ANOTHER PLANET?

Julie Davenport, CEO and founder of Good Energy, has said it is the first renewable energy supplier in the UK to source a third of its power from solar. The company has previously only generated 1% of its power from solar with its primary focus on wind power and whilst its fuel mix is still led by wind at more than half of its overall power source (54%), solar has not jumped to a third of the energy (33%), with the rest made up of sustainable bio-generation (8%) and the rest from small-scale hydro (5%).

Scientists in the US have warned Nasa that the amount of so-called space junk orbiting Earth is at tipping point. A report by the National Research Council says the debris could cause fatal leaks in spaceships or destroy valuable satellites. It calls for international regulations to limit the junk and more research into the possible use of launching large magnetic nets or giant umbrellas. The debris includes clouds of minuscule fragments, old boosters and satellites.

London Mayor Boris Johnson has announced a £100 million scheme to promote energy efficiency in public buildings such as schools, hospitals and libraries who will  be able to apply for flexible finance to pay for energy saving measures such as efficient lighting systems, ventilation and boiler upgrades, smart meters and solar panels.

Brits waste £1 BILLION a year by not insulating their homes. Wow! And a third of the public cant even be bothered to recycle – even though 95% of people think recycling is important, according to new research.  A poll of 2,000 people by packing manufacturer Tetra Pak revealed that 40% of respondents don’t recycle everyday, with more than half of respondents sometimes binning recyclable waste.  It found common reasons for not recycling included being in a rush or running late (34%), while 32% admitted that sometimes they can’t be bothered.  The UK will face crippling EU fines and landfill taxes if it doesn’t improve its waste management and reduce waste going to landfill. And those taxes an fines won’t be going away – a European-wide landfill ban could cut 78 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, according to a new report from the European Environment Agency.

Many in the recycling business say that Defra needs to implement a mandatory code of practice for materials recycling facilities (MRFs) to ensure a level playing field and to protect responsible operators who could be put at competitive risk by those that refuse to sign up to a voluntary code.

Electronics giant Sony has revealed a range of low carbon and waste cutting technology at a IFA trade show in Berlin. The Japanese firm showcased its low energy television made from recycled plastics (the Bravia 22EX310) and the new energy efficient Sony BDP-S185 blu-ray disc player. The recycling material used in the new TV is made from 99% used DVDs and TV optical sheets giving it the ‘highest proportion’ of recycled material of any plastic in the world, according to Sony. The new blu-ray disc player uses “47% less power” than the company’s older models, and is about a third narrower than similar products therefore cutting shipping related carbon emissions by 40%.

Arctic sea ice is melting at the fastest rate for 40 years and the speed of change is twice as fast as it was in 1972 when the firsts atellite recordings weere taken – and if the trend continues the Polar region could be unfrozen in just 30 years time.  Floating Artic ice melts and re-freezes annually but scientists are alarmed at the increase in melt – and the loss of reflectiveness – as ice reflects more solar energy than water, as the ice melts there is a vicious circle of increased warming and ice volumes are now ‘plunging” with one scientist saying “the stunning loss of Artic sea ice is yet another wake up call that climate change is here now and is having devastating effects”.

Andy Pag rescued a bus from a scrap heap, restored in Dorset, completed a round-the-world journey – powered by waste vegetable oil – AND picked up a new partner on the way! Pag, 36, of Croydon, London, began his journey in September 2009 in the 22 year old salvaged schoool bus  he restored in Fontmell Magna, Dorset using reclaimed materials. The bus travelled 30,000km (18,600 miles) and passed through 25 countries before returning to the UK with Pag and US journalist Christina Ammon, also 36, from Oregon in the US, who Pag met Indonesia after she contacted him in Nepal when she interviewed him. In 2007 Mr Pag drove a chocolate powered lorry to Timbuktu, using biodiesel made
from factory-waste cocoa butter.

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