Category Archives: Environment

Oroeco App: How Big Are Your Carbon Feet?

Posted in Environment on by .

oroeco

The term “carbon footprint” has been a major buzz word in recent years, with growing pressure on both organisations and individuals to reduce their environmental impact. The question raised, however, is how exactly does one measure their carbon footprint?

There are numerous apps already on the market which provide advice and tips aimed at reducing your carbon footprint based on your activities. However, these have received a lukewarm reception thus far, with users failing to use them on a regular basis as part of their daily life. Software developer Oroeco has created an app specifically to address this problem. The Oroeco app uses data from the Mint personal finance app to monitor each user’s spending data and purchases, automatically calculating their carbon impact based on their spending.

oroeco

The data is then presented back to users in an easy-to-understand graph, showing users exactly what impact they are having on the environment. One problem faced by competing apps is the inability to sustain interest. In order to tackle this, the Oroeco app introduces social media into the app. Users are able to share their carbon footprint with their friends and compete with each other in a “who is the greenest?” challenge. Oroeco also plan on running competitions with environmentally friendly prizes to help users further reduce their carbon footprint at home.

One nifty feature of the Oroeco app is the ability to offset your carbon footprint by purchasing carbon offsets at the touch of a button. This means that if you’re in the red one month, you can soothe your environmental conscience by donating your money to carbon negative organisations.

With apps like this becoming more readily available, and more prominent in the mainstream, we’re happy to see that society seems to be taking a welcome step into the world of green living. With the help of Oroeco’s social media functionality, we should only continue to see environmental awareness infiltrate the public consciousness – and our collective carbon footprint decrease along with it.

At Eden Springs, we take our commitment to the environment seriously, which is why we were the first Carbon Neutral certified water cooler supplier in the UK. We care about our planet and admire the innovation of apps like Oroeco, as we’re also dedicated to providing our customers with environmentally friendly products, via our water and coffee solutions. Since 2007, we have even implemented an ecological program designed to reduce CO2 emissions – and encourage the rest of the industry to follow in our carbon neutral footsteps.

If you’re on the hunt for eco-friendly office products with the power to minimise your own carbon footprint, Eden Springs can help. Our range of environmentally-conscious water coolers and coffee machines are the ultimate green addition to any office, helping you to fulfil your commitment to the environment – and stay gloriously hydrated all day long.

At Last, An Edible Water Bottle

Posted in Bottled Water, Environment on by .

This year sees an exciting new initiative in the world of biodegradable products, with the world’s first edible water bottle coming into existence after years of development.

Design students at the Imperial College of London have revolutionised the water container and the result is ‘Ooho’ – a 100% edible water bottle with the potential to conquer the plastic waste epedemic forever.

edible water bottle

Image courtesy of Rodrigo García González

How does this exist?

The design team, led by student Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez, created this bizarre innovation by dipping a frozen ball of water into calcium chloride – forming a gelatinous layer. The ball is reinforced by soaking in a brown algae extract solution, encapsulating the ice in a squishy outer membrane – and voila. A water container made for human consumption.

Amazingly, the technique responsible for Ooho’s creation was inspired by Spanish culinary genius Ferran Adrià, who pioneered this process to add juice-filled pearls to bubble tea. This unusual origin story is a testament to the ground-breaking creative prowess in today’s practical design world.

 

What does this mean for the future?

As it stands, hundreds of thousands of tonnes in plastic bottles are sent to landfill by households each year, equivalent to almost £100m if they were recycled. At Eden Springs, we embrace our environmental responsibilities, promoting office water coolers in favour of excessive PET water bottle use. It’s clear, however, that Ooho means big things for the future of unnecessary plastic waste. Being able to rid the world of this particular waste problem would mean global progress on the environmental front – and this comes just 6 months after projections that the industry would reach $70bn in value by 2017.

Eden Springs understands the need to eliminate any avoidable plastic waste, which is why our 95,000 strong customer base uses 79,000 of our environmentally-friendly water cooler bottles each year – compared with the 75 million individual litre bottles it would take to contain the same amount of water. With eco-conscious companies becoming greener than ever, and with innovations like Ooho on the horizon, the future appears to be bright on the environmental front.

Ooho has already seen its share of backlash, however, with its aesthetic form being likened to jellyfish and even breast implants. But, although this miraculous new water container may not be pretty, it’s certainly an environmental game-changer.

The product is still in the testing stages – so it might be some time before we’re seeing these innovative little containers ready for mass production – but there’s no doubt that Ooho is guaranteed to make its way into the next generation’s green office.

