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A Story of a Greener Future: Scotland sends a message to the World Climate Change Summit



In the first consultation of its kind, the Scottish International Storytelling Festival is gathering stories, songs and dances from festival audiences in order to provide an artistic response around the theme of the ‘Tree of Life’ to what some are calling the most important event of this century – COP21 UN climate change negotiations in Paris.

As the festival enters its closing weekend, specially programmed tree-themed events looking at building a greener world will be held at the Scottish Storytelling Centre and the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh, ahead of an event and workshop entitled ‘Tree of Life’, which symbolises the inter-relation of life and an ecology that unites humanity and nature.

These events will allow audiences to share their stories of a greener future with decision makers in Paris next month, as Donald Smith, Director of the Scottish International Storytelling Festival explains: “The Tree has roots, branches and leaves, and offers a habitat for birds, insects and animals. It symbolises the inter-relation of life and an ecology that unites humanity and nature. It is a sign of sustainability, through which we can re-green our planet through virtuous cycles of air, water and earth.

“We invite our friends around the world to share their Tree of Life stories and traditions so that Paris may receive the oldest ancestor wisdom in the world – the wisdom of life – and give our children their future.”

The festival marks the start of what will be a Scotland wide series of performances, events, exhibitions and workshops as part of ArtCOP Scotland: Scotland’s climate change arts season in response to the COP21 negotiations in Paris. ArtCOP Scotland, initiated by Creative Carbon Scotland is using this global event as an opportunity to explore how culture can address climate change and imagine more sustainable futures and ways of living. Spread across the country, this season is a celebration of creative exploration, debate and discussion connecting art, climate change and environmental sustainability.

Events will be run with commissioning partners including Gayfield Creative Spaces (Edinburgh), Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (Glasgow), Deveron Arts (Huntly), Firefly Youth Arts (Livingstone), and The Stove (Dumfries). The season will also encompass events run in collaboration with key partners including UNFIX Festival of performance and ecology, and the Radical Renewable Art & Activism Fund with artist Ellie Harrison.

Ben Twist, Director of Creative Carbon Scotland said: We believe that culture has an essential part to play in shaping a sustainable Scotland through the work it makes and presents, the way it operates and how it speaks to the public. ArtCOP Scotland provides an excellent platform for artists, cultural organisations and policy makers to creatively explore this.

For further information and tickets for the Scottish International Storytelling Festival visit: for further information ArtCOP Scotland and events visit


A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon




energy efficient homes

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

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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.”

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