Radical Sustainability, Ordinary People and the Pedal-a-Watt Powered Blogathon!


This post is our contribution to Sustainablog’s Pedal-a-Watt Powered Blogathon this weekend. The long-running green blog (and new green shopping site) is publishing for 24 hours straight to raise funds for the Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage in Northeastern Missouri. Go join the fun: Read post contributions from around the green blogosphere, leave a comment to be entered in a drawing for some great green prizes, and join in the Tweetchat at #susbppb.

The theme? “Radical Sustainability, Ordinary People” – so we’ve picked a few of our recent stories on people making a difference with wit, flair and a healthy dollop of determination. All rise once more for Trees For Cities, The Ditty Bops and Neighborhood Fruit.


Ever been struck dumb on a first date with someone special? That anxious feeling of your brain slamming into reverse, leaving you to fill the conversation with noises that suggest some food’s got stuck? What better way to relax than to share a common goal that isn’t romantic – such as planting trees? And what better way to show what your bod is capable of? (Well, apart from the obvious).

For this reason, environmentalists and singletons alike can give thanks to the people behind Trees For Cities, combining speed-dating and urban renewal in a series of events across the UK. Now we want to see it worldwide – but no pressure, guys.


They’re witty, quirky, fabulously talented and at the top of their musical field (Grammy-nominated last year, no less) – and they set a sustainable example that’s simply dazzling. The Ditty Bops are on a mission to prove that the music industry doesn’t have to ride roughshod over the environment, and since they believe none of the major labels fit that bill they’re doing it independently. Setting up an award-winning sustainable nonprofit, cycling across America to promote their work, producing album sleeves from personally sourced eco-friendly materials – they’re grounded, principled and apparently unstoppable, as this interview confirmed. Talk about individual action.


Every year, good food goes to waste. We’re not talking about the third of groceries that head straight into the garbage (although of course we should) – it’s the fruit we’re concerned with here, the untold tons overproduced in backyards or going to waste on common land. What’s needed is some way to collect and distribute this produce to those who need it. Enter Neighborhood Fruit, brainchild of Kaytea Petro and Oriana Sarac. Through an online registration service, surplus fruit in the SF Bay Area is offered up to first-comers entirely free of charge. If you live further afield, it’s a hot urban trend that’s spreading fast…so keep your ear to the ground. Or, hand to the bark, as it were.

Last but certainly not least, check out our interview with Sustainablog’s host for the Blogathon, Alline Anderson, founder of Milkweed Mercantile. Have a successful weekend, guys!

Images: alexindigo, The Ditty Bops, DieselDemon and Sustainablog.

Mike Sowden

Mike Sowden is a freelance writer based in the north of England, obsessed with travel, storytelling and terrifyingly strong coffee. He has written for online & offline publications including Mashable, Matador Network and the San Francisco Chronicle, and his work has been linked to by Lonely Planet, World Hum and Lifehacker. If all the world is a stage, he keeps tripping over scenery & getting tangled in the curtain - but he's just fine with that.