Get Red Pepper's email newsletter. Enter your email address to receive our latest articles, updates and news.
Don’t bin it
Contact your local council for details of its waste disposal policies and the nearest recycling facility.
The best option for household organic waste, including food, is home composting. It eliminates the carbon footprint of waste transport and returns valuable nutrients to the soil. Visit: www.recyclenow.com/home_composting/composting/index.html for more information.
Give your clothes a new lease of life by reinventing them. It’s amazing what you can do with some haberdashery and trimmings. It could be as simple as swapping the buttons on your outfits, or using iron-on letters to bring that old tee shirt back into fashion. Use undyed yarn to knit your own jumpers to avoid toxic materials and sweatshops.
Do book swaps with friends instead of buying new. Donate unwanted toys to nurseries or children’s hospital wards.
Don’t buy products with excess packaging; choose those with re-useable containers. Invest in a reusable natural fibre bag to carry your shopping home.
Return unwanted junk mail and ask for your name to be removed from the mailing list by emailing the Mail Preference Service.
Don’t standby, switch off
A computer left on all day results in the emission of 1,500 pounds of carbon dioxide in a year. Even a mobile phone charger left plugged in wastes power and money. Switch off all lights and electrical appliances when not in use. See www.tiptheplanet.com for information on computer power management and other energy saving tips, such as not overfilling the kettle.
Use energy efficient appliances and light bulbs and turn down your thermostat by just 1°C to save one tenth of your home heating bill. Make your home more energy efficient by insulating your loft, lagging your boiler and pipes, and using draught excluders. And switch to a green energy provider like Ecotricity.
Nullify your carbon footprint
For zero carbon emissions cycle and walk as much as you can. Use public transport. If you must drive make sure you do so in the appropriate gear to reduce exhaust emissions and switch off your engine if not moving. Invest in a fuel efficent car. The Environmental Transport Association features the environmental rating of all new cars and other tips on becoming a greener motorist.
Sacrificing overseas air travel will significantly diminish your carbon footprint and personal contribution to global warming. Research train and boat options at www.nofly.co.uk and www.seat61.com and pledge to limit or stop your flights at www.flightpledge.org.uk.
Be sustainable material-istic
For every tonne of paper we use each year, we consume an area of forest about the size of five football pitches. Buy recycled or recyclable products such as toilet tissue and stationery. Look for the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) logo when buying wood products – from paper to raw timber. This ensures the wood comes from a well-managed forest. Re-use envelopes and recycle paper after use. And use e-mail where possible, rather than faxing or writing.
Consume zero waste
There’s a multitude of reasons why you should buy local, organic food. As well as saving on carbon miles and packaging it supports the endangered farmer species and is healthier. Check out your nearest farmers’ market for fresh food, often organic, direct from the farm. Visit www.farmersmarkets.net for more information.
The Organic Directory provides information on organic box schemes and local food resources. Buy seasonal fruit and vegetables to reduce the environmental transport costs. Or grow your own allotment. Call your local council or contact the National Society of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners for information on getting started.
What a waste of water
Fix dripping taps and turn the tap off when brushing your teeth. Install a Hippo water saver – or a brick – in your toilet cistern to save between 2.5 and 3.5 litres of water when you flush.
Ban your hosepipe; use a watering can for the garden and a bucket of water for car washing. Install a water-butt, available at local garden centres. Using rainwater for the garden, toilet and washing machines can save up to 50 per cent of household water use. There are a number of different rainwater harvesting systems available, which can be installed in both new and existing buildings. See www.environmentagency.gov.uk.
The Spanish state is seizing ballot papers and raiding meetings, write Ignasi Bernat and David Whyte – but it is being met with united resistance
The crunch executive meeting ahead of Labour conference agreed some welcome changes, writes Michael Calderbank, but there is still much further to go
Dipesh Pandya speaks to documentary film-maker Sanjay Kak, who for 30 years has been working outside the mainstream to tell a story rooted in the struggles of those excluded by India’s militarism and its narrative of neoliberal growth
Jeremy Gilbert on how radical Labour politics can be inspired by the utopianism of the counterculture
Disasters have unequal impacts – it's the poor and marginalised who suffer most. David Harvey writes on Hurricane Harvey
Survivors of the fire are still relying on thousands of community volunteers, writes Dan Renwick - but the failed council is plotting a comeback
What if it's not us who are sick, asks Rod Tweedy, but a system at odds with who we are as social beings?
The people could reach a democratic and non-violent solution if they were freed from US meddling, argues Boaventura de Sousa Santos
A decade after the start of the crash, economic power is in our hands – we must take it, writes Ann Pettifor
Nick Dowson looks at the new wave of co-ops and community groups where people are building their own truly affordable homes
What is ‘free movement plus’?
