Thursday, 23 December 2010

Adessi 10:10 - A Very Green Christmas

It is difficult to forget about our green pledges and 10:10 activity at this time of year, the snow and ice outside makes it ever so tempting to turn the heating on full blast all day long, and the importance placed on presents and cards mean we buy (and often forget to recycle) tons of wrapping paper and cards.

However, Children's ITV have taken full advantage of the excitement of Santa visiting to teach children about green issues. The site 'Mission Green Santa' is a fun and interactive website which runs alongside a TV programme for 5-11 year olds. Kids are encouraged to make daily, monthly and yearly pledges to help stop Santa's runway from melting. The pledges range from 'Have a shower instead of a bath' to 'Have a big chat with your family about how you can save energy' and 'Ask your parents to help you grow your own veg'. By making pledges children can earn 'greenies' which they can spend in the virtual shop on green items to help the elves and Santa. I think this is a fantastic idea, as it makes being green and saving energy really fun for kids, and it will also result in a strong emotional reaction because every kid wants to make sure Santa can bring them their presents on Christmas day!

A way of being green for us adults this Christmas is recycling Christmas cards, it can be so tempting just to throw them all away with the huge amount of Christmas rubbish, but this year it is easier than ever! The Woodland Trust are looking for you to recycle your Christmas cards so they can plant more trees. Recycle your cards this January in special bins in TK Maxx, M&S and HomeSense stores and the stores will donate money to the Woodland Trust which we will use for planting trees.

Happy Christmas Everyone!

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Adessi 10:10 - Baby it's cold inside the office


The staff at the Newcastle Adessi office proved North East residents have a high tolerance towards the cold when we survived a day without any heating, despite the plummeting temperatures outside.

As we sat at our desks in several layers and even fingerless gloves there were similarities between our office and that of Scrooge and Bob Cratchit’s. However unlike Bob we weren’t the victims of a cruel boss trying to save money, we were showing our promise to be more environmentally friendly.

The measure was prompted after we felt we had been using the heating excessively and had neglected any targets we had set as part of the 10/10 initiative.
It wasn’t an easy task, there was some complaining and lots of cold fingers but we have hopefully reduced our carbon footprint, if only for one day.

Now we braved the cold we want businesses to follow our example and get involved in the 10/10 initiative. Perhaps they can incorporate it into their 2011 New Year’s resolutions.

So have a go, if you think you are hard enough.

Adessi 10:10 - Living in the Future

I saw this story in the Metro on my way to work this morning and thought I'd share it with all of you:

A couple are living one hour ahead of the rest of the nation to improve their health - and wallets. For the past four years, Janys and John Warren have set their clocks to British Summertime. The retired couple from Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, began the experiment to ease Mr Warren's cluster headaches - a condition thought to be triggered by a change in the clocks. Besides better health, we have 'lower fuel bills and far more usable daylight hours', said Mrs Warren, 66.

 - Metro, Tuesday, December 14th, 2010 (Page 11)

I'm assuming the story has come from 10:10 and the Lighter Later campaign, and it is great to highlight how people can benefit from not changing the clocks in ways that are not immediately obvious.

Laura

Monday, 6 December 2010

Adessi 10:10 - Support for Lighter Later

As firm supporters of the 10:10 initiative and their Lighter Later campaign we were delighted to hear last week that the Daylight Savings Bill had passed it's second reading.

The legislation could lead to a trial shift of the UK's clocks forward by an hour, which would result in us having an extra hour of daylight in the evenings all year round. The bill passed its second reading by 92 votes to 10 and will now proceed to the committee stage. Conservative MP Rebecca Harris made a rousing speech highlighting the amount of support the bill has from a wide variety of people, organisations and businesses: ""The fact that daylight saving has been championed by people all over the country and across the political spectrum suggests that it is not a party political issue. Honourable members will note the remarkable range of more than 300 organisations backing the bill as part of the Lighter Later coalition".

Lighter Later campaign manager Daniel Vockins said: "Britain may be blanketed in snow today, but the nation is one giant step closer to having more sunshine in our lives. This bill is proof that you can tackle climate change whilst making society better and happier."

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Adessi 10:10 - Tell Mexico not to make the same mistakes...

Yesterday, Monday 29th November, global climate talks started in Cancun, Mexico and Friends of the Earth are urging us to send a clear message to the leader of the talks not to repeat the mistakes made in Copenhagen.

The last round of talks in Copenhagen attracted over 100 world leaders to discuss global climate change, however, only 25 are expected to attened the talks over the next two weeks as it is being described as a 'stepping stone' to a global deal, and not a situation where heads of state must be present. This may not come as a surprise to anyone who remembers the disappointing end to the talks in Copenhagen, where many countries dismissed the agreed climate change deal. The talks in Cancun are expected to cover funds, approaches to preserve rainforests and formalise targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and are being led by Patricia Espinosa, Mexico’s Foreign Minister.

Friends of the Earth are encouraging us to contact Minister Espinosa to express our concerns that Cancun should be productive, fair and open, and have offered a draft message on their website for us to send to the Minister.

This is something Jude has been encouraging us all to do here at Adessi as it is very important that these global climate change talks are successful. It's hard to think about global warming while it's snowing outside across most of the UK, but (as Jude taught us this morning) the warmer climate will actually work to cool the UK down as the polar ice caps will melt into gulf stream, and the gulf stream from the Caribbean keeps our isle warm.

