Archive for October, 2013


24
OCT

Anna Celeste Watson says:
Stop Loosing Money While You Sleep Infographic


Category: Energy Efficiency
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Here’s another great little infographic as its BIG ENERGY SAVING WEEK 2013 – this time from energy suppliers Ovo Energy showing how simply leaving your home appliances and devices on standby is wasting a lot of energy and burning a whole in your pocket!

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Remember to check out Dorset Energized’s section on Energy Efficiency for even more energy saving tips to save lots more money!



23
OCT

Guest Energizer says:
An Ethical Investment for the Winter


Category: Heat Pumps
Tags: , ,


As we warm ourselves in the afterglow of Ethical Investment Week, happy in the knowledge that we are better and more ethical people for our involvement, I came to wondering what kind of ethical investments might be best for the home.

With these in mind I’d like to highlight the current work being one on Heat Pumps. Because it’s an investment for the home, and if you are in the mind of investing ethically, a heat pump would be a pretty good choice.

This is why:

  • There are two sorts of heat pumps; an air pump, and a ground pump. They work like a fridge. Apart from the other way round. They make the ground/air colder and pump that heat into your house. On average they work at an efficiency of 250-300% however, so they’re quite a lot more efficient than a fridge. (That is it puts out 2.5-3 times the amount of energy put in)
  • Common costs for installation are high to start, but they add that value onto the house and save significant amounts of money on oil, electricity and solid heating bills.
  • It doesn’t need to be warm outside to work. Because the surface area covered is large, given that heat is absorbed through coils, the latent heat in the ground is absorbed. You don’t need to have a hot spring in your back garden for it to work.
  • Maintenance costs are pretty low. Most systems come with a three year warranty. A check by a professional every three to five years should be sufficient.
  • Should you produce too much energy for your own use, you can sell it back to the National Grid.

At the very worst, that is the most inefficient working system against the least polluting fossil fuel, gas, the heat pump system saves 400kg of CO2 emissions per year.

So there you have it. My number one recommendation for an ethical home investment; the Heat Pump. Please, please visit the very good energy saving trust website for more information (link below) and see if this is the kind of ethical investment you might consider.

(http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/Generating-energy/Choosing-a-renewable-technology/Ground-source-heat-pumps#maintenance)

Posted by Guest Energizer Sean McArdell



22
OCT

Anna Celeste Watson says:
Energy Saving Tips at Home for BIG ENERGY SAVING WEEK 2013


Category: Energy Efficiency
Tags: , ,


As its the BIG ENERGY SAVING WEEK 2013 I thought I’d share this great infographic I came across on Pinterest that provides a visual guide to easy ways you can save energy and save money in your home:

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This infographic was created by Juice Electric Supplies who sell a range of energy saving products and gadgets, with information sourced from The Energy Saving Trust.

Check out Dorset Energized’s section on Energy Efficiency for more energy saving tips as well!



21
OCT

Lets Get Energized says:
Win a Wireless Electricity Monitor for Big Energy Saving Week


Category: Climate Change, Competitions & Giveaways, Energy Deals & Offers, Energy Efficiency
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Win an Owl Energy Saving Monitor and Organic Cakes

Win an OWL Wireless Electricity Monitor
(and yummy organic cakes too!)

To celebrate the start of BIG ENERGY SAVING WEEK (21st – 25th October 2013), Dorset Energized have launched a very special offer to win an OWL Wireless Electricity Monitor courtesy of our partners Good Energy. Plus, as a double whammy, if you like us on Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest you’ll also have the chance to win an assortment of yummy cakes by our friends at Respect Organics, and if you share our offer on your social networks you’ll have even more chances to win cakes!

The OWL+USB Wireless Electricity Monitor (which retails at £42.95) is a complete wireless electricity monitoring solution to let you monitor your electricity usage through live and historical charts via your PC at a time to suit you, via the supplied USB cable and software supplied. With a superior memory capability, ultra fast download speed, Owl + USB makes it easy for you to track and save money. It’s ideal for anyone who wants to be able to see a visible reduction in their consumption and cost of electricity or reduce their household impact on the environment to fight against climate change.

All Respect Organics cakes are organic and use free-range eggs. Organic farming releases less greenhouse gases than non-organic farming, so choosing organic, local and seasonal food can significantly reduce your carbon footprint.

