Hull Friends of the Earth

Project Proposal Checklist

Why do we need a checklist?

From time to time a local action project proposal is presented to the HFoE committee. In the past such proposals have been discussed and accepted or not without formal guidance such as an agreed checklist of criteria which can be used to make at least an initial assessment of the suitability of the proposed project for adoption by HFoE.

In order to make the process of assessment easier and, we hope, more rigorous, we have put together a provisional list of points and questions. A checklist agreed by HFoE members will be useful when we apply to various funding bodies.

You are invited to comment on these and add your own. We intend to publish an improved list in the next ECO.

Below is our draft checklist. You can enter comments and amendments in the box after each item. Click the Submit button when ready to send.

Is the proposed project consistent with the aims of HFoE?
In particular does it help or hinder the following specific aims?

  1. Reduction of environmental footprint of an existing problem or process, eg garden waste disposal, for which a greener alternative exists such as composting instead of landfill or incineration
  2. Pollution reduction (centralized composting avoids numerous unpleasant smoky fires)

  3. Demonstrating efficient, low cost, low-tech eco-aware solutions to environmental problems
  4. Producing a useful product at a true cost that is not disproportionate to its real value

  5. Using ecological and biological methods where these can be shown to be true-cost effective rather than methods with hidden costs and unknown dangers such as insufficiently tested pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and genetically engineered organisms
  6. Improving HFoE public image. Projects involving inefficient high cost polluting methods are less likely to help HFoE public image

  7. Demonstrating the value of eco-awareness, recycling, renewable energy in relation to for instance better health and quality of life, independence from environmentally unsound monopoly suppliers
  8. Increasing efficiency so that energy, materials or human effort are not wasted

Questions to ask

  1. Is there a true net benefit to the environment? Answering this question can involve complex calculations if the effect is marginal
  2. Does the project involve the use, at any stage, of fossil fuel as opposed to bio-fuel or solar energy or other renewable? This includes, ideally, consideration of the energy used in the manufacture of equipment employed and of its eventual disposal

  3. Does it cause pollution?
  4. Does it contribute to global warming?

  5. Does it require expensive insurance?
  6. Is there a better way to do what it is aimed at achieving?

  7. How does it compare, in achieving aims and avoiding costs, with other projects to which various HFOE resources, funds, human effort and time, could be directed?
  8. Does it require continuing subsidy from public funds or is it self-financing? (Need to avoid the distorted economics characteristic of exploitative systems)

  9. Is it labour intensive requiring willing and able volunteers who may be in short supply? Our own resources might not be sufficient to justify having to motivate and train those who are not yet ideologically engaged with protecting the natural environment
  10. Is it complicated requiring specialized knowledge to run/operate?

  11. Is it noisy or otherwise likely to annoy neighbours?

  12. Is it dangerous?

Any further comments

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