Low-impact blog

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Nov
22
2020
Dave Darby

I’ve got a book deal. I’d like to ask for your advice about how to deliver the message.

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I’ve got a book deal with Chelsea Green, which is quite scary. They like my writing style, but the content needs a bit of translating for a wide audience. The Covid pandemic provided the stimulus to bring together a group of specialists to form ‘Mutual Credit Services’ (new website coming soon). My role is in the ‘propaganda department’ – hence the book. Read more …

Nov
18
2020
Rowland Keable

Virtual International Clayfest 2020 – ‘building’ skills and building ‘skills’

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Clayfest 2020

It’s a highlight of the natural building calendar not to be missed. EBUKI share news of this year’s upcoming virtual Clayfest, exploring and celebrating all things earth building on Friday 27th and Saturday 28th November 2020. Read more …

Nov
15
2020
Dave Darby

Are squirrels or pigeons ‘food’, and should we reintroduce pine martens?

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A squirrel - is it food?

OK, so this isn’t really about squirrels or pigeons – it’s about any animal; we’re back to the veganism vs meat-eating discussion. But just focusing on squirrels and pigeons for the moment, I guess everyone accepts that they are of course food for other animals. They’re in a food chain, after all. Pine martens don’t need to wrestle with this question – squirrels are most definitely food for them. And sparrow hawks don’t need to ask about pigeons – or squirrels either, for that matter. It’s about whether they’re acceptable food for humans. You can make up your own mind when it comes to you. You can decide that you’re never going to eat squirrels or pigeons – but do you have the right to dictate to others that they shouldn’t eat them either? Read more …

Nov
11
2020
Sophie Paterson

Review: A Complete Guide to Straw Bale Building by Rikki Nitzkin and Maren Termens

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Sophie Paterson reviews a valuable new addition to any natural building bookshelf in the form of A Complete Guide to Straw Bale Building by Rikki Nitzkin and Maren Termens, published by Permanent Publications earlier this month. Read more …

Nov
8
2020
Dave Darby

CoopCycle Federation: aiming for a bicycle courier co-op in every town

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CoopCycle Federation

Today I’m talking with Claire Stocks of Chorlton Bike Deliveries and Matt Nicholson of York Collective. Both are bicycle courier co-operatives. Read more …

Nov
4
2020
Sarah Young

Great ways to reduce plastic use in your home: Part 3 – around the home

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Explore how to reduce plastic use in the kitchen, living area, bedroom, bathroom and even the garden, with the help of our friends at Ethical.net. Read more …

Nov
1
2020
Dave Darby

Review of ‘A Small Farm Future’ by Chris Smaje

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A Small Farm Future by Chris Smaje

Industrial agriculture and giant monoculture farms dominate our food sector. But does it have to be that way? Could and should we build a new kind of food system based on small farms? This new book, ‘A Small Farm Future’ published by Chelsea Green, outlines what a post-covid, post-capitalist society might look like, built around a repopulated countryside of small farmers. Read more …

Oct
28
2020
Sarah Young

Great ways to reduce plastic use in your home: Part 2 – cleaning products and toiletries

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Handmade toiletries can help reduce plastic use at home

The second instalment on plastic reduction from Ethical.net takes us through cutting plastic use in our cleaning products and toiletries, with a focus on making your own using the simplest of recipes. Read more …

Oct
25
2020
Dave Darby

Are power hierarchies inevitable in human society?

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Power hierarchies: a wooden stepladder

Just to be clear, I’m only talking about institutional, power hierarchies here, not hierarchies based on beauty, knowledge, intelligence, ability, respect etc. Those hierarchies are inevitable, of course, and life would probably be quite boring without them. Read more …

Oct
21
2020
Sarah Young

Great ways to reduce plastic use in your home: Part 1 – what and why

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Great ways to reduce your plastic use at home: image by Jasmin Sessler

Are you struggling to reduce plastic use in your home? In this first instalment from Ethical.net, we learn why we should be aiming to reduce our plastic use, why recycling isn’t enough and how to get started reducing food-related plastic waste. Read more …

Oct
18
2020
Dave Darby

Do energy-saving measures actually increase overall energy use?

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Do energy-saving measures actually increase overall energy use?

Having worked in the environmental field for 30 years, I’ve watched the situation get worse every year, to the point that it might already be irreversible, and we don’t know what damage it’s going to do to us, exactly. That’s pretty insane, and so Read more …

Oct
14
2020
Chris Lesley

What to know about choosing your backyard chicken

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Choosing a backyard chicken

Thinking about getting some chickens but not sure which breed to start with? Chris Lesley of Chickens And More shares her top tips for what to consider when choosing your backyard chicken. Read more …

Oct
11
2020
Graham Mitchell

Creating a national network of social care co-ops: Graham Mitchell of Co-operative Care Colne Valley

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Colne Valley Co-operative Care: building a toolkit to help develop a national network of social care co-ops

Today I’m talking with Graham Mitchell, of Co-operative Care Colne Valley. He’s part of a group starting a social care co-op in the Colne Valley, West Yorkshire, and they’re also building a toolkit / step-by-step guide for people to start a social care coop in their own community. I’m interested in how this toolkit can help grow the cooperative social care sector. Could there be a national network of social care co-ops? Read more …

Oct
7
2020
Sarah Young

Sustainable alternatives to garden lawns: Part 2

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Edible alternatives to garden lawns

In this second look at sustainable alternatives to garden lawns, we hear from our friends at Ethical.net about growing your own food, keeping the kids happy and more. Read more …

Oct
4
2020
Graham Mitchell

Why we need social care co-ops: Graham Mitchell of Co-operative Care Colne Valley

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Why we need social care co-ops

Today I’m talking with Graham Mitchell, of Co-operative Care Colne Valley. He’s part of a group starting a social care co-op in the Colne Valley, West Yorkshire, and they’re also building a toolkit / step-by-step guide for people to start social care co-ops in their own community. I’m interested in how this toolkit can help grow the cooperative social care sector. Read more …

Sep
30
2020
Sarah Young

Sustainable alternatives to garden lawns: Part 1

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Sustainable alternatives to garden lawns

From herbs to moss and more, we share a first instalment from our friends at Ethical.net about sustainable alternatives to garden lawns. Read more …

Sep
27
2020
Sophie Paterson

Mentoring and more: support for new entrant farmers

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Support for new entrant farmers

Know someone taking their first steps into farming? We take a look at a growing wealth of schemes and resources providing support for new entrant farmers. Read more …

Sep
23
2020
Sean Fagan

Beyond navigation: three great uses of maps

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Uses of maps: an Ordnance Survey map of Ireland

From archaeology to folklore and more, Sean Fagan of Pioneer Bushcraft sets out three great uses of maps beyond the obvious. Read more …

Sep
20
2020
Brian Czech

WWF shocking report on wildlife, and why the response will be inadequate

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WWF report on wildlife

It’s been a while since wildlife—not just a species here or there but wildlife at large—has been front and center in the news. Usually the biggest environmental news pertains to climate change at the global level, or local pollution problems such as lead in the water pipes. “Biodiversity” gained traction as an issue in the 1990s, but seems to have slipped off the public’s radar. (When’s the last time you saw it in a prominent newspaper headline?) Read more …

Sep
16
2020
Sophie Paterson

Reflections on ‘Extinction: The Facts’ by Sir David Attenborough

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Reflections on Extinction: The Facts by Sir David Attenborough

Hailed as ‘essential viewing’, ‘painful’ and ‘terrifying’ by viewers, Sophie Paterson shares her reflections on the hard-hitting BBC documentary Extinction: The Facts. Read more …

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