There has been a certain atmosphere in the office this week that can only be related to presence of food, environmentally friendly food at that. Throughout the week, the staff at Sunvil, have been celebrating Britain and enjoying locally produced food as our part of our contribution to Climate Week. On Monday we saw a selection of cheeses, on Tuesday, a meat platter, Wednesday we indulged in afternoon tea, and on Thurday, a fantastic spread of homemade and/or locally produced pies, meat, cheese, soup and cake from all corners of the country. I am not the only one left groaning at my desk and dreading stepping on the scales at the end of the week.
Thankfully, the Sunvil team have been encouraged to leave their cars at home this week as a further contribution to our Climate Week campaign. Those who are walking and cycling to and from work will hopefully have sustained a sensible weight throughout the week. Sunvil is aware of the negative impacts tourism can have on the environment. Although the impact of aviation is not fully understood, it is thought that the CO2 released by aircraft is a large contributor to climate change. Flights made by Sunvil customers release approximately 30, 000 tonnes of Carbon into the atmosphere each year. This is the same as there being 3, 500 additional cars on the road. Sunvil cares about the environment and throughout the year we promote Carbon Offsetting to our customers, as well as recycling and conserving energy in our office everyday.
Sunvil is a proud donator to The Travel Foundation, a UK charity which aims to protect the natural environment, traditions and cultures of the countries which we love to visit. This has been a key inspiration to our activities during Climate Week. The natural environment is an influential element to the reason our clients choose to visit many of our destinations, such as to see the Northern Lights in Norway, Safari trips throughout Africa and Bird Watching in the Azores; all of which are in some way threatened by climate change.
The theory of climate change is well known in terms of our changing weather conditions and increasing temperatures. Other than sea level rises as a consequence of the melting of the polar icecaps, the effect of climate change is still little acknowledged. The increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere are being absorbed by our oceans, altering the chemical composition and causing sea water to become more acidic, a process known as ocean acidification. Ocean acidification is having detrimental effects on many marine organisms. Organisms made up of Calcium Carbonate components are particularly at risk. The shells of mussels, scallops and oysters and the skeletons of corals are dissolving as a result of this increase in acidity.
Greece is a popular destination for our clients, many of whom will have enjoyed seafood during their visit. Recent scientific research has found shellfish can reduce their growth rate as a means of coping with the energy requirement for rebuilding their dissolving shells. If we continue to emit CO2 at the current rate, we will soon notice a reduction in the size of the shellfish on our plates, which along with over fishing, will eventually lead to the collapse of an important local livelihood.
Our clients are also enjoying the marine environment in the Azores. Whale watching is a popular activity for holiday makers there. Whales are not known to be directly affected by ocean acidification, but shell fish play an important role in the food chain of marine mammals such as the Whales you may see whilst visiting the Azores. The changes in ocean temperatures may influence their migration patterns so the opportunity to see these animals in their natural environment may not be available to us in the future.
These are just some of the reasons why we’re dedicated to Climate Week.