On a very rainy Friday in July eco action games popped up a playground at the Horniman Museum. We had a wonderful day with a full to bursting playground of families sheltering from the wet weather and learning lots about how to use water wisely (even though it seemed like we had it in abundance that day).
eco action games, in common with the Horniman, holds sustainability at the heart of everything it does, and in fact our two organisations’ ethos towards the environment are very similar. So, to celebrate the eco actions that the Horniman already undertakes, and also tell you a bit about the sustainable practices of eco action games, here are five sustainable values which both the Horniman and eco action games have in common.
The Horniman museum has achieved some of the highest accolades for museums in sustainability, such as the Green Tourism Award. The museum takes sustainability very seriously and in 2014 they reduced their carbon dioxide and other emissions by 39,200kg CO2e – enough to fill Big Ben five times over.
Similarly, we here at eco action games aim to not only spread the CO2 saving message but to also commit to it in practice. Therefore, the eco action team always endeavour to travel to playground locations via public transport where humanly possible. One of the most important elements of designing our products is to ensure they are portable and easy to carry on foot. This way we can hugely reduce the carbon footprint of each pop up playground event.
The museum also has sustainability at the heart of its cultural offerings and currently has a Bee Exhibition, which comes from the assertion that ‘every third mouthful of food we eat is dependent upon the unmanaged pollination services of bees’. This series of work highlights the importance of biodiversity upon our food supply, and the uncertain future of our agricultural industries as our bee populations diminish globally at an alarming rate.
One of the best things we as individuals can do for biodiversity is to purchase organically sourced products so to reduce the amount of toxic chemicals being released into the ecosystem. Our eco action games bingo set bag and compendium pack bag is made from 100% organic cotton sourced from an ethically managed business in India, and brought over by sea.
Use Water Wisely
Each year around 187,000 litres of water from the Museum’s aquarium water filters are re-used for watering the Museum’s gardens. This water is a waste product which can’t be re-used in the aquarium due to impurities and the sensitivity of the fish and corals, but it’s perfect for the plants and is a brilliant example of using water efficiently and not wasting it unnecessarily.
At eco action games, Paula absolutely boycotts the purchase of bottled water at our playgrounds, so much so that on our snakes and ladders board if you land on the square “bought bottled water instead of drinking tap” you go right back to the beginning of the board.
The eco action team are also very excited to be travelling to the world water conference in Stockholm in August (off-setting our carbon of course) where we will be sharing the water saving message with 3000 other water professionals and enthusiasts from all over the globe.
Every Saturday the Horniman hosts a locally grown, and locally sold, farmers’ market selling vegetables, meat, fish, bread, flowers, hot food and much more. The Horniman Cafe also serves locally sourced meat and fish from sustainable sources, as well as local beer, gelato and cakes.
Similarly, here at eco action games we make the special effort to get our products produced from local, independent companies, such as our wonderful printers in Essex who create the games for us. Reducing carbon and other chemical emissions associated with international transportation and often increasing the demand for organic and/or recycled products. Buying locally also means you are investing in the local economy and helping to reduce the ideological disconnect between production and consumption of food. This is a value we feel very strongly about and one we are happy to see the Horniman supporting too.
Waste and recycling
The beautiful gardens are an important part of the Horniman Museum, and, in 2014, 97% of their garden waste was composted to create wonderful compost to spread back on the garden in the next year – a perfect circular economy. Also in 2014 The Horniman used almost 25% less paper and recycled an extra 31 tonnes of their waste output than in the previous year.
At eco action games our twister and snakes and ladders mats are made with 100% recyclable material to enable every part of the products to be used again. We are also very excited to be releasing our brand new waste and recycling themed top trumps and twister in the autumn.
We had a great day at the Horniman. But it’s not just about the message we are sharing with our eager participants, it is also about our own attitudes and behaviours. eco action games and the Horniman are committed to sustainable values and it was fabulous working together to deliver this playground. We hope to be back very soon!