ml clarified butter
8-10 May 2009 Earls Court, London
Meet producers & taste produce Take your flock to the sheep show, watch celebrity chefs like Raymond Blanc in action, or Join Barny Haughton’s with his fresh produce cookery workshops. We’re offering Sustained readers advance tickets for just £11, a saving of £7 on the door price. Book now, call 0844 412 4642 or visit seetickets.com/realfood and quote code SUS274. This offer is valid until 23 April ‘09. Visit realfoodfestival.co.uk for more info.
1. Make a béchamel sauce – mix butter and flour and cook gently in a pan for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally to form a roux making sure the mix doesn’t burn, then gradually add hot milk, stirring constantly with whisk. Cook gently for a few minutes until thickened and season. 2. Chop the blanched asparagus stalks and blitz with crème fresh to form puree. 3. Mix the béchamel sauce, egg yolks, asparagus puree and grated cheese. 4. In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks then fold whites into the asparagus and béchamel sauce mix. 5. Transfer to buttered ramekins and place in an oven dish, add simmering water to halfway way up the side of the ramekins. Cook in the oven at 180 degrees for 8 – 12 mins or until set but not risen. Remove and reserve to cool. 6. Take a sheet of filo pastry, butter and fold in half lengthways – butter again and repeat fold until you end up with a long strip about 2 inches wide. Repeat with each sheet. 7. Turn out onto a greased baking sheet and wrap a pastry strip around the sides of each one to form a collar – glue end with butter. 8. Place back into the pre-heated oven at 180 degrees and cook for 15 minutes until risen.
buy L£$ $ Liv£ m0re Feature by Peter Andrews
Now, I believe in our government and I am absolutely sure they are thinking in my absolute best interests when they make my savings worthless and exhort me to buy more stuff!
ut some things puzzle me, innocent that I am. How can buying more and more stuff possibly solve our current economic and resource crises? Surely we will just end up back in the bind we started from, only with fewer natural resources to call upon. So, what seems to me like a good idea and very fine thing to do is take a deep breath and just stop buying stuff for a bit. That means you spend less, so hopefully have to work less, which means more time for the important things, like friends. Of course I don’t mean stop buying everything, although there is a day in November we traditionally set aside for just such a lack of activity. It is called, bizarrely enough, ‘Buy Nothing Day’ and is organised by the gloriously irreverent and splendidly creative Adbusters group. What I mean though is to just stop buying things you don’t really need, also known as ‘non-essential things.’ Luckily to help us down this road there are some easy mechanisms we can plug into. My favourite is called ‘Compacting’. It is an extraordinarily simple idea, and like most simple eco-ideas it has, at its heart, co-operation with
****************** Example List: Unlimited items: Food & drink
Limited items: Books
other people. You can do it on your own but, as I have noticed over the years, doing things on your own is very little fun (and in some cases rumoured to turn you blind). I learned about this process from a successful ‘Compacter’ and transition colleague, called Christine. She prefers to call the process Buy-Less-Live-More which, to me, describes the process succinctly but doesn’t quite seem as snappy. Basically you get together a group of like-minded people or, better still, persuade some differently-minded people to join you.
However, you may think differently and what you (and your fellow compacters) decide is part of the fun. But, please bear in mind, you are not looking for a lent-style giving up process where you vow to eschew Beluga and only eat Sevruga. It has to be meaningful for you to derive any personal satisfaction from the process. Also, bartering and swapping and giving stuff away is to be positively encouraged. And, I would strongly recommend you build in regular shared meals and evenings together to check on progress and encourage each other in your mighty endeavours.
Then you watch the horrifyingly compelling Story of Stuff, which is up there, free, on the web. If after that you still need some reasons and motivation to buy less I am not sure Compacting is really for you. You are more the sort of person for whom the term ‘retail therapy’ was invented.
There, can’t you just feel your earthly footprint shrinking? Now, what I suggest is taking all the money you have saved and blowing it on a brand new car or a nice holiday to the Maldives, after all it is your right to see them before they get submerged for ever – sorry, sorry - for a moment there I was infected with government-style joinedup eco-thinking.
