Monday, March 31, 2008

Antarctica under threat

This time, not from climate change, but from the thousands of 'saga generation' (I wonder if they count me in that category?) tourists and the shipping that brings them down under.

According to the Telegraph, last year more than 40,000 tourists visited the Antarctic. Staggering!

I suppose it is still probably the best place to spot whales, penguins and various southern seal species before they all become extinct?

EVENT - JIIC Open Day Invitation - Prototypes in action!


MONTH
- April

FIELD: Industry-related (especially design/innovation)
WHEN: 8th and 9th April 2008, 3.30pm to 6pm
WHAT: The Jewellery Industry Innovation Centre (JIIC) team invite you to tour the facilities and newly upgraded technologies available at the Centre.
WHAT... MORE?: This is an opportunity for anyone with an interest in Rapid Manufacturing, Rapid Prototyping, 3-Dimensional CAD, Surface decoration and embellishment, Laser welding and marking, Design and New Product Development.This open invitation is a chance to view a unique collection of complementary technologies in action:

v Z Corp 3D Printer
v CNC Milling
v InVision HR 3D Printer
v EnvisionTec Perfactory 3D printers
v Objet Polyjet 3D printers
v Solidscape 3D wax printers
v Dimension FDM 3D printer
v Laser welding
v Laser marking, cutting and scanning
v Anodising of aluminium and titanium

WHERE: The JIIC is located opposite the School of Jewellery, at:
85-87 Vittoria Street,Birmingham, B1 3PA.

WHO: Some very nice folk with some really great stuff... that can help a lot of folk!
HOW: Free, I'm guessing
URL: www.jewellery-innovation.co.uk
COMMENTS: These the guys that have and are helping us with the prototypes for our RE:tie invention. And trust me, if a picture is worth 1,000 words, holding the thing in your hand is chapter and verse! Some amazing kit that has to be seen to be believed.

A must go to be inspired!

PR COVERAGE - Greenbang.com

OK, I'm cheating a tad.

The notion is that 'they' talk about me/us, and if/when we find out we pop it here by way of a 'thank you', and mutual back scratch. Plus I get a prompt to update the now 1 year out of date PR clippings section on the site.

So... Our readers have $1m+ to spend on sustainability

The cheating bit is that they haven't actually mentioned Junkk.com, but see if you can guess who was the author of the one comment they really liked:)

So I say it counts. If not for much as useful PR. 'Hey... I wrote that!' doesn't quite cut it.

Reasons. No Excuses.

Any system that results in this is broke, and needs fixing, fast: Airline in row over free tickets on extra flights

While I concede that such as plastic bags are 'an' issue and may well be worth addressing, even just in terms of public awareness (though getting them to do the right thing with reusables would be optimal), things such as the above are what our political masters should be addressing.

Indy - A stunt that exposes the truth about corporate greed - I am not alone!

Credit where it is due

I have, it is fair to say, some problems with many of the directions our national broadcaster is going.

Every-increasing fee hikes that we have no option but to pay, yet it seems to be expanding into all sorts of commercial areas in all sorts of other places... and frankly the standard of reporting and level of agenda across almost all its offerings is getting farcical to impose on those who have no way to object (all mechanisms, up to and including BBC Trust, are a joke, so essentially it is a £3.5Billion fund for a rather exclusive club to play with pretty much how they like).

However, there are diamonds in the rough. And, if given the choice, I would have paid (or tuned in to give ad revenue to the channel that aired it) for last night's doco on an Indian tiger reserve, using new remote camera techniques.

Superb!

And not a single bit of editorialising in sight. Coincidentally, it did actually make me think a bit about the sheer impacts of population. The reserve is huge, but finite, and with one mother cranking out four cubs who will grow and need territory, I do wonder about how this evolves.

And that is before we introduce the human factor. The area looked gorgeous. Either to a farmer or a holiday development. Sadly, I see no easy solution.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Words and Deeds

I was just catching up on my Sunday reading online, after a most productive day making some kitchen units and pottering in the garden in the sun.

This little effort caught my eye.

It seems that while villages can still score a bag-ban mention (latest is in Norfolk) we have now moved to country level in the green competition stakes.

Well, I can think of worse things to strive for.

It was an relatively interesting piece I guess, but really the accolade rather seems to boil ('scuse pun) on whether you are sitting on top of a volcano or have near limitless hydro on tap. Basically how you make your 'leccy. And having lucked out on that score, you can offset your ethics away and buy anything you fancy, secure in the knowledge that the overall tally will look better than the next person..

Anyhoo, the Indy has kindly provided some ideas on the same page for what form of transport you might opt for where your home might be.

Olympics coverage? Or a new type 'big brother'?

When I saw the number of staff that the BBC were sending to Beijing this summer, to cover the 'Orympic Games', of course, that was my initial silly thought. According to this from the Daily Mail, they are sending 100+ more staff (437!!) than Great Britain is sending competitors!

Now, why so many staff? That's what; perhaps a full camera crew for every five competitors? Are they going to be filming the entire squad 24/7 while they eat, sleep, do their ablutions and train - a la 'big brother' style?

Or just maybe it just happens that it's time for the four yearly jolly, for as many as possible of the Beeb's great and good (and bad?), to the planet's largest sporting event?

Seems to be an awful lot of staff for what will probably be the usual crappy coverage ("sorry, the local director cut the shot just as the finalists were approaching the finishing line - we'll find out what happened for you later").

I just want to know who the hell will be left here in the UK? Imagine the possibilities:-
- Breakfast News with Katie the tea lady?
- The Evening News presented by Sonya the night cleaning lady?
- Cricket highlights presented by the BBC Centre Security Doorman (2nd cousin twice removed of Michael Vaughan)?

Well, I suppose our license fee has to be put to some good use! And, of course, there will be a full explanation of the cost breakdown, and full accountability, after the event, won't there?

What a waste!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

QUOTE OF THE DAY - DDAIDDAIS

Of course, I only have a blog poster's word for it, but I wouldn't be the least bit surprised:

'Fantastic coverage on the BBC of Earth Hour, starting in Sydney: all the lights turned off to save the planet. And how was this footage obtained? From a helicopter.'

Must be a wind up. The motive power for the helicopter I mean. 'Pong! More spicy soup!'

PR COVERAGE - beunpackaged.com

beunpackaged.com - a nice and simple foodie site

Every lite bit helps?

I'd actually missed it all 'til now, but having just Googled something and found a reversed out screen have discovered 'Earth Hour'.

Not awfully sure what I am supposed to/can do (sitting around in the dark tonight around a burning candle seems daft, if not questionable enviROI), and my views on 'awareness' are well known.

I guess I could switch off my PC and not blog for an hour, which might mean something. I'm guessing such as Google and the BBC will not be going quite that far (mind you, BBC's woeful Forum system might just be doing the same thing), switching off power-hungry servers and all. There's raising awareness and not making such massive pots of money as you could, I guess.

See you in an hour, then.

Google

BBC

Observer - Lights out? - An odd piece in an odd place, designed it seems mostly to crank up some COCP (hey.. another acronym - for Climate Optimist/Pessimist, and pronounced 'Cock-up) 'tis/t'isn't ratings 'heat' and little less. What was interesting were his stats on actual enviROIs, which I'd tend to believer as he is quite good on this count.

Too little of a good thing?

In the commercial world (and a few others, but especially PR), 'calling for' equates to 'looking at' in politics.

Whatever is being referred to is important, and the author acknowledges the fact, but actually there's either b-all that can be done, or they actually intend to do. But they do care, so that's OK. And it gets some PR.

Marketing Week - Sorrell calls for an end to deliberate obsolescence

There is some small significance that someone such as Martin Sorrell might feel the urge to opine this way, but that's about it.

I somehow don't see Steve Jobs grabbing the hotline to R&D to say 'Guys... the new i-Ownyourfirstborn.... make it last a lifetime!'.

But market forces do tend to work through. Speaking of Apple, though I can do sod all about it I am well miffed that I am now bound to FileMaker and its upgrades to work on Leopard no matter what, and will badmouth 'em at every turn. But I am well impressed that both our 12-year old cars have not a trace of rust on them yet. I have had to ditch a few in my time just because the floor pan dropped out.

But it would be nice if we could see a move to this: 'If people are less willing to buy items in large volumes because they have less money, make a virtue in advertising of how long your products last. Charge slightly more for them. That’s good for the landfill sites and good for your sales.' or this 'Or what about finding ways of getting people paying to ‘upgrade’ old products? It shows that you’re thinking about obsolescence while still offering people the sexy new functions and features they desire.'

It is, after all, what I have been advocating for long enough. I'll look forward to how Mr. Sorrell intends to turn his ideas into actions and not just talk about it all. Or, at best, stand ready to carry the next ad from someone who claim they are.

NEWS/GO3 PR - We're 'on track', apparently

Like so much here that involves a track, or conveyor, works out so well..

PR (from DEFRA) as provided, with no edit or further comment at all from me:

UK on track to meet kyoto targets as emissions continue to fall

Environment Secretary Hilary Benn today said that the UK is making progress on cutting Greenhouse Gas emissions, but there is still much work to do.

Provisional statistics published today for total UK Greenhouse Gas emissions for 2007 showed a drop of two per cent over the previous year, with 639.4 million tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent, down from 652.3 million tonnes in 2006.

They also show that in 2007, UK net emissions of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) were provisionally estimated to be 543.7 million tonnes. This was two per cent lower than the 2006 figure of 554.5 million tonnes.

The decrease in CO2 emissions resulted from fuel switching from coal to natural gas for electricity generation, combined with lower fossil fuel consumption by households and industry.

Secretary of State for the Environment, the Rt. Hon. Hilary Benn said:

"These figures show we are making progress in cutting emissions and are on target to go beyond our Kyoto targets. But there's much to do at home and abroad if we are to going to avert dangerous climate change.

"We need to see a major change across the whole of the UK economy if we are to meet the ambitious emissions reduction targets set in the Climate Change Bill. To aid this, the Government will develop carbon markets and promote the development of low carbon technology, while continuing to work to get international agreement on global emissions targets.

"But while the Government can provide encouragement and incentives, we also need individuals and businesses to do their bit to cut their carbon footprint because it's only by all of us tackling climate change that we will achieve success."

Energy Minister, the Rt. Hon. Malcolm Wicks said:

"Today's figures show that we are on the way to a low carbon future. Energy efficiency, more renewable energy, new nuclear and carbon capture and storage technology will all play a key part in ensuring that greenhouse gas emissions continue to fall."

Notes to editors

1. All the statistics released today are estimated in accordance with the rules agreed internationally for reporting to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Kyoto Protocol and the European Union. As a consequence the statistics include domestic flights but not international flights since there is currently no internationally agreed method to take account of international aviation emissions.

2. These provisional emissions estimates will be subject to revision when the final estimates are published in early 2009; however, they provide an early indication of emissions in the most recent full calendar year. The majority of provisional estimates are within 1 per cent of the final figures.

3. The figures for 1990 to 2006 in this statistics release are from the National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory (NAEI), produced for Defra and the Devolved Administrations by AEA Energy & Environment. Additional results will be released as they become available, including a full report published towards the end of the year. For further information on the UK Greenhouse Gas Inventory, see the NAEI web site.

4. The climate change indicator is one of the 68 indicators supporting the Government's Sustainable Development Strategy.

5. There are uncertainties associated with all estimates of greenhouse gas emissions. However, although for any given year considerable uncertainties may surround the emissions estimates for a pollutant, it is important to note that trends over time are likely to be much more reliable. It is also important to note that the provisional 2007 estimates are subject to a greater range of uncertainty than the final figures for earlier years. For more information on these uncertainties see the Digest of Environmental Statistics.

6. Further details of the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme can be found at the EU ETS section of the Defra website.

In the soup?

I am no great defender of plastic. But it is hard to imagine how we would exist without it and, that said, cease to use it.

Hence I tend to approach efforts like this with eyebrow-cocked: Warning on plastic's toxic threat

There's no doubt that the stuff is not great once it moves from its first use and gets disposed of.

But all the media/PR effort seems to ignore the main issue, which is correct disposal.

And, frankly, most of us are powerless in this regard, and hence there is little we can DO.

Hence a piece like this seems to be rather pointless other than being another 'woe is us' piece that gets a bunch of folk on a nice (if polluted) island to raise 'awareness'.

I can't see the value as a consumer news piece unless there is some connection to mitigation made.

However the science is interesting, and I do wonder how some of this relates to the effects of so-called 'biodegradables', which are often touted as 'solutions', but as matter can neither be created or destroyed do simply cease to be visible. The potential negative impact remains.

Friday, March 28, 2008

QUOTE OF THE DAY - time and place

"You can't change the past,
but you can ruin the present
by worrying over the future."

Shared with thanks to Aunty Rosalind in Singapore.

One I think I should live by more.

But as I can't seem to resist some forward-looking... 'concerns'.. might I suggest the addition of '...worrying too much over...'? That has a suitably 'getoutclausey' ring to it.

CATEGORY - TATE Gallery

For an explanation, see here.

For possible examples, as they come in/get suggested see here:

Indy - Ecological disaster area: Sydney's dirtiest little secret - At least they are trying to improve, but I'd say they have a ways to go. Maybe they could try twinning with Modbury?

