Sustainable efforts to green-up the UK’s most famous manor, Buckingham Palace – including solar panels fitted on the roof as part of a 10-year renovation project – and to reduce waste, is what Queen Elizabeth wants to leave as her legacy efforts to make a cleaner, green environment.
In 2016, it was announced that Britain’s most famous residence would undergo the biggest refurbishment undertaken on the property since the second world war. It will renew the palace’s 33-year-old boilers, 100 miles of electrical cable, some of it 60 years old, and 20 miles of lead and cast iron pipework.
Solar panels will be fitted to the roof of the Palace, with an updated climate-zone smart technology system to make electrical energy use more efficient and to reduce bills in the long term. The move will contribute to a projected £3.4m per year reduction in the cost of the Palace to the public purse.
As part of the scheme to improve energy efficiency by 40%, an anaerobic digestion unit is also being placed in the grounds to generate biogas from good and organic waste.
The palace is also considering solar thermal panels, ground source heat pumps, electrical heating, and fuel cells and estimates that the refit will save 554 tons of carbon each year.
Companies applying for Royal Warrants must also now prove they are not polluting the planet.
While the world moves towards a worldwide ban on plastics, Queen Elizabeth too is spearheading her own efforts to reduce waste in her home country. Earlier this year, Queen Elizabeth announced the ban of all single-use plastic — drinking straws, bottles and disposable tableware — on the grounds of all royal estates including Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace and the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh.
The Queen’s anti-plastic campaign also calls for the use of biodegradable and compostable takeaway containers at cafes located on properties maintained by the Royal Collection Trust.
It is understood that the Queen was inspired to to take action against plastic waste following some of the issues raised by environmentalist and wildlife champion, Sir David Attenborough, in his popular BBC documentary series, Blue Planet II.
In the series, Sir David Attenborough, who is a personal friend of Queen Elizabeth, highlighted the devastating effects on the world’s oceans by plastic waste.
The series has become an important awareness-raising campaign of the dangers of plastic, and has had much international success.
Julian Kirby, campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said: “Blue Planet’s reach now extends to the Royal households which shows how much momentum is building behind the war on plastic pollution.
“From small-holdings to Sandringham, everyone is sick of this problem and wants it fixed.
“Ultimate responsibility remains with manufacturers and government to stop this senseless harm to our environment, with its resultant devastation to wildlife.”
The Queen recently teamed up with Sir David Attenborough on a conservation documentary dealing with wildlife in the Commonwealth. The documentary discusses plants to create a network of national forested parks across the 52 countries of the Commonwealth.
Climate change is also being addressed by the Queen and her family. The Royals are encouraging world leaders to work together in every way possible to reduce the human impact on the planet and environment.
Cornwall-based charity Surfers Against Sewage have been selected as one of seven charities to benefit from the donations marking the upcoming Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
Surfers Against Sewage mobilises the UK’s biggest community of ocean activists through education and volunteering programmes, beach cleaning and campaigns.
The Wilderness Foundation UK, which promotes the enjoyment of wild nature, is also one of the seven charities to benefit.
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea