Monday, June 30, 2008

Battery recycling coming to the UK

Well, the collection of used batteries is - the actual recycling will be undertaken in Le Havre, France.

Odd that we don't seem to have the means or intentions to recycle them on our side of the channel. I wonder if they are going to ship back over the outputs which "can then be used in smelting works, cement factories and also as road building materials"?

Full story from Letsrecycle.com.

Worried about Peak Oil?

And wondering what plans our Gov has to account for the forthcoming oil supply crunch?

Well, rather surprisingly, our Gov seems to think that oil supplies will not be a problem and that our economy will continue to sustain and grow as the UK's demand for oil continues to grow too.

Most experts within the oil business itself believe that peak oil will create a major economic headache for the western world and most western governments are actually making contingency plans - well, except ours.

Not compulsory, of course, but if you would like to lobby our Gov to actually DO something please feel free to sign up to the following Downing Street petition.

JUNKK - Festivals

ARTICLES

Guardian - Heading for the green fields

For what it's worth, 'The Big Green Gathering' (located not too far from Glastonbury in Somerset) seemed to have its heart in the right place and has a nice vibe. My wife was asked to perform with her band so we decided to make it a family camping break. I was just keen to scope what might be out there in the world of enviro stuff. A few fun stalls but I'd have to say a few DIY/Home shows at the NEC I've been to probably covered more, more thoroughly.

As the piece indicates, I did also have slight trouble reconciling a bunch of folk traveling from all over the place basically to consume (no matter how 'greenly'), especially as most of us were getting there in cars (reason, if not excuse: ours was packed to the gunnels with camping and muso kit). And looking at the number of belching old campers and/or brand new pristine 4x4s in the car park I'd say the rest of the new age/new green brigade had decided to live with the irony.

Frankly I am rather feeling most festivals/concerts should just get on with doing what they were mainly designed to do, and as best they can meet some common sense, practical and reasonable CSR obligations (minimal impact, leave it as you found it (or better), the various 'R's). Mitigation is of course great, and to an extent worth sharing, but I'd also try and avoid too much sanctimonious planet-pushing if the enviROI of having it is higher than not.

Especially if the excuse for the shortfall is 'awareness'. A few too many folk are make a wee bit too much money pumping out extra CO2 in the name of reducing it, and that does not add up to me.

INFO

agreenerfestival.com
Biggreengathering
sunrisecelebration.com

New NASA Climate Change Website

NASA has launched a new climate change website - see NASA Website.

The site provides a plethora of data, including some quite scary time series flash animations (click on the Climate Time Machine tag), plus loads of very considered but reasonably concise documentation.

Well worth a visit.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Gordon the green engine .......

OK, Gordon the 'green' PM. As he today announced a 'green revolution' of measures including the development of thousands more wind turbines and a push for much more energy from other types of renewables as part of a £100bn plan to boost renewable energy across the UK. Full story from the Beeb.

£100 Billion - now that's a serious wad of cash - how is the Gov going to fund it? Oh, "
Household bills are expected to increase as a result of the measures". Ahhh, I see, we are all going to pay for it.

And who will manage the 'plan'? Well, I've just read it again and it is not really a plan, it's more of a 'vision' or even a 'strategy'.

So it all looks yet again like another vapour-ware initiative - all sound bites and no actual 'doing'. Not so much a 'green engine', more of a wisp of 'green hot air'.

Been there, done that, got the T-shirt; anyone else getting that old 'Deja Vu' feeling?

The image of rubbish

As an ad man I think I am pretty much aware of most 'techniques' used, and also what might and might not work.

It often depends on context, and the interplay of words and image, but I am not a big fan of negatives.

Look at this ad.

It's actually about a very good, positive thing: a consultation (here - if your are in HR and interested) on the provision of waste collection services in our fair county .

But really, given what you see here, would you want to be part?

Why of why is the comms aspect of our green agendas so expensive (that a full-page, full colour ad), yet so woeful?

All the unfounded opinion that's unfit to broadcast

To the BBC:

I today on BBC Breakfast News watched a possibly sincere but lightweight attempt at dealing with a serious issue: fuel costs and mitigating actions.

In the course of my morning viewing I saw two of the slots devoted to this.

In one a 'reader's tip' was read out to suggest I ran my car with a half-empty tank on the possibly rational explanation that one is lugging less weight.

Later on, another read out flatly contradicted this, saying the void left encouraged evaporation.

To be fair, the hapless reporter and studio reporters did rather lose it and suggest that 'maybe they need to find out'.

Much as I know the BBC is addicted to viewers' input, may I suggest that on matters of subjective fact, as a supposed news programme you blooming well find out what is the correct information FIRST before broadcasting it?

Or at least have informed, educated moderators to hand to put things in context?

Any commuter who left without seeing any clarification at the end of the programme (if there was I missed it) will now be either ill-informed or totally confused.

Which is about right for the state of green-related reporting and editorial on the BBC these days.

It's serious. Treat it so. And hire guys who know what they are on about.

CATEGORY - CYCLING

Issues

BBC - Parents 'stop children cycling' - Heart says yes; had says 'nice try, gov/media combo'. Took the boys out for a jaunt and almost got mown down. They will not cycle without me (not that I would have afforded much beyond a source of blood) until much older.

BBC - The bicycle backlash unfolds - The law of unintended consequences? Or just rubbish planning?

Guardian - The wheel of generosity - As interesting for where it is printed as what it is saying. And, if true, the numbers quoted in the post and subsequent comments do give cause to cock an enviROI eyebrow.

Times - Try cycling the wheelbarrow to work - an option, if you have the money and surroundings

Indy - NEW - Back in the saddle: Why the Government wants more children cycling to school

S
ites

UK

bikeability.org.uk

bikeit -
cyclingengland.co.uk

Media

BBC Green - Biking for beginners
Sunday Times - Bike Clinic & Backpedaller
Sunday Times - Webwise: everything you wanted to know about cycling - Well, a fair bit maybe, but not all.
Sunday Telegraph - Maybe Cameron should take a taxi? - I include this less as something to add to any info on the joys and options of cycling, but more to show how, like Climate Change, it has become polarised (if not politicised) beyond any rational discourse.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Know your [insert relevant noun here]

Prey? Enemy? Target? In most forms, not my favourite group.

Can the lobbyists be stopped?

And to know 'em, is to, well, know 'em.

Some interesting replies already. Mine:

A register. That'll do it.

Just like not requiring a DoB on a CV will prevent ageism-related employment practices.

