Kindling's long term vision is to create a rural base within 50 miles of Manchester which will include a farm, Eco-housing, a Social Enterprise Hub and a Centre for Social Change. There, building on our existing projects, we aim to create models for:
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.
At the same time, despite the relative prosperity of the Global North, our modern lifestyle has brought its own problems.
- Rural disadvantage – local people are priced out of areas by second home owners, leading to reduced local services and employment, and a decline in the local rural economy.
- Climate change– 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.
- 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.
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.
We 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.
• Create low impact low cost housing - Ecommodation - by refurbishing buildings into highly efficient housing, significantly lowering both carbon and bills. Ecommodation will be run as a housing co-op and follow the eco-village model, integrating various aspects of ecological and social design. Lowered housing costs will help producers (and other enterprises) live well without living in debt, and help them in turn keep their prices affordable.
• Demonstrate real solutions to climate change that can and must be taken. We aim to be both a carbon positive and a zero waste project, using: appropriate technologies like renewable energy production, innovative food production, composting, reforestation, and green building design and construction methods.
• 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 Hub (see Sustainable Production page) 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 more sustainable local community.
• Promote long-term security for people working towards social change who are often low paid with no pension. We will explore and use alternative models of investment, wages and pensions (which are currently largely unethical and increasingly untrusted), and promote our findings to provide ethical long term security for people to work towards a more sustainable future.
• Use and promote participatory decision-making structures, with creative conflict resolution practised and offered as part of our facilitation service to other groups.