I'm like a bird in the sky
This is the new prototype for the ‘Greener Festival’ Award which is given to festivals who can meet the challenging assessment to prove they are engaged in reducing their environmental impact and are moving towards a low carbon future. The new Award trophy was designed by competition winner Sade Goddard, a sixth form student at Keswick School, Cumbria. Sade won £100 in music download vouchers for her fantastic effort. The runner up was Sarah Kitching. The Award, which was awarded to 32 festivals across the world in 2008 including Bestival, Bonnaroo in the USA, Bluesfest in Australia, Glastonbury, Latitude, Shambala and Waveform, is already attracting entries in 2009 and the new trophy will be made from plastic recycled from crushed CDs and – we love this – discarded wellington boots – which are often abandoned in their thousands at festival sites. The design is based on the Red Kite, the endangered bird of prey which was recently re-introduced to England and Wales where it has become extinct – the logo is used by A Greener Festival for it’s Award scheme.The Greener Festival Award was launched in 2007 and last year 24 UK festivals, 2 European festivals, 2 US festivals and 4 Australian festivals won the Award. We also work closely with Yourope, the European Festivals organisation, who awarded another 20 festivals with their ‘Green n Clean’ Award. Watch out for these Awards, they show that a Festival is working hard to improve it’s environmental impact and is doing what it can to fight climate change.
- Our beds are burnt
Any strategy to fight climate change that does not make the preservation of the world’s rainforests its priority is doomed to fail, the Prince of Wales warned at the St Jame’s Palace Nobel Laureate Symposium saying that as deforestation releases a fifth of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions and that tropical rainforests provide a vast carbon sink that absorbs greenhouse gases. The Princes said that rainforest protection would be critical to addressing food security, energy security and economic security, and was inextricably linked to sustainable economic development and that it must be a key item at the Copenhagen
”Solving climate change is a precondition to ensuring security, and without adequately addressing tropical deforestation we cannot have an answer to climate change” the Prince said. “It is that simple: saving the rainforests is not an option, it is actually an absolute necessity” adding that as that 20 billion tonnes of water evaporated every day from the forests of the Amazon basin alone “Deforestation obviously reduces this amount, so decreasing subsequent rainfall in the rainforests, but also, it increasingly appears, changing precipitation patterns across the world and contributing to food shortages.” The Prince said that the world needed to place an economic value on “ecosystem services” of this sort, particularly those provided by rainforests, to provide stronger incentives for their protection. He added: “I simply cannot understand, in my own simple way, how you can sustain the idea of capitalism, as we have come to know it, without capital — nature’s capital.” The Prince’s remarks were supported by Lord Stern who said “We cannot separate climate change and deforestation from development,” he said. A third of the world’s tropical forests had been cleared in the past 50 years and an estimated 15 million hectares (55,000 sq miles) were being lost every year – an area the size of the UK. Ed Miliband, the Energy and Climate Change Secretary, told the symposium that deforestation is responsible for more emissions than all the world’s cars, lorries, trains and planes. If developed countries decarbonise only themselves, without helping the poorest countries, “then we won’t succeed”.
The Symposium also heard that the world has only six years to radically cut carbon emissions if it is to stand a chance of preventing serious and dangerous global warming. Professor Hans Joachim Schellnhuber from the Potsdam Institute said that global warming represented a threat of similar proportions to the cold war and that it should be addressed in a similar manner. And the symposium hard of another new report from the world Humanitarian Organisation which showed that 300,000 people a year are already dying because of the effects of global warming – mostly because of gradual environmental degradation leading to a spread in malaria, malnutrition and diarrhoea with 10% of the total number dying from weather related disasters such as floods. The Symposium has issued a Memorandum calling for emergency financial support for nations which are home to tropical rain forests as well as a global deal on climate change that matches the scale and urgency of the human, ecological and economic crisis facing the world. It urges governments at all levels as well as the scientific community to join with civic and business communities and “seize hold of this historic opportunity to transform our carbon-intensive economies into sustainable and equitable systems”.
