Issue #19

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Curiously Green

We need to do less, but better
The past month has been full of great things as we head into spring. Here at Wholegrain, we celebrated our 14th business birthday. Yay! We also launched the Better Business Act website with B Lab UK, encouraging the UK government to help make consideration for people and planet the norm, not the exception. Do pledge your companies’ support for a greener, fairer future for us all.

Today is Earth Day, and what better way to celebrate than to share our April newsletter with our usual round-up of the latest actions our industry is taking on an ongoing basis to protect the future of our planet? This month I have been struck by the theme that instead of doing more, being more mindful about digital consumption can yield better results. Perhaps, as they say, if we focus on where we can have the most impact, less is indeed more.

If you, or anyone you know, is interested in joining our team, we are still recruiting! We have two design vacancies, one for a UX/UI Designer, and one for a Contract Designer, as well as a Client Focused WordPress Developer role, so do check out/pass on those roles to anyone who might be interested.

Until next time,

– Tom Greenwood
Top picks from the green web
Meet the man taking on Google

Meet the man taking on Google


Marko Saric is one half of the team behind Plausible, the privacy friendly, open-source, cookie free analytics tool taking on Google Analytics. Together with his partner Uku Taht, he co-founded Plausible in 2020 after ten years in marketing, bringing a fresh, unusually conscious approach to the industry. Because of their focus on privacy, they inadvertently built a lightweight tool that is also better for the environment. This makes it an excellent choice for those organisations wanting to respect the needs of both people and planet.

At Wholegrain, we do currently use Google Analytics in most cases, partly because we “think” we need features not available in other services, and partly because we haven’t managed to persuade our clients otherwise. But that is changing, slowly, and I truly hope that we can make tools like Plausible the norm and not the exception.

Big tech steps up to tackle e-waste crisis

Big tech steps up to tackle e-waste crisis


We’ve talked before in this newsletter about the ever growing problem of electronic waste, and the challenge of tackling this against the reality of the working world where we need working smartphones and laptops to function effectively. The biggest issue here is the short lifespan of many tech products, meaning even the most conscious of us still need to replace tech more often than we’d like.

In 2019, the UN recorded more than 50 million tonnes of e-waste going to landfill. That’s why I’m pleased to see big tech companies like Cisco and Dell pledging to tackle the issue by embracing a more circular economy…by 2030. At the moment the focus still seems to be on creating recycled and renewable products, where I’d prefer to see steps that extend product life and increase repair-ability. However, it’s still a step in the right direction, even if it is somewhat slow and vague.

NFTs and the climate conscious artist

NFTs and the climate conscious artist


Thinking about the digital carbon footprint of art is a very recent phenomenon. In the past, climate conscious artists like Joanie Lemercier brought it to the art world’s attention with his activism, including tracking down his carbon footprint and reducing it by 10% each year. Until 2020. With the emergence of nonfungible tokens – or NFTs – as the next ‘big thing’ in the art world, no doubt greatly influenced by lockdown where artists are not able to interact with buyers in person and exhibit at galleries, artists not getting in on this medium are missing a trick.

However, the environmental cost is huge. With Lemercier’s first NFT, the sale is reported to have consumed 8.7 megawatt-hours of energy, thereby negating all his hard work at working more sustainably. Lemercier cancelled any further NFT sales, but other artists are reluctant to miss out on the potential returns.

I think this highlights the ongoing challenge we have in digital, that while digital services in themselves tend to be more efficient than their physical equivalents on a like for like basis, the digital format accelerates demand and results in us consuming more, not less. It seems we are trapped in the Jevons paradox.

Quote of the month

“If you believe in something or have a strong opinion, take a stand and be upfront and honest about it.”


Marko Saric

Book of the month
Essentialism by Greg McKeown

Essentialism by Greg McKeown


This is a book that makes you think differently. It is a book that you listen to but you want it on your shelf.

Essentialism is a practice. It is a practice of eliminating the non-essential from all aspects of your life. This book makes you think about being more focused on your goals, your boundaries and your whole way of life. By doing ‘less but better’.

Stuffocation was a book that changed my outlook about material possessions. For the better. Essentialism has had the same effect on my purpose and the choices I make across all aspects of my life.

To practice as an essentialist, it is about focusing on what is important right now and what we can do to make an impact. For businesses with sustainability at the heart of what they do, who want to make an impact, I cannot recommend this book enough.

– Eve Bell, founder of Baba+Boo

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