As part of our newest feature, Ellie West (Anaesthetist and Sustainability Lead) shares Carbon Literacy Facts for Veterinary Professionals.
“Becoming carbon literate is an essential part of dealing with our ‘carbon-addicted’ personal and professional lives.”
Background: Carbon dioxide is one of many greenhouse gases, and the global warming potentials of other gases can be compared using the carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), measured in kilograms or tonnes of CO2e, where the global warming potential of CO2 is 1.
To begin, we’re discussing:
The current carbon concentration in the Earth’s atmosphere.
The planetary boundaries model presents nine boundaries within which humanity can continue to exist and thrive. The ‘safe’ boundary value for CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere is 350 ppm. The current concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, measured from the Mauna Loa laboratory in Hawaii in January 2021, is 415 ppm; pre-1800s, it had been stable at around 285ppm.
As of a 2015 update, four of nine planetary boundaries have been crossed as a result of human activity; these are climate change, loss of biosphere integrity (biodiversity loss), land-system change and altered biogeochemical cycles for phosphorus and nitrogen.
Originally published to accompany the lecture “What is happening in veterinary sector – high-level perspective” in the Sustainability stream, Friday 26th March, BSAVA Virtual 2021
References on request.
4G safe bins
4G Safe Bins are now available from Cambridge Pet Crematorium (CPC). Bins are routinely incinerated with waste, releasing harmful pollutants. 4G safe card bins weigh less than traditional plastic alternatives, reducing the weight of waste collections, saving money and releasing less harmful pollutants during combustion.
The Environmental Fate of Pet Flea Products – The Webinar Vet, BVA and Vet Sustain; This free webinar can be accessed via: thewebinarvet.com/webinar/the-environmental-fate-of-pet-flea-products-1?utm_source=WeekAhead&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=090521
Virtual Seminar: Food Security – The Webinar Vet and WVA; Access this free seminar here; thewebinarvet.com/webinar/wva-virtual-seminar-food-security?utm_source=WeekAhead&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=160521
Veterinary Telehealth: Remote Consulting in 2020 and Beyond – The Webinar Vet and FirstVet; The webinar is free to watch here; thewebinarvet.com/webinar/veterinary-telehealth-remote-consulting-in-2020-and-beyond?utm_source=Week%20Ahead&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=160521
Seeds of change
Absolute MASSIVE thanks to Nurse Ali Skelton who came in on her day off to utterly transform our outside area; litter picking, tilling and sowing wildflower seeds by client carpark, filling our new recycled planters with pollinator friendly plants, including; verbena, bacopia, bidens, lobelia, hebe, lavender and self-grown salvia in peat-free compost and creating a new bed, planted with self-grown, bee-friendly cosmos and nasturtium. All this hard work will help create a beautiful outside space for our clients and staff to enjoy during the warmer months. Thank you Ali, we love seeing everything in full flower!
In June, Ellie West (Sustainability Lead) conducted an onsite Wildflower survey, preliminary results reveal at least 27 different species providing great habitat for pollinators and insects;
- Thistles (at least two types)
- Long-leaved dock
- Cow parsley
- Common hogweed
- Woody nightshade
- White bryony
- White campion (female)
- Geranium (x3)
- Scented mayweed
- Musk mallow
- White dead nettle
- White clover
- Red clover
- Scarlet pimpernel
- Cleavers (goosegrass / sticky weed)
- Shepherds purse
It is hoped that annual surveys will help to build a better picture of biodiversity onsite and may inform future planting, cultivation and and wilding projects.
Cat Ward Mural
Our fantastic partners at Perspective Studios and Campaign Works have created a beautiful, natural mural for the wall in our busy cat ward. The previously functional but plain wall separating kennels from treatment area now displays a beautiful woodland scene. Studies have shown that viewing natural images can aid recovery in patients and reduce stress in humans.
MASSIVE THANKS to Julien Bazelle (Internal Medicine) for championing and organising our Colleague Litter Pick to coincide with The Great British Spring Clean 2021 we had some fantastic entries from across the practice and are so grateful for everyone who took part!
CONGRATULATIONS to our litter pick winner Katherine Clarke (Internal Medicine), for collecting the greatest volume of litter and received our gold prize of a Golden Pothos from local, independent, small business House Planted (houseplanted.uk/).
Gold Prize: Golden Pothos from houseplanted.uk.
We are proud to support small local businesses!
Our domestic waste contractor UK Waste Solutions (UKWSL) are now offering a battery recycling scheme which we have switched to. This will allow us to recycle greater quantities of batteries more conveniently and reduce transport emissions from separate collections of batteries and domestic waste.
With thanks to Mark Goodfellow for the fab suggestion, we are now also TerraCycling cheese packaging at Davies. To find out more about TerraCycle, please visit; terracycle.com/en-GB/
Caught on Camera
We had a new visitor to the camera trap in June, seeing a polecat for the first time.
Watch the latest video below:
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What we’re listening to
Optimism and Outrage; Be informed and inspired on the climate crisis and its solutions – Available via Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/5Rbif0NfMJDT2zVaadZBBq
What we’re reading
Wilding; Isabella Tree – A passionate account of one couple’s success in rewilding 3,500 acres of intensively farmed land. Wild grazing and minimal human intervention has brought biodiversity back to this previously depleted land which is now home to viable populations of rare species such as purple emperor butterflies, turtle doves and peregrine falcons. A hopeful and inspiring read.
We’d love to hear from you…
If you have any ideas about how we can be more sustainable, please contact our Green Group manager Rachel Evans (firstname.lastname@example.org).