Archive for ‘Energy Efficiency’


29
JAN

says:
The Much Required Gear Shift Towards An Alternate Source Of Energy – Go Green To Secure Your Future With Low-Energy Costs


Category: Energy Efficiency
Tags:


Balance of Power: Shift towards renewable energy to sustain the resources and thrive upon an alternative source.

The first lesson for environmental science, back in the school days often started with ‘balance of nature.’ Since we all human beings, animals, the resources, reservoirs and the habitat make up the entire natural system, anything that gets affected from within this natural cycle can be disruptive for the complete circle. Taking out the average daily consumption of energy worldwide – you will see that there are substantial energy costs and energy bills due to an elevated rate of consumption. Whether for electrical equipment or our daily power needs, the use of energy is commensurate with the energy costs and the world is on the brink of finding viable alternatives to reduce such soaring energy bills.

What makes matters worse in the age of evolution and technology, the constant use of electrical devices and equipment that needs regular charging and consumption. As long as we continue to thrive upon such devices, the energy bills will keep ticking, and your pockets will continue to be stretched time and again.

But when we were taught about the ‘balance of nature,’ we were also made aware of our responsibilities as citizens and to ‘sustain energy’ for the future generations. The quest to stop the constant depletion of our natural resources and reservoirs sent a frenzy among the elite who’s who of the top research institutes responsible for the study up on global warming, energy-consumption, replenishment of energy sources and most importantly, finding an alternative source of energy that is compatible with our rate of consumption.

Fortunately for us and our planet, the sun offers a reliable and affordable alternative source of power. Since the sun exists freely and is said to be inexhaustible (at least the next 4.6 billion years, if not forever), it can be harnessed and used to provide our daily power needs. Till date, the experimentation with solar panels and solar heating systems has given respite to a lot of semi-urban settlements in the third world countries, where there is a problem of power consumption due to the limited-access and supply of electricity (that falls short due to a surge in demand due to population growth, and development in infrastructure).

Back in the States, and in most of the advanced European countries – the demand for energy has already given effect to a lot of changes in consumption patterns whether for individual households or corporate structures and multinational companies. Planning and Development authorities are now ensuring that newly constructed homes and offices have solar panels installed to save a lot of energy in the long-term and wisely make investments for the future.
Other exciting alternatives for using solar energy –

A - Use of power banks and solar chargers to charge your devices that will not only solve your needs while you are outdoors but also help you save a lot if you make it your primary option

B - Using a clothesline instead of a dryer in your backyard; will help you save a lot of energy that you would have spent otherwise running the clothes into the dryer

C - Use of solar ovens and solar panels to cook your food and warm your swimming pool premise. Safely cook meat and veggies at any temperature and reduce your bills to half the amount of what it used to be

D - Use of solar light energy instead of artificial lights to light up your house or cabin, since solar light bulbs are more durable and have a higher efficiency rate when compared to conventional bulbs and lights.

Focusing on what you need and protecting what you don’t is the ideal way to sustain resources and energy for the future generations. Make sure you do your bit by conserving energy and using the viable alternatives to procure your daily requirements.



21
DEC

says:
How to Reduce Energy Consumption – We Need Solutions Like Tesla Powerwall


Category: Energy Efficiency
Tags: , ,


How to reduce energy consumption or how to improve energy efficiency are pertinent questions that need to be addressed sooner rather than later considering the pace at which we are moving towards an energy-deprived world. Most people are not overly concerned because they don’t see any imminent danger – Or they aren’t aware of the current state of affairs concerning energy usage across the world. On the other hand, there are individual and organizations that are working overtime to find solutions to the growing energy-consumption/energy-efficiency problem.

Robert Llewellyn, British, actor, writer, and presenter, has installed the Tesla Powerwall and upgraded the solar power system in home for sustainable and uninterrupted energy production day and night. The Powerwall is a set of batteries that stores the excessive solar energy produced during the day, but not used in that time. It utilizes this stored solar energy to power your home after the sun sets. You have a self-powered home that is not reliant on external energy resources for its daily power needs.

The Powerwall not only makes you use energy resources more efficiently but helps you save a lot on energy bills too. It is solutions like the Powerwall that are going to make a difference in our bid to reduce energy consumption and improve energy efficiency – And we need people like Robert who accept the challenges we are currently facing and are ready to make necessary amends to overcome them.



29
JUL

Vince Adams says:
Is this PR or a real time to re-think energy policy


Category: Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, Energy News for UK, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , ,


We have an amazing opportunity to say No to Nuclear and Hinkley Point B and focus on a future that embraces renewable energy and builds a sustainable future for us all.

Please read on:

 

LEADING ARTICLE
july 29 2016, 12:01am, the times
No Point in Hinkley
Alternatives to the large-scale nuclear power station planned for Somerset are now so numerous that the government should cut its losses and start again

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Hours after the French energy giant EDF gave final approval for its investment in the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station last night, the government put the project under review. It was right to do so. The EDF decision is the wrong one for British consumers, Britain’s energy infrastructure and for the company itself. As part of a sensible overhaul of this country’s energy strategy for the next half-century, taking into account fast-changing renewable technologies that could render fossil fuels obsolete within a generation, Hinkley Point needs to be scrapped.
The twin reactors planned for the Somerset site would constitute the biggest and most expensive nuclear power station in the world. Their combined capacity would power five million homes and help to make up a shortfall that the National Grid already has to remedy by paying inflated prices to existing power producers. But EDF’s design is unproven and unaffordable. The project as a whole is too dependent on Chinese investment. Even EDF is not wholly behind it. Last year its chief financial officer resigned rather than support it. Yesterday a board member quit for the same reason.

Hinkley Point C was supposed to produce electricity from next year. The earliest date now envisaged is 2025. If that were plausible the project might still be worth considering. In reality two plants of the same design now under construction in Finland and France are years behind schedule and billions over budget after a series of technical problems. Two more in China have been built faster and more cheaply but have yet to enter service.

EDF has modified the design for France’s own modernisation plans. It is absurd to persist with the discredited version at Hinkley Point, especially when there are so many alternatives.

The US, Japan and Britain’s own Rolls-Royce produce smaller nuclear reactors that could fit more flexibly and much less expensively into our future energy mix. Gas-powered stations can be built in as few as two years once planning requirements have been met, and are the cleanest, most efficient bridge to a low-carbon supply as Britain’s last coal-powered plants are phased out.

Most auspiciously, recent advances in artificial photosynthesis offer the prospect of a solar power revolution that is likely to pull renewables from the fringe to the centre of the energy industry within the lifetime of any nuclear plant under construction today. Last month a team from Harvard announced a breakthrough towards “artificial leaves” that can produce liquid fuel from sunlight, water and carbon dioxide — as plants do, but with up to ten times the efficiency. A second project, at the University of Illinois, has achieved the same trick with low-cost catalysts built into solar panels producing burnable gas rather than electricity. The process solves the energy storage problem that conventional solar power can only address with batteries.

Artificial photosynthesis has long been seen as a holy grail of energy science because its output is carbon-neutral and its input, the sun, is limitless. Its commercialisation will take time, but that of traditional solar panels is far advanced. Falling in price by an average of 10 per cent a year, they are expected to produce a fifth of the planet’s power within a decade.

Energy planners must be nimble enough to embrace these new technologies. To proceed with Hinkley Point C instead is to be held hostage to a design that is outdated before it is built and will never be commercially viable. The strike price agreed by Britain for EDF is twice the current wholesale price for electricity. The evidence suggests that Britain and France are pressing ahead with Hinkley Point C to save the blushes of successive governments that put their faith in it without paying enough attention to its many flaws. Shame on them.



29
JUN

Vince Adams says:
Car Sharing and your iPhone is this the future


Category: Energy Efficiency, Uncategorized
Tags: , ,


The Merging Worlds of
Technology and Cars
By Alex Webb and Chloe Whiteaker
June 28, 2016
The line between the technology and automotive industries is blurring. The rise of rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft means that transportation is being tied ever more closely to your cell phone, while autonomous driving technology is turning your car into a computer. But these developments are expensive: Carmakers’ R&D budgets jumped 61 percent, to $137 billion from 2010 to 2014.

Fiat Chrysler Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne thinks it makes no sense for carmakers to spend billions of dollars developing competing, yet largely identical systems. To share some of the risk—and the cost—the incumbent automotive giants and their would-be disruptors are teaming up in an ever-growing, ever more complex series of alliances.

So Fiat Chrysler, for instance, has paired up with Google to develop 100 self-driving minivans, and is in discussions with Uber about a similar venture. Google has, in turn, invested in Uber, as have Toyota, Microsoft and Tata, owner of Jaguar Land Rover. Bill Ford, chairman of the eponymous carmaker, has meanwhile invested in Lyft, as has General Motors, and Lyft has partnered with China’s Didi, itself the subject of a $1 billion investment from Apple.

