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If everyone in the world lived the way we do, we'd need 2.7 Earths. There are many ways to reduce our impacts and live w...
If everyone in the world lived the way we do, we'd need 2.7 Earths. There are many ways to reduce our impacts and live well.

posted on 9 Nov 2020

Our Priorities

Showing you 1 to 10 of 10 ideas of our priorities
Live well, Buy less – the no/low buy challenge
## Solution Summary
Tips on living well and buying wisely to save the planet.

## Why do it?
Buying any new thing consumes materials and creates waste. It's possible to live well and be happy simply by buying less. This brings fewer impacts on the environment and other people.

## How to do it:

#### Three guidelines for living well on less:
1. Avoid buying new things.
2. Repair things that break or wear out.
3. Share and swop things with friends, family and neighbours: why not have a swapping party – online or offline!

The 'no or low buy' lifestyle involves thinking about whether buying new is necessary.

#### Take care of yourself

Of course food, medication and other essential things are unobtainable another way must be bought.

That said, it's possible to:
* Avoid buying things casually or just for fun
* Buy only the things, and the amount, that we need
* Think carefully about how the things we do buy affect others and the environment
* Set some rules and limits for ourselves
* Appreciate what we already have

#### The transformation can be powerful

One person who changed her buying habits said: *“If I felt bad about myself, I wanted to buy myself something. If I was excited about something I wanted to shop to celebrate… Shopping was my answer for everything.”*

Finding new ways to comfort, reward, or deal with emotions is important if we’re going to stop the over-consumption that harms the environment.

Taking up this challenge can be fulfilling.

People report considerable financial wins, including paying off debt and hitting personal savings goals.

And having more time to enjoy themselves.

## Resources and tools
1. Discover tips for buying fewer things from [The No Buy Movement](
2. [The Reddit No Buy thread.](

## Case studies
1. [Ideas for buying fewer new things]( from the man who went for a year spending nothing
2. Hailey Evans' YouTube channel on the No Buy option:
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posted on 4 Nov 2020

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Top tips to make your life greener
## Solution Summary
Explore hundreds of ways to make your life greener every day.

## Why do it?
Taking action feels good. Learn by doing! Find out what works for you from hundreds of ideas in these resources.

## How to do it:
Below you will find links to many online resources which themselves contain many different ideas of what you could do.

There is something for everybody. It's worth spending a little while exploring them.

Why not try a different one each week?

By the end of the year you could have transformed your life!

#### Six great starting points

1. Green up your life and get involved in community activities: The [Eden Communities website]( is packed with exciting ideas to green every aspect of your life. They're for everyone – so dip your toes in, don't be afraid, and above all have fun! You could be the greenest person on your street. Then share your discoveries with your friends and neighbours!
2. Try one new green activity every week for a year: The [carbon footprint website]( contains a year of weekly tips for greener living plus loads more ideas to tame your carbon footprint.
3. Learn about Permaculture: hundreds of ideas for greening your life from the [Permaculture Association.](
4. Discover new skills and many ways to reduce your environmental impact: [Low Impact Living's website]( has comprehensive advice on every aspect of sustainable living; connecting lifestyle and system change.
5. Find and join a local group involved in practical action using this [Swansea Environment Forum website.](
6. Set up a [Climate Emergency Centre]( as a focus for community action and resources to tackle the climate emergency. This resource contains instructions for a collective of people to set up a [Climate Emergency Centre]( in a vacant property, either owned by the Council or a private developer.

## Resources and tools
These all contain many ideas:
1. [The Eden Communities website](
2. [The Carbon Footprint website](
3. [Permaculture Association.](
4. [Low Impact Living Initiative](
5. [Swansea Environment Forum website](
6. [Climate Emergency Centre toolkit](

## Case Studies

Idea stage:
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posted on 4 Nov 2020

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How to buy greener products and services
## Solution Summary
Disover how to buy greener products and services to make a positive environmental difference.

## Why do it?
Spending your cash probably offers your biggest opportunity to help save the planet. Here's how to navigate the choices.

## How to do it:
Making ethical and green buying choices isn't easy! It's confusing so how do you separate the hype from the help?

#### Buy from greener companies

First off, buying from “greener” companies is a good start.

And greener and fairly produced items in general can help to reduce the impact of your consumption and help good causes.

#### Buy greener versions of products

Greener versions of **electrical goods** and **clothes** – which can have a significant negative impact on the environment – are all available. See the Resources list below for ideas.