Click here to sign up to the Dorset Energized mailing list for the chance to WIN >>

BIG ENERGY SAVING WEEK 2013

Whilst using and generating renewable energy is really important, we also need to be more energy efficient to reduce our energy consumption.

There are lots of small steps you can take to save energy in your home and save money too!

Check out the Energy Saving Trust’s ‘Energy Saving Top Tips’ at: www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/Take-action/Energy-saving-top-tips 

Plus… look out for more energy saving tips later this week here on our blog, and check out our section all about Energy Efficiency.

Offer ends 30th November 2013



21
OCT

Sharon Fay says:
Ecotricity electric highway powering the 100% electric Nissan LEAF


Category: Electric Transport
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london to Leeds

Nissan had a record month in September selling 331 Nissan LEAFs, and to keep these Nissan LEAFs powered the electric highway is growing with help from Ecotricity. They have been installing chargers including rapid chargers (allowing you to charge 80% in 30 mins) to Welcome Breaks since July 2011 where they installed their first rapid charger at South Mimms services.

You can now travel the 213 miles from London to Leeds using the rapid chargers on the electric highway.
Take a look at the following link to see the full map of chargers in the UK from Ecotricity: www.ecotricity.co.uk/for-the-road/our-electric-highway

If you have any questions please contact me (Sharon) at FJ Chalke 01963 34335 or email sharon.fay@fjchalke.co.uk



16
OCT

Anna Celeste Watson says:
The Moo Man is coming to Dorset!


Category: Sustainable Farming & Food, Sustainable Living
Tags: , , ,


CompassionateDorset-MooManPoster-web

In keeping with today’s cow theme (!) and as its also World Food Day (16th October), plus we are also celebrating Bake With Compassion month…
I am very excited to present…

CHARITY FILM NIGHT: THE MOO MAN
OCTOBER Saturday 19th, Doors Open 7.00pm

At West Stafford Village Hall, West Stafford near Dorchester, Dorset
£3 ENTRY ON THE DOOR (UNDER 16s FREE)

Saturday 19th October will see the remarkable story of a maverick farmer and his unruly cows come to Dorset for a special screening of the British documentary film everyone is talking about!

The Moo Man is a film by Andy Heathcote and Heike Bachelier filmed over four years on the marshes of the Pevensey Levels. In an attempt to save his family farm, organic dairy farmer Stephen Hook decides to turn his back on the cost cutting dairies and supermarkets, and instead stay small and keep his close relationship with the herd. However farmer Hook’s plans to save the farm do not always go down well with his 55 spirited cows. The result is a laugh-out-loud, emotional roller-coaster of a journey. You will never see cows in the same way again!

Hailed as “The number one movie of the Sundance 2013 Film Festival”, the film is receiving rave reviews and recognition around the world.

The Moo Man is a heart warming, tearjerker of a movie about the incredible bonds between man, animal and countryside. According to Variety magazine it is “An endearing portrait of the kind of age-old family farm that’s becoming extinct”.

And as the Daily Telegraph say: “This story cannot fail to leave you moo-ved!”.

Local animal welfare group Compassionate Dorset have been granted special permission by the filmmakers to have this fundraising film night in aid of the farm animal welfare charity Compassion in World Farming which was itself founded by a concerned dairy farmer, on a mission to improve the lives of farm animals.

There will be a fully licensed bar, cakes, a raffle and they will have their popular funky farm animal t-shirts for sale too.

The film will be followed by a short Q & A session headed by Compassion in World Farming where people can feedback on the film and its implications for farm animal welfare.

Remember to check out the Dorset Energized tips and links on food and farming on our Sustainable Living section.



16
OCT

Simon Jonathan Naish Rayson says:
Cows Save the Planet!


Category: Climate Change, Sustainable Living
Tags: , ,


Cows-Save-the-Planet

It happens to World Food Day today (16th October) and I’ve just finished reading a book called Cows Save the Planet (And Other Improbable Ways of Restoring Soil to Heal the Earth) by Judith D Schwartz, which is a fascinating book with many practical examples of how some farmers are working to bring back health to the soil (and thus create healthy plants, and interestingly helping the soil itself absorb atmospheric carbon – which improves the microbial health of the soil, assists it in retaining water and of course works to reduce the levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide emitted as a result of burning fossil fuels).

