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Category: News (Page 1 of 17)

Saving the World, one T shirt at a time

T-Shirt by Publish

T-Shirt by Publish

It’s great to see forward thinking companies doing their bit to help reduce their own impact on the environment. The mainstream Californian fashion clothing company Publish, are taking the waste materials from their manufacturing process, and using them to create a highly exclusive range of limited edition garments. Not only are they creating the obligatory men’s polo shirts, but also vests and jogging bottoms (jogger pants in the USA).

It doesn’t stop there though, Publish are supplying this clothing range in recycled paper ‘sleeves’ to save on packaging costs. The aesthetics of which are highly pleasing, more so than a nasty plastic baggy like most T shirts are supplied in.

Starting at $30, these aren’t cheap, but when you’re helping to reduce waste and emissions, and grabbing yourself a highly fashionable (and soon to be rare and collectable) bit of gear, we think that’s a small price to pay.

They say that millions of pounds worth of material is dumped every year at landfill, or incinerated, releasing harmful emissions into the atmosphere. Publish are looking to change that, and also using the savings to support various environmental projects and causes.

So well done Publish, you are definitely leading the way forward in terms of green fashion. I would be interested to hear if they plan on making the rest of the business more environmentally friendly.

James is a blogger and content writer working alongside wholesale and custom clothing company, clothes2order.com.

London 2012 – ‘Greenest’ Olympic Games Ever?

The stage is set. The Olympic venues open for world records. The athletes ready to achieve greatness. London population hyped.

In less than 10 hours the Olympic torch will be lit in the pompous Olympic Stadium in Stratford in front of millions of people. This is the moment London was waiting for. Two weeks of record breaking and thrilling games awaits the heart of London. It has been an expensive and not always fortunate way up till this moment. However, one more aspect LOCOG and the city London is trying to promote refer London 2012 to be the ‘greenest’ Olympic Games to date.

Here are some key facts provided by LOCOG:

  • 20% of the energy they use is based on renewable sources
  • 2,000 newts and hundreds of toads were taken out of the Olympic Park during the construction
  • 90% of materials from the demolished buildings were recovered, in order to reuse or recycle them.

So London will try to use energy- efficient technology from the new Olympic Park Energy Centre during the Games providing electricity, heating, cooling and hot water. The forecast is that 20% of energy will be of renewable energy in the Olympic Park, which shall help in reducing the amount of greenhouse gases created by the games. Examples of those renewable sources are Biomass boilers, which will burn recycled woodchip to generate power. Wind turbines are increasingly used as well in the north of the park as one turbine can produce electricity for at least 1,000 homes.

Before construction work started for all the stadiums and venues, LOCOG was keen on conducting surveys of plants and animals living in those areas, such as in Stratford where the Olympic Park is located. Taking the Olympic Park as an example, rubbish removal, which included tyres and cars, has been carried out, in order to ensure clear and free paths to the Park. Moreover, footpaths and cycleways were improved for the local people and wildlife. To the excitement of all the animal loving people, 45 hectares of wildlife habitats were left around the Park during the Games. You got to say, London is taking care of their wildlife.

The final point, in order to ensure the greenest Games ever, is the material used. London tried to use as less materials as possible, so less waste is created during the construction period. Therefore, this action is definitely better for the environment and resources were reused and recycled on the spot.

For instance, soil washing machines are used to wash, sieve and shake out materials, which pollute the soil (petrol,oil,tar). Buildings around the Olympic Park were taken down and rebuilt elsewhere, which ensured minimum waste in that area. Interesting is the fact that 80 lampposts, two tonnes of red bricks and 76 tonnes of paving stones are saved for reuse on the park.

However, recent studies have suggested that London won’t be able to achieve a zero waste legacy around the whole city, due to low level of engagement with organisations outside the Olympic Park. We will see during the Games how much effort London has put to offer the ‘greenest’ Olympics to date. However, they are trying to be a role model for other organisations of big events. Going green is the step to take in the future!

This post was contributed by Sachinda Jayatilleke on behalf of AnyJunk – the easy and eco-friendly alternative to skip hire.

5 of the World’s Greenest Car Manufacturers

Plus: how companies can monitor online perceptions of the green credentials of their products

The Nissan Leaf: photo by Tom Rafferty

The Nissan Leaf: photo by Tom Rafferty

Which company is currently winning the race to fill our highways and byways with clean green cars?

Car manufacturers are attempting to clean up their act (and clean up the market) when it comes to being seen as green. More and more eco-friendly cars are rolling off production lines to satisfy drivers’ demand for cars which drive down carbon emissions without compromising style and efficiency.

