Monthly Archives: March 2014

Greener Wristbands recycling initiative rolls-out at UK festivals this summer

greener-wristbands2[1]-01Security wristband suppliers ID&C has teamed-up with innovative event waste recycling company More Bins to launch the UK’s first sustainability initiative for festival wristbands and lanyards. The new scheme, ‘Greener Wristbands’ encourages event organisers to return any used or excess fabric wristbands and lanyards to ID&C once their festival has ended. There, the returned products are sorted and separated into recyclable groups before being transferred to More Bins for recycling.

The recycling procedure involves re-using and re-crafting the old security wristbands and lanyards into everyday useful products, helping to mitigate landfill and reduce the carbon footprint of festivals. “Old wristbands will be transformed into things like drinks coasters and clothing accessories, whilst lanyards and their attachments are re-born as purses, wallets and hats.” Said Chris Nowell of More Bins.

A wallet made from recycled lanyards and camp chairs

A wallet made from recycled lanyards and camp chairs

The Greener Wristbands initiative will have a physical presence at UK festivals in the form of a workshop, which aims to engage with festival audiences and promote sustainability awareness through an innovative approach to recycling. The workshops start this summer, with Truck Fest and Shambala Festival among the first to sign-up.

Nowell continued, “It’s important to promote this and other sustainability initiatives to the public, and make festival goers the driving force behind them. We’ll be tackling serious sustainability issues, but in fun ways; like giving fans the chance to turn last year’s wristbands into eco-friendly, chic fashion accessories.”

A survey of over 2,200 festivals fans conducted in 2012 by Bucks New University and A Greener Festival reported that 87% of festivalgoers would recycle during events.  However, music festivals have continued to receive criticism for their impact on the environment, with waste and recycling a key issue.

Oir very own Claire O’Neill, co-founder of A Greener Festival and senior manager at the Association of Independent Festivals said; “We’re really happy to see suppliers like ID&C putting the sustainability of their products and services as a priority. It’s smart business sense and the only way to go for business longevity. Actions such as this help the event industry to reduce its environmental impact.”

Shambala Festival, winners of the ‘outstanding’ A Greener Festival Award 2013, is one of the first to commit to the Greener Wristbands project. The festival’s management company Kambe Events, an environmental consultancy to the events industry, will be working with ID&C and More Bins over the coming year to explore the feasibility of greener materials, and advising on approaches to traceability of supply chain.

Security wristbandsChris Johnson, of Shambala Festival said; “We are exited that ID&C and More Bins are taking a lead on this issue, and welcome the opportunity to work with them. The circular economy approach makes both business and environmental sense, and I am confident that if affordable green products are available, events will take the sustainable option.

ID&C’s Matt Wilkey said, “We’re glad to be among the first suppliers tackling the sustainability of their products, and thrilled to be working with More Bins in reducing the carbon footprint of festivals. While being a secure method of disposal for our clients, the project also enables us to recycle any discarded and unused fabric materials.”

To find out more on the initiative and to take part, visit


Climate Change? We can’t ignore it any more

polar vortext2013 was an extraordinary year for weather and despite the vast amounts of time, energy and money spent by the oil, gas and coal industries in trying to persuade us there is no such thing as climate change (as well as the odd few clueless politicians and hapless ‘scientists’ who tag along with that whole ‘headless chicken’ agenda) the evidence is getting more and more obvious – we are fucking up our environment, our ecosystems and our climate and our planet. Simples.

So what happened last year?

– Greenland had its highest ever recorded temperature (25.9C

– Snow fell in Cairo for the first time in 112 years

– Australia had its highest ever recorded temperatures

– The Philippines were battered by some of the strongest storms ever to reach land

– Namibia, Angola and Botswana were gripped by drought

– The UK and the Netherlands had the worst storm surge for 60 years

– Parts of China, Brazil, Russia and Sudan experienced extreme flooding

– The USA suffered extreme tornadoes, and a freezing ‘polar vortex’ that set record low temperatures as the year ended

– And did we mention it rained in England – and rained, and rained. And flooded. And rained.

