30 Apr 2008
News of positive ideas and actions from the readers of Positive News told to us in their own words.
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Big Green Idea
Brigit Strawbridge explains to us the concepts behind the Big Green Idea:
Following the making of the BBC2 series It’s Not Easy Being Green, we received thousands of emails from people saying they would like to live more sustainable lifestyles but didn’t think they could make many changes in their lives because they were on low incomes, lived in flats or rented accommodation, or didn’t have access to land for growing their own vegetables.
There are many ways we can all make a difference whatever our circumstances, and I would like to pass this knowledge on to other people. All we need to live a greener life is the will to change some of our habits and a little bit of help to know how to do this without it costing us a fortune or making our lives more difficult than they already are! In fact, once you know how, you can actually save money at the same time as conserving the earth’s resources by living a more sustainable lifestyle.
So, how can we help people make changes? There is of course the Internet, but it’s sometimes a bit overwhelming to be bombarded with so much information and it can be difficult to sift through the information and work out which are the best options for you. To make matters worse, how do you know who you can trust or who is out to make a quick profit at your expense?
There are a lot of genuine people and organisations out there offering advice on all things green’. There are some great courses, books and magazines, as well as people demonstrating wind turbines/solar panels/big sexy green gadgets, and there are also loads of wonderful people campaigning and lobbying government and local councils — but there seems to be a gap. There appear to be very few people offering help directly to individuals who would like to make changes but don’t know where to begin because they can’t afford to tap into, or have not been reached by, the current green media machine. This problem seems to be especially relevant to those who live in urban and suburban environments.
One of the best ways to explain to people how they can make these changes is by allowing them to see, touch, smell, feel and play with energy-saving devices, water-saving gadgets, alternative household cleaners, natural skincare products, clothing made from sustainable crops or recycled textiles; basically almost all the everyday items we use and buy have greener alternatives which can help us to reduce our impact on the planet.
The aim of The Big Green Idea is to reach people who want to change, by bringing the message to them in an attractive, hands-on, inspirational way. What better way to start than with an eco-educational double-decker bus ?!
For more information please visit:
Littleoake — A New Musical for Young Conservationists
Kerry McKenna introduces the ideas and hopes behind her new musical aimed at getting young people passionate about conserving precious rain-forests.
Hi, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Kerry and if possible I would really like to let you know about my new musical?
I had a dream in the early 90’s that was incredibly profound. I felt that it was a mission to play my part in trying to save our rain-forests. Then in the years to follow I was compelled to write and produce Littleoake’- a musical.
I wrote the script & the music, I then sang the songs and narrated the story. Then along with my husband Tom, who also took the male character parts, feel we have produced the story on 2 CDs (two hours in total) well enough for the listener to feel the emotion that is contained concerning the plight of our wonderful trees. I would love to see the children of our world act out the messages within the musical.
I sincerely hope that you can find the time to listen to it and put it into the hands of someone that could help bring it to life? I need an agent, publisher, producer or film-maker to make this a reality. I dream that I see this musical performed by schools all over the world and in doing so help to raise the level of consciousness to reduce the amount of deforestation especially in places like the Brazilian rainforest, then in doing so we all have better, more enriched healthier lives, especially for our children’s future.
I recently received a letter from The United Nations Environmental Programme’ stating that they would love to share Littleoake’ with their colleagues from the Children and Youth unit to help sensitize the children during their tree planting events etc. They will also be adding my request for further help on the Plant for the Planet’ Tree campaign whose patron is the Nobel Peace Prize laureate Professor Wangari Maathai and His Serene Highness, Prince Albert 11 of Monaco. www.unep.org/billiontreecampaign.
I am sure that you will agree that Littleoake’ is very educational, environmental, spiritual, magical & mystical. I know that it will appeal to children & adults alike.
If you would like to find out more or buy a copy of the double CD set please contact Kerry directly:
Phone: 01672 539190
or visit the website for more information:
Help on the Eco-Lodge
Alan Heeks tells us about plans for his Eco– Lodge at Hazel Hill Wood:
THE NEW ECO-LODGE
I am delighted to tell you that we have just received planning permission
for a new building at the wood. The Eco-Lodge will provide more
comfortable, private space for up to 6 guests in 3 bedrooms: one of these
will have full disabled access with an en-suite bathroom. The whole
building will be super sustainable, with solar panels for electricity and
hot water, and rainwater harvesting. You can see a picture and writeup of
the new building on the website, www.hazelhill.org.uk. It will be made
largely of timber from the wood, and will be located in a clearing South of
the reed bed. We hope that the Eco-lodge will be finished by Autumn of this
year: if you would like to pla
y a part in creating it, see below.
THE COB STACK
An important sustainable feature of the building is its huge Cob chimney
stack. Cob is a traditional method of building in this area, using local
clay, sand and straw. The stack is important because it provides thermal
mass, ie it will retain heat from sunlight in a way that the rest of the
structure, made of timber, will not. Building with cob is a bit like barn
raising: it is a satisfying piece of group activity. The cob stack will be
built in ‘lifts’, each one raising the stack by about 2 feet in height.
Each lift needs several days to cure before the next lift can be put on top
of it. We will need a team of 8–10 people per lift.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
If you would like to come and join us for one of the cob lifts, we would
love to have your help. Some will be at weekends, some on weekdays, see the dates below. Since the revenue from the new building will not cover most of the building costs, we are hoping that you can come as a volunteer: free
food and accommodation is on offer at the wood, plus the hot tub at
weekends, and you will also receive a voucher for one night of free
accommodation on programmes at the wood for each day that you work. You are welcome to bring a friend, but PLEASE don’t just turn up!! We need to know who’s coming to manage food, accommodation and so on. If you would like to come but need to be paid, please contact me and we will hopefully work something out.
COB LIFT DATES
Monday June 2
Saturday June 7
Sunday June 22 (NB Solstice Celebration at wood on Saturday)
Friday June 27
Friday July 4
If you would like to come and join the fun, can you let me know as soon as
possible, by email to email@example.com or phone (01747 835835),
- Which date/dates you would like to join us
- Are you definitely/probably/maybe able to come on these dates
- Do you want overnight accommodation in the buildings?
AND MORE! There will be other chances to help with the Eco-Lodge, probably
in early to mid August and September. I will let you know more in a few
If you would like more information or have any questions, do please contact
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