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Category Archive@voicefm

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 

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/

Big Cat Coffee campaign – Support for Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF UK) & Cheetah Outreach (South Africa)

I @rwscarter recently had the pleasure of meeting Shelly, she told me of this great campaign and all the great work that it supports – read on to find out more. Also if you or anyone you know owns or works in a coffee shop – make it happen.

Shelley Lozano of Southampton, Hampshire, started her ‘BIG CAT Coffee’ campaign several years ago to help raise awareness and funds in support of big cat conservation projects worldwide.  She has at least a dozen participating venues in the Southampton area and is hoping to expand this in other towns and cities.  Shelley has worked tirelessly building up this unique campaign in collaboration with registered wildlife charities and is working with the Cheetah Conservation fund (CCF UK) and Cheetah Outreach (South Africa) to try to get the BIG CAT COFFEE campaign in every town in the UK (and possibly worldwide!) to raise awareness and funds for cheetah conservation as numbers continue to decline.  Many big cats are now endangered or threatened with extinction.

This is a simple idea to help raise funds by something most of us do every day – drink coffee.  An easy, convenient and pleasurable way to help raise funds for the cheetah by drinking a cup of coffee (tea, or other beverage) knowing that you have contributed in the fight for the plight to save the cheetah and other big cats such as leopard or caracal.

To help attract venues and keep customers interested Shelley updates them with her BIG CAT conservation newsletter, offering free publicity with a photo or link to the charities’ website and possibly even a mention on her weekly  ‘Wildlife Show’ radio show – the only local radio show dedicated to wildlife conservation, on Southampton’s 103.9 Voice FM every Sunday 1-3pm.

Please join Shelley in this unique coffee campaign and support CCF and other registered wildlife charities by purchasing a coffee at participating venues and add your donation to the charity tin displayed at the participating venue.

Enjoy a BIG CAT Coffee, Cheetahchino, Cheetah Latte, Mocha Cheetah, Cheetahspresso or any other ‘BIG CAT’ drink (we can also supply venues with paw print stencils if requested), for an extra 20p or whatever you can afford, by adding your donation to the charity tin and help us to raise funds for the cheetah – Africa’s most endangered big cat.

Dogs saving big cats. Your donation will go to help support the CCF’s Livestock Guarding Dog programme which protects farmers’ livestock from predation and helps prevent cheetah and other big cats on farms being shot, trapped, poisoned and killed.  Time is running out!  Please support our amazing BIG CAT COFFEE campaign and help save the cheetah from extinction!

If you are a Cafe or other venue wishing to participate in our BIG CAT Coffee campaign or if you would like to volunteer or help find new venues in your area, please contact Shelley Lozano on 07747 804447 or email shelleylozano@mail.com for further details or see website: www.bigcatconservation.webs.com                                                      

BIG CAT Conservation’s BIG CAT COFFEE campaign, working in support of free ranging cheetah in South Africa for Cheetah Outreach (SA) and CCF (UK) the Cheetah Conservation Fund’s Livestock Guarding Dog Project for the conservation of free ranging cheetah in Namibia.                                            www.cheetah.org.uk    http://cheetah.org.uk/get-involved/big-cat-coffee  http://www.cheetah.co.za/







The Wave of Plastic Pollution is a problem – @AdamManning of @GreenHampshire & @rwscarter of @CrowdLeaf

Plastic in our natural environment has become an urgent issue that our society needs to address and Ryan recently focused on this in his once a month CrowdLeaf radio slot with Xan Phillips on VoiceFM 103.9. (This is on from 8pm on the first Thursday of the month.) Plastic in the form of nurdles and plastic products are a serious problem for marine life, beach life and for the food system.
Many people who believe they are being as good to the environment as they can be do not knowingly pollute the seas with plastic or other products. However, plastic fibres from polyester and acrylic clothing are polluting the seas on an industrial scale. One 6kg wash produces 140,000 fibres from polyester-cotton blend, half a million polyester fibres and nearly 3/4 of a million acrylic fibres.
If each and every house is doing this just once a week that is an awfully large quantity and the rate at which people throw away clothes is pandemic. It is worse to throw these away than it is to wash them and the onus should be on the producers of such items to change the material to stop the pollution at source.
There are alternatives that companies can and should be looking at such as natural products, lyocell made from trees, leather made from Pineapple and more… and we as consumers need to demand these.

One important way forward is to take advantage of producers who are using alternative products to traditional plastics.
These scary numbers are just the beginning. Micro fibres from soaps, body wash and cosmetic products are also washing down our drains into the seas. Recently a plastic soup of millions of pieces of plastic was discovered in our oceans. Earlier this year, 38 million pieces of plastic were found on Henderson Island. What is this doing to our natural habitats? Our animal welfare laws wouldn’t allow this for pets but for wildlife, sadly we have different standards.

The problem of plastic pollution often becomes clear during the course of a litter pick. Litter picking as a form of environmental activism has grown markedly in popularity in recent years. Individuals are taking the initiative to clear up rubbish, as are groups of many different sizes. This includes volunteer groups who look after particular areas, such as Friends of Weston Shore, larger and more established organisations such as the Keep Britain Tidy or the Marine Conservation Society and now new, online initiatives, such as #2minutebeachclean and Litterati.

Keen litter pickers will spend a lot of time picking up plastic items in an event of this sort. Their work is vital in clearing up our natural environment as plastic will, if not removed, last effectively forever.
At a larger scale than plastic fibres, this includes plastic bottles, for water or soft drinks. As well as spoiling the natural beauty of an area, they can be a danger to wildlife. Mice and shrews can climb into them, perhaps spotting a mouthful of water to drink inside, and then be unable to climb up out again, leaving them trapped. Other animals, similarly looking for a drink, can trap their snouts or beaks in a plastic bottle, making them unable to shake them off.

Plastic ring binders are another serious problem. These are the loops of plastic that are typically used to keep groups of four or six beer cans together. They can snare both land living animals like foxes, birds and even snakes but also, if they are caught by the tide, turtles, dolphins and other sea life. There is a famous case of a young turtle entwined in a twisted six pack ring whose body deformed as it grew, until its body ultimately became a figure of eight, the ring still stuck around its unnaturally narrow waist. If they are not removed from the environment, they pose a danger to wildlife.

Cotton buds are another persistent problem. These small lengths of plastic tubing are all over our beaches, washed up by the tide. People use cotton buds to clean their ears and noses or for arts and crafts, household cleaning and other uses round the house. It seems that after they have been used, some people throw them down the toilet to dispose of them. The cotton buds then go through our sewage system, which is not designed for such products. Later, they are flushed out to sea only to ultimately end up washed up on our shores, without the fluffy cotton bits at either end, which will have disintegrated in the sewage system. Surveys by the Marine Conservation Society indicate that 60% of sewage related beach litter is from cotton buds. Just don’t throw them down the toilet!

Nurdles are another form of plastic pollution, especially on our beaches. These are tiny beads of plastic, about the size of lentils, used in the creation of plastic products. They end up in our natural areas, including our shores, from spills or accidents while they are being shipped from place to place in the production process. Nurdles, like the plastic fibres we are learning about, represent a serious pollution problem, both in the water and on land. They attract and concentrate other pollutants to them. Like all plastic, they can fragment and breakdown into smaller pieces, becoming harder to handle and remove. Animals of all sorts can mistake nurdles for food like fish eggs or seeds, especially in the water, and this can make them sick or kill them.

Part of the problem with nurdles in our natural environment is that their small size makes them difficult to remove. An average litter picker will be unable to pick them up. Chesil Bay in Southampton, a beautiful part of the shore in the city, has a particular nurdle pollution problem. In some patches this is so bad, there seems to be more nurdles than soil.

Nurdles and other plastic debris often ends up in being deposited in natural areas because human created parts of the environment, such as sea walls, docks or piers are hard surfaces. When the plastic debris comes into contact with these, the nurdles, cotton buds and so forth, are deflected away. As a result, when they come to rest in a natural area, this will be where they stay. So, nurdles and other plastic debris tend to build up on a natural area of shoreline.

There is an urgent need to take action at each stage of the plastic production process so that our natural environment is not ruined in the way that has been building up for years.






Announcement of a regular Green Show on @VoiceFMradio by @rwscarter

Some of you have already listened to @rwscarter on VoiceFm recently, some of you are so dedicated that you have heard both of his appearance so far. Credit where it is due, that cannot have been as easy as listening to Adam from Green Hampshire or Denise from ‘Eco Hair and Beauty‘. Both the earlier show and the now regular slot. On that occasion (my first VoiceFm appearance) I was with the wonderful Denise Baden from Southampton University who was discussing the great initiative ‘Eco Hair and Beauty’ which have written for us here at @CrowdLeaf before. She also discussed the sustainability agenda in Cuba- which she tied in rather nicely with her musical ‘Fidel’. More of that can be found here along with a link to that guest appearance below.




Like wise the new green show on VoiceFM – hosted by Xan Philips and the green agenda taken forward by @rwscarter on Xan’s ‘The Business show’ every first Thursday of the month from 8pm- 9pm.

The December the 1st episode can be found above – With the inside scoop on all things Christmas ,Autumn Statement, local green campaigns, national crowdfunding news and the green agenda and insights, from £5 notes to electric vans.

As @rwscarter is now a regular guest- the first in the sequence of Green issues radio appearances os merely the start, we want your green news, campaigns and insights to share live on air. At the moment this scheduled be broadcast every first Thursday of each month from 8 PM however we are both human and sometime this may change, so keep an eye on our twitter and on here. You can tune in on 103.9FM or find us online at : http://www.voicefmradio.co.uk   . If you happen to miss the show but still want to listen, perhaps you want to take us for a train journey, or on a long walk  – there is both a listen live and as you’ve  probably noticed from the links above a ‘listen again’ option.  Thanks as always for being here with us – keep your green news, campaigns, opportunities and more coming our way. Equally there is room for suggested sustainability/green/conservation songs – please do share your suggestions.