UNhornifafricadroughtIts right not to over exaggerate  the risks of climate change – it MAY not be us – and one scientists recently had his name removed from the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Summary for Policy Makers because it had ‘drifted to far to the alarmist side’. That said, the Met Office Hadley Centre in the UK says that hot summers, like the sizzler we had in 2003 when temperatures in Kent hit 38.5C and 2,000 people died from the heat will become the norm by 2040 – as will cold winters like 2010-2011 – when temperatures at night regularly dropped to -10C – although there will be an overall gradual rise in temperatures as climate change takes hold. The Report is less clear on rainfall saying this is harder to predict although noted that heavy rainfall events were becoming more frequent.

No one is immune to the impact of climate change, which is fuelling war, hastening natural disasters, causing the extinction of species, changing coastlines, destroying homes,  pushing up food prices and threatens to drag societies back into poverty, the IPCC’s report says – most comprehensive study into the phenomenon.

power station3“Nobody on this planet is going to be untouched by the impacts of climate change,” IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri told a press conference at the launch of the report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, in Yokohama, Japan.

Michel Jarraud, secretary-general of the World Meteorological Organisation, said the report, the most comprehensive to date, said it showed that “now, ignorance is no longer a good excuse” for inaction to tackle the threat.

The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) says that each of the last three decades have been warmer than the preceding one – and that heavy rainfall events, heatwaves and droughts are becoming more common – and more intense – and whilst the WMO say there is ‘no definitive answer’ to the extent of humankind’s contribution to climate change – lets be frank – its happening ANYWAY. Now. And we need to do something about it or we sit here whilst the planet burns ……..

Dr Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, has attacked Western lifestyles for causing climate change that is “pushing the environment towards crisis”: More in the Telegraph here :

Tell eBay to respect the bees

short-haired_bee_masterRemember the bee-killer pesticides which hundreds of thousands of 38 Degrees members  helped to get banned across Europe?

Turns out, they’re available for sale on eBay.

Two days ago, the charity Buglife told the 38 Degrees office team that the bee-killer pesticides were for sale in the eBay marketplace. It took just three hours and 3,380 38 Degrees members emailing eBay to get the pesticides taken down.

Today, Buglife called again – the bee-killer pesticides are back up. It’s a classic wheeze: wait until the fuss has died down, then get back to business as usual.

Bad luck eBay, you’ve been  noticed.

Click here to write to eBay and tell them to take these banned pesticides off their site for good – and change their policies to make sure they never go up again.

38 degreeseBay are hugely proud of their reputation as a safe, trusted marketplace. They even have rules which, in theory, should stop illegal products going up for sale.

So these illegal pesticides break their own rules AND the European ban. And on top of that, the fact that they’re quietly back up for sale again two days after eBay ‘took them down’ is just infuriating.

Emailing eBay in our thousands worked on Wednesday. Now let’s do it again – but let’s make sure this time that they fix their broken policies and stop selling illegal bee-killer pesticides once and for all.

Click here to email eBay:

