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This is interesting and an exciting development. Perhaps in a few years we will see the sides of entire buildings being "greened"? Not just with things like this but with proper vertical, hanging gardens, rooftop gardens and even window boxes full of green plants all doing their bit to clean the air in our towns and cities.
Fine words, but some of the basics are being ignored. Someone within the Carbon Trust needs to do a deep survey into the costs of hard water, such as wasting energy in water heating and cooling systems, increased maintenance and downtime and most importantly the cost to this fragile earth of having to replace equipment, appliances and fixtures & fittings that do not survive their designed life due to damage caused by hard water limescale
Given the vast acreage of roof space in towns and cities sitting there empty it annoys me that people in towns like to brag about "going green" and being 100% renewable when their power comes from building wind farms in pristine wilderness areas like the Scottish Highlands. Time for every large town and city in UK to step up to the plate and put words into action. Stop destroying the countryside and put the power generation where it is needed, on your own doorsteps. If Burlington can do it I see no reason why London can''t
Thanks! Very interesting piece, including Stats & Facts, albeit, I see nothing here regarding Anaerobic Gas utilisation i.e. when AG producing matter is all around: sometimes already used for Electricity production into National Grid Thanks again
Chris, I agree that we have to get away from single use (anything) particularly given how little is recycled (for all the various reasons including not being clean). That''s more where I was coming from with the old milk bottles as we knew they were being cleaned, refilled and reused. Think you are right that we need to look at all these kinds of things on a case by case basis as what works for one thing might not be appropriate elsewhere.
Hi Kieron and Dominic, Thanks for the comments. I''ve actually read, counter-intuitively, that glass milk bottle refills are worse than our single-use recycled bottles (https://juliahailesblog.blogspot.co.uk/2018/01/a-lot-of-rubbish-is-talked-about.html, based I think on WRAP studies). Other research suggests that glass bottle refills work best for local/regional supply chains. I don''t think this invalidates my call for more packaging refill & reuse, just that you need to take things in a case-by-case, and category-by-category basis. Thanks again. Chris
An excellent project but we must not lose sight of the fact that bottles can have a life of around 12 round trips if they are returned, washed and reused before they must be recycled. All the glass manufacturing is done in the NE of the country meaning a glass bottle is transported many miles before its single use and then many miles back for recycling. So much energy could be saved by reusing the glass bottle locally
Customers using district heating need to be very cautious with regards to the marketing claims . My property is associated with a heat network whereby the supplier offered price promise guarantee and fair price policy . The comparator used by the energy company was a misrepresentation to the equipment and service provided - so I took them to court. They did attempt to use the customer protection scheme Heat Trust as an independent comparator but they failed to disclose in their witness report the self regulator online comparator was based on a combi as oppose to a heat-only HIU that requires a customer to preheat their hot water. Also there was a concern the Head of Community at Eon was also a director of the Heat Trust - impartiality? During the first court hearing the judge concluded the session with we could be on a tip of an iceberg . After two court hearings judgement went against the energy giant who was ordered to pay approximately 50% heat charges back covering almost 3yrs usage plus court fees. The comparator also fails to factor the performance and behaviour of supplied HIU. Due to the configuration unbeknown to the customer some heat boxes could consume more KWh in comparison to alternatives. Therefore the comparison is not as straightforward as associated with some online comparators.
What happens when the moss gets covered in dust and grime from the road, potentially clogging up the plants? Also, what effect would salt and other chemicals have on the plants? I wonder if this has been tested at all?
Oh dear, greenwash at its finest! I have two main objections to this: 1) Biosecurity. Moss would act as a carrier for plant and animal life that would be more or less indiscriminately moved around. I can''t see the EU allowing a car with moss tyres to cross an external border, but I suppose that would mean we wouldn''t see them in England. 2) More seriously, the effect is negligible. A typical car doing 10,000 miles a year emits at least 3 tonnes of CO2. the article envisage them being fitted on "2.5 million travelling vehicles" (odd turn of phrase) that would have emissions of at least 7.5mn tonnes annually. I say "at least", as I imagine their calculations include buses, taxis and delivery vehicles, some of which may, of course, have three or more axles. Even so, if it could save 4,000 tCO2 that represents approximately 0.05% of the emissions from those same vehicles. The initial WHO quote on air quality refers to particulates not CO2. The rolling moss would not, I suspect, address this, as PM10 from tyres comes from the rubber surface in contact with the road (necessary for grip) as the tyre is gradually worn down. I don''t see how these tyres will address that issue at all, unless the 3D printing process using recycled tyres somehow produces a surface less prone to scrubbing down. Or are the particulates somehow trapped in the moss, like a filter? Oh, was this released early? Should it have been issued on 1st April?
The initiative by Ecoplaza is good step toward sustainable supply chain. It is inspirational, contagious shall help many more to think in this direction and motivate innovators for next level of solution.
