Info, news & debate

08/2015 posts

Low-impact & the city 3: our solar pv system is one year old – how’s it performed?

Dave Darby of | 28-Aug-2015 | 6

We had solar panels installed on our flat roof on a London terraced home one year ago. The panels are attached to plastic tubs filled with ballast. During the daytime, we use the electricity as it’s generated, so we make sure we use the washing machine / charge phones / anything else we can think of… Continue reading Low-impact & the city 3: our solar pv system is one year old – how’s it performed? Read more

Autumn foraging season soon – here’s some inspiration

Scarlett Penn of WWOOF UK | 26-Aug-2015 | 1

Arriving at the beautiful setting of WOWO, I immediately knew I’d done the right thing ignoring cold-weather challenges to get myself to this workshop. Given the warmest of welcomes, we were invited to form a circle and take a moment to think about what plant we felt like in that moment. We were to bear… Continue reading Autumn foraging season soon – here’s some inspiration Read more

Flow Hive honey tap set to revolutionise beekeeping worldwide…. what’s wrong with that?

Stu Anderson lives at the end of a steep and stony track not far from Byron Bay in Northern New South Wales. His beautiful, hand-made home stands amongst others, surrounded by lush rainforest. Stu is one half of the father son team behind the Flow™Hive. Read more

What were your ‘light bulb moments’ in understanding the way the world works? Here are mine

Dave Darby of | 21-Aug-2015 | 2

Here’s a rash statement, but I believe it to be true. Most people these days know, either rationally or intuitively, that humanity is heading in the wrong direction. If you ask people whether we’ve seen the back of ecological calamaties, financial collapses, corruption, poverty or war Read more

Suggested campaign to remove unnecessary regulations from independent businesses

Dave Darby of | 19-Aug-2015 | 14

Three things have happened to me recently that have made me realise that local, independent and/or community-owned businesses have been put at a huge disadvantage as regards regulations that cover their activities, and the independent sector is being unnecessarily penalised for the damaging activities of the corporate sector. Read more

More details of the ujamaa collective village system in Tanzania (from first-hand experience)

Dave Darby of | 17-Aug-2015 | 0

This is an account of my visit to two ujamaa villages in Tanzania in the early 1990s, plus a lot more background information on the system itself. The ujamaa system has since been dismantled after pressure from the World Bank, but at its height, 20 million people out of a total population of 24 million… Continue reading More details of the ujamaa collective village system in Tanzania (from first-hand experience) Read more

10 reasons we need a non-corporate system as well as a sustainable one (and there are many more)

Dave Darby of | 15-Aug-2015 | 0

Like all environmental / social change organisations, we’d like humans to live in a sustainable system. But unlike many other organisations, we clearly state that we’d like that system to be non-corporate. What do we mean? Read more

No roof space? Build a solar pergola; you can visit this home to see how they did it

Gordon Glass of SuperHomes | 13-Aug-2015 | 1

Visit the Home with the Solar Pergola. Ever since completing an A-level Physics project in upper school Neil Kennedy dreamed of creating an eco-home. In 2008 major renovations began on the Tring property that he and his wife and three children call home. Read more

10 reasons our yurt holiday on a farm in Wales was the best ever

Dave Darby of | 11-Aug-2015 | 3

We got back from a holiday in a yurt at Old Chapel Farm in Powys last night. We were bowled over, and this article is a little advert for yurt holidays on farms and smallholdings in the UK, although several of the points below are specific to Old Chapel. Read more

What’s it like owning a Brompton folding bicycle?

So what’s it like to own a Brompton? I had forgotten how great it was to own a Brompton, actually.  I am so used to mine, which I have had for 13 years, that if feels like a part of me and I guess I took it for granted – until it was in being repaired Read more

Some countries don’t get vegetarianism: how to cope as a veggie abroad

If you’re looking to make the change to a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, there is no shortage of helpful advice out there to guide you as you take those difficult first steps: ‘take things slowly; make it easy on yourself; set realistic goals; provide the right environment for success, etc. etc.’ Read more

How you can help cottage industries provide solar in African villages (not for cheap electricity – just for electricity)

We had a solar electric system installed on our house in London last year by Norman Phipps of Assured Solar. We’ve had the system for a year now, and its output was almost exactly what Norman predicted, which means we’re headed for a 9-year payback time. Read more

How to get planning permission for an off-grid, self-build home

Anna and Pete Grugeon of the Bulworthy Project share their experiences and advice for anyone seeking to gain planning permission for an off-grid, self-build home. Read more

Low-impact & the city 2: what are urban gardens for?

Dave Darby of | 01-Aug-2015 | 5

I Iive with my partner in a terraced house in London, and we have a garden. So we have to work out what we want the garden for. Do we want to use it to impress people, to give it a ‘make-over’, to make it orderly and tidy, or to produce food? We’ve decided that… Continue reading Low-impact & the city 2: what are urban gardens for? Read more

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