Gotta love the notion that if it's on paper it can't be circumvented in a millisecond in other ways.

Guardian - Confusing politics with science - I was looking for a place to stick this. As the word is used, I guess here'll do. As well as noting the public interest possibly not being served by most 'sides' arguing over our futures. At least a few in the thread see that being 'right' doesn't mean diddly if the public doesn't get on board.

Interesting, but...

I stumbled across this en route to another piece.

Long hours and obsession with minutiae. No 10's private man


It could so easily have been passed over as yet another in the endless series of chatterati-calls drones we get subjected to these days, but my eye alighted on the first 'example' cited - 'whether the government should impose a deposit on bottles of soft drinks and beer, to encourage people to return them.'

Sadly, I for now remain none the wiser. It is to be hoped that, at some stage, an answer, and a good decision, may ensue. But maybe a newer process will take precedence over actually delivering any result. Another POOR - Show (Process Over Obvious Result, mainly for show). It seems to be a trend.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

This is going to hurt!

And that applies to all of us. It will be of little surprise to everyone that energy bills are going to rise again later this year; but it may come as a surprise to anyone already struggling with household bills that the level of increase may be in the region of 30% to 40%! Full story is from the Telegraph.

Strewth! A rise of that ilk is going to push a hell of a lot more people into 'fuel poverty' (the Gov's rather quirky term for those that cannot afford to pay to keep themselves warm).

And while oil prices do not seem to be showing any indication of coming down, despite some key analysts claiming the current price is 'spiked' due to speculators, the value of your house looks set to plummet!

Everything is beginning to look like complete doom and gloom! Yet I keep hearing people from our Gov scoffing every time anyone mentions the 'Recession' word!

EVENT - Bristol Design Festival/Eco-Design Show





UPDATED INFO

WHEN
: From the now 'til at least July 6, if not a bit longer, like the 18th (tbc - now confirmed!)
WHAT: Bristol Design Festival - Eco Design Show
WHAT... MORE?: The Bristol Design Festival is an annual celebration of creativity, design and innovation in Bristol and the South West. Presented by a group of volunteers who believe passionately about design and the city of Bristol. They believe it is about time Bristol and the South West got the recognition it deserves as a region of design excellence and a hub of creativity. The Eco-design show is pretty much a 'does what it says on the tin' 'off-broadway' event around this. And offers a nice RE-use complement to the predominantly RE-cycle theme of the venue.
HOW MUCH: Free
URL: http://www.bristoldesignfestival.com/
COMMENTS:

As part of this, Junkk.com is proud to have been invited to have a presence at the 'Eco-design' show.

This runs from now to Friday 18 July, 9-18.00. Best to call first. 0117 925 0505

It is located at The CREATE Centre, Smeaton Road, Bristol BS1, 6XN

As you'll see, ours more of a small demo stand, but there are bits and bobs, and some other nifty stuff. Frankly, not worth a city to city jaunt for the show alone, but as the pictures will show, the centre itself is in a heck of a nice setting, easy to access and has (I know, tsk) good parking. Well worth a call if you are a Bristol resident to see you tax dollars and LA-greenophilia at work.

Prof's Poser - Strike a light?

BBC News is doing a report on the National Trust replacing all its light bulbs... 'which has an immediate environmental benefit'. Does it?

I have written, simply to ask;

I have just watched your piece on the National Trust replacing 40,000 lights in their properties with low energy variants. Obviously much better for energy consumption and financial savings (after the initial costs, unless sponsors Philips - nice ad - are covering that. Shame the public does not get this advantage).

I'd just like to ask whether this also represents an immediate environmental saving whilst the report indicates the old bulbs 'will be recycled'. That would suggest perfectly good, if inefficient bulbs are to be discarded.

It would be interesting to know what the break-even points - environmentally, if not financially - there are used to help judge the most effective courses.

Is the BBC stating categorically, on advice, that it is better environmentally (allowing for 'costs' of manufacture, etc), to swap to low energy bulbs right away, rather than let them expire naturally and replace at this point?

If so, this is well worth promoting further.

My point (if not by me) has been made, with the blonde and bouffant saying it is a good one. Why do I suspect that this will be as far as an important issue of enviROI is passed over... again?

I'd simply like to know what to do that is best. Not to make a cute piece of PR puff.

Telegraph - About time National Trust moved to energy -saving lightbulbs

Monday, June 23, 2008

Common sense?

Or politically correct madness? I'll leave that up to you, the reader, to decide.

This from the Telegraph highlights a study undertaken by a group of scientists on what may happen if the EU follows through with proposals to ban a number of commonly used herbicides, insecticides and fungicides.

I actually worked on a project directly related to biocides and the amount of time and effort taken up in chemical risk and hazard assessment was simply extraordinary. Plus, as far as I was aware, ALL chemicals used in biocides known to pose ANY sort of toxicity threat were withdrawn from use during the 1970's & 1980's.

"A ban on chemical products used to control disease, pests and weeds would create food shortages, lead to soaring prices and increase Britain's dependence on imports."

"The yields of staples foods such wheat, potatoes and green vegetables would all be severely hit if the majority of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides, all of which have been certified as safe and which are commonly used by farmers - are banned."

OK, so reducing the number and amount of chemicals used in agriculture does seem, at first glance, to be a pretty sensible idea. But, and this is the big question, at a time when basic food prices are going through the roof, and we probably need to actually increase yields, a blanket ban that might actually reduce crop yields by between 25% to 50% seems to me to be rather questionable.

Having some friends who have just come back from holiday in Spain and who have pointed out that over there, individual bar owners can decide whether their premises are smoking or no smoking, what's the betting that the UK would be yet again the only member of the EU to take any notice of a ban on the use of biocides anyway?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Words & Deeds

It's a survey, so we grab that pinch of salt now. But, considering it's in the Observer, one does tend to take note:

Poll: most Britons doubt cause of climate change

Especially as it does rather serve what I bang on about. Which as an aside shows how polls, and consequent editorialising, can easily be selective.

I don't propose to argue one way or t'other about CC, or even the ProbablyManWorsenedNegative variant I subscribe to, but this does beg the question as to the credibility and effectiveness of all those who have taken to 'educate'/influence the public in this matter. And ask why 'they' (well, to an extent, 'we') are proving so poor in getting their messages across. Which leads me to their qualifications to be allowed to carry on, not in freedom of speech terms, but when vast amounts of public money are consumed to fund these efforts.

