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Get Involved With The Great British Bee Count

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This year’s Great British Bee Count got off to a flying start today. Thousands of people are expected to take part, but organisers Friends of the Earth are urging everyone to get involved and find out more about after a recent survey highlighted that most Briton’s can’t recgonise a honey bee, despite being very concerned about the welfare of them.

The Great British Bee Count, which runs from 19 May until 30 June, is organised by Friends of the Earth, with support from Buglife, and sponsorship from Waitrose and is backed by TV presenter Michaela Strachan.

The Great British Bee Count aims to help people find out more about the incredible diversity of bee species in Britain (over 250), the threats they face, and what they can do to help them. Using a free app, people can record the bees they spot in their gardens, parks, schools and countryside. Over 100,000 individual bee sightings were recorded last year.

Although surveys indicate public concern for bees, 43 per cent of those questioned mistakenly chose a bumblebee when asked to identify a honey bee. A third (33 per cent) correctly chose a honeybee.

Friends of the Earth is encouraging people to get outside in the next few weeks and find out more about the huge number of bee species in the UK, and the crucial role they play pollinating our wild plants, garden flowers and crops.

Craig Bennett CEO at Friends of the Earth, said: “Bees play a crucial role pollinating plants in our fields, gardens and the countryside – join the Great British Bee Count and find out more about these fascinating creatures and how to identify them. It’s fun, free and informative.

“There are lots of things people can do to help these under-threat pollinators, from creating bee-friendly gardens and avoiding pesticides, to putting pressure on our government and councils to do more to safeguard our precious bees.”

Michaela Strachan, TV Presenter, said: “Bees are so important to our ecosystems, but they desperately need our help. There are two very easy ways that you can do your bit. You can help to create bee friendly habitats and you can get involved in bee counts.

“Bees are great for gardens so choose bee-friendly plants and see how many bees you can attract. You can also take part in the Great British Bee Count. It’s fun, free and will really help you to learn more about our precious bees.

“We have 260 species in Britain and the free app will help you to see just how many bees you can spot. So Bee inspired to buzz off and get planting and counting!”

Professor Dave Goulson, Bee Expert, said: “Britain’s bees are facing multiple threats, from loss of flower meadows and quiet places to nest, and from the many pesticides used in most modern farming.

“The good news is that we can all play a part in helping them. Making our gardens and allotments more friendly to bees is easy to do – and can help make a real difference.

“If you don’t have a garden you can ask your school, housing association or council to create bee friendly spaces.

“Imagine if every garden, park and school grounds had bee-friendly flowers, and we grew wildflowers on our roundabouts and road verges; our towns and cities could become huge nature reserves for pollinators.

“Bees are fascinating and beautiful insects. Joining the Great British Bee Count is a fun way to find out more about them.”

Paul Hetherington, Director of Fundraising and Communications at Buglife said: “It’s great that so many people are concerned about bees – even if they don’t recognise them.  By using the free app we hope that more people will be able to identify and understand more about the rich variety of our bees – over 250 species – that are out there pollinating our flowers and food.”

Tor Harris, Head of Sustainability at Waitrose, said: “Waitrose is delighted to be backing the Great British Bee Count again this year. We hope people across the country will download the fun free app, find out more about Britain’s bees, and help them by growing a wide range of bee-friendly plants.”

Environment

4 Common Items That Can be Reused Again and Again

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reuse reduce recycle plastic bottles etc
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Vanatchanan | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/vanatchanan%20buahom

As a society we are getting much better at taking our obligations to the world and environment around us more seriously. This is undoubtedly a good thing! The effects of climate change are beginning to manifest across the world, and this is turning the issue from an abstract threat into a very real danger. Trying to introduce some greener, more eco-friendly practices into your life isn’t just a great way of doing something beneficial for society and the world around you. It is a wonderful way of engaging positively with the world and carries with it numerous psychological benefits.

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Being a greener, more ecologically friendly person doesn’t require any dramatic life changes. Breaking or making a few small habits is all it takes to make your life a greener one. In this article we look at one of the easiest, yet most effective green practices to get into: reusing everyday items.

Jars and Containers

Glass and metal are widely recycled, and recycling is a good thing! However, consider whether any containers you buy, whether it’s a tub of ice cream or a jar of coffee, can be washed out and reused for something else. Mason jars, for example, can be used to store homemade pasta sauce and can be washed for future use. Once you start thinking about it, you will find endless opportunities to reuse your old containers.

