Archive for climate change

Simple Steps to a Greener You!

Small Changes You can Make for a Greener Future

As the world becomes a more environmentally and ecologically challenged place more people are now questioning what they can do to make themselves more green.  What changes can they make so that they can help make an impact on the environment?  Allow us to help; we have put together this list so that it can help you make some small changes that can make a big difference.

Change Your Energy Tariff

Many companies now offer a green tariff and aligning yourself with one of these companies will help you make a difference to the environment.  There are many UK energy companies that you can choose from and sites such as USwitch which can help you choose the one that you feel will most benefit you and the environment.

The image above shows a search I completed for my property by entering all my details such as my energy spend per month, where I live and I can sort out my results by price or service rating.  It then allows me to see what the key features are for each tariff and how much Co2 can be reduced from previous tariffs.

Mending Broken Appliances

Broken appliances can be a drain on the pocket.  Machines such as tumble dryers, dishwashers and fridge freezers can impact your bills when working properly but if they are faulty then this can have a further impact.  Getting an appliance engineer in is useful as they will be able to mend any issues that the appliance has and will save you money and help the environment by using less energy.  Also where possible use AAA rating products as they are most efficient.

Switch Light bulbs

Not all changes have to be massive.  By changing your homes light bulbs to energy efficient light bulbs you could potentially save as much as £20 per month – or £60 a quarter.  Whilst helping your pocket these will also omit less Co2 and help the environment too.

Reducing Food Waste

Food wastage is quite a large issue and one that most people could hold their hands up to.  When families buy too much food and it then goes off then this waste generally ends up in the bin and then a landfill site.  Large amounts of food wastage produce a large amount of methane gas when deposited on these sites and this is a harmful greenhouse gas.  Planning meals for the week and eating food before a sell by date can help temper this problem.

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Energy saving tips…

Ok so this may be a little early but it’s definitely best  to make these changes before the real cold kicks in. The plan is, the more money we can save by being energy efficient the more partying we’ll be able to do when the festive holidays kick in.

So in light of this idea we have created a great little guide for you that will help you save money in all the right places.

The most important thing to remember throughout the cold period is to keep warm!

So……

–          Layer up

Rather than crank up the central heating try putting on an extra layer of clothes. In fat you are actually better with lots of thinner layers as opposed to one big thick layer. Depending on how far you want to take the money saving you could also try keeping blankets out for snuggling into when you’re sitting watching TV.

–          Hot water bottles

These are as old as time and yet they’re still a great investment. The trick is to make sure you use them right. Personally I like to put it in my bed about 15 minutes before I go, and it makes things lovely and warm.

–          Timers for everything

Timers are a great way to save money as they allow you set things to only come on at certain times. So for instance rather than leave the heating on all day just so it’s warm for you coming home, you would set your timer to turn the heating on an hour before you get home and an hour before you get up in the morning.

–          The Thermostat

A well known fact is that you can save as much as 10 percent on your heating bills by turning the thermostat down by as much as 1°C. Overall though you want to keep the thermostat between 18°C and 21°C.

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Denmark offer renewable energy insight for other nations

Denmark has long been one of Europe’s leading renewable energy adopters and they have managed to maintain a steady pace with regards to increasing the amount of energy they produce from renewable sources.
Now the Danes are offering their renewable energy model for other nations to copy and help generate their own renewable energy supply. At the moment around 28% of Danish energy comes from renewables but they are aiming high and want to see 50% by 2020 and as much as 100% by 2050.

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Frozen planet: a real look at climate change

By the looks of Twitter and Facebook updates when the show is on, I’m not the only one who has been hooked on the BBC show Frozen Planet.

The beautiful Arctic creatures and their habits are gripping, and the chance to view the earth’s last truly wild landscape is gripping – but the stark message that echoes underneath this beautifully shot documentary series is that these scenes will not last much longer if climate change continues. The seven part series, aims to create a permanent record of the arctic regions before they change forever – and anyone seeing the penguins

By using green energy, and reducing our consumption we can help slow the changes which are destroying this vast and natural habitat for Arctic creatures. Which is well worth thinking about next time the TV is on standby. Here’s a trailer for anyone who hasn’t yet seen the show:

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Sustainability watchdog muzzled…?

Some less than great news in the forom of inevitable government cutbacks – no more funding for the Sustainable Development Commission, according to BBC News.

The government understandably needs to reduce the deficit, but they also need to reduce carbon output, so will the decision have an adverse effect on the environment. Given the promises that it was going to be ‘the greenest government ever’, one would certainly hope not.

I just hope any bonfire of the quangos doesn’t cause so much smoke to get in the government’s eyes that they can’t see in front of them.

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Green Gates

It looks like Bill Gates – someone whose entire fortune is based on the ability to see into the future – has been thinking Green lately.

In this report from the US, Bill asks perhaps the biggest energy  question of the millennium so far:

‘Can the energy sector finance its own revolution and create … great R&D jobs here in America?’

With the errr… you know what in the news constantly over the past few weeks, I’m sure Gates isn’t alone in wondering what the best way forward for the energy sector is. And while Gates wasn’t explicit about the details, it doesn’t take much reading between the lines to get the gist of what his thinking is:

‘[energy] that is both cheaper, not dependent on foreign supply and is environmentally designed so that we’re not emitting carbon and getting into the climate change problem’

Big voices like Gates’ calling for a step-change in energy production may be a relatively new phenomenon, but one that is surely here for the long term. It’s not surprising that the USA is the world’s biggest oil user, so  it is a good thing that diaogue is beginning in terms of how to produce energy from renewable sources.

Here in the UK, steps are being made towards a greater mix of renewables on the road to green energy provision, and if the green energy sector continues to expand and provides jobs, everyone’s a winner.

Gates: Green Vision?


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>> Everything’s Going Green – slowly but surely >>

In terms of renewables, it looks like the UK is surely moving in the right direction. While government policy on renewables hasn’t (so far, at least) been exactly what you’d call ‘radical’, there have been some encouraging signs that the main parties are united in their commitment to getting the country where it needs to be, or to the starting line, at least. The UK electorate (as if anyone needs reminding) even returned a Green member of parliament for one of its constituencies way back last month (how long ago the general election seems now…!)

And while much good work has been done, there are always reminders around us that there is still the majority of the progress yet to be made. So it was with mixed emotions that I read the latest findings by Cambridge Econometrics, who have forecast that renewables will account for seven percent of elecricity sales to final users by the end of 2010.  While this is a move in the right direction, it actually falls pretty far short of the ten percent target. Assuming that certain economic conditions are as expected, the figure is predicted to rise to 11 percent by 2015 – but since the 2015 target is fifteen percent, we will still be wide of the target.

There is always a good news/ bad news element to this type of forecast, and this one’s no exception. The good news? Carbon emissions are predicted to continue fallling. The bad news? They’re going to fall only by a fraction of a single percent, and even only then because of changes to coal-fired power station equipment. The obverse of the good news v. bad news scenario is the bad news v. good news one – and so it has been predicted that the knock-on effects from the economic downturn of 2008 will provide a significant drop in CO2 emissions, rendering the figure lower than initial projections. And the UK will as a result be likely to meet its Kyoto target without much difficulty.

UK Green Energy policy - going in the right direction.

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