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.
June 2009 saw the first in a series of FeedingManchester events, looking at practical and strategic ways to increase access to sustainable food in Greater Manchester. The events involving local food practitioners (growers, buyers etc.), are focused on partnership working and practical solutions, and aim to:
1) Bring together the growing number of enterprises & groups in Greater Manchester who are working on, providing and/or interested in sustainable food issues.
2) Identify obstacles to people sourcing/providing sustainable food, and solutions to those obstacles.
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.
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.