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Nominees for the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge 2016 Announced



Flag - Great Britain by Vaughan via Flckr

The four Great Britain start-ups – ARBOREA, Bump Mark, Caventou and SteamaCo – are among the 25 nominees who are in the running for a final place of the tenth edition of the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge 2016.

This is the largest annual international competition in the field of sustainability innovation. The competition is organised by the Dutch Postcode Lottery, a sister company of People’s Postcode Lottery. On August 15 2016, it will be made known which five nominees will move on to the finale to be held on September 14 2016 in Amsterdam attended by Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands. The winner of the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge 2016 receives €500,000 to further develop their product or service and bring it to the market with the runner-up receiving an outstanding €200,000.

The nominees from the UK are:

· Julian Melchiorri (28), ARBOREA: ARBOREA developed artificial leaves for building facades. The leaves contain algae that photosynthesise CO2 into clean energy and oxygen all with the view to make a tower block carbon-neutral while freshening the air inside. The pioneering technology can even be applied to existing buildings.

· Solveiga Pakstaite (24), Bump Mark: Bump Mark created a bio-reactive food expiry label. It’s a consumer-friendly way to cut food waste and the accompanying greenhouse-gas emissions. If the label feels smooth, your food is fresh. If it’s bumpy, toss it. This gelatine-based label is calibrated to decay at the same rate as a particular food with a plastic bump layer underneath that can be felt once the gel starts to break down.

· Peter Krige (29), Caventou: Caventou integrates solar technology naturally into everyday life. The solar cells in their smart “stained glass” windows and table use colour properties to generate electricity for devices and appliances. Embedded energy-harvesting and monitoring technology enhances their effectiveness. They also generate more power over their lifetime than they take to make.

· Harrison Leaf (29), SteamaCo: SteamaCo’s software lowers barriers to providing renewable power for off-grid customers in Africa and Asia. The Steama Platform lets microgrid owners manage their systems over the robust GSM network, take payments by mobile phone, and contact customers by text. It could have a big impact in getting clean energy into hard-to-reach areas.

292 sustainability business plans from 61 countries

For the tenth year in a row the Dutch Postcode Lottery seeks to support new products or services that reduce CO2 emissions and other greenhouse gases through the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge. A preliminary jury of experts assessed the 292 sustainability business plan submissions sent in from 61 countries. The 25 nominees selected are from the Netherlands, the United States, Great Britain, Sweden, Germany, Israel, India and Rwanda.
Margriet Schreuders, chair of the preliminary jury said: “This year’s longlist reflects the challenges the world is facing in the field of energy demand, food wastage and urbanisation. Reading through their business plans give us a glimpse of how they look at the world and it’s especially inspiring to see how they think in terms of solutions rather than problems. These entrepreneurs are working on solutions for the world of tomorrow.”

Previous winners from Great Britain

Since the competition launched three startups from Great Britain have scooped the grand prize of €500,000. In 2009 Dean Gregory won with his rooftop turbine called RidgeBlade. Nick Christy won with his Recycling Shower in 2011. This patented shower system reduces water and energy use and cost by 70% without impairing enjoyment. The most recent winner from Great Britain is Arthur Kay with his bio-bean company that uses a patented process to upcycle waste coffee grounds into two advanced biofuel products, namely biodiesel and biomass pellets, used for powering buildings and transport systems.

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Ways Green Preppers Are Trying to Protect their Privacy



Environmental activists are not given the admiration that they deserve. A recent poll by Gallup found that a whopping 32% of Americans still doubt the existence of global warming. The government’s attitude is even worse.

Many global warming activists and green preppers have raised the alarm bell on climate change over the past few years. Government officials have taken notice and begun tracking their activity online. Even former National Guard officers have admitted that green preppers and climate activists are being targeted for terrorist watchlists.

Of course, the extent of their surveillance depends on the context of activism. People that make benign claims about climate change are unlikely to end up on a watchlist, although it is possible if they make allusions to their disdain of the government. However, even the most pacifistic and well intentioned environmental activists may unwittingly trigger some algorithm and be on the wrong side of a criminal investigation.

How could something like this happen? Here are some possibilities:

  • They could share a post on social media from a climate extremist group or another individual on the climate watchlist.
  • They could overly politicize their social media content, such as being highly critical of the president.
  • They could use figures of speech that may be misinterpreted as threats.
  • They might praise the goals of a climate change extremist organization that as previously resorted to violence, even if they don’t condone the actual means.