For our bees,

Susannah, Maddy, Robin and the 38 Degrees team


BAFTAThe British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) is improving its industry carbon calculator to enable better reporting for television and film productions. BAFTA Albert Consortium, responsible for the industry carbon calculator, Albert, is partnering with non-financial reporting provider Greenstone to redevelop the calculator.  Building on the current use of the Albert tool, Greenstone will focus on enhancing the calculator’s usability and analytical functionality.  According to the partnership, this will significantly improve the accuracy and ease of carbon reporting in the television and film industries. reports that the UK could create 47,500 skilled jobs if it kept five key waste materials out of landfill, according to new research by think tank Green Alliance. New analysis by Green Alliance urges the Government to ban wood, textiles, electronics, food and plastics. It states that banning wood could create 3,200 jobs; banning textiles could create 6,600 jobs, banning electronics 9,500 jobs, food 12,100 jobs and plastics 16,100 jobs.  According to the report, reuse, remanufacturing and recycling creates new and valuable products. Selling these generates profit which supports skilled jobs. However ……. The wine and spirit industry has welcomed the Government’s announcement that the glass recycling targets for businesses will be significantly lowered from autumn 2014.  This means that businesses handling over 50 tonnes of waste and with a turnover of more than £2m, which must comply with the Producer Responsibility Obligations, will see a reduction in their costs.  The Government’s decision is a recognition that the current target was too high and caused sharp price increases in the cost of glass Packaging Recovery Notes (PRNs) for businesses from 2012. The target will be lowered from 81% to 75% in autumn 2014, but will then increase by 1% each year to 2017. In the 2014 Budget the UK Chancellor announced that the standard and lower rates of landfill tax will increase in line with the retail price index rounded to the nearest five pence from 1 April 2015.

‘Russia Threat makes fracking our duty says Cameron’ explains the UK’s Prime Minister’s latest tactic to shout down opponents of the controversial oil and gas extraction process that might cause earthquakes, pollute water supplies and ruin the environment.  Cameron says that post Ukraine, the UK and Europe needed to reduce dependency on Russian energy supplies and promote UK energy independence – no arguments there – but there ARE other sources of sustainable power! In Balcombe, the first UK Village threatened by fracking, residents are planning to install sufficient solar panels to make the village self sufficient in power: The cost will be £3 million which should be repaid over 20 years from the feed in tariff and residents are forming a co-operative to raise the money. £30,000 has already been raised and the first panels will be installed on a cow shed – and it all adds to Britain’s energy security.

bluefin-tunaThe EU Fisheries Council has announced that it is placing trade restrictions on Belize, Cambodia, and Guinea for failing to cooperate in fighting Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing. It means EU member states are now required to ban the import of fish from Belize, Cambodia, and Guinea and ensure that EU fishing vessels do not operate in the waters of these nations.

Sustainable economic growth can be accelerated by investing $30bn per year in tropical forest conservation, according to a new UN report. report that the report by the International Resource Panel (IRP) and the UN Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (REDD) programme outlines how integrating forest conservation into a Green Economy approach can conserve and even boost the economic and social benefits forests provide to human society.

The UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) is investing £51m in a proposed new energy-from-waste plant in Kings Lynn, Norfolk. The new facility, the Willows Power & Recycling Centre, will provide a long-term waste treatment solution for Norfolk County Council.  It will process 170,000 tonnes of black bag waste from households across the county and 100,000 tonnes of commercial and industrial waste each year.

The EU has decided to put off making a decision on the regions 2030 climate and energy policy package until October, angering environmental groups. Leaders of Member States convened in Brussels to discuss a 2030 40% carbon emissions reduction target, recommended by the European Commission.  State leaders also considered a binding target that would see 27% of energy generated from renewables and a non-binding target to improve energy efficiency by 25% across the 28 Member States.

World-Water-Day-shutterstockUnited Nations (UN) leaders have highlighted the risks associated with the growing relationship between water and energy in the run up to World Water Day (Saturday 22 March). The UN’s 2014 World Water Development report stresses the need for policies and regulatory frameworks that recognise and integrate approaches to water and energy priorities.  According to the report, roughly 75% of all industrial water withdrawals are used for energy production.

End of the Road fans plant 250 trees in Festival Wood!

eotr1Ticket buyers for this year’s End Of The Road festival have donated a fantastic 250 trees to Festival Wood. That’s Amazing!

