NEW INITIATIVE: Fruit box

As you can see we are very excited to now be offering fresh fruit on the level 3 tables from North East Organic Growers.

Image

This is not for profit and to keep it simple and cover costs by saying all items of fruit are 60p (to go in honesty box next to fruit).

All fruit comes from the following places:

Apples – Argentina

Bananas – Dominican Republic

Mango – Burkina Faso

Avocado – Spain

Grapefruit – Spain

Kiwi – Italy

Pear – Argentina

Lemon – Spain

Thanks to Matt Breckons from the DMOC team for arranging this!

Why are we intent on damaging our planet?

Today I read an interesting article titled; ‘CO2 ‘significantly reduces’ nutrients in major food crops‘ which discusses a recently published report in the well-respected journal Nature. In Matt McGrath’s words, ‘this could have health implications for billions of people, especially in the developing world.”

Now you don’t need to convince me that the rising CO2 concentration in our atmosphere is making things worse in many ways. But don’t you think it is surprising how many people still need convincing despite the overwhelming amount of evidence stating the obvious? Do people really care that little for their own future children/grandchildren? And yes, it really is going to affect people that soon; the article above suggested that levels of zinc, iron and protein are likely to be reduced by up to 10% in wheat and rice by 2050.

Our own Prime Minister has gone from promising ‘the greenest government ever’ to allegedly saying that he wants to cut out the ‘green crap’. Now I don’t know if this is true, but if there are stories of our own PM saying this, how are we ever going to be able to have sustainable future!?

I would also like to know why we are being fed the ‘charms’ of fracking. It even sounds bad – fracking. Say it out loud. Doesn’t it conjure up images of ripping the soul out of the planet? It’s mad. The experts are telling us to cut down on our fossil fuel use not to swap from one to the other! It also is going to contaminate our water supplies, destroy the countryside, it isn’t cheap or efficient and it might even cause seismic activity!

Clean energy is obviously seen by those ‘in charge’ as expensive and inefficient – Dirty energy is going to kill us all. Are we sure we can face the cost?

Things Learnt About Prolonged Sitting

Are You Sitting Comfortably?

Things We Learnt About Prolonged Sitting – a good reason to use the stairs!

1. Researchers at Leicester University believe simply standing up increases the metabolic rate, reducing the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

2. The negative effects of too much sitting have been shown to be independent of exercise. If somebody cycles in to work but then spends the rest of the day sitting down, it effectively undoes the hard work that exercise has done.

3. Scientists are not advocating standing all day. They recommend substituting some sitting with standing and moving around more.

4. In Denmark employers must offer their staff the opportunity to work at sit/stand desks.

Listen to: Are You Sitting Comfortably?

Analysis of the Baddiley-Clark Building’s energy profile

Objective: To analyse meter profiles and review data with the sustainability team and key stakeholders.

Method: Four energy usage meter profiles for 24hrs, a week, a month and a year were accessed via Sean Jobling of the Sustainability Team.  These were interpreted at IHS Eco team meetings and discussed with the Sustainability Team. Information was disseminated via intranet and blog.

Findings:

24hr profile for Baddiley Clark

Image

 

An exponential increase in power consumption is noted when people arrive for work between 8 and 10 am.  This can be attributed to switching on of computers, lights etc. Peaks at 9.30 and 11 and 12.30 may be associated with tea and lunch breaks.  We see people starting to leave from around 4pm with plenty of late workers.

Weekly profile for Baddiley Clark

Image

 

Here we clearly see a building baseline usage of 50kWh, much of which may be attributable to the laboratories in CBCB.  Average domestic household consumption reported by the government equates 1.74 kWh1. Cambridge University’s Server building has a baseline of 90kWh2.

We can see activity at weekends. Tuesdays and Thursdays are the busiest days for this selected week; possibly attributable to part time working, or overnight laboratory analyses. More people appear to finish earlier on Fridays.

Monthly profile for Baddiley Clark 

Image

 

Each week is a little different. It looks like some people may be having a day off to go shopping at the end of the month when they’ve got they’ve been paid. Less people came into work on Valentines weekend! 

Annual profile for Baddiley Clark

Image

 

We clearly see how well the Christmas Holidays shutdown works, as well as the Easter weekend.  Although we expected July and August to show less activity, it looks like we were using more energy to keep cool during this warmer period. The baseline increases in July, potentially an increase in use of refrigeration.  Higher values during the day may be fans.

Outcomes, Learning Points and Next Steps:

A big thank you to the all the Christmas shut down team! Your fortitude has really paid off.  

We hope this will help staff and students to recognise the positive impact that switching off has on our environmental foot print and of course our finances.

We will continue to monitor profiles, to identify further areas for improvement including baseline reduction where feasible.

 

1 Department of Energy and Climate Change, Energy consumption in the UK (2013)

2 University of Cambridge, Energy use in the University of Cambridge, Engineering for a low carbon future (2009)

TAKE THE STAIRS!

Alongside the Water campaign we are also running a low-scale attempt to reduce the numbers of people that take the lift. It’s been announced to staff members through SharePoint and there are posters around the lift and also inside it if you miss them!

Hopefully this will help lead to a healthier workplace and cut our energy usage at the same time!

Image