How green is the Queen?
Is the Queen environmentally friendly?
As we arrive at the Queen's Platinum jubilee celebration weekend, here's some things you might not know about the Royal Family's environmental efforts:
Saying no to pesticides
The paths in the queen's gardens are cleared of weeds using a wood burning machine. This may sound harsh, but it actually eliminates the need for chemical pesticides and the resulting waste is broken down naturally helping to fertilise the surrounding soil. With no need for chemicals, this is a much better option for the environment.
There is immense biodiversity within the gardens of Buckingham Palace. The gardens are regularly surveyed for wildlife and at the last count they recorded five species of Damsel flies and seven species of Dragonflies. Since 2009 the gardens have been home to four beehives. Bees are a great indicator of a wonderful environment for all sorts of flora and fauna. There are over 350 species of wildflowers and a further 600 species of plants for the bees to feed on. The honey produced is enjoyed at garden parties by guests of Her Majesty.
Balmoral recycle over 50 million tonnes of organic waste every year turning it into compost and other useful resources. The forests at Balmoral are all FSC certified so they are sustainably managed. They grow their own fresh fruit and vegetables and are aligned to the Soil Association who promote organic farming.
The Royal Households are working on waste reduction on the running of their buildings as well. Across the estates they have over 60 smart metres installed to optimise power usage. Hydro power is employed at Windsor Castle. Using the natural power from the River Thames Windsor Castle generates 40% of its electricity reducing its reliance on the national grid. These are complimented with the roll out of LED lights across the estates. These lights use 86% less energy than conventional bulbs. They also help keep the correct ambient temperature for the Queen, her guests and all the valuable works of art that are housed in the palaces.
The Queens Green Canopy
Ahead of the Jubilee, the Queen launched “The Queens Green Canopy” initiative. This encourages communities, individuals, corporates and schools to plant trees in their local areas. The Queen planted her first tree, an oak in 1949 in front of around 800 school children.
So, the Royal family do seem to be doing their bit where they can help the environment. Like all of us, there's always room for improvement and they are of in a very privileged position to be able to make eco friendly changes on such a large scale. Let's be honest, not all of us have room for a beehive. However, they've definitely impressed us with their sustainability efforts. What do you think?