Our friends at EOTR asked fans “Give something back? We all know that travelling to / from festivals and events has a negative impact on the environment. That’s why we would like to give you an opportunity to “give something back”. We have teamed up with ‘Festival Wood’ who are replanting ancient forests in the UK and you can donate a tree or two to the forest when you purchase your tickets. £5 buys one tree and went on to tell fans this:

eotr3Festival Wood – “Give Something Back” Carbon Offsetting is an outdated term and we should all be working to reduce our impact across the board. Travel to and from festivals has a negative impact on the environment around us and we are trying to reduce this wherever possible. We offer a lift-share scheme, coaches from London as well as a shuttle bus for those that arrive by train. However we would like to do more, so we have teamed up with A Greener Festival’s ‘Festival Wood’ campaign. At the point of purchasing your ticket, if you’re travelling by car and wish to “give something back” you can purchase a tree or two to add to the Festival Wood. Festival Wood is an initiative to replant Ancient Woodland in Scotland, and 100% of funds get spent on trees as all staff and co-ordinators are volunteers. The initiative was set up by A Greener Festival and charity Trees for Life. Native trees are planted in natural distribution patterns to ensure maximum benefits for biodiversity.The Festival Woods are beginning in Dundreggan, an area of 10,000 acres of wild land near Loch Ness. The vision is to “restore a wild forest, which is there for its own sake, as a home for wildlife and to fulfil the ecological functions necessary for the wellbeing of the land itself.”

EOTR support ‘Love Your Tent’ – the campaign to get rid of camp site waste and left behind tents – and  FRANK Water and its FreeFill initiative, providing chilled, filtered drinking water to thirsty festival goers.

2014 is headlined by The Flaming Lips, The Horrors and Wild Beasts – more here


rocknessOrganisers of Scotland’s RockNess festival have announced that the event will not go ahead this year. In a statement the events promoters said: “Due to the addition of a number of events alongside the World Cup and the Commonwealth Games we’ve decided to take a year off. We’re using this break to make the event bigger and better than ever in 2015 so have an amazing summer and see you back at the Loch next year”.

And there will be no summer concerts at Kenwood House in Hampstead, London, this year after organisers decided to pull the plug after ‘major losses’ in 2013.

And in Romania, the Bucharest-based B’estFest has been cancelled, with organisers admitting they’re not sure if the event will return. In a post on his blog, festival Founder Guido Janssens explained that the event couldn’t secure the headliners it needed – and that the event had been losing money at levels which were unsustainable.

The Sunrise Celebration is moving to Wales to the grounds of the ruined Piercefield House near Chepstow, Monmouthshire, which will host the ninth annual Sunrise Celebration from 29 May to 1 June 2014. Revellers will be offered guided nature walks, wilderness-skills workshops and a forest school for their children. Heavy rain in 2012 prompted a move last year to a disused golf course at Thoulstone Park, near the village of Chapmanslade, on the Wiltshire side of the border, despite initial opposition to the event from local councillors and residents.

rockamringThe twin Rock am Ring and Rock Im Park festivals are growing to four days this year for the first time. The events have already sold over 130,000 tickets, and will feature headliners including Iron Maiden, Kings of Leon, Linkin Park and Metallica.

A new festival taking advantage of the 24-hour sunlight in Iceland enjoys at midsummer has launched. Featuring Massive Attack, Woodkid and a galaxy of Icelandic stars, Secret Solstice Festival will takes place in Reykjavik’s Laugardalur recreational area.


smogchinaFrom Palangkarya in Borneo to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, the air has been thick, the sun a dull glow and face masks obligatory. Schools, airports and roads have been closed and visibility at times has been down to just a few yards. Communities have had to be evacuated and people advised to remain indoors, transport has been disrupted and more than 50,000 people have had to be treated for asthma, bronchitis and other respiratory illnesses in Sumatra alone. Last week more than 200 Malaysian schools were forced to close, and pollution twice reached officially hazardous levels. With smoke from the clearance of the rain forests,  vehicle exhaust fumes and industrial emissions all ever increasing, pollution is chocking Asia’s cities, and an acrid blanket of haze is hanging over much of South East Asia where 700,000 people die prematurely each year from the effects of air pollution. More here

