All of the ways of working described in this section – from encouraging involvement of volunteers, to organic growing guidelines and permaculture principles to operating as a workers’ co-op – are about creating sustainability in what we do in the broadest sense of the word. In terms of our carbon footprint and environmental impact, a few additional things we try to do are:
We encourage less plastic waste. For example most of the fruit and vegetables sold at our stall and box scheme are delivered in reuseable plastic crates which are returned to the farmers, and most customers bring their own bags to take away their purchases – straight from crate to rucksack! We reuse plastic bags and plant pots too, and have discovered that the plastic boxes mushrooms are delivered in make great containers for salad growing.
We encourage low-impact transport. This includes
* making our box scheme deliveries and scrumping collections with a bicycle trailer or our ‘filibus’ carrier bike
* encouraging box scheme members to pick up their fruit and veg by public transport, on foot or bicycle, or to arrange a car share
* publicising and supporting cycling to our sites and events
* providing information about public transport to our sites
* closing the loop on van journeys whenever possible: we work with Forest Recycling Project and can often use vans productively for both halves of a journey, for example bringing cardboard and hessian sacks to our plant nursery for use as mulch, then taking plants and produce back to sell at the market stall.