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CrowdLeaf Newsletter 6th July 2018

Welcome to this weeks edition of Crowdleaf’s newsletter.

We hope you are all still enjoying this lovely weather!

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With the world cup well under way, it is heart warming to see fans taking care of their environment and picking up their rubbish after the game is over. This is a fine example of how we should take pride in our home on earth – not just after a great match but for all of our surroundings.

Do you have an article or event you would like to see on our CrowdLeaf Newsletter? Please contact us to see if we can help! 🙂

The War Against Plastic

New Zealand The Most Perilous Place For Seabirds Due To Plastic Pollution

Researchers Race To Make Bioplastics From Straw And Food Waste

Plastic Plates And Cutlery To Be Banned From Sale Under government Plans

Plastic cutlery and plates could be banned under plans being considered by the Government

100 Steps To A Plastic Free Life

Seattle Just Became The First Major American City To Ban Plastic Straws And Utensils

Climate change and Pollution

Weather watch: Wildfires Highlight Importance Of UK’s Peatlands

Child’s Asthma Linked To Illegal Levels Of Air Pollution

Court Action To Save Young From Climate Bill

Millions of Wet Wipes Flushed Into The Thames Causing Plastic Nightmare

Filth: a clump of wet wipes near Hammersmith Bridge, where 115,000 have been pulled out so far this year

Energy

UK Heatwave Helps Solar Power To Record Weekly Highs

Queensland Coal Push Grows As Turnbull Tries To Land Energy Guarantee

Wildlife and Conservation

Dry Weather Boost UK’s Most Endangered Butterfly

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Australia Needs Tighter Ivory Sale Laws Sale To Protect Elephants, Parliamentary Committee Hears

Recycling and Sustainability

Is This The End Of The Yellow All-In-One Recycling Bin?

Local Authorities Urged to Embrace Separate Collection Model

What Does Sustainability Really Mean To The Customer?

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This Toilet Provides Safe Sanitation Without Plumbing Or Electricity

Events

Hampshire Farmers Market Oxford Street 7th July

Portsmouth Green Drinks ‘On Tour’ Artist Special, Part 1 11th July

Fight For Clean Air In Southampton And New Forest 17th July

South sea Wildlife Watch 21st July

New Forest Festival 27th July

Handy Websites

Check Out Eco Collective who offer 100% vegan products and offer gluten free and organic produce.

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!

Who and What are Let Pompey Breathe? By Alexa Gill & Anna Koor #letpompeybreathe

Let Pompey Breathe is a campaign group made up of several environmental groups and parties concerned about the poor air quality in Portsmouth and the lack of action to date from the council. We believe it is everybody’s right to be able to breathe clean air. The main purpose of the campaign is to reduce air pollution in Portsmouth and bring it down to legal levels. We’re asking the council to commit to reduce air pollution to meet WHO standards as soon as possible.

 

Air Pollution is a problem

Currently Portsmouth’s air quality is among the worst in the UK and it’s widely thought that 95 premature deaths a year in the city are related to air pollution. However, this figure is based on small particulates (PM2.5) such as emitted from diesel vehicles. When taking into account the effect of nitrogen oxide (NOX) and other air pollutants, that figure is worryingly thought to be as much as 6 times that. Furthermore, Portsmouth’s air pollution problem has been identified as roadside NOX pollutants. In February 2018 ClientEarth won a court hearing ruling that 33 authorities were in breach of meeting the government’s targets on legal levels of air pollution. Portsmouth was among those authorities.

 

Strong action is needed

Since the campaign launched, we’ve been out in the local community spreading the word about our concerns. In April we staged a peaceful demonstration outside the city civic offices, using ‘grave stones’ to highlight the number of premature deaths that are caused by air pollution. One of our campaigners delivered a letter to several key members of the City Council, calling for strong action to tackle the problem. Green MEP for the South East, Keith Taylor was in attendance. That evening he, along with 2 speakers from Let Pompey Breathe spoke about the air pollution issues we are facing across the city and why it’s so important we try to tackle this public health crisis.  

Since the beginning of May we’ve been focused on collecting signatures for the petition we’ve got running, asking the council to commit to reducing air pollution in the city. Anyone who lives, works or studies in Portsmouth can sign the petition. We’ve had stalls at a local Green Film Festival and at different points around the city. Residents are receptive and keen to sign. We’ve also had a bit of press, giving an interview on the local radio station. We’ve just reached the required 1000 signatures to ensure the issue is debated at full council. But we still need more! The greater number of people we can reach to sign the Petition, the further we’re able to go in demonstrating to the council that the electorate want action on this matter. If you are not eligible to sign, sharing it with people who are would be a great help.