These include plastic-free alternatives to common products – [see the separate solution for avoiding single-use plastic.](

#### Buy FairTrade products

If you buy **FairTrade** labelled products, these are not exploitative of labour.

#### What makes a green product?

Products can be greener in several ways that reduce their ecological footprint:
* made to run on less energy
* made from more environmentally friendly materials
* made in a factory running on renewable energy
* made in a way that reduces their environmental impact
* made using organic farming (food, cotton)
* made to be compostable, repairable, reusable or recyclable
* made nearer to you
* are non-polluting
* avoid plastic
* avoid excess packaging
* made by well-treated workers
* are smaller!

It makes sense to avoid the opposite of these!

Don't buy things online that require couriers – this significantly ramps up emissions. Use the Royal Mail service.

#### Three top tips for greener buying
* Use the links below under 'Resources and tools' to help inform your buying choices.
* Be careful of manufacturers’ false claims and marketing.
* Buying less is the greener thing to do! Discover the ['Live well, Buy less – the no/low buy challenge'](

## Resources and tools
1. **[Ecolabel Directory](** Directory and videos to help you find the greenest laundry detergents, clothing and textiles, coverings, do-it-yourself, electronic equipment, furniture, gardening, lubricants, other household items, paper products, and personal care products.
2. **[The UK Green Business directory](**: to find green companies and source eco friendly products
3. **[Love Your Clothes](**: Tips to help you purchase, use and dispose of clothes sustainably, including re-using and recycling.
4. **[Ethical Consumer](**: Directory of eco and ethical products: like an ethical Which? magazine.

## Case studies
Four questions to ask before buying products!

How to avoid greenwashing and spot really green products!

Idea stage:
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posted on 4 Nov 2020

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Can your organisation benefit from greener products?
## Solution Summary
Procure certified greener products and services from suppliers, and you may obtain tax breaks.

## Why do it?
The most power we have to do good lies in your spending choices. You can either take care to invest in regional and global future prosperity or inadvertently cause more social and environmental problems.

By looking to capture extra social and environmental value with your purchases, you can contribute to a virtuous, rather than a vicious circle of consequences.

## How to do it
Methods depend on what you wish to procure. Some come with tax breaks.

#### 7 types of sustainable procurement

The Resources and Tools listed below cover the following:

1. **Specify social and environmental criteria** in procurement contracts as well as financial ones that suppliers have to meet for a decision to be made. A value can be put on resulting gains that counts on your balance sheet.
2. **Use the EU Taxonomy** as a guide. Types of investment that will help meet the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change have been defined by a European group of experts. Use the list – called . Things not on the list will not support these goals and will not be eligible for certain grants, bonds, loans and subsidies. The influence of this list will be felt worldwide, even though it is European.
3. **Enhanced Capital Allowances**. Tax relief is available on many goods which have lower environmental impacts, if they are in HM Government's official lists.
4. **Source from local suppliers** ensures that cash stays in the local economy, supporting more jobs in the area, with what's called the local 'Multiplier effect'.
5. **Reduce the impact of imports** Tools are available to help you select imported goods that have the least social and environmental effect in other countries. For example, some countries have better social and environmental protections in place than others for the production of raw materials, foods and components.
6. **Account for the social and ecological costs and value** of any planning and spending decision. Tools below can help you calculate this.
7. **Use green directories** Finally, there are directories below of both greener supply companies and greener products. Purchasing from these helps to build the green economy.

*Use the links below under 'Resources and tools' to help inform your buying choices.*

