Greener Kemnay: Building Collective Confidence

Greener Kemnay is an environmental group in the rural village in Aberdeenshire. The village has nearly 4,000 residents and is located about 20km west of Aberdeen. It was started in 2012 by a handful of village residents who wanted to find ways to reduce energy usage, energy costs and carbon footprint for the whole village. Since 2012 Greener Kemnay has grown to around 12 people who meet regularly once a month to plan projects and discuss how to take the group forward.

Shared Planet

Shared Planet is a student association that operates within the University of Aberdeen. It’s an umbrella for three food projects; “Shared Planet Café” (which sells ethically sourced, volunteer-made meals 5 days a week); the “veg bag” (vegetables bought from a local organic farm and wholesaler, bagged and sold at cost price.) and “The Corner” (ethically-sourced food from a wholesaler in Glasgow sold at cost price). 

Transition Black Isle

Transition Black Isle’s aim is to bring people together to face up to the challenges of climate change and resource depletion and to take practical local action now, rather than wait for top-down government action. Founded in 2009, TBI was inspired by nearby Transition Town Forres and is closely linked to the global Transition Network. They have around 140 members across the dispersed population of 10,000 spread across the small towns and villages of the Black Isle. Transition Black Isle has initiated a number of projects covering food, energy and transport.

Comrie Development Trust

In 2006, nearly three quarters of the 1800 residents of Comrie, in rural Perthshire, turned out to vote for the purchase of nearby Cultybraggan Army Camp, and form a Development Trust (CDT) to manage its affairs for the benefit of the community. The Trust was formed and within a year £350k (€450k) was raised through loan finance.

The Calafou Collective in Catalonia

The Calafou collective defines itself as an industrial post-capitalist colony. It spreads over 28 thousand square meters of an abandoned textile colony. The project is an off-spring of the Cooperativa Integral Catalana, an autonomous alternative economic formation uniting hundreds of people for conducting economic exchanges and reciprocal actions and using its own currency. Calafou is located just outside the village of Valbona, Catalunya, and is a place for social, technological and political innovation and production, based on responsibility, cooperation, feminism and non-violence.

Can Masdeu community gardens

The community gardens of Can Masdeu (CMD) are located on the footsteps of Corserolla Natural Park, the low mountain range surrounding Barcelona. These are managed by a mixed group of elderly people living in the local neighbourhood and the residents of CMD. The implications of CMD go beyond their physical existence and mode of operation. Resource wise, this implies living within nature’s limits – using dry toilets, recycling materials, producing more than 30% of fruit and vegetables annually consumed, harvesting water and treatment of grey waters, using principles of ecological building amo

Il Fiore del Deserto: From caring for children to caring for nature

The Flower of the Desert (Il Fiore del Deserto) was founded in 2000, with the aim to start developing solidarity projects and ideas to respond to the new forms of poverty, marginalization, disease and social exploitation. Activities include enhancement of the socio-economic and cultural condition of their guests through social entrepreneurship. One of the key aspects of the activities done by The Flower of the Desert is that it encourages environmental sustainability projects tightly coupled with educational purposes.

Solidarity purchasing group Gasquilino

Gasquilino is a solidarity purchasing group settled in one of the most central neighbourhoods in Rome, but it is also one of the key activities of a much more complex and highly inspiring grassroots initiative. In 2011, a group of 10 families created Gasquilino, engaging some local suppliers to purchase organic food products. Today, after only 5 years, 60 households are involved and the group’s services reach around 150 people among families and friends.

Orti Urbani Garbatella – saving the green, enjoying the food

Orti Urbani Garbatella is an urban gardening initiative born in 2008 in a southern neighbourhood of Rome, emerged on the premise and need of requalification of an abandoned park. Over the last years its activities contributed to a progressive increase of the aesthetic value of the area and to a regeneration of the local community, thanks to the new space available for working together and sharing time and ideas. 

Cooking with GAS: the Tiburtino Solidarity Purchase Group

Gruppi di Acquisto Solidale’ (G.A.S.) or Solidarity Purchase Groups, are collective purchasing organisations that form alternative food networks managed by a group of citizens (known as ‘gasisti’) who come together to buy food and other goods at wholesale prices and/or from small local producers, to be redistribution between members. There are about 75 GASs in Rome and its surrounding province.