Posts Tagged ‘sustainability’

living green ..

April 19, 2013

The Williams family living in Stanford in the Vale are one of the 150 pioneering households that have transformed their old house into an eco home through the SuperHomes project. As part of their shift to live more sustainably they are using Ecomodo to share all sorts of items and inspiring neighbours and local community groups to do the same through a number of lending circles they have set up.

The family recently hosted their first SuperHome Open Day and we wanted to share their video with you as its chock-a-block full of great eco features around their home and information. Enjoy!

hangin’ out with the WI ..

March 9, 2012

On a cold day in February, we joined our fabulous friends from Start and headed off to Denham College in Oxford (otherwise known as The WI HQ) to spend the day with the lovely ladies from The Women’s Institute. Organised by Start, the first WI cascade day brought together over 130 ladies from all over the UK and 9 great organisations to share ideas and equip the participants with simple, sustainable steps that they could take back and initiate in their own individual communities.

Joining us for the day were some fabulous people: Hillary & Clare from Make and Mend it, Nick from Project Dirt, Edwin from Give Me Tap, Gin from B&Q, Jonathan from M&S, Rita & Kate from The Big Lunch, Terena from The Greening Campaign and Mak & Will from The Edible Bus-stop

Kicking off, Michael and Kerry from Start played a 21st century version of ‘Play your cards right’ with the whole audience shouting ‘higher’ or ‘lower’ to facts taken from Eco Action Trumps. Although no “Brucey bonuses” were awarded on this occasion, it definitely raised the energy levels in the room whilst helping everyone to think about the little actions you do and how they can be done differently.

Following the ladies split into 7 groups and we ran back-to-back workshops to introduce each group to Ecomodo. To inspire the ladies to think about what resources they already have and those might like to lend or borrow – we played our ever favourite sticky note game with some interesting results.

Green notes for items you have to lend. Orange ones for things you’d like to borrow.

In general, the response to Ecomodo was very good and it was great to find one of the ladies was already a member with stuff she was lending on Ecomodo. Playing the sticky game I’m always amazed, even within small groups, how quickly we find matches between people who have stuff and people who need it and we even found one lady who wanted to learn how to make jam! Of course this got lots of responses!

And a day with the WI wouldn’t be complete without afternoon tea and lots of yummy cake!

Visit our page to see how the Women’s Institute can use Ecomodo to bring their community together to share, fundraise and more!

Visit Start’s page to see more about the event and download their toolkit for the day.

ecomodo named green game changer ..

November 7, 2011

As part of their 50th anniversary, the WWF have highlighted 50 ‘green game-changers’ – a selection of business examples from around the world where businesses and entrepreneurs have used environmental challenges as a catalyst for innovation. And Ecomodo is very excited and proud to have been named a Green Game-Changer!

Their new report shows innovative ways to reduce the use of raw materials, restore natural resources and upscale renewable energy to stimulate new thinking to transform business for good and drive a greener economy.

Read the WWF’s Green Game Changer report here.

getting creative with shared resources ..

October 26, 2011

Sustainability and environmental education

Recently we were invited to join Se-ed’s National Sustainable Schools Conference at London Zoo to run a workshop around “how schools can become more sustainable and creative with shared resources.” Delegates at the conference included teachers and representatives from primary and secondary schools as well as students of sustainability and staff from local councils.

Through our workshop, we used a series of games and co-creation techniques, to inspire the attendees to think differently about the resources around them and spark new opportunities that shared resources can bring for them and their school.

Alongside describing how Ecomodo delivers new opportunities for schools to fundraise and get equipped through shared resource, we encouraged participants to consider the value of sharing both economically and environmentally, why re-use and collaborative consumption are so important in a the broader context of sustainability; and how schools can act as a catalyst to spread good behaviour throughout their community.