Another area explored in the book is nutrient levels in food and it seems that even though modern agriculture has produced vastly increased quantities of food, much of that food (vegetables and so forth) contains much less in the way of nutrients (70% in some cases) than food grown using older and more traditional methods.

One possibility put forward for the rising obesity rates is that people seek out the nutrients they need when eating, and as these nutrients are not present, they keep on eating and thus become obese. It’s as if the body has it’s own wisdom and knows it needs certain things and yet as those things (nutrients) are not there it is dissatisfied and keeps seeking (eating) – its/our natural appetite thwarted.

It’s known that cats can detect by smell whether a certain food contains what they need and if it doesn’t the cat will not eat it (as many a frustrated cat owner knows – cats can be picky). Perhaps we have a similar ability – hidden, unconscious, forgotten even – but still there and working?

Anyway Cows Save the Planet is a book I’d recommend for anyone interested in the environment, farming, horticulture, or food and health. And as to the title – well it seems that the activities of herds of browsing animals on the land can assist in improving the health of the soil (so it can absorb/take up more carbon dioxide) – and interestingly if the method as developed by Allan Savory (at www.savoryinstitute.com) is used, then more animals can be supported on a given acreage of land, and it continues to improve. Thus Cows (or other browsing animals) helping to save the planet!

For more tips and links on food and farming see our section on Sustainable Living.



15
OCT

Vince Adams says:
Our friend the Wind


Category: Climate Change, Wind Power
Tags:


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wind-vince

Natural threshing of corn,
Drying clothes,
Travel in sailing boats,
Windmills to grind our corn.

Unlike the Sun, it goes almost un-heralded
and by many derided as something cold, mean and menacing.

So now is the time to face up and give our thanks and to support the new technology that turns wind into energy and count our blessings.

Like so many things, because it is free we don’t really value it…

These photos are from my travels to Sweden where mills are at the heart of the community even in small hamlets – old mills used for food and new windmills (wind turbines) used for energy – showing that wind power can span the centuries to gather natural carbon-less wind.

So let’s embrace wind turbines in some way and harness the power of the wind for everyone.

Find out more about wind power here: www.letsgetenergized.co.uk/energy/wind-power


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • Chris Wharton comments:
    "I am chair of a community project set up to create community-owned clean energy for the benefit of the community. We are convinced that wind power is a vital bridge, enabling us to act now to reduce carbon emissions with suitable urgency, but when new tidal power comes online in about 20 years, the wind turbines can be recycled and the land returned to nature. So we have applied for a small community-owned turbine. Please support it at Cornwall Council’s planning portal: http://www.cornwall.gov.uk/default.aspx?page=15927 – Please reference ‘PA13/06802 – Endurance turbine community owned’. For more information go to: http://www.FREEFowey.org.uk THANKS! "
    October 16, 2013 a 1:12 pm


14
OCT

Lets Get Energized says:
ACE Energy installs PV System onto Community Centre in Bath


Category: Solar Energy
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Dorset Energized are very excited to be in partnership with ACE Energy – Award Winning Plumbing, Heating & Renewable Energy Specialists who design, install and commission Combined Heat & Power systems including; Solar Photovoltaic (PV), Solar ThermalHeat Pumps and Biomass (Wood Energy).

Their Renewable Energy arm based in North Dorset have recently installed a 22 kW solar PV system on the roof of the Percy Centre.

The Percy Community Centre was opened in 1991 to provide community facilities for the diverse communities of Bath and North East Somerset (B&NES). The aims of the organisation are to provide a well-maintained, accessible community resource for other voluntary sector and community groups and to support the economic activities of individuals with a range of services. The Centre now has over 50,000 users a year and hosts a regular schedule of around 25 different activities each week, including dancing, creative writing, parenting advice, welfare to work programmes, play groups and a wide range of sports and martial arts.

The Photovoltaic system has already generated 5,000 kWh of power and their last electricity bill for the whole of the centre was only £100 leaving more money for their community activities.

