Saturday, 5 July 2014

We've moved!

I've decided not to keep a separate eco-blog anymore.  I've incorporated Gaia-love into my main blog: In Louis' Wake. See you there.

Gaia-love @ InLouisWake

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Canal Solar Power Project, Gujarat

The state of Gujarat in northwestern India seems to be at the forefront of solar power generation. Already utilising wasteland and rooftops, Gujarat plans to use the 19,000 km Narmada canal network to generate power. The Canal Solar Power Project, was launched in April 2012, with a 1 megawatt (MW) pilot project on a branch canal.

By covering the waterways with solar panels, the project will not only create clean, renewable energy, it will help prevent water loss through evaporation. It will also have the added benefits of saving both space and money.

The Canal Solar Power Project is part of a 600 MW solar power project spread across 11 districts of Gujarat. This includes a 214MW Solar Power Park, the largest such generation centre at a single location in Asia.

EU bans animal testing

Last week the EU's total ban on animal testing for make-up came into force. The last deadline to phase out animal testing for cosmetic products was 11 March 2013. From now on, cosmetics tested on animals cannot be marketed in the EU... Yay Europe!

European Commissioner in charge of Health & Consumer Policy, Tonio Borg

Thursday, 14 March 2013

To frack or not to frack?

A friend directed me to this article today. It is a good article, detailed and apparently very balanced. Most informative. This is just a short summary of my thoughts, having read it.

The Facts on Fracking
I admit I didn't know much about fracking before reading this, other than that organisations like Friends of the Earth were saying it was a Very Bad Thing. I trust and believe what FoE says. Having read this, I still believe FoE. 

Perhaps gas extracted by fracking "holds a significant environmental advantage over coal mining" - but it is still a fossil fuel with all of the environmental detriment that implies. 

The article suggests that research and development of renewable energy technologies is being sidelined or blocked in favour of continued fracking (because it is relatively cheap and easy).  Clearly this is a short sited and purely profit driven approach.

Most importantly, my primary concern in fact, is the threat - even if it is only a potential threat - to the fresh water supply.  The surface of our Earth is covered in water but almost none of that is safe to drink. Drinking water is a rare a precious thing.  A thing to be cherished and protected.  At all costs.  Without safe, clean water - we die.  

So, in quick conclusion, Friends of the Earth and similar organisations say fracking is a Very Bad Thing.  I believe them.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Green gifts for Springtime

With Valentines, Mother's Day and Easter all so close together, now seems like the perfect time to look at some of the fantastic Eco gift options available. So, if you want to find something special for a special someone here are a few lovely gift ideas that won't cost the Earth

Sweet things
  • Choose organic/Fairtrade chocolates and eggs from companies like Montezuma and Divine
  • Try your hand at making cookies with seasonally-shaped cookie cutters

Flower power
  • Instead of intensively-produced, cut flowers, why not buy your loved one a living plant or tree? Or, show off your creative flair by making these pretty paper flowers
  • Alternatively, choose a floral inspired gift, such as wildflower seeds or a bee-friendly product
  • Why not give a Seedbom, handmade in Scotland, as an unusual (and quirky) alternative to a bouquet?

  • Go vintage: Try antique jewellery, flea markets and vintage shops to find unique gifts
  • If you're arty or crafty use your skills to make personalised presents or decorated eggs
  • Treat your loved one to theatre/concert tickets, a meal or a day out with you 

Cards and wrapping
  • Send plantable greetings cards from ECOHIP
  • Re-use giftbags/wrapping or choose a reusable option, like a basket or a pretty cotton scarf
  • Choose cards and wrapping which contain recycled paper and Recycle any cards you receive

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Science centres get boost from £40,000 green technology funding

Found online:

Scotland's four science centres are to share £40,000 of government funding to showcase green technologies as part of the Year of Natural Scotland.

Dundee Science Centre will host community and school events celebrating sustainable living and new technologies while Glasgow Science Centre will hold workshops and expert sessions at a festival of sustainable science.

Our Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh will hold environment workshops and exhibitions, and Aberdeen's Satrosphere Science Centre is holding a "Green Energy Discovery Weekend".
Glasgow's Science Centre will share in the investment
Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: "This funding will allow our four science centres to inspire people to experience and participate in our natural heritage as well as engaging with our sustainable future.

"These events and exhibitions will appeal to visitors at home and abroad, enhancing the celebration of the Year of Natural Scotland and helping to build momentum towards Homecoming Scotland 2014."

The national programme is being co-ordinated by Dundee Science Centre. Linda Leuchars, head of science learning and public engagement, said: "We are delighted to bring together the four Scottish science centres to deliver a joint, nation-wide programme of activities that celebrates the Year of Natural Scotland.

"Together, we aim to inspire the citizens and visitors of Scotland to experience and participate in Scotland's national heritage, and engage with a sustainable future for Scotland.

"At Dundee Science Centre, we will give specific focus to the theme of 'Green Communities' - working with our partners to deliver meet-the-expert events for school and public visitors to engage in a range of ideas relating to low carbon and sustainable living, from domestic energy usage to new technologies."

The Year of Natural Scotland 2013 is the last of the Scottish Government`s four "focus years", designed to highlight Scotland's natural assets, wildlife and beauty spots, and encourage responsible tourism.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Green gifts for Valentine's Day

If you want to get a little something special for your special little someone, here are 7 ideas for Valentine's Day that won't cost the Earth

1. Flower power
Instead of intensively-produced, cut flowers, why not buy your valentine a living plant or tree. If you have a bit of creative flair, you could make pretty paper flowers. Alternatively, choose a floral inspired gift, such as wildflower seeds or a bee-friendly product

2. Sweet treats
Try your hand at making cookies with a heart-shaped cookie cutter. If you're pushed for time or prefer to buy, look for Fair Trade or organic chocolate

3. Make your own voucher
For a completely unique, eco-friendly (and free) gift, make your own personalised voucher, with a promise to make breakfast in bed, treat them to a special day out or anything else you know they'll love

4. Gorgeous gifts
For something special, there are some great eco-friendly gifts for him or her in the Friends of the Earth Shop or subscribe to a magazine on whatever subject gets them excited

5. Candlelit dinners
Saving energy is a great excuse to turn off your lights and have a romantic dinner by candlelight. Try using vegetable-based or beeswax candles which are better for the environment (and your health) than paraffin candles (and be sure to use local, seasonal food)

6. Send ecards
Show a little love for the environment too by sending a Valentine ecard instead of a paper one

7. If music be the food of love...
Give them a gift they can listen to over and over. Use this link to buy a Gift Card with and they'll donate half the profits to the charity of your choice

hints 'n' tips via FoE