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Cool Farm Institute speak out on agricultural development



The occasional energy saving light bulb does, to some extent, deduct a fraction from your carbon toe print, but one of the biggest impacts on the Earth is left by agriculture. And with global consumption rising at a rate of knots, too, what are we going to do about it?

Last week, the Cool Farm Institute (CFI) was launched alongside partners Unilever, the University of Aberdeen and The Sustainable Food Lab, opening the gateway to a virtual farming world whereby producers in the food industry can witness their own environmental dent.

Using the Cool Farm Tool (CFT), farmers can have their greenhouse emissions projected before them and are provided tips on how they might lessen their environmental impacts.

Since its inception, the CFT has been successfully used by a number of market leaders, including PepsiCo, Marks and Spencer and Costco.

Following the launch of the innovative institute, Blue & Green Tomorrow spoke with members of the CFI management team and partner Unilever (which recently scooped its second sustainability trophy), to find out just how the institute proposes to revise the future of sustainable farming.

“The Tool has been piloted in over 20 crops and 22 countries around the world”, says Daniella Malin, project manager for the establishment of the CFI.

In the aspiration to universally administer the carbon calculator, the institute also envisions a growing “knowledge bank”, whereby a valuable network of farming industry specialists unite to provide an understanding of chain emissions management.

So, what is so ‘Cool’ about the Tool? Developed by Unilever and researchers at the University of Aberdeen, the unique programme allows user communities to ensure “continuous improvement”.

“The CFT is an excel spreadsheet”, explains Malin, “that allows farmers to input basic information – mostly off the top of their heads and then explore “what-if” scenarios for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and/or sequencing carbon in the soil or above ground biomass.

“Two key things will help with this First; an online version of the tool is needed to ease data collection, data management, translation to other languages, adaptations of the generic core model to various crops and to provide an improved user experience.

“Second; a growing critical mass of partners are needed to promote standardisation, where possible, among sustainability initiatives, crops and regions.

“Goals for the first year are to establish the governance, the membership structure, business plan and to develop the software specification and initial web-based version of the software.”

“We have seen a progression in interest and seriousness. Companies have moved from learning about the issue, to strategizing, to taking action”

Malin also emphasised the importance of GHG management, a point which she feels is still greatly overlooked: “For the most part, the topic is still far from top of mind for growers who have their crop/livestock to think about, but we have seen progress.”

Cool Farm Tool For Potatoes

The CFT is simple enough to use. By downloading the inventive excel template, the global farming community can work with solid information on effective management of GHG emissions in agriculture.

Emma Keller, a sustainability research engineer with Unilever on the CFI management team, told us how the tool has already begun to change the face of GHG management: “Already we have had positive feedback from our own suppliers and are “learning by doing” along with peers who face similar challenges.

She adds, “At Unilever, we are working towards scaling up our deployment of the CFT within our supply chain.

“Moreover being part of the institute helps us to work jointly with our suppliers and growers on a journey for conscious improvement, using a robust and accepted decision support tool. This will help us to make progress on our sustainable sourcing and impact reduction ambitions and further build the strength of our brands.”

B&GT will continue to support sustainable initiatives in the search to prevent the effects of global warming. The CFI positions itself at the centre of future agricultural development and sets a leading-edge example.

Further reading:

Global food system crisis

Climate-smart agriculture: responding to the challenge

The role of agriculture in promoting a sustainable economy


What Kitchen Suits Your Style? Modern, Classic or Shaker?




shaker kitchen designs

A kitchen is the centre of the home. Your kitchen ranges between where friends and family gather, talk about their day, cook meals, have drinks, to somewhere you can just enjoy each other’s company. The kitchen is the heart of the home. But, everyone’s lifestyle is different. Everyone’s taste is different. So, you need a kitchen that not only mirrors your lifestyle but matches your taste too. Whilst some prefer a more traditional design, others want a modern feel or flair – and it’s all down to personal taste.

When it comes to redesigning your kitchen, what style would you go for? It’s a difficult one isn’t it. With so many different styles to go for, how can you know exactly what you want until you’ve seen it in action? Leading kitchen designer, Roman Kitchens, based in Essex, have provided three examples of bespoke kitchens and styles they specialise in, accompanied with beautiful images. This design guide will get you one step closer to picking your dream kitchen for your home.

1. Modern

New home in the city centre? Or even a sleek new modern build? You want a trendy and modern kitchen to reflect your city lifestyle. In modern kitchen design, colours are bolder and fresher, with sleek design and utilities that are distinctive and vibrant.

modern kitchen designs

This modern kitchen is sleek and smooth with flawless design and beauty. Minimalism doesn’t stop this kitchen standing out. Featured walls of wood and vibrant mint green draw the eye, whilst the white surfaces reflect the light, illuminating every nook and cranny of this kitchen. This kitchen features products from Rotpunkt, innovators of modern kitchen design. Made with German engineering, a Rotpunkt Kitchen is the ultimate modern addition to your home. Rotpunkt Kitchens have timeless design and amazing functionality, they work for every purpose and are eco-friendly. Sourced from natural materials, a Rotpunkt kitchen uses 37% less timber, conserving natural forests and being more environmentally conscious.

