Newsletter October 2017
The seasons are changing and there some big changes underway in the natural world. With plants and animals alike putting on a final show before the cold winter months, it’s a great time to enjoy the beauty of the earth.
Do you have any photos of the stunning autumn / fall season that you would care to share? If so, why not post them on Save the Earth’s Facebook Group with the hashtag #ChangingSeasons. We’d love to see them!
Van Life – Trend or Necessity?
Have you ever wondered what life might be like living out of the back of a van? This October, Save the Earth’s Gina Harrison shared her insight into van life in an exclusive feature on our blog.
In search of a freer, more affordable and adventurous path with fewer monetary stresses and strains, Gina and her husband Rob bought an old LDV removal van and converted it into their full-time home. It was a decision that was to change their lives beyond recognition. But with alternative living so often deceptively glamorised on social media, how does the reality compare to the dream?
Here’s an excerpt from Gina’s thought-provoking article:
I was so timid and scared to be on the road. A week in I woke at 8am to two angry voices talking about our parked up converted Luton van. I listened tensely from my bed by the air vent; scared they might shake the van or bang on the window.
“They come down here, they don’t even pay council tax, can’t keep a roof over their heads, then they park up in our village instead …”
The man was absolutely right! We can’t afford to keep a roof over our heads, well, not a damp one made of slate anyway. But the man’s tone made it sound as though we had a choice in the matter. At the current £7.50 per hour minimum wage, I’m surprised we don’t see more people living on the streets. It made me laugh that a human’s housing arrangement can actually make them a target when the alternative is out of reach. Perhaps the “friendly” neighbour felt we didn’t deserve to be in beautiful Cornwall, if we couldn’t afford the house prices.
It takes guts to live in a van, and a yearning to reject mainstream society is far from the only motivation – sometimes it’s out of pure financial necessity.
To read the full article and to discover whether Gina and others on the road feel that van life is truly worth it, click here.
Gina and Rob Harrison
Meet Our Board Members
How about matching some names to faces and finding out who’s who behind the scenes at the co-operative? One by one, our board members are stepping into the spotlight to make themselves known and we have now reached our sixth and final member. Say hello to Martin Giddings, Head of Membership Services and co-founder of Save the Earth.
Martin was born in 1962 in South East London and he currently lives in the North London borough of Enfield. He hasn’t always resided in the capital, however – back in the ’80s he worked in central France on an organic farm owned by a Dutch farmer and his French wife. The couple had an abundance of innovative environmental ideas that were well ahead of their time and this opened Martin’s eyes to alternative ways of living.
Over a 25-year period Martin worked in numerous hotels. You name the role, he’s done it – department head, chef, baggage master, lead concierge, bar worker, purchasing officer and umpteen front of house positions. In 2005 his priorities shifted and he became a house husband, caring for his youngest daughter while working part-time as an FA qualified coach, teaching football to children. While he loved coaching, he simply couldn’t secure enough hours to get by and so when his daughter grew older he started working as a postman instead.
Separating from the mother of his children in 2011 gave Martin plenty of time to ponder the bigger picture. As a child he used to compare the relationship between humans and the earth to maggots devouring an apple but as time progressed he realised that this was a misconception. “Yes – if we continue as we are, humanity’s time on earth will be limited,” Martin explains. “However, if we work with this beautiful planet, in harmony with nature, then humans could manage an almost endless future on this blue planet.”
Through Facebook, Martin began talking to Emlyn Mousley, the ideas man behind Save the Earth. “Emlyn asked me if I wanted to get involved with the co-operative. I realised that through joining forces we stand a better chance of wrestling back control of our planet’s destiny from the big corporations that are destroying the home of our children. This is a fantastic way forward and we should ALL try to do our bit!”
Save the Earth’s Monthly Cash Raffle – Latest Results!
Every month, Save the Earth hold a cash raffle. If you’re a paying member, the great news is that you’re 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, selected at random by the spinning of a wheel.
Congratulations to Donna Leamhan who was the winner of our September draw! Donna, a mum from Nottingham, has been a supporter of Save the Earth from the very start. She is in process of setting up a youth activities club in Hucknall, Nottingham, with the aim of giving teenagers something positive to do in an area which currently experiences a lot of antisocial behaviour.
As luck would have it, Save the Earth’s very own aforementioned Martin Giddings won the draw for October! Given that he is a board member, he felt it was only fair that he donated his winnings straight back to the foundation.
Our next draw will be held at 21:00 GMT on 2nd November 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 October’s live draw, where the result was revealed: