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Creating a buzz about going greener

There’s a real buzz around green issues as St Luke’s prepares for a more sustainable future.

For as part of the national Sustainable September campaign, we are set to welcome four bee hives, which will be placed in the gardens of the charity’s Ecclesall Road South site.

“The garden room at our Little Common Lane site already has a green roof with flowers for pollinators and that is looking wonderful at the moment,” said our Environmental Projects Coordinator Mary Bagley.

“Our gardens are beautiful and well established so it felt that now was the perfect time to be bringing our own colony of pollinators into the picture and who knows, it might not be too long before we are able to produce our own St Luke’s honey!”

We currently have four separate Green Working Groups made up of staff from across the organisation looking at four key areas – energy, transport, reducing, reusing and recycling and also grounds biodiversity and carbon capture.

A key player in the sustainability campaign is, of course, the chain of St Luke’s shops with their ranges of pre-loved clothing, bric-a-brac, books, CDs and DVDs and furniture.

Globally, 92 million tonnes of textile waste are produced each year so shopping in St Luke’s charity shops not only helps raise vital funds but helps the environment too.

Even items that cannot be sold are processed for recycling, meaning that nothing is ever wasted.

Plastic bags are being withdrawn and shoppers are now being encouraged to use paper and cotton bags only.

And for our retail section’s important e-trading department, all packaging and tape is now recyclable too.

The St Luke’s vans are a familiar sight across the city but the transport team are about to take delivery of their first electric vehicle and another vehicle is being converted to be compliant with the city’s Clean Air Zone policies.

Across the whole St Luke’s operation, all replacement light bulbs are long-life LED and all electricity comes from renewable energy sources.

We have had solar panels for many years but even these are now being replaced for greater energy efficiency.

“We take our responsibility for green issues very seriously and I think that is reflected in all these varied initiatives,” said Mary.

“In the same way that we care for our patients, so we care for the world around us and by taking active steps towards improving our carbon footprint, we feel we are making a genuine contribution to the green debate.”

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