ACRONYM - TATE Gallery

Haven't coined one in a few hours. So here's TATE, as in 'Gallery'.

It stands for 'Tinkering Around The Edges', but is about the same as 'Rearranging Deckchairs On the Titanic' (RDOT), but rolls off the tongue better.

In fact, I think it deserves it's own category.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

IDEA - It's kind of reuse, but I just liked it

"Modder" turns hobby into career

PR COVERAGE - Greenfinder

A little bit of trumpet-blowing never hurts.

Or, for that matter, some mutual backscratching.

We have been mentioned, in flattering terms, in the newsletter of a green directory called GreenFinder.

So, in true rapid-blog style, a compliment is returned:)

Actually looks like a nifty little resource, too.

POLL - MW/YouGov green issues marketers’ poll

You need to take a large dose of salt with them usually, but they're always worth a gander if only for a laff: MW/YouGov green issues marketers’ poll

I seem to recall taking part even. Not sure what that says about me. I think I may have skewed the result, mind.

A few points, which are acknowledged. One is the difference between 'doing' and 'being seen to be doing'. Which can equate to getting credit more for dropping a ton of dough claiming stuff than actually doing any of it. And with even major media having the attention span of gnats these days, much less checking stories, if it gets punted out as green it will get printed as green. Even if it might all wash away with the first shower.

Plus I loved this: 'Other fascinating insights gleaned from our research include the aversion of marketers to the idea that brands should pay a green tax. They believe it is the Government’s responsibility to take care of the costs associated with going green.' I believe that is a classic MaRiDa (Mandy Rice Davis) comment: 'well, they would say that, wouldn't they?'

Speaking from personal experience, I am also not at all surprised to find 'that it is senior people who are the main force pushing green issues rather than marketers lower down the scale.'

Most in the profession (which also often seems very short lived, which may explain a lot else. No sooner do I hone in on a promising lead than he/she has left 'to pursue their own interests'. Or to become a football manager, doubtless for the increased job security) seem to see their role more as gatekeepers of the status quo, and actually getting innovative on anything without the nod from on high ain't gonna happen. Even getting from Trace on reception to Mrs. Miggins in the PA pool is tricky enough. I know of one company who got their knickers in a twist about a call to see who best to pitch a green initiative to because they were on the Telephone Preference Service list!

There does seem to be a disconnect. But to be fair, I also suspect those big bosses who make big green noises are the first on the horn when any initiative dents the bottom line. Black trumps green when it comes to bonus time, even though staying the course can work out better on all counts in the long run. But as long runs don't seem a factor in mid-level marketing careers, it may explain why the short term gain is favoured more.

The full survey, by the by, is not free. £999+VAT not free. Those marketing tinkers, if it had been over a grand I wouldn't have considered it, but at that price...

Addendum:

Greenbang - And the ten least green brands are…

Great... er... minds...!

At least these things give folk like us something to write about.

That said, I rather dread seeing those perhaps surprisingly higher than warranted whacking out a 'Top 10 Green Brand' logo in the next few days.

Having taken part (and only having done so to find out what the questions might be... I wonder how many 'so much to do, so little time' top marketing gurus would have devoted the time), and now basking in the glow of being deemed a 'top marketing professional' (the qualification criteria were ruthless, I tell you), it is refreshing to see that 'we' are only human: 'Quick... name a green brand!!!!!' Er... Toyota Prius? No... HSBC (er, actually, what happened to them? They have spent oodles!).

Like Brucie might say (well, once have said); 'Good game, good game!'.

CATEGORY - Space Tourism

As an SF-addict, engineer a reacher for the stars creator-type, I am in awe of every development.

As one who has also bought into the notion that at the moment we have a bit of a gas problem, I find myself on the horns of a dilemma.

Best to make it a category, post what's out there and maybe we can all decide.

WSJ - Economy Fare ( $100,000) Lifts Space-Tourism Race

Gaurdian - NEW - Virgin Galactic: Richard Branson's pledge to prospective space tourists

And this being the right-on Grauniad, as part of the franchise, and commercial (was it paid for? If not, then big up to Mr. Branson for pulling a fast one on the ad sales guys via editorial), I look forward to the breathless gushing announcement of Virgin Space of Waste Carbon Offsets soon, too.

I guess saying 'more environmental' several times must make it so.

In case not, I wonder if any pictures from this £200k Kodak moment afforded the attractive collection of rich folk featured might capture the Earth weeping?

ps; Check Space, Tourism and Virgin Galactic at the least in the labels at end for more

EVENT - Homes4Good '08

MONTH - This!

FIELD: Enviro-related
WHEN: 28-29 March
WHAT:Homes4Good '08
WHAT... MORE?: Showing ways to create sustainable buildings: from constructing buildings using local, natural materials, energy efficiency measures and renewable energy technology, to promoting lifestyles that help reduce consumption, save energy and make sustainable living easy.
WHERE: Showering Pavilion at the Bath and West’s royal county showground
WHO: Well, at the very least co-blogger Dave of Solarventi is exhibiting there!
HOW: £5
URL: http://www.ecostrust.org.uk/h4g/index.html
COMMENTS: Looks like a nice day out!

'Biogasoline'

We've all heard about bio-diesel, but this was a new term to me, so I reckoned it would be worth bringing to everyone's attention.

This from Reuters explains that Shell and Virent Energy Systems are teaming up to "research a petrol alternative from non-food crops that would reduce CO2 emissions without driving up food prices."

It is not ethanol, and it is interesting that the 'fuel' will use non-food plants and will not use land otherwise suitable for food crops. On top of that, unlike higher % ethanol/petrol mixtures, the biogasoline can used used without modification to most engines.

There is no explanation of the actual technology, but it uses a 'similar technology' to the research the same players started last year using biomass to produce hydrogen.

Possibly one to watch?

CATEGORY - Greenhouse Gasses

A lot of discussion still on what they are doing, but it is worth getting a handle on what they are to try and get to an informed opinion.

Here's a start:

BBC Green - 60 second guide to... Greenhouse gases - Bear in mind that this is 'a' view by 'a' medium. Take the opinions in that spirit. But the facts are worth noting. And it's rare when one hears of the more 'influential' ones, such as NOx which, whilst less in volume in comparison to CO2 or Methane can actually be more serious. And these often crop up in very significant places.

CATEGORY - ETHICAL INVESTING

Though related to carbon offsetting in a few ways, it is pretty different in most others. So I think worth a seperate category.

Indy - Now it can pay to go green

Marketing Week - DiCaprio aids HSBC Green card launch - Not investing as such, but as its finance related I thought I'd stick it here for now. Yet another 'trial' that's 'not yet in the UK', so make of that what you will. They printed it. I printed it. Leo got some dosh for his pet project. HSBC looked a bit greener still... and the planet has a few less plastic credit cards to worry about.