Investment
Partnership
Failed talks
Personnel move
Google
GM invested
$500 million in
Lyft and bought
Cruise Automation
for $1 billion.
Fiat
Chrysler
Sidecar
Uber hired Google’s VP of engineering.
GM
Cruise
Automation
Toyota
Uber
Lyft
Ford
Tata
Owner of
Jaguar
Land Rover
Uber hired Ford’s head of electronic systems
engineering to become VP of global vehicle programs.
Didi
Microsoft
Apple invested
$1 billion in Chinese ride-hailing company, Didi, which partners with Lyft.
Apple
Scoop
DriveNow is a joint venture between BMW and Sixt Rent a Car.
Car2Go
Daimler founded Car2Go and acquired MyTaxi and RideScout.
RideScout
DriveNow
Daimler
BMW
Nokia
HERE
MyTaxi
Blacklane
Baidu
VW, BMW and Daimler partnered to buy Nokia’s HERE maps.
Daimler invested in Blacklane, an app for booking chauffeurs.
VW hired the head of Apple’s car project, who previously worked at Daimler.
VW
VW invested
$300 million in
taxi-hailing
company, Gett.
VW owns a stake in the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI).
Gett
DFKI
The prize is lucrative, and the carmakers want to ensure that software players don’t win the lion’s share of it. McKinsey estimates that rideshare and onboard-data services could generate an additional $1.5 trillion of annual automotive revenue by 2030, adding to the $5.2 trillion from traditional car sales and services. And it’s attractive for consumers too: It costs an average of $8,558 per year to own a car in the U.S., but each vehicle is used just 4 percent of the time. Ridesharing in an autonomous vehicle could ensure that cars are always in use.

SOURCE: Data compiled by Bloomberg
ADDITIONAL WORK: John Lippert, Keith Naughton and Cedric Sam



27
NOV

Vince Adams says:
Swansea’s Tidal Power Lagoon and more…..


Category: Energy Efficiency, Uncategorized, Water Power
Tags: , ,


I attended the Regen South West Conference this week and the most rewarding and interesting talk was Graham Hillier on Tidal Lagoon Power. If you have the time take a look this weekend at this amazing technology and plan that can light up the UK, reduce the use of fossil fuels and clean up Britain.

https://gallery.mailchimp.com/087cfaf09896aa1f0e6c03ffd/files/Graham_Hillier_Tidal_Lagoon_Power.pdf



04
AUG

Vince Adams says:
Energy use at home do we care


Category: Energy Efficiency, Uncategorized
Tags: ,


Very interesting guide to how we use our energy you might find interesting, simple stuff is often the most effective way to ultimately save money and our carbon footprint

http://www.castironradiators4u.co.uk/uk/infographic-energy-consumption-in-homes-across-europe.php



17
JUL

Vince Adams says:
Save Energy Tips and Save £££’s


Category: Energy Efficiency, Uncategorized
Tags:


David Bedford has created this amazing guide and has offered to share it with our subscribers.

Theres a huge range of energy saving tips and I hope you find it helpful

http://underfloorheatingexpert.com/save-energy/

 

 



13
JUL

Keith Wheaton-Green says:
Wind Turbines in Dorset? Planning Committee says NO


Category: Community Energy, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Uncategorized, Wind Power
Tags: , , ,


Wind Turbines in Dorset? Planning Committee says NO

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I recently attended a wind turbine planning determination in a crowded village hall when the planning committee (well 6 of the 11 members attended) decided the fate of an application for 4 large wind turbines. We all listened to officers of the council and AONB explain the landscape and heritage sensitivities (the turbines would be seen in the setting of listed buildings and the beautiful Dorset landscape) followed by numerous speakers against and for the application.

Those opposed to the application made the point that our landscape must be preserved, that the turbines would be seen from village houses and gardens and even that wind turbines damage people’s health. The CPRE claimed that renewable energy targets in Dorset had been exceeded so no new installations were needed. Each speaker received rapturous applause.

I have witnessed a few campaigns to oppose wind turbine applications in Somerset and Dorset. There is usually assistance from outside organisations. Meetings, leaflets and doorstep petitions are arranged. The purpose – of course – is to raise anxiety levels. Misinformation is spread such as; bird and bat populations are put at risk; infra sound prevents people sleeping and gives them headaches; house prices will fall and tourists will stay away. Wind turbines are inefficient and generate hardly anything. Sometimes photographs that exaggerate the scale are published.

In reality, the choice to approve or not – as the officers and members present acknowledged –is justified on the basis of a subjective view of landscape and visual aesthetics.

About seven of us spoke up in favour of the application. It was explained that climate change is an issue that needs to be dealt with so urgently we need to move to 100% of our electricity from renewables ASAP, that wind turbines are the cheapest technology but that there are very sites suitable for their installation in Dorset.

When I spoke, looking out onto the big audience of grey haired baby boomers while younger people were at work, I realised just where the divide in opinion lay. The majority of the audience – many retired to timeless Hardy’s Dorset – would not sacrifice their views from around the village to give the younger generation a better future. Yet just think what the generation before the baby boomers sacrificed in the 30s, 40s and 50s!