Preppers and environmental activists must do everything in their power to protect their privacy. Failing to do so could cost them their reputation, future career opportunities or even their freedom. Here are some ways that they are contacting themselves.

Living Off the Grid and Only Venturing to Civilization for Online Use

The more digital footprints you leave behind, the greater attention you draw. People that hold controversial views on environmentalism or doomsday prepping must minimize their digital paper trail.

Living off the grid is probably the best way to protect your privacy. You can make occasional trips to town to use the Wi-Fi and stock up on supplies.

Know the Surveillance Policies of Public Wi-Fi Providers

Using Wi-Fi away from your home can be a good way to protect your privacy.However, choosing the right public Wi-Fi providers is going to be very important.

Keep in mind that some corporate coffee shops such a Starbucks can store tapes for up to 60 days. Mom and pop businesses don’t have the technology nor the interest to store them that long. They generally store tips for only 24 hours and delete them afterwards. This gives you a good window of opportunity to post your thoughts on climate change without being detected.

Always use a VPN with a No Logging Policy

Using a VPN is one of the best ways to protect your online privacy. However, some of these providers do a much better job than others. What is a VPN and what should you look for when choosing one? Here are some things to look for when making a selection:

  • Make sure they are based in a country that has strict laws on protecting user privacy. VPNs that are based out of Switzerland, Panama for the British Virgin Islands are always good bets.
  • Look for VPN that has a strict no logging policy. Some VPNs will actually track the websites that you visit, which almost entirely defeats the purpose. Most obviously much better than this, but many also track Your connections and logging data. You want to use a VPN that doesn’t keep any logs at all.
  • Try to choose a VPN that has an Internet kill switch. This means that all content will stop serving if your VPN connection drops, which prevents your personal data from leaking out of the VPN tunnel.

You will be much safer if you use a high-quality VPN consistently, especially if you have controversial views on climate related issues or doomsday prepping.

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How Going Green Can Save Your Business Thousands



Running a company isn’t easy. From reporting wages in an efficient way to meeting deadlines and targets, there’s always something to think about – with green business ideas giving entrepreneurs something extra to ponder. While environmental issues may not be at the forefront of your mind right now, it could save your business thousands, so let’s delve deeper into this issue.

Small waste adds up over time

A computer left on overnight might not seem like the end of the world, right? Sure, it’s a rather minor issue compared to losing a client or being refused a loan – but small waste adds up over time. Conserving energy is an effective money saver, so to hold onto that hard-earned cash, try to:

  • Turn all electrical gadgets off at the socket rather than leaving them on standby as the latter can crank up your energy bill without you even realizing.
  • Switch all lights off when you exit a room and try switching to halogen incandescent light bulbs, compact fluorescent lamps or light emitting diodes as these can use up to 80 per cent less energy than traditional incandescent and are therefore more efficient.
  • Replace outdated appliances with their greener counterparts. Energy Star appliances have labels which help you to understand their energy requirements over time.
  • Draught-proof your premises as sealing up leaks could slash your energy bills by 30 per cent.

Going electronic has significant benefits

If you don’t want to be buried under a mountain of paperwork, why not opt for digital documents instead of printing everything out? Not only will this save a lot of money on paper and ink but it will also conserve energy and help protect the planet. You may even be entitled to one of the many tax breaks and grants issued to organizations committed to achieving their environmental goals. This is particularly good news for start-ups with limited funds as the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) is keen to support companies opening up their company in a green manner.

Of course, if you’re used to handing out brochures and leaflets at every company meeting or printing out newsletters whenever you get the chance, going electronic may be a challenge – but here are some things you can try:

  • Using PowerPoint presentations not printouts
  • Communicating via instant messenger apps or email
  • Using financial software to manage your books
  • Downloading accounting software to keep track of figures
  • Arranging digital feedback and review forms
  • Making the most of Google Docs

Going green can help you to make money too

Going green and environmental stability is big news at the moment with many companies doing their bit for the environment. While implementing eco-friendly strategies will certainly save you money, reducing your carbon footprint could also make you a few bucks too. How? Well, consumers care about what brands are doing more than ever before, with many deliberately siding with those who are implementing green policies. Essentially, doing your bit for the environment is a PR dream as it allows you to talk about what everyone wants to hear.

Going green can certainly save your money but it should also improve your reputation too and give you a platform to promote your business.

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