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.


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.

 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!


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!!!)


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 :

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.


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