So, if you're thinking about climate change and what should be done to combat it then maybe start by sending a message to Patricia Espinosa, and hopefully the Cancun climate talks will be a success.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Adessi 10:10 - The Fruits of Our Labours

The humble carrot: Bugs Bunny went crazy for them (I knew I should have turned left at Albuquerque), legend has it they're amazing for your eyesight, and they go brilliantly with a touch of coriander.

We all tried growing our own vegetables as part of our 10:10 launch, and, if we're honest, it didn't go particularly well - after an encouraging start, the fly infestation of summer 2010 felt like a plague of biblical proportions and it was either us or the plants.

Not all was lost, though: some plants were transferred to a cardboard box outside and, against all odds, continued growing. They even survived the attentions of a wascally wabbit I spotted one evening in the car park.

The weather ain't getting any better, so Alex D decided to dig through the foot of snow covering the plants - and found this little guy:













Ok, it may look feeble, but this baby carrot (ok, 'orange root' would be more accurate) has survived some of the heaviest snowfalls I've ever seen. Finding him felt like that bit in Wall-E when they realise Earth may be habitable after all.

A humble carrot indeed.

Steve Maybury

Monday, 22 November 2010

Adessi 10:10 - Lighter Later Update

I went to see my local MP (Stuart Andrew) last week to discuss the Lighter Later campaign and ask him to vote for the Daylight Savings Bill.  However, he wont be in Parliament on the day that the bill is being heard so wont be able to vote on it, unfortunately. 

In my opinion it seemed that his views on the subject were a little misguided to me but he said he agreed in principle for a trial if it gets to the next stage of voting.  I left him some additional information from the handy lobbying kit from 10:10 which can be downloaded here. I’d urge everyone to read the lobby kit, it only takes 2 minutes and is really interesting.  

Who else is going to go and see their MP?  

Give it a try - it will only take you ten minutes and you could be part of something really important.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

That’s not my name

So the long wait is over and we finally have a regular visitor to our Newcastle office’s birdfeeder, in the form of a little blue tit who has already visited at least four times today, but we desperately need a name for him/her.

All name suggestions are welcome so please post them below.

Cheers,

Alex D

Actual photos of our visiting blue tit:



Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Adessi 10:10 - We have blue tits!


No, I'm not referring to the temperature in the Newcastle office as we continue to make sure the heating is on as little as possible...

In fact, we're finally getting visitors to our bird feeder, six months after I first attached it to our first floor window.

This isn't going to reduce our carbon footprint, I realise, but I was keen to help Adessi get back to nature slightly. Our office isn't just surrounded by a railway line, a cement works and a tyre pile - the area is also teeming with wildlife.

I've seen rabbits in our car park, and the snow last winter revealed fox tracks, while there is loads of birdlife - in the past few months I've seen blue tits, long-tailed tits, goldfinches, and this morning, a wren.

They're obviously growing desperate as the temperature drops and are now frequently visiting the feeder. It's a cute, feathery, close-to-home reminder of one of the many reasons we really ought to be doing our bit to help the planet.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Adessi 10:10 - Do you reuse your plastic bags?

Reusing plastic bags is one of the simplest ways to be 'greener' and now most supermarkets will make you ask for their normal disposable bags and encourage you to buy a 'bag for life'.

From http://www.packagingnews.co.uk
Now Sainsburys has gone one step further to illustrate how plastic bags can be reused with a marketing campaign led by a dress made completely out of recycled Sainsburys bags. The flamenco style dress designed by Adnan Bayyat is part of a campaign to encourage shoppers to reuse bags during the busy holiday season.

As well as the dress, Sainsburys have been offering free 'bags for life' and giving away double nectar points for those who reuse bags.Would these incentives encourage you to reuse bags if you don't already? Do you find it difficult to remember your bags like I do?

I think this is a great idea, and it's definitely encouraged people to talk about the use of plastic bags. Even though I'll admit I often forget to take recycled bags with me to the supermarket I completely agree that you should pay for them (like in WHSmiths) or have to ask for them (like in Asda), they should not just be there waiting to be used.

What do you think?

Laura

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Adessi 10:10 - A solution to our bottled water dilemma!


I know it has been mentioned a few times on this blog before about the consumption of bottled water at Adessi opposed to good old tap water.

There are many reasons for people justifying buying bottled water rather than turning the tap: It’s convenient, it tastes better, it’s cleaner…

There is now a product called the ‘bobble’ sold at Harvey Nichols that removes all these excuses - http://www.harveynichols.com/food-wine/categories/homeware-store/lifestyle/s338232-water-bottle-red.html

Now I know it’s only a water bottle BUT it’s pretty and most importantly can help reduce your carbon footprint . The bobble is made from recycled plastic and has a specially designed filter to remove impurities and contaminants from tap water as you drink giving you that bottled water taste.

So no more excuses! 

Monday, 1 November 2010

Adessi 10:10 - Our September Readings

Well done Adessi Leeds and Newcastle! Excellent news that we are well on target in all areas! 

Leeds’ Gas readings for July and August were just estimations but the September reading is an actual reading and it shows that we’ve beaten the monthly target.

Our Average monthly targets are as follows:

Electricity (Total): 2441 KwH
Electricity (Newcastle): 1821 KwH
Electricity (Leeds): 0619 KwH
Gas (Leeds): 1172 KwH

And the figures from September are:
Electricity (Total): 
September 2010: 2286 KwH

Electricity (Newcastle)          

September 2010: 1716 KwH
         
Electricity (Leeds)                 
September 2010: 0570 KwH 
        
Gas (Leeds)                             
September 2010: 0880 KwH         

Well done Adessi!