Then set the rules. And, as with all rules, the simpler the better: how long you are going to play for and what you are and are not going to buy. I would suggest you start with a minimum of 3 months, though a year is more challenging. It is probably a good idea to make 2 categories – unlimited and limited purchases. (see example list top right)
Peter Andrews, one time financial consultant and now environmental book publisher, can be found at www.eco-logicbooks.com Need more convincing? Then visit www.storyofstuff.com
Bottoms Up! “Turning power upside down”
ast October, when the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Hazel Blears, launched the Sustainable Communities Act she said that it was about ‘turning power upside down in this country.’ Steven Shaw of Local Works (www.localworks.org), a coalition of over 90 national organisations campaigning to promote the use of the Sustainable Communities Act, says ‘it has the power to change the face of the country.’ So, not your everyday run-ofthe-parliamentary-mill Act then. Effectively it gives new powers to communities and their elected councils to drive government policy to tackle local economic, social and environmental issues by placing a legal duty on government to ‘co-operate’ and ‘reach agreement’ with communities and councils. The Act also requires the Government, for the first time, to publish a local breakdown of all public spending. Local Authorities (working with panels of citizens) will then have the power to request
and argue for centrally controlled public spending, and functions, to be transferred to local control. This is an entirely new process where councils and communities can drive the actions and assistance that central government gives to promote local sustainability. So what does this mean in practical terms? Well, here are some examples of the kind of changes that communities could bring to bear: boosting local farms, businesses, jobs and economic activity by levelling the playing field with supermarkets; aiding local microbreweries, whilst reducing transport impacts, by preventing pub companies from forcing them to make unnecessary journeys (as happens); removing the hurdles to local energy generation schemes; establishing a standing recovery fund to help small businesses; raising the ceiling for rate relief for small businesses; getting the government to support local food strategies; creating a ‘jobs from local waste’ strategy for government and local authorities to implement.
" Dear Cllr ........ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
These are just a handful of suggestions by ordinary citizens and community groups; suggestions that, under the terms of the Act, will be listened to and could well be acted on. This means that the potential implications of the Act are very great indeed if, that is, people choose to use it. The fact is that using the Act’s process means submitting proposals to government by 31st July 2009 or else you and your community will not be able to use the Act at all. Choosing to use the Act is crucial for it to be realised and this is what drives the Local Works campaign. So, to empower yourselves and future generations to maintain strong, vibrant and resilient communities please urge your Local Authority to submit proposals to the Governement by 31st July. You can do this easily using the form below and sending it to your councillor. (It‘d be a great help for assessing our impact if you could email us when you’ve sent it - firstname.lastname@example.org)
Find you local councillor at www.w ritetothem.com
Using the Sustainable Communities Act As a local resident I am writing to you to ask you to please table a motion resolving to use the new Sustainable Communities Act process by submitting proposals to government (via the Local Government Association) by 31st July 2009, as invited to by Hazel Blears on 14 October 2008. The Act is great news for all of us locally. For the first time we have a law that gives local government and local communities the power to drive central government actions and policy to help promote thriving, vibrant and sustainable communities.
Signed, yours sincerely . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Email or Phone no . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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Checkered Flag for Earth Car That iconic global symbol of the confusion and conflicts inherent in the green marketing boom of 06/07 is (presumably) no more. Honda announced in december that they are quitting F1 racing for financial reasons and yesterday said they had reached a deal to sell their F1 Team to the former manager. Probably just as well - I never knew what to make of this, but it wasnt really a great ad for the company that is about to launch its own super hybrid, The Insight (complete with glowing lights in the steering wheel telling you how eco your driving is at any given moment).
MyBnk micro-financing Whilst volunteering in Bangladesh, Sharan Jaswal became aware of the positive impact of micro-finance and saving services. Realising how a small loan can unleash potential, give way to entrepreneurial ideas and lead to selfsufficiency, Jaswal returned to London and set about creating MyBnk to enable young people in the UK to benefit from the same ideas. Help MyBnk.org to help inspired youngsters make their dreams a reality by spreading the word and giving them referrals from schools, colleges and youth organisations!
