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Co-wheels part of new Government push to promote car clubs

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Local Authorities and other public sector organisations will now have the right to contract directly with selected car club providers, including Co-wheels Car Club – the UK’s leading independent car club provider – under a brand new Government tendering framework agreement.  The new agreement will help to cut down lengthy tendering processes and is part of a drive to kickstart uptake of car club membership in the UK and to create a true sharing economy.

Co-wheels is one of only five companies chosen to be on the new preferred supplier list for car clubs and car sharing announced by the Crown Commercial Services – the Government body responsible for improving and promoting government and commercial procurement activity.   They will now be able to work directly with interested public sector organisations to set up new car club schemes more quickly, helping to reduce air pollution and reducing the numbers of cars on UK roads.

Pierre Fox, Commercial Director at Co-wheels said: “We are delighted to be included on the Government’s preferred supplier list for car club schemes.  We are the only independent supplier on the list and one of only two SMEs, which is a great achievement. This quicker and more direct tendering mechanism will really help the growth of car club schemes across the UK making it easier and quicker for public sector organisations to contract directly with us.

“Because Co-wheels operates as a social enterprise –  the only car club on the supplier list to do so – we are not only able to offer community car clubs and pool car schemes for cities, but we also provide car clubs in rural areas and locations where there is a real need for affordable transport alternatives.”

NB Over 12 cars are removed from the roads for every car club car on the street

“More and more people are seeing car sharing as a convenient and low cost alternative to car ownership. When people sign up to a Car Club, they benefit from the flexibility of being able to book a car on a “pay as you drive” basis with none of the hassle of car ownership, parking or having to pick up keys from a hire company’s offices.   People experience all of the benefits with none of the hassle of owning a car.”

Car clubs are growing in popularity across the UK and Co-wheels has already successfully won contracts with 16 local authorities including Aberdeen, Derby City and Glasgow, supplying over 100 cars to schemes in towns and cities across the UK, in addition to its large pay-as-you-go fleet.

One of the longest running schemes is in Aberdeen where Co-wheels offers 16 electric vehicles as part of their fleet of 38 cars – the highest number of electric cars for any car share scheme across the UK.  Aberdeen’s car club is a real success story with the scheme being used by more than 1100 drivers across the city, making it one of the highest car club user rates for a scheme in the UK.

Aberdeen City Council staff are encouraged to use Co-wheels cars for business instead of their own and over 500 staff are now members.  The scheme has recently won an award at the Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE) Awards 2015 for Best Innovation or Demand Management Initiative Category.

Co-wheels is the largest independent Car Club operator in the UK with operations in more than 50 locations, from small villages to city centres.  As a social enterprise, it ploughs all of its profits back into expanding the community car club network, and taking more cars off the road.

Car Clubs are growing rapidly across the UK – over the past five years, there has been sustained growth in Car Club membership to over 22,500 members using almost 700 vehicles in England and Wales outside London.

Advantages of joining a car club include:

– Over 12 cars are removed from the roads for every car club car on the street, which also helps reduce parking congestion;

– Electric and hybrid vehicles help tackle air quality issues in the city centre;

– Studies show Car Club vehicles are 37% less polluting than average public-owned car.

– Car Club members are more likely to use public transport and active travel modes more as part of their personal transportation requirements.

– Car Clubs reduce congestion and parking issues in city centres.

– Just under a third of car club members would have bought a private car if they had not joined a car club, representing a deferred purchase of approximately 6,360 cars;

– Only 29% of longer term members (members for more than six months) now own a car, compared to over half who owned a car before joining a car club;

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Extra-Mile Water Conservation Efforts Amidst Shortage

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water conserving

While some states are literally flooding due to heavy rains and run-off, others are struggling to get the moisture they need. States like Arizona and California have faced water emergencies for the last few years; water conserving efforts from citizens help keep them out of trouble.

If your area is experiencing a water shortage, there are a few things you can do to go the extra mile.

Repair and Maintain Appliances

Leaks around the house – think showerheads, toilets, dishwashers, and more – lead to wasted water. Beyond that, the constant flow of water will cause water damage to your floors and walls. Have repairs done as soon as you spot any problems.

Sometimes, a leak won’t be evident until it gets bad. For that reason, make appointments to have your appliances inspected and maintained at least once per year. This will extend the life of each machine as well as nip water loss in the bud.

When your appliances are beyond repair, look into Energy Star rated replacements. They’re designed to use the least amount of water and energy possible, without compromising on effectiveness.