Lee Smith – Director of ACE Energy says:

“We are very proud of this installation – not only is it an excellent sized system generating renewable energy for Bath – it is also saving money being positioned on a very worthwhile community project in the City. The system will generate around £2,000 worth of zero carbon electricity and raise the green credentials of The Percy Centre. We would love to do more of these types of schemes and encourage Village Halls and other Community buildings to get in touch with Dorset Energized and learn more about the benefits from renewable energy installations”.

Find out more about Solar Energy here: www.letsgetenergized.co.uk/energy/solar-energy



11
OCT

Vince Adams says:
Dorset councillors say Navitus Bay wind farm has “more holes than Swiss cheese”


Category: Dorset Energized News, Wind Power
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According to the Dorset Echo today, Dorset county councillors have labelled the controversial Navitus Bay wind farm plan as having ‘more holes than a good piece of Swiss cheese’. You can read the full article on: www.thisisdorset.net/news/10732953.Navitus_Bay_wind_farm_has____more_holes_than_Swiss_cheese____say_Dorset_councillors

Personally I feel that Dorset Councillors rantings have become rather a meaningless act of political expediency based on the wishes of a small number of their constituents. In raising issues about a project far out to sea that will create enough energy for nearly 800,000 homes is outrageous and once again displays all the characteristics of “Not in my Backyard” syndrome.

Dorset is a wonderful County where we could take a lead in creating renewable energy and low carbon targets higher than anywhere in the UK. Instead we complain, argue and leave other parts of the UK to take an unfair burden of the need to create our own local energy.

Today’s renewable projects have a life of approx 30 years after which they return the area to its original pristine condition and extremely low impact. Compare that with Power Station and Nuclear!

Go and see Sweden, Denmark and Spain’s landscape with Wind Turbines. It enhances areas of beauty and gives a lead to future generations.

Wind has always been our gift from travel, to producing food and now energy. Lets embrace it now and drive forward the quality of technical innovation and opportunities that Dorset and the UK could be a major part of worldwide.

Clink here to read more about the Nativus Bay Offshore Wind Development or to find out more about wind power for your home, business or community go to: www.letsgetenergized.co.uk/energy/wind-power



11
OCT

Anna Celeste Watson says:
Reclaim power: FOE month of action on energy


Category: Climate Change, Community Energy, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Living
Tags:


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11th October to 11th November 2013
A global month of action on energy is starting…

Friends of the Earth have joined with international groups to organise a global month of action on energy.

They say that we face a planetary emergency and are heading for catastrophic levels of climate change.

Around the world people are uniting to respond to the crisis – but we need to reach more people, link up and scale up our actions.

From 11th October to 11th November people around the world will be calling for:

  • A global ban on all new dirty energy projects
  • An end to tax payer hand outs to dirty energy companies
  • Support to be redirected to community and decentralised energy systems
  • Key dates during the month of action.

Key dates during the month of action:

October 11 – Actions calling for a stop to public subsidies for dirty energy companies.

October 16 – World Food Day: Day of Actions against Agrofuels.

October 19 – Global Frackdown Day: Day of Actions against Fracking. Our local groups will be hitting the streets across the UK inviting people to tell their council why fracking is a dirty word.

November 6 – Day of Action for People/Community Energy Alternatives – find out more on: www.foeeurope.org/celebrating-community-power-across-Europe-020913

November 10 – Day of Action vs Oil (Anniversary of the death of Ken Saro Wiwa – Nigerian writer, environmental activist)

November 11 – start of the UNFCCC Conference of Parties (COP) climate talks in Warsaw, Poland.

For more information go to: www.foe.co.uk/news/reclaim_power_41127.html

Dorset Community Energy

To find out how to join a Community Energy Group or Project here in Dorset see our Sustainable Living section or view all your home or business Renewable Energy options.



10
OCT

Keith Wheaton-Green says:
Government confirm 20% increase in renewable electricity uptake during 2012


Category: Green Electricity & Gas, Renewable Energy, Solar Energy, Wind Power
Tags:


Electricity generation from renewable sources increased by 20 % during 2012 as compared to the previous year and accounted for 11% of all the electricity generated in the year.

The rise is mainly due to increases in generation from on shore and offshore wind. Critically, government data show the load factor for off shore wind was 33.7% as compared to 30.4% from gas. This proves the reliability of wind is not the issue that its detractors would have people believe.