## Resources and tools
1. [The **Social Value** Portal]( – allows both public and private organisations to measure and manage the contribution that their organisation and supply chain makes to society, according to the principles laid out in the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012.
2. [Green procurement]( a source of news, tools, and other resources at the European level to support **green procurement.**
3. [EU Taxonomy for sustainable activities]( This contains criteria for 70 **climate change** mitigation and 68 climate change adaptation activities, including for **“do no significant harm to other environmental objectives”**. Good to avoid anything not on this list.
4. [Environmental taxes, reliefs and schemes for businesses]( UK Government site covering **environmental tax relief schemes** and more for different types and size of business. For example, for businesses that buy energy-efficient technology; for small businesses that do not use much energy; or for businesses that use a lot of energy because of the sector they're in.
5. [Enhanced capital allowance scheme]( ‘Enhanced capital allowances’ (a type of first year tax exemption permit) are available for the following **energy** and **water** efficient equipment: some **cars** with low CO2 emissions; energy saving equipment that’s on the energy technology product list (*below*), for example certain **motors**; water saving equipment that’s on the water efficient technologies product list (*below*), for example meters, efficient toilets and taps; plant and machinery for gas refuelling stations, for example storage tanks, pumps; **gas, biogas and hydrogen** refuelling equipment; new **zero-emission goods vehicles**.
6. [Energy Technology Product List]( Tax relief is available on **energy-using goods** in this official list.
7. [Water Efficient Technology Product List]( Tax relief is available on **water-using goods** in this official list.
8. [Net Present Value Plus (NPV+)]( a benefit-cost analysis model for capital projects that factors in the **costs of environmental and social degradation**, and **benefits like the value of ecological resiliency, health and social capital.** Use this to work out the social and environmental penalty or positive value of potential projects before you start, to help design the optimum outcomes for everyone, long-term.
9. A [tool for measuring **social capital**]( to help capture the non-economic benefits of a given procurement decision.
10. [Official tool for measuring **natural capital**]( to help capture the non-economic benefits of a given procurement decision.
11. [More **natural capital** accounting tools]( By putting a value on nature you can incorporate it in your balance sheets. This page provides guidance on how to produce natural capital accounts to inform planning, management and investment decisions that minimise risks and maximise **benefits to the natural world and health**.
12. [The Centre for Local Economic Strategies]( Find out about initiatives that can support** local procurement for community wealth building**. Resources, training and support that helps take care of the environment too.
13. [Shortening Supply Chains]( Roads to Regional Resilience: Learn about encouraging **local supply chains**. Helping shorter supply chains to survive and thrive will make our food system more resilient and sustainable. Find here recommendations and examples of businesses and councils working to shorten supply chains, and what opportunities exist to increase the availability of local, sustainable food in your community.
14. The [PRINCE tool]( to track and **reduce the environmental impact of imported goods**. As used by Sweden and other countries. (It stands for ‘Policy-Relevant Indicators for National Consumption and Environment’.)
15. [Exiobase]( an international database describing the **environmental impacts of imported and exported goods**. Use it to find those with the least impact.
16. [Environmental Footprints]( This resource builds on Exiobase data to visualise the **environmental impacts of countries**, in particular the UK & EU regions.
17. [**Ecolabel** Directory]( Directory and videos to help you find the greenest laundry detergents, clothing and textiles, coverings, do-it-yourself, electronic equipment, furniture, gardening, lubricants, other household items, paper products, and personal care products.
18. [The UK Green Business directory]( to find **green companies** and source eco friendly products.
19. [Ethical Consumer]( **Directory of eco and ethical products**: like an ethical Which? Magazine.

## Case Studies

Preston and the Importance of Local Procurement:

The EU Taxonomy explained:

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posted on 12 Nov 2020

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Discover the size of Wales' ecological footprint
## Solution Summary
Wales' ecological footprint is five times the size of Wales. Discover what can be done to reduce this.

## Why do it?
To raise awareness of Wales' impact on the global environment.

## How to do it:
By law, Wales has to have its ecological footprint calculated every few years. You can read the Welsh Government report in the Resources section below. It also explains the footprint of each county within Wales.

#### What's an ecological footprint?

An ecological footprint tells us how much land and water we need both to produce everything we buy and use, and to absorb our waste.

The global average is 2.5 hectares per person, but in Wales we use 3.3 hectares per person.

If everyone in the world were to live the way we do, on average, we would need almost three planets.

We are using more than our share.

It's as if we're living off an overdraft. At some point the resources will dry up and the “bank” will come to collect our debt.

This is what’s behind climate change and the mass extinctions presently occurring.

#### Did you know?

Wales' Well-Being of Future Generations Act commits it to reducing its ecological footprint to one planet within a generation – about 2050.

You can help Wales do this by [reducing your own ecological footprint](

#### How can you reduce the nation's ecological footprint?

The main cause of the high footprint is the excessive consumption levels of some sectors of the population.

Collectively, the less that's consumed, the better, but poverty must be eliminated.

Also, reusing and recycling more and more, in a circular economy, and becoming more efficient, would also help.

This would help us to use resources much more effectively, bring nature back into our lives, and have a fairer society.

