Newsletter April 2017 – Save the Earth
Spring has sprung and this month, Save the Earth are proud to introduce our budding initiative to help entrepreneurs establish ethical projects within their communities. To learn more about our founders and discover inspiring green companies working in partnership with the co-operative, read on!
We envisage a world in harmony, restored and renewed. We believe this can best be achieved by a holistic co-operative approach to the challenges facing the people of Earth today – especially in relation to the environment, housing, nutrition, health, education and commerce.
Here at Save the Earth, it’s one member, one vote – your voice matters. That’s why we’d love you to join us and help shape the direction in which we move. From a micro to a macro scale, our goal is to unite people, both within their local communities and globally.
Do you have an idea for an Ethical Community Project? Save the Earth Co-operative can help!
Are you sick of the rat race?
Let’s face it – who isn’t? Working umpteen hours simply to pay the bills and trying in vain to shoehorn a meaningful life around this is an all too familiar scenario, which has somehow become the norm. Far too many of us feel chained to mindless dead-end jobs or put ourselves through untold stress day in day out, all to generate profits for the handful at the top – in the 21st century, surely this existence is absolute madness?
Perhaps you crave a more vocational way of making a living, but have dismissed this as a pipe dream? After all, if it were that simple, we’d already be doing it, right? Think again.
While bright ideas are ten a penny, transforming them into something tangible often requires collaboration. If we don’t have the right contacts or support, those ideas can be shelved indefinitely.
How can Save the Earth Co-operative help change this?
Save the Earth Co-operative’s core mission is to connect with environmentally conscious people who are passionate about making a difference in their local communities. We aim to establish and support projects within creative and artisan industries that will fulfil individuals’ lives and inspire the next generation.
Our co-operative is owned by its members and run for the benefit of our members. We strongly believe that local businesses should be run and owned by people within the community and that benefits are invested back into those communities.
If you have a burgeoning idea for a community-based project, we have an abundance of contacts and resources to help make your dream a reality. From developing business plans to grant and bid writing, accounting to crowd funding and marketing to advertising, the expertise at our central hub will free up precious time to enable you to concentrate on the practicalities of your project.
What kind of projects do Save the Earth Co-operative support?
As long as your idea is ethical, green and sustainable, we’re wholly open-minded. Are you a foodie who has always dreamed of setting up your own organic bakery or pay-as-you-feel café? Do you believe that your community would benefit from a leisure centre or solar farm? Perhaps you’ve always wanted to set up an animal refuge, a bird sanctuary or beehives to produce local honey, but you don’t know where to start – Save the Earth can assist you with the birds and the bees! Whether you’re interested in establishing a tree house building company or an eco village, no project is too big or small. If you’re in an urban area and would love to grow your own organic fruit and vegetables, we can help you set up a vertical farm or garden.
We can also support non-business initiatives such as guerrilla gardening projects, community walks and clean up campaigns, outreach to tackle loneliness and schemes to combat homelessness – if it benefits your community, it’s right up our street.
It’s crucial to consider that you and your team will oversee your project within your locality, for the benefit of your neighbourhood. Save the Earth are not seeking to back initiatives that exist primarily for private profit and share holding – all our co-operative’s members will co-own the business. Of course, as project manager, we expect you to pay yourself a viable income, but the key motivation behind your idea must be to create a sustainable venture that will generate jobs and / or unlock opportunities for people within your community.
Tell me about your current projects
In Nottingham, UK, Save the Earth Co-operative are launching the city’s first vertical farm, to supply the local community with organic salad leaves, fresh from the harvest to the plate within hours. Known as The Urban Leaf, the initiative will supply local families and business with fresh organic produce, reduce food miles, cut out the middleman and create local jobs. It doesn’t stop in Nottingham … our aim is to establish a sustainable business model and role out urban farms in other communities across the globe.
The Urban Leaf is a trading name of Save the Earth Co-operative. If you are interested in setting up and managing your own Urban Leaf vertical farm, get in touch!