A new report proposes an approach that can push back against the tide of anti-immigrant sentiment. Luke Cooper explains
The World Transformed: Red Pepper’s pick of the festival
Red Pepper is proud to be part of organising The World Transformed, in Brighton from 23-26 September. Here are our highlights from the programme
Working class theatre: Save Our Steel takes the stage
A new play inspired by Port Talbot’s ‘Save Our Steel’ campaign asks questions about the working class leaders of today. Adam Johannes talks to co-director Rhiannon White about the project, the people and the politics behind it
The dawn of commons politics
As supporters of the new 'commons politics' win office in a variety of European cities, Stacco Troncoso and Ann Marie Utratel chart where this movement came from – and where it may be going
A very social economist
Hilary Wainwright says the ideas of Robin Murray, who died in June, offer a practical alternative to neoliberalism
Art the Arms Fair: making art not war
Amy Corcoran on organising artistic resistance to the weapons dealers’ London showcase
Beware the automated landlord
Tenants of the automated landlord are effectively paying two rents: one in money, the other in information for data harvesting, writes Desiree Fields
Black Journalism Fund – Open Editorial Meeting
3-5pm Saturday 23rd September at The World Transformed in Brighton
Immigration detention: How the government is breaking its own rules
Detention is being used to punish ex-prisoners all over again, writes Annahita Moradi
A better way to regenerate a community
Gilbert Jassey describes a pioneering project that is bringing migrants and local people together to repopulate a village in rural Spain
Fast food workers stand up for themselves and #McStrike – we’re loving it!
McDonald's workers are striking for the first time ever in Britain, reports Michael Calderbank
Two years of broken promises: how the UK has failed refugees
Stefan Schmid investigates the ways Syrian refugees have been treated since the media spotlight faded
West Papua’s silent genocide
The brutal occupation of West Papua is under-reported - but UK and US corporations are profiting from the violence, write Eliza Egret and Tom Anderson
Activate, the new ‘Tory Momentum’, is 100% astroturf
The Conservatives’ effort at a grassroots youth movement is embarrassingly inept, writes Samantha Stevens
Peer-to-peer production and the partner state
Michel Bauwens and Vasilis Kostakis argue that we need to move to a commons-centric society – with a state fit for the digital age
Imagining a future free of oppression
Writer, artist and organiser Ama Josephine Budge says holding on to our imagination of tomorrow helps create a different understanding today
The ‘alt-right’ is an unstable coalition – with one thing holding it together
Mike Isaacson argues that efforts to define the alt-right are in danger of missing its central component: eugenics
Fighting for Peace: the battles that inspired generations of anti-war campaigners
Now the threat of nuclear war looms nearer again, we share the experience of eighty-year-old activist Ernest Rodker, whose work is displayed at The Imperial War Museum. With Jane Shallice and Jenny Nelson he discussed a recent history of the anti-war movement.
Put public purpose at the heart of government
Victoria Chick stresses the need to restore the public good to economic decision-making
Don’t let the world’s biggest arms fair turn 20
Eliza Egret talks to activists involved in almost two decades of protest against London’s DSEI arms show
The new municipalism is part of a proud radical history
Molly Conisbee reflects on the history of citizens taking collective control of local services
With the rise of Corbyn, is there still a place for the Green Party?
Former Green principal speaker Derek Wall says the party may struggle in the battle for votes, but can still be important in the battle of ideas
Fearless Cities: the new urban movements
A wave of new municipalist movements has been experimenting with how to take – and transform – power in cities large and small. Bertie Russell and Oscar Reyes report on the growing success of radical urban politics around the world
A musical fightback against school arts cuts
Elliot Clay on why his new musical turns the spotlight on the damage austerity has done to arts education, through the story of one school band's battle
Neoliberalism: the break-up tour
Sarah Woods and Andrew Simms ask why, given the trail of destruction it has left, we are still dancing to the neoliberal tune
Cat Smith MP: ‘Jeremy Corbyn has authenticity. You can’t fake that’
Cat Smith, shadow minister for voter engagement and youth affairs and one of the original parliamentary backers of Corbyn’s leadership, speaks to Ashish Ghadiali
To stop the BBC interviewing climate deniers, we need to make climate change less boring
To stop cranks like Lord Lawson getting airtime, we need to provoke more interesting debates around climate change than whether it's real or not, writes Leo Barasi
Tory Glastonbury? Money can’t buy you cultural relevance
Adam Peggs on why the left has more fun
Essay: After neoliberalism, what next?
There are economically-viable, socially-desirable alternatives to the failed neoliberal economic model, writes Jayati Ghosh
With the new nuclear ban treaty, it’s time to scrap Trident – and spend the money on our NHS
As a doctor, I want to see money spent on healthcare not warfare, writes David McCoy - Britain should join the growing international movement for disarmament