On my other blog I have expressed some concern at the ongoing attempts by a few in the political and chatterati firmament to blame everybody but themselves in polls that did not go the 'right' way, often taking it to the extreme of suggesting 'other' views should be suppressed and/or that the general public is not qualified to judge. Hence I crank an eyebrow at this: 'Some environmentalists blame the public's doubts on last year's Channel 4 documentary The Great Global Warming Swindle, and on recent books, including one by Lord Lawson, the former Chancellor, that question the consensus on climate change.' That's 'a' programme and 'a' book, both widely dissected by those of a more climate pessimistic nature with frankly vast resources. And the notion is the people are being seduced by such as these? There is a worrying similarity with the recent and ongoing Irish EU situation, where by having a contrary opinion there seem a really rather ugly group think being engaged upon against those who do not conform with the 'consensus'. Faced with such as this my nature is almost to kick back just for the naked obnoxiousness of the stance being taken and the uncritical homage demanded.

I have to say I have sympathy with this form Bjorn Lomborg, who '..said politicians and campaigners were to blame for over-simplifying the problem by only publicising evidence to support the case.' Of course this is a critique that can apply to (and I hate such generalist terms) other 'sides'.

Hence I find this from the Department for the Environment to be making a key point: 'The IPCC... concluded the scientific evidence for climate change is clear and it is down to human activities.' Unless there's a bit left out, is it that clear, definitive... and certain? It's all due to human activity? I remain unsure, don't recall it be proven, and hence such claims do rather cause me to crank an eyebrow at anything else such entities may come up with.

Meanwhile such as this does not help either: '...six out of 10 agreed that 'many scientific experts still question if humans are contributing to climate change'.

It all seems so all or nothing, 'if you are not for us, you are against us'. And history has shown how well those stances have served.

So here is a worrying, but frankly unsurprising finding: 'More than half of those polled did not have confidence in international or British political leaders to tackle climate change'.

Whatever the message is or should be, I remain firm in my belief the current crop of messengers need to be reviewed.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Big Oil returning to Iraq?

I have to confess I wondered how long it might be before the big oil boys started to try to get back into Iraq. This from the Independent reports that they are already negotiating their return with the Iraqi government.

So overthrowing Saddam was, hmmmmmm, solely about weapons of mass destruction? Methinks likely not.

Addendum:
Looks like I'm not the only one pondering that last statement - see this very enlightening article from ukwatch.net, which suggests that peak oil concerns were the primary reason for the war in Iraq.

The new Mercedes Smart 'ForTwo' ...

... model looks set to be arriving in the UK in 2009.

Although it only has a lowly 45bhp common rail diesel engine, it will be another vehicle joining the C.C.D.C. (Congestion Charge Dodging Club) as it only emits 88g/km of CO2 per kilometre. But probably the best thing about it is that it manages a staggering 85mpg fuel economy!

Full story and more detail from Autocar.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

More on Arctic Ice

Or perhaps that should read 'less of'?

Although this last winter the Arctic ice extent was greater than that of 2007, during which a record year for summer ice minimum coverage was established, it would appear that this year may also break that record.

This from BBC News reports on how the melting of the Arctic ice appears to be accelerating faster than ever.

Interestingly, some ice research groups are now predicting an ice free Arctic summer as early as 2013! How long before big oil's exploration rigs start to move in?

Car-mort












I feel like Earl Hickey in 'My Name is Earl'. We're talking karma.

First the bad... then the good.

Today I set off mid afternoon for an eco-networking event in London. Actually two, and that seemed, well, too good not to combo.

As it was finishing quite late I figured driving, at least most of the way, was the only option to be able to get back home. Karma disagreed.

I could have trained in from Gloucester. I could have opted for the more motorway-friendly (if thirstier) Volvo. But no, I nicked the missus' Golf to eke out the juice.

Unfortunately this was not a good plan. At least, it was great until Reading. Then things went the shape of the pear in the form of a water pump exploding.

But Karma then smiled. I managed to get off the motorway. Thanks to mobile technology and sensible insurance I simply popped the bonnet and called up the RAC and waited. Ralph appeared within 15 minutes.

And he went the extra mile... literally. All the way back to Ross, and beyond his radius. But as he agreed, it would have been bad for the planet to call a truck to take us back when it made much more sense for him to tow me then and there.

Hence I write this now and not midnight. Thank you Ralph. However, Karma, you are a feisty minx. Maybe there was a reason I was meant to miss that event. But there'll be another. I even managed to get the host on the horn and tell him my plight, and he was cool.

It could have been better, but also a lot worse.

Addendum - Now, why did I have to rush to print. No more smile like the pic above;(

The garage just called. I dod the right thing in driving on a bit to get out the fast lane and stick the car off motorway asap, but in so doing killed the engine. Totally. So now I either scrap a perfectly good shell or pop in a replacement. Actually one option I'm thinking is popping in a more frugal engine.

Anyway, driving tip:

When the water temp warning goes on, as soon as it is safe to do so...STOP! And don't be tempted to move any more.

Addendum 2 - Sheesh, Karma is toying with me. Dan, of Greenbang.com, whose event I was headed for, has kindly offered to do a story on Junkk.com and RE:tie in his very good, very widely read publication.

Swings... roundabouts.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Red top in the morning, global sheperd's warning

A nice link I have been sent: ‘Ye Olde Hot Aire’*: reporting on human contributions to climate change in the UK tabloid press

Brilliant, but shame it did not have a management summary!

Addendum -

No sooner posted than sorted. A kind addition from a fellow forum member. A lot better, but still, a mouthful:

IOP PUBLISHING ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH LETTERS
Environ. Res. Lett. 3 (2008) 024002 (8pp)
Abstract

This letter explores daily print media coverage of climate change in four United Kingdom (UK) tabloid newspapers: The Sun (and News of the World), Daily Mail (and Mail on Sunday), the Daily Express (and Sunday Express), and the Mirror (and Sunday Mirror).

Through examinations of content in articles over the last seven years (2000–2006), triangulated with semi-structured interviews of journalists and editors, the study finds that UK tabloid coverage significantly diverged from the scientific consensus that humans
contribute to climate change. Moreover, there was no consistent increase in the percentage of accurate coverage throughout the period of analysis and across all tabloid newspapers, and these findings are not consistent with recent trends documented in United States and UK ‘prestige press’ or broadsheet newspaper reporting. Findings from interviews indicate that inaccurate reporting may be linked to the lack of specialist journalists in the tabloid press. This study therefore contributes to wider discussions of socio-economic inequality, media and the environment. Looking to newspapers that are consumed by typically working class readership, this article contributes to ongoing investigations related to what media representations mean for ongoing science–policy interactions as well as potentialities for public engagement.

