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Bill Oddie Joins Opencast Coal Mine Protest

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Yesterday Bill Oddie joined activists in Northumberland protesting an opencast coal mine. The naturalist and broadcaster attended a beach party and picnic where protestors rallied against proposals for a huge opencast coal mine near Newcastle. Banks Mining, part of the Banks Group, has put forward the proposal.

The event, organised by Save Druridge and supported by Friends of the Earth and other groups, is being held to celebrate Druridge Bay, which is under threat from plans for a huge opencast coal mine that will cause massive environmental destruction next to one of Northumberland’s most beautiful and loved beaches.

The proposal, by Banks Mining, would see up to three million tonnes of coal excavated by 2023 on a site spreading across a square mile of land.

National and local campaigners are opposing the development because the opencast mine would scar the landscape, affect habitats and bird life in the area, impact on tourism and lead to more climate-changing carbon emissions.

Bill Oddie, Naturalist and broadcaster, said: “When I heard that there was a threat of opencast mining in Druridge Bay I honestly thought it had to be a rather sick April Fool’s Day prank. Heaven knows, we are used enough to having to combat new developments, but this is a grotesque step back to the bad old days. It is a matter of history that opencast mining was responsible for the major desecration of this part of Northumberland.

“It was a glorious step forward when the mining ceased and wonderfully successful regeneration began to take place. For years it has flourished.

“I myself have had tremendous pleasure enjoying the rich wildlife and imaginative management of Druridge Bay, Cresswell, Hauxley and other areas which combine to form one the finest wild areas in Britain. It is a tribute to what can be done. It must not become a monument to desecration. That opencast mining could once again be the Nemesis is simply staggeringly ironic.”

Local resident and Save Druridge member Lynne Tate said: “Northumberland were given a Silver Award last year in British Tourism, just missing out to Cornwall for Gold. This shows how much tourism has grown in our county.

“The proposed opencast mine will not only cause devastation in the form of pollution from dust, fumes, traffic, noise and wildlife displacement, but could also harm our tourism industry, which is growing year upon year and hugely boosting employment.

“Many people would bypass Druridge Bay if an opencast mine were allowed. It doesn’t make economic sense to give planning to a company which has just mothballed a mine at Rusha in Scotland three years early. We hope the planning committee sees sense and throws this application onto the scrapheap where it belongs.”

Friends of the Earth campaigner Guy Shrubsole, who spoke at the event, said: “Digging an opencast coal mine at Druridge Bay would desecrate the local landscape, be a tragedy for the region’s tourism and a disaster for the climate.

“It’s clear that the balance of public opinion in Northumberland is firmly opposed to the mine. It’s time to leave fossil fuels in the ground. Northumberland councillors should be in no doubt that this is also a decision of national significance and will echo for years to come – they can and must reject this mine.”

Photograph: Save Druridge

Environment

4 Common Items That Can be Reused Again and Again

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reuse reduce recycle plastic bottles etc
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Vanatchanan | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/vanatchanan%20buahom

As a society we are getting much better at taking our obligations to the world and environment around us more seriously. This is undoubtedly a good thing! The effects of climate change are beginning to manifest across the world, and this is turning the issue from an abstract threat into a very real danger. Trying to introduce some greener, more eco-friendly practices into your life isn’t just a great way of doing something beneficial for society and the world around you. It is a wonderful way of engaging positively with the world and carries with it numerous psychological benefits.

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Being a greener, more ecologically friendly person doesn’t require any dramatic life changes. Breaking or making a few small habits is all it takes to make your life a greener one. In this article we look at one of the easiest, yet most effective green practices to get into: reusing everyday items.

Jars and Containers

Glass and metal are widely recycled, and recycling is a good thing! However, consider whether any containers you buy, whether it’s a tub of ice cream or a jar of coffee, can be washed out and reused for something else. Mason jars, for example, can be used to store homemade pasta sauce and can be washed for future use. Once you start thinking about it, you will find endless opportunities to reuse your old containers.

Soda Bottles

An ice-cold soda is a wonderful treat on a hot day, but buying soda can get expensive, and the manufacturing and distribution of the drinks themselves isn’t great for the environment. However, by holding on to your old soda bottles and repurposing them as water bottles, you can save money on drinks, or use them to measure out water for your garden.