Breaking down the data further shows a 27% increase in installed renewable electricity generating capacity, a 27% increase in on-shore wind capacity, 63% increase in off-shore wind capacity and 71% increase in photovoltaic (solar) capacity. Primary energy capacity fell by 10.7% with further declines in oil and gas production.

Taken together, the data appears to be evidence renewables are replacing fossil fuels in the UK, albeit not as quickly as we would like or need.

As Dorset Energized reported last month, only 1% of Dorset’s total energy demand currently comes from renewables – this is a third of the UK national average so to play our part in meeting national renewable energy targets, generation needs to increase by over 15 times in just 8 years.

Find out your options for investing in Renewable Energy for your home or business today and how it can also help you save energy and money.

 



09
OCT

Vince Adams says:
Respect Organics “Riding on Sunshine” with Good Energy!


Category: Electric Transport, Green Electricity, Renewable Energy, Solar Energy, Sustainable Living
Tags:


vince-e-bike  vince-dorset-solar-1  ro1s

Some time ago, as Managing Director of my family business Respect Organics – which is based in Shaftesbury and very proud to be the UK’s leading organic cake producers – I became interested in renewable energy. Its closeness to Organic Food and The Landscape made it attractive partners for both Respect Organics and our Art Gallery, hence why we helped to found www.letsgetenergized.co.uk.

My wife Lin and I aren’t green revolutionaries, but as a family we’ve always simply loved nature and the countryside. As someone who always looks to the future I embraced the concept of ‘future proofing’ and so was the first in our home village of Sturminster Newton (and probably for miles around) to cover our roof in solar panels and buy a lime green Smart car. I also help with the local Sturminster Transition Town project, and appreciate just how complicated all the green issues are. In all honesty the Respect Organics cakes are organic because that way they simply ‘are what they are’, no compromise. What it always comes down to in the end is taste and good value. (And you should see us demolish a ginger cake!). So we helped set up Dorset Energized to share our passion and help inspire Dorset people to get energized with renewable energy!

From that point it was a small step to find and change to a green energy supplier who supply electricity from completely renewable sources…

Good Energy fitted that bill with their overwhelming commitment to renewables and so we changed supply in our bakery, offices and at home. We were meet with caring real people who were contactable and approachable. It felt like a time long overdue and its been a great experience having them as our supplier.

I now also have a Nissan LEAF 100% electric car supplied by FJ Chalkes which I love and on good days I charge it using our solar panels at home fitted by NGPS Renewables – read more about that here. My wife Lin calls it “Riding on sunshine” and frankly that’s how it feels! Plus my electric bicycle also makes for a smooth effortless ride. Controls allow me to use differing levels of power and at the lower the e-bike has an average range of 50 miles!

We are thrilled to have also teamed up with them so we can provide an exclusive offer to Dorset Energized users to help you make the switch to green energy too – so if you switch to Good Energy, quote ‘Dorset Energized’ and they’ll give you an amazing £50 off your first bill so you can start saving money straight away! Click here to switch to Good Energy today – we think you will be as happy as we are!



08
OCT

Keith Wheaton-Green says:
Peggs Farm Crossflow Turbine Installation near Child Okeford


Category: Community Energy, Water Power
Tags:


A 3.7 kW crossflow turbine has been installed at the end of the leat at Peggs Farm. There is a working 3.8 m diameter wheel also fed from the leat, which is still used to produce animal feed for the farm.

The site is on the Fontmell Brook – a tributary of the River Stour – between Fontmell Magna and Child Okeford. The installation of this renewable electricity generation is estimated to generate 14,000 kWh/yr saving 6 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year and provides for some of the high electrical demand at this diary farm. This farm diversification provides income to the farm from the Feed in tariff and sales of electricity. A crossflow turbine was chosen to match the head and flows and at this site. The rated flow of the turbine is determined by the 3.9 m head and flows available. To comply with the Environment Agency Good Practise Guidelines, a 300 mm diameter turbine, taking a maximum flow of 0.120 m3s was chosen. The project included repair of leaks in the leat wall and construction of a new brick turbine house for the turbine, generator, grid connect and control unit.

