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  • Our story

    2001: Lowimpact.org was founded as the ‘Low-impact Living Initiative’ (LILI – hence our lily logo), a not-for-profit organisation, by two members of Redfield Community, an intentional community founded in 1978 as a registered housing co-op with 18 acres, which by the 90s had solar hot water, compost loos, straw-bale buildings, organic gardens, orchards, soft fruit, bees, sheep, chickens, natural paints, lime, wood stoves, and one member was experimenting with making biodiesel from waste cooking oil. Lowimpact started running weekend courses at the community in those subjects. We also ran events with the National Energy Foundation, helping people to build their own solar hot water systems.

    2006: We started to run one-day courses in partnership with city farms in London, Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle and Edinburgh. We also took over the day-to-day running of WWOOF UK, matching up organic farms and smallholdings with volunteers, and started publishing books on our range of topics.

    2010: We moved out of Redfield Community, stopped running our own courses and became a network of low-impact organisations and an information hub for our ever-growing range of topics. This included a directory of low-impact businesses, introductory information, books, online courses, blog, links, magazines, and specialist advisors to answer queries on all our topics.

    2015: Name-change to Lowimpact.org. WWOOF UK went their own way (due to changes in EU VAT law, it became financially beneficial to employ staff directly), much stronger than when we came together.

    2018: We registered as a workers’ co-operative. We also launched our Youtube channel, where we interview key people working to build / promote the commons economy.

    2023: We moved our focus away from living sustainably (impossible in the current system), and towards preparing for the ongoing breakdown of corporate capitalism, via self-provisioning and growing the commons economy. We stopped producing books & online courses, and focused on working with our partners, Stroud Commons, Mutual Credit Services and Local Loop Merseyside to help build, promote and support the commons economy.

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    The human impact on nature and on each other is accelerating and needs systemic change to reverse.

    We’re not advocating poverty, or a hair-shirt existence. We advocate changes that will mean better lives for almost everyone.

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