Thursday, February 14, 2008


Yup, another 'e-volver'


Ad/Greenwash - mainly for it's pick-up on daft car ads

Food Waste


repak - NEW - for Eire
The Green Guide - UK based - via Junkk RE:view


There'll be more ('specially if you tell me!)

The new London gaz guzzler charges.....

..... that we commented upon the other day may not have quite the effect that TFL actually wants. This article from AutoWired argues that the "new emission-based London congestion charge rules are likely to increase CO2 emissions, increase pollution and increase congestion."

Given that the new charging system will target individual vehicle emissions, they suggest that "While encouraging the sales of low emission models is to be applauded, the framing of the new rules is likely to encourage greater use of cars within the capital". The consequences may be "significant numbers of charge-exempt models on the roads, potentially leading to higher carbon dioxide emissions, and more congestion"

Looks like repositioning a scaled congestion charge against individual vehicle emissions may not be quite as well thought out as TFL intended.

REVIEW - The Green Guide

Bit of a quickie, and a shortie, to make a bit of a point about how those in the business of green can help each other, and the cause, by doing very little that can make such a big difference.

The other day I got a call from a nice lady checking my details for Well, one thing lead to another, and The Green Guide has kindly put a link up on their site.

And so, just for the purposes of mutual back massage, I have returned the compliment. Happy to.

Thing is, I can only do it, and then write about it here, and add it in the next newsletter (don't ask), because they took the 5 minutes to upload their stuff.

Odd how few do, even after I have invited them, and especially if they have mentioned us!

Anyway, back to the 'review'.

It's hard to do a better summary than their own:

There are currently more than 12,400 entries in the Green Guide Directory which makes it probably the largest and most comprehensive resource of green, sustainable and planet-friendly goods, services and organisations in the UK.

It's a very simple, clean design, mainly aiming to 'do what it says on the tin', with about a dozen main headings in a taskbar that lead you where you might wish to go.

No obvious search, but probably not needed. And maybe just as well, as's can often be a tad too 'inspired' to be of use!

But they are a more than welcome addition to the growing sources of info out there to help us all... and benefit without the dead hand of offcial agenda. Oh, and are, of course, free, to both use and add your buiness to.

Ask not what gets done for the planet, but what the planet gets from our meeting targets.

Addendum: Top and bottom. I just thought I'd post this grab of the chat page. When it says 'let yourself go', bearing in mind the topic and context, I wonder if this is what Expedia and the Gaurdian had in mind?

Gaurdian - Join our web chat on renewable energy

' we are going to reach that 15% target and whether 2008 will be a key year for the renewables market.'

Is there not a danger in all this that, as this sentence suggests, the the aim becomes more the meeting of a target and/or the creation of lucrative business models, at the expense of actually achieving a result? Too often I see the product delivery hijacked by the process and those with careers involved in it.

If, to put things simplistically, it is believed that it is the carbon dioxide and other 'pollutant' greenhouse gasses going into the atmosphere that are responsible for PMWCC (Probably man-worsened climate change), should not the reduction of these be viewed more in totality?

Once we break things out into convenient, isolated chunks it for sure makes things awfully easy to measure, tick boxes and/or reward, but perhaps does not adequately challenge the overall worth to our kids' futures on this planet.

I can live with a poor ROI in many cases. And hence have a concept of enviROI that allows for not 'making' money as an option for doing something if it has an environmental benefit.

But it does have a lower limit, as it can be argued that ploughing funds into something when they may be used more productively elsewhere might be equally flawed.

Hence my concern at having a set number of 'renewables' laid out in this manner, with still no clear idea as to how they get there, what they do, how well they do it and what their relative contributions to mitigation of our energy demands are.

The last such webchat - in the country's top online forum, and arguably most 'green', too - attracted a few dozen. Let's see how this pans out.


Wow. I was first up. And got an answer, too:

This raises some interesting issues. I’d say that having attractive business models is actually essential to achieving the targets, rather than a distraction. Even though governments play an essential role in the move to a low carbon economy, most of the required investment needs to come from the private sector. Fortunately, there are already very strong commercial opportunities in renewable and other low carbon technologies, and these are growing rapidly. As for breaking down the target into ‘chunks’, I agree there’s some sense in this and actually, it’s a necessary next step for the UK. Currently under debate is how much of the 15% should come from electricity, heat and transport, with one scenario being around 45%, 10% and 10% of the total usage of each. Since renewable electricity currently supplies about 4.5% and heat and transport around 1% each, this represents a tenfold increase on all fronts.

Was it was the one I was seeking? Not really. One has to question the value of these efforts as they inevitably (have to) deal in generalities, but I really din't quiet get to where I wanted on enviROI's, especially with thinsg getting stonkking subsidies just to exist and tick a box, without worrying too much on what they might do to help.

So who do you believe?

Our chancellor, yesterday on the radio - "It will be a difficult year right across the world, but the fundamentals of the British economy are strong because of what we have done over the last 10 years. They will remain strong."

The Governor of the Bank of England - "The higher level of energy and food prices is a genuine reduction in our standard of living relative to where it would otherwise have been. ..... This is because of the higher prices that all of us are having to pay." And "Looking several years ahead, there’s no reason to expect house prices to be markedly above where they are now. It’s conceivable there might be falls in house prices."

Full story from The Telegraph.

So there you have it. Everything's fine, the economy is robust and will remain strong. That's the message from our Gov. But the boss of the Bank of England issues a strong warning that all is not well and we had all better tighten our belts.

Also interesting to note that whilst inflation reaches an official 2.2% (I think that was what they said yesterday) the real cost of living increase is some 6-7%, and that excludes any forthcoming council tax increases.

I guess who you believe the most rather depends on how thin you wallet is feeling. I know mine is beginning to feel that it's been put on rations. And my dilemma? All this is happening just when I was considering what I could spare in terms of putting in extra insulation in order to mitigate the ever increasing heating bills somewhat.

Ho hum! Spend now to Save later, or, Save now to Spend later? Now that's a predicament under these circumstances. What do you recommend?


I think this deserves a category of its own.

For previous posts just search the 'Shipping' label below. One day I'll find time to archive 'em here.

This is shaping up to be a major issue, especially to one, such as me, who professes to be most concerned about enviROI. I have in the past given a pass to various activities that took place by boat (such as Dave's kite-towed post recently) on the notion that it must be oodles 'better'. Maybe we need to rethink. As with so much that involves an emission, maybe it's just the fact that we want something that is more the issue, rather than how it gets to us.

It's worth considering, and talking about, but let us not forget there is other stuff going on too. Some worse, and/or more pressing maybe.

Gaurdian - True scale of C02 emissions from shipping revealed

Guardian - NEW - No more plain sailing - A view from a side. Some interesting comments in reply.


Ok, so others have been/are banging on about this for an age. Best I can do at short notice!

I now they (the packaging) are the antichrist, but maybe as they exist we can share the love in some small effort at mitigation.

Left/top. Right/bottom. - quick, cheap ideas
Guardian - Keep Valentine's day green - some are not exchaging cards, apparently
Reuters - Valentine's Day - it's not so much about love - no, it should be about re:love and presents from the heart!

I'll add more if I find 'em or get told.

Who knows, Cupid may approve?

I belive I recall posting once that green-friendly folk now appeal more to the opposite sex:)