Extensive negotiation with the Environment Agency was required to ensure that the scheme design and methods of construction complied with the environmental standards expected to achieve the necessary Abstraction License and Flood Defence Consent. It was decided to install the turbine in a new lean-to building next to the existing mill where the wheel is located. The grid connection is arranged so that electricity generated supplies the needs of the site, only exporting to the grid when there is a surplus.

The total project budget was £60,000. Sowing Seeds provided £21,807 but the process from initial agreement to receipt of the grant took 3 years. This is one of three hydropower projects in the area in receipt of the grant, all using different hydro turbine technologies.

There are numerous old mill sites and other potential hydropower sites in Dorset. The Feed in Tariffs, sales of electricity and avoided import of electricity make development of these sites financially attractive. Project management is not beyond the scope of a talented amateur but the complexity of the design and license application process means that expert advice is usually required. It is intended (and required under the conditions of the grant received) that the project will be well monitored, documented and publicised to enable other Dorset hydro projects to learn from the experience gained in developing and maintaining hydropower at Peggs Farm.

The project was developed with Potent Energy – find out more at: www.potenergy.co.uk.

Click here for further information on Water Power >>

Thanks to Sustainable Dorset for project details



08
OCT

Keith Wheaton-Green says:
Benjafield Screw Turbine Installation near Gillingham


Category: Community Energy, Water Power
Tags:


A 5.5 kW screw turbine has been installed next to the weir at Benjafield Farm. The site is on Shreen Water – a tributary of the River Stour – between Mere and Gillingham in Dorset.

The installation of this renewable electricity generation is estimated to generate 28,000 kWh/yr saving 13 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year and provides for some of the high electrical demand at this cattle farm. This farm diversification provides income to the farm from the Feed in tariff and sales of electricity. A screw turbine was chosen to match the low head, high flows and requirement for fish protection at this site. The rated flow of the turbine is determined by the 1.8 m head and flows available. To comply with the Environment Agency Good Practise Guidelines, a 1.0m diameter turbine, taking a maximum flow of 0.320m3s was chosen. The project included stabilisation of the west bank and construction of a timber housing for the gearbox, generator, grid connect and control unit.

Extensive negotiation with the Environment Agency was required to ensure that the scheme design and methods of construction complied with the environmental standards expected to achieve the necessary Abstraction License and Flood Defence Consent. It was decided to install the turbine in a new excavation next to the existing weir. A V shaped notch in the weir has been provided to enable down river fish passage. The grid connection is arranged so that electricity generated supplies the needs of the site, only exporting to the grid when there is a surplus.

The total project budget was £70,000. Sowing Seeds provided £31,213 but the process from initial agreement to receipt of the grant took 3 years. This is one of three hydropower projects in the area in receipt of the grant, all using different hydro turbine technologies.

There are numerous old mill sites and other potential hydropower sites in Dorset. The Feed in Tariffs, sales of electricity and avoided import of electricity make development of these sites financially attractive. Project management is not beyond the scope of a talented amateur but the complexity of the design and license application process means that expert advice is usually required. It is intended (and required under the conditions of the grant received) that the project will be well monitored, documented and publicised to enable other Dorset hydro projects to learn from the experience gained in developing and maintaining hydropower at Benjafield Farm.

The project was developed with Potent Energy – find out more at: www.potenergy.co.uk.

Click here for further information on Water Power >>

Thanks to Sustainable Dorset for project details



04
OCT

Lets Get Energized says:
Good Energy for Fair Ground Fairtrade in Dorset


Category: Green Electricity
Tags:


We love hearing stories of Dorset businesses embracing renewable energy!

Green energy supplier Good Energy’s business customer Fair Ground have been bringing fairtrade products to Wimborne in Dorset since 1995. Margaret Pearce of Fair Ground welcomes Good Energy’s work on solar in our county.

Margaret says, “To me solar energy, like fairtrade, is a win-win situation. It’s good for the farmer, good for the consumer and importantly, it’s good for the environment too. One of my favourite products that we stock is Traidcraft Sweet Justice honey from Chile. The traders we buy it from know it is essential to care for our environment so that their bees can thrive. I think it’s great that solar farms can improve the habitat of our bees here in the UK.”

Fair Ground sells a variety of products at www.wimbornefairtradeshop.co.uk, from gifts and baby clothes to coffee and honey, all of which are fairly traded.

