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Economy

UK’s Sustainability Personality of the Year: The Blue & Green ‘Oscars’ – The ‘Marbles’

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The antidote to Sports Personality of the Year. In 2016 we will be launching the full Blue & Green ‘Marbles’ awards. Most awards have as many categories as there are sponsors and are often decided by a cartel of ‘experts’. Because of this they tend to be unrepresentative of the views of ordinary people. Blue & Green ‘Marbles’ will be the antidote to awards ceremonies.

The ‘Marbles’, as the Blue & Green Awards will be known, will have seven simple and clear categories covering; individuals, organisations, for profits, not-for-profits, investments, films and books.

We will assemble the long list during 2016. The most frequently occurring names will then form the short list in each category. Our readers will then be able to vote for the winner of each category. Importantly, we’ll be using a form of proportional representation so people can vote in order of preference for more than one person or organisation. Every vote will therefore count.

But that’s for 2016 (anyone interested in headline sponsorship should contact us).

In the meantime, we have consulted a small jury of 12 friends, readers and supporters to come up with a short list of the people we all think have made the biggest difference to sustainability in 2015.

The four criteria for inclusion in 2015 were that:

1) They have played a role in simplifying the triple pillars of sustainability: economy, people and planet – which sadly rules out some excellent single issue campaigners and organisations

2) They are ‘notable’ and well known – e.g. a Wikipedia entry or national press coverage

3) They or their organisation has contributed or been a regular source of content for Blue & Green

4) They are UK-based (for 2015 only, to limit scope)

Specifically, our friends were asked to suggest people who: “have done more than anyone in 2015 to simplify sustainability and make it easier for everyone to live sustainably.”

Read the full short list and citations here.

And then the decision on who has made the biggest difference is yours. Vote now.

The nice people at 3D Investing and ArBolivia have sponsored this year’s award.

Economy

A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon

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energy efficient homes

Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.

There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.

1. The Rise Of Smart Windows

When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.

If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.

2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs

If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.

Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.

3. Low-E Windows Taking Over

It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.

They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.

4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges

Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.

The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.

5. Improving Our Current LEDs

Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.

That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.

Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too

Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.

ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244

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Economy

IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”

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IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.

Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.

Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.

Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:

“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.

We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.

There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.

We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”

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