• Drop me an email if you want to call.
  • ryan@crowdleaf.org.uk

Category Archiveengagement

Poor air quality is a huge issue – by Alexa Gill & Anna Koor of Let Pompey Breathe #letpompeybreathe

Let Pompey Breathe is back again to talk about air pollution. You can read all about our campaign to reduce air pollution in Portsmouth and find more information on the petition we are currently collecting signatures for here. Today (21st of June) is Clear Air Day and we want to talk about ways you can protect yourself from air pollutants and how to join in the fight for clean air.

Communication is key

Poor air quality is a huge issue, and it can seem overwhelming to think about how we can tackle it, as individuals. Dealing with this growing problem requires a joint effort, we need councils, local business and residents to work together. Education and engagement is critical, there still seems to be a disconnect between people’s understanding of the consequences of dirty air and its impact on our health. With an estimated 40,000 premature deaths a year across the country due to outdoor air pollution, according to a report from the Royal College of Physicians, it’s become a national health crisis. So we need to build awareness of the problem. Some suggestions are:

  • Talk to your friends, family and colleagues about air pollution and what they can do to help reduce it and to protect themselves from it, particularly the vulnerable including young children, the elderly and those with respiratory problems.
  • Approach your employer about how they plan to address poor air quality. Could they set up a cycle to work scheme, update their transport policy or change suppliers?
  • If you’re a parent, speak to other parents and school teachers about starting a ‘walk to school’ campaign (a ‘walking bus’), or setting up a car share scheme.
  • Use social media platforms to spread the word and pass on useful information. Make sure to use hashtag #LetPompeyBreathe
  • Contact your local councillors to tell them you care about this problem and urge them to press for improvements in your neighbourhood and places in the city you visit regularly. One simple but effective step would be to erect signage alerting drivers not to idle their engines illegally, particularly in busy public places or where there are young children such as outside schools, at taxi ranks, bus and train stations.

Dirty Air isn’t just outside

In addition to the estimated 40,000 deaths a year due to outdoor air pollution there’s also the yet unquantified effects of indoor pollutants, which include radon, biological materials, particulates and nitrogen dioxide. This needs serious consideration as we spend the majority of our time inside. But there are some measures that can be taken to lower the risk:

  • Ensure you open windows when cooking.
  • Dry your washing outside whenever possible. It’s important to have good ventilation to reduce your exposure and these steps will also help reduce the accumulation of moulds which are air pollutants.
  • If you have a wood-burning fireplace, consider replacing it with a natural gas version. Not only will you reduce the emissions going outside, but the air quality should improve in your home.
  • Candles are another cause of air pollution so limit your use of these where possible.
  • By using less gas and electricity, you’ll reduce the air pollution you are creating. Simple steps like switching off lights when not in use, only running the washing machine/dishwasher when there’s a full load and filling the kettle with only the water you need, can reduce your energy consumption and save you some money in the process!
  • A report by Nasa revealed that there are some plants which are known for cleaning the air and are mostly easy to look after. These include Rubber Plant, Peace Lily, Ficus Alii, Spider Plant, Dracaena, Weeping Fig, several species of Palm, and different varieties of Philodendron.

 

Reducing air pollution would not only protect our health but also slow down climate change. There is still hope if we work together and act quickly.

Brave New Southampton: Variety Show Shindig!

This is an environmental variety show charity event occurring in Southampton at The 1865 on Friday 18th May.
This is for anyone who wants to get involved in the City’s sustainable transition to a greener, cleaner, braver space. It’s a completely non-profit event to raise money for Transition Southampton (a local community led organisation that aim to transform the city into a more sustainable place via local projects such as the Repair Cafe) and other environmental projects. We’ve got a great line-up and a 750 people capacity venue, with the possibility of raising £6000 by just throwing a kick-ass party.

We have three aims:

  1. Increase networking of environmentally-minded people in the City
  2. Raise money for Transition Southampton and other like-minded projects.
  3. Have a kick-ass party

What you can do, you ask? We’d love your support and your help! Buy a ticket, email all your members, say ‘going’ on our Facebook event and tell all of your friends – that simple! Any questions and give me a shout.

Facebook event by clicking on the attached photo: 

 

Newsletter for the weekend of 11th-13th of May 2018

Hello and welcome to another CrowdLeaf newsletter 🙂 Vicky is away this week, usual service will resume when she’s back.

This weeks newsletter is jam packed full of green and sustainable goodness.

With two guest articles coming out in the last week, I point to the upcoming event as listed below, the Brave New World Variety Show Shindig and another fantastic company doing great things to make the world just that little bit more sustainable ‘The Eco Collective’ a fully vegan Supermarket for good.

Firstly our usual plea, anyone or any company who is organising green events, sells sustainable products or any other variation thereof is welcome to contact us about working together on boosting the green community and economy. As part of this we are also restocking our store and are looking for local providers to link up with our store so if you are interested, please email us.

