Meet Our Green Bag Committee #Interview





With the Global Climate Strike starting tomorrow, September 20th, we wanted to show our support for this cause and to take a moment to introduce you all to our amazing Green Bag committees across our studios who champion a greener future.

Our Green Bag Committees' endeavour to reduce the carbon footprint of each of our studios and help promote eco-awareness amongst Brown Baggers through recycling, the use of sustainable products, reduction of energy consumption and many more upcoming initiatives. We spoke with the committee representatives to help give a little more insight into what they do and why they do it and how you too can get involved!

 

Who are Green Bag?

We are Brown Bag’s environment committee! We started out in Dublin and have spread to our Manchester and Toronto studios. We’re made up of a group of staff members from different areas of the company – we’re currently the biggest we’ve ever been… which is great!

We are the guardians, the leaders who work as a team to create a positive change toward saving the planet by starting from our own community.

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What do Green Bag do?

We regularly meet and come up with ways to reduce our carbon footprint as a company, as well as encouraging better waste and energy use habits.

In our Dublin studio we’ve been going for five years now, so a big part of it is sustaining the initiatives we’ve put in place down through the years, as well as coming up with fresh and fun new ideas!

Our aim is to increase passion for greener ways to live. Finding companies to work with who embody this ethos whom we can collaborate with on new ideas for recycling, and changing employee lifestyles for the betterment of the planet. 

 

Why is it important for companies like us to be green?

We have a very simple manifesto: “Producing high quality animated content for children should not leave a carbon footprint for them to deal with in adulthood”.

Kids are everything to us here. We have to lead by example and do everything in our power not to mess it up for their futures.

It's imperative for all industries to adopt sustainable practices, whether directly or indirectly seen by the public. 

Plus “animation” and “trees” have a long and troubled history together…

Green Bag are participating in the Global Climate Strike – what activities are Green Bag hosting?

We’ve been working together in Dublin, Manchester and Toronto and have a whole bunch of stuff going on:

Fossil-Fuel Free Day – we’re encouraging all our staff to leave the car at home and walk, cycle or take public transport to work this Friday. For every single person who does, we’ll be making a donation to woodland charities.

Solidarity Photos – we’re showing our support for the strikers with our big human extinction (XR) symbol… made out of humans! We’re also encouraging staff to hold up placards and signs with messages of support for photos to go on social media to help amplify the message.

Brown Bag Dublin
Brown Bag Dublin

Digital Strike – our website is going offline and our regular social media posts will be replaced by #ClimateStrike updates for the day to show our support for the Global Climate Strike

March and Rally – we’ll be joining the rallies in each city centre location to help make some noise.

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How can people support? What advice would you give to people wanting to go green?

With regard to strike action - if you want to make your voice heard, remember it can be uncomfortable, and that’s ok; you have to be loud, repetitive and create disruption. Don’t be afraid to be annoying! We’re lucky we have rock star bosses here at Brown Bag who are incredibly supportive.

Remember going green is not about being perfect. It’s about doing your best to make small, achievable changes, and to keep on making them.

We need everyone's collaboration to be able to get our mission done. A wolf pack always makes a stronger impact than a lone wolf. 

The satisfaction is in the completion. At every stage and step, we enjoy the progress, enjoy the learning to work together more and we stay proud being part of something big.

 

Going green isn't hard but it takes a bit of research. Here are a few green or at least greener solutions to some of life's daily problems:

- Using bee's wax paper to seal leftovers instead of single use plastics 

- Using reusable bags to cut down on plastic bags 

- Using a water-bottle instead of just buying bottled-water

- Carrying small travel cloths instead of using paper towels or hand dryers

- Buying toilet paper and other paper towel products that are made from the rapidly growing bamboo instead of the slow-growing trees of our forests

- You can swap out liquid soaps, shampoos and many other cleaning products for locally made natural soap! It's a great way to reduce your plastic packaging consumption

- Avoid cling film (as it cannot be recycled) and tin foil (which can only be recycled if clean)

- With the amount of light we have in our studios we can grow indoor plants that create oxygen. More oxygen = better mood and more energy = more productivity and a happy environment. Make sure to grown some plants in your own office or at home! Peace lilies are a great plant for your work desk, because they're easy to grow and care for, AND they help improve air quality, removing formaldehyde, benzene, and carbon monoxide from the surrounding air! Be sure to check out this great graphic guide for the best air purifying plants according to NASA!

- Bring your reusable coffee cup with you when you're getting take-away coffee.

- Use a reusable water-bottle or ask for tap water in a glass when eating out instead of buying bottled water.

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How has Green Bag's efforts been measured and can you share what we’re achieving in terms of our green goals?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) boffins came and studied us in Dublin – they found in the first three years of Green Bag we managed to reduce our carbon emissions by 30%... even though the company grew in size.

That’s the equivalent of taking 145 cars off the road for a year!

Since then, we’ve organised loads of other initiatives, besides continuing our carbon reduction, like planting native woodland in the countryside, and planting pollinator-friendly plants in our courtyard.

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We’ve had bike workshops to encourage our cyclists, hosted a zero-waste pop-up shop, and all the while we’re trying to completely eliminate single-use plastic in the studio. We’ve achieved ISO 14001 certification… the list goes on!

 

Anything else you'd like to share?

Get involved! If you’re reading this and you're a staff member, if you’ve got an idea, or want to help out, we’d love to hear from you.

If you’re in a school or a company and want to start your own green committee, just go for it! You might be pleasantly surprised how supportive people are and how much they can help. We were!

Wanna get involved? 

If you're looking for information on Climate Change, be sure to check out news and reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and also Green News which puts environmental news front and center, from the likes of pollution and renewable energy to climate change and wildlife conservation.

For info and tips on how you can reduce your carbon footprint or be more environmentally friendly, check out the Carbon CalculatorZero Waste IrelandZero Waste Festival and this great blog post 35 Easiest Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint.

If you have the opportunity to donate, pop over to Rainforest Trust, David Suzuki FoundationManchester City of TreesTree Canda or get involved with your own local tree planting or ocean cleaning charities!

And be sure to take a look at All-Ireland Pollinator Plan for info on how you can participate as an individual, community or business to help save our bees!

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Let's spread the word that we love animation - and we love this planet too!


Anahita Tabarsi

Anahita is Brown Bag Films' Digital Marketing Manager and drinks more than five coffees a day...

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