This year at our annual conference we held workshops to discuss ideas about going green(er) and reducing our carbon footprint across all our projects. With International Earth Day coming up in the next month environmental issues are sure to be at the forefront of everybody's mind, so here's what we're doing in our corner of the world: Meat Free Mondays As well as the health benefits and the financial benefits of eating less meat, cutting meat out of you diet for just one day a week can help the planet! The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation estimates that between 13 - 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions are created by the livestock industry. Greenpeace estimate that eating 1kg of beef represents roughly the same carbon footprint as a flight over 100km per passenger! We're not asking our staff and volunteers to give up meat entirely, but one day a week doesn't seem like too much to ask! For more info on Meat Free Mondays visit their website here GreenPop GreenPop are a social enterprise that plant trees in South Africa and Zambia. They started planting as a way to off-set their carbon footprint, and now 2 years later they have planted more than 17,000 trees in over 200 locations! Through our partnership with GreenPop we are able to offer volunteering opportunities and internships, and help the planet at the same time. Visit their website here Alternatively you can read about our GreenPop projects and internships Solar Power Antelope Park and Chimfunshi are making use of the readily-available energy source above our heads and making the switch to solar power! Unfortunately Africa is still heavily reliant on fossil fuels, but that's no excuse for us not to do our bit! Our Thanda, Victoria Falls and Cape Town projects are also taking advantage of this free, clean energy by creating Solar Cookers - these use no fuel and cost nothing to operate so not only are they cheap, they help reduce deforestation caused by gathering firewood. Recycling There's more to recycling than just separating paper and plastic. By reusing certain materials we can reduce the amount of waste we produce! We're looking at using plastic bottles in the construction of a greenhouse, and composting waste and leftover food for use as organic fertiliser. Include the Volunteers! Luckily for us, the kind of people that like to volunteer and help others are also pretty keen to save the planet as well! Our volunteers will play an active part of our green(er) initiative, and will be encouraged to suggest and implement their own ideas on the projects. This could involve community education, litter picks, using bikes or horses on projects as transport, or even creating community gardens to grow fruit and vegetables. What are you doing to be green? We would love to hear from you. We are always on the look-out for new ideas to reduce our carbon footprint and help the environment so if you have any other suggestions,we'd love to hear them!