Anyone wanting to live in Hardy’s Dorset should stop using electricity, swap their car for a horse and cart, live in a very small draughty house and campaign to take out pylons and large roads. If we walk backwards into the future, we will suffer because we can’t see where we are going.

I spoke up for farmers. They may be sitting on land and property worth millions with large sums flowing through their business but their disposable income can be modest. They work very long hours as standard and consider themselves guardians of the land (and landscape) which they expect to pass on to their children rather than realize paper wealth.

I was once told by a farmer – only half-jokingly – that I shouldn’t expect him to take my opinions on local matters seriously because my family had not been in Dorset since Saxon times. Despite that comment, farmers are usually quiet, self-effacing, not prone to voicing their opinions and actually can be intimidated.

Wind turbines make sense to farmers because they give resource efficient future financial security. The opposing camp are very ably led by people some of which, have moved into the area to retire. They put high value on the landscape the farming community have created and look after, but look to the past rather than the constant change and planning for the future they may have experienced in their own working lives.

The media are underestimating the connection between peoples voting intentions and their views on climate change. The Green surge is largely due to younger people with a strong sense of injustice against their generation. Baby boomers have had it good with their jetting around the world on holiday, big cars and houses by mortgaging their children’s and grandchildren’s futures (the deficit.) This put the carbon in the atmosphere that puts future generations in jeopardy.



10
JUL

Anna Celeste Watson says:
Explore renewable energy technologies for your home, business or farm


Category: Biomass Energy, Combined Heat & Power, Energy Efficiency, Heat Pumps, Renewable Energy, Solar Energy, Water Power, Wind Power
Tags:


Just wanted to share these great interactive diagrams created by MCS certified renewable energy installers Futurum Renewable Energy Systems who are based here in Dorset but cover much of the UK.

They are a really quick and easy visual way to explore what renewable energy options are possible for your home, business or farm – from Solar, Heat Pumps and Biomass Energy to Water and Wind Power.

futurum-home

futurum-business

futurum-farm

Click on the diagrams to link through to their site to see more, or to explore technologies further go to: http://futurumltd.co.uk/technologies.



03
JUN

Guest Energizer says:
Making Your New Home More Energy Efficient


Category: Energy Efficiency, Solar Energy, Sustainable Living, Wind Power
Tags: , ,


If you are going to move to a new home soon, you might want to consider ways to make it more energy efficient and green. While it is true that the whole situation is stressful enough, indicated by the fact many surveys rank this among the most difficult tasks one has to deal with in life, it is also true that moving house presents many new opportunities.

One of the most important things you can consider for your home is implementing green technology and features. Now is the perfect opportunity to become a better eco-friendly person, start a new life in your new and improved home. Relocation to a new place is your opportunity to live in a home that is green and less taxing on the environment.

Making Your New Home more Energy Efficient

Here are some projects you can consider:

Rainwater harvest system – that is one thing you should definitely consider for your new home. An RHS allows the collection of rainwater from your rooftop, which would normally go to waste. It is a precious resource, which the system will store in a tank, allowing you to utilise it later for various needs. Collected rainwater can easily be used for various cleaning tasks, all of which you will have to perform a lot of after relocation. The benefits of having an RHS installed in your home are huge – it can save you up to 50% of your water bill, which is not a small amount at all.

Solar panelssolar power has become a widespread reality. Many homes have panels installed, and this is very good, because it is a great way of saving energy and utilising a renewable source for power. The thing to consider before moving house to a place with solar panels is that the investment is a rather large one. You can expect a long-term return, but that should not stop you from implementing this project in your home.

Energy efficient electronics – if you want to pay less for moving services, you can leave part of your old electronics behind or sell them in order to acquire new and more energy efficient ones. This is definitely something to consider, because it not only makes your move easier, but also makes your new home much more eco-friendly and green.

Wind turbine – another great way of making your home more eco-friendly is to harness the power of the winds by mounting a wind turbine on the roof of your new home. Even small models can make quite a difference in reducing your electricity bill. Of course, you have to keep in mind whether or not the conditions are good – your home must be in an area with plenty of winds, otherwise the turbine will not produce electricity.

It is by implementing these 4 features in your new home that you can make it green and eco-friendly. Definitely consider the upgrades, because they are worth it and their positive impact on the environment will be noticeable.

This post is by Guest Energizer Sofia Lewis for: Islington Van and Man Hire. She is a passionate freelance article writer and blogger. She is inspired by home improvement projects and writes mainly about house removals, storage, office relocation, green living home solutions, other home related topics.



11
MAR

Keith Wheaton-Green says:
Is Consumerism Dead?


