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Event was just the tonic for climate conscious businesses in the South Lakes
Small businesses across the South Lakes came together to raise money for, and awareness of, climate change in Cumbria at a charity evening in Ulverston on October 7th.
Eco-friendly alcohol producers, Shed 1 Gin in Ulverston hosted the fundraising and networking evening with 2021 official charity partner, Cumbria Action for Sustainability (CAfS). Guests raised £300 for the charity, and enjoyed award-winning G&T’s and nibbles whilst listening to talks and demonstrations on ways to lower their carbon footprint.
Shed 1 Gin founders, Zoe & Andy Arnold-Bennett kicked off the evening by sharing their personal business experience of becoming eco-friendly alcohol producers and their ongoing efforts to continue to improve environmental practices. Earlier this year, Zoe and Andy were invited to Downing Street to take part in the launch event for the government’s ‘Together for our Planet’ project tackling climate change.
Shed 1's Green Initiatives:
Since they started Shed 1 in 2016, they have implemented a number of green initiatives including saving thousands of litres of water using a closed loop cooling system in their gin distilling, going plastic free in all packaging, and reusing left over fresh citrus fruit from the gin creation process to make charity marmalade. Speaking to guests, Zoe said: “The climate change narrative is all about big businesses, what they can do, and what grants they can go for, but realistically the cost is too high for most small businesses to get involved. This needs to change. Focus on the achievable – turn the lights off, don’t print that piece of paper, move to plant-based cleaning fluids, use local suppliers. Do anything you can, as small as you can, and it will grow from there.
“We’ve always tried to be eco-friendly alcohol producers within our business and we hope we can pass on some of our findings to help others take steps to be greener. We started with packaging and now every week we’re looking at new ways to improve or change what we do. It becomes part of you. Yes, the whole net zero narrative is problematic for many small businesses, but if you break it down and try to be creative, you can be climate positive.”
CAfS’ mission is to get Cumbria to net zero carbon emission by 2037 and the charity delivers and runs projects to promote and enable low carbon living in the county. Addressing the audience, CAfS CEO, Karen Mitchell said: “Climate change is happening now, its happening here, and its an emergency. There’s increasing recognition of that, which is a good thing as it facilitates increased funding coming through for charities like ours to tackle climate change. In the last 12 months, we’re proud that CAfS has brought £3 million into Cumbria for that very fight.”
Project Manager, Molly Hogg, added: “Everyone has a part to play in achieving the zero carbon emission goal and businesses are key. If Cumbrians can buy low carbon products and services locally, we’ll have a thriving local economy while continuing to reduce our carbon footprint. We’re working closely with a range of consultants, not-for-profit organisations, and funders to offer businesses of all sizes the support they need to go green.”
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