This week just like the last has had some pretty interesting developments. Solar reached a peak at 28.5% of the UK’s energy this early May bank holiday weekend, producing more energy than nuclear and gas powered energy plants.

Again, there are some great events going on this month so please check them out and get involved. Once again last week Ryan @rwscarter was back on the airwaves to discuss all things green and sustainable with Xan Philips, you can listen again here.

The War On Plastic


Government unveils plans for business-backed plastics innovation hub

As mentioned in last weeks newsletter –

Supermarkets appear to be coming forward to tackle a problem that kays at their door, plastic waste from packaging. 

Now Morrisons is trialling bring your own tupperware to reduce plastic waste.

Climate Change and Pollution

UK’s Most Polluted Towns And Cities Revealed

A general view of the steelworks in Port Talbot

Terra watch: Rocks Could Have A Role In Combating Climate Change

AB InBev – the world’s largest brewer orders 800 hydrogen-electric trucks

Energy

Solar on a sunny afternoon

Solar reached peak energy so far this year, on the hottest Early May bank holiday on record.

solar power

Wildlife and Conservation

 

In pictures: Kenya’s coastal conservation heroes

Whitley awards for nature conservation 2018 winners – in pictures

British Ecological Society, answers the questions of Government Europa Quarterly about the importance of biodiversity and conservation efforts across Europe.

Recycling and Sustainability

Storage And Organisation Ideas For Recycling Centers

Morrisons is to allow customers to bring their own tupperware for food storage to avoid unnecessary plastic. 

Heathrow will recycle all disposable coffee cups that are sold and discarded onsite by the end of the year

NGO’s and Campaigners wrote the policy makers to stop non recyclable waste incineration being treated as renewable energy generation. 

Events

Swanage Pier Dive And Litter Pick 12th May

Southdowns Green Fair 13th may

Big Green Wheels 18th May

Brave New World Variety Show Shindig in Southampton – 18th May

Repair Cafe 19th May

Sholing Valley’s Spring Fayre 2018 19th May

Tools And Tips For Reducing Plastic 24th May

Environmental Rock 28th May

No automatic alt text available.

Clean Air Day 21st June

Handy Websites

Something we look to help businesses do in the future. If you are a business that is in the waste(not) business please get in touch –Mixed Plastic Banks In Southampton

Here is Southampton’s list on what to put into your blue lid recycling bin: What Can I Recycle?

Pledge Your Commitment To Improving Hampshires Recycling Habits

Hampshire Recycling

This brilliant website gives tips and ideas about food waste and how to reduce it.

Love Food Hate Waste

Instead of throwing out or bagging up (to gather dust) all those clothes children quickly grow out of this is a brilliant website to buy or sell unwanted children clothes. It is run by a busy mum who also knows what it’s like with ever growing children and the endless amount of clothes children accumulate.

‘Last year a quarter of the clothing we got rid of was simply thrown away. That’s a staggering 300,000 tonnes that went into landfill. So many of those items could have been re-used and enjoyed by a another child, instead of contributing to the destruction of the planet.’

Loopster

Contact us!

Please join us on Facebook, like and share with fellow environmental and wildlife enthusiasts where we will keep you up to date with climate change, sustainable and wildlife and conservation news and anything else green.

We would also like to start adding a directory to our newsletter, making it more accessible for everyone to gain information, join other environmental groups or eco-friendly businesses that sell eco-friendly products. If you or someone you know are interested, please contact us. We can also help advertise and advise on any campaigns and fundraising events, with the option to advertise on our webpage, facebook and newsletters.

Equally if you have an article or blog which is relevant to the local or global cause of making the world cleaner and greener or feel there is an issue that could be part of a discussion, then feel free to send it over and we can publish it.

Contact us via our website:

http://crowdleaf.org.uk/

Look us up on Facebook or drop us an email:

vicky@crowdleaf.org.uk

ryan@crowdleaf.org.uk

On behalf of CrowdLeaf,

Vicky & Ryan

Please come and check out our store to support our cause and green community!

CrowdLeaf Store

Pollution Tracking Tools

London Air Pollution Live Data

Worldwide Pollution Live Data

See you next time!

A Vegan Supermarket for Good @EcoCollectiveUK

We at Crowdleaf.org.uk are carrying another fantastic guest piece this week. This article was written for us by Hayley from The Eco Collective and it is a group we are starting to work with who are promoting a more sustainable future and a more sustainable diet.

The Eco Collective is unique as it is a 100% Vegan Supermarket that can more than compete on price and range. It vital we live more sustainably and remember you don’t have to be a vegan to shop with them, but in the quest towards eating more sustainably the world needs less meat and less dairy. For a more sustainable diet try the eco collective it is a great place to start.

