April 2008
Go Carbon Neutral Tree Planting Corporate Days
 
 

Transforming the UK's Old Housing Stock

Transforming the UK's Old Housing Stock

Photo: Julian Jackson

The UK's poorly insulated, energy inefficient housing stock could be easily transformed into cheaper to run, low carbon homes by the end of the next decade. But a new report by WWF-UK How Low shows that without a radical shift in Government policy the UK is set to miss out on the biggest opportunity to cut household energy bills, and reduce CO2 emissions. The first-ever modelling of the country's entire housing stock shows that solid wall insulation and low and zero carbon technologies such as
ground source heat pumps and solar water heating are key to greening our homes and getting the UK on track to meet its emission reduction targets for 2020.

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Trees for Business

Trees for Business

Green is the new black. People want to be associated with green initiatives. Recent UK research found that over 82% of consumers want to deal with a company that is eco-friendly. Being green can boost staff morale – many employees want to take environmentally sound initiatives at work. A survey of top UK Graduates by an accountancy firm showed significant numbers wanted to work for environmentally responsible organisations. Numerous other polls and opinion samples show that increasing numbers of people want to participate in improving the environment. Tree planting is one option that is readily recognised by consumers as a positive eco-action.

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Junk for Joy – how to Freecycle your unwanted goods

Junk for Joy – how to Freecycle your unwanted goods
Photo: Faringdon Ecoweek

Junk. You've got a lot of it, clogging up the attic, in the garage, and festering in the cupboard under the stairs. It is said that one person's junk is another person's treasure, and that is where “Freecycling” comes in, which is just the greenies' way of saying “giving stuff away”. Freecycling events, Swap Shops, swapmeets, giveaways are where people get rid of things they don't want and take things they do. It's the same sort of thing as the local jumble sale.

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Government Plans Eco-Towns

Government Plans Eco-Towns

Photo: Craig Jewell

The UK Government is proposing to build new Coal Fired Power Stations. As coal is by far the most polluting form of energy production this seems the most retrograde step in terms of ameliorating our carbon footprint.

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USB Battery wins Design “Oscar”

USB Battery wins Design “Oscar”

A British-designed sustainable product, the USBCell rechargeable battery, has been awarded Gold status at the iF Product Design Award's (sometimes referred to as a ‘Design Oscar'). The battery recharges itself whilst plugged into a personal computer's USB port, so that toxic battery landfill waste and C02 emissions are reduced. Moixa Energy, the company behind the project, has been awarded Gold status at the iF Product Design Award's (sometimes referred to as a ‘Design Oscar'). It received a research and development grant from the London Development Agency in November 2005.

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The Eco Kettle - saves energy and money!

The Eco Kettle - saves energy and money!
The Eco Kettle is different to a normal kettle: inside it has two compartments - the reservoir holds 1.5 litres of water ready for use.

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Easy Eco Auditing by Donnachadh McCarthy

Easy Eco Auditing by Donnachadh McCarthy

The indefatigable eco-campaigner Donnachadh McCarthy has just released his second book Easy Eco Auditing.

As its title says, it is a guide to making your lifestyle greener by “auditing” your home, leisure and work environments to reduce your carbon emissions, with a little of Donnachadh's fascinating journey from Irish National Ballet Dancer who had “not paid any attention to what was happening in the environment around me”, to ardent ecology advocate. Almost by accident he travelled to the Amazon rainforest in 1992 and visited the Yanomami Indians – here he had a damascene conversion: he resolved to return to the UK and do what he could to “stop Britain's consumerist lifestyle being so destructive to the planet and our fellow human beings.”

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Top tips for freecycling

Freecyclers should advertise widely, preferably several weeks in advance.

Join up with the local Freecycle group - use it to advertise the event, but also offer to advertise their group at your own event.

Plan a date for a second event in advance, and give flyers about it to people as they leave.

Choose a location where there are lots of passers-by.

Put lots of tables out in the room you've hired, and stick big labels on them to tell people what to leave there (e.g. household, garden,
toys, clothes, etc.), and make sure people bringing stuff sort it onto the tables - you can't do it all yourselves!

Ensure there is sufficient parking nearby for people picking up or dropping off items.

Have a table out the front of the building, and put some most attractive things on it, to get passers-by interested.

Make sure people know they are not obliged to bring anything, or take anything - they can do either or both.

Don't charge anything to come in to the venue.
Provide free refreshments if possible. If you couple this with a “donations” bowl, then some people will contribute, and this will defray the costs.

Be prepared to dispose of the “leftovers”. Often some can go to charity shops, which is better than having to put them in the rubbish.

(Thanks to Dr Mike Pepler for these tips)

 

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Low Carbon
Strategies 08

5th June 2008

Climate Change One-day event, aimed at businesses to show them how to formulate their organisation's low carbon strategy. Venue: Excel London.

www.greenbizevents.co.uk

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Editor: Julian Jackson www.julianjackson.co.uk