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Scottish Supermodel and Environmental Campaigner Eunice Olumide Urges People in Scotland to ‘pass it on’ this March – and Help the Planet

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The average household in Scotland has £4,000 worth of clothes – 30% of which have been unworn for at least a year – yet each household continues to spend an average of £1,700 every year on new clothes[1]. If everyone in Scotland wore their clothes just three months longer – our carbon, water and waste footprints would be reduced by 5 – 10%.

Supermodel Scot and fashion-forward TV presenter Eunice Olumide – known for her work to help tackle climate change – is encouraging everyone in Scotland to get involved in Pass it On Week this 5 – 13 March by organising their own ‘swap shop’ events. The focus of the campaign is to help keep the things we use – including our clothing – in circulation for longer in order to reduce our impact on the environment.

Eunice, who recently joined renowned British fashion designer Dame Vivienne Westwood as part of a 60,000-strong climate change rally in London, said:

“We need as many people in Scotland as possible to gather up their unused or unwanted clothing, books, toys, furniture and electrical equipment – and swap, share, re-use or upcycle their way to a greener planet this Pass it On Week!

“This is a fun campaign with a serious message. It is a brilliant way of uniting people throughout Scotland in a national event, run at a local level, and enables all of us to do our bit in the move towards a zero waste society. I’m very proud to be able to support Zero Waste Scotland to help get everyone in the country involved!

Pass it On Week #passitonweek is Scotland’s annual event, run by Zero Waste Scotland, to encourage everyone to keep things in use for as long as possible by passing on, swapping, sharing or donating things they no longer use.

Every year in Scotland, many potentially re-usable items are thrown away, including approximately 5,000 tonnes of sofas, 9,700 washing machines, 1,600 office desks, 6,300 tonnes of TVs and 2,100 tonnes of T-shirts. Scotland already re-uses some products that are otherwise disposed of – with an extremely significant benefit to Scotland’s economy and environment as a result. For example, Scotland re-uses 49% of all its T-shirts (14.9 million), generating £10 million in financial savings, sales and re-employment, and saving 25,600 tonnes in CO2 equivalent carbon emissions. And, although Scotland currently only re-uses 5% of all washing machines (11,000), this still results in £33,000 being generated through sales and employment, saving 1,000 tonnes in CO2 equivalent carbon emissions. This represents a strong argument for the whole country to be re-using more.

Eunice added “Signing up to run your own Pass it On Week event wherever you are in Scotland is easy to do – and you don’t need loads of organisational skills, time or money to do so! It’s a great chance to declutter your home, grab a bargain, have some fun and help reduce waste and help the planet at the same time. All you need to do is log onto www.passitonweek.com and click on the ‘submit an event’ link on the homepage. You’ll also find a variety of suggestions and details of previously successful events to inspire you.”

Eunice officially launched today’s call for events in support of Pass it On Week with her own pop-up swap shop at Glasgow’s St. Enoch Centre – which will host a special weekend event on the 5th and 6th March in support of Pass it On Week with demonstrations and workshops on 3D printing, lego swapping, jewellery making, sewing, repairing items, fashion shows and much more. “Eunice’s pop up swap shop” was filled with donated vintage and second hand clothing, toys, books and furniture from local Revolve-accredited stores, demonstrating the type of event that people throughout the country can organise for Pass it On Week this March.

Revolve is a re-use quality standard for shops who sell second hand goods in Scotland, and makes it easier, more inviting, and safer for everyone to buy second hand items.  Wherever the Revolve logo is displayed, customers can be assured they are buying from a great re-use shop with a commitment to quality and excellent customer service.

Iain Gulland, Chief Executive of Zero Waste Scotland, said:

“We’re really excited to be working with Eunice Olumide for the first time as she brings a fantastic new fashion-focused dynamic to our Pass it On Week campaign – not to mention her environmental campaigning experience.

“Eunice’s Pop-up Swap Shop is a great example of the type of event that’s easy to organise, and that we’d love to see replicated throughout Scotland this coming March. We need as many people throughout Scotland as possible to run their own events in support of Pass it on Week, to effectively reduce waste and keep the every day things we no longer use – like clothing, books, toys and furniture – in use for as long as possible.

“Pass it on Week is just one of several projects run by Zero Waste Scotland all year round, designed to demonstrate the various positive – and often small – changes that people can make to their behaviour, which can have a hugely positive collective impact on the environment.”

For more details as to how you can sign up to register your own Pass it On Week event this March, visit www.passitonweek.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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Energy

7 Benefits You Should Consider Giving Your Energy Employees

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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:

Financial Advising

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.

Life Insurance

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.

Health Insurance

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.

Final Thoughts

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!

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