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Four-In-Five Scots Would Accept Pre-Loved Gifts This Christmas

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Four-In-Five Scots Would Accept Pre-Loved Gifts This Christmas

Four out of five Scots would be happy to receive a pre-loved gift this Christmas – but just under two thirds (65%) of those asked* say they would be unlikely to buy one for someone else.

That’s according to new research from Zero Waste Scotland, which is driving efforts to encourage people to re-use and repair more.

The findings are highlighted as Zero Waste Scotland prepares to welcome two high- street chains to Scotland’s national Revolve standard – a quality certification for second-hand shopping that that lets people know they are buying from a credible retailer.

Sense Scotland and Capability Scotland will add 18 stores to those achieving the
Revolve standard, taking the total to 80 nationwide.

Revolve aims to make buying second-hand items a popular and positive experience. The survey from YouGov, commissioned by Zero Waste Scotland, also shows that 68% of Scots have purchased a second-hand item for themselves, and the main reasons they selected for doing so, or considering it in the future, were to find good quality items at lower prices (56%) or to find unique items (44%). However, only one quarter of Scots said they had ever gifted someone else a second-hand item.

Buying second-hand from a Revolve certified store means you can bag a bargain and give something unique

Iain Gulland, Chief Executive, Zero Waste Scotland, said:
“This Christmas we are urging people to think before they buy. Buying second-hand from a Revolve certified store means you can bag a bargain and give something unique, help others by supporting good causes and be kinder to the planet by keeping items in use.

“People may worry that friends and family won’t be happy with a second-hand gift, but these new figures show the majority of people would actually welcome a pre- loved gift. Now that there are over 80 Revolve certified shops across the country, including high street branches of Sense Scotland and Capability Scotland, it has never been easier to find a place to shop second-hand with confidence.”

The most popular types of second-hand items purchased in Scotland, according to the survey, include (in order) books (72%), clothes (50%), furniture (44%), DVDs (43%), music CDs (39%), electronics (31%), fashion accessories (30%), baby items (19%) and shoes (19%).

Sophie Wilbraham, Head of Retail at Capability Scotland, said:
“We’re delighted to be part of Zero Waste Scotland’s campaign to encourage people to think charity shop when doing their Christmas shopping. At this time of year we have a fantastic selection of pre-loved items for the festive season including partywear, toys and gift ideas, and with our new Revolve accreditation the public can be confident in the quality of what they are buying.”

Andy Kerr, Chief Executive of Sense Scotland said:
“We are delighted to receive this recognition of our commitment to quality in our shops in the West of Scotland. At this time of year our shops are busy within their local communities providing great gift ideas for Christmas while also receiving very welcome donations of pre-loved items. The Revolve accreditation ensures everyone can buy with confidence knowing that all our items are quality assured.”

To find your nearest Revolve certified store visit www.revolvereuse.com

Energy

Is Wood Burning Sustainable For Your Home?

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sustainable wood burning ideas

Wood is a classic heat source, whether we think about people gathered around a campfire or wood stoves in old cabins, but is it a sustainable source of heat in modern society? The answer is an ambivalent one. In certain settings, wood heat is an ideal solution, but for the majority of homes, it isn’t especially suitable. So what’s the tipping point?

Wood heat is ideal for small homes on large properties, for individuals who can gather their own wood, and who have modern wood burning ovens. A green approach to wood heat is one of biofuel on the smallest of scales.

Is Biofuel Green?

One of the reasons that wood heat is a source of so much divide in the eco-friendly community is that it’s a renewable resource and renewable has become synonymous with green. What wood heat isn’t, though, is clean or healthy. It lets off a significant amount of carbon and particulates, and trees certainly don’t grow as quickly as it’s consumed for heat.

Of course, wood is a much less harmful source of heat than coal, but for scientists interested in developing green energy sources, it makes more sense to focus on solar and wind power. Why, then, would they invest in improved wood burning technology?

Homegrown Technology

Solar and wind technology are good large-scale energy solutions, but when it comes to small-space heating, wood has its own advantages. First, wood heat is in keeping with the DIY spirit of homesteaders and tiny house enthusiasts. These individuals are more likely to be driven to gather their own wood and live in small spaces that can be effectively heated as such.

