Archive for November, 2014


27
NOV

Guest Energizer says:
4 Tips for Green Living


Category: Energy Efficiency, Sustainable Living
Tags:


4 Tips for Green Living (2)

Being environmentally conscious is not about buying LED bulbs or sorting your garbage. You know that saying – small changes make huge difference? That is true, but only if you make green living your lifestyle. It is an everyday effort and should extend beyond your cleaning methods or furniture preference. It should become a way of thinking. This will not happen in a day, but you can start by improving small things around your home.

There are three major reasons why you should embrace an eco–friendly way of living…

Firstly, you will lower the negative impacts on the environment, secondly, you will have healthier life and thirdly you will save some money.

1. Be Energy Conscious

If your lights still operate with regular incandescent bulbs, replace them immediately with LED ones.They have longer life, use less energy and decrease sufficiently the cost for electricity.

The commercial production of electrical power involves the use of hazards for the environment. Fossil fuels contribute to the emission of a large amount of carbon that is the leading driver of global warming. Switch to green energy! Although some green electric companies charge a little bit more, the amount is not that significant. You will set positive examples that will inspire others to take the same actions.

Another option is to install your own solar panels. You can take advantage of the government’s incentives like lower taxes. Plus you will produce your own energy and you will not depend on external parties.

4 Tips for Green Living (1)

2. Green Clean

Remove the toxins from your home for good. They are not only harmful for the environment, but also for your health. Commercial cleaning products contain hazardous components can cause allergies, sickness and even poisoning. Create your own cleaning solutions by using natural ingredients. Use vinegar to clean your floor and upholstery. Baking soda is ideal for rubbing stained surfaces, while lemon will sanitize your toilet and whiten your laundry, leaving refreshing aroma.

3. Save Heat &Water

The first step towards saving water is by fixing the leaky faucets. Buy high-efficiency showerheads and a water-conserving toilet that will save several gallons of water. In addition you can install sink-aerator attachments. These inexpensive appliances will contribute immensely to your household budget.

Heating constitutes a large part of your energy consumption and affects significantly your expenses. Use solar water heaters or wrap your regular one with insulating blanket. Check if your windows are well sealed and there are no air leaks. You can either proof the problematic areas or insulate your whole home. It is a one–time investment that will surely repay the next month when you get your bill.

4. Get Green Utilities

Buy energy efficient appliances. Some washing machines can do magic with yor laundry even with cold water. Use the dishwasher only when there is full load. It’s preferable to do the dishes manually.

Lastly, unplug all the electrical devices when you don’t use them anymore!

This post is by Guest Energizer Sofia Lewis for www.cleaningcarpet.co who offer eco-friendly cleaning services. She is a passionate freelance article writer and blogger. She is inspired by home improvement projects and writes mainly about cleaning, green living home solutions, removals and other home related topics.



19
NOV

Lets Get Energized says:
West Dorset Pro Wind – New Website


Category: Uncategorized, Wind Power
Tags: , , , ,


West Dorset Pro Wind Group website now live!

You can find this group at www.westdorsetprowind.org.uk as well on Facebook : West Dorset Pro Wind Group

Find out what is happening with Blandford Hill Wind Farm at Winterbourne Whitechurch, West Dorset Wind Farm near Tolpuddle and Slyer’s Lane Wind Farm between Charminster, Charlton Down and Stinsford all of which have submitted planning applications.

There is also information on how you can contact us and how you can help lend your support.

Two things are going on right now

Parish Council Survey on Slyer’s Lane Wind Farm Charminster and Charlton Down residents only.

Public Consultation on Slyer’s Lane Wind Farm Important part of the planning process. Expected to start in the coming week or so

A LOCAL CAMPAIGN BY LOCAL PEOPLE FOR WIND ENERGY IN DORSET

 

UPDATE: Slyer`s Lane public consultation has now started – View Here



19
NOV

Simon Jonathan Naish Rayson says:
View from Steepton Bill


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


View from Steepton Bill

Below we have some words from Tess Evans, a smallholder and Steepton Bill Farm Shop co-owner who reflects on the present situation in dairy farming. This was originally published in the Milton Abbas Village Bulletin for November 2014

My grandmother who grew up on a farm in Somerset had vivid memories of being around eighteen years of age when the family were forced to sell off their beautiful farm and orchards as a result of her father suffering a serious accident. I think the images of lot numbers fixed onto the pony and trap, pens of animals, butter churns and even drawers of cutlery stayed with her till the day she died.

