Our environmental impact

We are a proud member of the Manchester Arts Sustainability Team and aim to be environmentally focused across our whole building and projects as much as we can!

MAST was established in 2010 by a group of Manchester-based arts and culture organisations to begin to understand how they could contribute to the delivery of Manchester: A Certain Future. The group now has over 30 members and meets regularly to share best practice and develop new joint initiatives.

Z-arts’ Green programme

We have made several environmental changes to our Z-café stock over the last year, including:

  • Swapping plastic bottles over to glass bottles
  • Starting an initiative for customers to bring their own re-usable coffee cups instead of using our take-away paper coffee cups
  • Banning plastic straws in favour of paper ones and we have stopped using single-use plastics for all of our internal catering

We are always updating and investing in our building to make it more environmentally friendly.

We have recently:

  • Replaced most of the old fluorescent lighting with new LED lighting around the building
  • Upgraded our heating system, installing more efficient condensing boilers and a new control system
  • Upgraded our emergency lighting system by sourcing simple new covers rather than replacing most of the entire system.

Recycling cupboard
We have created our own resource cupboard for recycled objects, ranging from newspaper to cardboard, bottle tops to bubble wrap. We use this ‘stock’ of items regularly at our weekly sessions such as the after school and weekend art classes. We also use them in our external schools’ projects which help to teach children to be resourceful and creative!

Creative projects
For our visual art sessions as well as using ‘stock’ that we have collected and recycled, we have made a specific drive to deliver more environmentally focused projects. Specifically, we try to use natural or recyclable materials as much as possible to create artwork, showing that we can create visual art that is not harmful to the environment. Our aim is to teach the future generation the importance of looking after our planet. We are trying to find new ways of doing this, including pushing changes in the use of plastic glitter. Instead we use edible or environmentally friendly glitter, or lentils and beans for decoration.

School partnerships
We have delivered specific school projects to inform children of the ever-increasing risks of climate change and small everyday changes that they can make to help reduce carbon emissions. At St Philips School, we delivered a whole-school assembly and worked with class groups on visual art sessions. We asked the children to design an environmental mural for a static classroom in their playground and asked an artist to use elements from the children’s work to paint it. This resulted in a bright, creative and fun mural that sends a positive message to recycle and care for nature in the school playground and can also be seen from Stretford Road.

We have delivered environmentally focused projects across schools in Greater Manchester. We can deliver Arts Award alongside our projects. Get in touch with gill@z-arts.org for more details.