Green Week 2016: Low Impact Wednesday

Green Week 2016: Low Impact Wednesday

Everything we eat has an knock-on impact – from how far it has traveled to your plate to how it was grown and packaged. However, we can choose to avoid or minimise our consumption of the foods which have a detrimental environmental impact, making a huge difference to our carbon footprint.

Today’s Green Week theme was Low Impact Wednesday, with the following activities across the offices taking place to help reduce our impact on the planet:

‘Grub’: Edible Insects Talk

Eirini Christofidou of our Bristol office presented us with her edible insects talk, discussing the option of eating insects as a food source in the UK.

Despite some initially disgusted faces in the audience, the idea seems like it could be a growing possibility. Many South American, Asian and African countries are already consuming over 1,000 species and a number of new products are coming to market for insect farming at home and in larger quantities in outdoor urban areas. With the insect industry expected to grow to £230m by 2020, the EU is already investing in promoting and farming insects as an alternative food source.

grub talk

Feedback from the audience suggested that the main catalyst for insect eating catching on in the UK is a psychological change, perhaps marketing them in a more attractive way that suits our current tastes and purchasing habits, for example, a branding change to create a new name and more attractive packaging.

One fact that did surprise us was that we typically already eat around 500g of insects per year, unknowingly, through the processed foods that we purchase.

Pot Luck Lunch

In Manchester, we followed Bath’s lead of embracing the benefits of communal eating with a Pot Luck Lunch. Everybody was asked to bring in a homemade dish, which was then shared with colleagues. Not only does it help bring people together, but its more convenient and usually healthier (apart from that bowl of mac ‘n’ cheese), than the standard meal deal from the local supermarket.

pot lunch luck

Benches, Bat Boxes and an Insect Hotel

Not only did Manchester share lunch, they were also busy with the hammer and nails, building two bat boxes in the car park to give nature a helping hand. Similar activities were happening in Cardiff, who used unwanted samples and recycled materials to create an insect hotel, with the aim of increasing the biodiversity around the office.

Completed bat boxes!
Manchester’s completed bat boxes!
cardiff bench and insect hotel
Cardiff’s bench and insect hotel

The Cardiff the team also used the DIY session to improve their own environment, building a bench from reclaimed wood and leaving plants on all desks to improve the air quality!

Tomorrow’s ‘Better Travel Thursday’ is all about reducing our carbon footprint through sustainable travel, with more talks and activities planned (including the England v Wales Euro game!).