The UK Chancellor George Osborne has confirmed a cap on the Carbon Price Floor at £18 per ton of CO2 from 2016-2017 to the end of the decade. In his 2014 Budget speech the Chancellor confirmed what many had predicted, a freeze on carbon tax, which Osborne said will help “British families and manufacturers save on their energy bills”. Osborne did mention his support for renewables but said little else, focusing more on cutting energy bills for businesses and households. Osborne also announced a £3bn compensation package to energy intensive industries, who will not have to pay the costs of the renewables obligation or feed-in tariffs, both designed to support renewable energy generation. Many driving the environmental agenda say that the move will reaffirm the Chancellor’s disregard for a pro-green economy agenda, saying that it is likely Osborne will again side line environmental policy in favour of reducing the deficit.

renault-joins-formula-e-championship_pressshotThe first all-electric Formula E driving championship will be televised on UK broadcasting channel ITV, after organisers secured a deal with the network.

Global warming will hit Asia hardest, warns new report on climate change, and Flooding, famine and rising sea levels will put hundreds of millions at risk in one of the world’s most vulnerable regionsPeople in coastal regions of Asia, particularly those living in cities, could face some of the worst effects of global warming, climate experts will warn this week. Hundreds of millions of people are likely to lose their homes as flooding, famine and rising sea levels sweep the region, one of the most vulnerable on Earth to the impact of global warming, the UN states.The report – Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability – makes it clear that for the first half of this century countries such as the UK will avoid the worst impacts of climate change, triggered by rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. By contrast, people living in developing countries in low latitudes, particularly those along the coast of Asia, will suffer the most, especially those living in crowded cities.

TreeHugger shows a lot of LED lighting, usually promoting its energy saving benefits and its longevity. However as great lighting designers get a hold of better fixtures and bulbs, they are doing things that could not have been imagined in older lighting systems. The recent refit of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris is a great example – more photos here

A coalition of food waste charities, waste prevention organisations and academia across Europe have launched feasibility studies, which will be led by WRAP, to tackle food waste through social innovation. The European food waste prevention project is called FUSIONS (Food Use for Social Innovation by Optimising Waste Prevention Strategies). Its UK partner WRAP is leading the delivery of the feasibility studies. The main aim of the project is to work towards a resource-efficient Europe by significantly reducing food waste.

The UK’s share of the global water technology market could be worth £8.8bn by 2030, providing 71,000 jobs and involving around 960 small and medium enterprises (SMEs), suggests a new report.  HTech0: Tapping the Potential: A Fresh Vision for UK Water Technology states that despite successful water privatisation, world class consultants and a reputation for fair dealing, the UK has just 3% share of the global water technology market and “lags way behind” pioneering countries such as France, the US, Japan and Germany.  Report lead Mark Lane, chair of British Water and UKWRIP business & economy action group leader, said: “The economic and environmental case for raising the UK’s global game on water technology innovation is compelling”.

Sheringham_Shoal_Wind_Farm_2012Up to 1,000 jobs will be created in the UK by Siemens who will build Britain’s first wind farm manufacturing plant in Hull. It will invest £160 million in making giant turbine blades and generators for the so-called Round 3 offshore projects in the North Sea.

Last week was National Recycling day in the USA,  sponsored by Anheuser-Busch, the American Chemistry Council, Waste Management and other companies (that have made fortunes manufacturing, filling and picking up disposable containers!). As Treehugger says –  It’s their way of thanking us for helping keep all that plastic out of the gutters and the landfills, so that it can be downcycled into benches. But really we need a week to celebrate all the better ways to deal with the problem of waste, with recycling coming in eighth – at the END of the list of ‘Rs’ ! Here’s the first seven

  • Reduce: Just use less.
  • Return: Producers should take back what they sell.
  • Reuse: Almost boring, but we throw too much stuff out too soon.
  • Repair: Fix and mend things rather than replacing them.
  • Refill: In Ontario Canada, 88% of beer bottles are returned to the beer store, washed and refilled; just south of the border in the USA, the number drops to under 5%.
  • Rot: Compost what is left over, turning it into valuable nutrients.
  • Refuse: Simply refuse to accept this crap from the manufacturers any more.