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 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. Lowimpact started running courses at the community, 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. We also took over the day-to-day running of WWOOF UK, matching up organic farms and smallholdings with volunteers.
2008: We started publishing books on our topics of interest.
2010: We moved out of Redfield Community, and the team started working remotely. 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. We started to produce online courses.
2015: New website and a 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. We wish them well – they’re a great bunch of people doing something good.
2018: We registered as a workers’ co-operative. We also launched our Youtube channel, where we interview key people working in sustainability and the new economy.
2023: We moved our focus away from living sustainably (impossible in the current system), and towards preparing for the ongoing collapse of corporate capitalism, via self-provisioning and growing the commons economy.