Sorry if I missed it if it was in there. Sadly not always the time to go through all such things in detail, which is kind of the whole problem suggested. Though I suspect many tabloid editors do go through... and then choose to take certain directions anyway.

There is of course the base stance being taken as read as well. I'd also note in passing that though the audience for this is specialist, there may be an argument to try and package key points in a way to get the desired message across a tad more easily.

My old mantra of the fault being not so much with those you don't convince, but with you for failing to convince them.

At a loss for... anything really

For the second time today, I have noted a strange absence of activity where I would have expected... hoped for more.

One was a self-serving piece of tosh from Tony Blair, upon which I decided to make a brief comment if only to highlight that all it warranted was a brief comment (OK, none would have been more eloquent, but I don't believe I was going to be the only one, and so in true Prisoner's Dilemma fashion broke ranks first - at least the consequences of that action will not be as serious as other compromises (that have been) made).

Now there is this: Ten green bloggers

But so far (10.48am, mind-morning)... nothing. Maybe there is nothing to say. I must say I am a bit stumped and so have opted, for now, to write nothing (well, excepting this). But this a big issue, with some big names... in the biggest online UK green media-friendly blog.

It says 'The next stage of the campaign is spreading the word. The blogosphere is already buzzing with the story'. O....k.

Thing is, I guess by sharing I have done a bit, but I am not sure what it is, and without going back or re-reading am not too sure what that might be anyway. Oh... this might help: canvassyourmp.com

Catchy.

Is that the best ways forward? Hmmmn. I noted it more because of how it hadn't been noted. Anyway, it seems worthy enough (though I will need to assess what is being asked. I might sign up for the newsletter, and hope this will not be counted as offering support... yet... for anything that I might not be so keen on, by simply showing an interest). Anyway... enjoy.

I'll pop a note in to come back subsequently to check and see. Maybe it's a slow burner.

CATEGORY - Metering

Usage based charges. What could be fairer? Or better to help reduce consumption?

I have dabbled in the past (check the labels below), but feel this needs be given its own section... and sub-sections.

ELECTRIC

Guardian - Pay as you glow? - A vexed issue, evidently. And yet again, something superficially simple seems more convoluted between consumer, corporations and those who would govern.

Guardian - Shock tactics

GAS

WATER

Sharing the love

I stumbled across this from our ex-PM.

Blair: what my charity work taught me

Ignoring, for now, the content, it seemed a pity that, at time of writing, no one had written a thing, I thought I'd add a few words of encouragement and appreciation as only one truly inspired by his words and deeds, past and present, can be: Good luck with all of that.

I am sure it will be money well spent. Well, in know it's charity and all, but there will be expenses, etc, to cover first. And 7 mortgages plus daily global criss-crossing don't cover themselves, you know.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

'Tax to go ahead' shock

I was looking through this: Microchip bin tax scheme to go ahead despite failures (front page in the Mail)

It's all worth a read, but in light of what is clear by the facts have to wonder if it's all the best use of scarce funds.

Buddy, can you spare a lime?

Crunch-hit consumers restricted by price of green products, report says

Well, there's a thing.

After my initial 'Well, d'uh!', there are a few interesting aspects to note.

'.... widespread dissatisfaction over the variety of green products offered by retailers,' is one I was not aware of.

'...shoppers on average paid 45% more for environmentally friendly and fair trade goods.' is one that amazed me.

'Shoppers said they are only willing to pay a premium of about 20% for greener products.' made me think there are a lot of folk with a lot of money.

"Consumers want to make sustainable choices, but are hampered by unclear messages. Confusion, coupled with high prices, leads to a lack of trust...'' comes as no surprise.

While 'More than 6 in 10 consumers questioned said reducing the amount of packaging on products was the most important action retailers and consumer goods companies could take to help the environment' makes me wonder why Junkk.com and RE:tie are proving real challenges to get across with the business community.

I really am starting to think the marketers and business brains in this country would would miss an opportunity even if it folded itself in neat notes in their wallets.

AWARDS & EVENTS CATEGORY TEMPLATE

Helping us help you promote your award/competition/event:

WHEN
: Deadline/closing date for awards, when it's taking place for events
WHAT: Title
WHAT... MORE?: A little bit of blurb is always worth it
HOW MUCH: We like free. But can live with a fee if it's worth it
URL: http://www.[yourURLhere]
COMMENTS: This bit we keep for us... we know stuff:)

Now just fill in and fire off to info@junkk.com, and if it looks like a plan we'll pop it up.

Musing on a motorway

Yesterday I was travelling to and from a VC-pitch contest in Bristol (more on this later).

First up I was not doing it in the Volvo. And this is a car designed to lollop along motorways.

No, I was in the missus' Golf, while she took mine.

The reason was simple: cost (and this, plus time, was why I wasn't in a train). I don't happen to like it as there is no way I can afford to get a car that does what The Volvo does, only cheaper, but my actions were shaped by market forces.

The other was not on the motorway. Just after Gloucester I got on the road that takes one back to Ross. And on my tail, the whole way, mostly through countryside, I was bang on 50, 40 and 30mph.

After 15 miles I had a tailback of 20 cars. Ironically, if the police car had been at the front I suspect we'd all have got there a lot quicker. And safer.

Because, despite having a Road Angel, without cruise control I had my eye glued on the speedo the whole time, as the merest blip on the gas or downward slope was taking me over the limit, even by the 10% allowed'.

This was... is...plain stupid. Rules vs. common sense. Box-ticks vs. desired result. And from the look on the police driver's face as I checked along the route, he thought so to.

NEWS/Commercial PR - RE-USB

I like to reward sincere efforts.

A wee while ago I was sent the PR that follows.

Actually, this is a product I am happy enough to endorse as I bought several and, frankly, what's not to like?

These are rechargeable batteries, which is already nifty in my book, but they can also be recharged in the USB slot of your lappy, which makes 'em downright, well, space-saving (no need to lug along a charger for one, well, assuming you are taking a lappy along. And who doesn't have a slot you can borrow at destination?) at the very least.

Thing is I was feeling a bit eyebrow-cranky, and alighted on the bit about the actual longevity.

Prove that, I said, and you will get a slot on the blog and even in the next newsletter (April's is looking good for July at the 'mo).

Well, bless 'em, they have. Maybe not 'proof' as such, but a very firm claim from the horse's mouth: 'You enquired whether the rechargeable battery would last forever. I contacted the inventor Simon Daniel who said that the USBCELL battery can be recharged up to 500 times before the in-battery chemistry degrades. Normal rechargeable batteries can be re-used on average under 10 times, so the comparison is very impressive.'