Good article, thanks. Agree inertia is a huge issue with this, and health and safety concerns/risk perception by business in particular, but have started to see it happen with Ecover at local healthfood stores, and some Unilever brands do now if I recall correctly. Interestingly Kieron I recently heard an article saying a glass milk bottle needs to be reused 20 times before the carbon emissions & energy use are level with single-use recycled plastic bottles! Of course, the potential plastic waste reduction still makes it a positive move in another way
I would like to make two points: - 1. The Bank of England''s June report on the financial risks associated with climate change addressed a number of issues, including the point at which fossil fuel assets will very suddenly become almost worthless. See page 103 of this pdf and note in the small print the reference to "uncertainties in climate processes and feedbacks". Those fedbacks have now begun to emerge and at significant force (e.g. albedo in the Arctic and the release of methane from melting permafrost). Financial investors desperately need to pay very close attention to the science. https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/-/media/boe/files/quarterly-bulletin/2017/the-banks-response-to-climate-change.pdf?la=en&hash=7DF676C781E5FAEE994C2A210A6B9EEE44879387 2. The Taskforce should note that the UK has ratified COP21. We are no longer aiming to keep temperatures to 2C, we have promised the world that we will contribute to keeping temperatures "to well below 2C and pursue efforts towards 1.5C".
In Marco Rubio''s defence "Governments can''t change the weather" anymore than Canute could turn back the tide. We can''t control climate either as climate is just ''weather averaged over a given area for a given period of time''. What we can do though is minimise our impact on our planet which may have an effect on weather and therefore climate
"generating the equivalent of 73% of the energy it used " The pivotal word is "equivalent". Electricity is only usable at the moment of generation. All renewable electricity is fed to the grid, but if more is needed we call on standby generation. Standby is essential, but uneconomic. Renewable electricity may be described as "All the right electricity, but not necessarily at the right time". Richard Phillips
Severe Freeze? It wasn''t that severe or for that long. What was the lowest overnight temperature during the Beast from the East, about -10, we see that and lower in parts of Scotland every winter but our pipes don''t freeze all the time. Plus it takes time for the ground to freeze to depth, which is why Ground Source Heat Pumps are touted as a sustainable option for heating. So what I want to know is how did these Mains water pipes freeze when temperatures were not that low or for that long? Was it all domestic mains pipes that were unlagged that froze and burst or is there something else at play here? Lastly what does this mean for GSHP if water pipes can freeze underground if it gets a "wee bit chilly" for a week?
All well and good, renewable smart grids are the only way ahead. However, we need to face some harsh realities when talking about "ROI" Growth or "Business opportunities" when transitioning from the high energy of fossil fuel and it''s many uses (80% of everything we do) , to renewable energy infrastructure. We had a 50 to 1 "Net Energy" ratio available for the economy (society) 30 years ago and now we have a NET ENERGY of between 8 and 13 to 1. By any measure something has to give, our lives are about to be forcibly simplified as "cheap" fossil fuel-derived energy runs out. We need to dig up the materials for renewables too, solar panels, turbines and other equipment (Electric Cars and IT infrastructure?) need energy to make them, transport them and use them. The UK uses 1.25 watts per square metre or about 124kWh/person/day. Wind can produce 2.5 Watts per metre squared..... so...... as long as we are okay with HALF the UK land mass (or sea and land mass equivalent) covered in wind turbines we will be fine? Or Solar Panels (0.5kWh/m2) across the whole of Yorkshire? We need to do the maths and get real about the impact heading our way. There is no escaping the 1st and 2nd laws of thermodynamics, regardless of the technology; we have never created any "new" energy in all of human history. A question to answer is "What kind of lifestyle can we expect from a "Low NET ENERGY" economy? We can''t go on using 24% of the Earth''s photosynthesis, it simply is not sustainable.
I find this all very exciting as it is an example of consumer thoughts about packaging waste starting to drive innovation. This is being used no doubt to increase market share for Iceland but this is a good thing if it forces the issue of other retailers following suit. Goodbye plastic rubbish!!
The scale of the climate crisis demands that aviation becomes carbon neutral. In addition the COP 21 commitment requires that we adopt policies that will keep global temperatures "well below 2C". So, while this fuel project has the potential to reduce emissions, it most certainly does not provide a path to zero carbon emissions. Consequently the environmental movement, indeed all those who worry about the pace of climate change, will continue to demand a large reduction in the aviation sector and that the industry be required to pay now for full carbon capture & sequestration of CO2 equivalent to that which the sector emits.
It would be good to see water fountains rolled out for dogs across the nation. The UK and the US spend as much money on dogs as on children according to many statistics. Dogs thrive on Alkaline Water as do Humans, whilst looking at water fountains you should take a look at a company called WET Water Enhanced Technologies
Time to bring back the Milkman with his electric milk float and all those old fashioned yet ultimately reuse-able, refillable and recyclable glass pint bottles. If I remember Unigate used to use each bottle 20 times before it was melted down to make a new one. Now that''s sustainable.
With the current cold weather the grid is currently running on 22% coal power. Dirty power is still required to make the short falls in demand and will so until a major breakthrough is made in efficient storage solutions, even then we''ll still need baseload generating systems. The only solution that fits this need is nuclear power. We will have to build another 15 Hinckley point power station just to power the electric cars by 2045 but saying there isn''t enough copper in the ground to power all these electric cars. The electrical infrastructure needs major investment to support the energy hungry devices of the future you can check how much dirty power is being used live on the grid http://www.gridwatch.templar.co.uk/ The statistic in this article are a stretch of the truth at best
The Ekoplaza store looks like plastic to me. Even if it''s a biodegradable plastic, it''s still plastic. It still needs a disposal route and the logical one would be into food waste collections. However, that is not allowed in the UK; I suspect that it''s not allowed in the Netherlands either. That means that we would be replacing one plastic that can''t be recovered with another plastic that can''t be recovered.
Why does it take, again and again, third party reports to identify supply chain malpractice? These brands are profitable and pay dividends to shareholders- maybe a little more money spent by the brands on their own supply chain auditing would be appropriate?