This is the year’s most popular features according to the wisdom of the Blue & Green crowd. Our won Marbles Awards, BP in Australia, Democracy, JFK, Tourism as force for good, small is beautiful, Greenpeace’s Rainbow Warrior, Tobacco, Festivals, Clean Scandinavia and Sustainable Tourism.
The Blue & Green Marbles: the 2015 shortlist – #sustainpersonoftheyear15
We asked a small jury of 12 friends, readers and supporters to come up with a short list of the people we all think have made the biggest difference to sustainability in 2015. Read more.
BP Great Australian Bight Oil Spill Could Impact All Southern Australia’s Coast
An oil spill in the Great Australian Bight from a deep-sea well blowout would be devastating for fisheries and marine life, according to new independent oil spill modelling commissioned by the Wilderness Society. Read more.
One Size Doesn’t Fit All: Democracy Is Not Always The Best Form Of Government
The Intelligence Squared democracy debate took place at just the right time for Blue & Green Tomorrow’s Guide to Sustainable Democracy. Held in London’s Cadogan Hall in front of a sold out audience, the debate explored whether democracy is always the best form of government. Read more.
Quote Of The Day: “We Do These Things Because They Are Hard”
Fifty years ago today, JFK made his seminal “we choose to go to the moon” speech at Rice University. Less than a decade later, Neil Armstrong made “one small step for a man, a giant leap for mankind”. Moving to a sustainable economy is mankind’s greatest leap yet and we need to do it because it is hard and necessary. Read more.
Why Tourism Can Be A Force For Good In The Developing World, And Why It Isn’t
Tourism can bring about positive change, but bad practices within the industry tend to make it part of the problem, rather than part of the solution. Felipe Zalamea of Sumak Sustainable Travel explains why tourism could be a force of good in the developing world, but isn’t. Read more.
Book Review: Small Is Beautiful: A Study Of Economics As If People Mattered – EF Schumacher (1973)
EF Schumacher’s controversial study, Small Is Beautiful, was first published in 1973 but remains as relevant and thought-provoking today as it was in the 70s. Over the last 40 years, the book is been highly influential in environmental and social justice movements. Read more.
On This Day In 1985: French Government Blows Up Greenpeace’s Rainbow Warrior
Twenty-eight years ago today, French secret service agents blew up the Greenpeace ship, Rainbow Warrior, killing one man. The tragedy took place in Auckland harbour. Read more.
Not Just Unethical, Tobacco Is A Financially Unsustainable Investment
It may be unethical and immoral to profit from companies that sell addictive, cancer-causing drugs to children in places with little or no public health or education, but it is also financially unsustainable in the long-term. Read more.
Sustainability In The City: Reykjavik, Iceland
No list of inspirational sustainable cities would be complete without a nod to Reykjavik – the capital, largest city and cultural hub of Iceland. Its tiny population of around 120,000 people (almost 40% of all Icelanders) lives in a city with bold ambitions to cut its contributions to climate change and become a world leader in renewable energy. Read more.
Festivals Play A Crucial Role In Switching On Our Environmental Antennas
As Glastonbury 2013 gets underway, Francesca Baker reflects on how festivals can inspire a generation of environmentally-aware individuals. Read more.
We Can Learn A Lot About Clean Energy From Scandinavian Nations
Scandinavia has managed to reduce its carbon emissions and achieve considerable economic growth. As a result, countries like Denmark and Sweden have become some of the greenest in Europe. Read more.
UNWTO: Leading The Global Drive To Sustainable Tourism
Blue & Green Tomorrow caught up with the United Nations World Tourism Organisation – the world governing body for the travel and tourism industries – about its work in pushing for sustainable tourism. Read more. Read more.
A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon
Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.
There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.
1. The Rise Of Smart Windows
When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.
If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.
2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs
If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.
Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.
3. Low-E Windows Taking Over
It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.
They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.
4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges
Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.
The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.
5. Improving Our Current LEDs
Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.
That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.
Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too
Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.
ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244
IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”
IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.
Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.
Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.
Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:
“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.
We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.
There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.
We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”