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Buy Nothing Christmas
Start your New Year’s resolutions early and give up presents for Christmas. The Buy Nothing Christmas website from adbusters includes tips and hints to get through the seasonal consumerfest without spending a penny. Try out the downloadable gift exemption vouchers at www.adbusters.org/metas/eco/ bnd/bnd_xmas
Sponsor Trees For Life
The Olive Co-operative, in partnership with Zaytoun and the Palestine Fair Trade Association, recently launched ‘Trees For Life – Planting Peace in Palestine’. For just £20 you can sponsor five trees and help offset the 500,000 olive trees that have been destroyed by Israel since 2000. Each new tree sponsored represents a long-term source of income for Palestinian families. www.olivecoop.com
Become a car-sharer
Only 5 per cent of people share a car journey to work. Yet car sharing can save you up to £1,000 annually, as well as reducing pollution and the overall number of cars on the road. Freewheelers is an international organisation with an online database that hooks you up with drivers and passengers across the world. Liftshare has over 100,000 people registered in a UK-wide car sharing sheme and also works with local authorities and employers to create lift sharing schemes. Join up at www.liftsharing.com and www.freewheelers.co.uk
Meat is murder (for the planet too)
Changing your diet is critical to the health of the planet – and even you smug non-intensive meat, free-range chick types shouldn’t get too comfy. Along with raising your cholesterol, meat consumption raises atmospheric CO2 levels. University of Chicago researchers recently compared a standard vegan diet to a US-style carnivorous diet, and found the average meat eater (not a super-sizer) diet emits the equivalent of 1. 5 tonnes more CO2 every year than the standard vegan diet. It takes at least 7kg of feed to produce one kilo of beef, 2kg for every kilo of chicken, 4kg for pork. Never mind the extra land, water, energy and chemicals used.
Stop buying new clothes (especially cheap ‘bargain’ clothes).
While the UK is presently too cold for all-out naturism, cutting out synthetic and non-organic fibres makes a big difference. Over 20 human and environmental rights abuses go into just one standard clothing item – from pesticide spraying and cotton dying to worker and animal exploitation. Polyester is made from petrochemicals; synthetic and non-organic cotton fabrics are treated with pesticides and formaldehyde; and nylon accounts for up to half of UK levels of nitrous oxide. Pledge to recycle your old clothes by holding clothes swapping parties with friends or donate to charity shops. www.whatsmineisyours.com
Give up money
Bypass the money economy and join your nearest LETS (Local Exchange Trading Scheme). More than 40,000 people participate in LETS across the UK. People exchange skills, goods and services without the need for filthy lucre. www.letslinkuk.net
Join a ‘green gym’
Improve your health and the environment with British Trust for Conservation Volunteers (BTCV) green gym groups. The groups meet at least once a week to do between one and four hours practical conservation and gardening work. It can include anything from coppicing to building a community garden. www2.btcv.org.uk/display/greengym
Give up flying
The Flight Pledge Union (FPU) says giving up flying is the single most effective individual action you can take to combat climate change. The FPU offers two types of pledges: gold and silver. In the former you pledge not to take any flights in the next year, and with the silver not take more than two return short haul flights or one return long haul flight (except in an emergency). Sign up online at www.flightpledge.org.uk. To plan your trip using trains, see the Man in Seat 61 website at www.seat61.com
Dig for Green Victory
Resolve to cut down on your food miles. As well as buying only local products, get an allotment, turn part of your garden over to organic veggie growing or even just get a compost bin.
And don’t forget Red Pepper
Finally, resolve to do everything in your power to make positive changes for the environment and people. Stay politically active, share your copy of Red Pepper and encourage your friends to subscribe.
Grace Blakeley investigates the curious case of Carillion: how the company’s slow decline and abrupt liquidation reveals the nature of modern capitalism.
The collapse of Carillion could be a watershed moment. Let's seize it to end economically disastrous outsourcing schemes. By Cat Hobbs.
Campaign groups highlight UK complicity in Saudi Arabia's human rights abuses.
Three founders of Momentum talk to Ashish Ghadiali about the two years that have transformed their lives and the fortunes of the British left.
Andrew Smith from Campaign Against the Arms Trade gives the run-down on one of the UK's most profitable - and most deadly - industries.
The real story behind the fire in Grande Synthe’s Linière refugee camp, Dunkirk. From 'Bordered Lives – How Europe fails refugees and migrants' by Hsiao-Hung Pai
Javier Pérez De La Cruz writes about the working class Berlin neighbourhood wrung dry by gentrifiers.
Across the world, thousands of protesters are taking on the planet’s biggest fossil fuel companies. We should support them – and if we can, we should join them. By Kara Moses
Students are suffering the effects of financial instability, stress, and slashed mental health services. Mark Crawford reports.
They're not defending free speech - they're just seeking to shore up their own power, writes Ilyas Nagdee
Jeremy Hunt is poised to flog the last of the NHS
Peter Roderick sounds the alarm on an 'attack on the fundamental principles of the NHS'.
Viva Siva, 1923-2018
A. Sivanandan, who died this week, was a hugely important figure in the politics of race and class. As part of our tributes, Red Pepper is republishing this 2009 profile of him by Arun Kundnani
Sivanandan: When memory forgets a giant
Daniel Renwick calls for the whole movement to discover and remember the vital work of A. Sivanandan, who died this week
A master-work of graphic satire
American Jewish cartoonist Eli Valley’s comic commentary on America, the US Jewish diaspora and Israel is nothing if not near the knuckle, Richard Kuper writes
Meet the frontline activists facing down the global mining industry
Activists are defending land, life and water from the global mining industry. Tatiana Garavito, Sebastian Ordoñez and Hannibal Rhoades investigate.
Transition or succession? Zimbabwe’s future looks uncertain
The fall of Mugabe doesn't necessarily spell freedom for the people of Zimbabwe, writes Farai Maguwu
Don’t let Corbyn’s opponents sneak onto the Labour NEC
Labour’s powerful governing body is being targeted by forces that still want to strangle Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, writes Alex Nunns