The first step would be for the Council to publish an Air Quality Action Plan for consultation. It’s important they do this as a collaborative approach to developing robust and sustainable solutions to the problem. Everyone needs to have an input including local businesses, residents and environmental groups.

Get Involved

If you want to participate in tackling this issue, a great way to do so is donate your time and or money to organisations that are working to fight this problem. Some suggestions are ClientEarth, Earth Justice, Friends of the Earth, Green Peace. Or consider the Green Party to help get more councillors elected who will stand up for clean air.

We are always looking for volunteers to help with the #letpompeybreathe campaign, and increase our network. Please get in touch if you want to get involved!  

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.

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

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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!

For a plastic free revolution we need new lenses by @MarIntroini

A simple question – one in which Mar asked me (@rwscarter- Ryan) about recently while I was on the radio, what is more important? Education or Innovation?

Well here is her answer.

 

A matter of Education or Innovation: which “lenses” come first? For a real plastic free revolution we need a solid educational framework that shapes habits and attitudes for finally building a new green culture. Parallel to this process is Innovation on technology, an essential element and an ally for green goals.

We need to be educated to adapt effectively to the new challenges by changing habits and at the same time innovate and make this process easy and sustainable within a world that moves through digitalization. A green future should be based on Education and Innovation and also through an innovative educational framework that delivers values around protection to the environment.

Let´s have a look at some data to wake up to a devastating reality around the environment and in particularly in relation to plastics:

An estimated of 12 million barrels of oil is required to produce the plastic bags used in US each year.

A million plastic bottles are bought around the world every minute and the number will jump another 20% by 2021*

Around 50% of plastic is used just once and thrown away*

More than 8 million tons of plastic is dumped into our oceans every year*

Alarming figures that wake up our society to a new sensible issue that demands action not only in terms of business options but also on a complete reshape of our lifestyle and system. A revolution….

Now, the system moves through a legal framework, is it possible to make a revolution against plastics without a complete reform of the legal system? Even if private initiatives are dominating the stage of the green market is it not enough and we need a full commitment from the public sector and definitely a new ambitious legal status.

Is precisely legislation that boosts a green way of doing business although always with the support of bottom up initiatives. Which is clear is that we cannot rely only on the latest and the progress would come from top down strategies that display commitment and structure for a system change.

We need leaders with vision, -not necessary visionary- but with the political will to make a change. Not only for cancelling the “plastic industry” but to give alternatives that reconvert the sector into a new and productive industry able to reinvent themselves with innovation and creativity. Is it here that the political support becomes paramount in terms of investment on innovation. From the side of the plastic misuse and irresponsible consumption we must be focused on educating individuals and change their lifestyle no matter the influence of the public sector. The private sector could play a very important role on changing cultural habits by using the speed of social media and the powerful influence of a global structure. Multinationals are key actors to implement new practices and develop new individual habits on an equal impact around the world. In which cultures are not a burden but the necessary complementary element.

Even if political support is a very important factor to take into account, U.S. is a good example that is not necessary essential, which is definitely very important is a legal framework that allows the continuity of pursuing Green goals. The focused policies from Mr. Trump against the own existence of climate change and the investment on clean energies have exposure the power of individual action from millions of citizens in America that want to fight back and are achieving green results with or without public support. This rebellion from the citizenship (coming from all the Political parties) gives the green revolution a new boost and a new vision in which the center of the initiatives are not public. That is precisely what we need for a results-driven strategy against plastics: the determination and awareness from the citizens to make a change of their traditional lifestyle on an almost anarchic basis.

Despite the traditional standardization of concepts, habits and business we must make the effort of “seeing green” where others are not able to do so. The environment depends on this individual option of delivering clean practices. Is our responsibility and empower us to become active agents for change.

Vision it´s important to see the devastating impact of plastics in oceans and in our lifestyle, however there is an even more important element that is awareness and information. Both are missing and clearly the data is not coming from the pubic sector but from an active and engage civil society.

Its ‘a historical momentum for a radical change of the “lenses” of mistaken traditions and move towards a new vision on green, with or without public support.

*http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/iceland-plastic-free-packaging-own-brand-products-recycling-pollution-environment-a8161081.html

* SDG´s 12+14= the panoptic for plastic waste

*https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jun/28/a-million-a-minute-worlds-plastic-bottle-binge-as-dangerous-as-climate-change

*https://www.plasticoceans.org/the-facts/

CrowdLeaf Newsletter 16th January 2018

Welcome to this weeks CrowdLeaf newsletter.

