Scottish island goes green with hydropower project

For the UK, an island surrounded by water, hydropower is expected to significantly help phase out fossil fuels and replace them with renewable energies. Contributing to the transition, a group of young environmentalists on the Scottish Isle of Raasay are hoping to raise £600,000 by 23rd February 2021 to develop two community-owned hydro schemes.

To serve the local community and improve their environmental impact, the projects Inverarish Burn Hydro and the Mine Burn Hydro will reduce annual CO2 emissions by 127 tonnes. The schemes will provide an average of 520,000 kWh in electricity each year, nearly enough to cover all energy use by the island’s 170 residents.

An offer to buy shares in the project was launched on 12th January 2021 by the community benefit society Raasay Community Renewables Ltd (RCR). They see the hydro schemes as the path to an environmentally sustainable and financially resilient future for the islanders.

One of the RCR members behind the project, Ross Gillies, said: “We have raised over £307,000 in grants to support the build and we need a further £600,000 to bring the project to completion. The substantial grant support of £300,000 from the SSE Sustainable Development Fund has been a tremendous boost for the project and has enabled us to progress to our share offer.” 

Community spirit

The RCR’s plan includes a Community Benefit Fund, set up to distribute a proportion of the income generated to members of the community, supporting local organisations and causes. They intend to distribute the funds in a way that meets the community’s needs and supports environmentally beneficial projects.

MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch, Kate Forbes, said: “A community hydro scheme has been a long time in the making for Raasay, and it was great to see the work starting on forestry. I know there is a lot of work to do – not least in raising funding – but it’s exciting to see this progress.  I hope there will be widespread interest and the community will be able to reach their funding target in time.”

Prospective investors can buy shares ranging from £125 to £65,000. The interest rate at 4 per cent the first payment made in 2024.

To buy shares in the hydro project visit their fundraising page, which closes on 23rd February 2021. 


H&M’s kidswear combats plastic in oceans

We’ve all seen the photos of plastic clogging up oceans and harming wildlife. Wouldn’t it be better if we protect the planet for future generations, rather than harming it? Serving young people by doing just this, H&M has joined forces with a bottled water company, Danone AQUA, to create an eye-catching children’s collection made from recycled plastics.

The clothing range contributes to a project, bottle2fashion, which the two companies started in September 2020 as a response to ocean pollution and to create more jobs. 

For this initiative, locals amassed more than 3.5 million polyester-based plastic bottles across Indonesian islands, cleaned them and shredded them into small pieces. 

In doing so H&M and Danone AQUA hope to tackle the country’s escalating plastic problem, cutting marine plastic waste by 70 per cent by 2025.

Circular clothing

The clothing chain uses plastic collected in Indonesia to make polyester fabric fibres, mixing them with organic and recycled cotton to create colourful hoodies, jogger pants, and t-shirts for their bottle2fashion collection.

Leading the project on H&M’s side, Nellie Lindeborg, their assortment sustainability responsible said: “Helping to keep beaches and oceans clean, bottle2fashion is another exciting step forward for a more circular and collaborative approach at H&M.” 

Lindeborg explained: “To give a second life to disposable plastic bottles as recycled polyester is valuable in so many ways — to Indonesia’s environment, economy and social values — but also the world and our customers. And once the kids outgrow the clothes, we encourage the items be brought back to us through our garment collection initiative so they can be recycled once again.”

Launched at the end of December 2020, the clothing collection will be available online and in stores as soon as they reopen.

A fashion inspiration

By buying recycled clothing, parents can also help educate younger generations about the environment. H&M’s head of kidswear design, Sofia Löfstedt said: “I always love to see what kids come up with and I hope they will also learn about the bottle2fashion project along the way.”

Other clothing companies can follow H&M’s example by partnering with companies in the countries most impacted by plastic waste and transforming a mounting problem into a solution.


Biggest children’s wildlife survey celebrates 20th year

Schools may be closed, but as spring approaches, wildlife charity the RSPB is offering an educational boost, inviting parents, carers and teachers to get children outdoors for the annual Big Schools’ Birdwatch

Every year, educators from around the country take part, giving children a taste of conservation science and helping the organisation track the health of British birds. 

RSPB spokesperson Caroline Offord said: “We want to support teachers to deliver their Big Schools’ Birdwatch during this challenging time. For children learning remotely, we have started to signpost teachers to other resources.”