Monday, 25 October 2010

Adessi 10:10 - A Celebration of Apples


Faced with a glut of apples on the allotment my mates and I decided to make some apple juice...  

We borrowed a press, collected a load of apples, blasted them in the food processor and then pressed them to make the most amazing tasting apple juice I have ever tasted, move over Mr Del Monte!

Anyway... as it won't last long in it's raw untreated form we thought we should preserve it.  

Unfortunately, the only easy way to do this is to make it into alcoholic cider, it's a shame I know but it's the only option we had.  So, we whacked it in a couple of demijohns and now have 2 gallons of cider on the go. Apparently it only takes a few days to brew and then you need to leave it for a few weeks before you drink it. How alcoholic will it be is anyone's guess but I'll  let you know in a few weeks!



Jude aka "old scrumpy"

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

The PR Team’s got orange fingers!

The Newcastle PR team are extremely proud to be able to shout about the progress of their carrots. Back in July, when we were first set the vegetable growing challenge during the Adessi Green Day, we were all novice veggie growers and we’d be the first to admit we didn’t have high hopes to begin with. However, after an unsure start and an unbelievable fly infestation, which left us all a little uncomfortable to say the least, we transferred the little seedlings outside and three months on they are still going strong!


It won’t be long now until our very first harvest and we can’t wait to taste our crops which we’ve grown from seeds using no energy and absolutely no nasty chemicals – we don’t even need to travel to the shops to get them – now that’s got to be better than anything you can buy at the supermarket!

Any suggestions for delicious carrot recipes are extremely welcome!

Friday, 15 October 2010

Blog Action Day - What's Your Water Footprint?

One thing I've discussed multiple times on this blog, and is important to all of my colleagues at Adessi, is the issue of water. Whether it be bottled water or saving energy through boiling more water at once, we are definitely thinking about how we deal with our need for water and our need to cut our carbon footprint by 10%.

But did anyone tell us about a product's 'Water Footprint'? No.

Maybe I'm just naive, but surely I can't be the only person who didn't know that it takes 39,090 gallons of water to make a car? Just one car. Plus, to make each tyre alone uses 518 gallons of water. Even my own 'pet peeve' of bottled water is a prolific water footrpint criminal, using 1.85 gallons of water to manufacture the plastic for the bottle.

This water footprint doesn't just apply to products like these, it also applies to every day foods such as bread (one slice is 40 litres), milk (one glass is 200 litres) and the worst offender, the hamburger used 2400 litres of water!

Even ignoring Adessi's 10:10 campaign, there are so many people in the world without access to clean and safe water, but we are using gallons upon gallons for technology, fashion and food. There are so many charities out there doing an amazing job of raising awareness of the need for clean water especially in the Third World, but we also need to be told the facts about how much water we are using every day, minute, and even second, to fund our lifestyles. Could there be other ways of making products so we use less water? I'm no scientist, but I hope we see advances in technology in the near future so that less of our water supply is used in this way.

Laura

Adessi 10:10:10 - An Update From Debs

As I sit in the office wearing my body warmer and scarf, dying to turn on the lights because its so bloody dark as we all wait for that Indian Summer to kick in, I contemplate  a distant time before 10:10, with a naïve affection!

Ah yes, those giddy, guilt free days of throwing all the rubbish in the bin, willy nilly; turning the fire on when you were cold; driving to the shops just up the road, for some milk and something nice for tea, obviously, the something would be beautifully packaged and flown in from some exotic far reaching corner of the world. Yes, I could even look back on the daily home chores with a sense of contentment. Ah yes, my dishwasher, my washing machine, the tumble dryer they all were my friends. Pledge was just a quality brand of furniture polish to make people think I had dusted and cleaned the house! But that’s all gone now! My life has changed so much! After all, I am on a mission to save the planet.

So my first 10:10 blog post so how am I doing? Let’s start with my Pledges. My initial pledges were to “make packed lunches rather than buy them”, and “to ride to work on my bike, most of the time”.  - Bugger! Ok, not going so well, thus far! Although I have used the car less and I am making more packed lunches than I used to. (Does that count as a success? Am I making that all important difference to the planet)

At work, it’s easy to make a difference… sit in the cold, wear 3 jumpers and a body warmer, with the lights switched off. There’s always Aston’s solar light if it gets too dark!!! Anyway, to keep warm you could always play catch the little black fly. Those lovable little bugs, I guess they are just enjoying being part of our planet too, waiting for the Adessi harvest to ripen! Then there’s the communal coffee break, where you patiently wait your turn to say in the loudest whisper, “anyone want a tea or a coffee”? To your horror everyone says yes, so you have to spend an absolute age, taking cups to be washed, dried and filled with that refreshing brew, which of course you deliver to all with a smile on your face. -  See that wasn’t as hard was it? Oh, I mustn’t forget, I did pledge to always “print friendly” and “only when I need to” – Success! It’s working. (I did hide a 6 page document in my top drawer which came out of the printer by accident, but don’t worry no one will find it – I shred it!)