The battle for drivers’ green pounds isn’t just fought on the road – it’s also being fought online. Advanced auditing software can find out the sentiment regarding eco-cars by monitoring conversations on social media sites such as motoring forums, Twitter, blogs and news channels.

Brandwatch recently used social media monitoring to see where conversations about Ford eco cars were taking place – a report which could inform marketing decisions and strategy regarding the forthcoming Ford Focus Electric.

Brandwatch Chart

Brandwatch Chart: Conversations about Ford eco cars

The Brandwatch Eco Car report also identified when these conversations were taking place – by finding out the peaks and troughs of conversation ‘volume’ it is possible to identify what events trigger interest in the car.

Brandwatch Graph: When conversations were taking place

Brandwatch Graph: When conversations were taking place

Such insights could determine the pecking order in the race to be seen as the greenest car manufacturer.

Here is a look at five of the greenest car manufacturers; these companies’ continued success could depend on how well they engage the people who talk about them online.

1. Nissan

When the Nissan LEAF car started to be delivered to UK homes in March 2011, the car’s 109-mile range and 8-hour charging time attracted plenty of interest. Nissan promises that the car’s availability will rocket when production starts in Sunderland in 2013 and when the £25,000 price of the car goes down, it will interesting to see whether more motorists can be tempted into purchasing an electric car.

2. Mitsubishi

Mitsubishi’s electric car expertise has had a profound influence on car manufacturing in Europe. Citroen and Peugeot have both clubbed together with the Japanese company to produce electric cars; the iON and the C-Zero respectively. Both these electric cars have a respectable range of 93 miles and a charge time of seven hours.

3. Toyota

Toyota seems to have cornered the family hybrid electric car market with its Prius model; the 2012 model of which will go on sale in the UK in March 2012 with a price sticker of £21,350 on its windscreen.

Toyota has four hybrid vehicles in its fleet: the Prius, Auris, Highlander and Camry. There should soon be many more; Toyota’s CEO has revealed the company’s ambition to make a hybrid-electric system available on every vehicle it sells sometime during this decade.

4. Smart

The first smart car raised many eyebrows when it first appeared on the UK roads in 2000; now it is so common that no one blinks an eye to see one weaving through the traffic in city centres. The third generation Smart Fortwo electric drive is coming to a tiny parking space near you from September 2012.

5. Ford

Ford released its Focus Electric five-door hatchback car in America in December 2011 and this super-silent vehicle is expected to cross the pond to Europe by late 2012. Ford is a late arrival at the electric car party – Nissan and General Motors released their first electric passenger cars in 2010. However, the company has indicated that the Electric is not a one-off vehicle and that other Ford green cars will follow in the wake of 2004’s Ford Escape hybrid, 2006’s Mercury Mariner and 2009’s Ford Fusion Hybrid. Watch this space.

Nature Conservancy 6th Annual Digital Photo Competition

A quick note to mention that the Nature Conservancy is accepting entries for its 6th Annual Digital Photo Competition.

You can submit your entries in one of two ways:

This year, they are looking for digital photos that feature the natural wonders of the lands, waters, plants, animals and people around the world. All photos must be original, of course.

At least 35 photos will be selected as honorable mentions and finalists, and the Nature Conservancy online community will vote for their favorite images to determine the winners. The grand prize winner will be featured on the cover of the 2013 Nature Conservancy calendar.

To give you an idea of the photo quality you will need to produce, take a look at these previous winning photos.

Photo submissions need to be uploaded by 11:59 pm PST Monday, September 12, 2011.

So what are you waiting for?

BlueGreen: Our Connection to the Ocean

In an effort to help spread the word for independent filmmakers with an environmental slant, here’s a post about BlueGreen – a film that explores the human connection to the ocean.

Featuring some of the world’s most talented surfers, including Keith Malloy and 7-time Women’s World Champion, Layne Beachely, combined with footage shot around the world, BlueGreen examines the connection between humans and the ocean and explores this connection through thoughtful insight from scientist, activists, athletes and enthusiast. From the physiological to the spiritual, filmmaker and surfer, Ben Keller explores the power of the ocean and how it affects our lives and why we are all attracted to it in one way or another.

“Blue green is a surf film, yes. But it is more than that. It is an exploration of our ties to the ocean – beyond the obvious” explains Cinema Libre Studio, the distributor for BlueGreen.

“Of course, if you are going to expound upon the human connection to the ocean, you can’t really avoid an environmental message. You bump right up against it. So the film explores that as well, from how the surf industry affects it to what we as people need to consider.”

According to the BlueGreen press release, “There is an environmental message that Keller pays special attention to – in light of the rise in the man-made pollution (i.e. Deepwater Horizon oil spill) – and he believes there is a fundamental lack of understanding and knowledge of just how important a role the ocean plays in our daily lives and hopes a better understanding will lead to its protection”.

BlueGreen: Our Connection to the Ocean is now available on DVD.

To find out more about this film, check out the BlueGreen: Our Connection to the Ocean website.

Nature Conservancy Photo Contest: 1 Week Left

You have one week to enter the Nature Conservancy’s 5th Annual Digital Photo Competition.

Entries for the competition close on October 4.

The Nature Conservancy are looking for “beautiful nature photography representing the diversity of life on Earth”.

Photos can include original digital images of lands, waters, plants, animals and people in nature.

The winning photo will be printed in the 2012 Nature Conservancy calendar – reaching nearly 2 million households worldwide, and will be featured on The Nature Conservancy’s website, nature.org, which is visited by more than 3 million people annually.

If you’d like to submit a photo, you can learn more about the competition at the Nature Conservancy’s photography page.

PETA: Charge BP with Cruelty to Animals

David from PETA contacted me regarding letters PETA recently sent to the attorneys general of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. In the letters, Peta is urging the attorneys general to bring charges against BP and all other culpable parties of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico of cruelty to animals.

“Just as BP is the subject of a federal criminal investigation, causing needless pain and suffering to animals violates each affected state’s anti-cruelty laws,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “BP can compensate for the loss of human livelihoods, but it can never make up for the loss of life that it has inflicted on these states’ animals.”

According to PETA, the anti-cruelty laws of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida provide that any person who unnecessarily causes the torment or death of any animal is guilty of a misdemeanor.

The impact on the oil spill on wildlife includes:

  • Some oil-soaked birds lose the ability to float and ultimately drown.
  • Other birds die from hypothermia or hyperthermia after oil destroys the insulating powers of their feathers.
  • Oil contamination in turtles can cause chemical burns, and kidney, liver, and brain damage can result after animals ingest the tar balls and chemical dispersants that have inundated the Gulf.
  • Marine mammals lose body weight when they can not feed due to contamination of their environment by oil
  • Birds become easy prey, as their feathers being matted by oil make them less able to fly away;
  • Marine mammals such as fur seals become easy prey if oil sticks their flippers to their bodies, making it hard for them to escape predators

Those are just some of the affects of oil spills on wildlife. And, there’s also the affect on the food chain. For example, poisoning of wildlife higher up the food chain if they eat large amounts of other organisms that have taken oil into their tissues. This can also result in poisoning of young through the mother, as a dolphin calf can absorb oil through it’s mothers milk.

To date, more than a thousand animals-including 333 sea turtles and 41 dolphins and other mammals-have been collected dead along the coast. Whales are also expected to be among the casualties.

How Can I Help?

You can assist PETA by sending your concerns to the attorneys general in question.

About PETA

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), with more than 2 million members and supporters, is the largest animal rights organization in the world.

PETA focuses its attention on the four areas in which the largest numbers of animals suffer the most intensely for the longest periods of time: on factory farms, in laboratories, in the clothing trade, and in the entertainment industry. We also work on a variety of other issues, including the cruel killing of beavers, birds and other “pests,” and the abuse of backyard dogs.

PETA works through public education, cruelty investigations, research, animal rescue, legislation, special events, celebrity involvement, and protest campaigns.

Larry King Live: Gulf Coast Relief Telethon

Larry King Live will be hosting a telethon on Monday night. Proceeds from the 2 hour event will go towards rebuilding the gulf coast.

Celebrity participants include Chelsea Handler, Sting, Tim McGraw, Kathy Griffin, Alyssa Milano, Deepak Chopra, Pete Wentz, Ted Danson, Robert Redford, Harry Connick Jr., Jenny McCarthy, Melania Trump, Ivanka Trump, Aaron Neville, Kerry Kennedy, James Carville and Mary Matalin, Anderson Cooper, Tyson Ritter, Lenny Kravitz, Ian Somerhalder, Edward James Olmos, Philippe Cousteau and more.

All donations will be distributed between the following three charity associations:

  • The Nature Conservancy: In response to the Gulf Coast oil spill, The Nature Conservancy has launched their Fund for Gulf Coast Restoration, expanding their efforts for long term recovery for the Gulf of Mexico and habitats along the coast, including salt marshes, oyster reefs, marshlands, beaches and estuaries.
  • The National Wildlife Federation Gulf Oil Spill Restoration Fund: Supports efforts to find and save oiled wildlife, and help recover their delicate ecosystems that make up their nesting and breeding grounds.
  • United Way: Offering help to the families along the Gulf that are facing financial, educational and health-related challenges as a result from the economic disruption from this Oil Spill. The United Way Gulf Recovery fund will provide emergency assistance, such as help with food, rent and utilities, and support long-term recovery efforts to rebuild these lives and these communities.

