We had a special visitor at Fruit Towers yesterday. Prince Andrew came in to see what we do, and he had a good old wander round the place, talking to people, learning the art of making a proper smoothie and politely declining to wear a large woolly hat. Here are some pictures from the visit:
Little hats, by royal appointment.
Lucy puts on her best "I'm 2 feet away from an actual prince" face.
"And this is a tree."
Jess puts the stare on HRH.
"...and then I dropped the crown and my mum grounded me for three weeks."
Would you like to do something about climate change, or sweatshops, or eating better food, but, well, you know... You're busy, things come up, your forget, you don't where to start...
Well, we found something that might help. The Nag. This is a great new initiative where if you sign up on line, you'll get a little email reminder (or nag) which will tell you one easy thing you can do to be greener, cleaner, and if you want - a little bit smug about how good you are. Nag subjects vary from energy, flying and food through to chemicals, clothes and money. You are given a choice about doing each month’s nag - be it turning down your thermostat, switching to green energy or getting an ethical bank account - or simply skipping it until the next month’s nag arrives. The Nag team track what people are doing, measure the calculable impacts and then display it on a nifty map so you can see the difference that we have all made.
The idea is that a few people doing small things are drops in the ocean. However, thousands of drops, can together make a big wave (of difference, that is)… we like it.
By Sustainability Jess
Here's something interesting our Sustainability Jess told us all about on Monday morning...
When your screen is white, be it an empty word page, or the Google page, your computer consumes 74 watts of energy, and when it's black it consumes only 59 watts. A guy Mark Ontkush wrote this article about the energy saving that would be achieved if Google had a black screen. Taking in account their huge number of page views, according to his calculations, 750 mega watts/hour per year would be saved.
In a response to this article Google created a black version of its search engine, called Blackle (or black google if you still love the google logo), with the exact same functions as the white version, but with lower energy consumption.
It's great that google are so open to ideas like this and went and implemented it off that back of Mark's idea. Why don't you go and change the bookmark in your browser for Google. I just have.
We like to buy fruit from farms that make that extra effort to look after their workers and the environment. So we've been buying Rainforest Alliance certified bananas for a while now, and are keen to get our pineapples certified as well. However, at the moment there are no farms certified to the standard to provide them to us. Our Jess went to visit pineapple growers in Costa Rica recently, to learn more about pineapple farming, and to understand what actions were needed to get the farms certified.
After a bit of research and chatting to the farmers, it seems that the three main areas the farms are working on are conserving biodiversity, protecting the soil from erosion and worker safety. So we'll be working closely with the farms and auditors from the Rainforest Alliance over the next few months on these three main areas, and will hopefully get that certification. Oh yes.
Yolanda and Francisco (Rainforest Alliance auditors), and our Jess
A word about the pineapples we'll be buying...they're called Mayan Gold and are really juicy and sweet. The plants and the pineapples are very prickly on the outside, so you have to wear special clothes when picking them, to protect your skin. The pineapples are prone to sunburn if they're on the outside of the plant, which means that they don't look so pretty but they still taste great.