Now I blooming well hope the various other reusables last a bit more than 10 times (I must check their small print now. See a press release I study; a pack in Maplins I don't), but I have decided to bite. Here it is, E&EO:

Re-usable USBCELL Battery could save UK Landfill and Recycling Fines

Recycling Week began badly with news that Britain faces millions of pounds of fines for not collecting and recycling batteries. However, renewable power specialist Moixa Energy has the answer – with their award winning USBCELL , which is already saving millions of batteries from future UK Landfill.

Says Moixa CEO and founder Simon Daniel. “Our USBCELL Batteries can be ‘Recharged Anywhere’ by simply plugging them into one of the billions of USB ports on desktops, laptop or games devices”.

“The solution is not just consumers recycling more (how many people even know about Recycling Week) [I certainly forgot , even if I did. Nice to see all those quango comms £'s hard at... er.. work - Ed], it is the responsibility of all companies and designers to rethink entire product categories to become more re-usable and sustainable.

Batteries are a clear example of waste, with over 15 billion (equivalent to a column to the moon and back), made and thrown away each year. Traditional rechargeable batteries require a charger/adaptor to be made, found and carried – so sadly are on average only ever re-used under 10 times before being discarded.

USBCELL batteries solve this by embedding a compact USB connector and circuitry inside the battery so that no separate charger is needed. Each USBCELL can save over 3kg of landfill and 7kg of C02, in basic re-use, and significantly more if fully re-used. Whilst government departments, BBMA (British Battery Manufacturers Association) and environmental groups debate how to raise UK collection from the current 2-3% to the 25% required under the EU Batteries Directive, USBCELL has already saved the UK several jumbo jets' worth of future landfill.

USBCELL is also soon to be available in other battery formats (e.g. AAA), and is also being developed for application with leading mobile phone brands.

Think ahead a few years

Are the Tories backsliding on their commitment to the environment?

Questions to ponder.

The first of a new generation?


Or maybe, perhaps, just a clever "aren't we being green" marketing ploy? Full story from the Telegraph.

I'll leave it to you to make up your own mind, and perhaps I'm being overtly cynical, but producing only 300 of the new Honda FCX Clarity, their new zero-emission hydrogen fuel-cell car, does seem rather pointless to me, especially when you read that they are only going to 'selected' celebs and media luvvies.

I hope I'm wrong, but if they are that convinced of the technology, which does rather sound like a viable and fairly environmentally friendly way forward to me, then surely they would have plans to scale up to mass production far quicker than on a ten year horizon?

Marketing Blog - Low cost commuting & free parking in London - JM Addendum - As we're on a roll:)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Mind your Ps, Qs, and now Cs

NESTA will launch its latest research report ‘The 7Cs, Why we need positive messages to sell low carbon living.’

Catchy.

And selling via positives is a definite step in the right direction.

But just wondering what the 7Cs might be? I guess they are part of 'low carbon living', but couldn't seem to find any more.

Shame I can't make it all that way, but I hope the report will be shared online.

Plus that it will recognise actual realities and practicalities, rather than idealistic or self-fulfilling notions, especially at official level.

I'm still getting research that tells me that 98% of people, when asked, think doing our best to save the planet is worth considering (making me wonder about the mindset of the 2% not in favour) as some kind of awareness box tick. Yet often it is associated with poor actual deliverables. No point asking a question in a way that gives a desired answer.

Often these things, and the results they derive, are works of beauty only report writers and niche industry insiders could love.

If this really tries to get under the skin of what the public/consumer audience thinks and how it responds to various campaigns it will indeed be worth reading. And acting upon. Too many messages, and waaay too much in comms budgets, is blown on ticking a box and making a committee headed by a Minister happy than actually reaching out and effecting change.

Process has often supplanted result.

It also helps if the consumer has mechanisms put in place that they can easily respond to once motivated. I have followed today's news reports on new co-mingled collections getting in the tonnages but not delivering useful recyclate with interest.

Addendum - Thanks to a fellow poster on another forum, I now have a link to the report. At first glance it looks like a bit of a trawl will be required to suss out much of use (maybe I will get to find out what the 7 C's are at last. Hope it's worth it. Fingers crossed there may have been some real communicators involved and not just a bunch of academics, researchers and civ. servs., otherwise it's valeu will be rather suspect), whilst agreeing with the basic premise, as I did when first I got wind of it.

Plus I am concerned at a trend I notice that is epitomised by their featuring a device in their study 'The Disrupters'. Whilst this is a worthy and stylish piece (there are many, more basic and cheaper versions for those who may feel energy monitoring to be a useful aspect of reducing their footprints - I have to say I stopped checking mine ages ago as it really told me little I felt I could do much about), it is also well beyond the budgets of most normal folk outside a Gaurdianesque lifestyle bubble.

Communication on matters environmental does need to be many things, and especially positive and proactive, but it should not be driven by the interests and ambitions of an affluent elite and/or paid/interested niche sector, or it will at best stay remote from the general public and hence remain practically irrelevant, but at worst risks creating an 'it's alright for them' kickback from those less able to indulge in such trendy aspects of carbon mitigation. Frankly not a major issue by the media buying trends I have noticed in complement to most creative executions so far. Colour ads in quality Sunday supps and 90' high budget (and 'brow' concept) TV indulgences placed in low rating (and hence niche) shows designed more for the awards ceremony than communication to any audience other than the advertiser's mates at the wine bar. We need to reach and motivate Fiesta family... not just amuse and get nods of approval from Prius person.

Nods all round

(well, except for the obit on my theoretical day job)

Advertising is Dead, Long Live Packaging

Works for me!
May I suggest a slight addition?
It's in light of the perceived negatives of packaging environmentally. There is now a fair old desire, if not demand, by consumers for brands to up their game in this regard, pushed by media and legislative bodies as well.
Hence... think reuse! Trust me, be it 'accidental' but most certainly when designed in (Junkk.com is getting more and more great examples daily), there are opportunities aplenty for fun and profit all round. Plus the planet doesn't do too badly either:) Win, win... win...

Glass act

Just watched a BBC News item on recycling.

Very interesting. Basically the trend is now away from collecting via skips (and, one presumes, kerbsides, which I know is the case in my area*) and on to what they call 'co-mingled waste', which is basically all in one and let a central station sort it all out.

Trouble is, this system means that while lost of stuff is collected, most of the resultant recyclate is useless, especially when it comes to such as glass.

