Friday, 6 April 2007


Carbon Footprint

Carbon Footprint is a measure of the impact human activities have on the environment in terms of the amount of green house gases produced, measured in units of carbon dioxide.

Carbon Footprint Calculator

Carbon Footprint Flight Calculator

Express Flight Emissions Calculator

We all know that planes contribute large amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere. We should all try not to fly if possible, but if you have to, then you should be aware of the impact on the planet. This calculator will show you how much you are responsible for, for your individual flight.
Note: this calculator is currently in development so at the moment only covers flights from UK, London. We will be adding to it over the coming months to take in more start and end points.

Minimise your carbon footprint Today it is more important than ever before to minimise your footprint. Not only are the developed western countries producing more and more carbon emissions, but there is a growing problem as the population in Africa and Asia start living improved lifestyles which consume more energy.
We need to lead the way...
Did you know... Electricity is one of the biggest producers of carbon emissions, so every time you make a coffee or turn the television on you are adding to global warming. switch to green energy

Here's a list of simple things you can do immediately, which will start to reduce your contribution to global warming. The items in this list will cost you no money at all and will in fact save you money.

Sign up to a green energy supplier, who will supply electricity from renewable sources (e.g. wind and hydroelectric power) - this will reduce your carbon footprint contribution from electricity to zero
Turn it off when not in use (lights, television, DVD player, Hi Fi, computer etc. etc. ...) Click here to find out which electrical items in your household are contribute the most to your Carbon Footprint
Turn down the central heating slightly (try just 1 to 2 degrees C)
Turn down the water heating setting (just 2 degrees will make a significant saving)
Check the central heating timer setting - remember there is no point heating the house after you have left for work
Fill your dish washer and washing machine with a full load - this will save you water, electricity, and washing powder
Fill the kettle with only as much water as you need
Unplug your mobile phone as soon as it has finished charging
Defrost your fridge/freezer regularly
Do your weekly shopping in a single trip
Hang out the washing to dry rather than tumble drying it
Go for a run rather than drive to the gym
The following is a list of items that may take an initial investment, but should pay for themselves over the course of 1-4 years through savings on your energy bills.
Fit energy saving light bulbs
Install thermostatic valves on your radiators
Insulate your hot water tank, your loft and your walls
35% of heat generated in the house is lost through the walls. Installing cavity wall installation to a medium size house could reduce your heating bills by up to £100 per year
By installing 180mm thick loft insulation you could stop about 25% of your heating escaping through the roof
Recycle your grey water
Replace your old fridge / freezer (if it is over 15 years old), with a new one with energy efficiency rating of "A"
Replace your old boiler with a new energy efficient condensing boiler
Travel less and travel more carbon footprint friendly.
Car share to work, or for the kids school run
Use the bus or a train rather than your car
Don't use domestic flights (e.g. from London to Edinburgh), use a train or a coach.
Take the ferry or channel tunnel instead of flying to France
See if your employer will allow you to work from home one day a week
Next time you replace your car - check out diesel engines. With one of these you can even make your own Biodiesel fuel. Find out more about Biodiesel.
When on holiday - hire a bicycle to explore locally rather than a car
When staying in a hotel turn the lights and air-conditioning off when you leave your hotel room
Ask for you room towels to be washed every other day, rather than every day
As well as your primary carbon footprint, there is also a secondary footprint that you cause through your buying habits. If you buy foods out of season at the super market, then these will have either been flown or shipped in from far away - all adding to your carbon footprint.
Reduce your consumption of meat
Don't buy bottled water if your tap water is safe to drink (especially if it has been shipped from far away)
Buy local fruit and vegetables, or even try growing your own
Don't buy fresh fruit and vegetables which are out of season, they may have been flown in
Try to buy products made closer to home (look out and avoid items that are made in the distant lands such as China and India)
Buy organic produce
Don't buy over packaged products
Recycle as much as possible

Think carefully about the type of activities you do in your spare time. Do any of these cause an increase in carbon emissions? e.g. Saunas, Health clubs, restaurants and pubs, go-karting etc. etc...

In addition there is your footprint at work. Do you leave your computer and monitor on when you are away from your desk? Do you leave the lights on when you leave the office? Do you print documents unnecessarily - and could you print two pages to a side and double sided?

Wednesday, 4 April 2007


When you're travelling to a green car show, it's not the done thing to turn up in a gas-guzzling supercar. Getting from Brighton to the Eden Project in Cornwall by public transport is theoretically possible, but logistically difficult and, what with a combination of trains, buses and taxis, exceedingly expensive. None of the electric cars currently on offer could get close before needing a recharge, and a zero-emissions hydrogen-fuelled vehicle falls at the first hurdle: hydrogen supplies are pretty well non-existent in the UK.