The telethon will begin at 8pm (ET) on Monday, June 21.

Gulf Oil Spill: 3 Ways You Can Help

Mark Tercek, President & CEO  of The Nature Conservancy (TNC), has sent an email to TNC members encouraging them to help with the clean up efforts of the Gulf Oil Spill.

If you want to help with the clean up effort, but you’re not sure what you can do to help, here are 3 things Mark asks you consider:

  • Make a donation to help The Nature Conservancy restoration efforts in the Gulf — your contribution to our Fund for Gulf Coast Restoration will help TNC determine both the extent of the spill and the necessary long-term restoration work in the Gulf and states along its coast.
  • Second, tell your friends about The Nature Conservancy’s blog and what’s at stake for the Gulf Coast. Forward them this post, post it to Facebook or tweet on Twitter. Get the word out that the plants, animals and people in one of North America’s most treasured places will need our help.
  • Third, consider being a volunteer. The Conservancy is still assessing what volunteer opportunities will be needed and coordinating with groups like gulfresponse.org.

And in case you’re interested, here are the contents of the email:

Thank you. It’s hard to express how much all the phone calls and emails in the wake of the Gulf Oil Spill mean to me and to all the Conservancy’s staff — especially those working long hours in the Gulf states.

Many of you contacted us again after reading our Alabama director of conservation’s blog posts in yesterday’s e-newsletter, asking what you can do to help Bill and his team respond to the spill.

Here are three things you can do today to help the Gulf coast, its wildlife and the people who depend on it.

  • Make a donation to help our restoration efforts in the Gulf — your contribution to our Fund for Gulf Coast Restoration will help us determine both the extent of the spill and the necessary long-term restoration work in the Gulf and states along its coast.
  • Second, tell your friends about our blog and what’s at stake for the Gulf Coast. Forward them this email, post it to Facebook or tweet on Twitter. Get the word out that the plants, animals and people in one of North America’s most treasured places will need our help.
  • Third, consider being a volunteer. The Conservancy is still assessing what volunteer opportunities will be needed and coordinating with groups like gulfresponse.org.

Already, we’ve put to work The Nature Conservancy’s best knowledge and expertise in the Gulf region.

Our Fund for Gulf Coast Restoration will help us do even more and will be put to use by the Conservancy and its marine scientists and staff knowledgeable about the Gulf and about oil spill impacts to help the long-term restoration of this critical ecosystem.
Currently, our Louisiana staff is conducting flights over the coast with federal, state, and some of our non-governmental partners to help determine the extent of the spill and are working to protect critical oyster reefs in the Grand Isle, Biloxi Marsh, and Vermilion Bay areas.

I am in the Gulf region today to assess what more the Conservancy can do to respond and support our staff members who live along the Gulf and work every day on conservation here.

As you know, this is not just about the shrimp, the oysters, and the crabs. It is about both the Gulf’s marine ecosystem, as well the local economy and the people who depend on it.

I hope you will continue to follow Bill’s work and our progress on our blog.

Thank you for your offer to help and your critical support,

So, go ahead and take action now!

Loud Sonar Causes Deafness in Dolphins

Dolphins can be deafened by loud noises, which can lead to death.

A new study has found that loud sonar can cause deafness in dolphins.

The study found that loud, repeated blasts of sonar caused dolphins to temporarily lose their hearing for 20 to 40 minutes.

Published in the British journal Biology Letters on Wednesday, the findings could provide further evidence that human made noises can be attributed to dolphin and whale deaths. 

The study, led by Aran Mooney Marine Biologist at the University of Hawaii, exposed an Atlantic bottlenose dolphin to progressively louder pings of mid-frequency sonar. The dolphin was born in captivity and was trained. 

A suction cup was fitted to the dolphin’s head, with a sensor attached that monitored the animal’s brainwaves.

“What we found was if you play sound you can cause temporary hearing loss. The sounds have to be surprisingly loud and they have to be repeated over an extended period of time – two to three minutes.” Mooney said. “In that time you would expect them to swim away as fast as possible. They have to be within 40 metres of a ship, but when you have certain oceanographic conditions it’s hard for the animals to get out of the way.” 

Many people believe that human made noises, also referred to as acoustic smog, has been the cause of whale and dolphin beachings around the world.

Mooney acknowledges that, given the study was undertaken in a lab with a captive-born dolphin, it does not provide proof that military sonar is to blame for mass strandings. 

“We definitely showed that there are physiological and some behavioural effects [from repeated, loud sonar], but to extrapolate that into the wild, we don’t really know,” Mooney told AFP.

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