Businesses can save up to £90 of your first bill if you switch to Good Energy and quote ‘Dorset Energized’ and home users can save £50 off your first bill – so you can start saving money straight away!

Click here to switch to Good Energy today for your home or business >>



02
OCT

Anna Celeste Watson says:
What happened to National Carbon Footprint Day?


Category: Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy Film/Video
Tags: , ,


Last year saw the first ever National Carbon Footprint Day here in the UK so I must say I am rather disappointed to not be able to find any information on the day continuing this year (please let me know if you hear any more!).

Climate change is as big an issue, if not a bigger issue, than ever. You may have seen Dorset Energized’s post last monthNew Report: Climate – Everyone’s Businesson a new report which adds thousands of new studies on the body of evidence on climate change.

This week the Environment Secretary Owen Paterson has been widely criticised by climate scientists as “immoral” after they accused him of playing down the dangerous consequences of global warming. You can read more about that in The Telegraph at: www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/10346050/Environment-Secretary-accused-of-immoral-stance-on-climate-change.html

Confused about Climate Change?

The WWF have produced this interesting short video for people who are still confused about Climate Change and how we can all take action today:

Calculate your own carbon footprint & save money

Our lifestyle choices make up our environmental footprint.

You can calculate your Environmental Footprint on: http://footprint.wwf.org.uk

The government may well not be doing half enough to tackle climate change but they have at least produced the Act on CO2 Calculator website which I think is great, and where we can all as individuals and households play our part in reducing our carbon emissions and also save energy and save money too (which let’s face it, is the bottom line for most of us!).

You can measure your carbon footprint with the Act on CO2 Calculator at: http://carboncalculator.direct.gov.uk

Check out our Energy Efficiency section for lots of other ways you can reduce your home energy bills. There are also several government grants and money back schemes available at the moment including the Green Deal and to prepare for the Renewable Heat Incentive which has been delayed until next year – check out our section on Renewable Energy to find out all the ways you can help reduce your carbon footprint and save money whilst investing in green sustainable energy, and look out for exclusive Dorset Energized offers too!



01
OCT

Anna Celeste Watson says:
Dorset Celebrates Bake With Compassion this October 2013


Category: Energy Events in Dorset, Sustainable Farming & Food, Sustainable Living
Tags: ,


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Percy Pig says Get Baking!

Members from my local animal welfare group Compassionate Dorset who support Dorset Energized, are celebrating BAKE WITH COMPASSION MONTH throughout October (with 14th – 20th October also being the UK’s National Baking Week), starting with our popular annual vegan cake sale in Dorchester town centre on Saturday 5th October where you can meet Percy the Free-Range Pig!

This year we are asking people across Dorset to get baking themselves to make this is a compassionate month to remember…

Bake With Compassion is the leading farm animal welfare charity Compassion in World Farming‘s annual event to raise awareness and funds to end the suffering caused by factory farming and celebrate ethical, higher welfare produce including organic, and to reduce the unsustainable demand for meat and dairy.

Compassion’s current major campaign ‘Project Pig’ is fighting to end the suffering of millions of Europe’s pigs following recent investigations into pig farming in Spain, Italy and Ireland where they found shocking widespread maltreatment of pigs enduring terrible conditions.

The UK alone also consumes over 30 million eggs per day. Although the barren battery cage was banned in the EU on January 1st 2012, the use of ‘enriched’ cages remains legal. Enriched colony cages house 60-80 hens with each hen only having space around 20% larger than an A4 piece of paper. Nest boxes, litter, perch space and ‘claw shortening devices’ must be provided but they are still very restrictive, the hens cannot fly up to a high perch to be safe from feather pecking. The litter area is often very limited and effective dust-bathing isn’t possible, so the hens are far from free-range. In fact, currently half of our eggs in the UK are still not free-range.

“Everyone loves cake”

I reckon that everyone loves a cake and taking cakes into work or school, baked with free-range, high welfare, or even vegan ingredients, is a great opportunity to bring people together, have fun and to raise awareness and vital funds for Compassion. Some of our group members have previously held their own Tea Parties for family or friends with one member April Walker-Bambury holding a Compassionate Tea Party with her pupils at Leweston School in Sherborne. Royal Veterinary College PhD student Sophie Collins hosted her own Come Dine With Me dinner party with her friends in Weymouth, and Laura Hodgson and Sue Loveless are putting on a meat-free day at work in Briantspuddle on alternate Fridays to raise funds.

