With the UK hosting the G7 summit in Cornwall’s Carbis Bay in June followed by the COP26 in Glasgow this November, Earth Day 2021 feels even closer to home. Launched in 1970 with a mission to diversify, educate and activate the environmental movement worldwide, Earth Day works with over 75,000 partners in 192 countries to drive positive action for our planet.
This year’s theme is ‘Restore our Earth’ with a focus on natural processes, emerging green technologies and innovative thinking that can restore the world’s ecosystems.
Eco innovation is never far from our minds, as we work towards our goal of becoming a zero-waste, carbon-neutral business. We recognise that removing and treating invasive plants creates waste, so to help mitigate that impact we developed Xtract™, our screening process that separates and removes knotweed rhizome, saving thousands of tonnes of perfectly good soil filling up precious landfill sites across the UK.
So, what do we do with the waste instead? We recently developed a method of converting it to biochar, a soil amendment that improves soil health and fertility but most importantly, captures the carbon that has been harvested from the atmosphere by the knotweed plant during its lifetime. Preserved within the biochar, this carbon is then stored in the ground where it remains for hundreds if not thousands of years. The next step is to figure out the best way to scale up this process, so we can use it to deal with all the knotweed waste produced by our activities.
Little things can make a big difference. Here are a few suggestions of ways you can go green this Earth Day. It might be easier than you think!