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Tara Gould's blog

Have a Very Merry Cardboard Christmas

Just because it’s the silly season, doesn’t mean it’s a good excuse to throw all care for the planet out the window.  We’ve all heard the horror stories about the amount of plastic waste filling up our beautiful oceans and waterways. And, as the shops fill up with even more plastic toys, games and trinkets to fill the christmas stockings, there’s no time like the present to look for alternative ways to celebrate Christmas while protecting the environment. 

 Christmas is such a magical time and no child should miss out on all the wonder the festive season provides.  As a mother I’ve always been fascinated by the fact that the cardboard boxes toys are packaged in can provide hours and hours of stimulation. The list of uses are endless, one cardboard box can be turned into a racing car, a cubby house, a workbench, a spaceship and so on. With this in mind, how about having a cardboard Christmas? 

O’ Christmas Tree 

In the Design Museum London’s public atrium stands the ‘world’s tallest’ cardboard Christmas tree designed by Giles Miller. At 20 feet the tree has approximately 3,600 individually-cut, handmade cardboard pieces, which swirl around the trunk of the tree. However, due to popular demand the smaller versions seem to have sold out in the lead-up to Christmas. But, you can find clever cardboard christmas trees at Not on the High Street, and Cardboard Safari have hunted down a cool little cardboard number to get you in the spirit. ... read more

The UK’s community solar revolution

In the last 18 months the UK has seen a rise in the number of community solar PV installation projects across the country. With Government schemes such as the FiT (Feed in Tariff)  and Renewable Heat incentive, coupled with a drop in installation prices, investing in solar for non-domestic buildings is an attractive option. The community solar movement is fast gathering speed: the visibility of solar panels on the roofs of schools, church halls, housing associations and energy cooperatives is inspiring others to follow suit.  Solar is one of the most accessible routes to the micro generation of sustainable low carbon power.  And, not only do these kinds of projects mean that communities reduce their carbon emissions, and lower their bills, they also divert power away from the ‘Big Six’ energy companies controlling 99% of UK supplies back into the hands of the local people.  

In his seminal book Small Is Beautiful: Economics As If People Mattered E.F. Schumacher wrote that the future health of mankind, and the planet, depended on us working together on a smaller, more appropriate scale.  He believed that the way forward was for communities to take control of their local economies, technologies, and renewable energy generation. In this way, things function on a human, rather than corporate scale:  people need to have a say, and a stake in local ownership and local government to feel engaged, connected and valued.  Although his book was written nearly half a century ago, it is particularly pertinent today. ... read more

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