Selling up a farming enterprise is heart wrenching. Caring for and improving stock or a herd of cattle over the course of many years is a whole way of life, an emotional as well as a physical and business commitment. That is why my heart goes out to the increasing number of dairy farmers who are going out of business.

Since 2000 the number of dairy farmers has halved in the UK with an estimated two dairy farms now being sold off every day.Dairy farmers are in the eye of a ‘perfect storm’, with supermarket price wars, over production globally and EU embargos on fresh produce to Russia, a response to the conflict in Ukraine.

It costs the farmer approximately 33p per litre to produce a litre of milk but many are now receiving only around 25p per litre from the milk processors. Supermarkets use milk as a loss-leader and our farmers argue this devalues it in the eyes of consumers, they are bearing the cost cuts but the processors are still making a healthy profit (funny that!). Some dairies are following the American model where huge herds are kept in vast barns all year around, and fed on fodder based diets. These systems are extremely productive. These cows produce up to 50% more milk than those on pasture and are often milked 3 times a day.

We may in the future get used to seeing bottles labelled ‘Free Range Milk’ on the shelves from smaller dairy farmers, who will command a premium by ensuring their animals have access to pasture for a minimum of 180 days a year. Plenty of scientific evidence to show that milk and meat from animals that are free to graze is nutritionally of far greater value than the alternative. But if that’s what we want, it will come at a cost!


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • vince adams comments:
    "Tess you and your husband are wonderful and in due course I shall write about the visit we made and your kindness etc towards us.
    The need for small food producing farms is just so important and beyond the norms of our modern commercial world.
    We have to raise our standards of what food can taste and provide us with nutritionally using my maxim Less is More.
    From a base of people who believe in this mantra we can support enterprises like your own and spread the word far and wide that there are alternatives to cheap food that don’t in fact cost the earth and in fact offer better value and so many other good things. "

    November 25, 2014 a 11:35 pm


14
NOV

Lets Get Energized says:
Get a £50 John Lewis voucher when you switch to 100% green electricity with Ecotricity


Category: Competitions & Giveaways, Green Electricity & Gas
Tags:


lets_get_energized_694_242

If you do 1 thing today…

Switching to a green energy supplier is one of the simplest things that anyone can do to invest in renewable energy to be part of transforming the UK’s energy landscape for local, natural, sustainable energy – whether you are a homeowner or tenant, have a family or share a student flat!

At Lets Get Energized we are passionate about renewables and sustainable living which is why we recommend the UK’s only two 100% green electricity suppliers – Good Energy and Ecotricity.

We want to show you just how easy it is to switch and how good it will make you feel, which is why all our team use green electricity ourselves at home! Some of us have been supporting green energy for years and others have signed up recently after being inspired by working with us.

Say ‘frack off’ to bad energy!

Ecotricity take the money their customers spend on their electricity and gas bills and turn it into new sources of Green Energy. When they talk about green energy they mean 100% Green Electricity made from the wind and the sun, and ‘Green Gas’ – that comes with a ‘Frack Free’ guarantee.

People are really beginning to turn against the Big Six energy companies, to question where their energy comes from. The reaction to fracking plans in Balcombe is evidence of that, and at Ecotricity they have ensured that none of their gas will come from fracking, and their electricity is always 100% Green. And they don’t just supply green energy, they make it themselves with their rapidly growing fleet of renewable energy parks.

Ecotricity’s Price Promise

As the Big Six Energy companies continue to increase prices by as much as 10%, Ecotricity have also frozen their prices until next year.

And they have a Price Promise too – that they will always be cheaper than the standard Big Six electricity tariff in your region and the standard gas price from British Gas wherever you live.

As a not-for-dividend company, with no shareholders or investors to keep happy, Ecotricity are free to dedicate their money to their mission – changing the way energy is made and used in Britain.