Category: Energy Efficiency, Sustainable Living
Tags: , ,


Is Consumerism Dead?

In a moment of utter boredom with the dismal TV schedule the other night I found myself way down the TV station list watching “Challenge”, wallowing in nostalgia with 1980s game shows. There was “Celebrity Squares”, “The Price is Right” and “Supermarket Swoop” Those of you old enough will remember that it was all about winning desirable stuff (that most of us didn’t have enough of at the time). The prices were amazing! Over £400 for a 26” TV that extended dust gatheringly backwards as far as it was wide and over £10,000 for a phallus shaped Ford Coupe with a boot that would hardly fit a couple of suitcases let alone a full complement of garden waste and other stuff to the tip! It reminded me that we really were enthralled by consumerism, the acquisition of household goods and economic growth so that we could buy ever more stuff.

It strikes me that we have now mostly got all the stuff we need to fill a house or could get hold of it cheaply second hand, or even for free through freecycle. We no longer get as excited by consumerism and economic growth. Perhaps we are even bored with it! However, I don’t think politicians have caught up.

Can our economy really continue to “grow” in the true sense of the word? Can we continue to use ever greater quantities of the globes natural resources to get richer and richer. (This is the dream our mainstream political parties still seem to be selling.) Or should we using different metrics than economic growth to measure our happiness and sense of well-being.? A modern flat screen TV is a much better device than the huge 1980/90s versions. Plus it is considerably cheaper and uses less energy and labour both in its production and use. This is true of almost everything from cars to washing machines. Is the future about doing more with less? Living within our means and eliminating the UK deficit but feeling no poorer because we produce things and organise everything more efficiently. Can we use less energy, buy less “stuff”, use communications to work more efficiently from home, maybe even eat less, but feel no worse off?

What people care about now is not continual accumulation of wealth (apart from an important minority on the breadline who need help pulling themselves up) but the feeling of well-being that comes from having decent, secure housing, a reliable NHS, good family networks, good food and drink.

That’s why the coming election feels different. The two main parties are still focused on the aspirations we had in the 20th Century but the electorate has moved on. We are now mainly worried about maintaining what we have in a world increasingly threatened by climate change and massive migratory pressure. That revolutionary Russell Brand summed up the feeling of many by saying simply “Give us something to vote FOR.” The parties we need are those that understand what is shaping our future (ie different energy sources, how and where we build our houses, making people healthier, more efficient work practices, inward migration, social cohesion etc) and their part in making it better than it might otherwise be.

Us rural types have always been better than average at living within our means. Husbanding scarce resources and managing the land so it is still fit to hand on to the next generation. We expect our politicians to demonstrate the same skill and understanding.

This article was first published in the Landsman magazine


2Comments | Post your own comment

  • Keith Wheaton-Green comments:
    "I just hope more of our stuff become like mobile phones in that they require much less physical resource and more intellectual property. Peoples retail therapy then uses human rather than the earth’s resource. "
    March 17, 2015 a 11:45 pm

  • John Olver comments:
    "Nice post. I agree with the writer on most points. But although our civilization is now able to meet the basic needs of most if not all people on the planet without further degrading the environment we still seem to lack the will to do so. Excessive profit at any cost is still the goal of many and humanity continues to waste resources by fighting meaningless wars. Our science and technology have given us the means to live comfortably and sustainably but we still have a ways to go philosophically. If the basic needs of the have-nots were provided would they be satisfied? Or must people have so much that they can no longer afford the cost of storing all their stuff to be satisfied? Here is the US people sure have a lot of stuff and yet $400 phones and $150 athletic shoes still fly off the shelves even though the new owners will almost certainly never use a fraction of the capabilities of those items. Each generations seems to want that which the prior generation had plus anything new that comes up. "
    March 13, 2015 a 5:32 pm


02
MAR

Lets Get Energized says:
Spring Prize Draw: Win the original Wonderbag portable slow cooker


Category: Competitions & Giveaways, Eco Gifts & Gadgets, Energy Efficiency
Tags: , ,


wonderbag-photo

Win a wonderful Wonderbag worth £30

We’ve got another fantastic prize for Lets Get Energized subscribers this Spring!

Wonderbag is a simple but revolutionary, non-electric portable slow cooker. 

It continues to cook food which has been brought to the boil by conventional methods for up to 8-12 hours without the use of additional electricity or fuel. It’s said that “The Wonderbag Will Change The Way You Slow-Cook Forever”.

It’s simple: you can boil it, bag it, slow cook it, then share it! The Wonderbag is made from Polycottons inside and out, filled with polystyrene.

WONDERBAG How does it work vers2 from Heidi Otto on Vimeo.