## Resources and tools
1. [The Welsh Government report on Wales' ecological footprint](
2. [The footprint explained](
3. [Explore the data behind the footprint system](
4. [Classroom activities for kids and teachers](
5. [Earth Overshoot Day]( – this is the date in the year when our demands on nature exceed what can be replenished in that year.
The World's Overshoot Day was 22 August in 2020.
The country with the world's worst ecological footprint – Qatar – reached its Overshoot Day the earliest in 2020 – on February 11. It's explained by the fact that it is an oil producing desert.
The best country in 2019 was Indonesia (its Overshoot Day was December 18).
The United Kingdom's Overshoot Day 2020 was May 16 – very poor.
No country is sustainable enough to make it through the year, as yet.

## Case studies:
A simple explanation of the ecological footprint:

Earth Overshoot Day:

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posted on 7 Apr 2021

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Measure your ecological footprint
## Solution Summary
Prosper using only your fair share of the planet's resources.

## Why do it?
The average citizen of a country like Wales has an ecological footprint such that if everyone on the planet lived this way we’d need almost three planets to support us. This helps explain the climate and extinction crises.

## How to do it:
#### What is an ecological footprint?

An ecological footprint tells how much land and water we need, both to produce everything we consume and to absorb our waste and pollution.

The bigger our footprint – the more we need. The smaller the footprint, the better for the planet, and for global justice.

Restoring nature also helps it to give us what we need.

#### How to find out your ecological footprint

Step one is to discover your ecological footprint: [Go to this page and answer the simple questions.]( Don't forget to come back!

How did you do? If your footprint is below one planet – well done!

If not, you can make it smaller.

#### How to reduce your ecological footprint

Changing the way we obtain our food and our services should aim at requiring fewer resources, less land and leaving more for rewilding.

These top six ways use different solutions on this website:

1. [Avoid flying]( – really bad for climate change.
2. [Eat hardly any animal products]( – that includes milk, meat, cheese and fish.
3. [Eat mostly unprocessed foods]( – The more processed it is (like ready meals) the bigger its footprint is likely to be. Plus, it's healthier to avoid processed food.
4. [Buy less or buy different]( – Your ecological footprint is directly related to how much stuff you buy.
5. [Switch to renewable electricity]( – and use less of it It's easy to switch to a 'green' tariff – it shouldn't be any more expensive and you might even save money!
6. [Reduce waste]( – find another use for things, repair them, give them to charity, or recycle them.

**TIP:** Try these, then redo the calculator to check how you're doing. Look at the other solutions too and keep checking your progress.

#### Did you know?
Wales' Well-Being of Future Generations Act commits it to reducing its ecological footprint to one planet within a generation – about 2050.
You can help Wales do this by reducing your own ecological footprint. If everyone does the same, we can make it!

## Resources and tools
1. [The footprint explained](
2. [Explore the data behind the footprint system](
3. [Classroom activities for kids and teachers](
4. [Earth Overshoot Day]( – this is the date in the year when our demands on nature exceed what can be replenished in that year.

The World's Overshoot Day was 22 August in 2020. The country with the world's worst ecological footprint, Qatar, reached its Overshoot Day the earliest in 2020, on February 11. It's explained by the fact that it is an oil producing desert. The best country in 2019 was Indonesia (its Overshoot Day was December 18). The United Kingdom's Overshoot Day 2020 was May 16 – very bad. No country is properly sustainable and makes it through the year at the moment.

## Case studies:
Earth Overshoot Day:

The Footprint explained:
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posted on 7 Apr 2021

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Learn as a family about saving the planet
## Solution Summary
Movies and outdoor activities for young people that can change your life.

## Why do it?
Raise your understanding and skills by watching good informative movies. Teach the next generation about looking after the planet.

## How to do it:
Here are educational activities for inside and outdoors.

Check out the resources below for links and more info.

### Watch movies and save the world

The mass media don't tell us much about what we need to do to save the planet!

[Ecostreamz]( and [Waterbear Network]( are two digital streaming platforms similar to Netflix and Amazon Prime, that provide easy access to important films and media regarding environmental, social justice and wildlife conservation issues – and supports the causes documented in the films.

### Join an eco-Scouts or Guides organisation

....and let the children get back to nature with a family friendly organisation.

The Forest School network and The Woodcraft Folk are socially and environmentally aware versions of Scouts and Guides. Follow the links below.