We want to hear from you
Perhaps your idea is in its infancy and you need some advice on whether it’s feasible? On the other hand, you might already have formed a working group with friends and family who wish to be a part of your project and you’re raring to go.
Here at Save the Earth Co-operative we’re receptive to a vast array of projects. The best way to find out whether we’re a good fit is simply to contact us! Not only do we have a wealth of knowledge and experience, but we’re also straight talking – after all, no one likes being led up the garden path or bamboozled by business jargon.
How much does it cost?
After your initial call with us, if you feel that Save the Earth are best placed to back your idea and we have mutually agreed that your project is aligned with our policies, we ask that you become a member-owner of our co-operative. Guardian Membership costs just £72 per annum paid in advance, or £6 per month by direct debit. You can find out more about membership benefits here.
At this stage, we will also require a £395 entry-level capital contribution for each project.
What will I get for my £395?
In a nutshell, incredible value!
Perhaps the thought of formulating a business plan fills you with dread? A step-by-step guide can help point you in the right direction, and so can Save the Earth – if you know what you wish to achieve and can write this in draft form, we will use our expertise to create a professional, structured business plan with a three-year projected cash flow and an actionable profit and losses strategy. We will also advise you on how best to implement this plan.
We all know that capital is needed to kick-start any project and that money doesn’t grow on trees. Our skilled grant and bid writers will work with you to secure that capital. We also have a proven track record of obtaining considerable sums through crowd funding, so if you’re prepared to invest your time and energy, we can significantly boost your chances of financial investment.
Consider that if you sought to acquire these services on the high street, an accountant would charge at least £2000 to write a business plan, with the average cost of writing or bid standing at £500. And the benefits don’t stop there …
We will create social media pages and a website to promote your Save the Earth project. We’ll also handle all your PR and marketing campaigns across our social media network and advise you on any appropriate training needed to develop your required skillset.
Where do I go from here?
Drop us a line and let’s get the ball rolling! We’re happy to answer any questions you might have and you’re under absolutely no obligation to commit. If you prefer talking to typing, we can arrange a phone or Skype call with you, at your convenience.
Here at Save the Earth Co-operative we’re well aware that no two communities are the same – each has their own dynamics and areas of need, but we can help you fulfil your community’s needs, wherever in the world you are!
Meet Our Board Members
Each month, we shine the spotlight on one of our board members. This time, it’s Stephanie Brereton, Save the Earth’s co-founder and Head of Retail Acquisitions.
Steph is 57 years old and lives in Windsor, Berkshire. She enjoys growing her own organic vegetables and finds there’s nothing more rewarding than eating food she has grown herself.
A mum to four grown-up children and a nan to eleven grandchildren, Steph loves to spend as much time as possible with her family. “Losing my brother and sister a few years back made me realise how life can change in an instant,” she says. This proved the catalyst for Steph to get involved with Save the Earth – “I’m extremely concerned about the future we’re going to hand down to subsequent generations. We’re on the brink of a total catastrophe and once we go over that tipping point, it will be impossible to reverse. Our generation needs to act now, while we still can.”
It was through social media that Steph first heard about Save the Earth. “When I joined their Facebook group, it didn’t take me long to figure out that a large number of people felt the same way as I did. Then Emlyn Mousley – the group’s admin – contacted me, offering what he felt could be a solution where like-minded people came together and start taking real action. I felt that as a single entity I couldn’t make a dent in this crooked system, but united, we stood a much stronger chance – one platform, one voice.”
Together with six other individuals, Steph and Emlyn became Save the Earth’s official co-founders, establishing a fair and democratically designed core structure with the co-operative at its centre, as well as a not-for-profit foundation to carry out its humanitarian initiatives. A year on, Steph continues to play a key role in weekly board meetings, conducted over Skype. With the other board members geographically dotted far and wide, Steph is yet to meet any of them in the flesh, yet due to their shared vision and the regularity of their video calls, she says they all feel like one big, happy family.
