Low-impact blog

Jan
20
2017
Cassandra Lishman

Help our off-grid, timber, straw-bale and stone ‘eco-pod’ project happen, then come and stay in it!

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lammas-ecopod

Hi, my name is Cassie. My daughter is called Bea, she’s the bigger girls in the picture there. She absolutely loves horses! I also have a son called David, who is going to be an actor; my husband is called Nigel, and our eldest son is called Ted. Read more …

Jan
17
2017
Dave Darby

Low-impact & the city 8: how to test drive Linux from a datastick, but keep Windows for the time being

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A while ago I blogged about the various open source programmes I’m using. I’m absolutely non-techie when it comes to IT. I have no interest in the technical underpinning of what I want to do with my computer, and this makes it difficult for technical people to explain things to me. Read more …

Jan
15
2017
Dave Darby

What to do if you want to build your home on a spot occupied by an ancient tree

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sloans-oak

We’ve been contacted several times by people who ask why we’re promoting the building of timber homes and the burning of wood in wood stoves or biomass boilers. Their argument was that timber building and the production of firewood require the felling of trees Read more …

Jan
13
2017
Dave Darby

Ecology as theology: religion must oppose the destruction of nature

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The vast majority of the world’s population subscribe to a religion. According to Pew Research, although the number of people unaffiliated with a particular faith will increase by 2050, as a percentage, this group will fall from 16% now to 13% in 2050 Read more …

Jan
10
2017
Andy Reynolds

Timber users and growers: what is ‘timber shake’ and why does it occur?

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This article holds some clues to the faults in timber most commonly found in Oak and Sweet Chestnut, but I have also encountered it in Southern Yellow Pine. For the novice, timber shake may sound a bit nautical or piratical, but it is a fault in growing trees Read more …

Jan
8
2017
Dave Darby

What are the roots of right and left thinking, and can we unite left and right against corporate power?

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Why do people who consider themselves ‘left-wing’ seem to embrace a raft of policies that appear unrelated? For example, if you’re of the left, and you believe in (say) progressive taxation, why should that also mean that you believe in gun control, or Read more …

Jan
6
2017
Dave Darby

Low-impact & the city 7: our experience of a local fishbox / community-supported fish scheme

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You may remember that we blogged an interview last summer with Guy Dorrell, who set up a ‘fishbox’, or ‘community-supported fish’ project, called ‘Faircatch‘. After interviewing him, my partner and I signed up to his scheme to try it out. I’m now reporting on how the idea worked for us Read more …

Jan
3
2017
Dave Darby

Reasons not to buy from Amazon

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In 1983, Richard Stallman launched the GNU free software project, on which many people could collaborate, and in 1985 he founded the Free Software Foundation, to promote and assist the development of free software. Here is a page from his website Read more …

Jan
1
2017
Dave Darby

Is the quest for perpetual economic growth the witch-burning of our times, and could this be the year we start to challenge it?

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Johannes Kepler was one of the major figures in the 17th century Scientific Revolution. In his day, people were grappling with the question of whether the earth was the centre of the universe, as the Church said it was, or whether it was just another planet, revolving around the Sun Read more …

Dec
30
2016
Jenny Steel

Nature in January – what to look out for

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sparrow-hawk

Anyone who feeds the birds in their garden is likely to have a Sparrowhawk passing through from time to time.  I am no different from anyone else – feeling that moment of flinching fear as the small grey male or his larger female mate come swooping past my window with outstretched talons. Read more …

Dec
29
2016
John Harrison

What to sow, plant and harvest in your polytunnel or greenhouse in January

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January can be the beginning of your creative gardening year in your greenhouse or polytunnel. It’s the first awakening of the year. You can start off new seedlings on your propagator and sow and plant the first vegetables into the ground. Read more …

Dec
28
2016
John Harrison

Fruit & vegetable growing guide for January

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January is generally a very cold month with hard frosts freezing the ground although there are no guarantees with British weather. Looking through my diaries, snow isn’t that likely for a prolonged period, but you never know. Read more …

Dec
26
2016
Sigi Koko

Building a small home has a big payback

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Let’s get one thing straight right away…When I say “small”, I don’t mean living in a shoe box.   What I mean by “small” is living in a space that is designed…well designed…for your needs…and no more.  A small space doesn’t mean cramped. Read more …

Dec
21
2016
Paula Osthaus

Low-impact & the city 6: how we got ourselves a living willow ‘fedge’ (half-fence, half-hedge)

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We’ve wanted a living willow ‘fedge’ for a while. We have a firepit and a couple of compost ‘daleks’ at the end of the garden, and we wanted to cordon this area off, and hide the compost bins. A fedge is a cross between a fence and a hedge, and it’s alive. Read more …

Dec
18
2016
Dave Darby

Monopoly and capitalism: why you’ll lose at both if you try to play nice

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Monopoly is obviously based on capitalism, but the biggest difference between Monopoly and real-life capitalism is that Monopoly is just a game. Whatever happens in the game, it doesn’t mean that in real life Read more …

Dec
15
2016
Dave Darby

Companies like Fairphone, Ecotricity etc. are doing great things, but could easily be picked off by the corporate sector; why aren’t they co-ops?

6

Body Shop, Green & Blacks, Ben & Jerry’s and Innocent Drinks represented a Brave New World when it came to doing business – Fair Trade, sustainable, (slightly) less hierarchical, informal, friendly. Read more …

Dec
13
2016
Clifford Davy

Fancy growing shiitake mushrooms at home? Here’s how – in logs or sawdust

1

Shiitake mushrooms require cellulose-rich material and will grow on a variety of woody substrates. My preference is for oak (or other hardwood) sawdust. In fact, Shiitake will grow on softwood sawdust Read more …

Dec
11
2016
Dave Darby

Review of ‘Extinction: A Radical History’ by Ashley Dawson

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I tend to look out for new books on extinction – I think species extinction is the clearest indicator of what’s happening to ecology, and the thing that will precipitate its collapse unless we stop it. Read more …

Dec
8
2016
Dave Darby

Dear Fidel Castro…

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I believe that you were a great man – whatever you did, you did because of passion and integrity, not because of a thirst for money or power. But you had the wrong plan. Read more …

Dec
6
2016
Adrian Leaman

Request for help to build a reciprocal roundhouse for an environmental charity: great learning opportunity, and it’s free

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We’re building a reciprocal roundhouse in April 2017 for an amazing social/environmental charity, Farms for City Children, and we’re calling for assistance. This 3-week ‘Full Build’ gives you the chance to learn by experiencing the whole building process Read more …

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