Impact: Melissa’s sustainability steps

May 3, 2021

You might already be aware that it’s part of my mission to continue improving my sustainability and environmental impact as I work to help charities and for-purpose organisations with their comms. To keep me on track in continually improving my positive impact, I’m recording the steps I take each month in the blog post below. At the end of each year (April to March), I also do a roundup of that year’s impact:
 
 

Impact in 2022-23 to date (April ’22 to March ’23)

  • Proudly supporting Project Seagrass ✔️
  • Seagrass seeds funded through Project Seagrass donations: ~843
  • Additional donations to other charities: £55
  • Days of pro bono support, volunteering and citizen science: 6
    • (goal: five days)
  • Trees planted via Treeapp: 124
    • (423 total trees, 299 of those were planted in 2021)
  • Ecologi Climate Committee member ✔️
  • Trees added to my Ecologi forest this year: 134
    • (882 total trees in my Ecologi forest, 748 of those were added last year)
  • Trees planted via my refoorest extension: 37
  • Amount donated to Eden Reforestation Projects via WeWard: £10 (2,000 Wards)
  • Donated blood: Once
  • Petitions signed: 8
  • Emails to my MP: 3
  • Default search engine = Ecosia ✔️
    • Over 11,000 searches to date = roughly 244 trees planted)
    • Over 8,000 of those searches / 178 trees tracked by the start of this year (April ’22)

Impact in… Aug 2022 (to date – last updated 11 Aug)

🗒 Attended the monthly Ecologi Climate Committee meeting with my fee going towards tree planting

👟 Donated 500 ‘Wards’ (aka £2.50) generated by my steps to Eden Reforestation Projects via WeWard (referral code: MELL-J7s3F)

😴 Took some time out to rest so I’m rejuvenated and ready to continue having a positive impact in September

Impact in… July 2022

🌱 Funded around 120 seagrass seeds by donating to Project Seagrass via Work for Good

🦈 Provided three days of pro bono support to The Madagascar Whale Shark Project Foundation and a couple of private projects

✒ Signed a petition to end access refusals for guide dog owners

✍🏼 Wrote to my MP about the issues being faced by guide dog owners now the UK is no longer part of the Pet Passports scheme

👟 Donated 500 ‘Wards’ (aka £2.50) generated by my steps to Eden Reforestation Projects via WeWard (referral code: MELL-J7s3F)

🗒 Attended the monthly Ecologi Climate Committee meeting with my fee going towards tree planting

🌴 50 new trees added to my Ecologi forest

🐬 Donated £25 to the British Divers Marine Life Rescue to help them continue their amazing work

🖥 Hit 11,000 searches with my default search engine Ecosia – that’s around 244 trees planted (based on ~45 searches per tree)

🌳 31 trees planted via Treeapp

🌳 1 tree planted via my Refoorest extension

Impact in… June 2022

🌱 Funded around 117 seagrass seeds by donating to Project Seagrass via Work for Good

✒ Signed a World Ocean Day letter asking to protect at least 30% of our blue planet by 2030

🦈 Provided two days of pro bono support to MARINElife (for a PR consultancy Power Hour, including prep and follow up) and The Madagascar Whale Shark Project Foundation (for some out of scope work)

🤍 Made a small donation (£10) to Bowelbabe in memory of the amazing Dame Deborah James

🌳 30 trees planted via Treeapp

🖥 Hit 10,000 searches with my default search engine Ecosia – that’s around 222 trees planted (based on ~45 searches per tree)

🗒 Attended the monthly Ecologi Climate Committee meeting with my fee going towards tree planting

🌴 84 new trees added to my Ecologi forest (& I am now an Ecologi Climate Positive business)

👟 Donated 500 ‘Wards’ (aka £2.50) generated by my steps to Eden Reforestation Projects via WeWard (referral code: MELL-J7s3F)