Saab has a relatively viable, real-world, here-and-now solution, however: its 2.0t and 2.3t Biopower models, which drink E85 fuel (made up of 85% bioethanol, 15% conventional petrol) and which can also run on 100% petrol if you can't find an E85 pump.

As bioethanol is synthesised from renewable organic sources - from wheat to waste wood chips - it's being hailed as a way of reducing our fossil-fuel dependency. And as the plants or trees from which it is made absorb carbon dioxide as they grow, the carbon dioxide emissions produced from burning the fuel can be cancelled out. 9-5 Biopower: cleaner and faster The 9-5 Biopower models - available in saloon or estate form - don't rely solely on their relative environmental friendliness for their appeal. Ethanol has a higher octane rating than petrol, allowing greater power outputs. The 2.0t Biopower models, priced from £22,070, have 20% more horsepower and 16% more torque (180bhp/206lb-ft) when running on E85. The newer 2.3t models (from £23,270) have been tuned to give up to 210bhp and 229lb-ft of torque from the 2.3-litre turbocharged engine. When running on normal unleaded petrol, maximum output falls to 185bhp/207lb-ft.


Supreme Court rules against Bush on emissions

April 03, 2007

THE US Supreme Court rebuked the Bush administration today for its inaction on global warming in a decision that could encourage faster action in Congress on climate change and lead to more fuel-efficient cars as early as next year. EU lashes Australia, US on climateThe court, in a 5-4 ruling in its first case on climate change, declared that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are air pollutants under the Clean Air Act.

The Environmental Protection Agency has the authority to regulate those emissions from new cars and trucks under the landmark environment law, and the “laundry list” of reasons it has given for declining to do so are insufficient, the court said.

“A reduction in domestic emissions would slow the pace of global emissions increases, no matter what happens elsewhere,” Justice John Paul Stevens said in the majority opinion.
“EPA has offered no reasoned explanation for its refusal to decide whether greenhouse gases cause or contribute to climate change.”

The politics of global warming have changed dramatically since the court agreed last year to hear its first case on the subject, with many Republicans as well as Democrats now pressing for action. However, the administration has argued for a voluntary approach rather than new regulation.

The reasoning in the court's ruling also appears to apply to EPA's decision not to impose controls on global warming pollution from power plants, a decision that has been challenged separately in court, several environmental lawyers said.

In the short term, the decision boosts California's and 11 other states' prospects for gaining EPA approval of their own programs to limit tailpipe emissions, beginning with the 2009 model year. Those cars begin appearing in showrooms next year. Emission limits would become stricter each year until 2016.

Automobile makers have said stricter emission limits would be accomplished by increasing fuel-economy standards.
Reacting to the court ruling, the automakers called for an economy-wide approach to global warming, cautioning that no single industry could bear the burden alone.
Today's ruling also improved the odds that Congress would take action on comprehensive legislation to reduce global warming, said business groups, environmental advocates and lawmakers. Several measures already have been introduced.

Senator Jeff Bingaman, a Democrat and chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee urged President George W Bush “to work with Congress to enact a mandatory cap-and-trade proposal and other programs to reduce our nation's greenhouse gas emissions”.
EPA spokeswoman Jennifer Wood said the agency is studying the court's ruling.
In the meantime, she defended EPA's voluntary partnerships to reduce emissions.
“These national and international voluntary programs are helping achieve reductions now while saving millions of dollars, as well as providing clean, affordable energy,” Wood said.
Many scientists believe greenhouse gases, flowing into the atmosphere at an unprecedented rate, are leading to warming of the Earth, rising sea levels and other marked ecological changes.
Carbon dioxide is produced when fossil fuels such as oil and natural gas are burned. One way to reduce those emissions is to have more fuel-efficient cars.

In handing an almost-total victory to Massachusetts, 11 other states, three cities and 13 environmental groups that sued the EPA, the court adopted many of their concerns and their belief that taking even limited action concerning new American cars and trucks is better than doing nothing.
The court's four conservative justices - Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas - dissented.
“In many ways, the debate has moved beyond this,” said Chris Miller, director of the global warming campaign for Greenpeace, one of the environmental groups that sued the EPA.
“All the front-runners in the 2008 presidential campaign, both Democrats and Republicans, even the business community, are much further along on this than the Bush administration is.”
Democrats took control of Congress last November. The world's leading climate scientists reported in February that global warming is “very likely” to be caused by man and is so severe that it will continue for centuries.