Only Run Dishwasher and Washer When Full

It might be easier to do a load of laundry a day rather than doing it once per week, but you’ll waste a lot more water this way. Save up your piles of clothes until you have enough to fully load the washing machine. You could also invest in a washing machine that senses the volume of water needed according to the volume of clothes.

The same thing goes with the dishwasher. Don’t push start until you’ve filled it to capacity. If you have to wash dishes, don’t run the water while you’re washing. Fill the sink or a small bowl a quarter of the way full and use this to wash your dishes.

Recycle Water in Your Yard

Growing a garden in your backyard is a great way to cut down on energy and water waste from food growers and manufacturers, but it will require a lot more water on your part. Gardens must be watered, and this often leads to waste.

You can reduce this waste by participating in water recycling. Using things like a rain barrel, pebble filtering system, and other tools, you can save thousands of gallons a year and still keep your landscaping and garden beautiful and healthy.

Landscape with Drought-Resistant Plants

Recycling water in your yard is a great way to reduce your usage, but you can do even more by reducing the amount of water required to keep your yard looking great. The best drought-resistant plants are those that are native to the area. In California, for example, succulents grow very well, and varieties of cactus do well in states like Arizona or Texas.

Install Water-Saving Features

The average American household uses between 80 and 100 gallons of water every single day. You obviously can’t cut out things like showering or using the toilet, but you can install a few water-saving tools to make your water use more efficient.

There are low-flow showerheads, toilets, and faucet aerators. You could also use automatic shut-off nozzles, shower timers, and grey water diverters. Any of these water saving devices can easily cut your water usage in half.

Research Laws and Ordinances for Your City

Dry states like California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada must create certain laws to keep the water from running out. These laws are put into practice for the benefit of everyone, but they only work if you abide by the laws.

If you live in a state where drought is common, research your state and city’s laws. They might designate one day per week that you’re allowed to water your lawn or how full you can fill a pool. Many people are not well versed in the laws set by their states, and it would mean a lot to your community if you did your part.

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Cyprus is the Forerunner for Ecotourism

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When I was looking for a second citizenship, I happened to see One Visa’s offer on Cyprus Citizenship by investment program. I had heard about Cyprus being a beautiful country, but I did not know much else, so I decided to start my own research about this gem of a place.

After I did some research, I discovered that Cyprus is a popular destination for tourists. Unfortunately, heavy tourism and the associated development affected villages here and there, with some communities being slowly abandoned. To avoid this from happening any further, Cyprus went into ecotourism, and today, it is the forerunner in this arena. Let’s look in further detail at ecotourism in Cyprus here.

How was it started?

It all started in 2006 with the launch of the “Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative.” This program has the sole scope of promoting ecotourism developments in the tourism industry. It concentrates on those areas which require conservation and environmental safety. At the same time, it helps develop social, as well as economic statuses in the rural parts of Cyprus. Through this program, the government was able to acknowledge that ecotourism will play an essential role in the future of Cyprus, with the concept gaining momentum among tourists from all over the globe.

How to go about it?

So, now you are interested in going for an ecotourism vacation in Cyprus. How will you go about it? I would immediately say that everyone should visit the quaint Cypriot villages spread throughout the island. These communities have a smaller population, and not many tourists visit. They make for a great relaxing spot. Enjoy seeing the bustle of village life go by where simple pleasures abound. Most hamlets are linked by specific minibus tours which ferry tourists to these havens. These trips will have a regular schedule, aimed at promoting ecotourism further. Such tours will be regulated to ensure that while the villages can benefit and develop, they do not get overpopulated or overcrowded with tourists. Therefore, you can be sure to enjoy the beautiful sceneries that nature has to offer here.

If you are wondering if there are any activities to do here, my answer would be: “Yes, plenty.” You can go for some guided walks across various regions here. Here you will be able to explore the diversified natural beauty and wildlife of the area. Several agritourism activities and services are planned to open shortly. Once launched, you will be able to engage in picking olives, milking goats, and several other such events here.

What can be learned?

Although we are aware that natural resources need to be preserved, we do not always remember it in real life. When we go on tours such as these, we can realize the significance of protecting nature. Also, when more and more people visit these places, the concept of ecotourism will become popular among more people. Awareness about ecotourism is set to grow and spread throughout the world. Subsequently, sustainable tourism will gain popularity around the globe with Cyprus being the forerunner for ecotourism .

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