You can tell I'm impressed.

BBC Green - NEW - Ethical banking uncovered

Where's the real damage being done?

Map shows toll on world's oceans

NEW addenda at end.

The other day, at my boy's parent/teacher day, we ended up sitting with their IT tutor. Far from being just about bits and bytes, it seems the course delves much deeper than I imagined in how they use their computers to increase their knowledge base.

So we got onto resources. Several were mentioned, from Google to Wikipedia, and I was reassured to find that nothing was to be taken at face value, and multiple sources from a broad span surveyed to try and arrive at a fair view, even in matters of 'fact'.

But I was suprised when the the BBC site was mentioned, and this was laughed off with the most derision of all.

I came to the link above via a site that, it is fair to say, is 'climate optimistic' and not very pro-BBC.

So in no way was the thrust of this concerned with the rather sobering notion of what mankind is doing to the planet it inhabits.

But it did highlight how our national broadcaster, by 'doing science' in this way, just adds to the waffle and fudge on this subject, that ends up meaning so little.

I have to say I immediately stumbled on the 4% stat. Not 3% or 5%; somehow it is known that '...only about 4% of the world's oceans remain undamaged by human activity'. I think as they refer to 'sqkm' it is by area and not volume, but am not to sure. It would surely make a difference. Especially after the recent piece on the plastic vortex we noted here.

'The authors say the data is a "wake-up call" to policymakers.' I'll say, and to all of us. But at 96% down I'd say our work is cut out. This just seems so...vast... so... total... what on earth can credibly be done?

Apparently, '...the two biggest drivers in destroying marine habitats were climate change and over-fishing.' Surprising. I would have thought pollution would have rated higher than over-fishing. I also now have another niggle when it comes to 'CC'. Hence I am thinking of extending my personal acronym to PMWNICC. Climate changes all the time. To be meaningful in this context surely they mean 'Probably Man-Worsened Negative Impact CC'?

And to counter 'climate change' of this nature, the notion seems to be more conservation efforts. Hmmn.

To quote this critic, 'they [the BBC] thunder, but with characteristic vagueness don't say what this action, management or rolling up of sleeves actually entails.'

I tend to agree. Yes, we need to be aware of this stuff. But not get fed it in a way that either makes us tune out, feel helpless, ignore it or, worse, treat it as immediately suspect and irrationally, but perhaps inevitably, rebound more to a cosier counterview.

I continue to think with such sloppy reporting and agenda-driven editorial the BBC are simply making things worse.

Addenda -

Huge study gives wake-up call on state of world's oceans
And this... 'Human activity damages more than 40% of seas'

BBBC - NEW - I include the full comment with the link. No question that this sea-borne rubbish is nothing short of littering or even vandalism. I simply have a problem equating what washes up in a Pacific island with what I as a consumer put in my bin. Which seems to be the link trying to be made. Whilst all efforts at reductions in unnecessary plastics are sensible, in the shorter term I'd have thought it more worthwhile to look much more at disposal systems, from collection to reprocessing. Someone lobbing something over the side of a Panama-registered ship is harder to identify with as we grapple with PMWNICC.


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

QUOTE OF THE DAY - One has to suffer for one's art

Sorry, this is just too good:

A BBC Enviro correspondent 'reporting' from a desert island idyll, to which he and team have been dispatched (by tube?) to bring us the scoop on something greenish:

"We stay in the old officers' quarters" and "The head chef, Pong, urges me to try his spicy soups. A little bar overlooking a beach opens most evenings."

Almost as good a quote, only without the rampant lack of irony, is the fine fellow who highlighted it for our attention: 'Only most evenings? Pong! More spicy soup!'

Bless.

Lunar Dead Centre

Directly following a piece on the splitting of an ice shelf 'due to Global Warming', irony-free zone that is the BBC has just aired a piece on... commercial air travel.

I have now seen it, and see no reason to change what I wrote in advance:

'Looking forward to how the advertised piece on burying one's ashes on the moon is shared.

Whilst exchange may be no robbery, dust for dust, bearing in mind the fuel cost for every gram sent into orbit, I just wonder what the carbon consequences might be?'

Seemed worth a Newswatch serve:

Directly following a piece on the splitting of an ice shelf 'due to Global Warming', and followed by another plastic bag expose (how did David Shuckman get to Midway Island, by the way? Nice work if you can get it)* the irony-free zone that is the BBC has just aired a piece on... commercial space travel.

The commercial relationship is uncomfortable enough, but the mixed messages being pumped out on best environmental practices by consumers is staggering.

Next you'll have a reporter gushing forth with Richard Branson together on the first Virgin Galactic launch!

ADDENDA -

BBC - Antarctic shelf 'hangs by thread'

BBBC - It seems it has been noted elsewhere, and it appears the airlines are doing well out of... plastic bags. Medium and messenger...hmnnn.

*BBBC - NEW - And lo... the jolly was good.

More Greenwash

This time from BSkyB (Sky) from Marketing Week.

"We became carbon neutral in 2006" Hey, you likely don't even understand what that means!

What a load of self congratulatory dross and bull! Oh my! If it wasn't so self-indulgently and puke inducingly sickly, I wouldn't be able to help myself from rolling around the floor laughing my head off!

Try adding this software to your accounting systems and publish the results if you dare!

Addendum:
From the same publication comes an article in a similar vein from the commercial & trading director of Tesco. But this one failed to raise my hackles hardly one iota. Much less holier than thou 'look how fantastically green we are! (Not)' and much more 'each small step will help'.

"Rather than preying on feelings of fear or guilt to motivate people to change their habits, we are finding simple ways to show people that ­greener living can be easy and cost-effective."

Every little helps.

WE ADD UP ......


.... "is a global warming awareness campaign that uses custom-printed organic cotton T-shirts to get the message out that everybody's efforts are important in the fight to reduce greenhouse-gas-causing carbon emissions." From PrWeb.

US based but I can't argue with the concept at all. Love the fact that the best selling T shirt is the one emblazoned with 'Shower Together'; even beating the old faithful 'Recycle'.

See WeAddUp for more details.

Dons make an offer you can't refuse?

What's not to like?: Oxford University to Develop Free Green Computing Software

It has two of my favourite words in one sentence: 'free' and 'reduce'.

I do have to take issue with this, mind: "No-one sits at their computer for 168 hours a week,"

I think my wife just might on Second Life.

Sins of the...?

Bless. Sam Branson joins Kiss as green ambassador

Worked sooo well for that Guardian Travel Writer's son on CiF recently, as I recall.

Gosh, me and the kids hadn't heard of global warming before now. So such awareness-building is a vital new step. Hope he doesn't have to stay in a holding pattern too long getting there, what with all the other media types en route from looking at the ice-shelf split off to check out the plastic bag situation in Midway Island, plus Zac, Leo et Al making their docos. Hardly any room left for the polar bears and penguins at this rate!

