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CBI and Green Alliance cautious over Green Deal

Charlotte Reid writes how yet more voices have been added to the concerns over the effectiveness of the Government’s Green Deal, a flagship energy efficiency scheme.

The CBI, a business lobbying organisation, and the think-tank Green Alliance have expressed concern over new environmental legislation, the Green Deal. They warn that changes will need to be made to the proposed plans if they are to be as effective as promised.

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Charlotte Reid writes how yet more voices have been added to the concerns over the effectiveness of the Government’s Green Deal, a flagship energy efficiency scheme.

The CBI, a business lobbying organisation, and the think-tank Green Alliance have expressed concern over new environmental legislation, the Green Deal. They warn that changes will need to be made to the proposed plans if they are to be as effective as promised.

These statements coincided with the end of the Government’s consultation period on the proposals.

This comes after the Government’s own research revealed that the Green Deal could fail. When the proposals are introduced in October, a significant drop in the number of people taking up energy efficient measures is predicted.

Under current Government schemes that help with subsidising the cost of insulation, 1m homes a year have had their lofts insulated. But the data from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) predicts that once the Green Deal has been introduced, this figure will drop to 70,000 homes a year. The figure should be around 2m a year to meet the climate targets.

This drop in interest is also predicted in cavity wall insulation and solid wall insulation.

But as Rhian Kelly, CBI director for business environment says, “Without demand we haven’t got a Green Deal”.

She said, “The Green Deal has the potential to play a key part in the UK’s transition to a low carbon economy. If successful, the Green Deal will be a win-win policy, delivering cost effective emissions reductions and driving private sector growth”.

The think tank, Green Alliance, released a report looking into how the Green Deal is likely to be applied.

The report, called Getting a good deal from the Green Deal, concluded that there are a number of barriers that could affect the scheme. But it did notice that there was a lot of support for the proposals at community level. Only this week the DECC announced a £4million boost for 82 local energy schemes.

The Government are keen to roll out this new approach to sustainable homes. Greg Barker, minister for climate change said in the Guardian, that, “The time has come for a radical new approach to home energy improvement, moving away from pepper potting individual measures to whole house or property solutions“.

He added, “Rather than write off the green deal before it has even started I am keen to hear from those who have concerns to ensure this is the success it needs to be.

“This is an exciting time in the world of energy efficiency, and we are on the brink of a revolution to make homes across the country cheaper to run, cosier to live in and ultimately fit for the future.”

If you want to start saving more energy then start to consider using home grown energy from Good Energy instead of relying upon fossil fuels and carbon to power your home.

Photo: Ell Brown

Environment

Road Trip! How to Choose the Greenest Vehicle for Your Growing Family

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Greenest Vehicle
Licensed Image by Shutterstock - By Mascha Tace -- https://www.shutterstock.com/g/maschatace

When you have a growing family, it often feels like you’re in this weird bubble that exists outside of mainstream society. Whereas everyone else seemingly has stability, your family dynamic is continuously in flux. Having said that, is it even possible to buy an eco-friendly vehicle that’s also practical?

What to Look for in a Green, Family-Friendly Vehicle?

As a single person or young couple without kids, it’s pretty easy to buy a green vehicle. Almost every leading car brand has eco-friendly options these days and you can pick from any number of options. The only problem is that most of these models don’t work if you have kids.

Whether it’s a Prius or Smart car, most green vehicles are impractical for large families. You need to look for options that are spacious, reliable, and comfortable – both for passengers and the driver.

5 Good Options

As you do your research and look for different opportunities, it’s good to have an open mind. Here are some of the greenest options for growing families:

1. 2014 Chrysler Town and Country

Vans are not only popular for the room and comfort they offer growing families, but they’re also becoming known for their fuel efficiency. For example, the 2014 Chrysler Town and Country – which was one of CarMax’s most popular minivans of 2017 – has Flex Fuel compatibility and front wheel drive. With standard features like these, you can’t do much better at this price point.

