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True Extent Of Scotland’s Food Waste Revealed By New Research

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True Extent Of Scotland's Food Waste Revealed By New Research

New figures released today by Zero Waste Scotland today give the clearest insight into the true scale of food waste with an estimated 1.35 million tonnes of food and drink in Scotland was wasted in 2013.

This figure, which covers all quantifiable food and drink waste in Scotland, will be used as the baseline for the Scottish Government’s flagship target to reduce food waste by a third by 2025.

A new report, How much food and drink waste is there in Scotland?, expands on existing work to quantify food waste from households in order to make an estimate for all sectors of the economy for the first time. The research shows that the breakdown of food waste by sector is:

· Household: 600,000t (44%)

· Manufacturing: 510,000t (38%)

· Hospitality 54,000t (4%)

· Retail: 31,000t (2%)

· Education: 22,000t (2%)

· Health & social care: 22,000t (2%)

· Wholesale: 11,000t (1%)

· Other: 95,000t (7%)

Food losses which are incurred in primary production are excluded from the baseline figures at this time, pending further work to quantify this through better data.

In total, food and drink production accounts for around 20% of Scotland’s carbon footprint when we take into account everything that we consume, not just emissions that occur within Scotland.

Alongside the baseline, Zero Waste Scotland has also published an update on existing work to reduce household food waste, which shows that there has been a reduction (5.7%) in household food waste between 2009 and 2014, which has resulted in savings to household budgets of £92 million.

The amount of food wasted in Scotland is staggering, which is why the Scottish Government has set a target to reduce food waste by 33% by 2025

Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Roseanna Cunningham said:

“The amount of food wasted in Scotland is staggering, which is why the Scottish Government has set a target to reduce food waste by 33% by 2025, one of the most ambitious targets of its kind. This research from Zero Waste Scotland, together with the work that we are doing to measure food that doesn’t make it off the farm, will set the baseline against which we will measure our target. We will now collaborate with organisations from all sections of the supply chain to develop options for policy interventions to meet our target.”

Iain Gulland, Chief Executive, Zero Waste Scotland said:

“When we talk about the true scale of food waste in Scotland we need to look at the whole supply chain. Whilst household food waste remains the biggest sector, the fact that over half comes from business and public sector shows that we need clear leadership in these areas to make the transformative change we all want to see. Our research shows for the first time the true scale of the challenge we face to achieve Scotland’s ambitious food waste reduction target – but it’s one we are determined to take on together. Tackling the scale of wasted food in our society is an economic, environmental and moral imperative.

“We have made a good start. Since putting the issue of food waste on the map we have worked to reduce household food waste, resulting in a 6% decrease. We’re also providing small and medium sized businesses with dedicated advice and support to reduce their food waste and related costs.

“We look forward to working further with the Scottish Government and partners to develop additional priorities for action that will continue to influence behaviour, so that wasting food, at any level, is socially unacceptable.”

The new research, How much food and drink waste is there in Scotland? is published during European Week for Waste Reduction (EWWR) 19th November to 27th November 2016.

To find out more about EWWR in Scotland visit zerowastescotland.org.uk/ewwr2016

Energy

7 New Technologies That Could Radically Change Our Energy Consumption

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Energy Consumption
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Syda Productions | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/dolgachov

Most of our focus on technological development to lessen our environmental impact has been focused on cleaner, more efficient methods of generating electricity. The cost of solar energy production, for example, is slated to fall more than 75 percent between 2010 and 2020.

This is a massive step forward, and it’s good that engineers and researchers are working for even more advancements in this area. But what about technologies that reduce the amount of energy we demand in the first place?

Though it doesn’t get as much attention in the press, we’re making tremendous progress in this area, too.

New Technologies to Watch

These are some of the top emerging technologies that have the power to reduce our energy demands:

  1. Self-driving cars. Self-driving cars are still in development, but they’re already being hailed as potential ways to eliminate a number of problems on the road, including the epidemic of distracted driving ironically driven by other new technologies. However, even autonomous vehicle proponents often miss the tremendous energy savings that self-driving cars could have on the world. With a fleet of autonomous vehicles at our beck and call, consumers will spend less time driving themselves and more time carpooling, dramatically reducing overall fuel consumption once it’s fully adopted.
  2. Magnetocaloric tech. The magnetocaloric effect isn’t exactly new—it was actually discovered in 1881—but it’s only recently being studied and applied to commercial appliances. Essentially, this technology relies on changing magnetic fields to produce a cooling effect, which could be used in refrigerators and air conditioners to significantly reduce the amount of electricity required.
  3. New types of insulation. Insulation is the best asset we have to keep our homes thermoregulated; they keep cold or warm air in (depending on the season) and keep warm or cold air out (again, depending on the season). New insulation technology has the power to improve this efficiency many times over, decreasing our need for heating and cooling entirely. For example, some new automated sealing technologies can seal gaps between 0.5 inches wide and the width of a human hair.
  4. Better lights. Fluorescent bulbs were a dramatic improvement over incandescent bulbs, and LEDs were a dramatic improvement over fluorescent bulbs—but the improvements may not end there. Scientists are currently researching even better types of light bulbs, and more efficient applications of LEDs while they’re at it.
  5. Better heat pumps. Heat pumps are built to transfer heat from one location to another, and can be used to efficiently manage temperatures—keeping homes warm while requiring less energy expenditure. For example, some heat pumps are built for residential heating and cooling, while others are being used to make more efficient appliances, like dryers.
  6. The internet of things. The internet of things and “smart” devices is another development that can significantly reduce our energy demands. For example, “smart” windows may be able to respond dynamically to changing light conditions to heat or cool the house more efficiently, and “smart” refrigerators may be able to respond dynamically to new conditions. There are several reasons for this improvement. First, smart devices automate things, so it’s easier to control your energy consumption. Second, they track your consumption patterns, so it’s easier to conceptualize your impact. Third, they’re often designed with efficiency in mind from the beginning, reducing energy demands, even without the high-tech interfaces.
  7. Machine learning. Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies have the power to improve almost every other item on this list. By studying consumer patterns and recommending new strategies, or automatically controlling certain features, machine learning algorithms have the power to fundamentally change how we use energy in our homes and businesses.

Making the Investment

All technologies need time, money, and consumer acceptance to be developed. Fortunately, a growing number of consumers are becoming enthusiastic about finding new ways to reduce their energy consumption and overall environmental impact. As long as we keep making the investment, our tools to create cleaner energy and demand less energy in the first place should have a massive positive effect on our environment—and even our daily lives.

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Energy

Responsible Energy Investments Could Solve Retirement Funding Crisis

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Energy Investments
Shutterstock / By Sergey Nivens | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/nivens

Retiring baby-boomers are facing a retirement cliff, at the same time as mother nature unleashes her fury with devastating storms tied to the impact of global warming. There could be a unique solution to the challenges associated with climate change – investments in clean energy from retirement funds.

Financial savings play a very important role in everyone’s life and one must start planning for it as soon as possible. It’s shocking how quickly seniors can burn through their nest egg – leaving many wondering, “How long your retirement savings will last?

Let’s take a closer look at how seniors can take baby steps on the path to retiring with dignity, while helping to clean up our environment.

Tip #1: Focus & Determination

Like in other work, it is very important to focus and be determined. If retirement is around the corner, then make sure to start putting some money away for retirement. No one can ever achieve anything without dedication and focus – whether it’s saving the planet, or saving for retirement.

Tip #2: Minimize Spending

One of the most important things that you need to do is to minimize your expenditures. Reducing consumption is good for the planet too!

Tip #3: Visualize Your Goal

You can achieve more if you have a clearly defined goal in life. This about how your money can be used to better the planet – imagine cleaner air, water and a healthier environment to leave to your grandchildren.

Investing in Clean Energy

One of the hottest and most popular industries for investment today is the energy market – the trading of energy commodities. Clean energy commodities are traded alongside dirty energy supplies. You might be surprised to learn that clean energy is becoming much more competitive.

With green biz becoming more popular, it is quickly becoming a powerful tool for diversified retirement investing.

The Future of Green Biz

As far as the future is concerned, energy businesses are going to continue getting bigger and better. There are many leading energy companies in the market that already have very high stock prices, yet people are continuing to investing in them.

Green initiatives are impacting every industry. Go Green campaigns are a PR staple of every modern brand. For the energy-sector in the US, solar energy investments are considered to be the most accessible form of clean energy investment. Though investing in any energy business comes with some risks, the demand for energy isn’t going anywhere.

In conclusion, if you want to start saving for your retirement, then clean energy stocks and commodity trading are some of the best options for wallets and the planet. Investing in clean energy products, like solar power, is a more long-term investment. It’s quite stable and comes with a significant profit margin. And it’s amazing for the planet!

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