Soda Bottles

An ice-cold soda is a wonderful treat on a hot day, but buying soda can get expensive, and the manufacturing and distribution of the drinks themselves isn’t great for the environment. However, by holding on to your old soda bottles and repurposing them as water bottles, you can save money on drinks, or use them to measure out water for your garden.

Plastic Bags

Most of the time groceries come in paper bags, which are better for the environment than the plastic alternatives, but they are less durable and thus harder to reuse. Whenever the store places your items in a plastic bag, hang onto it so you can reuse the bags again. If you want to take it one step further, consider looking into buying some personalized recycled bags. These bags are designed to last for a long time and are made of recycled materials. They look striking and unique, they’ll turn heads, and maybe even attitudes!

Seeds

If you’re a keen gardener, then you will already probably know how to reseed your plants in order to ensure a fresh crop after each plant’s lifecycle. If you have space in your garden, or haven’t yet tried your hand at gardening, then consider planting a small vegetable plot. Growing your own veggies means that you’ll be helping to cut back on the emissions generated by their transport and production. The best part about growing your own food in this way is that, by harvesting properly and saving the seeds, you can be set up with fresh vegetables for life!

Reusing and recycling common household items is an easy way to make your world a little bit greener. Once you start looking for these opportunities you’ll realize that they’re everywhere!

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Environment

These 5 Green Office Mistakes Are Costing You Money

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eco-friendly green offices
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Stokkete | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/cyano

The sudden interest in green business is very encouraging. According to recent reports, 42% of all companies have rated sustainability as an important element of their business. Unfortunately, the focus on sustainability will only last if companies can find ways to use it to boost their ROI.

Many businesses get so caught up in being socially conscious that they hope the financial aspect of it takes care of itself. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to go green and boost your net income at the same time.

Here are some important mistakes that you will want to avoid.

Only implementing sustainability on micro-scale

The biggest reason that brands are going green is to improve their optics with their customers. Too many businesses are making very minor changes, such as processing paperwork online and calling themselves green.

Customers have become wary of these types of companies. If you want to earn their business, you are going to need to go all the way. Bring in a green business consultant and make every feasible change to demonstrate that you are a green organization from top to bottom.

Not prioritizing investments by long-term ROI

It isn’t realistic to build an entirely green organization overnight. You will need to allocate your capital wisely.

Before investing in any green assets or services, you should always conduct a long-term cost benefit analysis. The initial investment for some green services may be over $20,000. If they don’t shave your cost by at least $3,000 a year, they probably aren’t worth the investment.

Determine which green investments will have the best pay off over the next 10 years. Make these investments before anything else. Then compare your options within each of those categories.

Implementing green changes without a plan

Effective, long-term planning is the key to business success. This principle needs to be applied to green organizations as well.

Before implementing a green strategy, you must answer the following questions:

  • How will I communicate my green business philosophy to my customers?
  • How will running a green business affect my revenue stream?
  • How will adopting green business strategies change my monthly expenses? Will they increase or decrease them?
  • How will my company finance green upgrades and other investments?

The biggest mistake that too many green businesses make is being overly optimistic with these forecasts. Take the time to collect objective data and make your decisions accordingly. This will help you run a much more profitable green business.

Not considering the benefits of green printing

Too many companies believe that going paperless is the only way to run a green organization. Unfortunately, going 100% paperless it’s not feasible for most companies.

Rather than aim for an unrealistic goal, consider the option of using a more environmentally friendly printer. It won’t be perfect, but it will be better than the alternative.

According to experts from Doranix, environmental printers have several benefits:

  • They can process paper that has been completely recycled.
  • They consume less energy than traditional printers.
  • They use ink that is more environmentally friendly.

You want to take a look at different green printers and compare them. You’ll find that some will meet your needs as a green business.

Poorly communicating your green business strategy to customers

Brand positioning doesn’t happen on its own. If you want to run a successful green business, you must communicate your message to customers as clearly as possible. You must also avoid the appearance that you are patronizing them.

The best approach is to be clear when you were first making the change. I’ll make an announcement about your company‘s commitment to sustainability.

You also want to reinforce this message overtime by using green labels on all of your products. You don’t have to be blatant with your messaging at this stage. Simply provide a small, daily reminder on your products and invoices.

Finally, it is a good idea to participate in green business seminars and other events. If your community has a local Green Chamber of Commerce, you should consider joining as well.

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