For the session we asked the group to think about how ecomodo can work, not just in the context of their school community, but across all the different communities they as individuals belong to (their neighbourhood, friends, family, clubs etc). We wanted to broaden their thinking to “what local shared resources means” as well as instill the idea that through adopting a new behaviour within one community it enables it to easily spread to others.

Our first game was to uncover the assets of each individual in the room. We asked them to put on the wall at least 3 assets (everyday goods, skills or spaces) they might lend as well as something they may like to borrow. Quickly making these assets visible using post-its immediately gave rise to impromptu discussions around what people could do – even if they just had access to the items on the wall.

“Oh a shredder – now that would be useful”

Next, with a couple of volunteers, we played some further games to show how using Ecomodo to build a community and make resources you’re willing to share visible, can spark a whole host of new opportunities for different activities.

Near the end of the session, we asked the participants to put their “school community” hat on and break out into smaller groups to brainstorm this question:

“If we only had .. we could ..”

We wanted them to conjure up new types of projects to engage students, using action based learning, purely inspired through utilising borrowed assets.

And here are some of the ideas that came out of the session:

• Night vision equipment for a project to understand local wildlife to see what comes through the school at night.

• Gardening equipment to understand food and growing

• Costumes & props to re-enact moments in history

• Outside spaces to use as a different space from the classroom

• Specimens from zoos for biology projects & African artefacts for cultural projects

• Sewing machines to learn about recycling and upcycling

• Meteorological equipment for geography and learning about the weather

• Solar panels & wind turbines for science and energy projects

And lots of skills including: willow weaving, story tellers, drivers with transport, singing workshops, artists & craft

We will be shortly running this workshop again at Se-ed’s National Sustainable Schools Conference second event in Leicester on 30 November.

……….

Click here to find more information about how schools can use Ecomodo to fundraise, get equipped and save money and share resources with other schools locally.

ecomodo helps to celebrate WWF’s 50th ..

April 7, 2011

As part of their 50th anniversary, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) asked 50 business and thought leaders to share their vision on how business can drive transformational change towards a sustainable future. Amongst the prestigious line-up were ..

  • Jonathon Porritt Founder director of Forum for the Future
  • Deborah Meaden Dragon’s Den & WWF Ambassador
  • Paul Polman CEO, Unilever
  • Cyndi Rhoades CEO, Worn Again
  • Ian Cheshire CEO, Kingfisher
  • David Nussbaum CEO, WWF UK
  • Matt Brittin CEO, Google UK
  • Dan Epstein Head of Sustainable Development, London 2012
  • James Cameron Vice chairman of Climate Change Capital
  • Steve Holliday CEO, National Grid
  • Nicolas Petrovic CEO, Eurostar
  • John Elkington Founder of Volans

And me ..

  • Tracy Currer Co-founder of Ecomodo

I felt extremely honoured to be invited by BigPictureTV to contribute a 50th Anniversary message to the WWF – though a wee bit nervous – but luckily I didn’t find out who else they had invited until later. And although Ecomodo is currently a small fish in a big pond – all these organisations were once start-ups just like us. So it’s great to see so many big players stepping up to the challenge and rethinking how their businesses can operate differently to evoke change.

Held at the Royal Society, the ‘World with a Future’ event brought together many of these leaders. At one point the discussion turned to “consumer choice”, and the issue that consumers expect and demand choice, making sustainability difficult. It made me think how important it is to design sustainability into every level of the user experience. Actually most consumers choose the default option and by carefully considering what the default is set to –  it’s an easy way to simply nudge people in the right direction. Though of course the sustainable option may not always be the most profitable one – and here lies the dilemma. Ecomodo delivers choice – an alternative to retail – the ability to enable consumers to borrow instead of buy from a place even more local than the high street.

But the most bizarre thing had to be listening to Ian Cheshire’s talk (B&Q) about delivering “use” over “ownership” – at one point I thought he’d stolen my pitch. Though he did miss off my tagline – “People need a hole – not a drill! The drill is just a means to the end.”

Watch WWF’s ‘Talking Heads’ video’s here.


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