Newsletter July 2017
Summer is here and this month Save the Earth have been ablaze with ideas for our very first community initiative. Consider a future where cities can feed their inhabitants independently, slashing food miles and creating direct links with consumers. We believe that this future is a tangible one and that is why we have founded The UrbanLeaf™ to supply urban communities with nutritious, organic produce, fresh from the harvest to the plate within hours. To discover more, read on …
Introducing The UrbanLeaf™
The UrbanLeaf™ is Save the Earth’s very first community initiative, as voted for by the co-operative’s management board. Plans are underway to build a flagship urban vertical food manufacturing facility in the Borough of Gedling, located in the city of Nottingham, UK. The facility will produce 10,000 salad heads, soft fruit punnets and herbs per week, supplying local families and businesses with nutritious organic produce fresh from the harvest to the plate within hours. Our aim is to create a sustainable enterprise and demonstrate a business model for an urban vertical food manufacturing facility that can be rolled out in other communities across the UK and beyond.
The UrbanLeaf™ – Our Vision
Imagine looking down from a bird’s-eye view and seeing the rooftops of your city clad with lush green, instead of concrete. Envisage venturing through the streets in your neighbourhood and finding walls, spare land, residential gardens and abandoned buildings all growing an abundance of food. Picture the trees, bushes and shrubs in your local parks bearing fruits and nuts. Let’s not forget our pollinators and insects – nature and wildlife will flourish as well as humans in a plentiful system. The benefits for health, wildlife and the planet are myriad.
Giving Back to the Community
The UrbanLeaf™ proposes to set up an all-inclusive training and development programme alongside its food manufacturing facility to teach local communities about the advantages of fresh food production. From consumers who wish to be less reliant on traditional supermarkets to children and disadvantaged groups such as the homeless and ex addicts, we will aim to provide knowledge and skills which enable people to become increasingly self-sufficient. Restricted access to wholesome foods plays a significant part in the obesity crisis, so this educational backdrop to how a food manufacturing facility operates will help demonstrate the benefits of nutritious produce and how to cultivate it. Our ultimate goal is to train individuals into employment, either within Gedling or further afield, as The UrbanLeaf™ continues to expand. Initially, we intend to create three full-time paid positions within Nottingham, with an additional three to four part-time roles.
Once suitable premises have been identified and secured for the initial project, Save the Earth will launch three key campaigns to support the creation and development of The UrbanLeaf™.
We are currently in the planning process to launch our first food production facility and aim to raise £100,000 to put this into action. We will achieve this by pursuing two funding strategies:
- Utilising web-funding and crowd-funding streams, the first campaign will seek revenue to fund the production of fresh, organic, pesticide-free, local produce and generate local employment. 100% of all donations received will directly fund these objectives.
- By reaching out to local businesses and partners as well as targeting funding from grant providers and local matched-funding agreements from the government, our second campaign will seek to generate sufficient funding and support to cover the working capital, planning and set-up costs of our operations.
We already have a project team in place who are working on this and we estimate it will take three to four months to do the groundwork with the campaigns commencing in Autumn 2017.
- In the meantime, our third campaign will see us apply for a grant of up to £10,000 to launch a sister project to our main project. The plan is to set up an e-commerce site selling a variety of growing kits, vertical towers, hydroponics, wormeries and composting items, to enable people to grow salads, herbs and soft fruits at home. In addition to this, the web shop will sell homemade detergents, soaps, toothpaste and seed bombs. We will also run educational classes and paid courses to teach people how to be more energy efficient and self-reliant in regards to food production. A full explanation of the The UrbanLeaf™ projects can be found here.
Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you would like to know more.
Are you a local business owner who would like to partner with The UrbanLeaf™? If so, we’d love to hear from you!
If you are based in Nottingham, have some spare time over the summer and are interested in volunteering then please get in touch. We are looking for people to become part of our planning group, help out with marketing and market research, raise sponsors, garner support and grow an online following for The UrbanLeaf™, ahead of our autumn launch.
If you’d like to lend a hand, please visit our dedicated site and complete the contact form.
To join The UrbanLeaf™ community, please like our Facebook Page – a hub where you can share articles, inspiration and expertise, as well as receiving the latest updates on our Nottingham venture and future vertical food manufacturing initiatives.
TO READ OUR FULL LENGTH FEATURE ON THE URBANLEAF™ CLICK HERE!
Meet Our Board Members
Have you ever wondered who’s who behind the scenes at the co-operative? We thought it was about time that our board members stepped out of the wings so that you can get to know them better. This month say hello to Martin Dwyer, Treasurer and co-founder of Save the Earth.