Plastic Bags

Most of the time groceries come in paper bags, which are better for the environment than the plastic alternatives, but they are less durable and thus harder to reuse. Whenever the store places your items in a plastic bag, hang onto it so you can reuse the bags again. If you want to take it one step further, consider looking into buying some personalized recycled bags. These bags are designed to last for a long time and are made of recycled materials. They look striking and unique, they’ll turn heads, and maybe even attitudes!

Seeds

If you’re a keen gardener, then you will already probably know how to reseed your plants in order to ensure a fresh crop after each plant’s lifecycle. If you have space in your garden, or haven’t yet tried your hand at gardening, then consider planting a small vegetable plot. Growing your own veggies means that you’ll be helping to cut back on the emissions generated by their transport and production. The best part about growing your own food in this way is that, by harvesting properly and saving the seeds, you can be set up with fresh vegetables for life!

Reusing and recycling common household items is an easy way to make your world a little bit greener. Once you start looking for these opportunities you’ll realize that they’re everywhere!

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Environment

These 5 Green Office Mistakes Are Costing You Money

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eco-friendly green offices
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Stokkete | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/cyano

The sudden interest in green business is very encouraging. According to recent reports, 42% of all companies have rated sustainability as an important element of their business. Unfortunately, the focus on sustainability will only last if companies can find ways to use it to boost their ROI.

Many businesses get so caught up in being socially conscious that they hope the financial aspect of it takes care of itself. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to go green and boost your net income at the same time.

Here are some important mistakes that you will want to avoid.

Only implementing sustainability on micro-scale

The biggest reason that brands are going green is to improve their optics with their customers. Too many businesses are making very minor changes, such as processing paperwork online and calling themselves green.

Customers have become wary of these types of companies. If you want to earn their business, you are going to need to go all the way. Bring in a green business consultant and make every feasible change to demonstrate that you are a green organization from top to bottom.

Not prioritizing investments by long-term ROI

It isn’t realistic to build an entirely green organization overnight. You will need to allocate your capital wisely.

Before investing in any green assets or services, you should always conduct a long-term cost benefit analysis. The initial investment for some green services may be over $20,000. If they don’t shave your cost by at least $3,000 a year, they probably aren’t worth the investment.

Determine which green investments will have the best pay off over the next 10 years. Make these investments before anything else. Then compare your options within each of those categories.

Implementing green changes without a plan

Effective, long-term planning is the key to business success. This principle needs to be applied to green organizations as well.

Before implementing a green strategy, you must answer the following questions:

  • How will I communicate my green business philosophy to my customers?
  • How will running a green business affect my revenue stream?
  • How will adopting green business strategies change my monthly expenses? Will they increase or decrease them?
  • How will my company finance green upgrades and other investments?

The biggest mistake that too many green businesses make is being overly optimistic with these forecasts. Take the time to collect objective data and make your decisions accordingly. This will help you run a much more profitable green business.

Not considering the benefits of green printing

Too many companies believe that going paperless is the only way to run a green organization. Unfortunately, going 100% paperless it’s not feasible for most companies.

Rather than aim for an unrealistic goal, consider the option of using a more environmentally friendly printer. It won’t be perfect, but it will be better than the alternative.

According to experts from Doranix, environmental printers have several benefits:

  • They can process paper that has been completely recycled.
  • They consume less energy than traditional printers.
  • They use ink that is more environmentally friendly.

You want to take a look at different green printers and compare them. You’ll find that some will meet your needs as a green business.

Poorly communicating your green business strategy to customers

Brand positioning doesn’t happen on its own. If you want to run a successful green business, you must communicate your message to customers as clearly as possible. You must also avoid the appearance that you are patronizing them.

The best approach is to be clear when you were first making the change. I’ll make an announcement about your company‘s commitment to sustainability.

You also want to reinforce this message overtime by using green labels on all of your products. You don’t have to be blatant with your messaging at this stage. Simply provide a small, daily reminder on your products and invoices.

Finally, it is a good idea to participate in green business seminars and other events. If your community has a local Green Chamber of Commerce, you should consider joining as well.

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