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Transport Minister Unveils New Low Carbon Vehicle Scheme



A new scheme designed to help commercial vehicles be greener and more efficient was revealed at the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership’s (LowCVP) Annual Conference. The scheme has been developed by LowCVP members. The Transport Minister Andrew Jones explained the aim of the Low Carbon Accreditations Scheme for HGV technology at the conference.

Andrew Jones said: “We are always looking at new ways to make the vehicles on our roads cleaner and this new scheme will help the freight industry to embrace the latest technology.

“The UK’s low emission vehicle industry is a huge success story and a source of strength in our economy. This is further proof that the government is leading the way as global demand for these vehicles grows.”

Commercial vehicles have been contributing a rising share of road transport emissions, and now account for over 30% of the CO2 emissions from the sector.  While emissions from HGVs are down by around 9% since 1990 (2014 figs), emissions from vans have grown by 48%.

The LowCVP-led project has developed an accurate, reproducible and representative procedure for measuring the operations of trucks and vans used for carrying freight. The procedure enables equipment manufacturers or vehicle operators to conduct robust, repeatable and reliable tests to validate the impact on fuel consumption and emissions of retrofit technology – such as low rolling resistance tyres and aerodynamic additions, or engine efficiency technology – under a range of representative operating conditions.

The scheme will provide information on the operational characteristics of the technology, providing practical information to operators on its potential applicability. The test and accreditation scheme is to be focused on proving existing technology in a robust back-to-back comparison under realistic HGV operational scenarios.

Developed with support from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) and the Department for Transport (DfT) and also drawing on European work on HGV carbon measurement, the scheme is being introduced following collaboration with key partners involved in the industry including: Horiba Mira, Millbrook, TRL, Michelin, Stobart Group, Mercedes Truck, Transport for London (TfL) and Transport KTN.

The initiative aims to stimulate the development of a market for low carbon HGVs by addressing one of the key existing market failures; the fact that operators don’t have a ‘go-to’ source of reliable and impartial information about low carbon, fuel saving retrofit technologies.

With the launch of the Scheme and publication of the testing guidance, project leaders will be engaging with UK operators and the HGV market to disseminate information about the Accreditation Scheme and associated test processes.

The LowCVP Managing Director Andy Eastlake said: “Earlier work by the LowCVP identified that the absence of reliable, robust and accessible data was one of the most significant barriers to the adoption of low carbon and fuel saving technology in trucks.

“Thanks to the work of many key partners and supporters we believe that this initiative will encourage the adoption of many positive innovations, saving carbon and costs, and can form the basis for further policy support in this vital road transport sector.”

David Blanchard, Performance Durability Technical Specialist at HORIBA MIRA, said: “The work that we have conducted together with the LowCVP has produced a test protocol that has proven to be robust, with excellent repeatability. We are delighted that fleet operators now have an excellent tool to validate fuel saving technology, which we hope will lead to the faster adoption of this technology – ultimately leading to a reduction of tailpipe emissions on the UK’s roads.”

Phil Stones, Chief Engineer, Powertrain, Millbrook Group said: “Millbrook is pleased to have been working on this initiative and is proud to see it coming to fruition. We look forward to continuing to test carbon reducing technologies, from tyre technologies and aerodynamic aids to alternative fuels, under the new scheme.”

Andrew Lowery, Vice-Chair LoCITY HGV Working Group said: “With a wide range of products and services on the market all aiming to reduce vehicle emissions, it is difficult to know which the most cost-effective solutions are for particular duty cycles. LoCITY therefore welcomes the launch of this technology certification scheme to help better inform fleet operators about how to reduce emissions, cut costs and improve air quality across London and beyond.”

Rachael Dillon, FTA’s Climate Change Policy Manager, said: “Adopting operational efficiency measures are key for any commercial fleet operator to improve fuel efficiency and reduce carbon emissions. However too often it is difficult for companies to decipher what the best technologies are out there for them to utilise.

“We welcome and support the Low Carbon Accreditation Scheme developed by the LowCVP to help our members have confidence to invest in technologies that have been independently tested and proven to deliver fuel savings.  This accreditation scheme is essential as the sector remains under pressure to reduce fuel use in order to contribute to climate change targets and reduce air pollutants.”


Extra-Mile Water Conservation Efforts Amidst Shortage



water conserving

While some states are literally flooding due to heavy rains and run-off, others are struggling to get the moisture they need. States like Arizona and California have faced water emergencies for the last few years; water conserving efforts from citizens help keep them out of trouble.

If your area is experiencing a water shortage, there are a few things you can do to go the extra mile.

Repair and Maintain Appliances

Leaks around the house – think showerheads, toilets, dishwashers, and more – lead to wasted water. Beyond that, the constant flow of water will cause water damage to your floors and walls. Have repairs done as soon as you spot any problems.

