The World of Music, Arts and Dance (WOMAD) Festival, which recognises the UK’s greenest young people, will take place this summer. This year will see the return of the Young Green Briton Chat event in which youngsters will talk about emissions in the UK. The One Show reporter Lucy Siegle will chair the event.
Ecotricity, the world’s first green energy company, is running the Young Green Briton Chat event and is searching for youngsters aged 11-16 to talk on the three areas that make up 80 per cent of our emissions in Britain – Energy, Transport and Food – as well as on the topic of ‘making room for Nature’.
Each of the four winning pupils will be supported by a ‘Green Britain mentor’ who have today been revealed as:
– Dale Vince, founder of Ecotricity – Energy
– Robert Llewlyn, actor and electric car enthusiast – Transport
– Mark Avery, environmental campaigner and author – Nature
– Nicholas Allan, vegetarian chef – Food
Lucy Siegle, journalist and environmentalist, said: “Eco literacy for young people isn’t just a nice thing to do, it’s their right. It will open so many doors in the future too. The education system has unfortunately fallen a long way behind, so bravo to Ecotricity for leading the way! I can’t wait to debate the hottest green issues with our crop of talent this year.”
Last year’s winners included Findlay Wilde, a 14-year-old conservationist who was mentored by wildlife presenter Simon King. Findlay has since appeared in BBC Wildlife Magazine’s Wildlife Power List, been interviewed on Springwatch and Newsround, and worked with the RSPB on their Hen Harrier campaign.
Findlay Wilde said: “It’s hard to put into words just what a great opportunity and experience the Young Green Briton Chat was. To have the chance to meet such important people from the conservation world was fantastic, but to be able to share my thoughts and feelings with such a massive audience was really something else. It’s not every day you get to reach out to so many people.
“This is the second year of the Young Briton Chat and will be the fourth year that Ecotricity has been at WOMAD, the internationally established world music festival, which this year runs from 28-31 July at Charlton Park in Malmesbury.”
Dale Vince, Ecotricity founder, said: “Our Young Green Briton competition was a fantastic success last year – we heard some great ideas from some very committed and talented young people.
“It’s a real encouragement to hear these voices of the up and coming generation, so focussed on sustainability and the idea of a Green Britain. This will be our second year of the competition and we’re looking forward to lots of great new entries, some new mentors and the involvement of some of last year’s winners.”
About the Young Green Briton competition:
– Young people aged 11 – 16 can enter the competition by sending a video, written article or a recording to explain their ideas on how Britain could be greener.
– Their submission should focus on one of the four categories of Energy, Transport, Food and Nature and also consider what is needed to encourage and inspire others to adopt their ideas across schools, the local community and around the world.
– Each of the four winning pupils will meet their ‘Green Britain mentor’ at the festival and receive a mentoring session, before taking the stage to put their points across.
– Entries should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and must make it clear in the subject line which of the four categories is being entered.
– All entries will be acknowledged and must be submitted by 1 June. Ecotricity will select three finalists in each category and each mentor will select the overall winner, per category, by 30 June, when winners will be informed.
– The four winners will receive a weekend pass for themselves and two adults to ‘WOMAD 2016’ (including camping and backstage entry into the Artists’ Village), as well as an Ecotricity goody bag and a personal meeting with their Green Britain mentor.
– Permission must be obtained from a parent or guardian and terms and conditions apply.
Is Wood Burning Sustainable For Your Home?
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?
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.
7 Benefits You Should Consider Giving Your Energy Employees
As an energy startup, you’re always looking to offer the most competitive packages to entice top-tier talent. This can be tough, especially when trying to put something together that’s both affordable but also has perks that employees are after.
After all, this is an incredibly competitive field and one that’s constantly doing what it can to stay ahead. However, that’s why I’m bringing you a few helpful benefits that could be what bolsters you ahead of your competition. Check them out below:
One benefit commonly overlooked by companies is offering your employees financial advising services, which could help them tremendously in planning for their long-term goals with your firm. This includes anything from budgeting and savings plans to recommendations for credit repair services and investments. Try to take a look at if your energy company could bring on an extra person or two specifically for this role, as it will pay off tremendously regarding retention and employee happiness.
While often included in a lot of health benefits packages, offering your employees life insurance could be an excellent addition to your current perks. Although seldom used, life insurance is a small sign that shows you care about the life of their family beyond just office hours. Additionally, at such a low cost, this is a pretty simple aspect to add to your packages. Try contacting some brokers or insurance agents to see if you can find a policy that’s right for your firm.
Dedicated Time To Enjoy Their Hobbies
Although something seen more often in startups in Silicon Valley, having dedicated office time for employees to enjoy their passions is something that has shown great results. Whether it be learning the piano or taking on building a video game, having your team spend some time on the things they truly enjoy can translate to increased productivity. Why? Because giving them the ability to better themselves, they’ll in turn bring that to their work as well.
The Ability To Work Remotely
It’s no secret that a lot of employers despise the idea of letting their employees work remotely. However, it’s actually proven to hold some amazing benefits. According to Global Workplace Analytics, 95% of employers that allow their employees to telework reported an increased rate of retention, saving on both turnover and sick days. Depending on the needs of each individual role, this can be a strategy to implement either whenever your team wants or on assigned days. Either way, this is one perk almost everyone will love.
Even though it’s mandated for companies with over 50 employees, offering health insurance regardless is arguably a benefit well received across the board. In fact, as noted in research compiled by KFF, 28.6% of employers with less than 50 people still offered health care. Why is that the case? Because it shows you care about their well-being, and know that a healthy employee is one that doesn’t have to worry about astronomical medical bills.
Unlimited Time Off
This is a perk that almost no employer offers but should be regarded as something to consider. According to The Washington Post, only 1-2% of companies offer unlimited vacation, which it’s easy to see why. A true “unlimited vacation” program could be a firm’s worse nightmare, with employees skipping out every other week to enjoy themselves. However, with the right model in place that rewards hard work with days off, your employees will absolutely adore this policy.
A Full Pantry
Finally, having a pantry full of food can be one perk that’s not only relatively inexpensive but also adds to the value of the workplace. As noted by USA Today, when surveying employees who had snacks versus those who didn’t, 67% of those who did reported they were “very happy” with their work life. You’d be surprised at how much of a difference this could make, especially when considering the price point. Consider adding a kitchen to your office if you haven’t already, and always keep the snacks and drinks everyone wants fully stocked. Doing so will increase morale tremendously.
Compiling a great package for your energy company is going to take some time in looking at what you can afford versus what’s the most you can offer. While it might mean cutting back in other areas, having a workforce that feels like you genuinely want to take care of them can take you far. And with so many different benefits to include in your energy company’s package, which one is your favorite? Comment with your answers below!