Making its mark quietly: Quiet Mark

With the focus on plastic pollution, we forget that noise is also polluting our lives to extent that many of us have no idea what the sound of silence sounds like. 

Acoustic treehouse donated in summer 2017 by Quietmark to Kew Gardens

Quietmark commissioned an acoustically insulated treehouse, where inhabitants can enjoy the sound of silence. Last summer Quiet Mark donated it to Kew Gardens, so if you didn't get along then, you can visit it this year. And Quiet Mark was involved in the UK distribution of the feature film 'In Pursuit of Silence', which is available to buy online. Directed by Patrick Shen, its duration is 81 minutes and it explores our relationship to sound.

Now in its sixth year, Quiet Mark, founded by Poppy Szkiler, is an approval award scheme linked to the Noise Abatement Society. Quiet Mark urges companies, and works with them, to develop products which are quiet. So while a hairdryer, kettle or a vacuum cleaner can't be deadly silent, they don't have make your ears hurt and you can find products for home and commercial premises that get the Quiet Mark seal of approval listed on its website.

Quiet Mark doesn't want to banish sound but it does recommend we try to lessen the noise levels in our lives. So it's encouraging everyone involved in product design not to ignore acoustic engineering. Companies that do take noise reduction seriously include BMW, Miele, Dyson and Virgin Atlantic...indeed, roll on electric planes which should make life a whole lot better for anyone living under the Heathrow flight path..