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Thoughts from category: sustainability jess

are you afraid of the dark?

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At 8.30pm this Saturday it is global earth hour, where people all over the world will be turning off their lights and pledging their support for the planet. This won't be a problem at all for Delia, who told us some time ago how she's helping tackle climate change. Please take care if trying this at home though, Delia does eat a lot of carrots. It's probably also best to keep your eyes open.

Delia in the dark

Earth Hour started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia when 2.2 million individuals and more than 2,000 businesses turned their lights off to take a stand against climate change. Earth Hour 2010 was the biggest yet, with a record 128 countries and territories joining in the global display of climate action.

a man and his goat

A couple of weeks ago Rozanne and I were in India for work, and we took the opportunity to visit one of the innocent foundation projects with our partner ADD. ADD supports organisations of disabled people to improve their livelihoods. In India, they are working primarily on improving agricultural skills and incomes.

The money provided from the innocent foundation is used to provide loans to disabled people and their families. The local Disabled People Organisation (DPO) consisting of members of the community determines who would benefit most from the loans, and supports the beneficiaries in their endeavours. The money is used for a wide variety of uses, such as buying animals, seeds or farming equipment.

We visited a number of DPO groups and beneficiaries of the loans during our visit.

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Please allow us to introduce one of the beneficiaries, Mr Siddagangaiah (on the left).

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He suffers from cerebral palsy and as such cannot do manual work. He used his loan to buy this rather fetching looking goat (on the left of Mr Siddagangaiah).

The idea is that the goat will have kids (that's what you call a baby goat) which can be sold for meat if they are boys.. (sorry guys) or for breeding if they are lucky enough to be a girl.

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Mr Siddagangaiah already has 2 kids, and he hopes to slowly build a small herd. The money raised from the goats contributes to his family income, and importantly provides him with increased social standing in his community.

Other beneficiaries are using their loans to buy silk worms, grow flowers, and grow vegetables such as potatoes and beans.

Mr Ranganatha from ADD India was lucky enough to be given some fresh beans to take home for dinner.

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It was fantastic to meet some of the people who are benefitting from these small loans, and to hear about the difference it makes in their lives. We thank them and ADD for making us so welcome and sharing their time with us.

We wish them well for lots of goat babies, and a bumper bean crop.

knit 5, purl 2, sustainable living

So as you have probably noticed, it's that time of the year when we run the big knit - our campaign to help keep thousands of older people across the UK warm and healthy during the chilly winter months.

It's also that time of year when the days are getting shorter, it's only really warm if you're standing in direct sunlight with no wind, and you start thinking about turning on the heating again. During a visit to one of our suppliers we were asking them about the actions they take to use a little less and Chris told us about using wool from his sheep to make jumpers for the family.

Chris Glasspool - Gerber

It reminded me of the campaign run by Global Cool last year - 18 degrees of inspiration. Where they talked about really simple ways to stop wasting cash, look better (even lose weight) and reduce energy usage.


I think Rach from innocent watched their video.

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So if your knitting skills are honed from producing hats for our little bottles, perhaps consider trying a jumper (or in my case a scarf - I need to keep practising).

Jess

waste not want not

So last week we told you about our quest to gather some positive stories about actions people are taking to reduce their carbon footprints.

This week we focus on waste. Did you know that UK households produce 106 million tonnes of waste each year? And 8.3 million tonnes of this is food. A lot of the time the food has to be thrown away as we simply bought too much and didn't get through it all (easily prevented by not going to the supermarket when you are hungry...). Biodegradable matter in landfill (food, paper, garden waste etc) produces methane when it breaks down, a powerful greenhouse gas (25x worse than carbon dioxide).

So what are people in Fruit Towers doing to tackle the rubbish bin...

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Sustainability Lou sets a fabulous example by planning her weekly shop so as not to waste any food - although she did admit to the odd bit of lettuce going astray.

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Clover not only works hard on finding recycled packaging for innocent products but when she is at home she recycles all her garden and food waste.

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Annabel has bought herself a lovely shiny new composter (although a little less shiny now).

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Fliss has ensured that her bunnies need not feel guilty - their droppings (a much nicer word than poo) go into the composter.

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Dave keeps a beady eye on his housemates to make sure that they are doing the right thing at the recycling bin. Dave sits opposite Sustainability Jess and Sustainability Lou - so he really should know what he is doing.

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Apparently Alan thinks recycling is fun - I got the impression there was some sarcasm being expressed, but I ignored it as long as he keeps recycling.

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Julia has committed to improve her recycling performance, although to be fair it sounded like she was already pretty good at it. Always striving to improve seems to be a common trait in the finance team, must investigate that further sometime.

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Charlie makes sure that she buys recycled loo roll - after all we need to buy the products that are made with all the materials that people recycled (with no market for recycled products the economic argument for recycling goes out the window). That's one of the reasons we use 100% recycled plastic in our bottles (and it halved the carbon associated with the bottle).

Want to know more about what to do with waste? Look here or some ideas to reduce food waste. Got a bit of left over smoothie? You can make some nice cupcakes.

Hopefully some food for thought.. I am off to find a composter for my shiny new garden.


a little less

Climate change - no doubt about it, a fairly sizeable problem. It's pretty easy to feel overwhelmed by the science, the required reduction in emissions, and before you know it, you wonder if there is any chance of solving this gargantuan (yes, I had to spell check it) issue.

At innocent we've been working on our carbon footprint for a number of years - be it introducing our 100% recycled plastic bottle, lightweighting our packaging, or challenging our suppliers to improve their energy, water and waste performance year on year.

We feel pretty positive that we can successfully tackle climate change. Most of the actions we take not only reduce our carbon footprint, but also make commercial sense - if you use less you pay less - not exactly rocket science.

We want people to feel more positive about tackling climate change, but talking about air compressors, reductions in blend waste, and energy capture is not inspiring for everyone. So we decided to start collecting examples of what people do in their day to day lives. Whilst each example might not make that much difference with just one person, when loads of people do it, then we start to get somewhere.

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Super Eddie told us how he only turns on the lights in the office when we need them.

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Whereas Delia doesn't turn on the lights at all if she knows her way.

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Caroline makes sure if she does turn on the lights that they are powered by 100% renewable energy.

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So does Ben W (although he was concerned he was having a bad hair day).

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Simon is making sure he only buys new clothes when his existing ones are truly worn out (check out his elbow) - thankfully Rach is pretty handy with her darning skills, and she even makes her own clothes.

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Steve has ditched the car for coming to work, and now uses a train and bicycle combo.

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Kate gave up her car entirely - very impressive.

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Philippa does loads of stuff herself, but is really proud of her mum for putting in solar panels.

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Jeremy uses a lot less toilet paper... we didn't push him for details though.

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And Eva has even gone so far as to change her career to work in sustainability - including studying for her Masters.

We have loads more stories which we will be sharing - we hope that reading these have made you feel a bit more positive about things.

If you want some ideas for stuff you can do - check out http://www.wearewhatwedo.org/. Or if you want to share your actions with us, then please comment on this blog.

Here's to the future.