✒ Signed a petition speaking up for human rights

🌳 19 trees planted via my Refoorest extension

Impact in… May 2022

🌱 Funded around 607 seagrass seeds by donating to Project Seagrass via Work for Good

📴 When I accidentally smashed my phone (boo!!), I bought a refurbished replacement rather than buying new and sent my broken phone off to Envirofone for the parts to be recycled

👟 Donated 500 ‘Wards’ (aka £2.50) generated by my steps to Eden Reforestation Projects via WeWard (referral code: MELL-J7s3F)

⚓ After an amazing tour around the RNLI College, I made a small donation (£20) to help support the charity’s incredible life-saving work

🦈 Provided one day of pro bono support to The Madagascar Whale Shark Project Foundation for some out of scope work needed this month

✒ Signed a petition to allow mortgage providers to use rent payment history as proof that mortgage payments are affordable

✏ Signed a Wildlife Trust petition asking for access to nature in every neighbourhood

✍🏼 Added my name to a Wildlife Trust petition demanding more for nature

🖥 Hit 9,000 searches with my default search engine Ecosia – that’s around 200 trees planted (based on ~45 searches per tree)

✈ Because I booked a flight for my upcoming summer holiday (back to Africa to visit some of my MMF amigos), I offset 4 tonnes of CO2 via my Ecologi profile (the return flight will produce 3.38 tonnes of CO2 according to the World Land Trust carbon calculator). I know people have different feelings around taking flights but this felt like a way of minimising my impact while doing something that will bring me joy ☀

🌳 Downloaded the Refoorest extension to plant trees while I browse: 17 trees planted so far

🗒 Attended the monthly Ecologi Climate Committee meeting with my fee going towards tree planting

🌳 31 trees planted via Treeapp

Impact in… April 2022 (to date – last updated 26 April)

🌳 29 trees planted via Treeapp

🌱 Announced my new policy to donate 1% of every cleared payment to Project Seagrass via Work for Good

🌊 Announced my World Ocean Day offer for marine conservation NGOs looking for some pro bono copywriting support in May

🎨 Made sure my website is accessible by checking (and updating!) the contrast of the text against the background

🩸 Took some time out of work to donate blood

🖊 Signed a petition asking supermarkets to tackle food waste in their supply chains

📩 Emailed my MP asking them to attend Guide Dogs’ event on ensuring visually impaired children get the support they need

✒ Signed a petition against the Government plans to send asylum seekers to Rwanda

📩 Emailed my MP asking them to support the Better Business Act (BBA)

📝 Signed a Marine Conservation Society petition calling for proper protections for our seas, now

✔️ Discovered and downloaded We Ward to turn my everyday steps into donations (referral code: MELL-J7s3F)

👟 Donated 500 ‘Wards’ (aka £2.50) to Eden Rainforestation Projects via We Ward

🗒 Attended the monthly Ecologi Climate Committee meeting. As usual, my fee will go towards tree planting

Total impact from April ’21 to March ’22

For the full overview of what I did to give back from April ’21 to March ’22 please see this blog post.

  • Days of pro bono support, volunteering and citizen science: 7.5
  • Humpback whales adopted: 3
  • Manta rays adopted: 3
  • Whale sharks adopted: 3
  • Basking sharks adopted: 3
  • Guide dogs adopted: 1
  • Donated blood: Twice
  • Trees planted via Treeapp: 299
  • Trees in my Ecologi forest: 748
  • Ad hoc charitable donations (excluding animal adoptions): £217
  • Ecologi Climate Committee member ✔️
  • Member of the ethical move movement for transparent and ethical comms ✔️
  • Member of the Clean Creatives movement against working with fossil fuel companies ✔️
  • Default search engine = Ecosia ✔️ (over 8,000 searches to date = roughly 178 trees planted)
  • Sustainable web hosting service ✔️
  • Fossil fuel-free pension fund ✔️