Wood heat is also very effective on an individual scale because it requires very little infrastructure. Modern wood stoves made of steel rather than cast iron are built to EPA specifications, and the only additional necessary tools include a quality axe, somewhere to store the wood, and an appropriate covering to keep it dry. And all the wood can come from your own land.

Wood heat is also ideal for people living off the grid or in cold areas prone to frequent power outages, as it’s constantly reliable. Even if the power goes out, you know that you’ll be able to turn up the heat. That’s important if you live somewhere like Maine where the winters can get exceedingly cold. People have even successfully heated a 40’x34’ home with a single stove.

Benefits Of Biomass

The ultimate question regarding wood heat is whether any energy source that’s dangerous on the large scale is acceptable on a smaller one. For now, the best answer is that with a growing population and limited progress towards “pure” green energy, wood should remain a viable option, specifically because it’s used on a limited scale. Biomass heat is even included in the UK’s Renewable Heat Initiative and minor modifications can make it even more sustainable.

Wood stoves, when embraced in conjunction with pellet stoves, geothermal heating, and masonry heaters, all more efficient forms of sustainable heat, should be part of a modern energy strategy. Ultimately, we’re headed in the direction of diversified energy – all of it cleaner – and wood has a place in the big picture, serving small homes and off-the-grid structures, while solar, wind, and other large-scale initiatives fuel our cities.

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Environment

New Climate Change Report Emphasizes Urgent Need for Airline Emission Regulations

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In less than two months, the United States has grappled with some of the worst natural disasters in its history. Hurricanes battered the south central United States. Fires destroyed homes throughout Northern California. Puerto Rico experienced some of the worst storms ever. A massive windstorm caused more damage to the northeastern United States then any other storm on record before winter even struck.

These recent incidents have spurred discussion on the dangers of climate change. A recent report from the University of London has shed some light on the discussion. The new report suggests that new regulations are needed, including stricter EPA regulations on Airlines.

Review of the new report

The new report was published in the British medical Journal, Lancet. The report concluded that climate change is a “threat multiplier” for a variety of social problems, including diseases and natural disasters. While numerous studies have processed the risk that climate change plays with creating natural disasters, University of London report is among the first to explore the relationship between climate change and disease.

The authors warned that the problems are becoming irreversible. They will continue to get worse if risk factors are not adequately addressed.

The most concerning part of the report is that these problems are having the most serious impact on the most vulnerable communities in the world. Countries that depend on agriculture and other issues will suffer the most if climate change escalates.

“The answer is, most of our indicators are headed in the wrong direction,”said Nick Watts, a fellow at University College London’s Institute for Global Health and executive director of the Lancet Countdown, one of the lead researchers of the paper. “Broadly, the world has not responded to climate change, and that lack of response has put lives at risk. … The impacts we’re experiencing today are already pretty bad. The things we’re talking about in the future are potentially catastrophic.”

Airline industry discovers climate change is a two-way Street

The airline industry is coping with the problems of climate change, while also coming to terms with the fact that it has helped accelerate the problem. Earlier this year, American Airlines was forced to cancel four dozen flights near Phoenix. Cancellations were called due to excessive temperatures. The air was over 120 degrees, which is too hot for some smaller jet planes to get off the ground.

One anonymous airline executive privately admitted that their business model has facilitated climate change. They warned that the problem may become twice as bad in the next few years if proper safeguards aren’t implemented. Representatives from Goindigo have echoed these concerns.

The EPA has stated that airplanes account for 11% of all emissions. They are expected to increase over 50% within the next 30 years. This could have serious repurcussions if newer, greener airplane models don’t become the new standard in the very near future.

This is driving discussion about the need for new policies.The EPA has been discussing the need for new airline regulations for nearly two years. An EPA ruling made in July 2016 set the tone for new regulations, which could be introduced in the next year.

The new policies may be delayed, due to the new president’s position on climate change. He hired an EPA chief that has sued the organization about a dozen times. However, the Trump Administration may not be able to oppose climate change indefinitely, because a growing number of people are pressing for reforms. Even younger conservatives primarily believe climate change is a threat and are demanding answers. This may force the EPA to follow through on its plans to introduce new solutions.

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