Switching energy supplier is one of the easiest and single biggest things you can do to make a change…

Switch to Ecotricity and get a £50 John Lewis voucher

As if switching to a green energy supplier was not rewarding enough in itself, we are very pleased to announce that Ecotricity have just updated their sign-up offer so that you can celebrate switching to them by treating yourself to a shopping spree at John Lewis with a £50 voucher. And unlike most organisations that take a referral fee for sign-ups – we are giving the whole offer directly to YOU!

It couldn’t be easier to switch to Ecotricity and literally takes less than five minutes.

Switch online at: www.ecotricity.co.uk/letsgetenergized or call Ecotricity free on 08000 302 302.

When you sign up make sure you quote ‘Lets Get Energized’ to get your £50 John Lewis voucher…. Enjoy!



13
NOV

Guest Energizer says:
Saving Water: The Whys and Hows


Category: Energy Efficiency, Sustainable Living
Tags:


Saving Water The Whys and Hows (2)

Conserving the water resources of our planet is crucial in times when scarcity is a real threat. The liquid is vital not only for humans but for every living creature. With this in mind you need to be cautious of how you use water supplies.

By following these simple saving tips, you will not only limit the waste of water, but you will also save some money.

Why it Is Important to Save Water?

First and foremost, because without fresh water life on Earth would be impossible. Although the major part of the planet’s surface consists of water, only 3% of it is suitable for your everyday needs, of which only 1% is available for immediate use. The rest is salt water. It’s hazardous to rely on such a small percent and still recklessly wasting prolific amount of water. With the constantly growing population and scarce resources, we may be at the edge of water insufficiency. On the other hand, climate change has negative effects on the water supplies. Rain and snowfall may become rarer. Global warming causes the melt down of the snowpack of the mountains, which are a natural source of drinking water found in the streams and rivers.

If the described apocalyptic scenario doesn’t scare you then think about how much money you can safe by limiting your water consumption. Reducing the water use will have an impact on another other ecologically problematic area – energy production. The water extraction and purifying requires great amount of energy, which leads to the exhaustion of resources such as oil and natural gas. Already convinced? Here are few tips how to lower the water use.

Saving Water The Whys and Hows (1)

3 Ways to Save Water

1. Buy Water Efficient Appliances

Invest in an energy and water efficient washing machine. It saves water and money at the same time. Kitchen cleaning has a huge part in the household water consumption. Wash the dark clothes that don’t require special care with cold water. Use the dishwasher occasionally. These devices use smaller amounts of water than when washing your dishes by hand, therefore when you have a full stack of dirty dishes it’s better to get them to do the dirty job.

2. Reduce the Leaks

Install aerators on the kitchen and bathroom faucets. In addition put low – flow shower heads. Buy a dual – flash toilet. Get a fish tank to collect rain water to moisten the household greenery or even use it for cleaning your car.

3. A Matter of Habits

Sometimes little changes make huge difference. Avoiding practices such as leaving the water running constantly while brushing your teeth or cleaning fruits and vegetables. If you are a bath tub lover, you should sacrifice this little pleasure.

Use water wisely and show your care for the environment. If this is not enough to convince you, you should think about the benefits of saving some bucks from your bills!

This post is by Guest Energizer Sofia Lewis for www.endoftenancycleaning.org.uk. She is a passionate freelance article writer and blogger. She is inspired by home improvement projects and writes mainly about cleaning, green living home solutions, removals and other home related topics.



12
NOV

Lets Get Energized says:
Cafe Scientifique: Fracked or Fiction? – 21st November


Category: Fuel Poverty & Security, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized
Tags:


Cafe Scientifique: Fracked or Fiction? – 21st November

On November the 21st at 7.30 – there is a Cafe Scientifique event in Dorchester Arts Centre on the subject of Fracking:

Can the process of cracking rock underground lead to water contamination? Can fracking cause earthquakes? Could the wells that we drill to extract shale gas leak, and what can we learn from the history of drilling in the UK to date? Sam Almond from The Department of Earth Sciences, University of Durham leads the debate on the much-publicised and controversial topic of fracking.