And as a sign off, the reporter says that when it comes to recycling, 'we' are no longer any good.

Now I know some aspects of these collection systems will encourage greater numbers, but what use if the stuff you collect is of less value.

I have written..

You're talking at and pointing to the wrong folk with the 'we' when referring to how this is not very good environmentally.

Consumers are much less to blame than incoherent, uncoordinated national policy, and an obsession with meeting targets that rewards process more than sensible result.

*Addendum: I have written to my local paper:

The issue of waste collection and, with luck, sensible recycling as a consequence is a hugely worthwhile, but still very complex one.

There are EU fines looming, consequent national pressures and of course regional and local variations 'in the mix'.

There can be no doubt of course that Ross' RE-Box scheme has been ahead of its time, and shining example across the board, not just as a recycling initiative, but also as a social enterprise and, perhaps more than anything, as a catalyst for individual and community cooperation and participation in the cause of environmental good practice.

But there are other issues at play, and these need to be understood and appreciated in assessing what is proposed for the future as part of bigger pictures.

With this in mind, I have noted a very interesting story on the national news this week. Mirroring our local experience the trend is apparently now away from collecting via skips, bottle/can banks (and, evidently, kerbsides) and on to what they call 'co-mingled waste' collections, which is basically all in one bag from our bins, and then on to let a central station sort it all out.

Trouble is, it seems that while this system means that perhaps more 'stuff' is collected, most of the resultant recyclate is of much less use than before, especially when it comes to such as glass.

Now I can see the advantages of these collection systems working with perhaps 'less co-operative' human nature (but certainly not around here, evidenced by the RE-Box success) will encourage greater numbers, but what use is this to the 'bigger picture' of carbon footprints/CO2 release if the stuff you collect is of less or no value?

RE-Box has shown that when engaged with in a sensible way, consumers are much less to blame than incoherent, uncoordinated national policy, and I just hope what we are not seeing is more an obsession with meeting targets that rewards process more than sensible result.

Oh, and just saw an amplified BBC report. Seems it stays as 'we' who are no longer as green as we shoudl be.




Sunday, June 15, 2008

QUOTE OF THE DAY - The TERRA PHILES

Not a quote but a 'mis-hearing' I quite liked.

The commentariat seem to be quite excited, and negative about all that involves 'terror files' and their slippery retention in the right/wrong hands.

I just first mis-heard and happily put myself, positively, in the camp of those who find being a terraphile a good thing.

Left Hand. Right Hand. Clunking Hand.

Giant coal-fired power plant gets green subsidies

Oh, b.....less.

How long ago was the excellent ST Magazine expose of this government's oversight of our nation's green talk at home vs. our murky walking overseas?

CATEGORY - QUANGO'S JOLLY GOOD FELLOWS

Got to be done:

BBC - Questions raised over quango fees
BBC - FSA fesses up on Rock - I don't know if they are a quango or not. Or care. We are country 'run' by over-compensated, irresponsible fools who oversee other highly-paid, unaccountable fools to not protect us from totally immune charlatans.
epolitix.com - Carbon Trust
Guardian - Remploy bosses opt for top-end company cars - I'd love to see this one explained away... but it will be.
Guardian - Is that all, Mr Pocklington? - Priceless
Guardian - Satirists once had real bite. Not any more - from an odd direction. But telling.
Greenbang - Carbon Trust gets government slap down over targets - plus direct link to report. Yes that's a report. Now, what the heck gets done?????!
Indy - Ministers allowed officials to 'hit the jackpot' in MoD privatisation
Indy - Quangos' spending kept secret - A pretty well kept secret in itself
Times - English Heritage
Times - DEFRA - Going to pot
Times - Government spending on quangos soars
Times - Consultants cash in on state works - I really don't know why we put up with paying numpties to outsource paying other numpties to do their jobs. And how that manages “to do something for the good of the community”
Times - - Waste mounts as £100 billion web of quangos duplicates work - Not funny; not funny at all. And they don't mention the half of it
Times - It could be you – if you’re a lottery quango
Sunday Tel - How much do you think the head of Transport for London is paid? - Worth it for a useful link at the end, plus the comment on what these highly paid folk spend their money on, which often doesn't square with a reducing or mitigating lifestyle.
WRAP - there are a few. Just use the label search for others under 'WRAP' or Quango

Telegraph - WASTE WATCH - NEW

There will be more, trust me... because I, sadly, do not trust 'them' any more.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Can the can?

To Save Fuel, Airlines Find No Speck Too Small

I wonder if they are still lugging litre upon litre and kilo upon kilo of duty frees and cuddly toys to and fro in hope of a sale?

Or putting out newspapers with such crucial sections as today’s classifieds or appointments?

But I guess the public gets what the public…can.

Would the gent glowing at the back like to speak

(DEFRA) Government invites communities for 'no commitment' discussions on hosting geological disposal facility* for radioactive waste

I'd love to be a 6' fly sitting cross-legged on a chair, taking notes and multi-tasking on his non-mutated Blackberry at that one!

If only to see who lobs up.

*dump

42 Days is a long time ......

.... to be held without charge.

The genius that is Matt of the Telegraph strikes again!

The thing is, there was a heated debate about the 42 days for suspect terrorists yesterday evening in my local. Now I didn't read or hear this, but two people were absolutely adamant that the way that the Bill was worded, it effectively gave the police the powers to hold anybody for 42 days whatever the offense! I've had a quick browse and cannot confirm this one way or another. Can anyone out there cast any light on this?

So, if it is true, whether you are a potential terrorist, or naughty enough to have put the wrong plastic in the wrong recycling bin, beware!

COMPETITION - Our first...

Well, the genesis of one at least. Its working title is... 'Whizz. No Bang'.

Because it's funny how things pan out.

I subscribe to many feeds and forums and lists to not only gain knowledge but also debate with knowledgeable others on various issues, often with a view to getting a... well, view... that might go beyond these pages and on to the site and newsletter. At least in a form that in being shared objectively may help others.

I am in the middle of one currently about the state (and it is sorry) of our nation's flood systems, warning and public comms. Interestingly, I had to go 'off grid' because one of those who know, or think they know better bemoaned having to put up with the input of mere mortals who often cop the sharp end of their highly-resourced conferences, consultations, research and trips all over the shop. And I can find their pronouncements from on high a crock of 'potential energy-from-biomass material'.

However, having gone off grid a while (sadly, you can't get profile and the good stuff without being noticed above parapet), I have found myself in highly productive discussions with some on an other area, namely wind farms.