## Resources and tools
1. [Ecostreamz:]( Watch environmental movies.
2. [Waterbear Network:]( A streaming platform dedicated to the future of our planet.
3. [Swansea NPT Forest School](
4. [The Woodcraft Folk:]( with branches in Wales, for all ages.
5. [Confused About Energy:]( Find out more about how your use of energy affects climate change, and how to save it in your lifestyle.

## Case Studies
A Day at a Forest School:

The Woodcraft Folk:

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posted on 7 Apr 2021

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Set up a One Planet Development
## Solution Summary
How to live the 'one planet' life in Wales.

## Why do it?
It's a rewarding and measurably very low-impact way of life, living and running a small business on the land.

You will reduce your ecological footprint to below one planet, and be zero carbon, and improve local biodiversity.

## How to do it:
The Welsh Government has a unique policy to support low impact living called One Planet Development.

#### What is One Planet Development?

The One Planet Development planning policy enables people to build homes on agricultural land where no building already exists, something otherwise not permitted.

One Planet Developments can either be single homes, co-operative communities or larger settlements.

They may be located within or adjacent to existing settlements, or be situated in the open countryside.

Planning guidance has been issued to help people make a planning application to do this in the open countryside.

Over 40 have so far been granted planning permission.

#### What are the One Planet Development criteria?

The guidance lays out the following features that need to be achieved.

A plan must be prepared for planning officers, explaining how these targets will be achieved within five years of obtaining planning permission.

1. Buildings that are at least Zero Carbon throughout their entire life-cycle;
2. An initial ecological footprint of 2.4 global hectares per person or less and clear potential to move towards 1.88 global hectares (based on a calculator provided by the Welsh Government);
3. Close-to-zero waste;
4. 100% renewable energy;
5. Land-based enterprises to satisfy around 65% of the minimum needs of the occupants (around £5-6000 per household);
6. A clean water supply;
7. Ecological sewage treatment with nutrient recovery;
8. Provision to protect against extreme weather events such as flooding or drought;
9. Low or zero carbon transport plan;
10. An increase in biodiversity by the planting more native species;
11. Integration with the local community;
12. Use of Welsh language and culture.

## Resources and tools
1. [Technical Advice Note 6 (TAN 6)]( and [Planning Policy Wales (PPW)]( set out land use planning policies to support sustainable communities in a rural context. Section 4 of TAN 6 defines One Planet Developments.
2. [Practice guidance and the ecological footprint calculator]( can be found on the Welsh Government website.
3. The [One Planet Council]( is a voluntary organisation that exists to support applicants and planners The website contains a summary of the guidance.
4. [A PDF briefing paper]( on how One Planet Development supports the duties of public bodies under recent Welsh legislation.

## Case studies:
A short film about One Planet Development

One Planet Organics:

Are One Planet Developments for you?

The ecological footprint explained:

Earth Overshoot Day:
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posted on 7 Apr 2021

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Start a sustainable food production business or diversify your farm
## Solution Summary
Some great ideas for setting up more local and organic food businesses or diversifying an existing farm.

## Why do it?
Meet unmet local demand for a product or service, spread economic risk, exploit profitable new and growing markets, strengthen rural and local communities, and grow crops that would otherwise be imported.

Regenerative agriculture also naturally improves soil nutrients and health, biodiversity, buffers rain run-off, and stores carbon in soils.

Providing more food close to urban areas is vital to reduce our dependence upon faraway markets vulnerable to climate change.

## How to do it
#### Choose a new food business that's right for you

1. Survey the market and opt for projects that drive you with passion.
2. Factor in the overall economic, social and environmental impacts and benefits of what you hope to achieve.

#### Options for rural farms
Agro-ecological horticultural practices are typically more productive than traditional farms in terms of value for acre, and employ more people.

The trick to success is adding value.

#### Productivity from conversion
Data from a conversion of a Welsh sheep farm to this type of horticulture has shown a 30-fold increase in productivity, without subsidy.

In addition they improve biodiversity and soil fertility year-on-year through composting and employ more people to keep a closer eye on each square metre of land.

Animals (dairy, fowl, pigs) are often used productively as part of the growing cycle.

#### Diversification of existing farms
Local food production throughout the country before World War 2 was more varied, with more grains and vegetables grown.

This was subsidies arrived and land practice changed.

With modern knowledge and technology, it can be made more varied again.

**Intensive animal rearing** should be discouraged, as it is unsustainable for many reasons, including its high ecological footprint and association with water pollution and cruelty.