Will he be going Virgin Coconut or Galactic?

NEWS/Commercial PR - Let's worry more about the 95%

Whilst the likes of the BBC send reporters, irony-free, to Midway Island to report 'live' on the scourge of plastic bags (noting that even enviro activists have ceased to play or participate in this distracting minor issue), let's look at some real waste.

The now rather quiet 'Love Food, Hate Waste' campaign highlighted (well, tried to) that the real issue is the vast amount of food that gets wasted.

But even if you strip things to the bone and eat the stalks right to the woody bit, there will still, inevitably be 'scrapings'.

Now, we have an ongoing discussion (with the odd debate) going on with the relative merits of Food Waste Disposal vs. composting already, but to be sure if you are of a mind not to fire it down the sink (if applicable to your area) then there are some instances when even the compost bin may not be suitable.

Which is where the Green Cone can come in. Hence I am happy to share this as another option to you home eco-arsenal.

PR as received and shared, with edits:

GREEN CONE EXPANSION DRIVE TO MEET GROWING DEMAND FOR FOOD WASTE DIGESTERS - providing additional support as local authorities roll-out home treatment products

Green Cone breaks down all types of organic kitchen waste such as fruit and vegetables, raw and cooked meat or fish, bones, tea bags and coffee grounds from the average-sized household, reducing the waste to its natural components of water and CO2 and only a little residue. The Green Johanna for producing high quality compost, generates higher temperatures than traditional garden composters and works by mixing household food waste together with garden waste.

I also posed a few questions, and had a most helpful reply, as follows:

1) I was keen to get one a while ago to try to complement our composting of green organics, but my wife was resistant as she didn't fancy the notion of decomposing meats, etc on a health basis. Any comment to reassure her... and others... on this point?

A. The meat in a Green Cone decomposes well below ground level and there is at least 9 inches of soil between the decomposing food and the surface of the ground. Therefore, neither smells escape nor may animals, birds etc access it. The system meets all European legislation requirements and the decomposition of food is after all a completely natural process and all we do with the Green Cone is to create the ideal environment for microbial degradation.
2) Our council, Herefordshire, promotes composting via subsidised units. How many councils promote this cone, who are they and do they co-fund?

A. Approximately 30 councils in England and Scotland promote the use of Green Cones and at least one dozen heavily discount them to their residents. Some councils sell the units for as little as £5 and others at £10/£15. Those who have been working with Green Cone the longest include East and West Sussex, Surrey, Wiltshire, Aberdeenshire, Moray etc. Recently a number of others including Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire have started using the product. and since 2002 when the product was first made available, councils have continued to promote them.

3) Bearing in mind CO2 is a by-product, is it an alternative or complement to Food Waste Disposal/Energy from Waste systems? Again, our council is advocating macerators, with subsidy.

A. The primary benefit of the Green Cone is that it produces CO2 as opposed to methane which is produced when organic waste is put into landfill and becomes anaerobic. If a council has a centralised 'energy from waste' plant and effectively uses the energy created ie by using the electricity in a very small development/village or plant etc, then this is very effective and a good environmental use of the waste. However this is seldom possible and to think that you can simple put any electricity production into the grid system for the benefit of all is naive. Furthermore centralised units, if they have feed stock which includes food waste, produce a rather indifferent compost that cannot be used on agricultural land and is therefore only used on motorway verges etc. To find a good use for the amount of compost already being used, because of its indifferent quality, is already a problem. Finally, there are very fixed views on macerators. The water companies really don't like them very much, insofar as they put excessive protein into the sewage system which requires a major anaerobic digestion plant to handle. In certain places in Europe they are not allowed, whereas some councils actually promote their use so it really is "horses for courses"! They are of course much more expensive to buy and also to fit than a Green Cone.

In addition I stumbled across an earlier PR, which sort of ties in, and which I also add here (not sure what 'marketing throughout February' means in practice, but note the final advice about online for where we are timewise now.

TESCO ENCOURAGES CUSTOMERS TREAT HOUSEHOLD FOOD WASTE AT HOME Tesco will be marketing the Green Cone garden food waste digester in more than 70 stores nationwide throughout February. Easy-to-install and standing 70cm off the ground, the Green Cone is simply dug in to the garden in a sunny location where a solar heating effect between the unit’s inner and outer cone promotes air circulation, creating the ideal natural environment for rapid decomposition of the waste. The Green Johanna is designed to stand in the garden on flat ground in a shady position. Waste is tipped in through the lid, with the compost accessible via a sliding door Available online at www.tesco.com/direct from 17 March 2008. For further information visit www.tesco.com/greenerliving from 11 February 2008.

NEWS/Commercial PR - Because there is no Plan C..ider?

A few days ago I noted a BBC slot about recycling plant pots, which was less than informative on the detail front.

Hence I wrote to one of the protagonists, Wyevale, to see if they could add more. Here is the PR kindly provided about a programme called their 10 Commitments, as supplied, but edited for length to apply just to the topic at hand:

Wyevale announces its sustainability action programme, “Plan Apple”

“Plan Apple”, is Wyevale's action programme to address the key sustainable development challenges facing the gardening industry.
The first action is to offer customers a recycling facility for plastic plant pots. Wyevale is currently trialling a scheme at four stores, which invites customers to return pots to the Wyevale store for re-use or recycling.

While no real critique of Wyevale, I do note the term 'trialling', referring to four outlets, which was not quite how the BBC slot came across, to me at least. Here's hoping what seems to be a worthy and sensible recycling initiative takes off.

I look forward to mentioning it again when it is properly in place, active, and nationwide.

Addendum:

As it was kindly provided, here is a follow-up message to my query:

Plastic plant pots are the gardening equivalent of disposable plastic carrier bags. Wyevale alone sells over 25 million plants in plastic pots every year, and it is estimated that there could be up to 500 million pots sold annually by gardening suppliers.

As the UK’s largest garden centre chain, Wyevale is determined to lead the industry in highlighting the problem - and in doing something about it. It will therefore offer customers a free recycling facility for old and unwanted plastic plant pots, as an alternative to sending them to landfill.

Following a successful trial at its Woodlands garden centre, near Hinckley, Leicestershire, Wyevale is now planning to extend the scheme to 30 of its largest garden centres which commences at the end of May 2008. Further details will be announced in due course.

Observer - Are Bill and Ben trashing the planet? - A bit more on the matter, plus a few new links

And what about Sweep? Or maybe it's just a matter for Sue?

I noticed this more because of the reference to deforestation, which I have always felt to be a woefully unaddressed priority: Soot almost as bad as CO2 for global warming

What surprises me is that there still seems so much that is , forgive the bad pun, 'up in the air' about the causes.

