ANOTHER PLANET?

imagine12The sound of gunshots has been transformed into the sound of music in Mexico’s Ciudad Juárez, where artist Pedro Reyes has turned 6,700 confiscated weapons into a complete orchestra of fully playable musical instruments. Reyes, who is based in Mexico City, worked with a group of six musicians to turn revolvers, shotguns, and machine guns into 50 wind, percussion, and string instruments, in a project he calls “Imagine”.

The Observer has highlighted the problem of the use of tiny fragments of plastic which are used in cosmetics – in products such as exfoliators – and ‘zillions’ of the microplastic particles have ended up reaching our oceans and seas as pollutants, driving eco systems to the edge. Research from the Wageningen University showed that nanoplasticcs have an adverse effect on organisms such as mussels – whilst at the other side of the picture, cosmetic companies are also harvesting ingredients such as seeweed and sea fennel for their products.  Check out the ‘Beat The Micro Bead‘ app to avoid destructive products.

dohaThe UN Doha climate change talks have been labelled a failure by green campaigners, despite the UK Climate Change Secretary Edward Davey calling the negotiations “a modest step forward”.  The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) condemned a small number of Western countries for reneging on their commitments, claiming that negotiators in Doha had “failed to deliver even the minimum expectations for the UN climate negotiations”  saying that  it was only a handful of countries – including Poland, Russia, Canada, the US and Japan – who held the negotiations to ransom.  Friends of the Earth executive director Andy Atkins said:  “Rarely has so little been achieved by so many powerful people gathered together in one place – the failure to agree any meaningful international action to slash emissions leaves the world teetering on the edge of catastrophic climate change.

Investment in Scotland’s renewable energy industry has topped £900m in the first six months of 2012, putting it on track to reach £1bn for the first time in its history

The UK Government could see half its energy portfolio, worth £750m, powered by renewables after launching a trial which will offer clean energy operators long-term contracts. The Government Procurement Service (GPS), which is the country’s largest energy consumer, spending £1.5bn a year on gas and electricity, has today announced that it will offer green energy companies contracts worth £25m a year to diversify 2% of its total demand.  It will be the first time contracts will be offered direct to renewable generators for a set proportion of their capacity on a long-term basis.

Royal Bank of Scotland has launched a new £200m Carbon Reduction Fund to help UK businesses reduce energy costs. The new fund will finance a range of sustainable energy projects for businesses from retro-fitting buildings with more energy efficient heating and lighting to on-site wind power and ground source heat pumps.

Bioenergy has an important role to play in delivering low-carbon, cost-effective, and flexible power and could benefit woodlands, according to a report by the National Non-Food Crops Centre (NNFCC).  The report, written by Dr Matthew Aylott, states that bringing neglected woodland back into management, and actively managing forests to produce both useful products and biomass for heat and power production, can increase carbon stocks and make forests more economically productive.

Blur1The Arctic Monkeys are the latest act to confirm for the 2013 Open’er festival on Poland, joining Blur, Kings of Leon and Queens of The Stone Age, who will all take to the stage in Gdynia on the north coast of Poland in July. Blur have also been confirmed as headliners at the Sziget Festival in Hungary and at the Oya Festival in Norway.

Recycled aggregates nearly account for 20% of the total aggregates market in the UK despite demand for sand, gravel, stone, clays and ballast falling during the recession. In its latest survey on the building industry, BDS Marketing Research has identified around 530 static sites in the country with an aggregates recycling plant. Together, these plants produced around 37 million tonnes in 2011.

Edie.net reports that Water footprinting will become a greater priority for the food and drink industry as it looks to develop services that limit production costs while tapping into the economic benefits of water conservation and reuse. Edie highlights new analysis from Frost & Sullivan pointing to a growing focus on smart and green production from water and wastewater treatment companies operating in this field, many of whom are looking to standardise water and energy footprint reductions. These firms are also reacting to moves from large global corporations that are setting targets to improve water use ratios and wastewater discharge levels, not only in their own operations but through their supply chains.

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