Human activities are putting unsustainable pressure on people and planet. Many feel growing concern about their own lifestyles and how to make the change so urgently required.
So two key organisations have come together to develop a future focused online toolkit to support individuals, businesses and communities to better understand how we can protect the ecosystems and communities affected by our lifestyles.
Tackling people and planet?!
In a fun and positive way, this toolkit will help you to explore the ethical dilemmas underlying your lifestyle in a holistic way. Sections on areas like clothing, home & garden, finance and food & drink will home in on what is most relevant and important to you, and help you to understand the problems in these sectors and how to make meaningful changes!
There are so many positive steps we can take in what we buy (or don't buy), how we design our spaces, or organise in our communities. The toolkit will personalise your options to help you figure out which choices will have the greatest impact, while also tracking the effects of the changes you make.
In this way, the toolkit will help find powerful and realistic steps that each user can take towards more empowered ethical living.
This toolkit will also provide the basis for online and offline courses. With the help of facilitators from across the country, we will offer a programme of training and engagement activities covering the key information and skills needed for understanding, assessing and addressing our lifestyle impacts.
All the money we receive will go towards developing the toolkit - supporting our transition to more regenerative ways of living.
Supporting necessary change
With more and more of us experiencing the helplessness of systemic climate inaction, we need to address the anxiety and loss of control that so many feel due to the global corporate abuses we face. We want to bring together the information we need to take action.
With 10 years to take meaningful action on climate change and ongoing reports about corporations’ mistreatment of individuals and communities, many of us are concerned about the impacts that our lifestyles have.
There is so much information out there about how our choices affect the world - from carbon calculators to articles on child labour and animal rights to Permaculture demonstration sites. But it can be hard to identify what the most meaningful and realistic actions are.
The toolkit will make this information accessible. It will identify the changes that have a real positive effect, and which also feel doable in the context of each individual’s life.
Helping you find opportunities for change
We have heard so many people talk about the barriers they face since beginning this project. For example: we don't feel that we have the money, don't own our own home, or don't have the time or support to make change.
The toolkit will help identify where each individual is empowered and does have the opportunity for action. This might mean identifying cost-saving, ethical options for those with low incomes. Or suggesting changes that would work with children for those with families involved. Change can be broad and flexible and can take the form of personal, community, workplace and political action.
We all have our own priorities, and by offering a personalised approach, the toolkit will support these while providing information on how they link to other areas and concerns.
You will be able to decide whether you approach the toolkit by looking at different lifestyle areas - such as travel & transport or food & drink -, or through the impacts that these may have - for example focusing on climate change or human rights impacts.
Over the last nine months, we’ve also heard lots of people say how hard it is to take a joined-up, holistic approach when so many ethical choices are a trade off: is vegan spread better than dairy butter if it is full of palm oil? The toolkit would help you to understand these trade-offs and compromises to see where most impact could be made.
New election campaign and reward - offer the training to your candidate!
John McNally (SNP for Falkirk), Sam Al-Handani (Liberal Democrat for Oldham East and Saddleworth), Caroline Jackson (Green for Lancaster and Fleetwood) and Helena Mellish (Green for Stockport) have all taken the #LeadOurFuture pledge to join our ethical lifestyle training if elected on December 12th.
For the last few weeks of the Crowdfunder, we are asking election candidates to take the #LeadOurFuture pledge and sign up for a cross-party ethical lifestyle training. The training will explore impacts from day-to-day choices, identify meaningful changes that MPs and constituents could make, and support the future leaders in understanding how they could empower us in this shift.
We also have a new Crowdfunder reward on offer: we will lobby a parliamentary candidate of your choice to join our training if elected!
Candidates can take the pledge by:
- sharing an image of themselves with an ‘I pledge to #LeadOurFuture’ sign on social media and tagging us in
- tweeting @EC_magazine and @Permaculture_uk
- OR by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Who is developing the toolkit?
Ethical Consumer, Permaculture Association Britain and the International Permaculture Education Network are pooling our knowledge and experience to develop the toolkit. We have also had some brilliant input from many different networks, organisations and individuals. (We hope to build the partnership going forward so please do get in touch if you’d like to be involved).
Ethical Consumer has offered information on corporate abuses and consumer action for over 30 years. We provide the tools for positive personal, consumer choice. We've developed the world's most sophisticated and simple to use, personal ethical rating system to give you the information you need, based on detailed research of over 40,000 companies, brands and products. We also have long-running experience of working with other organisations and businesses on building social movements and campaigns.
Permaculture inspired thinking and action can help us to respond well to the huge challenges facing humanity. The Permaculture Association (Britain) are building a network of systems thinkers with the power to create healthy cultures and ecosystems. Whether you are involved in gardening, farming, planning, building homes, economic regeneration, or business, using permaculture design empowers you to make the right choices for a sustainable future.
The International Permaculture Education Network (IPEN) is working to enhance and accelerate the development of permaculture education worldwide. IPEN is part of The Permaculture Association.
Kick-starting the project
Your money will support the project's the first steps. For just over £25,000, it will allow us to:
- Create, test and evaluate the tools and training resources for an introduction to ethical living - the first ‘module’ in the toolkit;
- Work with developers to create a spec for our full online platform and toolkit;
- Build our partnerships with individuals, businesses and communities and ensure that we make the most of our shared knowledge;
- Build on our diversity strategy and engagement with a diversity of communities and those from lower income groups;
- Establish an even stronger evidence base for our work and use this to apply for the full funding needed!
Crowdfunding will kick-start our project. It will allow us to gain full funding to complete the work by ensuring that we have something exciting to show to funders.
It is the start of an exciting and ambitious project with lots of stages: if we beat our target, any extra money raised will go to the next development phase, which you can find out more about here.
If you support our Crowdfunder, you will be the first to get access to the toolkit. If you give just a little bit more, you can have your logo on the website, join a working group for the project and have our introductory workshop on ethical living delivered to you and your friends, your organisation or your business.