A Vegan Supermarket for Good 

 My name is Hayley Guerrier and I am the co-founder of The Eco Collective, a not-for-profit social enterprise created by me and my mum Juliet and launched on 16th January 2018. 

 It is our mission to make it easy and affordable for anyone and everyone to live sustainably by offering ethically sourced, vegan products at the lowest prices possible and we have done this by building both an online vegan supermarket and a platform to purchase goods at wholesale prices. 

Spreading Veganism 

I think you would agree that if people decide they want to improve their lives and the lives of others – including our non-human cousins – they should never have to pay a premium to do so. And I know, beans and rice and fruit and veg is all deliciously affordable but what about when you just don’t have the time to cook from scratch or make your own bicarbonate of soda deodorant or milk the almonds. 

The supermarkets aren’t much help. How does selling vegan cheese/ice cream/ready meals at two or three times the price of non-vegan options help to recruit new vegans? It simply isn’t fair or at all encouraging to make veganism or living sustainably look so unobtainable. Is somebody who drinks cow’s milk really going to look over at a £3 carton of plant milk alternative in Sainsburys and think to themselves, “I think I’ll try that today”, or are they going to opt for low cost and convenience. 

That’s why The Eco Collective exists – to give affordability and convenience back to ethical people and to help to inspire positive change. 

Over the last 3 years, mum and I have spent countless hours sifting through the tens of thousands of food, household and personal care products available, checking each packet for rogue animal ingredients and then cataloguing them onto a website to bring to the UK, the largest range of 100% vegan products anywhere.  

 

The Power of Collective Purchasing 

So, you’re probably wondering how we can possibly beat the supermarkets and offer some 8,500 products at wholesale prices and the answer is – our Members. When you become a Member of our community and donate by way of a subscription to The Collective, those funds are used to increase its buying power – which basically means we buy more and pay less. Those savings are passed directly on to our Members and are reflected in the prices they pay for their shopping. 

 

The more Members in The Collective, the lower the prices get, it really is that simple. 

A lot of people have commented that it’s like Costco… and it is, kind of. Except we only source vegan products, you don’t have to be a Member to shop with us if you don’t want to (you can just shop at retail prices) and we are not-for-profit. Any profits we do make go into increasing our buying power further or is donated to valuable causes and charities. 

The contribution made to The Eco Collective for your membership helps with the running costs of the group as there is little to no mark-up on the products that we source – without it there would be no way of providing this service. It costs less than Netflix (with 20% off for students) and it normally pays for itself in savings from just 3 or 4 items per month. 

 Helping Vegan Businesses Grow 

The Eco Collective is not just another shop, it’s a community of like-minded people all contributing to a better world. It is a platform for bloggers and vloggers to share recipes and videos and to help people who have the planet’s best interests at heart to speak out and tower above “big business”. 

 

It is a place where small producers can showcase their handmade items without having to pay for the privilege of a table top at a fair or sacrificing a large percentage cut. 

 The Future 

Limitless! With hundreds of members we could start buying directly from producers. With thousands, we could offer plant milk at the same price as cow’s milk! We could start to open real physical supermarkets across the country creating fairly-paid jobs, plastic free aisles, and spending extortionate wads of cash on nice long VEGAN TV adverts! 

 We have an opportunity to create something huge and purely for good, but we can’t do it without you. We are at the very start of something great, we only ask that you join us in our adventure and we will change the face of veganism in this country together. 

  Want To Join In? 

 

  • To become a Wholesale Member and part of our community, please email memberships@ecocollective.co.uk. 
  • To try The Eco Collective for free and receive 5-20% off your order, click here. 
  • If you want to have a browse of the items we source at their full retail prices, go straight to the shop. You can click the ‘Get Discounts’ link in the menu bar or email us later to join. 
  • If you still have questions, try checking out our FAQ. 
  • To enquire about selling through The Eco Collective, please email ecotraders@ecocollective.co.uk. 

We are looking for bloggers, YouTubers and web developers to help spread the word. If you would like to volunteer to help promote The Eco Collective, we have an Ambassador scheme. Please email hello@ecocollective.co.uk to find out more. 

 www.ecocollective.co.uk 

www.facebook.com/ecocollectiveuk 

www.twitter.com/ecocollectiveuk 

www.instagram.com/ecocollective.co.uk 

Not just a “war against plastic”, but a reshape of the sector/people is needed, a piece by by @MarIntoini

Flow-Bondi-upperside-people
“A world made of plastics” ….. a sad way to visualize the future of the planet -and our animals- if there is not a real global culture around protection of the environment.

The first step to be taken is to raise awareness that there is a problem and that it has not been necessary created by the plastics industry but from a no responsible use and disposal.

