Borroclub recently won a share of a £72,484 initial investment from Innovation Birmingham’s Low Carbon Accelerator programme, which is part of the European-funded Climate-KIC initiative. We put Borroclub CEO, Matt Dedger, in the “20 questions with…” hot seat.
We want the world to be as blue and green tomorrow as it was yesterday. What’s your mission?
My mission is to unlock £92bn worth of items that are lying idle across homes in the UK. Borroclub offers our members the opportunity to post their items to an online sharing platform for others to borrow. It could be anything from a drill, roof box to a handbag.
We form part of the growing sharing economy & are at the heart of the circular economy. We want to connect people in local communities, which in turn will reduce Co2 by mobilising items that would otherwise be lying idle. We have partnered with charities to offer them a new fundraising stream via supporters who choose to donate their lend fee to the charity rather than keep it themselves.
With over 26m homes in the UK combined with stats showing that a UK garage contains on average £3,500 worth of items (and this doesn’t include the car), we have the potential to unlock £92bn of idling assets. We help families to access items they need to use but do not necessarily have the funds to purchase that item outright. At the same time helping families to generate some supplementary income for their household.
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be an architect.
How would your friends describe you?
Fun, out going, dependable.
What was your ‘road to Damascus moment’ in terms of sustainability?
When I was clearing out my garage getting ready for a car boot sale and I realised how much stuff I had accumulated that I hardly used and I knew people were going out to the shops to purchase the same items and I realised that they could use my items.
Who or what inspires you?
My kids inspire me as they are so committed to their own endeavours but are really keen to support my wife and myself.
What really grinds your gears?
People who do not listen and are too wrapped up in their own self-importance.
Describe your perfect day.
A day’s body boarding with my kids in Devon.
What do you see when you look out your window at home?
Lots of cars driving… too many.
What do you like spending your money on?
Days out or holidays with my family.
What’s your favourite holiday destination?
Woolacombe in Devon.
What’s your favourite book?
I don’t really read books, I prefer to listen to podcasts
What’s your favourite film?
This is a real tough one, its difficult to choose between Jaws/Star Wars
You’re elected prime minister with a thumping majority. What’s the first thing you do?
Create a fairer tax system and go after the biggest tax evaders.
If you were stuck on a desert island, which famous person would you like to be stuck with and why?
Paul Weller, I love his music and he can teach me how to play for the guitar.
What was the best piece of advice you have ever been given? And the worst?
Best: Always be open and listen to others
Worst: I cant remember as I choose to forget bad advice.
What’s your biggest regret?
Not starting Borroclub sooner.
What one thing would you encourage readers to do to make their life more sustainable?
Consume less, do you really need that thing you want to purchase whether its goods or food etc.
What’s the one idea that you think could change the world for the better?
What’s your favourite quote?
You’re gonna need a bigger boat (Brody from Jaws)
What would you like to be doing five years from now?
Taking Borroclub into Europe
And the bonus questions:- How would you like to be remembered? – What will they carve on your gravestone?
I would like to be remembered as a good dad/husband. No gravestone I don’t want to take up the space.
What is the one question you wanted us to ask you and didn’t?
Who let the dogs out?
A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon
Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.
There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.
1. The Rise Of Smart Windows
When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.
If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.
2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs
If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.
Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.
3. Low-E Windows Taking Over
It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.
They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.
4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges
Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.
The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.
5. Improving Our Current LEDs
Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.
That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.
Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too
Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.
ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244
IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”
IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.
Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.
Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.
Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:
“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.
We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.
There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.
We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”