The story behind the Wonderbag

The Wonderbag was designed by Sarah Collins, an amazing woman who has devoted her entire life to searching for ways to empower people in rural Africa, especially women.

Inspired by the San people who bury food in the ground while they are cooking she says, “I thought to myself, ‘This is the oldest technology in the world.'” Wonderbags were originally created for poor families in Africa, to cut down the amount of costly firewood they need for cooking. And for every Wonderbag purchased in North America today, one is donated to a family in need in Africa, and so drastically changes the life of the family who receives the bag and becomes a catalyst out of poverty.

Sarah’s goal is to sell one hundred million Wonderbags worldwide, helping over a billion people. “It empowers consumers, by giving them innovative ways to be part of the solutions that the world is looking for.”

Read the full story here >>

Eco-friendly & perfect for picnics this Spring!

The Wonderbag is an extremely well-insulated cooking bag that keeps anything – from meaty stews and vegetable curries to simple rice and soups – cooking for hours without using any power, saving time, money and reducing energy use.

It’s clever insulating properties allow food that has been brought to the boil to finish cooking without extra heat. This greatly reduces the use of additional energy, and means you can cook appetising, hot meals while saving time, energy and money.  It’s ideal for home cooked hot dinners, camping, outdoor festivals and picnics.

imagehandler-ashx

Sign up & Get Energized for the chance to win a Wonderbag!

This wonderful jazzy patterned purple Wonderbag (pictured above) has been very kindly donated to us by STIR Into Action who use their own Wonderbag at all their workshops.

The competition has been extended and ends at midnight UK time on 30th April 2015 and the lucky winner will be picked at random from all our e-newsletter subscribers on 1st May.

Simply sign up to our e-newsletter, if you haven’t already, for the chance to win.

Click here to enter our prize draw >>

Look out for the announcement of last month’s competition winner who can take advantage of STIR Into Action‘s Workshop on Renewable Energy Co-ops on 6th & 7th June 2015 in Bridport, Dorset. As soon as we have checked they are available for the weekend we can announce!



20
FEB

Guest Energizer says:
Green Energy Conservation Tips 101


Category: Energy Efficiency
Tags:


Green Energy Conservation Tips 101s

There are many ways and techniques used to save energy so we can make our bills significantly lower, including reducing our carbon footprint and more. But it takes some knowledge and work to pull it off successfully.

The following tips will give you the necessary knowledge so you can help cleaning the pollution by improving your overall energy efficiency.

Eliminating incandescent light bulbs

They have been around for pretty much over a hundred years, but they are slowly losing ground to other, more efficient solutions out there and what they have to offer. For the most part they tend to do their job; however their energy efficiency is quickly becoming obsolete, due to converting much of their power into heat instead of simple light. If you want to take your green energy efficiency up a notch, then you will need to remove them and replace them with something more efficient, such as LED, fluorescent or halogen lights. They will both have a longer life and better energy consumption rate than the pioneers of electric light.

Sealing leaks

If you feel a draft around your home, then this means you likely have a breach in your walls or ceiling that allows air to escape into the outside world. Poor insulation around most home is one of the chief reasons why you may be battling a higher energy bill. If you want to get the bills down, then you will need to insulate all areas the best way you can. You can identify these by hiring a professional to do a thermographic inspection of your home, noting problem areas and tackling them later. Plus sealing the leaks will prevent the dirt coming to your home and will make your house cleaning easier.

Turn off appliances you don’t need

If you have ever heard the term vampire energy, then you are likely aware this has nothing to do with fictional beings, but it concerns the small draw all appliances have, constantly sucking energy off the grid even when they’re in standby mode. Get into the habit of unplugging your TV, electronics and anything else that doesn’t really need to be plugged in to function right. Energy conservation habits like this will improve your power consumption in the long run. In addition, cleaning your appliances regularly will make them more efficient.

Using energy efficient window panes

If you have poor insulation, then you will experience a lot of heat loss through your windows, so you would do well to replace them with something that works better and stops the heat loss. There are many ways you can do this, but thankfully there are plenty of companies that work with this type of window solutions out there. UV-filtered glass is also an excellent addition to the windows, as they will keep the most harmful of the sun’s rays out of your home, sparing your furniture and personal belongings from harm. However, you will need to be extra careful when cleaning your windows, because this type of glass is more vulnerable to scratches. You can hire a professional cleaning company to avoid any damages. The better windows also have a gas insulation inside that prevents heat loss with a significantly better success than the usual, old-fashioned windows used in the past. You will likely need the help of an experienced handyman to get something like this done, as well as any other projects such as appliance repair, electrical services, home repairs and other odd-jobs that need doing, so consider looking for one.

This post is by Guest Energizer Sofia Lewis for Cleaning Domestic Cleaners Ltd. 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.


