If you are an eco-entrepreneur, a campaigner for social justice or have a great green idea for making the world better, then The Observer want to hear from you about this year’s Observer Ethical Awards.
The Observer Ethical Awards in association with Ecover 2014 motto is: Be Better in This Life. Let’s not look back wishing we’d done it all differently when it’s too late. And if you know someone who is making a difference, please nominate them today. There are 10 categories in this year’s awards, including the great energy race to recognise an undiscovered energy-saving genius. The Observer are also looking for the next bright young thing to win Ecover’s young green champion award and they want to create a peerless sustainable fashion collection, as well as champion another local hero. If you feel you should be recognised – or know someone who does – please put yourself forward, or nominate them – categories also include retailer of the year, campaigner of the year, the community energy project, travel and arts and culture. Judges include Observer columnist Lucy Siegle, TV presenter Ben Fogle, singer VV Brown, Professor Callum Roberts at York University who specialises in marine conservation, Liz Earle, founder of Liz Earle Wellbeing, the ethnobotanist James Wong and Dr Charles West, a research scientist from Plymouth University
To nominate yourself or anyone else, click here – more details below
Arts and culture
The arts offer a strong, emotive way of building calls to action around ethical issues. Have you seen a play, documentary, film or dance performance which has inspired you? Or perhaps there is a book or song which makes you think differently about the way the world should work. Please send your nominations for the best ethical art piece or cultural initiative of the past year.
The community energy project (Sponsored by National Grid)
This new award is looking for energy projects or schemes powered by and designed for communities, rewarding the best creative minds getting to grips with low carbon forms of generating power who have designed projects to generate, purchase, manage or reduce energy on a community basis. Have you generated community megawatts from solar, wind, hydro or biomass and combined heat and power? Are you committed to reducing fuel poverty through team work and innovation? Open to all community energy projects, from the fledgling to the fully functioning. The winning group will receive £2,000 towards community funds.
Sustainable fashion (Sponsored by Econyl and Eco-Age)
Calling all fashion lovers, brands, retailers, makers, knitters, dreamers and practitioners. Do you have the ultimate piece of sustainable fashion. This best-in-class garment might have been created or adapted by you, or perhaps you want to nominate a piece that you have bought or acquired. The Observer are looking for budding designers, one-off makers or brands aiming to create an innovative collection with a conscience. The final collection will be presented to our illustrious judging panel, including sustainable fashion campaigner Livia Firth.
The great energy race (In association with B&Q)
Are you a great undiscovered energy-saving genius? With B&Q’s energy-saving team The Observer will be looking for the householder with the ingenuity and commitment to slash their energy bills and lead the way for energy-conscious consumers across the UK to get their own bills under control. The favourite 20 households will get a visit from a B&Q home-energy adviser to help understand their energy efficiency and £250 to convert their energy-saving ideas into action. Then the race will be on! The 20 households will have 28 days to put their genius to work and inspire us with how much cash and energy it’s possible to save with a little innovation and lots of inspiration. The winner, crowned the nation’s “bright spark”, will have their home fitted with a renewable energy measure by B&Q Energy Saving, worth up to £10,000*, slashing their energy costs for years to come.
Best in business
Businesses with world-changing ideas. Their attitudes towards energy, resource use, people, wildlife, communities and supply chain should be revolutionary. Businesses can be from the ethical sector or conventional industries which have employed extraordinary ethical vision. The Awards are inviting dynamic startups and newer businesses to pitch their worth against the big names. The winner will be the business creating the blueprint for others to follow.
Ecover young green champions (Sponsored by Ecover)
The Awards are appealing to ethical self-starters under the age of 18 to come to them with their ideas. This could be a project in your local community or school that you are working on by yourself or with classmates or friends. Perhaps your project is so clever we haven’t even thought of it yet. What is important is that you share your idea with The Observer, whether it is a brilliant recycling scheme or a way to rescue wildlife or bust carbon footprints. The winner will receive £6,000* in funding to make their innovative scheme really take off. (*T&Cs apply). The Awards are are also calling on teachers, parents and youth group leaders working with potential young green champions to nominate a project or encourage their local young green champions to enter themselves. The mentor of the winning project will win a three-night stay for four at Swallowtail Hill, Sussex, courtesy of Sawday’s Canopy & Stars.