2. Classic

Prefer a homely and traditional feel? Classic kitchens are warm, welcoming and filled with wood. Wood flooring, wood fixtures, wood furniture – you name it! You can bring a rustic feel to your urban home with a classic kitchen. Subtle colours and beautiful finishes, Classic kitchens are for taking it back to the basics with a definitive look and feel.

classic kitchen designs

With stated handles for cupboards, Classic kitchens are effortlessly timeless. They convey an elegant but relaxing nature. Giving off countryside vibes, natural elements convey a British countryside feel. The wood featured in a classic kitchen can range between oaks and walnut, creating a warmth and original feel to your home. Soft English heritage colours add a certain mood to your home, softening the light making it cosier.

3. Shaker

Any kitchen planner will tell you that the meeting point between traditional and modern design, is a Shaker kitchen. They have a distinctive style and innovative feel. Shakers are fresh, mixing different colour tones with stylish wood and vinyl. The most important feature of a Shaker kitchen is functionality – every feature needs to serve a purpose in the kitchen. Paired with stylish and unique furniture, a Shaker kitchen is an ideal addition to any home.

shaker kitchen designs

The ultimate marriage between Classic and Modern kitchens, this Shaker kitchen has deep colour tones with copper emphasis features. All the fittings and fixtures blur the line of modern and tradition, with a Classic look but modern colour vibe. Unique furniture and design make Shaker Kitchens perfect for the middle ground in kitchen design. Minimal but beautifully dressed. Traditional but bold and modern at the same time. Storage solutions are part of the functionality of Shaker kitchens, but don’t detour from conveying yours as a luxury kitchen.

Whatever you choose for your new kitchen, be it Modern, Classic or Shaker – pick whatever suits you. Taste is, and always will be, subjective – it’s down to you.

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Ways Green Preppers Are Trying to Protect their Privacy



Environmental activists are not given the admiration that they deserve. A recent poll by Gallup found that a whopping 32% of Americans still doubt the existence of global warming. The government’s attitude is even worse.

Many global warming activists and green preppers have raised the alarm bell on climate change over the past few years. Government officials have taken notice and begun tracking their activity online. Even former National Guard officers have admitted that green preppers and climate activists are being targeted for terrorist watchlists.

Of course, the extent of their surveillance depends on the context of activism. People that make benign claims about climate change are unlikely to end up on a watchlist, although it is possible if they make allusions to their disdain of the government. However, even the most pacifistic and well intentioned environmental activists may unwittingly trigger some algorithm and be on the wrong side of a criminal investigation.

How could something like this happen? Here are some possibilities:

  • They could share a post on social media from a climate extremist group or another individual on the climate watchlist.
  • They could overly politicize their social media content, such as being highly critical of the president.
  • They could use figures of speech that may be misinterpreted as threats.
  • They might praise the goals of a climate change extremist organization that as previously resorted to violence, even if they don’t condone the actual means.

Preppers and environmental activists must do everything in their power to protect their privacy. Failing to do so could cost them their reputation, future career opportunities or even their freedom. Here are some ways that they are contacting themselves.

Living Off the Grid and Only Venturing to Civilization for Online Use

The more digital footprints you leave behind, the greater attention you draw. People that hold controversial views on environmentalism or doomsday prepping must minimize their digital paper trail.

Living off the grid is probably the best way to protect your privacy. You can make occasional trips to town to use the Wi-Fi and stock up on supplies.

Know the Surveillance Policies of Public Wi-Fi Providers

Using Wi-Fi away from your home can be a good way to protect your privacy.However, choosing the right public Wi-Fi providers is going to be very important.

Keep in mind that some corporate coffee shops such a Starbucks can store tapes for up to 60 days. Mom and pop businesses don’t have the technology nor the interest to store them that long. They generally store tips for only 24 hours and delete them afterwards. This gives you a good window of opportunity to post your thoughts on climate change without being detected.

Always use a VPN with a No Logging Policy

Using a VPN is one of the best ways to protect your online privacy. However, some of these providers do a much better job than others. What is a VPN and what should you look for when choosing one? Here are some things to look for when making a selection:

  • Make sure they are based in a country that has strict laws on protecting user privacy. VPNs that are based out of Switzerland, Panama for the British Virgin Islands are always good bets.
  • Look for VPN that has a strict no logging policy. Some VPNs will actually track the websites that you visit, which almost entirely defeats the purpose. Most obviously much better than this, but many also track Your connections and logging data. You want to use a VPN that doesn’t keep any logs at all.
  • Try to choose a VPN that has an Internet kill switch. This means that all content will stop serving if your VPN connection drops, which prevents your personal data from leaking out of the VPN tunnel.

You will be much safer if you use a high-quality VPN consistently, especially if you have controversial views on climate related issues or doomsday prepping.

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