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • Evans Energy Solutions comments:
    "These are brilliant energy conservation tips! Good job putting these together. We will share this through our social media channels for you. "
    September 17, 2015 a 11:35 am

  • Gillian comments:
    "Brilliant basic tips guys- I actually think the simplest things i.e. switching off a light when you leave a room, turning everything off as opposed to leaving it on standby and so on can make a huge difference but a lot of homeowners consider this and switching to energy efficient bulbs as a pointless move- it’s a shame that more don’t understand how the smallest changes can have the biggest impact "
    March 23, 2015 a 9:59 am


15
DEC

Anna Celeste Watson says:
Anna’s Top 10 Ecotopia Gifts for an Eco-Friendly Christmas


Category: Eco Gifts & Gadgets, Energy Efficiency, Sustainable Living
Tags: ,


In case you hadn’t noticed, Lets Get Energized are giving away another fab Ecotopia shop voucher worth £30 in our monthly prize draw here, and I couldn’t help noticing that they have lots of fab new products available this year, which I’ve got my eye on myself! So… here is my Christmas wishlist for some top eco gifts…

(Do check out our team’s wishlist from last year too here – Booja Booja chocolate truffles and Lush Comforter Bath Bombs are still on my list this year too – can never have enough of those!!!)

ecotopia-human-being-tshirt

Human Being Womens T-Shirt

These supercool Human Being Not in danger of extinction tees are produced under the Global Organic Textile Standards (G.O.T.S) from 100% organic cotton using only renewable energy from wind & solar power and approved by the Carbon Trust (UK) for reductions in CO2 emissions.The Fair Wear Foundation (FWF) has audited the entire production chain for correct ethical labour practices.

ecotopia-bath-bombs

6 Cupcake Bath Melts In A Box

Love the look of this box of natural bath melts. Apparently each will leave your skin moisturised and the aroma is described as simply divine! All made with essential oils and natural cocoa and shea butters each one is hand molded and decorated with flower petals or pressed flowers. I’m not the most girly of girls but most of us like a little pampering now and again!

ecotopia-butterfly-bom

Kabloom Butterflybom

Our butterflies need all the help they can come the Summer and I love seeing them in our garden (Peacock butterflies are my fave)! This little ‘bom’ contains a wildflower mix loved by brilliant butterflies and other pollinating insects. You trigger your seedbom by placing it in water until soaked. Then you throw the seedbom into abandoned and derelict ground and then it grows March til May. Seedboms are made with an expolsive mix of peat free organic compost, coir and a selection of flower seeds embedded in a recycled paper shell. They are handmade in the UK from recycled, organic, eco-friendly and biodegradable materials. The packaging is produced from 95% pre and post consumer recycled waste, is printed using vegetable based inks and is glue free.

ecotopia-bike-fish-thsirts

Bike Fish Womens T-Shirt

More cool tees! The idea here is that alone we are little fish but together we will have our day! Another 100% Organic Cotton t-shirt, produced under the Global Organic Textile Standards (G.O.T.S) from 100% organic cotton using only renewable energy from wind & solar power and approved by the Carbon Trust (UK) for reductions in CO2 emissions.The Fair Wear Foundation (FWF) has audited the entire production chain for correct ethical labour practices.

ecotopia-bat-box

Original Bat Box

Bats are in need of habitat as many of their roosting places have been lost over recent years. We have bats that fly around outside our house so they may even be living in our loft, otherwise the big lime trees along our road, but I would still love to help them out with a special cosy home! This high capacity bat box offers two chambers and a valuable high capacity roost for a variety of species. It will fit into any garden, woodland, or a house wall site. Made from solid, high quality, durable FSC timber it provides longevity and excellent insulation. The narrow entrance slot and strong timber help to discourage predators. A swing panel at the base allows for cleaning, if required.

ecotopia-wooden-skittles

Wooden Skittles Set

Bring the fun of skittles to your home! This looks like one game our small garden may actually allow us to enjoy! The aim of this traditional bowling game is to knock all the skittles down with as few attempts as possible. It can also be played indoors.

ecotopia-Rowan-Washbag-Susie-Faulks

Rowan Bird Oilcloth Washbag By Susie Faulks

This vegan-friendly oilcloth washbag in an original Rowan Bird design is fully lined with a good quality waterproof lining and top zip fastening. Perfect for potions, lotions and make-up which is what I would use it for (for my animal-friendly make-up of course)!

