Ellie Harrison has been registered as self-employed with HM Revenue & Customs (UK) since April 2004. In February 2010, she launched this Environmental Policy so that visitors to her website, people interested in her work and potential collaborators are made aware of the personal commitments she makes to reducing her carbon footprint. She takes full accountability for ensuring that the following objectives are adhered to, wherever possible.
Since January 2009, Ellie Harrison has adopted a vegan diet and no longer consumes any products or byproducts of the livestock industry. This decision was taken in light of the findings of the report Livestock’s Long Shadow published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 2006. The report concludes that the livestock industry (farming of cows, sheep, pigs and foul for meat and dairy products) is the single greatest contributor to climate change - producing 18% of the whole world’s greenhouse gas emissions. This is more than the 13.5% produced by all transportation in the world (including cars, trains, planes and everything else).
Since 2004, Ellie Harrison has used 100% renewal electricity at her home (and at her studio from 2005 - 2008), supplied by Good Energy. Since February 2010, she has also switched to using Good Energy’s gas supply at her home, which uses profits to fund the research and development of Renewable Heat initiatives. She only uses energy saving light bulbs at her home and attempts to operate best energy saving practice, turning appliances off at the plug sockets when not in use and using a cup to measure out the exact amount of hot water necessary to boil for hot drinks.
Ellie Harrison has a full UK Driving Licence, but chooses not to own a car. All her local journeys are made by bicycle, on foot or on public transport. Taxis are used only on occasions when large amounts of luggage or equipment need to be transported or when it may be unsafe to travel by other means. Long distance journeys within the UK are made by train, coach and occasionally by car, but never by plane. Ellie is a long-term supporter of the improvement of public transport and in 2009 launched the national Bring Back British Rail campaign. She attempts to limit international flights to one trip per year, and to make all shorter journeys to northern Europe by train or coach.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Ellie Harrison recycles all of the day-to-day waste that is practically possible given the facilities provided by Glasgow City Council. This includes paper, cardboard, plastic bottles (not other types of plastic), tins and cans, glass, clothes and shoes, plus compost, which she processes in her own back garden. She reuses envelopes and refuses plastic bags and other packaging whenever possible. She is registered with the Mail Preference Service to reduce the volume of junk mail sent to her address. She opts into all ‘paperless billing’ schemes offered by her suppliers and obsessively returns any other unsolicited mail received. She carries a refillable BPA free flask for drinking water and will never buy water unless in emergency. She uses rechargeable AA / AAA batteries and ensures that all other necessary batteries are responsibly recycled. She is also an advocate of resuable feminine hygiene products. When creating gallery based work she attempts to use objects or materials which are either temporarily loaned or secondhand from local sources or eBay. She uses eBay to sell on redundant objects or makes frequent donations to charity shops.
Since 2004, Ellie Harrison has banked her personal and business finances through The Co-operative Bank and Smile (the Internet bank from The Co-operative Bank), which both operate strict ethical policies with regard to human rights, international development, ecological impact and animal welfare. She took part in The Co-operative Bank 2008 ethical policy vote, helping to shape the current version of their policy. She is a member of The Co-operative Group and supports other co-operative ventures.
Ellie Harrison is continually looking to improve on her environmental commitments and to influence those who she works with to modify their own behaviour. When she moves home and / or studio she will, wherever possible, ensure that the modifications outlined above are made. She continues to lobby for the mainstreaming of the vegan diet, for improved public transport and recycling facilities and for the promotion of renewable energy. She is keen to collaborate and work with like-minded artists and organisations.