**Smallholdings** support more jobs and are more productive per acre than livestock.

**Livestock** can be kept as part of an agro-ecological mixed land use system. This is better for the environment, too.

**Orchards** and **soft-fruit**, using domestic and hybrid rootstocks, can be combined with bee-keeping and many other types of land-based livelihoods.

#### Secrets of success
The key is to **add value to products** where possible or cut costs by cooperating with other producers.

Although handling and transportation to more distant markets may increase costs, crops like fruits, vegetables, ornamentals or nuts can dramatically increase income per acre.

Parts of a conventional farm may be assigned to such purposes, or sold or sublet for others to do so.

The most sustainable example of this is One Planet Development (see separate solution), which can occupy from one to ten acres per project.

#### Urban farming

Urban farming options being pursued around the world to grow local, organic food year-round include:

1. Vertical farms
2. Hydroponics
3. Aquaponics.

Advantages are:
* vastly reduced energy use compared to rural farms and imported food
* better use of space and resources
* around 70 per cent less water with recycling and cleaning of greywater
* making food local
* urban job creation
* nearly closed nutrient cycles
* perfect food safety control
* significant reduction in the use of pesticides and herbicide to virtually zero
* urban food security.

#### Vertical farming
Vertical or indoor farming involves growing plants on stacks of racks, usually indoors, in a controlled environment.

Such farms are capable of producing as much as 70 to 90 times more food per acre.

Vertical farms growing leafy vegetables are able to produce up to 12 harvests per year. Abandoned buildings can be used to house them.

Natural solar light plus super-efficient Organic LED lighting of specific frequencies that the plants like are used to maximise growing.

Vertical farms need to be capable of producing food in winter so renewable electricity powered heat pumps and heat storage systems can be added.

#### Hydroponics
A form of indoor vertical farming that is soil-free, with drip-fed water dosed with nutrients.

All sorts of vegetables including tuberous root vegetables can be grown, with the tubers hanging down from the racks so that they may be harvested without destroying the plant.

In this way a sweet potato plant can last ten years and produce 500 potatoes.

A system can in theory use rainwater collected from the roof and recycle water.

#### Aquaponics
Aquaponics is a combination of aquaculture (fish farming, usually tilapia) and hydroponics (growing green vegetables without soil).

Nutrients in the fish poo feed the plants, which in turn clean the water for the fish.

The water is evapo-transpired, condensed and returned (cleaned thereby) to the fish.

The only input needed is fish food.

This can be done at any scale from living room size to a large greenhouse.

To be efficient, renewable electricity powered heat pumps and heat storage systems are needed.

You need to know about both fish and plant production though; it involves a lot of expertise.

1 kg of fish food can produce a fish harvest of 700g and five to 10kg of tomatoes. Fish produce ammonia and the plants clean the water.

This amount of fish produces two litres of sludge, which is vermicomposted (composted with worms), giving nutrients to the plants.

No artificial lighting is used. In a year, 20.9MWh of electricity, 32.2MWh of heat plus 763m3 of water produce 3401kg of salad and 706 kg of fish. The top line is it produces 2.7 kg fish and 13.1kg vegetables per acre.

Three m² of rooftop space could feed one person 12 per cent of their diet. The first commercial farm was started in London in 2018, in an abandoned warehouse.

#### Community Supported Agriculture
Community Supported Agriculture, cooperatives and patchwork farms directly connect many producers with consumers, who “subscribe” to their services.

They include box schemes and home delivery services.

‘Patchwork farms’ link multiple producers of organic produce via mobile technology to coordinate direct sales to customers so that producers need to spend less time on marketing and can produce more.

Forming local cooperatives also provides a way for farmers to jointly invest in processing and marketing.

## Resources and tools
1. [Farming Connect:]( Support and training for anyone wishing to run any land-based business at any scale from woodlands to horticulture and conventional farming.
2. [Landworkers Alliance:]( a union of farmers, growers, foresters and land-based workers aiming to improve livelihoods and create a better food and land-use system.
3. [Sustainable Agriculture Research Centre:]( benefits of diversification.
4. [The Soil Association's Shortening Supply Chains:]( Roads to Regional Resilience: recommendations and examples of businesses and councils working to shorten supply chains, and what opportunities exist to increase the availability of local, sustainable food in your community.
5. [Sustain:]( the alliance for better food and farming: Discover ways to improve food and farming in Wales, with news, great ideas and campaigns covering every conceivable aspect of food, health and the environment.
6. [The Sustainable Food Trust]( based near Lampeter, Wales, supports the transition to a more sustainable food system.
7. [Association for Vertical Farming:]( Resources and network for sustainable indoor and vertical farms that can produce year-round local food.
8. [Hydroponics:]( How to practice hydroponics – growing plants year round indoors without soil, with mineral nutrient salts dissolved in water.

