Our story

2001

Lowimpact.org is founded as the ‘Low-impact Living Initiative’ (LILI), a not-for-profit organisation, by two members of Redfield Community. The community itself was founded in 1978 as a registered housing co-op with 18 acres, and by the late 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. We wondered if anyone else might be interested in learning about the things we were experimenting with. We started running courses in the things that we were doing.

2002

The courses sold out, so we developed a bigger course programme and started to add information on our topics of interest to our website. 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.

2007

We took over the day-to-day running of WWOOF UK, matching up organic farms and smallholdings with volunteers.

2008

We started publishing books on several of our topics of interest.

2010

We 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 includes a directory of low-impact businesses, plus introductory information, books, articles, links, courses, magazines, products & services and specialist advisors to answer queries on all our topics.

2015

We built a new website and changed our name 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. We wish them well – they’re a great bunch of people doing a wonderful thing.

2018

We launched Noncorporate.org, a new site to help people to disengage from the corporate sector. We also registered as a workers’ co-operative, with three workers, four associate advisors and a range of other specialist advisors. The co-op owns and runs both sites.

Here’s our theory of change.