2. 2017 Chrysler Pacifica

If you’re looking for a newer van and are willing to spend a bit more, you can go with Chrysler’s other model, the Pacifica. One of the coolest features of the 2017 model is the hybrid drivetrain. It allows you to go up to 30 miles on electric, before the vehicle automatically switches over to the V6 gasoline engine. For short trips and errands, there’s nothing more eco-friendly in the minivan category.

3. 2018 Volkswagen Atlas

Who says you have to buy a minivan when you have a family? Sure, the sliding doors are nice, but there are plenty of other options that are both green and spacious. The new Volkswagen Atlas is a great choice. It’s one of the most fuel-efficient third-row vehicles on the market. The four-cylinder model gets an estimated 26 mpg highway.

4. 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

While a minivan or SUV is ideal – and necessary if you have more than two kids – you can get away with a roomy sedan when you still have a small family. And while there are plenty of eco-friendly options in this category, the 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is arguably the biggest bang for your buck. It gets 38 mpg on the highway and is incredibly affordable.

5. 2017 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Diesel

If money isn’t an object and you’re able to spend any amount to get a good vehicle that’s both comfortable and eco-friendly, the 2017 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Diesel is your car. Not only does it get 28 mpg highway, but it can also be equipped with a third row of seats and a diesel engine. And did we mention that this car looks sleek?

Putting it All Together

You have a variety of options. Whether you want something new or used, would prefer an SUV or minivan, or want something cheap or luxurious, there are plenty of choices on the market. The key is to do your research, remain patient, and take your time. Don’t get too married to a particular transaction, or you’ll lose your leverage.

You’ll know when the right deal comes along, and you can make a smart choice that’s functional, cost-effective, and eco-friendly.

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Environment

How Climate Change Altered this Engineer’s Life

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how climate change affect our lives
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Rawpixel.com -- https://www.shutterstock.com/g/rawpixel

Living the life of an engineer likely sounds pretty glamorous: you are educated and highly regarded, typically have high paying gigs, and with the breadth of knowledge and array of fields of specialty, your possibility for jobs is usually immense.  But what if there was something else that needed your attention? Something bigger than just being an engineer, going to work every day and doing the same technical tasks typically associated with the profession?

For Kevin McCroary, that is exactly how it played out.  A successful engineer, gainfully employed in a prosperous job, a simple trip to the Philippines made him see that there was a bigger issue at hand than using his engineer training in a traditional profession.  This bigger issue was that of climate change.  And working as a volunteer for underprivileged children in the Philippines, he saw first-hand the extensive pollution and poverty that existed here and that impacted the livelihood of these kids and their families.

Upon returning home, from his trip to the Philippines he had a new perspective of the impact we as individuals and as humanity have on the earth, and more than that Kevin wanted to know more.  He started to do some research and study these human-environmental interactions, and shortly thereafter ended up in Greenland.  There, he spoke to a man who had lost his home in a tsunami, and, who, through consistent weather tracking could indeed confirm that the current weather trends were “strange:” there was undeniably a general warming tendency happening in the arctic, causing an array of negative effects.

The combination of these observations, as well as his own research, led Kevin to conclude that something had to be done.  With that in mind, he launched his project Legend Bracelet.  The mission is simple: create a reminder of the legacy we are leaving behind.  As individuals and as humanity, we are leaving behind an imprint on the earth, and the magnitude of it is something that needs to be brought to the forefront of public awareness.  The idea is to have a bracelet that can serve as a daily reminder of the impact on the earth that each of us can have every day, regardless of how big or small.  The bracelet has two capsules: the first is filled with sand or earth, and the second is empty.  As the owner, you are to fill the empty one with your own earth, carrying it with you as a reminder and symbol of your connection and commitment to helping look after our environment.

We are all impacted by climate change, and we all have a responsibility to help.  And it can start with something as simple as putting on a bracelet.  Support Kevin on his Kickstarter campaign for Legend Bracelet, tell others about it, or take action in your own way and play your part in slowing down the effects of climate change.  You may think “but I’m just one person!” You are indeed.  But so is he.  Every change starts with one.

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