Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

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My week as a green crusader

Tue Feb 15 2011

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Here are Matt Truscott (violin) and Cecelia Bruggemeyer (double bass) at our intimate Meet The Band event… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…


In honour of the Orchestra’s Green Tour around the UK this week, the office-based administrative team also committed to Green Week.  For a OAE goes greenbit of fun most of us wore something green all week, as a constant reminder about all the things we would 100% commit to do.  I spent the week carrying my thermos flask and a ‘Cats of Cyprus’ fabric shopping bag with me in an attempt to avoid package wastage and also spent the entire week nagging my colleagues about turning their computers off properly at the end of the day… Here’s how I got on the rest of the week…

A normal day in the office, today, whilst the orchestra were busy rehearsing down at The Warehouse (one of our regular rehearsal venues).  Had a player meeting later on in the day, which required 4 A4 pages of handouts.  I copied them all onto 1 A4 sheet (double-sided and at 50% size), praying that no body minds how small the text would be – reading glasses at the ready! (incidentally I didn’t get any comments).  Later on that day I had the fun task of carrying home a DVD player with large speaker I’d been given (in huuuge box!).  Determined not to cave in and get a taxi I had an interesting journey home, much to the hilarity of my fellow train passengers.

Concert day at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, which started with meeting the Web streaming team down at the hall, helping them with their set-up.  Am really excited about the web stream as thousands of people will be able to watch our concert without having to travel anywhere!  I decided to grab a coffee on the way back to the office, and asked if I could get my coffee in my flask (to avoid wasting more cardboard cups).  The barrister had to ask her supervisor if this was OK, which yes it was – result.  Sadly the coffee was made in the cardboard cup and then poured into my flask – FAIL!  Cardboard cup still wasted…

Later on at the hall, was excited to see the signs in the foyer asking our patrons to reuse their programmes, and our article in the programme

Getting the audience to play their part in our green tour

Getting the audience to play their part in our green tour

about the green tour.  Southbank centre is totally on top of environmental issues and recycling etc, so big tick!  It was a shame that on the way home I didn’t screw the lid back on my water bottle properly and by the time I got home my bag and re-useable programme were soaked.  I hope it dries out in time for our next concert on 3rd March.

Back in the office today, and lots of talk about the concert last night.  We’re all still wearing green and excitedly talking about our clothes swop on Friday lunchtime.  Forgot to take my ‘Cats of Cyprus’ bag to Tesco at lunchtime so walked back to the office with a pack of tomatoes, celery and 2 avocados in my hand – looked like a fool but I was determined not to waste another bag!  Working on some contracts today, and am getting annoyed that I keep making some silly mistakes which means multiple wasted sheets of paper.  Grrr.  Still, at least we have recycling bins to put the wasted paper in…

Feel very tired today, after the late night last night, but I am keeping to my commitment of walking up and down the stairs to visit the ladies room rather than using the escalators or lifts in Kings Place.  Now that’s real dedication!

Virgin Trains talk about their Carbon Emissions on the ticket wallet

Virgin Trains talk about their Carbon Emissions on the ticket wallet

Off to Sheffield today for our 3rd concert in the tour.  I was catching the train with a few string players who weren’t involved in the previous night’s concert in Keswick as the stage was too small.  Armed with my coffee flask we boarded the train and enjoyed a very pleasant 2 hour ride ‘up North’. So much more pleasant than driving, and I even managed to catch up with some work on the way.   We arrived at the Premier Inn hotel Sheffield at the same time as the rest of the Orchestra who were on a coach from Kendal where they had stayed the previous night.  Some great signs at the hotel showing they were well on top of environmental commitments, including the obligatory ‘re-using towels’ notices you get in the bathroom.

Later at the concert hall, real evidence of a waste/recycling management system too – hooray.

Recycling at Sheffield City Hall

Recycling at Sheffield City Hall

Back to London this morning, and an equally pleasant journey on East Midland trains.  A short walk back to the office (the benefits of having an office so near to the King’s Cross / St Pancras transport hub) in time for the lunchtime clothes swop.  Picked up some real gems from my colleagues as well as getting rid of some stuff I just wasn’t wearing.   Anything left over we’ll take to a charity shop.  A new stationary order arrived in the office today, and I’d asked especially for a new recycled notepad.  It’s got a hot pink cover and I can’t wait to carry that around with me once my other one is all used up (loooooser!)

It hasn’t been that difficult to go that extra mile this week and carry out my daily job and life with a few little tweaks.  It may seem silly to do all these little things, in the grand scheme of how big the world is, but I truly believe if everyone made a little effort like this it would all help.  The Green travel for the orchestra this week, has been a lot of extra effort to organise, and I thank my colleagues for all their hard work.  It seems to have been enjoyed by all, and I’m looking forward to repeating Green Week again in the future.

Ceri Jones, Projects Director