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Flowering Elbow’s Environmental Policy

 

Summary

Flowering Elbow recognises that the environment in which we live and tinker, at once affects and supports our existence. Dangerous global climate change and large scale ecological transformations are a real and current legacy of human’s interactions with the wider world.

As a priority, and to the best of our knowledge, Flowering Elbow chooses to act in a way that has positive environmental impacts. We make these positive impacts effective through continued, rigorous and environmentally considerate analysis of the processes, materials, and technologies we use and make.

Our aim is to use technological and lifestyle solutions to everyday problems that contribute towards a future less dependent on non-renewable energy sources, less wasteful, less reliant on unsustainable consumption, and more creative, more environmentally conscious, and more technically skilled. We will endeavour to communicate both the spirit and techniques of these aims and solutions to visitors and users of our workshop, website readers, patrons of our products, collaborators, suppliers and contributors.

Energy consumption aims

We aim to reduce the consumption of energy, which results in the emission of greenhouse gasses year on year, by:

  • carefully monitoring and reducing our use of energy by clever and efficient use of electrical equipment, lighting and appliances – using batch processing, careful hardware selection and proper maintenance;
  • improving the thermal envelope of our premises to reduce space heating demand;
  • increasing the proportion of energy sourced from renewables (from external or onsite generation).

Designing in sustainability

Energy efficiency

Everything we design and make will be judged, in good measure, on its use (or not) of energy. Using energy consumption (or production) efficiency as a criteria we will model, record and evaluate the success of all parts and their role in complete systems. They will be worked upon and modified in order to better energy efficiency, and in some cases energy, production.

Durability

What we make and design will be made to last and durable enough for intended use. It will also be made with access points, so that maintenance and repair may be carried out by suitably confident and competent individuals. The items we design and sell will be supplied with (or we will make available on request) complete schematics and diagrams where they are necessary or of use in repair and maintenance procedures.

‘Design for deconstruction’: we consider how the components of what we make could go on to be useful after the user is finished with the device/article/contraption/or whatever.

Materials selection and use

Wherever possible we will up-cycle and make good use of ‘waste’ materials. This involves proactively seeking out and then using, modifying, integrating and re-using those materials, which would otherwise be destined for landfill or less environmentally sound re-cycling procedures involving overseas export.

Wherever possible we will source non-toxic materials and finishes for our projects.

When we sell an item which needs to be delivered, we will use a minimum of reclaimed or recycled packaging to make the shipping process safe.

Ethical procurement policy

When new resources are required, every effort is made to source sustainable materials (eg. home grown timber, from sustainably managed woodland, products made with recycled materials).

We consider the following when purchasing new materials: locality and transport impacts, the environmental policy of the supplier, workers conditions (e.g. fair trade certificated), packaging, durability, quality and end of product life implications.

Education and environmental awareness

We will help work towards a sustainable future with a continual effort to engage and involve people in innovative and creative solutions. We will do this through:

  • Running teaching workshops, in which participants are encouraged to design and make items that will have positive environmental affects.
  • Website communications, will highlight the importance of environmentally responsible design and making.
  • Product labels and documentation, will contain an ‘environmental message’ and tips on environmentally sustainable behaviour and product use.

Loving Wild West Wales

Both the Flowering Elbow office in Aberystwyth and workshop in the Carmarthenshire hills are places of fantastic beauty and inspiration. We will run our FE bases of operation:

  • without adversely affecting water, air, soil, plants and animals;
  • without causing nuisance through noise and odours;
  • without adversely affecting our surroundings.

Dust & Fume extraction

We will keep or workshop free of hazardous fumes, from welding operations , finishes or glues, by either taking such tasks outside, or ensuring adequate extraction is in place.

Our waste products

Waste products that we are unable to incorporate into our designs and workshops, will often be safely stored for a period, giving us and/or associates an opportunity to consider possible productive uses. After a given time, or if storage is unfeasible, careful consideration will be given to correct disposal. This will generally involve using appropriate external recycling facilities.

Regularly created ‘waste’ products such as wood sawdust will be safely utilised as useful heating fuel or compost material on-site.

We welcome any questions, comments, or suggestions for improvements you might have relating to our environmental policy.

Responses to Environmental Policy

  1. Matt

    How did you choose the name flowering elbow?

    I thought that you’re a Muay Thai practitioner.
    Also, kudos to your mission!

    I love your instructables.

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