The following example can also be applied to individuals and families.
Now that the business is carbon neutral, the business needs to donate additional income to environmental causes. Please read the guidelines in the FAQs. The amount needed to be donated is as follows:
Bronze 1 % of profit/time
Silver 5% of profit/time
Gold 10% of profit/time
Platinum 25% of profit/time
Diamond 50% of profit/time
For example a business joining bronze with a profit of £20,000 would pay £200 (1%) to environmental causes or donate 2% of their time, or a combination of both.
Joining the bronze, silver or gold levels represents a huge contribution towards the health of the planet. Customers may be prepared to pay more for products which show a strong commitment to the environment. In doing this you will lead the way for your competitors to follow. Your business now improves the planet.
Tell the world what you are doing, display the badge and tell people your intentions for moving forward. Spread the word and get your friends on board and member don’t be too strict with this. It’s designed to be a guideline and a bit of fun, but it could be one of the most powerful things you ever do.
You may donate time to environmental causes including projects that you set up yourself. This time can count towards your 1%, 2% or 3% obligation. The voluntary work should be logged per hour at the living wage where you live (currently £9.90/hour in Wales) and must have a meaningful environmental impact. Material costs for these projects can also be included in your obligation. The FAQs give guidance on meaningful environmental projects.
Around 60 billion animals are killed in factory systems every year. Factory farmed animals account for around 4 out of every 5 animals that we consume. These systems are largely hidden from public view. As people begin to understand the questionable animal welfare issues embedded in these systems they will also start to create connections with the damage these systems cause to the environment. Supporting charities that lobby for higher welfare systems can help. Eating meat less regularly, and enjoying higher welfare options at a treat whilst incorporating more plant based meals into your diet options can have significant environmental benefits. This has the potential to save land space, energy and water, and reduce pollution in the land and watercourses.
A meat based diet uses more land, energy and water than a vegetarian or vegan diet. Most of the world's farm land is used to grow crops not to feed to humans but to feed to animals. This is a less efficient way of feeding humans that feeding crops directly to humans. We have run out of land to grow more crops so we cut down forests to make space.
Animals in factory systems are often kept so close together and in such poor conditions that they would become sick and die. Rather than give them the space they need we have solved this problem by routinely feeding them antibiotics. This overuse of antibiotics has the potential for causing pandemics.
The stress of overcrowding in factory farming systems causes animals to peck and bite each other. Our solution to this is to remove part of the beaks of birds and the tails of pigs. Some birds suffer such pain from this that they cannot eat and they die.
Whilst Organic farming has potential gains for animal welfare and natural ecosystems it does tend to require more land. But this reflects the needs of animals to be given more space to thrive to live out a more natural existence. The solution may lie in a combination of eating organic meat, but far less frequently in order to give it the respect it deserves. Ultimately each person who takes steps towards a plant based diet will have a huge effect on the health of the planet.
Organisations: Compassion in World Farming, PETA, SumOfUs, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth.
Replanting native woodland is a great way to lock up carbon, create habitat for wildlife and form a landscape which is good for the mental health of humans. The UK's woodland loss is worse than the Amazon so we need to plant trees, and fast.
Organisations: The Woodland Trust, Carbonfootprint.com (tree planting scheme), Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth.
Re-wilding means allowing land back to naturally return to it's original 'wild' state by allowing it to regenerate naturally. This process can produce a biodiverse and resilient mix of trees, plants and wildlife and can be done on a huge scale for relatively little money. This is achieved by protecting the land from farmed grazing animals such as sheep.
Over generations we have forgotten what the landscape used to look like. We see the beauty in rolling green fields, not realising these used to be covered in a rich biodiversity of native trees, shrubs and wildlife.
As the world moves towards a more plant based diet we will free up this land once again and can return it to nature. Humans in areas with more wildlife and natural beauty have been shown to be happier and healthier.
Organisations: The Woodland Trust.
There are a number of organisations who fight battles against powerful, polluting businesses and damaging fossil energy companies. Companies driven purely by profit will not stop unless they are challenged. Donating to organisations that campaign against these organisations, and who offer environmentally friendly solutions will speed up the transition towards a sustainable energy future for humans. This is essential in the fight against climate change and environmental destruction.
Organisations: GreenPeace, Friends of The Earth, Sum of Us.
Modern farming practices are often harmful to the biodiversity of our planet. Fertilisers and pesticides degrade soil and they kill insects, including bees. The production of meat for plant based diets requires considerably more land than plant based diet options. We have run out of land to grow the crops to feed to animals so we cut down rainforests, displacing and killing the animals that live in them.
The root cause of extinction may lie in our choice of diet and the type of farming practices that we employ. As we move towards a plant based diet we will have the capacity to grow more food to feed to humans and will not need to cut down forests to make space. We need to lower our land use so that we can turn more land back into forests as fast as possible.
Organisations: Greenpeace, Sum of Us, Friends of the Earth.
The ocean is a vital and sensitive part of the planet's biodiversity and we have destroyed it, and continue to destroy it at an alarming rate. Overfishing has decimated 90% of large fish in the sea. Chemicals from farming continue to leach into rives and the sea causing 'ocean dead zones' devoid of life.
Marine conservation is a highly worthwhile cause. Donating to environmental organisations that protects our lakes and oceans will have a considerable positive effect on the health of the planet.
Organisations: Greenpeace, Sum of Us, Friends of the Earth, Compassion in World Farming, PETA.
It's the not the necessarily the number of people on the planet that is the problem (although it doesn't help) but its the amount of resources that are consumed particularly amongst the rich members of society. The richest 1% of people consume more than the poorest 50%. Our children can be taught to use materials more wisely. This is indeed already happening. They can also teach us whilst we teach ourselves. Having less can also be freeing, and recycling, sharing and up-cycling can bring pleasure in themselves. Many people find that the enjoyment from endless spending and consumption can be short lived and maybe lead to dissatisfaction. Organisations: Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, Sum of Us.