The world is seeing and making more effort to cut out plastic pollution and Teresa May has brought out her statement of commitment to reduce this for the UK by 2042.

We at CrowdLeaf hope to see this happen a lot sooner for the sake of all the marine life, birds and the environment in general. We know we cannot achieve this by sharing the news alone. Many of our usual readers perhaps don’t need inspiring but if collectivly we can inspire and educate others to want to switch to a more environmentally friendly way of living then we should.

CrowdLeaf have taken the Plastic pollution plan and have made it more ambitious, the sort of ambition that we hope the government will eventually find. 

The link for which can be found here, written by Ryan Carter with input from me Vicky Wallis : Our criticisms and suggestions for the Plastic Plan .

There is still time to donate to this great cause – WWF UK Birthday Fundraiser.

Top Stories

New York City to Divest From Fossil Fuels And To Sue Companies

Worlds Biggest Wildlife Reserve Planned For Antartica 

 

Teresa May Vow Commitment To Reduce Plastic Pollution By 2042

 

 Ford To Invest 11bn And Have 40 Hybrid And Fully Electric Vehicles By 2022

Climate change,Pollution And Energy News 

 

Teresa May Calls For Fruit And Vegetables To Be Sold Without Plastic Packaging.

How To Build A Rubbish Business

Scotland Becomes First Country to Outlaw Plastic-Stemmed Cotton Swabs

Toxic Plastic Pollution Destroying Scotlands Beach’s, Loch’s and Rivers

Glasgow Pubs Back Calls For Ban On Plastic Straws

Can supermarkets get rid of unnecessary plastic packaging by 2042?

New Renewable Projects Planned Across Australia As Tesla Effect Hits

Wildlife, Conservation and Environment News

Millions of Trees To Be Planted To Create North Of England Forest

Here is the most current list of the world’s top 25 most endangered primates

Sustainability News

Plastic Eating Mushroom – Cleans up Non Biodegradable Plastics

Eco-House Made From Waste That Would Normally Be Burnt

Fully Solar Powered EV Wins Major Award

10 Plastics You Can Easily Quit Today!

Recycling News

 

Rise In Sales for Reusable Coffee Cups

Oxfam – The Rising Star Of The UK’s Online Fashion Industry

Recycled Cardboard Bedroom Set – Nest Bedding

Events

Renewable Energy At Local Level – Alton – Wednesday 17th January 

Green Spaces Walk – Portsmouth – Saturday 20th January

Penguins Flash Mob – Southampton – Saturday 20th January

Zero Waste Portsmouth Monthly Meeting – Portsmouth – Friday 26th January

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

Pledge Your Commitment To Improving Hampshires Recycling Habits

Hampshire Recycling

Organic Veg Box Finder – Soil Association

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

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

CrowdLeaf Store

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.




10th year of the pioneering SuperHomes Open Days

This year marks the 10th year of SuperHomes, the innovative and multi-award winning national network of over 200 homes which have all reduced their carbon footprint by a minimum of 60%. SuperHome owners will open their doors this September as part of our Open House events, and there is a record 100 free events occurring this year across the UK. 

SuperHomes is a project managed by the National Energy Foundation, an independent charity that aims to reduce the use of energy in buildings.
The Open Days are a great opportunity for visitors to see for themselves both the challenges and benefits associated with making older homes more energy efficient, and view retrofit technologies in action. The free Open House events occur every September where the SuperHome owners provide honest and detailed accounts of their renovation stories and offer invaluable advice and guidance.
Since 2007 SuperHomes has been at the forefront of domestic eco-retrofit and the network continues to lead the way in carbon conscious renovation. To date, 222 homeowners have all transformed their properties through environmentally minded renovation resulting in lower energy bills, smaller carbon footprints and a huge increase in comfort levels.
SuperHomes include all types of houses, ranging from Grade II listed 16th Century ironstone properties to 1990’s build ex-council houses; from 6 bed Victorian mansions to 1940 terraces; from idyllic ecolodge retreats in rural Snowdonia to single story flats in the heart of London.

The technology found within and around the properties is innovative and market leading, and our SuperHomes offer exceptional, and often unique, examples of green technologies.

In addition to the more mature aspects of green renovation such as external wall insulation, solar PV panels and heat pumps, our houses boast a variety of cutting edge technologies such as Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery (MVHR) systems, green roofs, biomass boilers, and even whole house airtight membranes.

SuperHomes are pioneers in renewable technology and energy efficiency.