Martin lives in Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire, where he has worked as a GP for almost 20 years. He has been employed in the NHS ever since qualifying as a doctor at Guy’s Hospital Medical School, London, in 1986. Prior to this he worked in electronics and he gained his first degree in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University in 1977, specialising in theoretical physics.
In the 2015 General Election, Martin stood as the Green Party Candidate for Scunthorpe and he remains a keen supporter. He is passionate about renewable energy and feels that the Greens are the only party who are treating the issue of climate change with the gravity it deserves. In his opinion, “Two thirds of Tories and all of UKIP are self-proclaimed climate change deniers, which really makes them enemies of humanity! Many of Labour’s social policies and those of the Greens are similar but Labour appear to simply fail to grasp the seriousness of climate change, and their energy policies are muddled in so far as they seem to be pro-nuclear and pro-fracking, the latter of which is unconscionable!”
When Martin joined Save the Earth’s Facebook Group in 2016, he was approached by Emlyn Mousley, the ideas man behind the organisation. The pair hit it off and when Emlyn asked Martin if he would be interested in joining the Board as Co-Founder and Treasurer, Martin was keen to get involved.
Martin says that he feels privileged to be a founder member of Save the Earth and he hopes that the co-operative will seed a new movement which will grow and challenge the status quo, allowing people to come together in a new way where every member has the opportunity to have their say and contribute their skills and knowledge.
“Solutions are needed at every level – personally, within communities, cities, nationally and internationally,” Martin explains – “We need to change the way we interact with the Earth, becoming sustainable and minimally harmful to the environment. Human Rights must also be respected and apply to us all, not just to the affluent West.
“The co-operative will raise capital through crowd funding and other means, for projects at various levels, owned communally, aspiring to the highest ethical standards. We will also, if needed, help to fund targeted research in areas vital to the success of our transition to sustainable living, such as renewable energy and storage, and we will lobby government with properly thought out proposals for positive change.
“I hope to be able to use my previous training in statistics and physical sciences to assist the co-operative in assessing the feasibility of schemes in order for these to be consistent with our best-known scientific knowledge.”
When Martin isn’t saving the earth, he loves watching movies and names Excalibur as one of his favourites, describing it as “an elegant exposition of the Arthurian legend, all the more engaging thanks to liberal use of Siegfried’s funeral March by Wagner.” He also loves the Back to the Future trilogy and admits that he is a sucker for time travelling yarns. As a massive Dr Who fan, Martin remembers the very first episode, aired in 1963.
Musically, Martin confesses to being stuck in the ’70s and ’80s. He grew up listening to Led Zeppelin, The Who, The Rolling Stones and The Beatles and late became a fan of The Eagles, Dire Straits, Steely Dan and Santana. He even admits to being a bit of an Abba addict!
When asked to list his heroes Martin names Einstein, “for his general theory of relativity which was actually all about how space and time curve, causing us to experience gravity – this was massive leap in thinking!” He describes Richard P. Feynman as “the greatest physicist ever in my opinion, having discovered a diagrammatic method for calculating electromagnetic interactions to 10 digit accuracy, the very limits of our measuring instruments – quantum electrodynamics.” Martin also admires the largely unsung pioneers of crystallography, who discovered the structures of penicillin, insulin, haemoglobin and in the case of Rosalind Franklin, DNA. “I’m starting to really admire Jeremy Corbyn,” Martin says, “but I’d need to take him aside and school him on some environmental science and outline my global energy plan to him!!”
Save the Earth’s Monthly Cash Raffle – July Results!
On the first Thursday of each month, Save the Earth hold a cash raffle. If you’re a paying member of Save the Earth, the great news is that you are in with a regular chance of scooping a cash prize. £1 of your membership fee will be allocated to the raffle every month, with one member taking home all the money.
Our third draw took place on 6th July 2017 and as luck would have it the winner was our very own aforementioned Martin Dwyer!
Winners are chosen at random by the spinning wheel, but Save the Earth have an agreement that if any of our current serving board members or founders are picked, the money gets donated back to the foundation, so this month the winnings went back into the pot.
Our fourth draw will be held at 21:00 GMT on 3rd August 2017 and the winner will be notified shortly afterwards.
If you haven’t joined Save the Earth yet and you’d like to be in with a chance of winning, then all you have to do is sign up before 12:00 GMT on the day of the draw.
Guardian Membership costs just £72 per annum or £6 per month via direct debit. You can find out more about the benefits of becoming a member HERE.
The more members we have on board, the bigger the cash prize, so if you’re feeling lucky, come on and join us!
Here is July’s live draw, where the result was revealed: