Thursday 12th April 2018
For nearly 50 years we have celebrated Earth Day around the world, with more than 50,000 partners in 196 countries. Its core mission is to diversify, education and activate the environmental movement. This year, Earth Day falls on Sunday 22 April, with a focus on ending plastic pollution. To find out more please head to their website.
This week at Paper Round HQ, we are reminiscing about our annual Sustainability Week that we held at the end of last year, looking back at all the engaging activities we did and what we can do next…
Paper Round Sustainability Week
I have worked at Paper Round for a few years now, and always enjoy our annual Sustainability Week. This year, as a member of the green team, I got to take part in the planning too!
Paper Round provide environmental services, always pushing to make ourselves and our clients greener. We therefore take our Green Team seriously, enthusiastically looking for ways to improve our working environment and become even more sustainable.
To plan Sustainability Week 2017, we paired off and each chose a focus. Each team had a themed day to organise. Wild ideas like under-desk bikes that could charge your phone were discussed, but eventually our week turned out like this…
The impact food has on the environment, is a hot topic at the moment. There are numerous documentaries detailing the effect meat has, as well as dairy and non-organic produce. In the UK Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstal shocked us all with a mountain of veg deemed too ugly to eat, and ended up being thrown away despite being perfectly edible. So, we started our week with a day focused on food.
Volunteers were given a budget to make their own sustainable meal. We had dairy free, veggie and wonky veg galore! From brownies that were dairy free and completely delicious, to gluten free lasagne and Apple Pie, we all enjoyed a tasty, moreish Monday, with sustainable food.
One green-fingered colleague recently managed to grow her own chillies from seeds handed out at Wahaca. This, coupled with the positive impact plants have on the environment, inspired our ‘seedy Tuesday’. So, on a rainy Tuesday we were all given pots, seeds and soil to get planting. As our first attempt at office gardening we stuck with herbs and spinach, but who knows next year maybe we could grow our own veg!
Paper Round offer a WEEE (waste electrical) recycling service. Electrical is one of the fastest growing waste streams in the UK, so we are proud to offer this service as it vitally needs our attention. On Wednesday we organised an inter-floor competition to see who could bring in the most WEEE for recycling. Unfortunately, my floor did not win, as one of the Directors (on the floor above) who lives nearby was clearing out her house, this somewhat tipped the scales! Next year the 4th floor will seek our revenge…
As a consolation prize, we were all invited to a film night, where we ordered pizza and settled in to watch Reggie Yates’ hard-hitting documentary, ‘Insider: Reggie Yates – A Week in a Toxic Waste Dump’. If you haven’t seen this then please go and watch it, it highlights the plight of workers on one of the biggest toxic waste dumps in the world and shows how important it is to recycle our WEEE responsibly.
The waste hierarchy promotes preventing waste and reusing items wherever possible. On Thursday we held a ‘stitch ‘n’ bitch’ sewing session at lunchtime. Everyone who attended was given a sewing kit to help mend any holes or just jazz up any old clothes to give them a new lease of life. We also introduced a ‘swap shop’ where books, clothes etc. can be traded. This stops unwanted items going to waste when they are still useful. This shelf is now a permanent feature in our office, with anything that remains unclaimed for a month being give to charity.
And so to the end of a really fun and sustainable week. On Friday we focused on using our legs more and using polluting forms of transport less. Throughout the week there was a very intense step-count competition. On Monday we split everyone into teams, and each team were given a Fitbit. Each member of the team had to wear the Fitbit for at least half a day, and extra points were given for photos of people using this as an opportunity to be more sustainable. People ran up and down the stairs instead of using the lift; they walked and ran to and from work; and by the end of the week we were fit and exhausted in equal measure. The only way to recover was with some sustainable, locally-sourced drinks!