Entry is free but booking is recommended – Here



05
NOV

Erik Blakeley says:
Carbon Capture & Storage


Category: Climate Change, Energy Efficiency
Tags: , , ,


Carbon Capture & Storage

This is interesting:

http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/defiant-coal-industry-pushes-emissions-cleanup-research-in-face-of-ipcc-report-20141103-11gag2.html

Whilst I do see some scope for CCS as a transition tactic there are two really important factors that the coal industry doesn’t seem to be tackling:

1. The coal industry has been talking about CCS and Clean coal for over a quarter of a century and has done little about it. They will only do something about it if governments force them to do so and they have resisted all attempts at carbon taxes or suitably biting environmental protection legislation.

2. The GHG problem is a stock problem not a flow problem. I came across this concept in a book by an employee of Shell in which he pushed CCS as a major part of the solution. The down side of this is that 20% or 50% reductions in GHG emissions do nothing but delay catastrophe. In order to avert eventual disaster we need to achieve almost 100% reductions in GHG emissions which means that fossil fuels with CCS can only form a small part of the long term energy mix as the practical limitations of finding storage of all our CO2 emissions from the current or even greater usage of fossil fuels would be, in all likelihood, impossible to overcome. This is another reason why the NIMBY fixation on how much RE will get us to the 2020 targets is so stupid and shows a fundamental lack of understanding of the problem.


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • vince adams comments:
    "As a kid in 1950 we had Pea-Souper fogs in London, result coal was made to go smoke free and it happened over a very short time. The pea supers vanished and all was well.
    Now we want Clean Coal so why can’t we just say do it or we use No Coal. Its as simple as that with political leadership. "

    November 5, 2014 a 6:26 pm


04
NOV

Guest Energizer says:
Trick Your Home into Being More Energy Efficient


Category: Energy Efficiency
Tags:


Ways to Make your Home More Energy Efficient s (2)

Saving money is always an issue. So why not cut the costs of your utility bills?

An energy efficient home will make you feel comfortable while saving you money. It doesn’t matter whether you’re taking simple steps or making huge investments. It will surely pay off over time.

Energy Vampires

Look for the sneaky energy suckers. Electronic devices left unplugged cause a lot of waste. You may think that some items are turned down, when they’re actually not. For instance, while TVs are on standby, they continue to use energy. A quick tip to make sure that everything is switched off is to plug your devices into a power strip. When you don’t use them any more, you can quickly turn off them all at once. If you are absent minded, buy a smart power strip that will automatically do that for you.

Beat the Air Leaks

Don’t lose heat during the cold months. It’s unpleasant and it will affect your energy consumption. Double glazed windows will keep the warm air in and the cold air out. If this seems costly, you can install draught proofing. You have two options foam seal and metallic or plastic brush strips. Nothing will preserve the warmth in your house like a wall and attic insulation.

Update Your Appliances

Replace the energy in-efficient dryer with a clothing line. It is practical and it will make your home smell clean and lovely. Go one step further and wash your clothes by hand. If you are not ready to give up the washing machine then just do the laundry with colder water. Buy a manual lawn mower, instead of electric one. Immediately change the incandescent light bulbs with fluorescent ones.

Cool Down

If you want to make your home more energy efficient, then you need to lower the degrees of your thermostat a little bit. Did you know that by turning down your thermostat by 10 degrees for only eight hours you can decrease your bill with up to 15% per year? Do this before going to work.

Ways to Make your Home More Energy Efficient s

Renovate Your Home

Lower your energy bill considerably by transforming your rooftop into photo-voltaic solar system. The practice is receiving wide acceptance, mainly because of the government incentives. The institutions are fostering the use of green energy through sponsorship and different tax benefits. If you’re planning a full home renovation, browse online or contact government agencies for further information. You will not only save money, but you will also boost the value of your estate.
When talking about indoor changes, here are some areas you should consider…

Heating has a major share in the household energy consumption. If you’re up for investing in this area definitely pick under floor heating.

If your home is not suitable for the system or if the system is just too expensive for you, then the cork flooring is the right solution. The primary advantages are that it can be placed over existing surfaces such as stone, ceramics, wood and linoleum and it works great as an insulation material. Don’t be afraid that the furniture may damage it. The cork flooring is just as strong as the regular one.

Check out more Energy Efficiency tips here from Lets Get Energized.