You can contribute to planting the new FESTIVAL WOOD in the UK by texting 82540 with the word FESTIVAL (£3 will be deducted) or GREENER (£5 will be deducted and you will be planting two trees).
none flew over the cuckoo's nest
The Cuckoo has joined the Red List of the most endangered birds in the world with a forty percent decline in numbers over the last fifteen years. The bird, whose distinctive call is used as a signal of the arrival of spring, joins the Herring Gull, Ruff, Redwing, Hen Harrier, Sparrow, Marsh Warbler, Skylark, Songthrush and Turtle Dove on the 192 long list which includes one in eight of the world’s bird species – 1,227 species in total, with 192 classified as “critically endangered” includng vultures, ibis and eagles. But it’s the species in the “near threatened” category – which adds another few hundred to the list, including the chimney Swift and the bateleur and martial eagles of Africa. One of the puzzling aspects of the cuckoo’s decline is that they an are adaptable bird nesting in a variety of locations in the United Kingdom and are famous for depositing their eggs in other bird’s nests leaving the surrogate parents to bring up their offspring, although their habit of overwintering in Africa may be a cause of population delcine as droughts caused by global warming make for a far harsher environment with reduced food and water.
Art by Jo Allen
Eco-art is getting bigger and bigger and is moving “beyond the medium into the message” by highlighting environmental problems, green lifestyles and planet friendly thinking. This year the Barbican is hosting a new exhibition Radical Nature, Art and Architecture for a Changing Planet where artists like the Ant Farm Collective, Joseph Bueys and Richard Buckminster Fuller will be exhibiting along with 50 live events. At the Tate Britain over 80 works from Richard Long will be on show from June 3rd. Kate Muir, writing in the Times Review (23rd May), says “expect not merely a trend but a whole new wave: eco-art will be huge this summer” and points out the work of two Brighton based eco-artists, Lou McCurdy and Chloe Hanks, whose Dirty Beach exhibition highlights the pollution on Brighton beach and around Britain’s coast – there are 2,195 pieces of rubbish per kilometre on Britain’s beaches. Similarly in the USA, Seattle based artist Chris Jordan uses his 2007 picture ‘Plastic Bottles’ to represent the two million plastic bottles used in the USA every five minutes. Artists have been re-using materials they have salvaged for a long long time but our own favourite is another south coast artist, Seaford based Jo Allen who exhibited at the Waveform Festival last year and works with AGreenerFestival. Jo salvages all of her materials from the flotsam and jetsom that washes up on Seaford’s beach and creates mesmerising sculptures with nautical themes and Jo has been exhibiting as part of the Seven Sisters Women’s Art Collective in Brighton. Jo’s website is at http://www.jo2jo.co.uk/J1/index.html and you can find her poetry there too.
Plastic Bottles (2007) by Chris Jordan
Lauren, Mother of the Bay by Jo Allen
You can ring my bell, ring my bell
The UK’s addiction to power hungry gadgets could push up average household energy bills by £100 each year and stall progress to cut greenhuse gas emissions according to a new article in the Observer (24 May). The proliferation of plasma TVs, mobiles, bigger and more powerful PCs and laptops and MP3 players is causing energy consumption to soar – and these devices currently account for 25% of an average household’s energy – and this could rise to 45% by 202. Around the world energy consumption from information technologies is growing at an alarming rate and although there are a fair few myths about (each google search does not use the amount of energy to boil a kettle) studies from the Energy Savings Trust (EST) and the International Energy Agency (IEA) both show how our addiction to gadgets might become in the fight against climate change. The increasing number of gadgets and our desire for bigger and better versions of things like TVs and PCS with bigger memories and massive graphics cards has increased power demands – and despite improvements in the effciency of electronic devices, the savings arev “likely to be overshadowed by the rising demand for technology”. I have repeated my blog on this earlier this month below.
