Thursday, 15 December 2011

Carpet tiles

We have bought new carpet tiles from a manufacturer who are paying more than lipservice to sustainability.

Interfaceflor are a company who have revolutionised every aspect of their business to reduce their environmental impact. This journey began in 1994 with their chairman Ray Anderson having an epiphany about the environmental and social repercussions of the industrial processes within manufacturing and setting a Mission Zero for Interface.

To achieve Mission Zero, they have set out clear goals in seven key areas:
1. Eliminate wasteEliminating the concept of waste, not just incrementally reducing it.
2. Benign emissionsFocusing on the elimination of waste emissions. Eliminating waste streams that have negative or toxic effects on natural systems.
3. Renewable energyReducing our energy demands while substituting non-renewable sources with renewable ones like solar, wind and landfill gas.
4. Closing the loopRedesigning processes and products so that all resources used can be recovered and reused, closing the technical or natural loop.
5. Resource-efficient transportationTransporting all of our people and products efficiently and with minimal waste and emissions. This includes plant location, logistics and commuting.
6. Sensitising stakeholdersCreating a community within and around InterfaceFLOR that understands the functioning of natural systems and our impact on them.
7. Redesign commerceRedesigning commerce to focus on the delivery of service and value instead of material. Encouraging external organisations to create policies and market incentives.

This ezine about their progress towards environmental sustainability makes an interesting read:

Zero Waste to Landfill- one step closer!

We're now one step closer to our goal of being zero waste to landfill! Thanks to our new waste contractor Bywaters, we've been able to reduce waste to landfill from one 1100L bin per week to one 240L (household size) bin.

Bywaters, using their state of the art Materials Recovery Facility in Bow are able to collect and stream almost all other waste. Prior to starting our new contract we sent two of our managers to check out the facilities. They were very impressed and satisfied that nearly everything that gets sent to the MRF does indeed get recycled.

You can watch a video of the MRF in action here.
Finger tape and cloth (gaffa) tape seem to be the only sticking point remaining....

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Castle Garden Autumn 2011

This autumn, more scrumping, apple pressing, hedges and bonfires..

We couldn't resist to get some climbers out again in the local area to go round the houses climbing trees and picking and shaking trees to get some unwanted fruit. We got,several varieties of apples and pears. A few people came in to the Castle too to donate some crates of apples from their back gardens and their granny's back gardens, so we had even more fruit this year! One of the houses let us take all their grapes, so as well as pear and apple juice, (and cider..) we pressed some grapes and make wine too. All ready to be drunk after next Spring hopefully!

We had a great pressing day in the castle, with apple games. We borrowed the apple press from Urban Harvest, who lent it to us last year. Embarrassingly again, we broke the cross beam on it second year running! They have lent it to community groups so many times, and it hadn't happened before. - I guess a lot of strength here being a bunch of active climbers!

In November, we planted a new hedge at the front. We took part in a community tree planting scheme with the Woodland Trust. Thanks to Nick, who's in charge of hedges here, put in an order earlier in the year . They donated 450 saplings. We had a great team of us who planted out 300 plants ( crab apples, dog rose, elder, hazel and blackthorn) all useful for a wild harvest later!

We ended the day with a nice huge bonfire, thanks to Tom Trimmins who y
et again shared his woodwork skills and made us another great "wickerman" using bits of old unwanted volumes from the climbing walls. Also thanks to Barry and Min who have been making use of the old bricks that came out of the Castle shop refurbishment to make our swanky new fire pit and make some pretty paving patterns around the pond and some pathways in the forest garden.

This winter, some of us have headed to the mountains ( Min has gone to Chamonix until next summer, the garden will surely miss her, she has been great in the garden and did so much in the year she spent here).

Look out for some hand made hand balms in the shop, made with beeswax from our bees and other Hackney bees, organic olive oil and infused with herbs from our garden - comfrey, calendula and plantain - all good for the skin.