Most of you know that at 3 o’clock I have to leave the confines of Adessi and pick up Molly (our 6 yr old daughter) from school. At ten minutes passed 3 o’clock I am usually flying out of work, late again. I ridiculously rev the engine thinking it will get me there faster! Well it would if the 20 other cars in front would get a move on!!  I arrive at school to pick up Molly, whose first words are, “are we on the bikes Mum?” I reply, “not today, but we will tomorrow”, and at that point I really mean it. I am determined to reduce our family’s carbon footprint. But here’s where it all gets hard. Molly somehow seems to have eaten her packed lunch, from off her pinafore dress and has glued it together with some sticky stuff, for luck. As I pack the washing machine I know Molly’s clothes will never, ever, ever get clean on that 30º cycle, so I hang my head in shame and put it on a higher setting. Then guess what, I need to get her to ballet (just up the street)… and now I’m running late again, “Molly get in the car quickly!” I sit for 45 minutes feeling guilty about using the car and knowing that when I get back I need to dry her clothes for tomorrow – the tumble dryer is smiling! It knows I haven’t got a clothes line and even if I had I’m still waiting for that Indian Summer. The weather man said it will be here when the rain stops! The tumble dryer it is then! - Ok I do feel guilty! Not doing so well here!

After tea Mark bathes Molly and I pop to the shops for our groceries. I would do it on-line but we have no milk, bread or indeed anything for the breakfast or packed lunch for tomorrow. So off I go, remembering my everlasting bags! (See I’m not such a complete failure at helping to save this planet!) Now where once I trudged the aisles, scanning products for calories, fat content and salt levels, I now look for, where does it come from, how was it made and can you re-cycle the packaging? I return home happy in the knowledge my choices have as low an impact on the environment as they can. Indeed even my Heinz Beans Fridge pack makes me feel happy.

I put away the shopping, check on Molly, and turn her light off (she’s scared of the dark so we have to leave her light on until she’s asleep.... I know!) and then sit down. It’s a bit cold but do you know what? I couldn’t possibly suggest putting the heating on – it’s only October after all. Add another layer or better still I’ll just go to bed! At this point I remind Mark to turn everything off… except the Sky box of course, which looses signal and seemingly the ability to work for two days if you switch it off at the plug.
Anyway,

 I’ll be better tomorrow. I have to be the planet is counting on me!

So how am I doing? At work I have made a big effort to lessen my impact and cut Adessi’s carbon footprint, as I think we all have. At home I have made some major changes to my purchasing choices and we all have increased our re-cycling efforts. No more rubbish thrown, willy nilly in the green bin. That’s almost empty at the end of the week. It’s the blue recycling bin which is overflowing. Pan lids on, Lights off, Heating off, Plugs off when not on!  I’m even looking to try to insulate the orangery, people in glass houses and the like..!

Like most of us I lead a very busy and hectic life. I am trying to make a difference but you know I’m not perfect, and some days I don’t seem to be helping the planet at all, but every single day I am aware of how my actions, good and bad are contributing to changes within our environment. I know where I need to make improvements and I will. I know I don’t get on my bike as much as I should, but driving my Mazda RX8 can’t help the environment much. I may not be ready to give up my car completely but I am seriously thinking about trading it in for a small environmentally friendly beastie and that’s a big change for me. Watch this space

So in summary, some successful efforts and some disastrous efforts, I think. One thing I can say very clearly is that I am completely committed to the 10:10 initiative and I will continue to make the necessary changes to make a difference to our planet. Although life with a six year old is hectic, it’s for her that I need to make sure that I do the right thing. After all, it’s not our planet, we just borrow it for a short time it. Let’s give it back to our children in a better condition than we got it and teach them to respect it so they can do the same for their children. Keep up the good work everyone and if you feel the guilt, do not wilt just try harder tomorrow! (Sorry that was really cheesy!)


Ps If there are any examples of spelling mistakes or bad grammar, know that I left them there on purpose. It would take to long to edit it so I decided to save on the electricity and leave them in!!

Adessi 10:10:10 - An Update From Mark

I started with great enthusiasm and cycled to work each week at least once for the first 4 weeks. In the last couple of weeks a mixture of a cold, horrible weather and inhospitable clients who require me to visit them, have hampered my efforts but I still keep the faith, that I will be able to do this more frequently.

Throughout September, the top floor of the Newcastle office operated daily with no use of any lighting, with the exception of one client meeting. Everyone on the top floor supported the effort, and in real terms this meant we saved on average 9 full spot lights being on 9 hours a day for 20 days on average. This equates to a total light saving of over 1,000 hours of a very environmentally unfriendly light being switched off. Aston even bought a rubbish solar powered desk lamp from Ikea, which has made us all laugh.

At home I am definitely making much greater efforts to recycle, and have noticed just how much packaging we seem to get on our weekly shop, and even started at looking at buying products which are less wasteful in terms of unnecessary packaging.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Adessi 10:10:10 - An Update from Laura

When I joined Adessi this August they were already in full swing with the 10:10 campaign, and I had never heard of it! I was given the responsibility of looking after this blog, and with that came the responsibility of learning about 10:10 and environmental issues concerning carbon emissions, and I'm definitely still learning!

When I was deciding on my pledges I had some difficulties, mainly because I don't drive, so my pledges had to be a bit more imaginative! My first pledge was to recycle my paper every day, which I have been doing in the office, and my second pledge was to stop buying bottled water, and I haven't bought any water for a couple of months now! However, I am having difficulties cutting down on my diet coke consumption and use a lot of bottles through that! I have been trying to drink cans instead, to cut down on how much plastic I'm using.

Further to these I've been trying to make sure I wear warm clothes to work so I don't need to ask for the heating to be on all the time, and I also bring a packed lunch in every day in a reusable plastic box.

Overall I think I'm doing pretty well, but I have to say I'm really proud of this blog, I've tried really hard to find interesting news to talk about and to get everybody at Adessi involved (which isn't the easiest thing to do when you're the new girl!). This, our week of 10:10:10, has shown just how hard people are trying, and there's still a few more updates to come!

Laura

Adessi 10:10:10 - An Update from Alex D

Alongside my original 10:10 pledges to recycle more and to lower the amount of energy I use I have also been encouraging all my colleagues at Adessi and my family to recycle their crisp, chewing gum and chocolate bar wrappers. We’re a few weeks in now and we’re doing pretty well.

Instead of just throwing our wrappers away as they are not widely recyclable we are collecting them so we can send them on to the Philippine Community Fund.

On arrival at the charity the packets are shipped to the Philippines (on a boat that’s already going) and they are woven into purses and handbags.

The best part of this scheme means that the women who work in the factories can send their children to school – previously they would have to scavenge off landfill sites.

So not only are we reducing the amount of waste being sent to landfill sites but we are also helping families in the Philippines so their children can attend school and boost their education.  

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Adessi 10:10:10 - An Update From Peter

It goes without saying that I am the most stylish male in Adessi and I am making a bit of a effort with my ‘clobba’ purchases at the minute. The companies I would buy from are very ‘green’ often using up dead stock fabrics that would otherwise be wasted, and more importantly almost everything they produce is made in England which is something I feel very passionate about.

Other ‘green’ things I have do in my life away from Adessi include: I have bought a snazy new bag for when I am out shopping (I am the shopper and cook in our family), I only put the dish washer on on a night time, fill the kettle with the appropriate amount of water, re-cycle papers, bottles etc, try as much as I can to buy food from local fruit and veg/ butchers etc – I even spent last week making apple based food thanks to the bag of apples I received from the little lad next door, never ever buy pre-packed food, use public transport and walk into work at least twice a week.

The ‘green’ things I have done at work include: Printing on both sides of paper, doing scamps and illustrations on paper that has already been used and bring in a packed lunch as often as possible (though that has more to do with my wife being a tight Jock!!!)

Peter

Adessi 10:10:10 - An Update From Steve

Happy Meat-Free Mondays!
 
I've always been a big meat eater - pretty much every significant meal I've ever had has contained some sort of meat. If anyone had tried to get me off meat, I'd have thought they were twisting my melon, man.
 
What I didn't realise was the environmental impact that meat consumption has - there are loads of stats out there and not enough room here, but the meat industry is a major polluter at pretty much every level, from methane-y cows and big trucks to transport them, to energy-hungry abbatoirs, processing plants and refridgeration.
 
To be blunt, there is little chance of me giving up meat, until the day that a doctor advises me it's essential. However, I do want to do my bit and this is why i was so intrigued by an idea that Paul McCartney's been pushing: Meat-Free Mondays. You can read more about it here:
 
 
What impressed me most about McCartney's approach to Meat-Free Mondays was the understanding approach that I wasn't expecting from a lifelong veggie - he isn't preachy or condescending, and appreciates that some, like me, will find it hard to quit their meat habit.
 
However, one day a week without meat is something even I can do. I must admit it doesn't always fall on a Monday, mainly as a result of chronic absent-mindedness, but my overall meat consumption has definitely decreased.
 
I've actually been finding it ok so far - cheese has been my saviour, without which I'd still be slightly stuck for ideas. I may start to look at meat substitutes, too. I'll never call myself a vegetarian, but if anyone has any good veggie recipe ideas for a self-confessed meat addict, I'd love to hear them. Just hold the mushrooms, thanks!
 

Adessi 10:10:10 - An Update From Sally


One of my pledges was that I would go meat free one day a week. I chose this pledge after reading the below:

- Producing a pound of beef creates the same amount of greenhouse gas as driving for 77 miles
- A cow produces 220lb of methane annually-the equivalent in greenhouse gases of driving 7,800 miles
- By 2050, world consumption of meat will be 456 million tons-double that of 2001

I also watched this video : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rt0Tn93xek

I have stuck to my pledge and enjoyed tucking in to some meat free dishes. It has been surprisingly easy and has introduced me to some great new recipes such as 3 bean stew, broccoli and pasta bake, veggie sausage bake, Quorn tikka masala, veggie burgers and salad, Quorn sausage and lentils…..

To find more delicious recipes visit:

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Adessi 10:10:10 - An Update From Hayley

On Sunday, 10:10:10, I decided to do three little things to be a bit more green – one for each of the 10s.
First up was not driving my car. I walked a whole mile to and from my friend’s house, which I actually quite enjoyed as the sun was shining and I had my favourite pop megamix blasting in my ears.

Secondly, I managed to persuade my family to have a Sunday dinner without the usual oversized joint of roast beef. It was a bit weird, more like a vegetable stew stuffed Yorkshire pudding, but I did feel quite good about myself for eating less meat.

Finally, I did a massive clearout of my wardrobe and stuffed two charity bags full of clothes, shoes and handbags. I didn’t wear half of the stuff that was in there, which was all practically new and instead of throwing it all away, I felt so much better knowing that they would go to a nice new home.

Adessi 10:10:10 - An Update From Jude

So I’ve been riding my bike to work religiously since I pledged to a few months back and I've only brought my car in to work three times.

I’ve seen rain, well, I’ve done it in just about every weather imaginable! I’ve found three different routes, one very busy with some uphill, downhill and flat bits, one with some off-road tracks and no cars and one that’s all downhill in the morning and all uphill in the evening.  I’ve settled on the last one because it’s quieter than the others so there is less chance of me getting hit by a car! I’ve had road rage, been almost knocked off by a white van and annoyed a few bus drivers and I’ve learned that people often don’t see you if you are on a bike so you have to be very careful!

Overall, I am actually enjoying it.  I feel much fitter, healthier, have more money in my pocket and feel good about not driving everywhere.  I wish I’d started years ago!  Things may get a bit more interesting once the winter weather sets in though...

I also pledged to stop buying fruit and vegetables from far flung places.

This one has actually been more difficult than I thought it would, the reason being apples!!!!  I love Braeburns and have not managed to find something quite as nice that comes from the UK (Braeburns come from New Zealand).  I am pleased to say that my family’s first year with an allotment has been a great success, we grew enough Garlic for at least 6 months, a couple of month’s worth of Potatoes, haven’t bought Tomatoes since late June, no Lettuce since May and had tons of beans, courgettes and strawberries.  We’ve decreased our weekly food bill by quite a chunk and enjoyed it too.  All the stuff we have grown tastes much nicer than the stuff from the supermarket and has a bit more character!  We are just about to start harvesting the Brassicas and are looking forward the trying the Cauliflowers, Broccoli and Red Cabbage. 

Now I just need to find some more interesting varieties of Apples from England… any suggestions?

Adessi 10:10:10 - An Update From Stevie

I’ve done quite a bit towards saving the earth since we stated 10:10, in fact, I’d go as far to say that I think I have the smallest carbon footprint in the whole company ! (now that’s fighting talk).

At work I’ve:

Joined a laser toner recycle scheme
Put signs up about switching the laser printer off on a night
Drastically cut down on the emails I print
Printing double sided and on used paper
Recycling all waste paper
Switch lights off when not needed
Only getting one sarnie from the shop per week.

At home I’ve:

Switched off at the wall, all appliances that I’m not using eg. Dishwasher, Washing Machine. Microwave, Toaster, Shaver charger, phone charger, Mac
Only wash up once or twice a week.
Getting a water meter fitted which will force me to save water
Only use lights when necessary
I recycle all waste plastic/glass bottles and paper/cardboard
I’ve changed gas and electricity supplier for more control over my energy online and installed the electricity monitor they gave me
So far I haven’t had the heating on and I’m going to cut down gas usage by wearing warm cloths on those chilly nights
Got my mam recycling and doing the same with her energy usage
I don’t have a car and use public transport getting too and from work

Monday, 11 October 2010

Adessi 10:10:10 - An Update From Vicky

I always walk home from work (weather permitting!) but until recently I had always got the bus on the way in. However now the students are back, the bus is impossibly busy (see photo for the Indian bus equivalent!) so I walk both ways. This is better for the environment as well as keeping me healthy!

On a more creative level I’ve found that the glass jars that tomato passata comes in make really nice simple vases and look particularly good with one flower stem in. 

Adessi 10:10:10 - An Update From Beth

A few months ago I pledged that I would walk into the local village for my lunch instead of getting in the car. Admittedly I haven’t been very good at this and can count on one hand how many times it has happened but I have managed to lower my footprint by bringing in my lunch more often to reduce the need to drive somewhere at all for it! On the occasions I have managed to stroll to Farsley I’ve felt refreshed and much more alert in the afternoons and at least this is a starting point!

My other pledge has been more successful as I’ve managed to reuse bags nearly every time I’ve been to the supermarket – I love my bags for life!

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Adessi 10:10:10 - Top Tips

1. Print Less
At Adessi we have been making a huge effort to reduce our printing - this should always be your first action as an office. In addition, try to print double sided and on scrap paper. As a business it is difficult to cut printing completely, but these few changes can really reduce the paper you use and the energy used by the printer.

2. Cut Down Mileage
Driving less is a key part of trying to cut your carbon footprint. At Adessi we've been trying different ways of getting to work, some like Jude and Mark have cycled, others like Laura have used public transport, but everybody has tried to cut down how much they are driving. We've also been cutting the number of trips between Newcastle and Leeds and trying to use the train more when possible.

3. Recycle, Recycle, Recycle
We've been recycling as many different things as we can and we collect all our paper as well as ink cartridges and crisp packets! Although you should always aim to reduce, reuse and then recycle, as a business it is difficult to reduce everyone's consumption, so by providing a way to recycle many everyday items and materials it makes it easier for everyone, and makes them more likely to recycle!

4. Turning Everything Off
Both Adessi offices are being very careful about making sure their plugs are turned off, as well as all electrical equipment, lights and the heating. Before we leave the offices all plugs are turned off to save as much electricity as possible, and even when we're out at meetings, we make sure to shut down our computer, or at least switch off the monitor.

5. Going Hot And Cold
The Adessi Leeds office's heating is Gas, so we've been trying to cut down how much the heating is on. I think we all know this summer has been pretty chilly so it has been coming on quite early this year but we've all made an extra effort to wear more layers instead of having the heating on all day. Plus, we've also been trying to find out the best way to add insulation to a building.

6. Change The Way You Eat
Many people at Adessi made personal pledges to bring a packed lunch into work instead of buying lunch every day. Not only does this benefit us by saving money, it also benefits our 10:10 campaign because a lot of Adessi staff drove to get their lunch (naughty!) and therefore it cuts our mileage too. Others have tried to cut down on the amount of meat they eat to help the environment or bought their produce locally instead of from the supermarket and far flung places!

7. Water Saving
I think one thing about Adessi that is obvious to anyone is that we all like a cuppa, so in both offices we've been making a tea or coffee for as many people at once to make sure the kettle isn't being boiled multiple unnecessary times. We've also been careful with our water bottles, with many of us reusing our bottles as much as possible, and others just drinking tap water from glasses!

8. Have Fun
Whether it be through planting seeds, baking cakes or cycling, you can have a lot of fun while saving energy. Some people think it's really difficult to save energy and reduce a carbon footprint, but by making it enjoyable it becomes a lot more desireable for everyone to join and do their bit.

9. Make It Personal
We've all encouraged all staff to make pledges for reducing energy at the office and at home, and by getting people to think about their carbon footprint personally it's encouraged a lot of us to recycle more and be more careful with electricity and heating!

10. Encourage Everyone!!!
What is the point in joining a national campaign if you don't talk about it? That's why we started this blog, to let everyone know how we're doing, what we're doing and how we want to improve!

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Adessi 10:10 - Decorating the Office

I've been decorating this afternoon, using some supplies from Adessi Newcastle I've jazzed up our 'Adessi Tree' with some Elephants.

Did you know that our carbon footprint at Adessi per year is the equivalent weight of 8 fully grown Asian Elephants?


I also wanted to remind the office of our Adessi pledges...


I think it's a good idea to remind everyone in your business of how well you're doing, if you're taking part in the 10:10 initiative. Being 'Green' can be perceived as hard work, but 10:10 really shows how energy can be saved easily with a few simple changes in lifestyle and business.

Laura

Friday, 1 October 2010

10:10 mini-movie - No Pressure

Sometimes shock tactics are the quickest, most effective way of getting your point across - and this short film from the 10:10 is certainly shocking. Entertaining, and well worth a look. Do you dare not join the 10:10 initiative now?

EDIT: The video has since been pulled by 10:10. You can still see the video via the guardian website here and you can read about why the video has been pulled here

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Adessi 10:10 - The green way to wash your smalls

I have to admit that I am probably not the most perfect domestic goddess at Adessi but we all have to do the every day chores.

Doing the laundry is one of my least favourite but at least there are ways to be green while doing it!

By changing the little things we can make a big difference, for example did you know that by using full loads in washing machines can save up to 8.3 litres of water per household per day?

Other ways to be green when doing your washing are:

- Wash clothes at the lowest recommended temperature. By setting the temperature at 30°C instead of 60°C, you can save more than 60% of energy
- Using a concentrated fabric conditioner helps cut packaging by 60%
- Wash on a short cycle using less water and energy
- Use the correct doses for your washing load this will save unnecessary chemicals going into the environment

There are some great hints and tips on Cleaner Planet Plan

Monday, 27 September 2010

Adessi 10:10 - Food Labels, What do they Mean?

A little while ago I posted my thoughts on 'Radical Tranpsarency' when it comes to the ecological impact of how a product is made. The article quoted a survey that indicated that only 10% of people would go out of their way to find out the eco-impact of a product, while two thirds of shoppers feel that they would take the eco-impact into account when making a decision if the information was readily available.

You can read that blog post (if you missed it the first time round) here.

Today, I've read this article on the guardian website, which further supports that there should be clearer labelling on products indicating eco-impact, as well as it's sustainability and ethical credentials. A survey by Which? found that seven out of 10 consumers would pay more attention to the environmental impact of the food they buy if labels were clearer.

The awareness of the nine main schemes used was shown to be low, even though the internationally recognised Fairtrade label was recognised, but many didn't understand what it meant. Only 3% of those asked were aware of LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming), which supports sustainable farming, and only 6% recognised the Marine Stewardship Council label, which supports sustainably sourced fish and seafood.

I think it's great that Which? want to work with the government to provide honesty in food labelling. It has already been shown that two thirds of people would be affected by labels indicating the eco-impact of food, therefore, I think food needs to be labelled with all the environmental information available.

I'm in the same boat as most of the people surveyed, but if I knew more about these labels and understood what they meant I think they would affect my shopping habits.

What do you think? Do you wish food labels were clearer so you could buy more environmentally friendly products? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Laura

Friday, 24 September 2010

Adessi 10:10 - Bubbles From the Tap

At Adessi, I don't think I'm the only one to consider how much bottled water I drink since we joined the 10:10 initiative. In 2009  the sales of bottled water in the UK grew by 1.4% despite the recession and people being more environmentally aware.

This week, Paris has unveiled a brand new water fountain, which serves both still and sparkling water! With even sparkling water being available from a tap, does this signal the end of bottled water? The fountain provides still water, chilled tap water and sparkling tap water, which is made by injecting carbon dioxide into the tap water before it is chilled.


I've been really good and haven't bought any water bottles in weeks, and have been reusing them every day at work...until today! I've left my water bottle at home, and even though I was tempted, I didn't buy another one on my way to work.


Do you think water fountains like these should be rolled out in England? I think they should be in city centres, parks, schools and workplaces - as anything that encourages people to drink tap water instead of bottled should be a priority for our new 'greener' government. In my opinion, if the water fountains did not include sparkling water they would still be beneficial, and would hopefully encourage people to refill and reuse rather than buy new.

You can read about the new water fountains here and here.


What are your thoughts?


Laura

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Adessi 10:10 - Watching Our Wasteline

Did anyone see the ‘Great British Waste Menu’ on BBC1 a few weeks ago? It was highlighting the amount of perfectly edible food that’s discarded and wasted because it doesn’t conform to certain preconceived standards we have. 

The average family wastes around £700 worth of food a year, and restaurants, supermarkets and farms are even bigger culprits. It seems that if a tomato isn’t a perfect round snooker ball shape and a courgette isn’t between 17 - 21cm long, it isn’t worth eating! Have the supermarkets even asked us if we mind a not so aesthetically pleasing knobbly carrot or oversized courgette? Instead, they seem to make the decision to bin vast quantities of produce that doesn’t quite make the grade.

The programme followed top chefs sourcing ingredients which were to be thrown away and cooked up a 3 course banquet for 60 VIPs. The least attractive course was pig’s head ravioli, but all courses were well received by guests and critics and demonstrated a very good point that excellent-tasting food can come from less than perfect produce.

Here is the link to the programme page if you want to read more http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00tkr88
 

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Adessi 10:10 - Compost Bugs

Jude sent me a link to a video on the BBC yesterday about a company using genetically modified compost bugs to create ethanol from waste such as municipal waste and corn/maize. The bugs called TM242 have been modified so that they can break down cellulose into simpler sugars, which can then be fermented to produce bioethanol.

Watch that video here.

While doing some research into what they're doing now, I saw that TMO Renewables have signed a contract with a US firm, who say that their efficiency will rise by 35% with the introduction of the bugs.

To me this sounds fantastic, using general household waste to create ethanol, which can then be used to power cars and trucks. However, this guardian article raises a very good point - why are we losing companies like this to the US? I've previously posted about our so called "Green Government" and the green-promises they are making, surely this is the kind of opportunity they should be supporting? It's all well and good to support electric cars, but this is a solution that can work right now, to cut down our fuel use and help us recycle household waste in an efficient and useful way.

What are your thoughts on renewable energy such as biofuels? I'd love to hear your opinions!

Laura

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Adessi 10:10 - Be Shower Smart

So, with all this energy saving at the Adessi offices going on, I figured it was time to encourage the Adessi staff to be greener at home too! One of these great gadgets was delivered to my house for my old housemate, I thought it was such a clever idea I signed up too!
Image from the Eaga website

The Eaga Shower Smart is a small gadget that claims to help you to stop wasting unnecessary water, to do this it creates a constant flow of water at 7.7 litres per minute resulting in a full jet of water with less fluctuation.For a two person household, the manufacturers claim that you will save more than 12,000 litres of water per year, which will mean a saving of roughly £30 each year on gas bills and a saving of £30 on your water bill per year (if it is metered.)


To find out more information and apply for a free showersmart go to the Eaga website and to read a review of the showersmart see the ciao website.


Beth

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Adessi 10:10 - Green Tea

It can sometimes take a couple of cuppas to get moving in the morning - which means the kettle is working overtime as people make their own brews. 


However, did you know that on average it takes the same amount of energy to boil one litre of water as it does to run a fridge for seven hours? With six caffeine addicts on the first floor of Adessi Newcastle, that's potentially adding up to some serious wattage.
 
So we are taking our green crusade one cuppa at a time, and coordinating our collective caffeine cravings. This reduces the amount of energy used by the kettle by boiling a lot of water once, rather than a little bit six times. And, if you happen to be making a round in the Adessi kitchen, please remember that a blue light is not green light and leave the kettle off the stand when you aren’t using it.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Adessi 10:10 - Our Progress So Far...


We’ve recently received estimations for the electricity and gas use for both the Adessi Leeds and the Adessi Newcastle offices for July and August and we’re excited to say its good news!

From September onwards we will be receiving actual readings instead of averages, which will definitely help us to understand how we’re comparing to last year, but so far, we seem to be doing well.

Our Average monthly targets are as follows:

Electricity (Newcastle): 1821 KwH
Electricity (Leeds): 0619 KwH
Gas (Leeds): 1172 KwH

And the figures from July and August are (drum roll please):

Electricity (Newcastle)          
July 2010: 1822 KwH         
August 2010: Not available
Electricity (Leeds)                 
July 2010: 0665 KwH         
August 2010: 0655 KwH
Gas (Leeds)                            
July 2010: 0397 KwH         
August 2010: 0397 KwH

Hopefully we’ll have the electricity figures for Newcastle soon but we are very close to achieving our electricity target to ensure we achieve our 10% reduction, judging by July’s reading. However, these are summer months and our concern is that these readings should be even lower than the average target, with the winter months being higher. Meaning we need to keep pushing to cut electricity consumption even further.

In Leeds the gas results are excellent and we are well on our way to achieving our 10% target, but again, the heating hasn’t been on much throughout the summer. The average readings for electricity unfortunately may hide what is happening in Leeds, and we’re hoping that with actual readings being available for September we should see a bigger reduction.

Overall, we’re really happy, and feel that Adessi’s 10:10 campaign has started off really well and further to our gas and electricity use, our overall mileage as a company is down, which is great news.

Keep following this blog for our progress over the coming months!