The reason I am posting here, and hence also in the next newsletter, is that as a result of one conservation I am pondering a competition.

This is to see if there is/can be a low tech, low cost way of preventing bird strikes on wind farm turbine blades that simply make Jonathan Livingstone Eagle avoid the things, and hence at least get this 'yes highly important, yet pretty minor and distracting' issue (in the great scheme) off the cons list for a lot of folk, especially all major media with an eye to what sells papers and generates ratings, if not actually addressing pressing issues.

Thing is... first... we need a prize.

Suggestions?

Offers?

If juicy enough we will then ged our heads round the competition structure and on to as much PR as we can crank up. You never know... it may get spun (geddit?) to greater prominence by those with the media muscle to do so.

Tides of Opinion

I am aware on various issues regrading the controversial Severn Barrage tidal proposal; too much to hope our national news will help clarify matters sensibly.

I have written:

I have just watched the BBC Breakfast News 'report' on the Severn Barrage. Being already aware of the ecological objections I was keen to learn more objective information on the claim that it makes no economic sense, but this only amounted to a member of the RSPB saying so (if based on a 'report'). Hardly in depth. Or objective. 'Balance' was provided by an 'expert' who was quoted more on what the alternatives, specifically wind, would involve... to wildlife. What about the economic arguments we were promised? Or any hint as to this scheme's potential in reducing greenhouse emissions effectively?

I am also intrigued at the comment passed that governments should not be involved in huge energy projects. Er... do what?

Is the BBC just a mechanism to read out press releases, or can we ever hope to get news and analysis in forms these days that allow sensible understanding of the issues?

BBC - Concern over tidal barrage cost

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Style will save us!

Just felt like sticking an oar in...

Green Branding: Why Originality Matters

Well, it seems we can save the planet, and without it costing the earth:)

I tend to agree with much here, and picking up on the design/copy aspects if I see one more ad, mainly tinged green, with a flower poking out of an exhaust pipe, I think I'll choke on my Fairtrade tap water.

However, my only caution is to ensure that in seeking to be 'creative' and 'different' one does not end up serving the cause of a good [insert acceptable environmentally beneficial product/service/call to action word phrase here] communication less well, especially as it gets presented to an audience who may not obsess quite so much about the innermost emotional resonances of Bodoni Extra Clio Capturing and some obscure art shot nicked from last year's design annual.

I have found on occasion that the odd cliche still seems to work with the majority That's how they end up as cliches), so in seeking to be new and trendy let not all that might still work well go to waste.

At least you'll know in advance that your screwed

Two pieces on flood issues just in.

One is a full quote from an LGA PR; the other a BBC story.

LGA response to flooding report - press release - 11 June 2008

In response to the Environment Commission report into last year's flooding, the Local Government Association has called for the Government to introduce a legal requirement for all organisations to co-operate and fight the risk of flooding.

The LGA is calling for a change in the law and a new statutory framework which would compel water companies and others to co-operate with councils, share information and prepare flood prevention plans. Any organisation that failed to co-operate would be penalised.

Cllr Paul Bettison, Chairman of the LGA Environment Board, said:

“The current system is fundamentally flawed. We simply cannot continue to have a situation where it is not clear who is responsible for dealing with vitally important functions such as drainage.

“There are glaring gaps in this country’s readiness to cope with widespread and prolonged flooding. Last summer’s floods were no fluke, and we run the real risk of witnessing a repeat – or worse – unless urgent action is taken now.

“We need to get back to basics. There should be no opt-out, no excuses and clear penalties for anybody who refuses to co-operate with managing our water systems. Councils should be allowed to start banging heads together so we can be better prepared to protect people and property.”

“More extreme weather is an unavoidable consequence of climate change. Last summer’s floods exposed flaws in how prepared the country was and the effect of years of under-funding. Greater investment now will save much bigger costs in the future.”

Under the current system, it is often unclear who has responsibility for managing flood risk and maintaining drainage systems. In some parts of the country a myriad of different bodies – including the Environment Agency, councils, private landowners and water companies – have these powers but often do not share information with each other.

BBC - Laser maps flood-prone areas

Hence I am again frustrated and concerned, if not surprised to read such as this:

'The Local Government Association has called for the Government to introduce a legal requirement for all organisations to co-operate and fight the risk of flooding.'

What? You mean they are not... yet??? Such as Cllr. Bettison are bang on, and the wonder is how this is still the case, after all that has gone before and will transpire again.

And while whizz bang techno stuff is all well and good, if those theoretically 'in charge' cannot organize themselves, getting better warnings seems to be unlikely to inspire most of the population much, especially if many of the replies in the BBC HYS section are to be taken as a measure.

I welcome better data, but it has to be provided and supported with tangible actions.

I live in a low point of a town on the River Wye. I bought the house following a survey that discovered that since it was built, in the 17th century, it has never been flooded. Those old folk knew a thing or two about building, and what was meant by... flood plains. So I pay attention in advance to such wise experience.

And I am glad to say my insurers are happy to go along with that (for now), despite the Enviro Agency's current map having got my house slap bang in one. Oddly, it also has my neighbours' three houses up in it too, despite being about 40' (80x the 6” that makes all the difference) higher up the hill.

Anyway, being a believer in prevention being better than cure, I have for the last few years tried to pursue with various bodies - council, Environment Agency, Waterways Board - how I might better protect my property should things deteriorate. I think Ican do so and weather future storms rather than wailing and claiming compo, as seems the vogue. Not big on the victim culture.

Thing is, I need some advice at least (help if its available, but being practical I'd say dream on). I have a mark on the wall showing the level AOD (Above Ordnance Datum). All I need to know is what, in the next 50-100 years, are the chances of something going above that, and to what height. Then I can prepare coffer walls and entryway/hole covers to deploy on warning (very prompt system on email and mobile, though a little lacking on much beyond screaming 'prepare for the worst!!'. Wolf and crying kicks in a tad here).

Sadly, to no avail so far. Each, as suggested here, points at the other, and/or various colourful websites that are pretty of little use.

Officers are 'busy', and have been for years. But I got the offer of 'a' sandbag once.

If this is the level of support to a householder who is prepared to DIY, and pay for it all himself, I am not too inspired as to how it's going to improve very much for those in less of a position to do so.

But I am sure many reports will get prepared, boxes ticked, and sombre spokespersons from multiple, overlapping public bodies explaining how it happened this time due to ‘unexpected circumstances’.

You pay me to not buy my product, OK?