Former Vice President Al Gore's documentary movie, “An Inconvenient Truth” - making the case for quick action on climate change - won an Oscar award. Business leaders are saying they are increasingly open to congressional action to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, of which carbon dioxide is the largest.

Tuesday, 3 April 2007


Scots Green manifesto!

The Scottish Green Party has launched its manifesto for the Holyrood elections. Here are the main points of the plan.
Redirecting executive subsidies and support for multi-national companies into funding to support local businesses.
Communities to get a say on new national planning frameworks.
An "Environmental Justice Fund" of at least £2m per year to support community improvements help them respond to environmental "threats".
The introduction of a wide-ranging Sustainable Communities bill which would create incentives to buy from local suppliers and requirements for parts of land in regeneration areas to remain in some form of community ownership.
Pay communities to protect "public goods", such as wild areas and freshwater.
Giving all rural households and businesses access to broadband.
Extend crofting throughout Scotland.
Increase native woodland cover to 20% by 2010, 25% by 2020 and 40% by 2050.
Improve the ability of small businesses to tender for public sector contracts.
Ensure that at least 10% of public spending goes through social enterprises by 2012.
Develop an Ethical Financial Services strategy and support initiatives such as credit unions.
Ensuring the Scottish Executive and its agencies use an indicator which measures quality of life against economic development.
Make sustainable development "the top priority" for Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.
Create a national forum for sustainable economic development.
Work with councils to bring in environmental levies, for example on non-returnable packaging or road congestion.
Greater powers for the Scottish Parliament to bring in pollution tax and set a 50% tax rate for incomes of more than £100,000.
Replace council tax and uniform business rates with a Land Value Tax.
Expand the Sure Start child support programme and establish dedicated support services for parents, "before they reach crisis point".
"Radically" improve childcare and day-care for working parents and improve status of staff from current "low" levels.
New legislation to increase access to flexible working.
Block the use of PFI in new infrastructure schemes and develop alternatives, including municipal bonds.
Establish an independent review to explore how to bring the national grid into public ownership.
Make the reduction of public services' carbon footprints obligatory.
Appoint a minister for sustainable development and climate change.
Bring in legislation requiring the Scottish Executive to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 90% by 2050.
Establish a four-year fund worth £100m to support carbon-cutting community projects.
Generate 100% of electricity from renewable energy by 2050.
Set targets to improve the energy efficiency of housing and other buildings.
Upgrade footpaths and pavements
Link all schools and public centres by cycling and walking routes by 2017.
Improve bus services and conduct an inquiry into rural services and pricing.
More funding for Edinburgh trams.
Legislate for road traffic reduction.
Bring in legislation to ensure levels of freshness for food procured by the public sector, including schools and NHS establishments.
Invest in projects to allow more vulnerable patients to be cared for at home.
Fund more respite facilities for older and disabled people.
Rule out fluoridation of the water supply and focus on school-based tooth-brushing schemes.
Increase the student nurse bursary to £10,000 to cut student drop-out rates.
Offer patients access to complimentary and alternative medicine through GPs and local health boards.
Raise the minimum age for buying tobacco to 18.
Every household in Scotland to be given access to kerbside recycling and compost bins for those with gardens.
Setting a target of zero waste by 2020.
Cut greenhouse gas emissions from waste management by at least half by 2020.
Phase out the sale of single-use batteries while introducing a recycling scheme.
Making incinerators ineligible for funding support.
Maximum primary school class sizes of 20.
Set aside time in the curriculum for extended work experience.
Bonuses for teachers successful in raising attainment in deprived areas.
Ban advertising in schools and bring in free, healthy school meals.
Integrate state-funded religious schools into nondenominational education.
Improve support for home learning.
Scrap the student graduate endowment and bring back grants.
Fund outdoor skills training for teachers and provide cash to refurbish and develop outdoor centres.
Increased use of victim-offender mediation services.
Keep a record of reasons for sentencing and only jail offenders posing a "genuine risk to the public".
Introduce corporate killing legislation which places duty on individual directors.
Extend the children's hearing system to help 16-18-year-olds.

Monday, 2 April 2007


Finally after a lot of hard work and effort Homebrewpower has made it to the press.
Pusdey Times is a leeds based weekly publication which is distributed to around 130,000 addresses around the West Yorkshire.
Pudsey Times ran the following article on page 2
Andy Mahoney