She added: “This past year, we’ve seen how important the natural world is to our mental health and wellbeing. There has been a surge in interest in nature on our doorsteps, but nature needs us too. By taking part in the birdwatch, children are helping to build an annual snapshot of how our birdlife is doing across the UK.”

Join the fun

Registration for the event is open till 1st February 2021. Educators can submit their results any time between 5th January and 22nd February 2021. After the final submissions come in, the RSPB will share results so every child can see the positive impact of their efforts.

To participate, children can fill bird feeders, transform learning spaces into bird hides and bake wildlife-friendly treats. They can contribute by leaving out bird food or planting more wildlife-friendly plants to attract insects for birds to feed on. 

These activities teach them about birdlife and prepare them for watching and counting birds for the 20th anniversary of the educational event, after which they can monitor their impact on the bird world by comparing the number of species seen one year to the next. 

Wings of hope

To support the RSPB’s valuable conservation work, you might consider giving to them via their donations page. You can support individual campaigns, make a regular donation, or donate as a gift for a loved one who passed away, to protect birdlife whilst cherishing their memory.


Walt Disney Company aims for zero emissions by 2030

Faced with a climate emergency, all companies have a responsibility to the environment. One with a particularly long history of eco-friendly initiatives is The Walt Disney Company, whose commitment to green enterprise goes back nearly a century. Building on this tradition, it has announced its environmental goals for 2030.

The Walt Disney Company has incorporated green thinking into its work for around 90 years, initiated by Walt Disney himself, who once said: “Conservation isn’t just the business of a few people. It’s a matter that concerns all of us.”


Goals for a greener future

Its new goals are focused on five main areas: greenhouse gas emissions, water, waste, materials and sustainable design. Some of the most ambitious from this list include achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions as well as purchasing and producing 100 per cent zero-carbon electricity for all their operations.

The international media enterprise hopes to collaborate with other industry groups and will invest in low carbon fuels and other solutions to climate change.

In their workplaces, they will create mechanisms to save water, serve responsibly-sourced seafood at parks and resorts and work to achieve zero waste. The company will transition to only sustainable packaging and will produce all its textiles goods from recycled, sustainable or low-impact materials.


A history to be proud of

The chief executive officer, Bob Chapek, said: “These goals focus on key areas of our business where we believe we can have a significant, lasting impact and make a positive difference in protecting our planet.”

He added: “Disney has shown a strong commitment to the environment throughout its history and we’re excited to continue building on that legacy with new, ambitious environmental goals for 2030.” 

Their achievements to date include saving over 300 million gallons of water and building 292 acres of solar panels. In 2019, they brought online a 50-megawatt solar facility at Walt Disney World, which should generate enough power from the sun to operate two of their four theme parks in Orlando annually. Some of the company’s rides are fueled by cooking oil, it encourages recycling on Disney TV sets and helps maintain habitats for wildlife.

Equality Planet

10,000 seeds help start organic farming project in Uganda

When Lawrence Patrick decided to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania 10 years ago he knew he wanted to use the challenge to raise money for the people there who needed it most.

Lawrence, from Bicester, Oxfordshire, decided to set up the Mehiel Foundation with his wife, with the aim of raising money and supporting projects in Tanzania – and other African countries –  while cutting out unnecessary costs.

Fast forward a decade, and the Mehiel Foundation are celebrating launching their first organic farming project, having helped more than 70 families to set up their own sustainable mini farming projects in the Wakiso district of Uganda.

Lawrence, who works in finance, explained: “We are a very small organisation, and we have only recently become a registered charity, but we have big ambitions.

“The idea for setting up the farming community came after my employer launched a scheme to send some seeds to a farming project in Kenya, and I realised I could also do this myself.

“There were seeds left over from the scheme which the business donated, and we bought others. In total we sent more than 10,000 seeds to a community in Uganda and helped 70 families to start growing their own, organic vegetables to feed themselves and start up a business.”

Lawrence partnered with Celedi, a local skills and training organisation in Uganda, who brought in experts from the University of Kampala to run workshops and courses for families to learn how to effectively farm their land without using costly chemicals.

And crops of radishes, tomatoes, spinach, cucumbers and watermelon were soon produced.