Sorrell advises agencies to help people consume less

Hey, works for me (well, Junkk.com...RE:tie...)

'...keep the wheels of the industry turning in the coming tough times by investigating communications strategies that will persuade consumers to change their behaviours or even to consume less, which led to mutterings...'

Interesting. Was anything shared on how this would work in practice?

I'm keen to learn how and hence share it. Sadly, to date, economy seldom goes hand in hand with environment... at least, when it comes to using, and hence consuming less. Salaries to pay; budgets to fund.

Making things that still get bought and impact less... now that I can see as quelling the mutterings a tad. I have a few ideas on this... if anyone is interested.

I have seen clearer mud

FactCheck: Brown's taxing PMQs

Well, they asked

The UK’s top-30 cleantech startups

Consider this a cautious loud whisper:

The RE:tie -

New - not to mention unique (as, well, it's often the same thing)

Exciting to us for any reason - dunno, how do you feel about an idea that turns 2 billion bits of plastic a day from pure waste to totally second useful?

Promising future - depends on whether those who claim to be keen on green are more into talking about it or doing something tangible. And I mean making more profit, though there is that whole CSR malarky, too.

Solid potential earnings - see above. How many consumers out there ready for an end-benefit with their latest green initiative as opposed to a fee, fine, nag, nanny, fright or guilt-trip?

Ecologically sound - one less piece in the bin, one less in the landfill, one less new item needing to be made and shipped.

Business model or technology that has clear environmental benefits - See above.

Obvious targets for investment or already invested in - See above. But did you have to mention 'targets'. P-EU. No one we've showed it too so far has said it stinks.

Has good news stories to tell - an eco-initiative with a win for consumers, a win for manufacturers, a win for supermarkets, a win for LAs, a win for a government looking to promote eco-innovation... and the planet doesn't do too shabby either. Call that a yes.

Did I miss anything?

Having a good idea is the easy part. Making it a great business is much trickier, which is why exposure for small outfits to bigger guys with reach and expertise is invaluable. Ta for the opportunity.

We're just looking for the right partners without the UK malaises of being mainly interested in process over result ,and only ever risking enough to be first to be second.

It would be a shame to see this go overseas.

Transport of delights - Turkish 3rd class, mainly

Sometimes it is refreshing to find others not so easily swayed by green-tinted press releases or 'it's eco so it must be 100% fine' blinkers.

So I'll leave this little review on our transport structure to Greenbang.com - Public transport failing - (shocking latest news)

IDEA - cut-price RE:tie

Here.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Winning ways

Time to muse on awards... again.

And my feelings are no less mixed than they were the last time.

I just feel the urge, and the timing is optimal as we have not just won any... or lost any either, recently.

That said, a few are bubbling, hence prompting the ponder.

At the end of the day, why the heck enter? I guess it boils down basically to three main areas: ego, money... and PR (which really means serving the first two).

And what does it cost? Basically, time (always) and money (usually). But then there are a few other factors in the mix, and which should not be forgotten, namely reputation and... waaaay too often, blood pressure. These things can't half wind you up, especially if you have invested a lot in entering.

For fairly simple reasons, we seldom enter anything that costs. As an ex-ad man I have also got a lot fussier about the brief (or criteria) than I used to, and now, thanks to a few major 'Huh???'s' have got a lot more picky based on the organisers and especially the judges.

Money is a great excluder, especially when it comes to talent. You can have no talent and lots of money, and enter almost anything you fancy. You can have oodles of talent and no money and find your options are much more restricted.

And let's not forget awards are big business, from entries to galas, so those who organise are always going to be conscious of where the money comes from. And will be keen to keep it coming.

A lot is therefore down to the guidance to, and integrity of judges.

But these days there is even more, and that is their qualifications. In many 'people's choice' awards there can be no more egalitarian choice of judge than the people, but once celebrity laypersons get in there odd things can happen.

It's not so important in something that is still about, say creativity and how it plays to the public, but of late I have had to wonder what BB reject or supermodel has by way of insight into an invention. It's all become a bit too cosy, and clubby, especially when money is in the mix.

As a few Junkk and RE:tie advisers have pointed out, awards are nice, but you can't eat them, so prioritising which will lead to the next meal is probably a good idea. So from now on I'll try and leap more with my head than my heart.

AWARD - Green Awards 2008

WHEN: 10 Sept 2008
WHAT: Green Awards for Creativity in Sustainability
WHAT... MORE?: Green Awards were set up to recognise and reward creative work that communicates the importance of Corporate Social Responsibility, sustainable development and ethical best practice in any sector and across any marketing discipline.
HOW MUCH: £75 + VAT if you are wee, £250 if you could care less on the fee
URL: http://www.greenawards.co.uk/about/background
COMMENTS: You pays yer money and you take your chances. No doubt winning something is good for PR. We will not be entering. The fee, even for a small sME, is a lot. We also have our doubts on the set-up having entered (and paid) in the first year in the sub-budget sector and found our entry 'amalgamated at the discretion of the jury' with mega-bucks projects. And, sadly, awards outfits know where the big fees come from. Seeing highly creative eco-marketing sidelined in favour of blu-chip and LA greentosh campaigns, especially multi-piece DM packs, was more than we could stomach.

NEWS/Commercial PR - Water, water, not as everywhere as it could

Two things. Water is becoming a key aspect of our planetary future. Where it is... and isn't. Where it can be used. Or can't.

Second, as the first company to upload their product data to our second use ideas section, we have a soft spot for ecover.

They tend to walk the walk as much as (and often before) they talk the talk. So their press releases on matters eco tend to actually be worth something. All the more so when it goes hand in hand with charity. This one looks well worth supporting.

So, E&OE....

ECOVER AND WATERAID LAUNCH GROUND-BREAKING PARTNERSHIP

Ecover has launched a three-year partnership with international charity WaterAid. This partnership supports a project in Ethiopia, providing sustainable and ongoing access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene education.

Ecover and WaterAid share the objective to provide effective, sustainable solutions for the hygienic needs of people around the world, and it is this common interest that has led to the formation of the partnership. This is the first time WaterAid has worked with a business where both parties are actively working together to drive change.

The partnership will focus on the area of Hintalo Wajerat in the Tigray region where only 22% of the population currently has access to safe water and just 6% have access to adequate sanitation. More shocking is the fact that 17 out of every 100 children will die before they reach their fifth birthday. On completion of the project 14,750 people across eleven villages in the region will have access to safe water and effective sanitation.

From the end of June the partnership will be promoted on 1.5 million Ecover products across 10 lines.