Earth Day 2021

Written by Lynda in Culture

This time last year the world was in shock, we were at the peak of the first wave of the pandemic and I don’t think anyone really understood how long the restrictions to our ‘normal life’ would be in place for.

At its strictest levels, we were encouraged (although limited) to go out for a daily walk, run or cycle. This daily interaction with the natural world gave so much benefit to our physical and mental wellbeing during a period of heightened emotions (let’s face it all the emotions were there, right? Fear, anxiety, stress, joy, gratitude). Many, I think, identified a new found appreciation for the natural environment around us, even discovering new places of natural beauty that they previously had not found time for, or not taken the time to really see properly. And we were blessed with some amazing Spring / Summer weather that helped facilitate all of that.

As the human world slowed down, the natural world thanked us – as carbon emissions dropped from less commuting, lower air traffic, air quality and water quality improved; wildlife returned to areas they had been unseen in for many years.

But it hasn’t all been good news for the environment. There’s been a rise in disposable, single-use items, medical supplies, PPE, purchasing pre-packing items for hygiene reasons and an increase in packaging for surging home deliveries. As we soon return to an office environment, in whatever form, this is something that we all need to consider – weighing up the increase in safety and protection for our team vs the impact of less environmentally friendly options.

And as our world moved online, there was an increase in energy demand in the last 12 months; Europe saw a 40% increase in broadband demand, as video-conferencing, streaming and gaming became an increased part of every day life. As an agency that contributes to building parts of the internet, this is something we can be, and are, more mindful of as we engage on client projects.

For Earth Day this year, we wanted to do something that would have a long term impact.

We’ve implemented two initiatives today:

1. Tom Greenwood’s Sustainable Web Design book

We’ve long admired the work that Tom and his team at Wholegrain Digital do. They’ve really set the standards for our industry on putting sustainability and carbon impact front and centre of design and development decisions for creating new websites.

So much so, that Tom has literally written the book on it. So for our first Earth Day initiative this year, we’ve offered everyone in our team a copy of book. As well as improving our own knowledge and understanding as a team on this, it will also enable us to provide more carbon efficient solutions for our clients.

2. Ecologi

As of this morning, 10 Degrees has signed up to and made a commitment to make a financial contribution each month to offset the carbon impact of our team (both professionally and personally).

Our first donation today is now responsible for planting 220 trees 🌳

Offsetting carbon usage is incredibly important, but looking for ways to reduce it are equally important. If you want to know more about the carbon impact your web presence is having, check out this incredibly handy carbon calculator (also from Wholegrain Digital) – then find ways to reduce and offset that impact.

The Author

Lynda Harvey

Managing Director. Leading our business strategy and culture.

The 10 Degrees Team

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