Green Office Week 2014

It’s Green Office Week 2014 – will you be following the daily tips for moving towards a greener office? Why not place the tips up as a poster or computer desktop in your office to remind everybody to do their bit?

green office week 2014

Green Office Week 2014
Monday 12th–Friday 16th May
Monday – Energy: At the end of the day make sure all electrical equipment is switched off
Tuesday – Transport: Try walking, cycling or carpooling to the office today
Wednesday – Waste: Reduce, reuse, recycle.
Thursday – Purchasing: Promote use of environmentally friendly products
Friday – Innovation: Encourage employees to share ideas about how to create a sustainable working environment.

 

The green revolution: recycle your office

Posted in Environment, Office Management, Well Being at Work on by .

Green Office Week Recycle More

We’re in the midst of Green Office Week 2014, and there’s no time like the present to take the plunge and go green in the workplace. Green Office Week goes beyond simply doing your bit for the environment at work – it’s about getting all of your colleagues and management involved too. Green Office Week runs from the 12th-16th May 2014, promoting long-term, environmentally friendly practices in business.

We spoke to Ruth Perrin, Category Manager at Avery UK, to get her thoughts on the importance of eco-consciousness in the workplace – and to find out how Avery UK is taking a proactive approach to greener business in ways that we can all learn from.

“As a business, we understand the importance of producing sustainable products, which is why we created our range of labels manufactured from FCS certified paper sourced from responsibly-managed forests.  However, we wanted to go even further and help drive change in other offices around the UK.

Working in an eco-friendly environment we realised that ‘nobody can do everything but everyone can do something’.  That was our inspiration for Green Office Week; a week that demonstrates everyone, regardless of job role or responsibility, can do something to help make a difference.”

Now let’s take a look at the stats so we can see why Green Office Week is such an important initiative for the future of the business world – and what you can do to make your office a green one and play your part.

Green Office Week Recycle More

What’s the Problem?

Offices in the UK produce millions of tonnes of waste every year. Unsurprisingly, statistics show that the majority (70%) of office waste is made up of paper. Of this figure, 29% are unnecessary printouts and a further 23% is made up of mixed waste paper. The rest of the 70% includes discarded newspapers, cardboard and various recyclable packaging.

The problem is that the majority of this readily recyclable material goes straight into landfills and isn’t reused – meaning that more trees will have to be cut down to make new paper, rather than paper being produced through recycling old materials.

How Can I Make a Difference?

There are three important Rs to remember when it comes to recycling – reduce, reuse and recycle. These should serve as an easy daily reminder as to how you and your colleagues can reduce their environmental impact.

Reducing the amount of printed paper in the office is perhaps the biggest step any business can take towards reducing their environmental impact – many businesses have been trailblazers in adopting a completely paperless approach. This is fantastic news, although understandably may not be practical for everyone. Remember to refer back to the three R’s – reduce, reuse and recycle. Do you really need to print this document? Can it be emailed or viewed on a computer instead?

If you’re only printing a document as a draft, consider reusing scrap paper and printing on the reverse side. Many office printers have numerous paper trays, one of which could be re-loaded with scrap paper for this purpose. If you’ve gone through the first two Rs, and need to dispose of paper, ensure that it goes into a dedicated recycling bin so it can be processed by a recycling plant and turned back into fresh paper in the future.

 

Encouraging employees to read the news online during their lunch break rather than buying a disposable newspaper can make a huge difference. There are numerous major newspapers which offer duplicate free content on their website.

Make sure you get involved – there are numerous ways you can help motivate your office into joining the green revolution. Speak to your boss and take it upon yourself to send out an internal email telling people what they can do to help and how they can get involved. Create posters with the three Rs to serve as reminders in reducing waste in the first place – place these strategically around the office, near printers, and above computers and waste bins.

Another important step is to ensure that your office has access to proper recycling facilities – this could be as simple as buying a second bin for paper waste. If you want to go all out, keep your office’s environmental impact to an absolute minimum by ensuring that waste is separated into as many recyclable materials as possible. These could include plastics, paper, glass and metal, depending on what kind of waste your office produces. Ensure that as little waste as possible is placed into the general waste disposal, as this goes into landfills. Try and limit general waste to biodegradable products – be part of the solution and not the problem.

There are numerous companies offering commercial recycling services, separating and disposing of office waste properly and in an environmentally friendly manner. For further information on your responsibilities in business waste management, visit the Environment Agency website.

Avery UK are excited to see the coverage that this year’s Green Office initiative has seen so far this week: “It’s been great to see the tweets, Facebook posts and pictures coming through.  Over the next few days, we will be asking people to share #myecocuppa and #greenselfie pictures to drive awareness further.  Thank you Eden Springs for all their support of the week so far.”