## Case Studies
1. [Bristol Fish Aquaponics:]( Cultivating fish and plants together:
2. [Farmdrop patchwork farm](
3. Green Spirit Farms: use 98 per cent less water than going in the open air, on average and produce 17 harvests per year.
4. [Aero Farms indoor farm]( uses 95 per cent less water, 40 per cent less fertiliser, and no pesticides. Crops that usually take 30 to 45 days to grow, like leafy gourmet greens, take as little as 12.
5. [Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences]( in Beijing, indoor patches of tomatoes, lettuce, celery and bok choy yield between 40 and 100 times more produce than a typical open field of the same size.
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posted on 7 Apr 2021

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Transform your organisation into a planet-saver
## Solution Summary
Encourage everyone in your organisation to help it save the planet.

## Why do it?
The world needs to reach an average global temperature of 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels and to repair the damage to nature as fast as possible, to reduce the risks of disaster for further generations.

Your organisation would benefit in other ways, from having a shared sense of purpose in which individuals feel recognised for their contributions.

We know what we need to do, and we have most of the technology readily available. But change is not happening fast enough.

The reason is cultural. Doing all you can to save the planet must become the norm, just as we expect others not to risk infecting us with disease.

## How to do it:
#### Start with strong leadership

Committed leadership from the top of an organisation is essential: from directors, boards, and those holding the financial pursestrings.

Their reasons could be legal, strategic, financial, or to improve public relations.

#### Seven ways great leadership can inspire direction and priorities
1. Leaders send signals, and create the organisation’s culture. If they say “we need to be fit for the future in order to survive into the future,” then that filters throughout the organisation.
2. They have the ability to create business plans, five-year plans, 10 year plans, and allocate resources.
3. They can create specific jobs and job descriptions that embed carrying out the plans into the responsibilities of all employees.
4. They can seek the advice and input of all employees, and even from the supply chain and the customers.
5. They can recognise success with award schemes.
6. They can use this to add value to the organisation.
7. And the purpose of the organisation can become to do what it does in a way that contributes to a better world.

Besides business acumen, leadership may need to think like a psychologist, diplomat and a publicist!

All of these skills will help in the design, implementation and evaluation of a plan that will stand a great chance of being a sustainable success.

The CEO must be held accountable for sustainability performance. Because then all parts of an organisation will understand it is a core concern.

Many organisations also have a legal commitment to report on their carbon emissions.

### How to change an organisation's culture
For it to have a lasting effect, being ‘green’ must become a core part of the way in which an organisation sees itself.

To start out, here are five key questions:
1. Where does resistance to change lie, and what strategies could be available to overcome it?
2. Is it necessary for there to be a crisis to motivate change, or can you be more effective during periods of stability?
3. How is change best embedded to result in continuous improvement?
4. How does an organisation implement sustainability goals while surviving in a potentially conflicting market?
5. How can you tell the difference between ‘greenwashing’ and genuine action?

To answer these, an organisational appraisal is useful.

Each participant in the discussion can be invited to state where they think the organisation currently stands.

The organisation then needs to decide collectively and perhaps with its partners on its level of ambition. This is, in effect, a business plan.