This sculpture shows the need to “place” plastics and ourselves in the correct position to being able to respect one of the most important resources of the planet: the sea and the wildlife. Unfortunately represents one of the most important focus of contamination and devastation of wildlife. This is not a matter of the own nature of plastics but of an aggressive and irresponsible attitude from people. In which an important lack of Education and empathy towards a green culture build a decontrol system without taking individual responsibility. Is it clear for me that at this level of “nature devastation”, penalizations and consequences for individual/companies unethical behavior should be taken very seriously to the point to ban their activities if there are not under certain minimum standards of sustainability.

Ethics has become the only path towards sustainability and not just a matter of good intentions or individual idealism but of a normal practice responsive to a new normal of increasing harm into the environment.

Is estimated that 12 million tones of plastic are in our oceans, killing up to 1 million marine birds and 100.000 marine animals each year*.

For the 30 million plastic bags used in the United States per year alone, 12 million barrels of oil are required. And for all of the water bottles manufactures in the United States each year, roughly 17 million barrels of oil are needed. The drilling, transportation and processing of this oil into plastic materials is an energy intensive process that involves burning fossil fuels.*

There are 50 billion water bottles consumed every year, about 30 billion in the US.*

Its an imperative to “reshape” people´s attitudes and the own plastic industry without the emotional aspects of being in “war” but of a steady action of changing habits and ways of producing. All the devastation linked to disposal is not a matter of responsibility of the plastics industry in itself but of practices that must be condemned by strong sanctions.

The fact that plastics come from burning fossil fuels doesn’t mean that must be completely eradicated but that innovation should lead the path towards a new production system. The smart investment on research and development will definitely lead to an innovative relation between producing plastics and protecting the environment.

“Killing the plastic industry” is not the answer, but a reshape of the sector by a strong boost of their capacities for innovation and reconversion towards a brand new industry. In addition, a strong framework of ethical codes (and sanctions) and a solid Education within their citizens.

In the end, it means a cultural change at all levels –individual and business-.

As the sculpture: plastics, sea and people, could live happily in a harmonious relationship in which Education and a dramatic change of culture towards sustainability and empathy would build the roots for a new green world.

*www.onegreenplanet.org/environment/how-plastic-is-harming-animals-the-planet-and-us/

*www.huffingtonpost.com/norm-schriever/post_5218_b_3613577.html

*Sculpture by Alison Mc. Donald

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.

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.

Life’s Evils & The Damage of Climate Change

There is an exponential global risk of growing poverty and displaced people induced by extreme weather, political turbulence and environmental damage many of which are events beyond our imagination. Global warming is taken scientifically as a given, with nearly all scientists agreeing that climate change would happen with or without people’s interference, though to a lesser degree and slower pace. It is therefore safe to say that the climate is not helped by the human populace. The collective lack of preparations to mitigate the effects of global warming are bordering on self-induced mass harm, while the switch to more environmentally friendly policies and clean and sustainable energy is nowhere near fast nor bold enough to provide the alternative. Surely these perpetrators are aware that we are all on the same planet and so far nobody can get off. As of 2013 renewable energy provides 21.7% of all electricity generated across the globe, not enough. This is heading in the right direction but with oil licenses still being given and mines still opening for coal and other fossil fuels the percentage change is demeaned by the negative impact of continued bad practice.
Since the beginning of time civilisations have fought and changed, almost evolved as a society often with its back to the wall. A classic example is to think of when man used to live in caves during an ice age, to when societies were formed and measures to stop us killing each other were implemented. Laws that govern societies and progress towards a better level of health and the tackling of the evils of life such as poverty, were met with ambitious targets to alleviate these plights. The issues are now more of regulatory capture of states such as those with powerful fossil fuel lobbies, or an.over reliance on fossil fuels such as OPEC countries. OPEC countries such as Venezuela rely on oil revenues to sustain a response to the other often immediate issues such as poverty or political stability. There are also those who refuse to switch to sustainable energy based on perceptions of how they work, how much they cost and for the classic problem of ‘range rage’ for electric vehicles which is slowly falling due to an increase in battery performance and more super fast charging stations being installed. The relative price of solar or wind is now so good that it is more than competing against alternative or what we have come to call traditional or conventional fuel sources.

So I implore you to take one simple message, we can’t carry on like this and if you personally take a stance and take the plunge towards a greener more sustainable world, others will follow. Switch energy provider, divest from fossil fuels and invest in community owned sustainable forms of energy, plant a tree, drive less and walk more. Need I go on? We all know that there is no time to lose, so go green.
If your looking for an alternative way to fill a Christmas Stocking or spend money on Black Friday or Cyber Monday try our shop and support the forum as we try to grow and support the green community. CrowdLeaf Store we are doing our own version of Black Friday here early CrowdLeaf, Green Friday and Cyber Monday for us is Clean Monday. Keep an eye on our store for sone pretty amazing world friendly products with discounts for the weekend only.




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.