Impact in… March 2022

🌳 31 trees planted via Treeapp

🌱 Spent an hour helping Ocean Conservation Trust with their seagrass bagging project – together with the many other volunteers, I played a small part in packing the 10,400 bags which are now all settled on the seabed in Plymouth Sound

🗒 Attended the monthly Ecologi Climate Committee meeting and, as always, waiving my fee to be used for tree planting

🚙 Drove to a client meeting (no public transport options – although, retrospectively, I should have thought about car sharing!) so I planted 25 trees to offset the journey

🤓 Provided one day’s pro bono PR in the form of consultancy for Walk for Earth and a bit of extra project support for the Madagascar Whale Shark Project

Impact in… February 2022

🌊 Offered one day’s pro bono PR consultancy to the Madagascar Whale Shark Project

🗒 Attended the monthly Ecologi Climate Committee meeting and waiving my fee to be used for tree planting… there are now 723 trees in my Ecologi forest (that’s including the few I bought the lovely Sam Andrews seeing as our coffees are always virtual!)

🥫 Donated a few items to the local foodbank via the wonderful peeps at Yoginah

⚓ Made a £20 donation to the RNLI to help support their lifesaving work

🕊️ Donated £20 to the Red Cross to go towards their work supporting people in Ukraine

🌍 Hit 7,000 searches with my default search engine Ecosia (since I started tracking/saving number of searches on my device) – that’s around 156 trees planted (based on ~45 searches per tree)

🌳 28 trees planted via Treeapp

🪐 Spent a cheeky half hour helping WWF identify walrus from space as a citizen scientist… now waiting for new data to analyse!

✒️ Signed a petition calling to protect the Loch Lomond wallabies and natural areas from the planned building of holiday lets

Impact in… January 2022

🔁 Joined the circular economy by signing up to Olio: several items I don’t need any more have now found a new home and I’ve picked up some nearly-new stationary too!

🪐 Spent half a day helping WWF identify walrus from space as a citizen scientist

🌊 Spent half a day offering pro bono PR guidance to the Motion for the Ocean movement (in the form of a PR Power Hour, including planning time and follow up)

🌳 31 trees planted via Treeapp

❤️‍🩹 After dad’s heart procedure was successful (thank goodness!), donated £20 to British Heart Foundation to support their lifesaving work

🐬 Made a £22 donation to BDMLR after they kindly let me virtually attend a porpoise dissection (words I never thought I’d say!)

💉 In celebration of having my booster, donated £22 to UNICEF to help other people around the world access the vaccine

🤓 Announced my formalised pro bono process and lead times to help me streamline requests

🗒 Attended the monthly Ecologi Climate Committee meeting and waiving my fee to be used for tree planting

✍️ Wrote to my MP asking them to support the Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill

📧 And reduced my carbon footprint by having a HUGE email clearout and deleting thousands of old emails I no longer need

Impact in… December 2021

🌳 31 trees planted via Treeapp

🦈 Adopted a basking shark in the form of a donation to The Shark Trust on behalf of Barley Communications

🐳 Adopted a humpback whale on behalf of the Brecon Beacons National Park (via a donation to WWF)

🗒 Attended the monthly Ecologi Climate Committee meeting. As usual, I’ll be waiving my fee to be used for tree planting

🎫 Helped raise vital funds for BDMLR’s marine life rescues around the UK by donating to their Christmas raffle

✍️ Signed an open letter asking to make things equal for children with sight loss.

✒️ Called on the Home Secretary and Secretary of State for Justice to stop the Government’s dangerous new Policing Bill.

🖋 Asked the government to commit to no new oil or gas in the North Sea and support oil and gas workers and communities in the transition towards renewable energy.

🍏 Rescued a Too Good to Go Magic Bag. Delicious snacks for me with the added bonus of helping reduce food waste!

