Friday, 28 August 2009

Manchester Encourages Green Bus Drivers!

Greetings,

First Bus Group has recently announced the implementation of a bonus policy called DriveGreen for drivers of all 784 of its buses in Greater Manchester. Apparently this scheme could see each driver saving up to 500 litres of petrol per annum, and save First over £44,000 and 132,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide in the first year alone. Schemes like this really show that by making small changes you soon make a significant impact in terms of carbon production. Perhaps they might also consider adding to their bonus criteria careful driving in conjunction with cyclists... savings on limbs and lives might also help reduce carbon (not to mention the zero-carbon impact which cycling provides!)

Onwards & upwards!

Lucy.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

100W Bulbs Banned By EU

Greetings,

Hurray! At long last...

This might have slipped under the radar but just so you are aware effective from the 1st of September this year, it will be illegal to import 100W incandescant pearl or frosted bulbs into the EU. The aim of this legislation is to encourage the use of long life energy saving bulbs, which use only one fifth of the energy of an incandescant bulb, and can last up to seven years before they need replacing.

Whilst some people are lamenting the loss of the incandescant bulb, I am so glad to see that the EU is taking positive steps to reduce the amount of energy being used unnecessarily across Europe.

Ever lighter footprinting!

Lucy.

Monday, 24 August 2009

Bentley - Somewhat Missing The Point?

Greetings,

I was initially encouraged to see that car manufacturer Bentley of all people were making an eco-car, the Bentley Continental Supersports 'Extreme'. Bentley have always been associated with the manufacture of large cars with even bigger engines and so this seemed to be an interesting change of direction for them. (For more information about Bentley's biofuels policy and research see here)

However I am sorry to report that whilst the 'Extreme' runs on a hybrid 85% bioethanol fuel, it is still a 630hp two seat sports car which only does 11.5mpg and emits 388g of carbon dioxode per kilometre. Whilst the 'Extreme' does show a significant improvement upon its counterparts, I just can't see how this type of car is still viable or even, dare I say it, legal in this day and age?

Onwards & upwards!

Lucy.

Friday, 21 August 2009

Airmiles Strikes Again!

Greetings,

I've discovered another moment of genius from the people at Airmiles, they are now rolling out a mobile phone recycling scheme which allows consumers to receive airmiles in return for unwanted mobile phones, not only that but they have the gall to suggest that this scheme is 'environmentally friendly' because your phone is recycled or reused in line with the WEEE directive! This completely green washes over the fact that you will be collecting credits towards air travel through the scheme, completely undermining the benefits gained by recycling the phone in the first place.

Working from these figures, the average phone requires emission of 60kg of CO2 to be manufactured. Sending your phone to be recycled means that you offset a total of 35 miles of air travel (assuming you are travelling long haul) after which you will be contributing a minimum of 0.17Kg CO2 per mile. As most long haul flights are a minimum of 6.5 hours in duration, you could be travelling as far as 550 miles, thus contributing an additional 85Kg of CO2 to the atmosphere.

It always pays dividends to look at the detail in more depth and think about the true environmental benefit of such schemes; in this case there are plenty of businesses out there which recycle mobile phones without trying to bribe you with air travel.

Onwards & upwards!

Lucy.

Monday, 17 August 2009

EMERGE - Recycling In Manchester

Greetings,

I realised the other day that I've been running this blog for well over 6 months now but I've not explained in any depth to you who and what EMERGE is/are and what we do.

EMERGE was set up as a voluntary organisation in 1996 by myself and a group of like-minded individuals, the objectives of which were to help bolster the local economy of Openshaw, engage the wider community in thinking and doing more about sustainable resource management and thereby act as a catalyst to get businesses and households recycling.

We registered the company as limited by guarantee (effectively a not-for-individual-profit basis) in May 1998 and ran on a new business support plus a Princes Youth Business Trust grant and loan but it wasn't until 1999 that we actually employed our first full-time member of staff. EMERGE now collects from over 700 businesses, 125 schools and 7000 households in the Greater Manchester area. We employ 30 local staff from our HQ in Openshaw and recycle a comprehensive range of materials including most dry recyclates and some hazardous waste.

Have a look at the history page on our website for more information about how we have developed since the outset. I'd like to believe that many of the people who work at EMERGE aren't only here because they need to earn a crust, but because they genuinely believe that through high quality recycling services, environmental education and positive engagement we can make a genuine difference to conserving resources and protecting our precious planet now and in the future. Sounds idealistic? Maybe, but I'd say we need more idealism, optimism matched with tenacity in order to sort out the mess we are making!

I've been grafting on some red tape recently and hopefully I should have something quite interesting to tell you about EMERGE soon, we're keeping it under wraps for now but it will definitely put us into a unique position in the recycling industry!

I'll keep you posted, watch this space!

Onwards & upwards!

Lucy.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

The UK's First Eco Kitchens

Greetings,

I've just discovered a great business, Milestone Eco Design based in Ilkley, they have produced the UK's first kitchen made entirely of recycled materials.

Some of the great features include; cupboard doors made from recycled yoghurt pots (at last!), work surfaces made from recycled coffee cups (trivets recommended!), a recycled (and recyclable) steel sink and cabinets made from 50% recycled timber.

Is this the eco-kitchen of the house of tomorrow? I certainly hope so.

Onwards & upwards!

Lucy.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Lets Get Ready To Rumble!

Greetings,

There is an interesting debate/conflict brewing between environmental journalist George Monbiot and leading climate change denier Professor Ian Pilmer. George claims that some of the statements published in Ian Pilmer's book Heaven & Earth, are misleading or misrepresenting the facts about climate change. In response Professor Ian Pilmer has challenged George Monbiot to a face-to-face debate, to which George Monbiot has agreed, provided he answers some of his allegations about the Professors claims in Heaven & Earth.

In this instance I am most definitely in the green corner!

Onwards & upwards!

Lucy.