At Eden Springs, we’re proud to be carbon neutral. Offering office beverage solutions including water coolers and hot drink machines, we are aware of our environmental impact and have taken important steps towards neutralising it. All of our bottled water is from local, sustainable sources and our water cooler bottles are also reused numerous times before being recycled.

 

How drinking water can reduce your carbon footprint

Posted in Community, Environment on by .

The term “carbon footprint” has been a buzzword for quite a few years now. It is significant enough of a topic to merit thousands of yearly conferences all around the world; where scientists, activists and concerned parties come together to discuss the impact of our carbon footprint on the world and practical ways we as communities and individuals can aim to reduce it.

It is vital that drinks and water companies like Eden Springs understand their carbon outputs, seek to reduce its impact, and look to affect a wider change in the businesses and people serviced.

Eden water delivery saving

Understanding greenhouse emissions

Over the last decade companies have been particularly concerned with organisational and product carbon footprints and every year hundreds of thousands of companies carry out carbon footprint assessments to determine their total greenhouse gas emissions.

Eden Springs, as the leading workplace beverage supplier in the UK, have been actively assessing organisational and product carbon footprint since 2007 in order to better understand areas for improvement. Through this the majority of our carbon emissions are sourced back to electricity consumption, transport and material production.

Reducing carbon emissions through these sources is not something that happens overnight but in fact involves a long term overhaul of the business operations and processes. This has ranged from optimisation of delivery routes (to conserve fuel) to strict product selection for efficiency, and highlights the opportunities available in every areas of a business.

Immediate changes were implemented by opting to support a number of carbon offset projects in partnership with The CarbonNeutral Company in order to support organisational carbon footprint reduction.

water emissions

Glass half empty

One thing we sought out to do very quickly was to establish the carbon emissions produced from a single glass of Eden Springs water, including the production of materials, transport and resources used to produce that glass of water. Once that had been established we wanted to be able to compare this with other beverages and products commonly used by consumers in the UK. For example, a 20cl glass of Eden water has 0,03 kCO2 whereas a 20cl cup of cappuccino has 0,24 kCO2; meaning that a glass of Eden water has much less of an impact on the environment than a cup of cappuccino.

A vital step in becoming not just a carbon neutral but a ‘carbon considerate’ company is achieved through informing and educating you, the customer base, about the impacts of your actions and decisions, and helping to impact a wider change in habits outside of the direct company reach.

A product’s carbon footprint is evidently not just important to the company, but also to the consumer and their intention to purchase. The Carbon Trust identified in a survey that 67% of UK consumers are more likely to buy a product with a low carbon footprint and 44% of consumers would switch to a lower carbon product even if the brand wasn’t their first choice.

Personal choices

Workplaces that consider themselves ‘carbon footprint conscious’ can do more to reduce personal and business carbon footprints aside from considering choices of water and beverages:

  • Ensure you’re using energy saving light bulbs wherever possible and turn off lights when the room is not in use.
  • Transport contributes greatly to the world’s carbon footprint so where possible walk, carpool, use public transport or bike from place to place. A good number of employers now offer the ‘cycle to work’ scheme which allows savings of up to 42% on a bike bought from participating stores if the bike is going to used primarily for commuting to and from work.
  • There’s really no excuse not to recycle these days as most cities offer recycling pick up or recycling drop off locations. Recycling and reusing helps conserve energy and reduce pollution caused by disposal.

The UK aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 80 per cent below 1990 levels by 2050, which means a joint effort from consumers, individuals and businesses alike. According to new statistics emission levels have been slowly decreasing since 2007, which means that whatever we’re doing could be having an effect. Any company like Eden Springs that is involved in and can influence workplaces across the country has an important part to play in affecting further change.

So the next time you reach for drink you could consider who’s supplying it, as choosing your suppliers carefully does make a difference.

Read more about our actions for the environment >>>

read more about our actions for the environment

What to teach your children about water pollution

Posted in Environment on by .

water

Water pollution isn’t just a problem for small African villages; it can happen in our own towns and cities. It’s our responsibility to teach our children to think of the future and avoid contributing to this environmental issue.

What is real water pollution?

When you wash your car, the water and soap running off your driveway and onto the flowerbeds nearby can cause an element of pollution. We often understand how easy it is to move chemical imbalances directly into the ecosystem. What happens to that same water when it runs into the drains and down into the sewage system below?

The mixture of chemicals, waste and other particles in water is what causes pollution. Apart from humans, fish in our rivers and seas and animals on our lands also need the same water to be able to survive. When water is polluted beyond an acceptable level our environment and the water cycle are dangerously affected.