Sulaiman Mayanja from Celedi said: “The project has been a big success. One of our farmers is Deo, who is 14 years old. We gave him spinach seeds which have sprouted, and he also keeps ducks and poultry.

“Deo hopes to sell the vegetables as well as using them to feed himself and his family. He now has ambitions to turn all of his family land into a farm, and to become a vet so he can care for the animals himself.”

The Mehiel Foundation are hoping to continue the farming project on a larger scale. If you have seeds to donate or you want to find out more, visit their website or follow them on Facebook.


By Jenna Sloan


Exhibition To Raise Funds For Le Ciel Foundation



2021 will bring a a major fundraising exhibition and auction in aid of Le Ciel Foundation, a UK-based charity dedicated to protecting indigenous knowl edge and acting as a trusted conduit between ancestral wisdom and western society. 

Generously donated by artists and galleries from around the world, Wisdom and Nature features  54 artworks by 49 artists capturing experiences and perceptions of interconnectivity, the natural  beauty of the planet, and the traditions of its communities.

Founded in 2016, Le Ciel Foundation’s mission is to create a global paradigm shift beneficial to  all life. Working closely with indigenous community Elders, the Foundation translates and adapts  ecological ancestral knowledge into practical purpose-driven initiatives, educational media con tent, solution-oriented events and collaborative models for wider modern society. 

Funds raised from the auction will  support Le Ciel Foundation’s ongoing education, inclusion and preservation initiatives including the Holistic Visions Symposium – a community of 144 innovators, investors and entrepreneurs from  over 40 countries who work year round with indigenous Elders to address the fundamental tenets  of a more balanced and ecological society.

Funds will also support the development of new educational tools and programmes for children and adults to learn from ancestral wisdom, as well as a  global initiative for the restoration of sacred territories and the protection of guardian populations. 

Artists featured in the exhibition include Adam Waymouth, Adrian Houston, Alexander Khimushin,  Anouska Beckwith, Antonio Obá, Aranka Israni, Azza Fahmy, Brigida Baltar, Carlito Dalceggio, Cás sio Vasconcellos, Catalina Swinburn, Charlotte Leimer, Chloë Natalia & Christopher Ro. 

The exhibition premiered at Christie’s New York in March 2020, and builds upon the success of the  first edition of Wisdom and Nature in 2017, held across London, Paris and New York.

“This unique collection of artworks not only celebrates our planet  and its communities, but also acts as a poignant reminder of the importance of ecological and cul tural preservation.” Co-founder  Jessie Balfour-Lynn said. 

“The first edition of Wisdom and Nature enabled us to realise several significant  projects, including a meeting of twelve wisdom tradition Elders at the United Nations in New York.

“We hope that through the heart-warming generosity and support from all those involved in this  iteration, particularly that of the artists, we can continue to push for the protection of our world’s  natural environments through the invaluable knowledge of its indigenous communities.” 



Reduce, Replace, Repair: How To Cut Your Carbon Footprint in 2021

Companies, local government, schools, charities, community groups and parishes are working together with social enterprise Giki to inform and help people across the UK to cut a tonne off their personal carbon footprint in 2021. 

The initiative is supported by the UN High Level Champions for COP26 and its Race to Zero campaign. Personal behaviour change, particularly in high income countries, is a crucial step to reach the goal of Net Zero. Cut a Tonne in ’21 breaks this target into bite size, measurable, achievable chunks.

How individuals can get to Net Zero is detailed for the first time in “Reduce, Replace, Repair – A Practical Pathway for individuals to reach Net Zero” a report written by James Hand, co-founder of Giki and Dr Richard Carmichael of Imperial College London.

“Many of the everyday changes that cut carbon, also improve wellbeing and as this report shows, using a framework of Reduce, Replace, Repair, it is achievable by 2030 or sooner.” Nigel Topping, UK High Level Climate Action Champion says.

“We believe that citizens and consumers can come together to choose a new future and we invite everybody to start now. You can use Giki Zero to Cut a Tonne in ’21, as your first step to reaching net zero, for a healthier, resilient zero carbon future for us all.”

Policy and business transformation is fundamental in order to reach national and international net zero targets. But individuals also play a major role. On a global basis, individuals account for almost three quarters of greenhouse gas emissions. 

