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Category ArchiveDemocratic

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/

Stop Supermarkets using non-recyclable food Packaging

This is a guest piece by an active campaigner on plastic pollution and one who is pushing, as we are, for action from above.

The person behind the petition that asks for the CEO’s of all major UK super markets to drop or change the use of plastic for food wrapping, to no wrapping where it not needed, compostable if it is possible and as minimum recyclable. CrowdLeaf.org.uk are fully behind this and we offer a range of green and environmentally responsible products in the CrowdLeaf Store.

The petition can be found at : https://www.change.org/p/stop-supermarkets-using-unrecyclable-food-packaging

My name is Simon Goldsmith, I started a petition to ‘Stop Supermarkets using non-recyclable food Packaging’ because l got so annoyed when trying to recycle and reading on most of the plastic packaging ‘This plastic is not currently recycled’.

This made me think how much of our supermarket food packing is not currently recyclable. I found a large majority of it is the fruit and veg and to be honest 90% of this does not need any sort of packaging.

This made us change the way we shop, to finding a farm shop and buying all our fruit and veg from there. I appreciate this is not achievable for everyone, as some farm shops can be considerably more expensive and not convenient.

The final push for me was on our family holiday to Porthtowan in Cornwall. We were shocked by the micro-plastics on the beach.

As a consumer, we can’t choose how our food is packaged, the Supermarkets have an environmental obligation to make the packaging environmentally friendly. A consumer needs to be able to trust and respect the corporation they are buying from.

I understand the Supermarkets don’t package the food themselves but they have the power to make the producers comply.

Hopefully my petition will raise awareness and put pressure on the Supermarkets to change.

The more single-use plastic that is produced means it will eventually end up in landfills in developed countries and rivers and oceans in developing countries, then getting moved around the world’s oceans.
I believe the plastic problem needs to be tackled at both ends, one to reduce the amount of plastic being produced and two to clean up the current plastic in circulation in the oceans.

Currently in the UK there is no service industry cleaning our beaches, only volunteer organisations like Surfers Against Sewage.
I would like to setup a service industry which cleans our beaches in the UK and provides a use for the plastics. The only way the plastics are removed from the ocean is if the beaches are cleaned on a regular basis, currently the plastics get washed up and then moved again by the tides.

This is a serious problem as the fish are eating the plastics and we are eating the fish, the whole food chain is being affected. The effect the plastics are having on the wildlife is detrimental, and this is only getting worse.

I would like to be able to do more and the petition is just a starting point.

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.