LKP Green week proved to be challenging yet enlightening, prompting a good deal of discussion, knowledge exchange and solidarity – and most importantly, new habits that are mindful of our current environmental crisis.
Green Buffet Monday
We started the week off by giving our monthly Buffet Monday potluck lunch a green twist, encouraging staff to experiment with new vegan or vegetarian recipes and to shun single-use plastic when adding store bought items to the mix.
Throughout the week, we carried on with our regular routines, but took care to implement a few key changes.
Whether they affected our diets, commutes, food shopping or use of energy at work or at home, these lifestyle changes definitely took some getting used to. Many members of staff reported that the main challenge was remembering to do everyday things differently. Once green choices became the new normal however, our pledges were smooth sailing!
We helped each other through our pledges with reminders, tips and moral support.
In total, 74 people from Laurence King Publishing, Laurence King Verlag and BIS Publishers took part, introducing a combined 53 pledges to the initiative. These included things like:
- travelling to Frankfurt Book Fair by train in lieu of plane
- going vegan or vegetarian
- forgoing plastic when grocery shopping
- planting bee-friendly plants
- walking or cycling to work
- giving up taking the lift
- choosing to buy used clothes, appliances and furniture
- giving up takeaway coffee cups and plastic-bottled drinks
What it changed for us
Once our week of experimentation finished, we were able to take stock of how easy or hard our pledges turned out to be; what resources, tips and tricks we discovered; and whether or not we'd like to continue with our lifestyle changes.
Felicity from Editorial had this to say:
"My pledge to eat seasonally really made me take notice of where my food had been imported from, rather than just picking stuff up without checking."
"It was a pleasure to be more conscious of which foods were in season, and to buy produce grown in the UK wherever possible (in fact it was easier than I imagined – the only fruit or veg I bought last week that came from abroad was bananas). I'm certainly going to carry on with this lifestyle change.
That said, I'm afraid I can't give up the lift forever! I'm just too lazy!"
Clare from Editorial pledged to make her food shopping plastic-free for the week. Here's what she took away from the experience.
"The weekend before Green Week I went to my local farmer’s market for the first time in ages, bought too many vegetables and ended up bringing my own lunches all week."
"I really noticed the reduction in packaging in my bin at the end of every day. And lunchtime is much nicer if you don’t have to queue in Pret! So I am going to continue looking for unpackaged food in future."
Natalie Fee on How to Save the World for Free
We ended the week with a talk to our staff by the brilliant author of the book that inspired it all, environmental campaigner Natalie Fee.
Natalie founded the non-profit campaigning organization City to Sea and was instrumental in helping to achieve things like getting UK retailers to stop selling plastic cotton buds (#SwitchtheStick), a move which will stop over 478 tonnes of single-use, non-recyclable plastic being produced each year.
They're currently working on proliferating the number of places available for water bottle refilling through their Refill app and championing plastic free periods.
Among other things, Natalie answered our questions about the future of food and farming with more people giving up meat, environmentally conscious banks and pension schemes and the impact of buying new clothes and furniture.
Laurence King Litter Pick
Our last #LKPGreen activity took place out of the office, working from canoes to remove litter from the Regent's Canal, a treasured asset to our area and the cycle or walking route of many.
After receiving a crash course in rowing a two-person canoe, we set off with our litter-pickers and rubbish collection bins to scour the water, travelling downstream towards the lock to find nooks and bends where litter tends to catch and collect.
A few hours and several cans, bottles, plastic cups, a bin lid, a tap, a shopping trolley and a seeming endless amount of plastic packaging later; we rowed back to deliver our booty to a waiting rubbish collection boat from the Canal & Rivers Trust.
#LKPGreen Week in Numbers
LKP Green week was a great way to stir up a bit of action and work together as a team towards a common goal, without it disrupting our work week. Have a look at the results of our combined efforts below – sometimes quantifying the impact of an action helps to drive the point home and provides extra motivation to keep going!