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how many retweets for a free smoothie?

Recently, you may have seen that the record for ‘most retweeted tweet’ has been broken by a man in America asking Wendy’s for free chicken nuggets. His original tweet, at the time we’re writing this, has now been retweeted about 3.5m times.

His success has caused people all over the world to start wondering whether they too can be launched to internet fame and the promise of free stuff. Here are some of our recent mentions on Twitter.

So, in answer to all your questions, let’s work this out.

We’ll start with a standard box of six chicken nuggets from Wendy’s. They cost $1.79. Assuming a year’s supply consists of one box a day, that’s $653.35. So it’s fair to say that 3.5m retweets is currently worth $653.35. But, of course, we’re a UK-based company so let’s convert that into English pence.

[runs numbers through big calculating computer]

At the current conversion rate, that’s 0.000145059 pence per retweet. We don’t need to tell you that one retweet isn’t quite going to do. In fact, at the current going retweet value, you’d need 69 retweets just to get a free penny chew. Or 689 for a 10p Freddo before everything went mad and they went up to 30p (a 30p Freddo is worth 2,068 retweets).

Anyway, we’re getting distracted with all this Freddo talk. Let’s get back to business. Our normal smoothie bottles sell for about £1.60 which works out at approximately…

11,030 retweets per smoothie.

There we are then. If you want smoothies for retweets, that’s your number. Go for it. 

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jasper's sustainability round-up

Jasper is our office superman. That means he does all of the tricky practical jobs that crop up around Fruit Towers and generally keeps everything ship shape. Since the start of the year, he’s been working on a project to make the office as sustainable as it can possibly be. We thought some of his successes were worth shouting about, so here are a few of the highlights:

 

The gas we use to power the boilers will soon be super green and we will be using 100% biogas from 1 August. This is a major win as most gas contracts only offer a 10% biogas rate. The biomethane we will be using is generated from smelly stuff like organic matter and manure. However, it is essentially scrubbed and cleaned before being put back into the national grid so don’t worry - we won’t have any farm smells coming from our boilers just yet.

From 1 August we will also start a new electricity contract and will be able to choose exactly which renewable suppliers give us our energy, be it a wind turbine in the Quantocks or a hydroplant in Wales. The 100% renewable energy we use can therefore be tracked and we can even create an energy trail, working out exactly how far our electricity has travelled to get to us.

From the beginning of May we will have LED lighting in the front and back staircases and the loos. This is one of the most ecological systems we can use and reduces our energy use and costs.

We’ve replaced our courier service with Green Couriers, a sustainable and ultra-green company. All of the bright green vehicles that Green Courier use are at the very least low-emission, but will often be ultra-low emission hybrids and 100% electric vehicles.

The Bugrassi Veyron, our new little grassy van, is running on the latest Euro 6 engine with significantly reduced emissions. We are working on the rest.

 

We have been working with the Goldfinger Factory, a community furniture workshop based underneath the Trellick Tower (just down the road from Fruit Towers) that have been recently involved with designing a range with Tom Dixon. Jasper has been using them to reuse and up-cycle old furniture, our old benches went to a vocational school in Fulham and they built our second Big Knit crate out of re-used plywood.

Our waste collections are now managed by First Mile, a company with the capacity to recycle 99% of our office waste. They have been turning our food waste and compost into renewable energy and fertiliser and taking our mixed recycling to a state of the art facility in Bow where it is then sorted and sent on to be turned into brand new shiny things. Even our general waste is sorted and then incinerated to produce energy and heat. Nothing goes to landfill so we are leaving no trace behind us.

 

Additionally they have the ability to send us reports letting us know our exact recycling rate, how many tonnes of CO2 we have saved and even how many trees we have saved through our recycling efforts. They are currently also doing magical things like turning our coffee grounds into biomass pellets and briquettes.

 

Some of our new chairs are made by a company called Solidwool. Each chair is made from the sustainably produced wool of one Herdwick Sheep and is combined with a bio-resin made of 30% renewable content. Solidwool have pioneered a material that champions the beauty of British wool, unfortunately a product with barely any demand. By combining the wool with wood from Somerset and fabricating the chairs in their Devon workshop they have created a truly British product which also just happens to look rather nice in our meeting rooms.

Jasper has definitely been keeping our office green, and he assures us he has even more sustainable plans up his banana covered sleeve for the future. Cheers, Jasper. For this, and for agreeing to climb into a bin for a photo opportunity.

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let's talk about growing veg at home

So you've heard about the innocent sow & grow and you're thinking, 'I'd love to be able to grow my own veg but I don’t have a garden where I can grow anything.' We understand. The majority of us here at Fruit Towers live in city flats. If it weren’t for the occasional pictures of our smoothies sitting on some grass a lot of us might have long ago forgotten what a garden is.

But we've got news. You don’t need a garden to grow the occasional bit of veg. You just need something small and watertight that you can put soil in. Something like this.

'But I don't have any gardening tools,' you say.

Oh, ye of little faith. A watering can has been staring at you this entire time.

'Ah,' you say, as if you've finally got one over on us. 'I don’t have a trowel. A gardener is nothing without a trowel.'

And yet, using nothing but a decent knife (and lots of care), you suddenly find yourself holding a sturdy plastic trowel.

'This is all well and good,' you say. 'But because of my love for the children's picture book The Avocado Baby when I was growing up, I love avocados. What if I wanted to try and grow some of those?'

Then you'd get an avocado seed, stick four cocktail sticks inside it and suspend it over water like this.

After a while it'll sprout and then you just transfer it to a proper plant pot, stick it by the window and make sure to water it with the watering can we've already talked about.

'You truly have thought of everything,' you say. 'Almost as if you were typing this all out for me. And you’re all so good-looking too.'

Oh, stop it. You’ll make us blush.

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a sow & grow update

Last month we brought back the innocent sow and grow to help 200,000 school kids across the UK learn to love healthy food by growing their own veg in school. Now here we are, a few weeks in, and schools are already lost amongst the cress.

There are still a few way that you can get involved. We’re giving away 5000 seed packs to help you get growing at home and you can still head here to be in with a chance of winning. You don’t even need space at home, an old innocent bottle ought to do the trick.

And if you’re a school (not you personally, that wouldn’t make sense) you can still use the hashtag #SowAndGrowUK on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram to enter our weekly competitions where we’re awarding drinks and other prizes. We’ve also got lessons lesson plans here to help out if you need them.

And we’re more than use to animals getting involved with the Big Knit so it’s brilliant to see the tradition carrying on with the sow & grow (with thanks to squidgypigs).

For even more, head to our sow & grow site or let us know through Twitter or Facebook how your growing is going.

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Becky's visit to Cambodia

In December, our Becky went on holiday to Cambodia. Here she is on holiday, wearing a nice hat.

As well as going over to Cambodia to catch some winter sun and try on local hats, she also paid a visit to one of the projects the innocent foundation is working on with ADD International.

ADD International are a UK based disability rights organisation  who work as a major ally to the global disability movement. They partner with disability activists in Africa and Asia to help them access the tools, resources and support they need to build powerful movements for change.

ADD International is currently working to help women with disabilities in Cambodia, through providing loans and grants for farming training as well as advising on income management and talking to families and communities about disabilities to increase understanding. People with disabilities in Cambodia are often the poorest of the poor and are highly discriminated against. Disability has its own stigma present in every society but in parts of Cambodia discrimination towards disabled people can be particularly oppressive. Disabled people are often considered weak, worthless and in some cases, subhuman. Women with disabilities are marginalised and excluded to an even higher extent, discriminated against for both their gender and their impairment.

As part of this project, disability activists supported by ADD International run self-help groups where women meet weekly to share tips and get help if they need it. Becky went along to one these meetings so she could listen to any problems that might be having and they could ask her a few questions. The local chief even turned up, and asked how people with disabilities are treated in the UK. They found it inspirational that disabled people are integrated into society, and hoped that that could become a reality for Cambodia one day.

After the meeting, Becky went to meet a lady called Kem De. During the Khmer Rouge regime, Kem De was injured and, as a result, she can’t walk or dress herself. Her husband left her after she sustained her injuries, so she now lives with her elderly mother. Before the project, Kem De would lie on her wooden bed, alone for most of the day, saying she felt like a burden to her family.

Now that she’s involved in the farming project, her mother does the physical farming much closer to home, with Kem De directing her and looking after their finances. She is now on the third cycle of pig rearing and has more money than she did. She’s also been made a role model for the project within her community, meaning that other people come to her for advice. She’s much more included in the community and is much happier and more empowered as a result.

This three-year project with ADD International is funded by the innocent foundation, whose main mission is to help hungry people around the world. Most of the women Becky met in Cambodia were living on one meal a day before the project but now, with the money they’re earning, they can afford to eat much better. The innocent foundation hopes to reach many more hungry people so that they can take control of their lives and access enough food for themselves and their families.

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