The Carbon Co-op began as an URBED Co-op initiative, managed by Jonathan Atkinson of Low Winter Sun, aimed at setting up bulk buying co-operatives to help make low carbon technologies more affordable and simpler for people to buy: Clubbing together as streets and communities people will be able to buy energy saving goods at a discount, everything from energy monitors to solar panels, helping them save money on energy bills and do their bit for the environment.
MERCi's Sustaining Change programme - this much needed project is working with the community and voluntary sector across Greater Manchester, encouraging and supporting organisations to become more sustainable. Sustaining Change aims to address three inter-locking areas: environmental, social and economic, through eight themes -
Food and Drink; Purchasing and Procurement; Energy and Water; Travel; Buildings and Local Neighbourhood; Inclusion and Participation; Partnership and Promotion; and Waste.
The present economic model of production is unsustainable, both ecologically and socially speaking. The majority of our food is produced through chemical and often intensive agricultural systems, shown, through wide research, to be linked to problems with soil depletion, decreasing biodiversity levels, water pollution, animal welfare issues, consumer health issues and climate change. On a global scale the production of cheap products are further linked to land rights issues, deforestation, extreme poverty and global conflict.
On February the 14th, 2009 we launched our pocket-sized seasonal food calendar "The Time is Ripe", produced with the support of the Local Food Fund. The guide and accompanying website aimed to make the process of shopping for locally produced, seasonal fruit and vegetables easier. Alongside the seasonal food calendar are details of where to buy local, seasonal veg in Manchester, as well as tips on selection and storage. The calendar is distributed via a number of outlets such as local grocers and community groups.
We are going for a fundamentally different format for this event, with Hulme Community Garden Centre hosting us in their garden and polytunnel: FeedingManchester #4 starts at 4.00pm with workshops, followed by food and refreshments at 6.30pm, proceeding with discussion groups and a bar opening at 7.30. The event will finish at 9.30pm.
The aim of FeedingManchester #4 is to:
1. Update each other with our news and progress since the last FeedingManchester in February (2010)
The second Fuelling Manchester social took place on Thursday 13th May 2010 for those involved in community energy projects in the Manchester area. Individuals from Manchester Carbon Co-op, URBED, MERCi, Peak District Energy Co-op, Sustainable Change, Greater Manchester Tree Station and the Energy Savings Trust all attended the social at Odd Bar in the Northern Quarter.
Saturday 27th March 2010 saw the Moss Side launch event of the Carbon Co-op, a new low-carbon social enterprise based in South Manchester. Founded by local residents, the Carbon Co-op aims to bring together friends, neighbours and communities in a bulk buying co-operative, purchasing low carbon technologies, from energy monitors to solar panels, at discount.
The new social enterprise aims to bring green jobs and help Manchester meet its ambitious carbon reduction targets.
As part of the FeedingManchester events we have collectively been working on a definition of sustainable food. This is to ensure that any future action to green Manchester addresses our unsustainable food system, as well as being the foundation for the growing sustainable food movement in Greater Manchester.