Each month at the Gate, we set ourselves a monthly Green Gate Challenge. Green Gate is what we call our sustainability policy and we like to embark on monthly challenges.
The challenges are about changing how we think in the long term (and not just for that month), but we’ve found that giving each month a focus helps us keep sustainability and our Green Gate Policy at the forefront of our thinking as an organisation.
This month we took our inspiration from http://beanunfucker.com/ and ditched the disposable!
What they say (and please excuse the language):
Ditch the disposable
Why it’s f*cked
Some 100 billion disposable pieces of plastic cutlery are used and thrown out every year. Parts of the ocean are turning into a plastic soup. That’s because of single use and disposable plastics. The culprits? Takeaway containers, water bottles, straws, plastic bags and plastic cups.
Change one thing
Say no to bags, extra napkins and cutlery. If you’re going back home or to work to eat your takeaway, use the cutlery there. If you’re clothes shopping, put bought items in your own bag, or get one bag and put everything in there. Be aware of the crap you’re collecting.
Here’s how some of the Gate team found it!
I picked my battles with this month’s challenge and decided to stop grabbing plastic forks from local coffee shops to each my lunch with. It seemed like such a small change, but it really does make an impact. In just one year, I’ll save roughly 240 bits of plastic cutlery hitting landfill and that feels good. I also made a pledge to refuse the countless napkins that I get offered (and that I always end up binning un-used anyway). This month, I’m really happy to report that if I go in for lunch at the local Pret, the lady behind the counter tells in her colleagues ‘Don’t bother asking – she doesn’t want a bag OR napkins OR cutlery!’ This is a firm lifelong habit I’ll adopt, and one I’d recommend for office workers the world over!
Chrissy Angus, General Manager
This month really taught me how many disposable items end up in my hands without me really thinking about it! Each time I grab lunch, or breakfast, the number of plastic forks, paper bags, paper napkins – I have a stash of all of them in my desk drawer. And the problem with these single use items is not just the impact on landfills, but the energy and resources that were used in making them, and transporting them around the world. This has been a really easy, but enlighting challenge and I’d encourage everyone to try it for a month.
Daisy Cooper, Producer