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Southampton Sustainability Open Mic Night – 20th of April

Southampton Sustainability Open Mic Night is an evening of sharing words, ideas and actions. Hear local speakers giving a run-down of the things they are doing for sustainability right now in Southampton and surrounding areas. Organised speakers (including our own Ryan Carter @rwscarter) will let us know, in a maximum of five minutes, what they and their organisations are doing. With representatives from a range of groups, you can expect to hear about marine conservation, sustainable fashion, food waste, illegal fishing and global conservation. Think GreenPeace, the BlackFish, Surfers against Sewage, Fashion Revolution, Repair café and more.

This is a great opportunity to just listen, to discuss, debate and to meet like-minded people and increase connectivity throughout the ‘green’ world. Things are only going to change when we start working together and on all fronts so let’s hear what everyone else is doing and get involved.

Feel free to speak yourself or just listen to the wonderful initiatives going one. The microphone will opened up for the audience to participate after each speaker. I will encourage debate around certain topics and to engage people with their views and opinions. It is important that sustainability maintains standards and that we are all on the same page to see through the ‘greenwashing’.

It will be a relaxed evening with no set agenda, no pressures and open for all.

The evening will be filmed by ‘We Make Southampton’, an organisation documenting the events and people living in Southampton. Make sure to let the organisers know at the door if you do not want to be filmed.

This event is free and based at the university of Southampton. Inside the Bridge restaurant/bar, this venue is cosy with a well-stocked bar serving cocktails/mocktails. To get to the venue, park in the University of Southampton car parks and make your way to building 42 (the Students Union). The Bridge bar can be found in this building. No pre-booking or tickets are necessary and this venue is accessible for all.

We at Crowdleaf join the organisers in looking forward to seeing you there!

https://www.facebook.com/events/266609193874575/

The Environmental Impact of Plastic Straws – Facts, Statistics, and Infographic by Hugh from Get Green Now

A small, plastic straw – It’s something that comes with most beverages that we order, from soft drinks to even a glass of water.

Though at first this small straw may not seem like a lot, when its usage is added up, plastic straws create a big problem for the environment.

And, with the USA using 500 million straws every day (enough straws to circle around the Earth 2.5 times!), that’s a lot of trash and potential litter.

In this infographic and article below, learn about the impact of plastic straws on the environment, and how you can make a big difference just by rejecting the use of straws.

Environmental Impact Of Plastic Straws Infographic

 

Environmental Impact Of Straws (Why Are Straws So Bad For The Environment?)

straws

1. Plastic Straws can’t be easily Recycled

Straws are most commonly made from type 5 plastic, or polypropylene.


Although type 5 plastic can be recycled, it isn’t accepted by most curbside recycling programs. When plastic straws aren’t recycled, they end up in landfills, or even worse, polluting our oceans.

Make sure you check your local municipality website to see if plastic straws can be recycled in your area.

2. Plastics do not Biodegrade, and never fully Degrade

In order to understand the environmental impact of straws, it is important to know the difference between biodegrading and degrading:

Biodegrading is when an item can be naturally broken down and digested by micro-organisms, and then naturally recycled into new organic molecules and life.

On the other hand, degrading is just the process of breaking down into smaller pieces. When plastic degrades, the bulk of the plastic will seem to disappear – However, what’s really happening is the plastic is breaking into smaller, invisible pieces that will always still be on Earth.

With that being said, plastic straws take up to 200 years to degrade, but will never be fully off the Earth, as plastics are not biodegradable. To make matters worse, the degrading of plastic releases chemicals that are toxic to wildlife and the environment.

3. Straws are littered very often, and harm Ocean Wildlife

Whenever there is an ocean coastline cleanup, plastic straws never fail to make it on the list of one of the most found ocean litter.

And, as of early 2018, data from Ocean Conservancy’s TIDES system shows us that straws/stirrers are the 11th most found ocean trash in cleanups, making up about 3% of recovered trash.

All these straws and plastic polluting our oceans is having a negative impact on marine life. Take for example the video below, where researchers off the coast of Costa Rica remove a plastic straw that had been embedded in the nostril of an Olive ridley sea turtle.

It’s likely that the sea turtle accidentally swallowed the straw, and then had it stuck up its nostril while trying to cough the straw out.

Straws are also especially dangerous to seabirds, as they can be easily picked up and swallowed, suffocating and choking the bird. In fact, over 1 million seabirds die each year from ingesting plastic.

The image below of a dead albatross chick shows just how much damage plastic can do to animals that ingest it:

Image By Chris Jordan (via U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters) / CC BY 2.0

Take Action: Sign the Pledge and Stop Using Straws

Plastic straws are non-essential part of our life, and yet they cause so much damage to the environment. The simplest way to reduce plastic pollution is to reject the use of single-use plastics, like straws.