Sometimes, a leak won’t be evident until it gets bad. For that reason, make appointments to have your appliances inspected and maintained at least once per year. This will extend the life of each machine as well as nip water loss in the bud.

When your appliances are beyond repair, look into Energy Star rated replacements. They’re designed to use the least amount of water and energy possible, without compromising on effectiveness.

Only Run Dishwasher and Washer When Full

It might be easier to do a load of laundry a day rather than doing it once per week, but you’ll waste a lot more water this way. Save up your piles of clothes until you have enough to fully load the washing machine. You could also invest in a washing machine that senses the volume of water needed according to the volume of clothes.

The same thing goes with the dishwasher. Don’t push start until you’ve filled it to capacity. If you have to wash dishes, don’t run the water while you’re washing. Fill the sink or a small bowl a quarter of the way full and use this to wash your dishes.

Recycle Water in Your Yard

Growing a garden in your backyard is a great way to cut down on energy and water waste from food growers and manufacturers, but it will require a lot more water on your part. Gardens must be watered, and this often leads to waste.

You can reduce this waste by participating in water recycling. Using things like a rain barrel, pebble filtering system, and other tools, you can save thousands of gallons a year and still keep your landscaping and garden beautiful and healthy.

Landscape with Drought-Resistant Plants

Recycling water in your yard is a great way to reduce your usage, but you can do even more by reducing the amount of water required to keep your yard looking great. The best drought-resistant plants are those that are native to the area. In California, for example, succulents grow very well, and varieties of cactus do well in states like Arizona or Texas.

Install Water-Saving Features

The average American household uses between 80 and 100 gallons of water every single day. You obviously can’t cut out things like showering or using the toilet, but you can install a few water-saving tools to make your water use more efficient.

There are low-flow showerheads, toilets, and faucet aerators. You could also use automatic shut-off nozzles, shower timers, and grey water diverters. Any of these water saving devices can easily cut your water usage in half.

Research Laws and Ordinances for Your City

Dry states like California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada must create certain laws to keep the water from running out. These laws are put into practice for the benefit of everyone, but they only work if you abide by the laws.

If you live in a state where drought is common, research your state and city’s laws. They might designate one day per week that you’re allowed to water your lawn or how full you can fill a pool. Many people are not well versed in the laws set by their states, and it would mean a lot to your community if you did your part.

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Cyprus is the Forerunner for Ecotourism



When I was looking for a second citizenship, I happened to see One Visa’s offer on Cyprus Citizenship by investment program. I had heard about Cyprus being a beautiful country, but I did not know much else, so I decided to start my own research about this gem of a place.

After I did some research, I discovered that Cyprus is a popular destination for tourists. Unfortunately, heavy tourism and the associated development affected villages here and there, with some communities being slowly abandoned. To avoid this from happening any further, Cyprus went into ecotourism, and today, it is the forerunner in this arena. Let’s look in further detail at ecotourism in Cyprus here.

How was it started?

It all started in 2006 with the launch of the “Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative.” This program has the sole scope of promoting ecotourism developments in the tourism industry. It concentrates on those areas which require conservation and environmental safety. At the same time, it helps develop social, as well as economic statuses in the rural parts of Cyprus. Through this program, the government was able to acknowledge that ecotourism will play an essential role in the future of Cyprus, with the concept gaining momentum among tourists from all over the globe.

How to go about it?

So, now you are interested in going for an ecotourism vacation in Cyprus. How will you go about it? I would immediately say that everyone should visit the quaint Cypriot villages spread throughout the island. These communities have a smaller population, and not many tourists visit. They make for a great relaxing spot. Enjoy seeing the bustle of village life go by where simple pleasures abound. Most hamlets are linked by specific minibus tours which ferry tourists to these havens. These trips will have a regular schedule, aimed at promoting ecotourism further. Such tours will be regulated to ensure that while the villages can benefit and develop, they do not get overpopulated or overcrowded with tourists. Therefore, you can be sure to enjoy the beautiful sceneries that nature has to offer here.

If you are wondering if there are any activities to do here, my answer would be: “Yes, plenty.” You can go for some guided walks across various regions here. Here you will be able to explore the diversified natural beauty and wildlife of the area. Several agritourism activities and services are planned to open shortly. Once launched, you will be able to engage in picking olives, milking goats, and several other such events here.

What can be learned?

Although we are aware that natural resources need to be preserved, we do not always remember it in real life. When we go on tours such as these, we can realize the significance of protecting nature. Also, when more and more people visit these places, the concept of ecotourism will become popular among more people. Awareness about ecotourism is set to grow and spread throughout the world. Subsequently, sustainable tourism will gain popularity around the globe with Cyprus being the forerunner for ecotourism .

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