We’ve embraced the New Year and are nearing the end of dreary January already. Some of those new year resolutions have already been broken (apparently Dry January is already now sodden for some) and all those good intentions are waning.
One of the best things to do in a new year is to implement change, thus improving elements of your life that you are not happy with. If this sounds appealing, why not change the rut you are stuck in and find a job that makes a difference, if you are beginning to feel the strain in the workplace.
A green vocation is not only beneficial to the environment and economy, but it’s good for the soul too, knowing that your job has real purpose.
We at Acre are experts at placing skilled individuals in green jobs that aim to keep the globe spinning nicely.
Here’s a list we’ve put together to give you some inspiration about some of the more interesting or quirky planet loving jobs out there.
Bees are the world’s most important pollinator of food crops and we need them for every aspect of the ecosystem. Bee farmers (or commercial beekeepers as they are otherwise known) own hives (from 200 to 2,000 in total) to rear bees and store honey.
Globally there are more honey bees than other types of bee and pollinating insects, and they are responsible for one out of every three bites of food we eat. And someone’s got to look after them and nurture them.
Predominantly an outside job, bee farmers ensure their buzzy buddies are situated closely to plants and trees that have the flowers and nectar they require to produce honey, which is then bottled in the autumn and winter.
Despite the protective clothing, stings can still happen so it’s essential a bee farmer isn’t allergic to any possible sting.
Many beekeepers have an undergraduate degree in animal science or a biological field, and it is possible to study for a graduate level degree related to beekeeping.
2.Green roof garden grower
If you are interested in horticulture and know your sedums from your grasses, a green roof gardener could be your next vocation.
Green-fingered outdoorsy types can help add some foliage to rooftops, to encourage biodiversity and make use of empty spaces that people won’t otherwise benefit from. This is perfect for introducing more green areas to built-up urban spaces.
Horticultural knowledge is key to this type of job which is guaranteed to get you out of a stuffy office with plenty of hands-on action in the fresh air.
It creates a safe haven for butterflies, bees and other insects, and while a gardener on a green roof (or living roof as they are otherwise known) will spend time planting flowers, the role can be rather varied and include installation of irrigation systems and landscaping projects.
The roofs are intentionally covered with layers of vegetation which can be used on all sorts of different structures in both urban and rural settings, not only to create new habitats for wildlife and boost biodiversity, but to also potentially provide a solution to increasing fuel bills, due to the extra insulation.
Suitable plant life that is introduced to the roof is not harmful if installed correctly, unlike moss which can grow rapidly.
Knowledge of wetland ecology is vital to this job, which involves supporting and organising conservation efforts to enhance wetlands areas and deliver positive environmental outcomes.
In a job like this, community engagement is very important. It’s crucial to have strong people skills as a key part of this role, or one similar, is working alongside farmers and private landowners as well as engaging with statutory partners, to help restore the ecological condition of wetlands.
Most work in this field would be for conservation charities that protect, conserve, restore and create wetlands. The main aim is to make water better for wildlife and help prevent flooding in these areas, as well as protecting key species.
Knowledge of health and safety regulations is also necessary for such a job, and it is important to act on any significant threats to wetland biodiversity by adding input to schemes and proposals where necessary.
The key word for any ecologist is conservation. They spend their days either working in a lab, an office, a university or outdoors (in all weathers), where they study the relationship between animals, plants and the environment.
This is a varied job involving a plethora of diverse roles from managing wildlife conservation areas and carrying out fieldwork (surveying and recording data) to studying the impact human activity has on the environment (building houses, for example).
The key part of the role of an ecologist is to conduct research on the effects mankind, other organisms and industrialisation have on the environment. This could include looking at climate change, pollution and rainfall, and the data is then collated and analysed in a laboratory.
Therefore, an analytical mind and a thirst for research is key to this job, as ecologists must apply mathematical models to the data they have collected to enable them to draw a conclusion on their findings.
An ecologist will always continue learning while at work, keeping up to date with new findings from recent research and any new trends.
5.Green Design Professional
A green designer, or architect, will take a different approach to sustainable building. He or she will take into consideration the effects that planned construction will have on the environment and human health.
Eco-friendly building materials will be used to minimise any harmful threats and construction practices will be adapted to help protect the air, water and earth.
The building trades have collectively recognised its contributions to the greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere – one of the largest global contributors to CO2 emissions is reportedly the manufacturing of cement (the basic ingredient in concrete).
A green design professional will look at many different factors when designing an environmentally-friendly building, from the ventilation systems designed for efficient heating and cooling to water-saving plumbing fixtures.
Their duty is to ensure there is minimal harm to the natural habitat and will devote time to sourcing non-synthetic, non-toxic materials for the interior as well as the exterior of the building.
Efficient use of space when constructing a green building is a key consideration for the designer, alongside historic preservation, looking at whether rainwater can be harvested, energy-efficient lighting, the use of renewable energy and the use of responsibly-harvested woods.
In a nutshell, philanthropists take part in activities that will benefit society and its people. They make donations in the form of money or material goods to those who are in need or for the environment.
To become a philanthropy assistant (if not an actual philanthropist) you must maintain administrative and stewardship support to the rest of the team.
Excellent communication skills are a must for this position, because the assistant delivers research while working alongside managers and outside organisations, including corporates, individuals and grant-making trusts who are raising funds.
The crucial part of this job is to secure and maintain income from a range of funders which can make for a varied and busy workload. Someone who can think innovatively and prioritise a whole host of tasks would be beneficial to a team of philanthropists.
Strong administration skills for writing fundraising and activity reports, combined with great attention to detail and confidence in supporting the rest of the team are beneficial qualities to someone looking to move into a philanthropy assistant role.
7.Environmental Sampling Technician
This job involves taking samples from the environment (soil, water and the atmosphere) and studying its composition.
The majority of time will be spent performing tests in the lab and the field to investigate sources of pollution and other eco hazards, after monitoring the environment.
The sampling will measure the effects and composition of change, for environmental health purposes, public health, health at work, ecological reasons or to build a picture of change over time.
Regulation compliance (factory ventilation for example) may request the need for air quality samples to be taken in the workplace to study evidence of pollutants, dust and asbestos.
Environmental sampling technicians can take samples from sources such as dry sand beds to try to determine past environmental conditions, for climate science purposes.
It would be useful to have a degree in a geo-environmental related discipline and experience of environmental assessment or monitoring for this type of sampling job.
Collecting field data is a vital part of the job and previous experience is always handy.
To look at some of the jobs we offer at Acre (while we can’t promise you a bee farming position, we do have a wide range of interesting vacancies), go to www.acre.com or call us to speak to one of our consultants.