What is our vision?
The Green Skills Library is predominantly an online platform for best-in-class practical, sustainable skills. We aim to provide project ideas, guidance and access to resources to help teach individuals how to improve their immediate environment using what already exists – and to fundamentally change the disposable culture in our communities.
What are our goals?
Reviving the circular economy – Wherever possible, we want to design out waste and pollution, keeping materials in use and regenerating our natural systems.
Reducing intellectual waste – We believe that there is someone who has mastered most, if not all, of the skills in our Library. We believe that the best way to learn is through following best practice, so self regulation and feedback will help us to keep our Library up to date as the gold standard of craft creation.
Relieving stress – We are living in unprecedented times. Digital learning offers the opportunity for individuals to invest in themselves, developing hobbies that could even pave the way to potential future careers. The feeling of accomplishment of finishing a task is a fantastic positive mental step, with a yield ranging from income to health and mental well-being.
Recognising the importance of the home – This past year we have spent more time than ever within the home. The Green Skills Library believes that, no matter their size or situation, there are always ways to sustainably improve a living environment, from windowsill boxes for growing vegetables to basic household repairs. Our goal is to hand you the tools to care for your home and make it exactly what you want it to be, all while using recycled materials.
Responsibility – Each one of us has a responsibility to ourselves and to our planet. The problem is that it is too easy to pass these responsibilities on to other people. We should have full lifetime responsibility for anything we purchase, which includes possibly not purchasing it in the first place. To help with this, The Green Skills Library will have a tool library for borrowing tools at a very low charge.
How are we going to get there?
Little by Little – one changed behaviour, one home, one street, one borough at a time. People are creatures of habit. From the Grantham institute we understand that over 60% of reaching net zero requires profound and societal change. We don’t expect miracles, but believe that by sharing best practice and providing green inspiration, a fundamental change of behaviour can come about in our communities.
Donna Stimson - Founder
Donna’s interest in sustainability began when studying Social Anthropology in the 1980s at the University of Cape Town. An MBA in organisational culture led to an international career as a management consultant in organisational transformation. She worked in Canada, the USA, Australia, the UK, and South Africa for Deloitte & Touche, Braxton Consulting and Gemini. She settled in the UK in 1995, and so began a second career of renovating properties and restoring gardens. She is currently a councillor and member of Cabinet in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead. Her portfolios comprise Climate Change and Sustainability, Parks and Countryside. She is a trustee of the charity Heal Rewilding. She has studied gardening, bricklaying, and carpentry and bench-joinery. She is a Neuro Linguistic Programming practioner. Her hobbies include upholstery and gardening
Katrina Sale - Director
Katrina Sale is a serial entrepreneur specialising in tech and events. She is the Founder of Wisetree, a technology company committed to sustainable consumer habits, and has provided leadership across a number of community projects including mental health and mentoring programmes in schools. Katrina is passionate about enabling reducing waste in public services and offers consultancy to help local governments use technology to reduce the time and materials needed to deliver initiatives. She runs the APPG for Entrepreneurship and contributes to a number of think tanks on small enterprise.
Hugh Thomas-Davies - Director
Hugh’s purpose is to help people and organisations reduce their impact on the planet, remove inequalities and align more broadly with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. He was originally a computer programmer at 3M and the European Space Agency in the Netherlands and Germany. Returning to the UK, he spent most of the last 20 years working on corporate alliances at companies including Oracle, IBM, Symantec and Siemens. While at Oracle, he became involved in ‘Lean Manufacturing’ software, creating an application to support lean manufacturing processes. During his MBA Hugh focused his research on Corporate Social Responsibility which triggered his interest in the role that organisations play in the world and their potential to be a power for good. He setup Hesys Sustainability Services in 2020 to find frameworks to help SMEs become sustainable and agile. He published the Agile-Sustainability Handbook in December 2020. He is also passionately interested in reducing waste through the circular economy, repair and reuse.
Alexandra Lily Fraser - Marketing and Communications Director
Lily is your typical young professional – tech savvy, living in London and obsessed with houseplants. After spending two years as Deputy Digital Editor and Social Media Manager for Country Life magazine, she moved over to The RHS, helping them fulfil their pledge to inspire everyone to grow. She’s passionate about wildlife gardening, the circular economy and sustainably interior design – she’s currently in the process of renovating her new flat, upcycling the furniture herself to ensure it’s done as greenly as possible.
Jonny Thomas-Davies - Web Developer and Digital Editor
Jonny is a Web Developer, Actor and Stand Up Comedian. He has performed for over 100,000 people, including audiences at Wembley Arena and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Aside from building the Green Skills Library website he is writing a musical, developing a comedy double act and raising a Fox Red Labrador called Simba.