Did you know that it is quite possible by 2010 that the biggest users of electricity in our homes will be the gadget (see www.tinyurl.com/2010gadgets ) and everything from mobile phones to lap tops to MP3 players do, of course, need energy. Now somethings, like wind up radios and torches are pretty energy efficient, just neededing a tiny bit of human effort. But every thing else either needs mains poweer or a battery. We throw 600 million batteries away every year – nasty toxic things – so rechargable reusable AA batteries are a simple and far eco-friendlier solution. You can even get rechargable bateries which plug into your USB port on a laptop – very funky. But even these batteries still need energy and in gadget land everything else needs power – and massive amounts of it when its ball added together. So, what is the greenest way to recharge gadgets? Well firstly try and get a gadget with low energy use – they vary dramatically – and you can compare mobile phone charger efficiency for example at www.tinyurl.com/mobchargers. There are ‘eco friendly’ chargers too for mobiles – wind powered and solar powered (Solio, Freeloader, Solar Monkey) so have a look at them too – at the Glastonbury Fetsival last year a number of living pods came with a built in eco-mobile charger. With laptops make sure you look for a lap top with a long lasting battery – and even when it is finished – try and recycle the battery – rechargable batteries in Nokias and Macbooks can be recycled. New fuel cells might be the future and the recently developed new generfation of silver zinc latop batteries might be a green solution – but in tne meantime that old mantra – reduce – reuse – recycle – still holds true in gadget land. Switch of a gadget or charger when not in use – reuse batteries – and recycle what you cant reuse.
Observer 24/05/09 page 14 News (by Alok Jha) and see the article by Adam Vaughan in the Observer Magazine (Ethical Living) 26th April 2009
Did you know that it is quite possible by 2010 that the biggest users of electricity in our homes will be the gadget (see www.tinyurl.com/2010gadgets ) and everything from mobile phones to lap tops to MP3 players do, of course, need energy. Now some things, like wind up radios and torches are pretty energy efficient, just needing a tiny bit of human effort. But every thing else either needs mains power or a battery. We throw 600 million batteries away every year – nasty toxic things – so rechargable reusable AA batteries are a simple and far eco-friendlier solution. You can even get rechargable bateries which plug into your USB port on a laptop – very funky. But even these batteries still need energy and in gadget land everything else needs power – and massive amounts of it when its ball added together. So, what is the greenest way to recharge gadgets? Well firstly try and get a gadget with low energy use – they vary dramatically – and you can compare mobile phone charger efficiency for example at www.tinyurl.com/mobchargers. There are ‘eco friendly’ chargers too for mobiles – wind powered and solar powered (Solio, Freeloader, Solar Monkey) so have a look at them too – at the Glastonbury Festival last year a number of living pods came with a built in eco-mobile charger. With laptops make sure you look for a lap top with a long lasting battery – and even when it is finished – try and recycle the battery – rechargable batteries in Nokias and Macbooks can be recycled. New fuel cells might be the future and the recently developed new generation of silver zinc latop batteries might be a green solution – but in tne meantime that old mantra – reduce – reuse – recycle – still holds true in gadget land.
Switch of a gadget or charger when not in use – reuse batteries – and recycle what you can’t reuse.
Come together, right now
Lithuania’s 20,000 open-air festival Be2gether have announced a new environmentally friendly initiative for 2009. The new initiative, – Green2gether – will ask fans to travel to the Festival by environmentally friendly methods – public transport, vehicle sharing and the bicycle – and will also focus on recycling waste at the festival. Its an important itiative – recent research by Julies Bicycle, the cross music industry group working against climate change identified that audience travel to and from festivals generated 68% of the greenhouse gas emissions – and this can be even higher for Greenfield sites with little or no public transport. New solutions including better public transport and car sharing are a must and its good to see be2gether championing such a sensible initiative. Now in its third year Be2gether takes place in the sixteenth century Norviliskes castle, just 50 metres from Lithuania’s border with Belarus. The 12th-14th June event will feature two stages and a dance tent and acts appearing include Gogol Bordello, Polarkreis 18, Touch & Go and Clawfingfer.