There are some natural causes which result in water pollution, like the way algae grows to an unacceptable level in lakes, which can cause the death of the fish, and  can also make dogs ill when they drink. Animal waste can easily slide into a water supply and during floods and storms anything can be dragged into a water source.

Unfortunately, the majority of water pollution is caused by the human population. Fertilisers and pesticides used on farms and chemicals used in factories often find their way into local water supplies.

Thinking of the bigger picture, you will have seen oil spills on television news channels. Who didn’t see the 200 million gallons of oil spilt over the Gulf of Mexico just a few short years ago?

Air pollution can lead to water pollution

Everyone seems to say that the air is not as clean as it used to be. Part of this may be because there is air-pollution where you live. If this pollution becomes too toxic it will combine with the rain falling onto the ground and while it is easy to see the result of algae in swimming pools, it may be many years before you see the effect in lakes and in other water collection areas.

The effect on the environment when water pollution is evident can be catastrophic. On occasions, there won’t be enough oxygen in the water for fish to be able to breathe. When small fish absorb chemicals into their bodies, they are eaten by bigger fish, and these may be eaten by birds and other animals which are all passing the pollutants down the chain.

When bacteria cannot break down the sewage in water supplies, the water can remain dangerously polluted. For over 1/7 of the world’s population, clean water is something they have never seen and they have to drink polluted water regularly and live in areas where clean sanitation is not possible, which extends the pollution process.

Refraining from using weed killer and other chemicals will keep impurities away from the water systems.

Just one percent of the water on the Earth is fresh enough to be able to drink naturally, with water treatment and filtration filling the requirement gap – that’s where Eden water coolers come in. The more water that is polluted, the larger the struggle is to keep people healthy and hydrated.

Celebrating World Water Day

Posted in Charity, Community, Environment, Health on by .

World Water Day is held on 22 March every year to celebrate fresh water, reaffirm its importance, and help develop the sustainable management of water resources across the world.

As a beverage company we’re clearly heavily involved in water and hydration, and our charity efforts extend into helping provide drinking water to Tanzania through the PeopleHelpPeople – One World initiative as well as helping charity fundraisers with free water closer to home in the UK.

Access to clean and safe drinking water is correctly seen as an important human right, and the day aims to increase awareness of the difficulties huge numbers face in accessing this vital resource. Millions of people across the globe are forced to drink dirty water daily in order to survive, causing disease, ill-health and suffering.

The day has been celebrated since 1993, following a United Nations Conference on Environment and Development recommendation the previous year. The theme for 2013’s event is the “International Year of Water Cooperation”.

You can follow World Water Day initiative on Twitter with #waterday, or see pictures and donate at waterday.org

 

Our commitment to the less fortunate

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Four creative ways to recycle plastic water bottles

Posted in Bottled Water Coolers, Environment on by .

bottled water home

Eden Springs reuse the average water cooler bottled over 50 times and recycle them at their life’s end to be as environmentally-friendly as possible. However, while returning the bottles to us will always be the most ‘green’ option, there are a few more ‘creative’ ways to reuse water bottles if you should so choose. Here are a few oddball examples!

bottled water home

1. Build a house

Building a house with plastic water bottles is not as crazy as you might think. In fact, it’s been done before by a German man called Andreas Froese who has a company in Honduras called Eco-Tec. Plastic bottles are useful for building because they are not expensive, they’re not brittle, they make good shock absorbers and they can be reused. All you have to do is fill them with mud and you have the perfect brick replacement, which companies like Eco-Tec are finding out with their buildings.

2. Make insulation

This is related to the first use and is an inspirational example of how to solve two problems at once. Volunteer Laura Kutner was working in Guatemala when she realised that the bottles she was drinking from with the same size as the frames for the walls in the school where she worked. She started a project to fill the bottles with the trash that was littering the town and then encase them in chicken wire and cement them to make insulated walls. The project brought the community together and is now ready for duplication in other parts of the world.

3. Create your own island

Many of us dream of having our own private island but how many of us know exactly how to get one without spending a fortune? Richard Sowa created his own private island off Cancun by using empty plastic bottles in nets piled with bamboo, plywood and sand. The island included beaches, a house, a solar oven and the composting toilet. When that island was destroyed by hurricane in 2005, Richard Sowa set about building another one. The new Spiral Island includes a couple of ponds, a solar panel and a solar powered waterfall. Many others are now building their own islands from plastic bottles and other materials!

4. Make art and craft

For some reason plastic water bottles are great for artistic endeavours. Whether you choose to cut them up to make vases and plant pots, use the ends of PET bottles to makes pseudo flowers or do larger exhibitions and installations, reusing plastic bottles is a wonderful way to make an eco-artistic statement. Very artsy!