Solutions, sadly, even further behind. Though a thread poster called Michael C has had a decent stab.

May I call you, Al?

Nice to see that help (Junkk.com is rather outstripping my ability to cope) can be out there: Wikipedia scores $3m donation

Now, how do I get hold of them? I do intend to be sullied by ads, mind.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

QUOTE OF THE DAY - Foot in mouth disease

Couldn't resist. Second today.

It's actually from a journalist, so shouldn't count, but I laughed out loud and must share.

It's from the Ch4 Snowmail news feed, discussing upcoming stories: 'Hillary Clinton seems to have lost contact with the truth, recounting a tale of how she dodged bullets in Bosnia heroically - until enterprising US hacks dug out the video footage and it was as deadly as Henley-on-Thames.'

Nasty place come nightfall, Henley. You could be mown down by a manic cyclist with no lights!

Seriously though, if this is proven true, one has to wonder what the mindset is of those who would aim, with some sense of succeeding, at ultimate power. And what we the peons might end up with should they get in.

But, like Tricky Dicky, the greater concern is not that they come up with this guff, but they think (especially in this day and age) that they won't get caught... out.

ADDENDUM -

Guardian - Clinton under fire - Looks like the facts are accurate. But this has to be worthy of 'Quote of the Day' if only it had anything to do with matters enviro (still creeps in on who seeks to lead):

'How can you say you "MISSPOKE" if you are READING the lines?

If Hillary is MISS POKE, does that make Bill MR POKE?'

Indy - When Hillary Clinton tells such obvious mistruths, she exposes herself as a fantasist

Telegraph - YouTube - Hilarious. This is one of those gunning for running the US, remember.

125 million migrants

That's the number calculated to leave the worst hit regions of South East Asia should global warming raise temperatures by 4C to 5C (the IPCC forecast), according to Greenpeace.

Looks like we might need to plan a few more 'eco-towns' then? (See the Red Flag post below)

CATEGORY - Wall of sLime

Hall of sHame = Wall of sLime - Not the nicest shade of green

nPower

Marketing Week - NEW - 'Irresponsible companies' face the Corporate Hall of Shame - Ahead of my time, me. Note why Toyota is in there, all you Prius owners.

Why am I not suprised? There'll be more. Count on it.

FP- 2/10/07

Bringing back the man with the red flag?

Sometimes you come across something which at first glance seems 'okaaaaayyyy' but with a deeper read is actually so badly thought out that it makes you think 'how on earth did they come up with that?'

This is one such, from the Telegraph over the Easter break.

"Speed limits of just 15 miles-per-hour are to be introduced on major roads in planned new towns across the country as part of an effort to reduce global warming."

Ok, so when the internal combustion engine is only efficient at reasonably high RPM speeds, then just how does this reduce global warming? See, driving at maximum 15mph, probably in 1st or 2nd gear in most vehicles, will dramatically increase fuel consumption (many vehicles at low revs will manage only about 10mpg), it will dramatically increase pollution (vehicles running at low revs emit more none-combusted fuel and waaaayyyy more CO2 (and even worse, carbon monoxide), not to mention the fact that increased journey times (well, in many, but obviously not all cases) would generally increase fuel consumption too.

But it's only proposed for new 'eco-towns', where everybody will be living within "within 400 yards of public transport stop and 800 yards from shops." Sorry, but without some amazingly high housing packing density, that sounds much more like a small village to me. Oh, just realised, most villages no longer have public transport, pubs or shops now anyway, do they?

Despite being proposed for the new 'eco-villages' [sorry, 'towns'] only, it has, of course, brought the usual mass howls of protest and declarations of lunacy from the majority of posters. If, (and it really is a big if), the public transport system is planned, put into place and operated, correctly, it might just work. If not, then it will, without doubt, create more environmental pollution.

But then, not much that our Gov puts into place seems to ever work out too well; so what are the chances of these 'eco-towns' schemes being a success? I'm not overtly optimistic.

Public Doomains

I've about had it with storms in teacups being cranked out almost hourly by a self-serving nanny and 24/7 news culture that needs to talk about something new every two seconds.

Take this: Call for ban on employers searching social networking sites

A ban on 'someone' searching for something (or 'someone' else) via information is online in the public domain? How daft is that?

It's getting so a raft of NGOs, quangos, government departments and most of today's media... certainly BBC Breakfast News... would collapse for lack of content without a call to get knickers in a twist over, and then an attempt to ban something. Followed by spirited debates all round involving 'experts' that serve only to drive ratings. Quite a lucrative industry, and one set to grow even more in the future, I suspect.

I just have to agree with Johnny R... how exactly would this WORK... IN PRACTICE? It is, by almost any measure, impossible to police. While I am sure a raft of well-funded do-gooders have decided anti-ageist hiring practices are now neatly sorted and filed under 'Job Done' via EU box-ticking rules, the reality is a bit different. So yet again the process is all that matters, with the result irrelevant. At least in this case there is some merit in the legislation, and a slim chance of it being policed.

I am not saying that many hiring processes and practices may be anything from flawed to venal, and need to be discussed, but such credence to calls for things that are frankly impossible seem essentially pointless, at least in the po-faced forms the original PR gets issued.

'Unacceptable practice'? Bless. This needs referring to the Ministry of Dim Views Being Taken, which is now hiring all the talents from Board to Local Officer level.

QUOTE OF THE DAY - Mouths of Babes

Just watching the tail end of a few hours of BBC Breakfast News, and one thread throughout has been a segment on escalating kids' party expenses.

I had to laugh that they were at one West London yummie-mummy, luvvie event (the Beeb's only source of what is happening in the UK, it seems) that was 'tackling this issue'... with a 'kids party coordinator'. Save £5 a head on the party bag, but blow the saving on someone who will charge to advise you on how to be a parent? Hmmn.

Anyway, all morning the wee moppets have been shown making Arts & Crafts quietly and diligently, which impressed me no end.

Then things kind of went the shape of a pear.

Having served up this picture of back-to-basics idyll, the reporter made the boo-boo of setting us up for some propaganda.

'So, Fifi Moonshine, which do you now prefer.... making all this lovely stuff or being driven around in a big, nasty stretch limo?'.

Cue cute , shy little smile... 'The limo!"

'Not the answer I was looking for,' our rueful reporter suggests.

Quite. But an interesting insight into what we are fed. Guys, I am all for helping shape a return to a more 'eco-in all its forms' way of life, but not when served up by a rich set of hypsters like our national broadcaster and their speed-dial rent a mob of compliant 'average' folk from Fulham. Thank heavens for that lovely kid. At least she was honest.

Now the big thing is to figure out a way to persuade kids like her that there is something as fun as a limo ride. And then share that.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Some can need telling where to stick it.

