Ecosia and craft brewery Black Isle partner to launch Silent Spring Organic Pale Ale to mark 60th anniversary of seminal ecological conservation book

1 September, 22
Ecosia, the not-for-profit search engine that plants trees, and the ecologically-focused organic brewery Black Isle have partnered together to launch Silent Spring, an organic pale ale seeking to highlight the important warnings made in Rachel Carson’s influential seminal environmental book ‘Silent Spring’ 60 years ago.

Ecosia, the not-for-profit search engine that plants trees, and the ecologically-focused organic brewery Black Isle have partnered together to launch Silent Spring, an organic pale ale seeking to highlight the important warnings made in Rachel Carson’s influential seminal environmental book ‘Silent Spring’ 60 years ago.

Published in September 1962, Silent Spring is credited with drawing attention to the biodiversity crisis and the disastrous ecological effects of pesticide use across the world. However, despite the many positive changes initiated by the book, Ecosia and Black Isle have come together to highlight that many of Carson’s critical warnings remain unheeded.

Regenerative products for the future

Ahead of the much-delayed COP15 Biodiversity Conference, due to take place in Montreal, Canada, in December, Ecosia and Black Isle have collaborated on Silent Spring Organic Pale Ale to raise awareness about the vast amount of work that still needs to be done to make the changes that Silent Spring advised. In the UK alone, 41% of species have declined over the past 50 years, thanks to a combination of pollution, habitat loss and degradation. The two companies are well-placed to work together due to their shared mission to protect the environment and encourage positive systems change towards practices such as regenerative agriculture.

Nearly one year since Scotland hosted COP26, the two organisations will hold several events across the nation, including a launch event in Black Isle’s flagship Inverness bar on 1 September as well as at other bars in cities including Edinburgh and Glasgow. The beer will go on sale in bars across the UK with 50% of the proceeds from each sale going towards Ecosia’s biodiversity-focussed tree planting projects. It will also be available to buy at Black Isle Brewery’s online store with UK supermarkets and EU distributors to be announced at a later date. Together, Ecosia and Black Isle aim to raise awareness of the importance of protecting the environment and make it easier for people to make sustainable choices in their daily lives.

The warning of Silent Spring

In Silent Spring, Carson meticulously details how the pesticide DDT entered the food chain and accumulated in the fatty tissues of animals, including human beings, and caused cancer and genetic damage. Carson concluded that through harmful commercial farming practices, DDT and other pesticides were irrevocably destroying nature and contaminating the world’s food supply.

Silent Spring caused such a widespread outcry that it led directly to banning DDT and establishing the US Environmental Protection Agency. However, so much of Carson’s foresight about the threats posed to the environment by pesticides; biodiversity loss, mass extinction, global food security and health to name but a few, have been ignored. A visionary of her time, Carson’s overarching call to regulate industry in order to protect the environment has never been more pressing with the recent IPCC report, stating the window of time to address the climate and biodiversity crisis is rapidly closing. Failure to prevent deforestation, as well as restoration of degraded land or protect endangered wildlife as well as prioritising non-regenerative agriculture practices will result in irreversible consequences for the world.

Sophie Dembinski, Head of Policy & UK, Ecosia, said: “60 years on, Silent Spring remains one of the most important and urgent examples of environmental literature and advocacy. Yet too many of Carson’s warnings have been ignored and today we are facing biodiversity and ecological collapse. Agricultural expansion not only uses around two million tonnes of pesticides annually but contributes 25% of carbon emissions and is one of the primary causes of deforestation globally. We’re facing biodiversity and ecological collapse. By working with regenerative partners such as Black Isle Brewery, we hope to remind people of Carson’s warnings and demonstrate just how much better the results are for people when we work with nature rather than against it.”

Lawrie Wotherspoon, Business Development Manager at Black Isle Brewery, said: “We’ve always held Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring as a foundational text here at Black Isle. In fact, her views align perfectly with our own approach to the natural environment and informed our decision to remain free from artificial chemical fertilisers or pesticides, which destroy biodiverse ecosystems whilst also polluting waterways and emitting greenhouse gases. Our own experience of tree planting, habitat creation, permaculture and community involvement around our market garden and farm encouraged us to reach out to Ecosia, with whom we share so many of these key values.”

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