Report authors James Hand and Dr Richard Carmichael explain: “Whilst many people want to do the right thing they are often unsure about what “right” looks like, or what exactly to do.

The Reduce, Replace, Repair framework helps answer those questions by providing a practical pathway for individuals to reach Net Zero. It’s hugely encouraging that by taking the right steps people can dramatically cut their carbon footprints based on choices available today.”

Giki, the social enterprise behind the campaign, help people work out the best way for their lifestyle and budget to cut a tonne of carbon emissions from their day to day lives. Giki has built a science-based carbon footprint calculator that uses 32 footprint models, and over 10,000 variables, to help estimate an individual’s carbon, water and land footprints.

“The lead up to the opening of COP26 gives us all the time to find the most suitable ways to cut a tonne of our carbon equivalent emissions by its November 2021 opening in Glasgow.” Professor Emeritus Tim O’Riordan of the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia said. 

The first tonne is the easy tonne for most of us, but for some it will be more difficult due to cost and degree of effort. So the cutting of a tonne is a communal task, shared with everyone and leading to a better world for everyone. If the whole of the United Kingdom can do this through joint but variable contributions, what a wonderful contribution that would be for the healthy future of this planet and its peoples.”

Anyone can get involved in there are three key steps that have been outlined. 

  1. Measure and understand your carbon footprint: You can do this using Giki Zero’s science based personal carbon footprint calculator.
  2. Make a commitment: Commit to ‘Cut a tonne in ‘21’ on Giki Zero (or 10% for those over UK average of 9 tonnes per person per annum)
  3. Find the best ways for you to achieve it: Giki Zero will help people find the best ways for their own lifestyle and budget to cut a tonne from their lifestyle.


To find out more about the challenge and to get involved with Giki’s work, head to 


Winter Vegan Market Has Massive Success Raising Vital Funds to Save Dogs Lives

Despite the pouring rain, cold weather and people being wary of going outdoors for all but essential trips, the people of Leeds and Yorkshire helped generate almost £3,000 for animal charity Miracle’s Mission at this weekend’s Leeds Vegan Winter Market.

The Leeds Vegan Winter Market was able to go ahead as an outdoors event on Sunday, adhering strictly to current Covid restrictions and social distancing.

All profits from the event, and all others around the UK organised by Vegan Events UK, are donated to Miracle’s Mission, a non-profit animal welfare organisation that works with sick, injured and difficult animals. Its mission is to provide a place of safety for animals in danger, to educate on the need for neutering both pets and strays and to neuter stray dogs and cats to prevent the birth of more dogs and cats onto the streets.

“It was pouring down with rain, freezing cold and I assume some people were worried to come because of Covid.”
Event organiser Victoria Bryceson said.

“But we did our best and I am pleased it went ahead as we raised nearly £3,000 for the dogs.”

Vegan Events UK was founded in 2017 with the joint aim of promoting veganism and helping to fund the vegan-led animal welfare charity, Miracle’s Mission. There are 15 planned so far for 2021 from Bournemouth to Glasgow, including a massive new weekend event, VFest UK. 

The profits from these events will be donated to Miracle’s Mission, which is currently looking to build the UK’s first centre for disabled animals, so founder, Victoria Bryceson, and her team can rehabilitate the most vulnerable, before finding them their forever homes.

Other ways you can help Miracle’s Mission are by fundraising, volunteering, fostering, donating or buying from its online shop. Visit for more details.


Cultural Survival Awarded $100k by Ray C. Anderson Foundation To Support Indigenous Climate Solutions

The NextGen Committee of the Ray C. Anderson Foundation has awarded a $100,000 grant to Cultural Survival to support grassroots Indigenous solutions to climate change.

The Ray C. Anderson Foundation is a private family foundation that was launched in 2012 to celebrate the legacy of Ray C. Anderson, a globally recognised industrialist turned environmentalist that was once named the “Greenest CEO” by Fortune magazine and a “Hero of the Environment” by TIME.

The Foundation’s NextGen Committee is comprised of Ray’s five grandchildren and their spouses. Since 2014, the Committee has taken an active role in perpetuating Ray’s legacy by investing in projects geared to make the world a better place for “Tomorrow’s Child.”

Over the past eight years, the committee has funded more than $500,000 in programs with focus ranging from conservation and climate change education, to urban agriculture, agroforestry and now grassroots solutions to climate change in Indigenous communities.

The NextGen Committee’s grant will allow Cultural Survival to direct the funds to Indigenous communities addressing climate change on a variety of fronts, through 13 small grants awarded through the Keepers of the Earth Fund (KOEF).

Cultural Survival is an Indigenous-led NGO and U.S. registered non-profit that advocates for Indigenous Peoples’ rights. 
For over 48 years, Cultural Survival has partnered with Indigenous communities to advance Indigenous Peoples’ rights and cultures worldwide.

Their Keepers of the Earth Fund is a small grants fund designed to support Indigenous Peoples’ advocacy and community development projects. Since 2017, the Keepers of the Earth Fund has supported 118 projects in 30 countries through small grants and technical assistance totaling over $528,000.

Keepers of the Earth Fund provides grants ranging between $500 and $5,000 that go directly to grassroots Indigenous-led organizations and groups to support their self-designed development projects based on Indigenous values.

“Cultural Survival has a unique passion and ability to empower change for Indigenous communities that are most directly affected by climate change,” said Stephanie Lanier, chair of the NextGen Committee.

“Their role in building up the individuals and letting their voices be heard tells an inspiring story of hope, ingenuity, and commitment to protecting the land and those who live on it. We are proud to present this year’s grant to an organization with such passion for finding multifaceted solutions all around the world.”

“We are deeply honored and grateful to the NextGen Committee of the Ray C. Anderson Foundation for this opportunity and for recognizing the need to invest in Indigenous leadership and Indigenous-led solutions.

“Indigenous Peoples hold the answers to today’s challenges of climate change, biodiversity protection, land stewardship, and so much more. Our voices as Indigenous leaders need to be heard and upheld when taking on the climate crisis locally, nationally, and internationally, as our ancestral knowledge paves the way to restore balance in the world.

“Ray C. Anderson Foundation recognizes the value and integrity of our leadership and traditional knowledge, and we are excited for this new partnership where we will tackle climate change together, ” says Galina Angarova (Buryat), Cultural Survival Executive Director.

To find out more and to donate to Cultural Survival head to 



WWF releases collaboration with Charlie Mackesy for Christmas fundraising campaign.



Leading environmental organisation WWF and British artist, author and illustrator Charlie Mackesy have come together to raise funds to help protect elephants, their habitat and support the communities that share their home.

A limited-edition t-shirt and tote bag created in collaboration with Charlie Mackesy features an elephant, accompanied by his beloved characters, the Boy and the Mole from his debut book The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse.

On sale just in time for Christmas, the adult’s t-shirt, children’s t-shirt and tote bag are available online at so, family and friends can gift with purpose, and give something special that will help to benefit people and nature across the globe.

Charlie Mackesy said: “I’ve always loved elephants and I know they’re struggling. I’ve always thought that their faces look a bit like a heart when you look at them head on and I wanted to draw the intimacy between the boy and the elephant, and I believe our connection with animals is more important now than ever. Intimate, striking, lovely.”

“I was brought up on a farm and I’ve always loved animals and little did I know that during my lifetime so many species would come under threat, so for me to be able to support in some small way what WWF is doing, is a huge privilege.”

WWF’s Christmas campaign is one of the largest and most important opportunities for fundraising, generating vital income to help the fight in bending the curve on nature loss.

This year’s campaign aims to recognise the importance of ‘home’, by protecting elephants and other animals’ habitats and supporting ways for local communities to safely co-exist and thrive alongside wildlife.

“Since 1979, African elephants have disappeared from over 50% of their home-range, leaving around 415,000 in the wild today.” Mxolisi Sibanda, Regional Manager – Africa conservation programmes at WWF UK said. 

“They remain threatened by poaching and their habitat is under pressure and being fragmented, mainly due to poorly planned infrastructure development and expanding agriculture leading to conflicts with people.

“With the help of our supporters, WWF is working hard to protect elephants and their habitats across Africa. We’re delighted to be collaborating with Charlie Mackesy on this vital mission to help one of our planet’s most treasured species.”

To purchase a limited-edition Charlie Mackesy t-shirt or tote bag and for more WWF products,
please visit:

Find out more about the WWF’s work, past and present visit