Well that's the Cavity Wall Insulation Done

Of all the things we've tried to do to keep our house warm and our energy costs down, one thing we'd not had done was the cavity wall insulation. Our path to getting this done started with an inspection where a couple of guys turned up and drilled a hole in the wall - Yep, we've got cavity walls in our 1964 house. We were told that there was no charge, no catches and if we wanted our loft insulated they could do that too - all under a government-funded grant scheme.

Protect the Quantock Hills

Image courtesy of Crowcombe Al on flickr
One of my mountain biking friends forwarded me a link the other day to a campaign to protect the Quantock Hills. Whilst I don't recall having cycled in the Quantocks, the name was instantly familiar as it regularly crops up in the biking calendar for our MTB group's day rides.

Amazon Photography Exhibition

Photographers Sebastião Salgado and Per Anders Pettersson present a selection of previously unseen photographs from the ongoing "Genesis" project at Somerset House, London. Showing images shot entirely in the Amazon, the exhibition is in aid of the Sky Rainforest Rescue campaign, a joint venture between the b

Plastic Spoons

My wife found this on facebook this morning. Doesn't this just hit the mark? Here's a transcript of the image text:

 [Image of spoon]

It's pretty amazing that our society has reached a point where the effort necessary to

  • Extract oil from the ground
  • Ship it to a refinery
  • Turn it into plastic
  • Shape it appropriately
  • Truck it to a store
  • Buy it, and bring it home

...is considered to be less effort than what it takes to just wash the spoon when you're done with it.

Cycling Worth £3bn to UK Economy

It's been reported today that the cycling industry is worth some 3 billion pounds to the UK economy.

With cycle-manufacturing, cycle accessory manufacturing, retail and other cycle-related employment all thrown into the mix, that's a healthy figure and a good sign of the state of the cycling industry in this country.

As many as 23,000 people are employed in these UK cycle and cycle-related industries and they contribute some £600 million to our economy in wages and taxes.

British Small Businesses Want to Go Green...

...but see tax and red tape as barriers to environmentalism

(This press release sourced from is4profit) Small businesses believe going green can boost their bottom line – but see tax and red tape as major barriers to becoming more environmentally friendly, according to Forum of Private Business research.

Give Up Bottled Water - Find a Fountain

Bottled Water. A multi million (billion?) pound industry where businesses put water in bottles, market it heavily and make big fat profits.

And all you need to do is turn on the tap and out it comes. You already pay your water rates/have a water meter, so why on earth are you paying someone else to make big profits on something you're already paying for?

And then there's the whole industry of making the plastic bottles to fill up and throw on the streets or in the trash - What a waste of resources, just take a reusable bottle out with you, fill it up at home.

Use Wood, Don't Burn It

We've had an interesting email from the Make Wood Work campaign.

In essence, the UK Government's Renewables Obligation (RO) policy encourages the use of bio-mass burners for electricity generation with financial subsidies. Whilst, from an environmentally-friendly point of view, biomass burning creates energy from waste materials, the forest products industry is concerned that using wood for bio-mass burners will damage their industry.