Low-impact blog

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Jun
23
2021
Dave Darby

How you can help get solar onto more roofs in your community: the Big Solar Co-op

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Help get solar onto more roofs in your community: Big Solar Co-op

As it’s Community Energy Fortnight, I thought I’d have a word with my old mate Jon Hallé, who used to run Lowimpact’s ‘How to Make Biodiesel’ courses in the early noughties (and authored a book of the same title with us), and since then has gone on to found Sharenergy, who have helped over 100 community energy schemes to launch, using wind, solar, hydro and biomass. We’ll publish an interview with Jon soon, but first I wanted to tell you about his latest venture – the Big Solar Co-op (BSC) Read more …

Jun
20
2021
Dave Darby

What kind of work do we want to do? Is working with our hands passé?

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What kind of work do we want to do?

There’s an approach to life that sees craft jobs, or smallholding and food production, including baking, brewing and beekeeping, as well as any kind of job that involves manual work and dexterity as somehow retrograde and passé, and that ‘work’ now means mainly putting on a suit and travelling to an office to do something-or-other in sectors such as finance, advertising, sales, fashion or PR. Read more …

Jun
16
2021
Chris Smaje

Can organic farming feed the world?

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Can organic farming feed the world?

Now there’s a question – posed by Chris Smaje of the Ecoogical Land Co-op. Chris joined the board of the ELC as Dave of Lowimpact left, and since then Chris has produced a book called A Small Farm Future, which we review here. Members of Lowimpact have become involved in the world of mutual credit, while Chris has tried to convince us that the future of farming is mixed, organic smallholdings rather than giant industrial farms using pesticides. Read more …

Jun
13
2021
John Thackara

John Thackara: ‘Strange’ ideas don’t sound so strange in strange times

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John Thackara: 'Strange' ideas for strange times

This is part 2 of a conversation with John Thackara. In part 1 we talked about what the future might hold for humanity, and here we talk about what our responses might be. ‘Strange’ ideas might be required for strange times. Read more …

Jun
9
2021
Mitch Ison

How to build a bent willow chair

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How to build a bent willow chair

Complement your home or outdoor space with an easy chair, rocking chairs or a living willow chair! This guide should help you to build a bent willow chair – a fantastic piece of willow furniture. Building a willow chair is incredibly satisfying. Just imagine, when you’ve finished you can literally sit back and enjoy your endeavours. Read more …

Jun
6
2021
Dave Darby

A brief history of money

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A brief history of money, from 700 BCE to the present day

Here’s a quick and dirty history of money. Since I’ve been involved in the mutual credit world, I’ve been reading various ‘history of money’ texts, and so I thought I’d organise the notes I’ve taken into a blog article. It’s a half-hour read, to accompany our new ‘Low-impact money’ topic, and I think it gives a good overview of monetary history – but leaving out nonsense like ‘money evolved from barter’, or ‘Kings introduced coins so that their subjects could trade more easily’. If you think anything is wrong, missing or needs more explanation, do let me know in the comments. Read more …

May
30
2021
John Thackara

John Thackara: What does the future hold for humanity?

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John Thackara on the future for humanity

This is part 1 of a conversation with John Thackara – senior fellow of the Royal College of Art, visiting professor at Tongji University, Shanghai, founder and director of the Doors of Perception sustainable design conferences, and author of many books, including How to Thrive in the Next Economy. Read more …

May
26
2021
Dave Darby

Join our presentation: the Credit Commons protocol – tech agnostic, low-friction transactions for all

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Credit commons protocol

You’re invited to join our presentation on the ‘Credit Commons’ – a protocol to connect and unite mutual credit groups globally – on Friday 4 June from 4-5.30pm. Sign up here. Read more …

May
23
2021
Dave Darby

‘Mutualism’ will supersede traditional left vs right politics

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Nature, democracy and community aren’t partisan issues. No-one sensible, of any political persuasion, speaks out against them. They’re essential for human well-being. But they’re being destroyed, and disunity wastes energy and prevents us from being able to do anything about it. Read more …

May
16
2021
Michael Linton

The new Open Money exchange system: Michael Linton, founder of LETSystems

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Open Money exchange system

This is Part 2 of a conversation with Michael Linton – founder of LETS, the moneyless exchange system. In Part 1 we talked about LETSystems and why it didn’t grow in the way Michael would have liked, and in Part 2 we’re going to talk about his new idea – Open Money. Read more …

May
5
2021
Sarah Young

Sustainable funerals: Part 2 – with Ethical.net

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Sustainable funeral: roses

Are you planning for a green funeral? Our friends at Ethical.net continue to explore sustainable funeral options, including green burials, coffins, burial sites, wakes and more. Read more …

May
2
2021
Michael Linton

LETS – origins, and what happened next: Michael Linton of LETSystems & Open Money

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Michael Linton LETS

This is Part 1 of a conversation with Michael Linton – inventor of LETS, the moneyless exchange system. I want to talk about that, and he has a new idea called Open Money that we’ll talk about in Part 2. Read more …

Apr
30
2021
Sarah Young

Sustainable funerals: Part 1 – with Ethical.net

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Sustainable funerals

With green funeral options on the rise, our friends at Ethical.net explore what to consider when it comes to sustainable funerals, focusing on more sustainable cremation options in this first instalment. Read more …

Apr
21
2021
Ruby Taylor

Nests and baskets: were birds the first basketmakers?

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Dunnock: nests and baskets

Featuring weavers, dunnocks and wrens, Ruby Taylor of Native Hands reflects on nests and baskets, asking if birds were the first basketmakers. Read more …

Apr
18
2021
Will Ruddick

Mutual credit in Africa: interview with Will Ruddick of Grassroots Economics

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Mutual Credit in Africa

I’d like to introduce Will Ruddick, who set up the Grassroots Economics Foundation in Kenya around ten years ago, that runs a very successful mutual credit network (called the Sarafu Network) there. Read more …

Apr
15
2021
Eileen Sutherland

Putting straw on the public building map: the UP STRAW 2020 Yearbook

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UP STRAW 2020 Yearbook

Eileen Sutherland shares highlights from the UP STRAW 2020 Yearbook, as this pioneering pan-European project putting straw on the public and urban building map enters its final phases this spring and summer. Read more …

Apr
8
2021
Scarlett Penn

New found freedom: WWOOFing as a digital nomad

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WWOOFing as a digital nomad: WWOOFer Imogen

Are you a remote worker dreaming of pastures new? WWOOFer Imogen shares how her experience of WWOOFing as a digital nomad enabled her to combine making a living with meaningful volunteering. Read more …

Apr
4
2021
Dave Darby

Saving and investment in a mutual credit world

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Piggy banks : savings investment mutual credit world

Nothing we do to try to move to a sustainable, healthy and democratic society will work as long as we have the current money system, because money has two conflicting functions. It can be used to buy and sell things, and it can be used to store, hoard, accumulate and become wealthy with. As long as that’s the case, money will gravitate towards stored wealth, because money attracts money and gives access to the political system. Read more …

Apr
1
2021
Sarah Young

A beginners’ guide to farmers’ markets: Part 3

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Guide farmers' market

Our friends at Ethical.net share what to look for in local food and drink in their guide to farmers’ market shopping, plus how else to access sustainable produce from local producers. Read more …

Mar
26
2021
Sophie Paterson

Craft in a crisis: helping heritage crafts come back from the brink

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Helping heritage crafts : basketmaking

With a host of already endangered heritage crafts at even greater risk as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, what does the future hold and how can we play a part in helping heritage crafts survive and even thrive? Sophie Paterson explores. Read more …

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