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ANOTHER PLANET

British household energy use increased by 18% between 1970 and 2009, according to new statistics. Information, revealed by the Office of National Statistics (ONS), show domestic energy consumption increased from 37 million tonnes of oil equivalent in 1970 to 44 million tonnes of oil equivalent in 2009.  The statistics, published in the latest chapter of the Social Trends, also show in 2008, 5.6% of all electricity consumption in the UK was from renewable resources. 

A Green event! edie.net had exclusive access a festival aimed at gathering like-minded environmentalists together, The Little Green Gathering, which took place earlier this month. You can read more at http://www.edie.net/news/news_story.asp?src=nl&id=20452

Firefly Solar have recently finished a commission that saw them team up with Timberland on their Earthkeeper power camp tour. Firefly were asked to design the electrical system for the bespoke ‘log rollers’ and also modified a number of the supplied smoothie bikes to include Firefly’s Kinetric PedGen systems. The power generated was stored in Firefly’s Cygnus solar generator for use when required.  The Earthkeeper power camp is an interactive consumer experience that educates people on Timberland’s environmental commitments by offering hot drinks and smoothies that are made using the energy supplied by the log rollers and Kinetrics devices.  Users at Cornbury and more recently at Camp Bestival were either asked to roll the log roller for six minutes or pedal on the modified bikes for the same amount of time in exchange for a cup of tea or a cool fruit smoothie.

And more from Firefly – as result of Firefly’s sustainability consultation Lovebox Festival have been awarded 2* status out of 3 in Julie’s Bicycles Industry Green (IG) certification scheme for their 2010 event.  Lovebox was one of only two major UK festivals to achieve the 2* rating.  The policies Firefly introduced helped the festival to lower its carbon footprint by 38%. This rating was achieved by integrating renewable power sources, encouraging public transport, increasing recycling, reducing waste to landfill and introducing a sustainable procurement policy. Firefly are also providing Coca-Cola Enterprises with 6 of its Cygnus generators to power the company’s Event Recycling programme at outdoor events in Great Britain and France. Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) piloted its Event Recycling programme during 2010 with the objective to motivate festival goers to make recycling a daily habit. The Programme recovered over 18 tonnes of recyclate (PET and cans) and reached an audience in excess of half a million people attending eight festivals during the summer of 2010.

Renewable energy pioneers, Good Energy Group, will provide international clothing retailer SuperGroup with 100% renewable electricity to over 70 of SuperGroup’s UK shops, warehouses and offices.  Under the new contract, SuperGroup – owner of Cult clothing stores and the Superdry brand – will also benefit from GEG equipment and software to facilitate better energy management across the organisation. 

Pub chain  JD Wetherspoons, which runs almost 800 pubs, has increased like for like sales of 2.2% for against the same period last year and working with emissions reductions experts, Carbon Statement, the chain has also managed to reduce its energy costs by an average of 7% per pub – not bad considering  the chain has also began opening at 7am, with sales of coffees and cooked breakfasts filling the tills and adding to energy bills. 

Edie.net reports that the deteriorating quality of plastic collected for recycling is costing local authorities £10M each year, owing to a reduction in the sale value of the material. Leading plastics recycler. ECO Plastics is concerned that local authority spending cuts could further reduce the quality of recycling collections and that, ultimately, councils could face a yearly bill of £20M to landfill the poorest quality materials which cannot be recycled. 

Plastic bag use in the UK is UP! New figures released by WRAP show a total of 6.4 billion single-use bags were used by supermarket customers across the UK in 2010.  Overall plastic bag use increased by 5% compared to 2009 when 6.1 billion bags were used.  

A community group in Skye are now the proud owners of almost 4.5million square metres of forest, after a successful bid to purchase the land from the government.   Sleat Community Trust first announced plans to purchase Tolmore Forest in 2009 following the Forestry Commission’s confirmation that the plot was to be sold and raised £330,000 for the deal.