🪐 Spent a day helping WWF identify walrus from space as a citizen scientist

💉 Took time out of my working day to give blood

Impact in… November 2021

🌳 30 trees planted via Treeapp

🚉 Chose to travel by train instead of plane to Glasgow for COP26. This saved around 191.88kg of carbon compared to flying according to Pawprint (& e-tickets to save paper)

📢 Joined the Fridays for the Future march for climate justice (Glasgow, November 5th)

📢 And joined the Global Day of Action climate march (Glasgow, November 6th)

🌱 Spent half a day in Plymouth packing seagrass seed bags as a volunteer for the Ocean Conservation Trust. (travelled by train using e-tickets not paper tickets)

🚙 Drove to a client meeting (because public transport was challenging) so I planted 25 trees to offset the journey

🪐 Spent a day (not all in one go) getting my citizen science on helping WWF identify walrus from space

🐶 Adopted a guide dog puppy (named Pudding which is also my nickname!) to celebrate working with Guide Dogs

💱 Switched my pension to Pensionbee’s fossil-free, tobacco-free and arms-free plan (yey) from Penfold’s ESG plan as it turned out this was investing funds in Shell (ugh). When I last switched pensions, the fossil free plan wasn’t available (that I saw). This was a good reminder to keep reviewing and updating practices and tools!

🎤 Appeared as a guest on a Facebook Live for the Being Freelance community. We talked about ways freelancers can go greener… Was pleased to hear this inspired people to set up an environmental policy, try meat free Mondays, tree planting, reducing their carbon footprint by deleting emails and more!

📻 Similarly, appeared on the Where Ideas Launch podcast to share some of my communications knowledge with sustainable business owners

🗒 Attended the monthly Ecologi Climate Committee meeting and waived my fee to go towards tree planting

📋 Signed Oceana’s petition to ban bottom trawling in MPAs

🖋 Also signed British Red Cross’ pledge saying I believe every refugee matters and calling for a more compassionate and effective way to support refugees.

✒️ Finally, added my name to Greenpeace’s petition asking Shell to stop hiding behind carbon offsetting

Impact in… October 2021

🌳 31 trees planted via Treeapp

🌴 Now, there are 366 trees planted in my Ecologi forest (from my waived fee for monthly Climate Committee meetings)

✍️ Pledged to join Clean Creatives: a movement to bring together PR professionals to set a new industry standard that agencies should not work with fossil fuel companies or their front groups (obviously, a no-brainer for me when I heard about it!)

📝 Signed the Sustainable Web Manifesto

🖋 And signed petitions for accessible high streets; asking supermarkets to tackle the millions of tonnes of food waste in their supply chains; calling for stronger protections for seals in England and Wales; and the Earth Day petition asking negotiators to finally meet the Paris Agreement targets

✒️ As well as signing an open letter asking the UK government to turn empty promises into climate action

🌴 Also attended Ecologi‘s monthly Climate Committee meeting (fee waived for trees to be planted)

Impact in… September 2021

🌳 30 trees planted via Treeapp

🦈 Adopted a basking shark in the form of a donation to The Shark Trust on behalf of Nat Geo

🐳🦈 Also adopted a whale shark in the form of a donation to MMF on behalf of Popcorn PR

🌊 And adopted a manta ray in the form of a donation to The Manta Trust on behalf of Confident Tiger

📝 Signed a petition to make reducing sewage pollution a legal requirement in the UK

✒️ As well as Signing a petition against the whale & dolphin hunts on Faroe Islands

🚮 Took part in the Marine Conservation Society’s Great British Beach Clean

🌴 Attended Ecologi‘s monthly Climate Committee meeting and an additional breakout meeting (fee waived)

Impact in… August 2021

🌳 30 trees planted via Treeapp

🗣️ Pledged to join the ethical move. This is a movement in service of a new marketing standard based on transparency, trust, and honesty. Please connect with me if you see me not honouring my pledge

📝 Adopted a manta ray on behalf of Frame PR in the form of a donation to The Manta Trust

🚮 Signed up to take part in the Marine Conservation Society’s Great British Beach Clean in September

