Building a carbon profile on a herd of wooden elephants

Wooden elephants

In July, Julie’s Bicycle supported the partnership between Elephant Family and The Real Elephant Collective by calculating the carbon emissions of their CoExistence exhibition. The CoExistence project exhibited a herd of 100 strong life-sized elephants modelling their real-life counterparts in the Nilgiri Hills of Southern India.

Created by the Adivasi tribal communities in the deep jungle, the elephants were constructed from an invasive weed species lantana camara, which by removing benefits the wildlife giving them more space to roam.

With the aim of evoking collective empathy and nurturing conversation, from mid-May to July 2021, the herd was proudly displayed as a public art exhibition across multiple of London’s Royal Parks, the strongest herd showcased in Green Park. Julie’s Bicycle’s role was in building a carbon profile of the exhibition from the creation of the pieces from the lantana and steel frames, to transport related emissions. Information was collected on typical activity area, energy source, equipment, power demand and distances travelled to formulate the total carbon emissions.

The project’s purpose was to raise awareness of the fragile relationship between humans and wildlife and to reach out to humans inspiring them to (re)connect with nature. The ecological crisis we find the planet in today deeply threatens wild animals, with habitats shrinking from deforestation and environmental degradation, whilst exacerbated by human to animal conflict is paving the way towards extinction. India is a country whereby wild animals are in some of the densest populations worldwide, namely elephants, tigers and leopards, but the dangers that are being posed are threatening their very existence.

Ruth Ganesh, Co-Creator of CoExistence, and Elephant Family and BAT Trustee hopes “CoExistence reminds us of the awe we feel when in the company of wild, free animals and inspires is to better share our world with them”.

Images: CoExistence elephants in London’s Royal Parks, July 2021