My fellow Compassionate Dorset Co-founder Sandra Hood from Crossways, who is an NHS Diabetes Specialist Dietician and previously ran the 2011 London Marathon in aid of the charity and carried the Olympic Flame through Milborne St Andrew in 2012, held a Nutritional Cooking Workshop for last years’ Bake With Compassion with fellow Dietitian Sarah Smith, and is running the cake sale in Dorchester on the 5th.

Sandra says: “At all our bake events I have been so encouraged that most people do care about where their food comes from and want more information. People seem pleasantly surprised at how delicious cooking can be without even using any animal ingredients at all and love the free meat-free and vegan recipe booklets we have on our stall. A more plant-based diet can help energise you, keep you slimmer, and help reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other illnesses. I must admit I do have a sweet tooth though and particularly love baking vegan chocolate cake and cheesecake, and a little bit of what you fancy does you good – just make sure it’s in moderation!”

Know your food labels

Compassionate Dorset have found that many consumers are often confused about what they are buying as packaging does not always make it clear where food has come from. Compassion in World Farming believe that consumers have the right to know what they are eating, so for this year’s Bake With Compassion they are linking up with the ‘Labelling Matters’ campaign and encouraging bakers to inspect labels to ensure that the ingredients they bake with are higher-welfare.

Sandra adds; “Even if you are not a baker and don’t want to get involved in baking FOR Compassion, you can always bake WITH compassion and only buy free-range and high welfare ingredients or ready-made foods. If it doesn’t say ‘free range’ then it is probably factory farmed and beware of anything that says ‘farm fresh’, it doesn’t mean anything! The Red Tractor scheme is very misleading and offers few welfare benefits compared with basic standard industry practice. RSPCA Freedom Food is better as ensures greater space and bedding materials are provided, but the Soil Association Organic Standard currently has by far the highest welfare standards. We have Good Food Shopping Guides available to pick up at all our events to help people know what the labels mean.”

We would love to hear from anyone who does want to host their own bake event or send us their compassionate baking photos, or maybe people can ask their local village hall or church to provide coffee, cake and chat for a Compassionate Coffee Morning.

Dorset Businesses to support Bake With Compassion

Cafes, canteens or food businesses could use more free-range ingredients or put on a special dish for the month – it could even put them on the way to winning a Good Farm Animal Welfare Award!

One of my clients in my work as a Web Designer (hence my involvement with Dorset Energized as their Web Designer and Web Manager), Dorset business The Gilded Teapot who source and sell fine and rare speciality loose teas and fair trade coffees in their Dorchester shop in the Tudor Arcade, will be promoting Bake With Compassion throughout October, collecting donations for the charity and recommending the perfect teas to accompany your compassionate cakes.

Jo Davies, Founder and Managing Director at The Gilded Teapot says; “We are thrilled to be involved, and its a darn good excuse to eat cake, so let’s Bake With Compassion!”

The Moo Man is coming too…

Compassionate Dorset supporter Paul Fairman is also running the first ever full marathon at The Bournemouth Marathon Festival for Compassion on Sunday 6th (find out more on www.compassionatedorset.co.uk/animal-welfare-dorset-news.htm) plus Compassionate Dorset will be hosting a film night on Saturday 19th October in West Stafford Village Hall which will see the remarkable story of a maverick organic dairy farmer and his unruly cows come to Dorset for a special screening of the British documentary film everyone is talking about – ‘The Moo Man’!

For more information on all Compassionate Dorset’s events visit www.compassionatedorset.co.uk or to download a free starter pack for Bake With Compassion visit: www.bakewithcompassion.org

Remember eating more ethically and sustainably is just one way you can help our planet whilst feeling good! Check out Dorset Energized’s pages on Sustainable Living and Energy Efficiency for more tips or look at the Renewable Energy options available to us all here in Dorset.

(P.S. I do have an admission to make… Percy Pig is not actually a real piggy, that is in fact me being a bit of a piggy for the photo… the things we do for fun!!!)



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