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‘Good Business Week’ For Businesses In Southend And Castle Point

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An increasing number of companies are beginning to realise the benefits of supporting their local communities. In one week alone, numerous companies in Southend and Castle Point demonstrated what being a ‘good business’ really means.

The week started with Canvey Island based business Design 4 Print being awarded a Silver Castle Point Business and Community Charter Award. Design 4 Print supports many local charities and community groups by supplying services free of charge or at greatly reduced prices. Additionally, getting involved in football-based projects that help promote youth activities forms the core strategy of the company’s community engagement. All directors and employees get involved in supporting the Canvey Island Youth Football Club and Canvey Island Football Club (CIFC): this includes looking after the financial records of the youth FC, organising and participating in events which include fun days and fundraising events for local charities such as The Danny Green Fund and the Indee Rose Trust, and helping CIFC obtain grants and funds for further development.

Design 4 Print is the first company to receive a Castle Point Business and Community Charter Award, a robust award that acknowledges and celebrates businesses that support the local community. The directors were presented with a certificate by The Mayor, Councillor Steven Cole. Cllr Cole was also given a tour of the premises and was very impressed with the company and in particularly the huge investment in start of the art technology.

The same evening, Jardine Motors sponsored a Double Whammy Networking event at their Lancaster Toyota Rayleigh dealership at the Rayleigh Weir. Double Whammy events are business networking events that also raise funds for local good causes. Because the events are sponsored, at least 80% of the ticket money goes to the ‘charity pot.’ This event raised £271 which was divided equally between Whizz Kids for their Southend Ambassadors Club and Little Havens Hospice. One of the delegates was also delighted to win the card draw and the opportunity to drive a brand new Toyota for a weekend.

A week later, a Southend based business was hosting the launch of Southend Carnival 2016 – and was delighted to be presented with a Gold Southend Business and Community Charter Award at the end of the event.

Garry and Penny Lowen, owners of the Gleneagles Guest House in Clifftown Road, Southend are well known for the fabulous work they do in the local community. Garry is Chair of both the Southend Carnival Committee and Chair of the Mayor’s Charity and both Garry and Penny proactively get involved in many events throughout the year.

The Southend Charter Committee had recently confirmed a Gold Charter Award for the Gleneagles Guest House and the carnival launch event held in their lovely tea rooms seemed a most appropriate occasion to present the award. Attendees at the event, which included representatives from local businesses that sponsor the carnival, cheered enthusiastically when the certificate was presented by the Mayor of Southend, Councillor Judith McMahon. Cllr McMahon said she was delighted to present the very well deserved certificate and stressed how important it is for businesses to follow Garry and Penny’s lead by supporting the local community.

Businesses in Southend or Castle Point can find out more about Charter Awards and Double Whammy Networking by contacting Jill Poet: jill@orbuk.org.

Energy

Is Wood Burning Sustainable For Your Home?

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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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Environment

New Climate Change Report Emphasizes Urgent Need for Airline Emission Regulations

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In less than two months, the United States has grappled with some of the worst natural disasters in its history. Hurricanes battered the south central United States. Fires destroyed homes throughout Northern California. Puerto Rico experienced some of the worst storms ever. A massive windstorm caused more damage to the northeastern United States then any other storm on record before winter even struck.

These recent incidents have spurred discussion on the dangers of climate change. A recent report from the University of London has shed some light on the discussion. The new report suggests that new regulations are needed, including stricter EPA regulations on Airlines.

Review of the new report

The new report was published in the British medical Journal, Lancet. The report concluded that climate change is a “threat multiplier” for a variety of social problems, including diseases and natural disasters. While numerous studies have processed the risk that climate change plays with creating natural disasters, University of London report is among the first to explore the relationship between climate change and disease.

The authors warned that the problems are becoming irreversible. They will continue to get worse if risk factors are not adequately addressed.

The most concerning part of the report is that these problems are having the most serious impact on the most vulnerable communities in the world. Countries that depend on agriculture and other issues will suffer the most if climate change escalates.

“The answer is, most of our indicators are headed in the wrong direction,”said Nick Watts, a fellow at University College London’s Institute for Global Health and executive director of the Lancet Countdown, one of the lead researchers of the paper. “Broadly, the world has not responded to climate change, and that lack of response has put lives at risk. … The impacts we’re experiencing today are already pretty bad. The things we’re talking about in the future are potentially catastrophic.”

Airline industry discovers climate change is a two-way Street

The airline industry is coping with the problems of climate change, while also coming to terms with the fact that it has helped accelerate the problem. Earlier this year, American Airlines was forced to cancel four dozen flights near Phoenix. Cancellations were called due to excessive temperatures. The air was over 120 degrees, which is too hot for some smaller jet planes to get off the ground.

One anonymous airline executive privately admitted that their business model has facilitated climate change. They warned that the problem may become twice as bad in the next few years if proper safeguards aren’t implemented. Representatives from Goindigo have echoed these concerns.

The EPA has stated that airplanes account for 11% of all emissions. They are expected to increase over 50% within the next 30 years. This could have serious repurcussions if newer, greener airplane models don’t become the new standard in the very near future.

This is driving discussion about the need for new policies.The EPA has been discussing the need for new airline regulations for nearly two years. An EPA ruling made in July 2016 set the tone for new regulations, which could be introduced in the next year.

The new policies may be delayed, due to the new president’s position on climate change. He hired an EPA chief that has sued the organization about a dozen times. However, the Trump Administration may not be able to oppose climate change indefinitely, because a growing number of people are pressing for reforms. Even younger conservatives primarily believe climate change is a threat and are demanding answers. This may force the EPA to follow through on its plans to introduce new solutions.

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