The Converging World Top 10
1. bigissueinvest.co.uk 2. fareshare.org.uk 3. diykyoto.com 4. meetthebulldog.com 5. nakedbodycare.co.uk 6. pantstopoverty.com 7. fill---your---pants.com 8. sicamp.org 9. schoolofeverything.com 10. thebiglemon..com
Top Down M&S fulfil the promise Illustrating that unlike some corporate giants it’s not “all talk, no action,” Marks & Spencer successfully delivers on several of its challenging ‘Plan A’ targets. Transforming a business with a footfall of 15 million customers a week is no mean feet, but M&S has now sold 4 million garments made from Fairtrade cotton, whilst working towards points 55, 80 and 81 of its plan. Another recent target it’s hit has been converting all tea and coffee sold in store and in its 200 cafes to Fairtrade. Find out more about Plan A and join the 16,596 people that have made pledges to M&S to live a more sustainable life at tinyurl.com/msgreen
Business tips... “The Foundation of business is trust, even money only works because we trust. It can take you years to build but you can lose it in a second - it’s more precious than money” Ian Roderick Chief Executive, The Converging World
“Manage your finances, know your market, plan properly and don’t be put off by financial turmoil. There are still many opportunities for good ideas.” Sue Cooper Head of Business Banking, Triodos Bank
“It’s not only about the product/ service you provide, it is about how you treat your employees and how you keep your office. How you build a relationship with your suppliers; also respect loyalty and common decency.”
Sam Roddick Founder, Coco De Mer
“Business is a fantastic platform for using creativity and Ogunte.com, the organisation for women leading the Social Economy, has launched the Manifesto for Women Social Innovators to help promote, connect and champion women who have stepped out of the conventional route and been brave enough to try something new. Engaging the power of great networks and innovative media Ogunte hope the manifesto will bring female social innovators together and enable them to further achieve positive social impact. To read the manifesto, find out more about Ogunte and its work (including training and events), or become a network member visit www.ogunte.com
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innovation to solve some of the world’s most pressing social and environmental problems. But understanding the conventional business world is crucial before infiltrating/ hijacking it to bring about positive change.”
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Feature by Natalie Kelly Illustration by Little Hello
Intriguing name, colourful presence and exciting ideas aplenty... but what is The Big Lemon all about? he Big Lemon’s latest campaign aims to get more of its buses on the roads. Fueled entirely by locally sourced cooking oil, the Service 42 bus runs between Brighton City Centre and the Unis of Brighton and Sussex. Brainchild of ecopreneur Tom Druitt, the idea was born out of pure frustration; Tom was sick to the back teeth with the lack of public transportation in rural areas, the non existent competition in towns and cities and the overall cost for the public. With a simple no no-nonsense vision to live in a society non reliant on fuel guzzling cars, Tom’s carboncutting scheme now plans to get people out of their cars and increase ‘bums on his citrus seats’.
festival outing - in your colourful cruiser, you’ll certainly be the centre of attention and a ray of sunshine whatever the weather. Plus, with its Big Lemon members club you can get free rides, an active say in the running of its service and a share of any profits made, now that’s what we call a true community service!
Why? So people can benefit from a friendly, easy-use and sustainable way of getting about town...and, with fares at just £1.50 per journey or £2 a day, this is bargain meets eco-conscious travel at its best.
Tom will celebrate winning his Dandelion at this years UK Aware green lifestyle show where the Big Lemon will drive one of its coaches into London for the event. Be sure to come along for a diverse line up of environmental products and services exhibiting to provide you with accessible solutions for a sustainbale lifestyle change. g
As a Community Interest Company (CIC) all of the profits are put back into the business, so quite simply, the more people that use The Big Lemon, the more buses that can be run, and the less each passenger has to pay - good news for both our wallets and the world we live in. In addition to great ‘green’ credentials, attractive prices and a society-geared ethos, for a bit of fun, its bold buses are available to hire for a wedding, party, school trip, work event or
This fantastic project is on the route to success with a new and improved Spring service thanks to community support - without it, Tom’s buses simply wouldn’t exist. So to join a student activist club, become a dedicated member of staff or to join the growing list of invaluable Big Lemon passengers visit www.thebiglemon.com.
The Sustained Dandelion Award has just got better. We are now calling for nominations for our next award which is the Food and Garden Category. We’ve recruited some passionate names from the Social sector to help us judge all the fantastic entries so send your nominations to email@example.com or visit our website.
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These days we seem surrounded by what appear to be some very big problems. There’s global terrorism, an international financial crisis, wate...
Published on Apr 3, 2009
These days we seem surrounded by what appear to be some very big problems. There’s global terrorism, an international financial crisis, wate...