Last month The Ecology Consultancy and sister company Temple celebrated their fourth annual Green Week, a chance to learn about green initiatives, take part in environmental activities and generate engagement and discussion around the sustainability of our planet.
The apple you eat is the landscape you create
This year the week began with Apple Day; we discovered that our very own Jane Kendall was one of the instigators of the first ever Apple Day, on 21st October 1990, and spent years promoting it around the country. The event began as a celebration of the thousands of local varieties that exist across the country and aimed to raise awareness of the loss of traditional orchards and the impact this has on the landscape, wildlife, local customs and culture. Tastings took place across all offices, including 12 different apple varieties in London and some home brewed cider in Lewes.
Reconnecting with nature
On the Tuesday, each office organised a local green walk. Six of the London team spent half an hour collecting litter from the tidal beach near their office, managing to fill two whole bags with litter ranging from abundant plastic bottles to a rare Super Soaker…
In Lewes, the walk evolved into a bird count that recorded some impressive numbers: 50 Lapwing, 4 Grey Herons, Reed Bunting, 1 Egyptian Goose, 50-75 Black-headed Gulls, 10-15 Herring Gulls, 1 Great Black-backed Gull and 150 Starling!
Wednesday gave everyone the chance to take part in a citizen science project through the web portal Zooniverse. A favourite project involved analysing drone footage of rainforests in Borneo by mapping tree canopies and searching for orangutan nests in order to help understand what kind of forest orangutans live in, and estimate population densities to see how they’re impacted by human land use. Those who got involved contributed to mapping tree canopies, although sadly no nests were spotted this time.
“Share more. Waste Less.”
Later in the week we listened to a talk given by OLIO in the Temple office. OLIO is a mobile app that connects neighbours with each other and with local businesses so surplus food can be shared, not thrown away. We discovered how effective this is on many different levels, from sharing between neighbours to distributing surplus food from farms. Of the products available, the one which appealed the most was a collection of apples from a local gardener (we saw the potential for free cider)! Offerings of half-used ketchup bottles were less appealing, but we appreciate the good intention…
Raising a toast to the planet
Finally, on Friday we learnt about Toast Ale, a sustainable craft beer company working with bakeries and sandwich makers to reduce food waste by using surplus bread to produce brewed goods. To date, nearly 1.5 million slices of bread, which would have otherwise gone to waste, have been used to make 641,652 litres of Toast Ale beer. In the UK, 44% of bread produced is wasted, so the more waste reduction initiatives like this, the better! The delicious beer is of course an added bonus!
TEC’s green ethos
The Ecology Consultancy and Temple launched Green Week four years ago, to offer inspiration to employees as well as the opportunity to learn about and discuss ways in which we can all contribute to a greener way of life.
The initiative aims also to demonstrate our commitment to supporting and protecting the wildlife and natural environment around which our working day as ecologists revolves. Green Week activities are part of the normal working week and all employees are encouraged to get involved.