ecotopia-charchoal-water-filters

Bamboo Charcoal Water Filters 8 Piece

Not the most exciting looking of the items on my wishlist, but I’d really like to try this! Bamboo charcoal is a refreshingly simple and natural way of filtering tap water. Just leave it in a jug filled with tap water and it will slowly filter out impurities such as chlorine and chloramines make your water tastier and free from typical tap water odour. Bamboo charcoal’s incredible filtering ability comes from its super porous structure – some may find it hard to believe but 1g of high quality bamboo charcoal has a surface area equivalent of up to 3 tennis courts. It works like a sponge and absorbs impurities into its pores. Other woods can be used to make charcoal for filtering water but the larger number of porous cavities in bamboo charcoal is considered to give it better filtering abilities – 3 times greater per gramme than wood charcoal. As a fast growing plant, supply is abundant and sustainable.

ecotopia-me-my-birds

Me & My Birds Cake Kit Refill

I love feeding the birds in my garden and get very worried about them in cold Winter weather when they need extra help. The Me & My Birds refill is a pack of replacement feed and magic mix for the Me & My Birds Wild Bird Kit and has everything you need to make the bird food for your kit. Each refill will make about 12 cup cakes and also several log refills. If you fancy reading my blog for The Compassion Collective about Feeding the Birds this Winter do check it out on this link.

ecotopia-radio-shower

Water Powered Shower Radio

Last but not least, this is the world’s first shower radio powered by the pressure of the water alone! It never needs batteries, and costs nothing to run. The radio automatically starts when the shower is turned on, and is powered by an ingenious small hydro turbine. This coupled with a built-in rechargeable battery, allows energy to be stored as well as playing the radio, so it will to continue to play after the shower is turned off and the last station and volume level are automatically stored after use ready for your next shower. It’s incredibly easy to fit. Simply fit between the existing shower hose and tap – no tools required, just unscrew the existing fixings! Sounds good to me!

There’s lots more eco Christmas gift ideas at the Ecotopia shop here: www.ecotopia.co.uk/promotions/feature-pages/christmas-gift-ideas

Make sure you order by midday 19th December though to get your delivery in time for Christmas!

Bon Noel : )


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • Erik Blakeley comments:
    "Bah Humbug – not really!
    As we approach Christmas again I find myself in a bit of a dilemma. What do I say about the sort of Eco-friendly stocking fillers featured elsewhere in the blog? On the one hand I do like to give and receive gifts and there are some nifty things around with varying degrees of eco-friendliness. However should we advertise them? By labelling things as “must haves” etc we buy into the concept of consumerism, especially Christmas as a consumer fest, that is a major part of the problem we face today with an ever expanding economy in a world of finite resources. It is very hard to tell people that you don’t need to spend thousands on expensive gifts in huge numbers, many of which are really just a bit of fun and may not even be wanted by the recipient and then say that you really should be buying these fair trade, sustainably farmed, plant extract body washes etc. We saw the very worst of the Christmas consumerism in the Black Friday coverage. If you are happy in your relationships then lots of extravagant gifts might just get in the way of a good Christmas. How many parents are tired and irritable with their kids on Christmas Day because they dashed out of work early on Christmas Eve and spent half the evening fighting for that last special gift? If you are not happy in your relationships then trying to buy your way to happiness with gifts is very unlikely to succeed. In fact, as many relationships founder due to money worries, it is a vicious circle. More and more these days I am giving donations to charities as Christmas and Birthday gifts. The charities usually send you a card and a certificate you can wrap up and put under the tree and you know that the money donated will be used well by the charity of your choice. Encouraged by my better half I have also got over my previous embarrassment not to say snobbery over buying gifts in Charity shops thereby combining a triple whammy of virtue by getting a relatively cheap present that has been recycled and supporting another of my favourite causes. Have a merry, relaxed and low impact Christmas! "

    December 19, 2014 a 8:50 am


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.



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.



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.



28
OCT

Jacob Windsor says:
Why LED bulbs are a bright idea


Category: Eco Gifts & Gadgets, Energy Efficiency
Tags:


eco-led-bulbs

Would you like to save money and improve the environment?

Now that the clocks have gone back and the nights are drawing in it’s time to think about how we can use electricity more efficiently – so switching to LED bulbs makes real sense.

Save energy with LEDs

LED bulbs are the most energy efficient and eco friendly way to light your home. All LEDs from the Ecotopia shop come in the same shapes and sizes as conventional light bulbs and last for up to 22 years.

We worked out that you could possibly save over £120 by switching one halogen spotlight for an LED equivalent over the course of its lifetime.

Ecotricity are offering you some of the most competitively priced LEDs on the market, and we have over 90 lines for you to choose from :-)

FREE LED torch with every LED bulb order at Ecotopia!

eco-led-torch

Plus, as a gift to you, we’re giving away a FREE LED torch with every LED bulb order, while stocks last!

Go shopping at Ecotopia now >>



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