When you order a book on Amazon they give less money to the producer, they also pay no UK tax and the money ends up in the US. When you visit a local independent bookstore you can discover books you never knew you were looking for (as well as get Harry Potter). Five leaves is one of those places, with comfy stools dotted around inviting you to sit and explore. The shop staff pride themselves on making available a wider range of ideas and high quality books than a standard chain store.
Veggies is a vegan catering and campaign social enterprise based in Nottingham that provides delicious food at events like Glastonbury whilst promoting a better future for the environment and people. I spoke with Chris about their work and what it means to him to be vegan.
Visiting Greens Mill is an insight into the past, and a way of putting Nottingham into context. When the mill was built the only two buildings visible from the top were the palace and the church, now the city extends up to and around the mill. Graham showed me the ingenious ways that we used to mill, and the workings of the now restored and functioning mill.
Gregg told me about the mobilisation of Nottinghamshire people to protect land from Fracking. Fracking is a process where high pressure water, sand and toxic chemicals are injected into the ground to split it and release gas. Frack Free Nottinghamshire is just one of many groups all over the country. To find out if there is a group near you and where companies in your area want to frack check out Frack Off. As well as local groups all over the country people, there are a number of national campaigns and protests.
This summer will see the second Reclaim the Power camp, a six day gathering where people can make friends, learn about positive solutions and take action against extreme energy. The current government is aggressively pro-fracking and offers subsidies for local areas to permit it, but there are a large number of environmental concerns about the process. With climate change no longer in doubt moving to further exploit fossil fuels would be a harmful idea anyway, but extreme energy extraction by fracking also carries long term environmental consequences that will remain long after the companies have moved on. From methane leakage, water contamination, toxic effluent, micro tremors and damaged land the number of harmful effects mount up. The recent move by the government to change trespassing laws would allow companies to frack underneath peoples land even without their permission, so anti-fracking community groups have a key role to play in speaking up for the environment.