Our current way of life in the UK is incredibly wasteful, at a high cost to others. Those in the Global South not only face poor working conditions to produce cheap goods for the Global North, but also suffer the increasingly serious impacts of climate change brought about by our irresponsible consumption of fossil fuels. Whilst we in the Global North also suffer the negative ecological and social impacts of our lifestyle:
- A sense of lack of control and of possible alternatives - individualisation of society and polarisation of communities leave many feeling isolated, overwhelmed and unable to change their situation.
- Rural disadvantage – local people are priced out of areas by second home owners, leading to reduced local services and employment, and ultimately a decline in the local rural economy.
- Peak oil– our demand for strawberries all year, short breaks in New York or wearing t-shirts in February, means we are failing to decrease our fossil fuel dependency, and at the same time failing to invest in renewable energies.
We believe that there is an alternative, and that it is time to take responsibility for the real cost of our lifestyle. Not to lower our standard of living, but to improve the quality and reduce the quantity of our consumption. In this time of global crisis it is crucial that we reconnect with our communities at a local and global level, and work together to seek solutions, rather than fighting against each other.
The Kindling Trust will research, implement and promote a standard of living which addresses the ecological and social impact of our actions; recognising rights and equality at a local and international level, and work with people to create sustainable opportunities and resilient communities. We will demonstrate that this is not only a viable way to live but also a desirable one.
Examples of delivery include:
- Show solidarity with others working for social change globally– through purchasing directly from vulnerable progressive social enterprises and supporting them to become resilient communities.
- Facilitate interaction and understanding between potentially polarised communities - by actively engaging and supporting key members of the community to work for social change, and by seeking to work with a diverse range of people on both local and global issues.
- Participatory decision-making structures will be developed, utilised and promoted and creative conflict resolution practised and offered as part of our facilitation service to other groups.
- Demonstrate the very real solutions to climate change that can and must be taken. We will aim to be both a carbon positive and a zero waste project. Through: the use of appropriate technologies like renewable energy production, innovative food production, composting, reforestation, green building design and construction methods.
- Promote long-term security at a globally sustainable level – explore and use alternative models of investment, wages and pensions, and promote our findings. Provide affordable low impact housing for Kindling residents.
- Work with communities to seek solutions to rural poverty – Work with local communities, housing associations and the local authorities to address local housing need, through low impact affordable housing. Our Social Enterprise Zone will provide secure employment opportunities for local people, and support the creation of local services. This combination will in the long term help create a sustainable local community.
- Research and demonstrate sustainable land use through our own practices – producing food sustainably for visitors, residents etc., and researching and practising different sustainable production methods (see the Sustainable Production section).