Funny old world. Week before last I shared in my local paper a new place I happened across to get rid of cartons. The following week someone wrote in to suggest that I had it wrong as it wasn't in the right place.

For all the good it will do (some do get a critical bit betwixt their teeth no matter what - I got the feeling they felt I was the one in charge), I have tried to clarify:

While I share Mrs. X's frustration with the lack of a coherent national waste policy, extending from logistics to communications, especially as it dribbles piecemeal down to a ready, willing and keen to engage public from central and/or via local government, perhaps it is often best to celebrate that something gets done, if poorly, rather than nothing at all.

While I feel 'honoured' might be going a tad far, and as one who still struggles what to do usefully with Tetrapaks, in sharing the new facility's existence I was simply happy to find that, at last, there was an option now available for their recycling at least; one which I was not aware of.


But of course, having moved from what to do with them, we end up with where. I guess this can create as much spirited discussion in the positive as say, the location of an energy-from-waste facility can in the negative. If 90%
[interesting to ponder how the writer arrived at this stat] of those arriving at Red Meadow to recycle do so by car, and solely for this purpose, then that is more than unfortunate. However if they park there to go swimming or, as do I, to walk through en route to town, then I feel the existence of a new means to get rid of more waste in a selective manner was still worth sharing.

Agreed, Station Approach is another good location (though I'd be more likely on a dedicated car-borne trip to go there, showing that what's good for one may not always be so for another
[what's the opposite of a NIMBY?]), and if it does not enjoy a similar option that is a pity.

Is it run by the same folk? In fact this has got me to wondering about the sheer number of diverse entities, with targets to meet and quotas to fill (plus bonuses for doing so), who are actually doing what, where... and to how good an actual enviROI (a measure of return on investment to the environment in genuine reduced greenhouse gas emission terms that I coined and apply) all over our fair county and land.
One often just has to trust that those tasked to do so, be it by the EU, ministerial desire or whatever, are actually doing so in the right way, for the right reasons.

Frankly a heavy steel skip to haul 90% fresh air in 1 litre card skins on a large diesel truck doesn't seem the best wherever it may be located, especially without knowing the distance to reprocessing.
But I guess one tries to seek the positives. So until there is some trustworthy (!) single (!!) nationwide initiative (!!!) in place, communicated sensibly and clearly (! x a lot), so consumers can do their bit in the best way (eg: drop offs by kerbside or only en route in a car; and rendered in a minimum volume form for maximum recylcate content in skip/container prior to shipping), I guess I'll just concern myself with telling any who care to listen about new ways to stick it, simply hoping it's a 'better way' to spare their rubbish going into a hole or up in smoke if it doesn't have to. Whilst continually lobbying those in power to improve the situation at every turn.

And I encourage all of us to do the same.
Hence I, and I am sure such as Mrs. X, would value an official view of what’s out there, plus why and how ‘we’ can best do our bit in light of the major efforts to encourage us to ‘recycle’. It’s clear that is not quite enough.

Hey, it's Easter Monday. I'm on a break.

Weeeee...d!

No, not a piece on the WEEE Directive.

Actually, it's about pots... plant pots.

I just watched a BBC News piece about the things, and it stuck a chord. Especially as I have hundreds in the garden cluttering things up.

Apparently there are 500 million made, and chucked away to landfill, a year.

So moves are afoot to recycle them.

Well, by a few isolated, and I bet uncoordinated by officialdom, places.

The piece mentioned garden centres Wyevale, and also recyclers Linpac. I have emailed the former for more details, and the latter don't have an email on their website, oddly.

And having been told to check your local area before heading off (wisely), I now head to the dire BBC website to see if they actually make it easy to DO what they SAY. It is a major beef of mine that they broadcast such stuff but often make it difficult to find out any more to act on their brief green pieces' advocacy.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Eggsessive Packaging


Somewhere out there is a happy medium. And I don't mean a carny tarot reader who has hit the cooking sherry.

In the sweet (as in, 'Ah , bless') corner, see that Easter Egg packaging? That is just one of the two bought by my sons for each other this day. It's just one, because both would not fit on my mini infinity cove.

The eggs would have, of course. That is, if they had lasted the milliseconds it took the boys to wolf 'em down. But the packaging... all of it... lingers on. At least until I can get to the recycling skips next week. Cardboard in the one and, now, I wonder if the plastic goes in the 'acceptable' bin?

Thing is, I don't want to be a grinch. So I do see some reason, if not great merit, in certain packaging, if purely in terms of presentation and design. Which is why I ended up in a disagreement with Norman Baker MP, actually a usually fine and worthy example of the Westminster crew, over his wielding of the word 'necessary', as in 'un' or 'not'.

But there's the thing. At what point do we drift from 'necessary' to 'a bit over the top but it's a special occasion' to 'do what... that's just plain daft!'.

The answer has to be in there. As I look at what the boys paid for I'd say I can at least peg one end of the scale. As to the other, well, there is some need for protection when you're talking 2mm of brittle chocolate surrounding 1/2 a litre of fresh air, and I'm not sure a wafer of foil will cut it in the rucksack cycling home from school. And there is the whole 'ta-da!' wrapping thing for Granny. A paper bag of chocolate-covered raisins doesn't have quite the same 'You're special' pizazz.

Already I can see and hear the media girding their loins for the next 'we're outraged' ban-wagon, which will doubtless involve being sent a free eco-egg by courier for just £4.95 to cover p&p (and find ourselves on the subscription DM list), and that means some pol will perk up and decide this needs their attention rather than something serious others might be addressing and hence won't get 'em noticed - plus press releases all round from their offices - as the whole energy/emissions thing will be solved by focusing on the next 0.0001% actual enviROI-significant thing.

Personally I'd prefer market forces to work it out. I sat the boys down and laid out the pocket money they'd blown on these efforts. Then I put the amount of chocolate they'd got (in CDM bar form) in the egg for the money, followed by the amount they'd have got in CDM-bar form in a CDM bar.

Plus I not so subtly highlighted the pile of cr*p the former had come in by way of debris.

Thing is, despite all the enviro-classes in the school curriculum and every BBC Breakfast News propaganda-fest they've been exposed to since birth, plus what Dad sort of does for a living, they still rather liked the fun of the egg. So maybe another crushing legislative imposition is the way to go. Not sure that this will get 'em onside, though.

But by way of compromise we are going to try and find a second use for the packaging now.

I'll let you know if we do, but can't say I'm that optimistic in this case.

Happy hols by the way.

A matter of principle

If only Gordon Brown could drive

It's a shame that the subsequent thread posts show the polarisation such blog posts inspire, and which often render these things such a trial.

I have to say I have much sympathy with the basic thrust of this piece, though not specifically or restricted to driving, and its costs per se.