We have a number of SuperHomes opening for the first time this year. This includes our most recent addition Pamela whose 1920s ex-Council house in North London is carbon neutral! She achieved this by installing many technologies, including Solar Water Heating, Solar PV Panels and Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery. Visit Pamela on 16th/17th September on a free tour. Another interesting first time opener is Paul from Flintshire who retrofitted his 1960s home for under £10,000, and still managed to achieve a carbon saving of 64%! Visit Paul for a tour on the 9th September to learn about how to keep eco-retrofit affordable. To find an Open Day near you please visit http://www.superhomes.org.uk/get-inspired/events/.

Energy used in the home accounts for more than a quarter of total energy use and carbon emissions in the UK. Houses in the UK are some of the least energy efficient in Europe, and the majority of the housing stock is made up of older homes which are typically very energy inefficient. Without tackling this problem and improving the energy efficiency of homes we will not be able to meet our emissions target of an 80% cut in emissions by 2050 to meet the requirements of the legally binding Climate Change Act. Open House events like SuperHomes are great ways to distribute knowledge and passion about retrofit, and persuade people to take the carbon conscious decision to reduce energy use in their home.

The current, post-Green Deal (the Coalition Government’s flagship energy efficiency policy that was scrapped in 2015), climate, with lowered green incentives and a distinct lack of interest from subsequent governments has seen the focus on eco-retrofit waver. Yet the refurbishment of our homes and buildings is one of the greatest challenges we face to reducing carbon emissions and tackling climate change. SuperHomes harnesses the enthusiasm of our energy saving pioneers to stimulate community-led renovation.
SuperHome Open Days occur throughout the year with a co-ordinated national event throughout September. Most of our openings coincide with Heritage Open Days (7-10th September) and London Open House (16/17th September). To find out more visit www.superhomes.org.uk
To help SuperHomes celebrate this anniversary we’ve partnered with the Ecology Building Society who are supporting this year’s September openings.

SuperHome owner #59, Mark Brown stands in front of his 1980’s detached house. The High Wycombe property has achieved 90% carbon savings. Visit on 9th/10th September.

How to Start a Sustainability Movement in Your Organization: Part 3 Scale by Wendy Firlotte @EngageIntl

The Challenge: Since the path to sustainability is rooted in local context, creating an overarching corporate program that is also relevant to numerous departments and locations may seem counter-intuitive. How do we create an overarching corporate sustainability program that is relevant to every employee and is implementable across an entire organization, especially those with diverse departments, services and geographic locations? How could we implement programming that would be relevant to office, laboratory, retail and field-based settings or perhaps in operations located in New York City, New Delhi and in a small rural town in northern Canada?

Another key consideration when we are thinking through the scope of corporate vs. local, is that the reverse also needs to be considered. How does the program engage employees to directly understand their impact locally on organizational performance? For example, would employees be able to read a sustainability report and relate their everyday actions to the outcomes that the organization reports on? Do employees feel that their daily actions make a difference toward organizational goals?

An Effective Approach: “Strategic Flexibility”: I encourage an approach that I like to call “Strategic Flexibility”. This approach is about finding an effective balance with aligned action between corporate level targets and locally organized events and activities.

What does this mean in action? Companies focus program efforts on their overarching sustainability targets, but provide local autonomy by working with all locations to plan how they will meet the company targets in a way that is relevant to their specific context.

Strategic flexibility is where the “top down” big picture planning, meets the “bottom up” operational insights and practicality. Each approach has advantages, but reliance on only one restricts the potential effectiveness and success of your strategic goals. It combines the strategic alignment of efforts with the business vision, while leveraging local experience, operational knowledge and momentum of existing initiatives. Creating efforts that are strategically flexible builds trust, commitment, enthusiasm, buy-in at every level, and company resilience by creating the space to be responsive to internal and external influences.

How it Works: Whether your program focuses on individuals or teams, create an overarching framework around your organization’s sustainability targets that is clear and relatable to your sustainability reporting. Using the focused framework you have created for guidance, allow local offices to develop their own plans to address each target. Local offices may or may not be implementing the same activities, but they will all be working towards overarching sustainability targets.

Some key elements for implementation:

Local Planning – Encourage the development of a local sustainability plan by involving the entire office/location. Sustainability/Green Teams often only look within their limited group for ideas, champions and resources. Developing a local sustainability plan by involving all employees will open up avenues for participation, discussion, ideas, solutions, collaboration and resources.

Encourage involvement in the process by providing various approaches that appeal to employees’ interests and time commitments. This is an amazing opportunity to build on the momentum of existing local activities, previous success and identify local champions. When it’s time to prioritize and decide on action plans, create space for productive discussion; for example host solution lunches, where you can bring into the fold anyone interested in a specific issue or initiative by discussing solutions to a particular challenge.

