We are all watching with increasing concern as the Arctic, Amazon, Alaska and Siberia are burning out of control, adding even more pressure to our planet, on top of species decline and temperature increases globally. Not only is nature responding to changing climate conditions but powerful, commercial interests are driving the devastation which will have international, long term implications for us all. We are only 2 people, but we are committed to doing everything we can to do to help, everyday. After 2 years of planning, we are finally at the point of launching our own Extinction Rebellion!
Our first step has been to buy a croft tenancy, which I will run as a long term, carbon neutral “small batch” farming business, with a heavy dose of conservation and biodiversity fighback. Over the next few years we will match our farming activity with tree planting, peat preservation and these biodiversity plans which will strengthen the produce output and the wildlife in our area.
In order to fund our biodiversity plans, we will be using a mixture of social enterprise and other funding models; from selling our sustainably made produce, using government grant funding, crowdfunding and aiming to bring in an income from a GreenExchange Platform.
This platform is being set up to help other small producers connect with resources, funding, expertise and volunteers; which we hope to launch with the additional funds raised here, to speed up our work and as a sustainable business model.
We have already begun work on our croft on our biodiversity fightback, but your contributions will accelerate our plans, enable our GreenExchange business to launch and allow us to succeed more quickly and help you to feel you are contributing to investing your #CarbonGuilt into our real world actions.
In addition to planting trees, sustaining bumblebees, restoring the peat and hedges on our own croft which makes our own business stronger and meets a biodiversity action plan in Scotland, we will also match trees planted here with equal numbers of trees planted in Brazil, through Plant for the Planet.
I am a digital storyteller, artist and filmmaker, who along with my husband Nat, (editor, web designer and all round great guy), have upended our entire lives to build a biodiverse croft and start a digital green marketplace.
We are using our crofting experiments, biodiversity plans, reforestation and place-making activities to help us to launch a grassroots green movement marketplace social enterprise which links small projects, like ours, to resources, volunteers, finance and social support. Starting with our own land we aim to connect these projects to climate conscious individuals and organisations to accelerate their impact.
You can follow us on Twitter
I have recently been approved by the Crofting Commision as a Crofting Tenant and we set out on this journey to live there, as we launch the Crowdfunder campaign.
The Isle of Lewis has presented us with an affordable way of accelerating our own personal efforts and enabled us to take on doing more to help others to get green action higher up the priority list and you can find our croft at 22 Kirkibost, Great Bernera, Isle of Lewis, Scotland.
No matter what rewards you choose, you will be investing in the collective responsibility of making biodiversity a priority. So as well as a nice warm feeling inside, you will be drawing the dividends everytime we send you updates on your “investments”, hints and tips and fighting climate change.
In addition we will use the Green Marketplace to enable, inform and empower you through newsletters, blog posts and videos. You will be able to use the hints and tips to take your action and multiply it at home and in your workplace.
You can choose a reward with only a beautifully designed virtual share/stock/bond/gilt for you to share online and print out at home
Or you for an extra £5 you can be sent a fantastic physical paper version, designed by the inimitable Louise Byng. (The £5 pays for an extra Carbon Guilt offset to ensure that we are not contributing additional carbon emissions in getting it to you).
This is the beginning of our journey. We have already changed everything about our lives so much that there is virtually anything that is the same as it was 23 months ago.
We've been gaining expertise, buying the croft, selling up our worldly goods to fund the purchase, moving, researching and connecting with organisations
We will keep updating you through the Crowdfunder, on Twitter and on Facebook how we got here and what we're up to.
In order to get the right business plan for the Green Marketplace, we will be using this campaign to engage with potential users through our own project, as well as working out what features users might find useful and will be doing surveys and Q&A sessions to engage further with our supporters to see what they would want to see in our work. Please feel free to get in touch if you have a project that you would like to be included or want to volunteer, or have resources you think would be useful.
If you are a company or organisation planning to offset your carbon guilt for your workforce, activities or even a one off event, get in touch as we can design a package to suit you and your needs.