It just the worrying trend of quite significant decisions or, more often, impositions, being made on many by a few almost totally isolated from the actual realities and/or consequences of them.

Extending the automotive motif, beyond chauffeured ministers and taxi-fare redeemed Mayors, there is also the simple fact of the London-centricity of it all.

Simply put, you really don't need to use your car as much there, and certainly not to get to work. Ignoring the situation elsewhere, by politician, activist and even media, is positively divisive. The latest 'green' measures have done nothing to support more economical motoring options, or encourage any decent enviROI moves, and merely added a swingeing additional tax burden to those struggling to cope already with all the other costs imposed to pay for index-linked salaries and pensions.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Semantic Antics

Again the plastic bag issue rears its head on the BBC, but in so doing rather highlights another 'Two 'E's' issue, this time Ecology vs. Environment.

I was moved to request that this dilemma at least be better addressed:

I see the BBC again plugging the notion that celebs buying designer reuseables at 'only ' £5 a pop is the best 'awareness' way to be greener.

Having done the free commercial for the luvvie brigade's profits, on a more pragmatic level we have the reporter standing in Oxford Street. But then we get into semantics. He is bang on when he says that retailers are responding to 'solve' the 'ecological' problem with... paper bags. No choking a turtle there.

However, I'd be keen for the national news broadcaster to inform me as to the 'environmental' impact of this switch...

I believe the greenhouse gas consequences of this option might be of relevance in the mix.

You're 'aving a larf'

My view on this From Emo to Ego from Grist about another celeb awareness... er.. effort

'What will be the fallout?', they ask.

Let's see...

'...the band will board a private jet...' as the first line in the PR seems to set it up.

Kinda compounded, if explained by '...MTV News will be with the band every step of the way..'

But it's OK, because 'This certainly outdoes last February's FOB stunt, Infinity Flight 206...'

Boggling the mind, mind, is that this is billed as '..teaming up with Greenpeace for the concert, in the hopes of raising awareness about global warming.'

Know what? I think folk may be pretty 'aware' about Probably Man Worsened Climate Change (Global warming is, so like, last year... if not plain inaccurate) by now, but celebs and eco-elites and rating-priority media swanning about in jets to do it all may well be the bigger message that gets sent around the world, and hence again give cause to ponder the value of many self-appointed messengers. And those who give them page space. Like us. Funny old word, eh?

What next? Hey, I have an idea! Leonardo, Tamsin, Madge et Al can hook up with Top Gear and fly (commecial of course) their Priuses to the Antarctic for a Celebrity Destruction Derby!

This is getting so bizarre I figure there is method to this madness, but it's so subtle I am missing it.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Branson bites back!

I missed this from Wednesday's Guardian CIF - a response from Richard Branson to the sniping comments made by Willie Walsh, CEO of British Airways.

Though he makes his points well, and they are actually DOING something (questionable as it may be), and I do agree with him that looking for viable (important key word) alternative fuels has to be done, there are some quite scathing posts in response.

New build or refurb?

Now it seems to me to be reasonable common sense that the refurb and renovation (i.e. Re:Use) of any building ought to be less costly to the planet than building new from scratch, but, until this from Inside Housing, reporting on research undertaken by the Empty Homes Agency,I'd never seen any actual figures.

The CO2 "produced to build a new home is 4.5 times that needed to refurbish a long-term empty home".

"the carbon impact of the government's new homes target could be cut by 10 million tonnes if part of it was met by reusing and upgrading England's 288,000 long-term empty homes."

Sounds like a pretty reasonable win-win situation to me, but, despite this evidence, I really don't see our Gov reviewing its 'build - build - build' (even on flood plains) policy, do you?

Food shortages WILL happen

Now we've commented on this very blog about the shrinkage of glaciers around the planet before, and pointed out some of the doom and gloom food shortage, mass migration and war scenarios that many, with perhaps more Malthusian mentalities, are predicting.

But this from the New Scientist makes for quite grim reading, and it does not hedge its bets; even the headline uses that key word WILL. Not 'could' or 'might' or 'potentially' or 'theoretically possible' but "Melting glaciers will trigger food shortages".

Quite depressing. But will anybody take note?

A foot! Let's see if we can hit it!

Oops! Govt fails to meet its sustainability targets

Can't help but feel the word 'again' might be missing here.

Targets. Gotta love 'em. Keep lots of folk in business setting them, assessing them and then explaining why they don't matter or rejigging the rules for another stab. Plus guys like us passing comment.

One thing... 'wasn’t you: it was government.'

Like many, I'd like to divorce me from t'other. But sadly, once such as the EU fines kick in for missing them I rather suspect it will be us who fork out.

Sad face again:(

Not so grand

If ever there was a reason to ponder reduction and/or insulation, this is it: Energy bills break £1,000 mark

For some, that means they are working almost a month in the year to cover this fundamental aspect of life.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Passionates, Dutifuls, Followers, Uninvolved.

Those are the four groupings of consumer types on a green adoption curve, according to research undertaken by Starcom MediaVest Group and reported in Marketing Week.

"Passionates, comprise 10% of the population and are highly motivated - the only group of people who regularly campaign, blog and boycott." - they also tend be be somewhat uncompromising.

"Dutifuls make up 24% of adults; they are enthusiastic without being political; they aspire to being greener and more ethical, often seeing it as a signifier of social status."

"Followers are the majority of the population at 41%. They tend to be more green than ethical and they feel that they ought to get more involved but are often not sure how to."

"The Uninvolved, 25% of the population, are more apathetic than actively anti-green, but have nevertheless formed a powerful set of barriers to adoption."

With such a wide and diverse set of consumer groups, no wonder it is so difficult to know just how to position any brand communication!

Well worth a browse.

CATEGORY - Media Wires

There are a variety of non-enviro but peripheral and relevant products and services I use in the cause of Junkk.com.

So as I learn, discover, fail or find out stuff maybe worth sharing, so I will pop it up.

Hence here is a (soon to be, as I am reminded) growing list of places to go to post a PR story that may get picked up.

These are some places journalists may go to find new content, and most are free.

Hey, you never know!

Daryl Wilcox Publishing - paid - useful free newsletters

Google news

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Careful what you go 'a wanting..

A very interesting piece on packaging: Shoppers want less packaging

While much is in there (or the links), especially the inherent contradictions and cultural differences, I felt it worth asking for more to be spelled out.

As it pertains to an ongoing investigation I am conducting, and acknowledging the explanations in the piece above, what might make the packaging you feature in the picture overprotective?

In the face of the massive, negative-PR anti-packaging onslaughts, I am having trouble reconciling why the producers (in this case) or brands and/or retailers would still be going to the trouble and expense without good reason(s).

I am keen to find out what they might be.