Local Support – This sort of “bottom coming up to meet top” approach will be a new concept to many people, so providing ongoing support for planning and implementation for local offices is important and necessary. Having a strong support network for them to move forward will be key. In addition to corporate assistance, creating a community support network of local champions/mentors is also effective.

Networking and Knowledge Sharing – Providing an avenue for discussion, sharing ideas, success stories and advice on lessons learned is an effective way to make offices feel supported and ultimately more successful. Learning from each other and feeling connected as a community working toward a common goal greatly increases enthusiasm and momentum.

Want to learn more?

Watch for the next installment of our 6-part “Start a Sustainability Movement in Your Organization: Part 4 – How to Systemize “ series. We will focus on how to systemize your program, no matter the size, function or structure of your organization or program.

Start a Sustainability Movement Series:

· Part 1: Steps to follow

· Part 2: Building buy-in at every level

· Part 3: How to scale

· Part 4: How to systemize

· Part 5: All in for sustainability

· Part 6: Fostering culture & embedding sustainability

Connect with Wendy om the links below.

Twitter: @EngageIntl https://twitter.com/EngageIntl

LinkedIn: Wendy Firlotte https://uk.linkedin.com/in/wendyfirlotte

Wendy is a Corporate Sustainability Employee Engagement Strategist. She specializes in translating high-level strategy and purpose into aligned and embedded employee action.







Architecture as a tool for building resilient cities by @MarIntroini

Being resilient means face uncertainty with pillars that guarantee stability and capacity to response to the “new”. This is how new realities forces to reshape a world in which infrastructure and services become flexible and versatile. Migration crisis or climate change pushes us to rethink a world in which urban spaces are designed for new-revolutionary standards of living.

Half of humanity, around 3.5 billion of people lives in cities today. By 2030, almost 60% of the world’s population will live in urban areas which represents a strong reason for building cities that welcome this overwhelming number of people and their demands in a threaten environment.




Even if there is a political global commitment to achieve Goal 11 of the SDG´s: “Make cities and human resettlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable” is important to raise awareness and build new parameters at local level that mark the road for the next decade in a determinate and ambitious way. In the context of current “broken” world of weak commitment to global standards there is much more challenge and the search for stronger tools become paramount.

Architecture has become that tool, the relief that the world is awaiting. With innovation and creativity is showing its capacity to reinvent itself and construct the unimaginable. Rooftop gardens, urban farming, self-energy efficient houses, office-building with an integrated farm, are just examples of the impressive changes that architecture could make in societies. Is it not just a matter of changing design of construction styles but also a new way of living, above all producing a feeling. The emotional element that determinate the need for achieving results from a different perspective. In which multicultural spaces boost a mentality and a culture around tolerance and inclusiveness. The Pavilion in Vojvodina, northern Serbia* it’s a good model of this new trend that is helping to boost a new innovative concept that –in this case- assures freedom of religion. The acceptance of a “melting pot” of religions becomes also a matter of “architecture design”.

Globalization has brought more movement of people and also new demands for clean and healthy standards of living in which the cultural aspect cannot be missed. People move through public patterns of behavior and the sense of being part of a general consensus. Despite confrontation there is an important element of “being part of…” that allow them to be in one position or another. Is with this spirit that cities has contributed greatly to create multicultural societies. “Being part of….” is not a matter of local perspective but of the creation of open and inclusive spaces. The boost of globalization comes from the free movement of people –please do not confuse it with massive flow or refugees- that transform societies in a different and better place. Indeed, little towns that keep traditions intact are inclined to disappear as it doesn´t deliver the needed standards that fit in current world. Precisely migration has brought this element of merger of traditions and birth of a new layered of societies. That is the reason of being a value added for the growth of cities, therefore societies.

The complementary work of architecture and urban planning are key elements to achieve these new and ambitious standards. A green way of living means a smart urban planning and architecture enough flexible and versatile that gives room to a new philosophy of living.

Concrete, wood, timber, natural materials and a smart mind to be creative and innovative enough to build cities able to welcome all nature of people and “knit” new habits to protect the environment and adapt to current and future crises.

“Whatever you do, promise me that every project you make or design, you´ll take the risk of doing something for humanity”. Frank Ghery. Indeed, whatever is done should be focused on a creative and innovative architecture that helps to boost pillars around adaptation and an urban planning, ambitious enough to boost a resilient society.

Mar Introini

Blogger/Analyst Political-Economy thesustainabilityreader.com