Eating crickets for lunch - that is what some of our Citizen Science Leaders (CSLs) in Vancouver, Canada have undertaken in a bid to reduce their water footprint.
The idea behind the event was to highlight the concept of "embedded water". Beef has a huge water footprint - one 150g burger contains 2400 litres of embedded water, whereas insects almost have none.
As Kim Hallwood, Head of Sustainability explained “The event was a fun and exciting way to engage staff about the hidden water footprint of food. It was also an opportunity for our Citizen Science Leaders and Sustainability Leaders to come together and use the knowledge they attained through our global environmental programs to educate others.”
Ruth Legg, one of the HSBC employees who enjoyed the cricket meal, concurred: “I liked how a serious topic - global freshwater challenges, was transformed into something fun, entertaining and educational.”
100 people attended, with 40+ enjoying a "cricklicious" snack. As Kenji Konno, event organiser said “Being able to present a quick and easy way for the average person to make a huge difference really appealed to me personally.”
Zero beef consumed
The event proved that small steps can make a huge difference. From just one day, one meal, and only trackable cafeteria sales, the following was achieved:
• Saved 80,000 Litres of Fresh Water = 1,000 baths
• Increased vegetarian meal sales from 14% to 31%
• Decreased waterprint generated from meat from 96% to 89%.
• 0 Beef burgers consumed
Management volunteers signed up in earnest, taking on nicknames such as Kiminy Cricket and Capt Crunch. Proper tablesettings and flowers adorned the tables, whilst cricketeers sprinkled the broken legs, heads, and wings found at the bottom of the bags onto Natto (Fermented Soybeans). Kenji described this “Like Oreo sprinkles on a sundae, but buggier.”
The event had the desired effect of education and changing habits. Kenji said “Being a fairly regular meat eater, I've cut down significantly on my meat intake, in particular beef.”
Ruth said “I certainly think more carefully about my lunch choices and their associated water footprint.”
Fun and engagement were a strong theme of the event, and final words go to Kenji who concluded “Cricklicious Aftertaste = Cricklarious”.
Thank you to all cricketeers, CSLs and the BWG Green Committee, who made the event Cricket Crunch and Meatprint a huge success.