Steph is passionate about recycling responsibly and she currently works for a conveyor belt company serving recycling industries throughout the UK. She is responsible for the company’s accreditations, including ISO 9001, ISO 14001, SafeContractor and PICS auditing. Outside of work, Steph heads up Retail Acquisitions for Save the Earth.
Listing her favourite films are The Life of Brian, The Green Mile and The Shawshank Redemption, Steph also loves to write poetry and songs. She names the musician she admires the most as Bob Marley – “He had the wisdom and knowledge to spread enlightenment to the masses through his music.” To Steph, however, the true heroes on our planet are less the global icons and more the everyday people who are struggling against famine and war. “There must be nothing worse as a parent or grandparent than to see your children suffering and dying because of the consequences of our actions. Some say we live in a cruel world, but it is the people who are cruel, not the world. Our planet belongs to all creation and we all deserve to spend our short time here on Earth in peace and as equals. I detest war and violence – it has never solved any of the world’s problems and never will. We urgently need to get our priorities straight because the clock is ticking.”
Have you heard about Save the Earth Co-operative’s Ethical Business Network? It’s a place where businesses with green sensibilities can trade merchandise and services, as well as share ideas and inspiration, with both our ever-growing ethically-minded audience and each other.
Green Bear UK are the latest company to join the network. Their website offers a broad range of health and beauty products, green cleaning solutions and bamboo goods, made from wholly natural ingredients. Available to both commercial and domestic markets, Green Bear keeps mother nature at the heart of everything they do. The great thing is, what’s beneficial for the planet is beneficial for you as well.
Their values are clear – they only design, produce and sell products with strong environmental advantages over their like-for-like counterparts. They champion only non-toxic and environmental friendly cleaning and beauty products – after all, what’s the point in using toxic, chemical-based products when the natural products will do a better job without the toxicity?
Green Bear UK are a team in more ways than one – they’re a family. Run by Mike and Carin Knowlton along with their daughters Bianca and Tanya, their UK-based website has gone from strength to strength since its 2008 launch. This has replicated and built on the success their sister company enjoy in the Netherlands, trading as Groene Beer (the Dutch name for Green Bear) since 1993.
Groene Beer are well known for supporting the Chengdu Research Base for Giant Panda Breeding in China. For the past seven years, the company has donated 1% of its profits to this worthy cause and has adopted one of the centre’s pandas. Once an endangered species, giant pandas have recently been downgraded from ‘endangered’ to ‘vulnerable’ on the global list of species at risk of extinction and the Chengdu base has played a significant role in this. The unique centre, which incorporates a theme park, is the only one in the world devoted to breeding giant pandas through relocating them to a man-made environment with an imitation outdoor ecological landscape.
Cleaning the Green Way – Alternative Solutions
Not only are regular cleaning products draining our purses, but research has shown that they often contain toxic chemicals which can build up in our bodies over time. Every time you use these unnatural products, you are inhaling the fumes they emit, especially if your environment is poorly ventilated. Without rubber gloves, the products will sink into your skin too.
Green Bear’s alternative solutions provide a more natural way to stay on top of the cleaning and prevent germs spreading. From eco-friendly surface cleaners to natural disinfectants, if you’re an animal lover you can shop with a clear conscience, knowing Green Bear’s products will cause no harm to wildlife when they find their way from your drain into estuaries and rivers. Why not take a look?
Get Connected to Save the Earth’s Ethical Business Network
Are you a business owner who wishes to be part of a network of like-minded companies who embrace ethical ideals? If so, then why not join Green Bear and many others by signing up to a creator membership with Save the Earth Co-operative?
We’ll feature your business or initiative in an article like this one, ensuring our broad audience get to hear about what you have to offer.
To find out more about the benefits of becoming a Creator Member Company, drop us a line HERE, or simply click below to join us today!
Introducing Save the Earth’s Monthly Cash Raffle!
If you’re a paying member of the co-operative, the great news is that from now on, 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 selected at random, taking home all the money.
Our first draw will be held at 21:00 GMT on 4th May 2017 and the winner will be notified shortly afterwards.
If any of you lovely lot aren’t currently members 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!