Get Green Now have partnered up with the One Less Straw campaign to bring you this article and raise awareness about the harmful outcomes of straws on the environment.

Take the One Less Straw pledge and stop using single-use plastic straws for at least 30 days, and you’ll receive a free reusable glass straw (excluding shipping), courtesy of Simply Straws and OneLessStraw. You can learn more about OneLessStraw below.

This was originally posted on Get Green Now by Hugh,who kindly said we could share his piece.

The Green Shoots of Crowdfunding by @rwscarter

There is a beautiful bottom-up revolution underway in the energy market, but like all revolutions there is hurdles the question is can the state facilitate the green revolution, I think it should. This requires putting into reverse how the state has been seen in market interventions as a monolithic agent ‘crowding-out’ competition. I believe that the state can and should act smart and counter to popular opinion ‘crowd-in’ the market, breaking the hegemonic cartel of the ‘Big Six’. As of 2013 renewable energy provides a mere 21.7% of all electricity generated across the globe, so it is time to harness the ‘green revolution’ going on in the energy market and push for a sustainable future not turn our backs on it.

Despite government attacks on ‘Feed in tariffs’ there is still a green light on sustainable energy solutions in this race against time and despite being the new tool in the arsenal crowdfunding seems to be meeting the demand for these solutions. Crowdfunding allows substantial sums to be made up from small contributions. Now with a boom in crowdfunding it is time the new far lower barriers to participation so everyone can make a difference no matter how large or small their contribution. The most significant barrier to participation to-date has been regulation and patents, but ideas do not need the support of the ‘Big Six’ to make it to market any longer as the crowd can facilitate the struggle towards a democratic and dynamic market model.

In the past, we have seen a number of promising ideas surrounding tackling the energy crisis being bought by large multinational corporations and never seen again such as the original design for electric car batteries. This cycle cannot be allowed to continue. Crowdfunding has the potential to empower groups of people who feel a responsibility towards the planet and allows them collectively wield their power, to take a moral stance fostering a sustainable difference. The short-term or short-sighted moves on energy pursued by governments and corporations, such as the controversial plans for fracking, or rip off nuclear plants run by China, can, if we want it to be a part of the past not the future. For this and many other reasons, green crowdfunding and a municipalisation and publicity owned and conscious energy market is not going anywhere but up. Evidence suggests that the really big challenges facing society, such as energy and climate change, cannot be met by the state, large companies, well-intentioned individuals or any other agent acting alone, so putting the values of co-operation into our heads, hearts and policy is now surely non-negotiable.

There is serious scope for intervention and municipalisation in the energy market, councils have socialised consumers to bargain a better price going someway towards helping ease fuel poverty. This proves that when society pulls together then there can be a real drive towards significant change. Crowdfunding, community funds and co-operative solutions offer the possibility of a seismic change; this is never truer than in sectors of strategic and societal significance such as renewable energy and financing innovative solutions. Large scale ‘crowd-led’ projects have taken place in Norway and Denmark for example which has contributed towards reducing carbon emissions while this stronger form of energy security has allowed these countries to continue without worry to expanding their business and industrial bases. Cooperatives and collaborative finance tend to play a much larger role in the energy markets of these countries; one of the largest wind turbine Cooperatives in the world is in Denmark, where 50% is owned by a ‘crowd’ of 10,000 investors and 50% by a municipal utility company.

Co-operatives across the country following examples of other co-operatives across Europe have begun issuing community-based shares a form of online crowdfunding with voting rights to tackle this sort of problem. There have also been Housing Association schemes aiming to tackle fuel poverty by installing solar cells on residents’ roofs to lower the cost of energy this had success with Leeds Housing Association using Abundance a green energy crowdfunding platform. There is no reason as to why the councils could not build their own solar farms, wind turbines or perhaps invest in any other form of clean or renewable energy independently using their pension funds or council budget. Nottingham Council have done just that setting up Robin Hood Energy as a municipal not-for-profit enterprise.

Going forward these green shoots from the crowd, municipal authorities and cooperatives will be put under real strain, but together tackling fuel poverty, sustainability and an un-equitable market will be enough to ride the wave. This hegemony will not last forever in its place will be a truly public interest, democratic and dynamic energy market with people not profits at its core. There is many ways to get involved in crowdfunding for renewable energy and local community cooperatives, you won’t be alone in doing so.

Oringally published on : https://www.thelondoneconomic.com/news/the-green-shoots-of-crowdfunding/11/11/ it is an older piece and all facts were acurate at the time.