#### The eight stages of a sustainability strategy

1. **Make a commitment:** usually involves adopting a climate policy: a short, written statement.
1. **Establish the baseline:** an initial audit will show where energy and resources are being used. From this develop a business plan with options for action to be evaluated by top management so they may allocate resources – with a return on investment in each case. Include the financial cost and benefit to the organisation, and carbon emissions.
1. **Create an action plan** that sets out how energy and resources will be managed over a period of time, together with a monitoring and verification strategy. In order to secure buy-in of as much of the staff as possible, everyone should be able to contribute suggestions. The plan states the management framework, the positions of responsibility, and allocates tasks to individuals or posts. Each has a measurable outcome at different stages. This allows for the monitoring progress. An annual review may be sufficient, but more frequent reviews, especially at the early stage, are desirable.
1. **Appoint champions** – enthusiastic individuals. Volunteers should be encouraged to come forward. Their responsibilities should be clearly set out, with targets and timescales. They can make sure windows are closed when they should be, lights are switched off, equipment switched off at night and weekends, the thermostat appropriately set, taps not left running, maintenance carried out on time, etc.
1. **Implement the plan:** include a programme of regular communication with staff to encourage and motivate everyone. Support, possibly training, and advice will be made available. Sometimes staff declare that they have conflicting instructions – this needs to be resolved. Procurement and planning decisions will all be affected by the policy, and this should have been written into it.
1. **Remove choice:** In many cases, things work best when choice is taken away. Like, installing automatic energy-saving equipment, and removing 'general rubbish' bins so there are only bins for recycling different things.
1. **Monitor and evaluate progress** with periodic checks. Share results with all staff, management and stakeholders, e.g. with a display in the foyer, a regular newsletter, alerts, staged actions, etc. These are all ways of continuing to refresh the campaign. For example, in the winter, focus on heating, and in the summer cooling could be the topic. At other times lighting, PCs, plastic and water could be topics.
1. **Recognise achievements:** with awards and recognition to staff members or teams that have achieved the most. Some staff will have found that what they wanted to do was outside their control. This reveals areas of action for future campaigns. Their contributions should also be acknowledged. The campaign would need to be written up and the results disseminated to board level for inclusion in annual reports, and to the general public and other stakeholders.

#### Consider what motivates people
1. For example, if staff are told that savings achieved would be reinvested in improved facilities or donated to charity, this can be a powerful incentive.
2. They may also be motivated by actions which improve the quality of their working environment.
3. A suggestions box is often a good idea.
4. Communications must use the right kind of language and hit the right tone, or can be offputting.
5. Select the right channels and, perhaps, have multiple channels to ensure that the messages reach everyone.
6. Some people respond to the challenge of a competition, say, between buildings, departments or sites, on who can make the greatest savings, so they can compare their performance with each other.
7. Offer rewards for positive results. These don't have to be financial: it could be a simple as recognition, or being given a cake.

#### Generate pride
1. Above all, the aim should be to generate a sense of collective pride in individual and group successes in reducing costs, waste and carbon emissions.
2. Staff should be encouraged to share their experiences, both successes and things that they find difficult. If they have found a problem, invite others to offer solutions.
3. To maximise participation, the viewpoints and contributions of everyone should be valued.
4. Conversations should be encouraged so that a culture of positive change is brought about.

#### A suggested employee engagement campaign
A very simple campaign might have the following structure:
1. It lasts 24 weeks, and every 4 weeks a new aspect of the campaign is launched, focusing, say, waste reduction, plastic, on heating or cooling controls, lighting, windows, water use, IT use and transport. A dedicated noticeboard is set up in the foyer or canteen.
2. Say there are five teams competing, whether they are in different buildings, on different floors, or in different departments. They report on achievements and problems at the end of each week.
3. On Monday morning, they receive these summarised results from last week and they can all see how each team has done. It may come in a single sheet of paper or by e-mail.
4. If any questions have been asked by any member of staff about what they can do, these are included, but no answers given.
5. A channel is set up for responses, whether by e-mail, post-it notes or a suggestions box.
6. The following week, any answers that have been forthcoming from other staff members are also included in the newsletter.
7. Every four weeks, the full results are announced, and success recognised with celebration.
8. The next topic is introduced by a 45 minute meeting, with coffee and biscuits, on the Monday morning, as well as through the distribution of newsletters.
9. If a meeting cannot be arranged, then the same information is put on the dedicated noticeboard and circulated by e-mail.
10. What should happen is that monitored energy and resource use is reduced step-by-step in order of the topics covered.

## Resources and tools
1. [Advice and campaign tools from the Carbon Trust](
2. [Campaign posters and tools in English and Welsh on energy](
3. [Training materials and other guides on energy saving](, especially for working with vulnerable communities.
4. [WRAP's toolkit for waste reduction.](
5. [Business guide to a recycling or waste reduction campaign:](
6. [Business guide to plastic reduction campaign](
7. [Recycling campaign posters.](
8. [How to get employees involved – results from a survey.](
9. [Do Nation's system](, which lets anyone run a campaign to raise pledges.

## Case studies
1. [Student power:]( Advice and case studies from students and universities.
2. [Innocent foods' “Do Nation” pledge campaign.](
3. [Pret's “Do Nation” pledge campaign](
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posted on 7 Apr 2021

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