This post is by Guest Energizer Sofia Lewis for www.londoncarpetcleaning.co who offer eco-friendly cleaning services. She is a passionate freelance article writer and blogger. She is inspired by home improvement projects and writes mainly about cleaning, green living home solutions, removals and other home related topics.



04
NOV

Lets Get Energized says:
STIR to Action – Crowdfunding for Training Workshops


Category: Sustainable Living
Tags: , , , , , ,


STIR to Action – Crowdfunding for Training Workshops

Our friends at Stir to Action are seeking to run a program of training Workshops and are hoping to raise funds to assist this project via Crowdfunder. Below are the words they sent us in support of their campaign and a short video as well:

 

We’re the founders of Stir to Action and STIR Magazine, and we’re crowdfunding to support a six-month programme of training workshops to build the co-operative capacity of local communities. We want to establish strong and resilient communities that face up to climate change, financial crises and the other social problems we experience.

Over the last few years we’ve realised that while magazines can inspire and be a starting point for making the changes we’d like to see, they can only do so much. It’s a big step from reading about community farming, the launch of a local currency or the creation of a co-operative…to actually seeing these projects succeed.

The next stage for Stir to Action is to host a six-month programme of two-day training workshops — intense and involved — facilitated by some of our inspiring and innovative magazine contributors from the last few years. So from March to September 2015, we’ll be running a series of 12 workshops in beautiful Bridport, Dorset, where the magazine is based.

The workshop programme itself is being designed using some of the best practice around strengthening local economies, such as sourcing local, co-operative food, working with young apprentices, bed-mapping local hosts and discounts for green travel.

We’re even hosting a tea blending workshop with a local, ethical tea company to make a bespoke, co-branded tea for the workshops!

For today only (7th November) pledgers can also have the chance to win a 6 pack of Freedom Hiker craft beer that we brewed this summer with Gyle 59 brewery!

 

Freedom-Hiker-Bottle-&-Glas

Some of the workshops…

STIR 1

 

We have Brett Scott, author of the Heretic’s Guide to Global Finance and founder of the London School of Financial Arts. He’ll be delivering a workshop on the exciting new tools and strategies in financial activism and also the creation of maker-hack spaces.

 

 

 

 

STIR 2

The Bristol Cable Co-op will be delivering a workshop on creating citizen journalism initiatives. This will include everything from crowdfunding your project to crowdsourcing your constitution; from making smart phone reports to learning the basics of wordpress and article writing.

 

 

STIR 3

We’ve also got Jon Halle of Share Energy Co-op on setting up the co-operative structure, launching a crowdshare offer to fund your renewable installation, and working on the all-important community engagement.

 

Your rewards…

Everyone who supports the campaign will get a big thank you from us and we’ll put your name in our supporters list on the programme and website. You’ll see a breakdown of the rewards in the column on the right. Here’s some more info to entice you…

 

 STIR 4

As we publish original art in every issue of our quarterly magazine, we’ve selectedMatthew Frame’s beautiful illustration from our George Monbiot interview for the tote bag artwork. We’ll be printing these bags using the silk screen printer in STIR’s studio especially for you!

We’ll also be printing t-shirts custom designed by illustrator Edd Baldry/ Hey Monkey Riot — Even Little Things Can Cause a Big Stir.

 STIR 5

If you find you’ve got an appetite for pizza and deep conversation, here’s your chance to share both with internationally renowned philosopher and activist Nina Power. She’s the author of One-Dimensional Woman, a senior lecturer in philosophy at Roehampton University, and a regular contributor to publications like Radical Philosophy, the Guardian and STIR.

There are a couple rewards that pre-book you or a friend on a workshop! We aren’t offering pre-bookings to anyone except our crowdfunders. Why not use your pledge to save yourself a seat?

Our Great Transition reference library will be a collection of practical books and resources that will be located in the Chapel in the Garden’s public reading room in Bridport, where the workshops will be held.

 

(**For rewards of £15 and above for supporters outside of the UK, please add £5**)

Your contribution will allow us to…

>> Hire workshop spaces and equipment
>> Train local apprenticies
>> Create sponsored places or bursaries for those on low or no income
>> Design and distribute promotional materials
>> Co-ordinate the workshop programme

THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT – PLEDGE HERE! http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/stir-workshops

 



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