We don't produce a great deal in the way of rubbish. What we do, is largely paper and cardboard.
Because we're lucky enought to be in what's known as a BID - a Business Improvement District -
part of the tiny levy we pay to be a member means that all our recycling is collected for free.
If you want to know more about the BID in our area, go here to angel.london click here for more info.
So, aside from a few tea-bags, empty olive tubs and humus containers (well, this is Islington after all),
more than 90% of our waste is recycled.
We also recycle - Rubber bands, Bubble wrap, Packaging, Cardboard Boxes -
in fact almost of packaging we're sent by our suppliers. So don't be surprised when your
web order turns up in a re-used box.
We can't afford air-conditioning, so that saves a fair bit of electricity.
Did you know that air-conditioning in London is a vicious circle?
They (clever people) reckon that there are now so many air-conditioners
in use that they generate enough heat spewing onto the streets to raise the
temperature outside by around 4 degrees centigrade, which, by a bizarre
coincidence means you need to turn the airconditioners on.
We've dumped more than 99% of our old light bulbs and replaced them with energy savers.
They're still so expensive - about 7 quid as opposed to 60p each. So it'll be years before we
get our money back in cost savings on the electricity bills, but to be honest, the main reason
for doing it was because it makes the shop much cooler (not that we're not already the coolest
shops around) and helps with the lack of air-conditioning!
We run a VW Transporter van for the smaller of our deliveries.
For everything else we use a variety of lovely firms of furniture movers from man and
van operations, to large shipping companies - which means we don't need a big fleet.
None of our staff drive to work: some walk, some use the buses
(still can't get over Livingstone scrapping the wonderful Routemaster - in 2001 he said,
"only a ghastly dehumanised moron would want to get rid of the Routemaster" Hmmm.),
some the Tube and others cycle. Those of us who do cycle use Bromptons - which, if
you don't already know, are the sexiest folding bike in existence - and British-made.
The greenest thing about After Noah is the stuff we sell.
Vintage • It doesn't get much better for the environment than buying things that have been
owned by someone before you. With antique and vintage items, not only do you nearly always
get something which is of far superior quality to its contemporary equivalent, nor do you just
benefit from the fact that you aren't even paying for the cost of manufacture or labour- there simply
isn't really any environmental cost at all - whatever the cost at the time, the planet's already paid for it.
New Stuff • We source as much stock as we can locally - as in UK-based
- but with the state of manufacturing in this country, it's impossible to entirely stock our shops from the UK alone.
The next step is to source ethically, which to be truthful, is harder than you'd imagine - but we do our best.
Beyond that, we try not to buy stuff that's over packaged and covered in plastic and that's relatively easy for us,
because most badly packaged stuff is horrid and we've got such great, simple taste - we'd never stock it in the first place.
Oh, then there's China; did I mention it? Best not talk about it; people get a bit upset.
Our newspaper bags are made by an NGO whose main objective is to
provide education and shelter to street children in Delhi. This eco-friendly product
is made from recycled Indian newspaper. The organisation was started in 2004
by street children who wanted to give something back in return for the opportunities
which had allowed them to escape desperate circumstances. Support for this
wonderful project means that these children can enjoy going to school
and playing, rather than pulling rickshaws, shoe polishing, rag picking and worse.
Don't suppose shipping them from India to the UK is all that clever, but some good comes of it.
The other paper bags we use, apart from being sweet, are ethically sourced
and conform to all manner of incomprehensibly named Standards and the production
of which are carbon neutral. We also never ask a customer if they 'want' a bag,
but rather, if they 'need' one. In the past 5 years, we've seen our bag consumption drop
by 75% as a result of that sort of general awareness. The new 5p charge, though not compulsory
for paper bags has also seen usage fall. We also sell re-useable shopping bags.