MM was sparked by my promise to build a home in Swaziland for 8 disabled youngsters.
Why hit the road in the first place? Why not raise money from home?
Working from the Milly Van to fundraise dropped my potential costs (of combined home & travel, along with all of the extra energy use that would impact the environment) from £1870.12 every month to £1275.24.
As Pocket Protection & the Eco Intent Scheme came into being, working/living from the Milly Van allowed me to cost effectively search for land to buy/rewild without paying for hotels/journeys back & forth from home and other extraneous expenses.
All soaps/washing up liquids & laundry detergents are 100% plant based so nothing toxic is washed back into the earth/oceans from the Milly-Van.
The Milly Van herself can be monetised by selling advertising space on the Van: funding Mission Milly's work.
Milly's about the honouring & equality of ALL life and offering ways (through products/opportunities) for van visitors to realign/reconnect with our gorgeous planet.
By being a vegan coffee shop (with only reusable tea cups, nothing plastic & all snacks being in recyclable/compostable packaging) and vegan, cruelty-free and eco-friendly merchandise stall, plant based products are made nationally accessible (and able to be taken on their own value, without agenda) for use in 1000s of daily lives, making the world better for all of us.
I collect litter as I travel.
Whenever I can, I collect litter seen lying around wherever I park up/have an event and then split the recycling & waste. The waste goes in the nearest bin and the recycling goes into recycling boxes, sometimes outside people's houses and sometimes in supermarket carparks.
Living/Working out of the Milly Van allows me to be highly flexible and focus on Mission Milly's goals first & foremost, my 2 dogs travelling with me.
Working with my Headline Sponsor, Bird & Wild, I get to not only sell & promote their shade grown, organic, fair-trade coffee but ALSO educate wonderful coffee drinkers (via the Mission Milly Coffee Shop) on why sun grown coffee is something to be absolutely avoided. it literally is the difference between life & death: for the planet, for wildlife, for our oceans and our own well being.
The Milly Van has a Diesel, Euro 6 Engine, so meets the latest emission requirements.
Of course I would like to limit (or erase) my carbon footprint as much as possible however so I have researched - since hitting the road - converting to biofuels/bio diesel.
After researching the pros/cons however, what may prove to be better for the environment is to use any miles travelled to fund the planting of Nitrogen absorbing specific plants: this goal is achieved through Pocket Protection.
I also already work with Conservation expert, Colin Reader, carrying/selling wildflower seeds to help repopulate the UK for our pollinators as I travel.
Travelling in the Milly Van offers unique opportunities to promote my work and grow the 'Wild Community' of Eco Intent Sign Ups, Pocket Protectors and those who want to fund the Pocket purchases.
I carry sign up forms in the Milly-Van (Protectors/Wild Businesses & the Eco Intent Scheme) for those visiting her as a Coffee Shop/Stall.
Mission Milly allows me to fulfil Pocket Protection's urban rewilding goals practically and cheaply: since Milly is self sufficient, I am able to park up wherever I need to work/rewild and visit local communities without paying for campsites, enabling me to spend as much time as possible on the tasks at hand.
As we all deserve to thrive, so do animals deserve NOT to be tested on in labs.
This sense of disconnect is what is causing SO many problems.
So as I travel for Pocket Protection I will also be dropping into local businesses to invite them onto the both compassionate AND green 'Eco Intent Scheme': allowing ALL of life to thrive (and be given a fair chance!) in amongst us.
Travelling/running Mission Milly from the Milly Van allows me to write for (and be featured in) a range of publications: promoting to multiple demographics, from Business to Campervans to Adventure.
Ever since Rebecca of Watson & Wolfe (amazing company!) told me all about the community of businesses contributing to the circular economy to eliminate all waste that would otherwise go into landfill, I have been eager to act as a transport van between companies. Eg. If I am travelling from an event in Leeds to an event in London, I can carry materials from a Northern based business to a Southern one, thereby eliminating the use of transport deliveries like DPD and preventing further emissions into the atmosphere.
It's early days but I am speaking to more and more people about being of service in this fashion.
I can monetise the Milly Van (and expand my promotional reach) as I travel by ALSO hiring her out at outdoor events (like Open Water Swimming Days) as a place of shelter to change and a source of hot drinks. (I can also provide this as a Sponsorship Benefit: further funding Mission Milly's work).
Living a life in balance with our eco system has been super important to me since I hit the road in December 2018.
The Milly Van has a water tank and an LPG tank for the hob and for heating the van. She has a solar panel & that (combined with the engine) provides 100% of necessary self generated/sustaining electricity required to run my laptop/phone/card machine etc.
I use the LPG especially as sparingly as possible (mostly snuggling under an Everest-level sleeping bag with my 2 small dogs tucked in with me) but as Milly is also a coffee shop, I generally refill the 20 litre tank every 18 days.
With regards to water, whilst the Milly-Van has a bathroom/shower, I've mastered showering with just 0.75 litres of water, as opposed to the 'average water use' in the average shower, which is 50 litres of water.
I also handwash most clothing in the soapy water afterwards (preventing further waste) and hang it to dry on the bathroom rail, so only wash towels (muddy from the dogs) approximately every 3 weeks. I can make an 80 litre water tank last 7-10 days for all my water needs, business/dogs included.
Comparing my energy use compared to the average home, the average person - in a 4 person house - uses 1417 litres of gas every year. At my current rate, I run a home AND business off 406 litres per year.