Positive Earth News – welcome to “Project Earth”

Lego to use plant-based plastics, and other eco-positive news

Even Dr. Evil wants a clean world

This blog is about positive change. Even though our environmental situation is not good we live in the perfect times for change. If anything proves this it’s the speed at which the #metoo campaign has taken off and toppled a fair few famous people off their perches too. I’m not commenting on that, but it does show the power of social media to create change. In that respect the advent of social media gives me hope.

Here in the UK the TV documentary Blue Planet II, narrated by national eco-hero Sir David Attenborough has had a similarly dramatic effect. Thanks to Blue Planet everyone from Starbucks to the UK Government to H.M the Queen have sat up and listened, and have started to make significant changes.

No one (not even Dr. Evil) wants to see sea creatures choked by plastic or coral reefs dying. It’s just that it takes a while to realise what’s going on and then to change our habits. We are all creatures of habit, and old habits die hard.

Lego starts on sugarcane bricks

Production has started on a range of sustainable LEGO® elements, to made from plastic sourced from sugarcane. The elements will include leaves, bushes and trees.

The new sustainable LEGO elements are made from polyethylene, which is a soft, durable and flexible plastic, and while they are based on sugar-cane material, they are technically identical to those produced using conventional plastic.

Hannah’s eco-frugal list

Everyone’s got their own way of taking part in what I call “Project Earth” – reclaiming our planet as it should be. Last week I asked my daughter Hannah what would be her eco-frugal list. Here it is:

1. Make your own cleaning products

2. Cook simple meals based mostly on local produce

3. Buy everything second hand

4. Repair

5. Borrow/lend/give away /swap

6. Don’t own a car/ car borrowing programs/ ride-sharing

7. Care less what people think and be a bit scruffy. Own an older phone, don’t worry about perfect decor, etc

8. Do without. See if you even miss it. You probably won’t

9. Live in a smaller house, don’t fill it with crap and then spend money and energy heating cleaning and maintaining it

10. Spend your leisure time exploring the great outdoors or even just walking around the local park rather at the mall. Get fit, save money, don’t contribute to this endless consumerist waste of production

Do you have an ‘eco’ list? I’d love to hear it.

Kiwi Power installs 4MW battery in S.Wales

The 4MW battery facility in South Wales.  Credit: KiWi Power

Kiwi Power has unveiled a 4MW / 4.8MWh Tesla battery at Cenin Renewables in South Wales.

The battery took three months to build and will provide grid balancing services for a cluster of onsite renewable energy technologies at the site near Bridgend.

Solar and wind could meet 80% of US electricity demand

A study by energy experts at the Carnegie Institution of Science shows that most of the USA’s electricity could be supplied by wind and solar power.

The analysis of 36 years of weather data by Ken Caldeira and three  Carnegie-affiliated energy experts shows that up to 80% of the demand could be met in this way. Due to seasonal cycles and extreme weather events it would require significant energy infrastructure changes to bring that up to 100%.

Seychelles marine reserve to protect 81,000 square miles of ocean

Two vast marine protection areas have been created in the Seychelles in a groundbreaking deal that writes off a portion of the island nation’s debts.

The area being protected covers a total of 81,000 square miles – an area roughly the size of Great Britain. Parties involved in negotiations included Nature Conservancy and actor Leonardo DiCaprio. Future debt payments will to into a trust, the Seychelles Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust, to finance new marine protection and climate adaptation projects.

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