📝 Signed a WDC petition asking TUI to stop supporting whale and dolphin captivity

📧 Emailed my MP asking them to support nature in the upcoming debate on whether to rethink HS2’s current plans which are devastating whole ecosystems and habitats

🐳 Adopted a humpback whale on behalf of the Independent (in the form of a donation to WWF)

🦈 Also adopted a whale shark on behalf of Madagascar Film & Photography (in the form of a donation to Madagascar Whale Shark Project)

💰 Made a £30 donation (plus £0.90 to cover processing fees) to the International Rescue Committee to support their work to help the thousands of Afghan people currently in crisis

💰 Also made a £30 donation to Action Aid’s Haiti Earthquake Appeal 2021 for the response team aiming to help thousands of people affected by the earthquake

🌴 Attended Ecologi‘s monthly Climate Committee meeting and waived my fee to plant some trees instead

Impact in… July 2021

🌳 30 trees planted via Treeapp

🤓 Joined the Ecologi Climate Committee. As a committee member, I will be helping to help guide the company’s climate impact strategy as it continues to grow its platform for climate action

🌴 25 trees planted in my Ecologi forest

🦈Adopted a basking shark in the form of a donation to The Shark Trust on behalf of Blue Cactus Digital

🚉 Chose to travel by train instead of plane, which saved around 191.88kg CO2 according to Pawprint

🩸 Gave blood… OK not technically a work related action (although I was sorting work emails from the donation chair) but exciting that I wasn’t rejected because of low iron levels this time. AND my blood will be going to the neonatal unit!

💰 Offered my time to share feedback with Pawprint and donated the £30 fee to the Madagascar Whale Shark Project

💉 Celebrated getting my second Covid-19 jab by donating £45 to Unicef. This is enough to enable them to transport 1,593 doses of vaccines

🐬 Certified as a British Divers Marine Life Recue marine mammal medic and was trained on how to respond to stranded cetaceans and injured seals

🖥️ Deleted unnecessary images from my website to continue reducing its size. Its carbon footprint is now rated as great (from OK) according to Beacon

🌊 Offered half an hour’s pro bono PR support for Madagascar Whale Shark Project

Impact in… June 2021

🌊 Pro bono support: half a day

🐳🦈Adopted a whale shark on behalf of North PR in the form of a donation to the fab crew at Marine Megafauna Foundation

🌳 Joined Treeapp and planted 29 trees: offsetting my carbon emissions this month (yey!)

🖥️ Fixed some back-end website issues which reduced its size from 6.45GB (yikes!) to 1.92MB and moving my website’s carbon footprint from ‘bad’ to ‘OK’ according to Beacon.

💬 And took part in the Power of the Flock Challenge to meet and collaborate with other eco-minded businesses

Impact in… May 2021

🐳 Adopted a humpback whale and a manta ray on behalf of two new clients (Nat Geo and Original Travel in the form of donations to WWF and The Manta Trust respectively)

🌊 Half a day’s pro bono PR support for Madagascar Whale Shark Project

👵 Transferred my pension to a sustainable fund

Impact in… April 2021

🖥️ Improved the sustainability of my website by switching to a green hosting provider (Green Hosting) which uses renewable energy from North Sea wind farms and has an energy efficient London data centre

🐳 Announced my policy to adopt a marine animal for each new organisation I work with

🌊 Also offered one day’s pro bono PR support for Madagascar Whale Shark Project

Please note: My impact tracking began when I went freelance full-time in 2021. I track and tally any activity according to the UK tax year (April to March)

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I do not work with the fossil fuel industry or PR agencies that retain fossil fuel clients. If that's you, please look for support elsewhere. Thank you.

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I support Project Seagrass by donating 1% of every cleared payment from my services via Work for Good

Please be aware, I do not work with the fossil fuel industry or PR agencies that retain fossil fuel clients.

If that's you, please look for support elsewhere. Thank you.