Category Archives: Education

The 3rd Farming by Satellite Prize decided on Monday 23rd January at International Green Week in Berlin 

BERLIN,  Germany, 2017-Jan-25 — /EPR ENVIRONMENT NEWS/ — The 3rd Farming by Satellite Prize, promoting the use of satellite technologies in agriculture, was decided on Monday 23rd January at International Green Week in Berlin. The overall winner of €5,000 was a team from ISA Lille in France with their idea for using satellite data to pair the issues of managing nitrogen levels together with solving soil compaction, and using cover crops to address this in an environmentally sensitive way. The €4,000 Special Africa Prize went to “Shamballite” a team from Kenya with their innovative and well-documented idea for a mobile and satellite-based Farming Information System.

They beat stiff competition from 76 other young people across 13 European and 8 African countries. Judges selected seven teams from Europe to take forward to the final ‘live’ judging round, and another three from Africa, who made their presentations by video-link. Portugal was successful in getting two teams through to the final round, and other finalists were from Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany and Italy. For the Special Africa prize, it was Kenya that was particularly successful – providing two out of the three finalists, with the third coming from Morocco.

The €3,000 Second Prize and €1,000 Third Prize went to Czech Republic and Italy respectively. Farming by Satellite Prize is an initiative of the European GNSS Agency (GSA) and the European Environment Agency (EEA). It is sponsored by CLAAS, a leading manufacturer of agricultural engineering equipment, and crop protection experts Bayer CropScience.

Reviewing the winning entries this year, GSA judge Reinhard Blasi said: “The judges were particularly impressed with the high quality and professionalism that has evolved over time, especially for the African participants. It was this and the holistic approach focussing on a real challenge for Kenya´s farmers that helped “Shamballite to win first place. The idea sends simple mobile messages to support farmers with decision-making by closing specific information gaps.“

Commenting on the environmental aspect of entries, Hans Dufourmont of EEA added: “It has been remarkable to see how the Copernicus’ European Union open data policy becomes a real game changer that boosts the uptake of satellite imagery for improving the environmental aspects of farming practices: we have seen plenty of proposals taking advantage of the free access to Sentinel satellite data.

Said Christian Radons of CLAAS: “As agriculture becomes more knowledge intensive, our role extends beyond machinery design and manufacture to use science, innovation and technology to make a difference across the whole value chain. We really want to encourage tomorrow’s innovators to apply their talents to the agriculture sector, which is why we have supported the Farming by Satellite Prize since the first edition in 2012. With each edition of the Prize, we notice the submissions improving in quality and applicability. This is a great signal for the future of farming and food production.”

Commented Alex Melnitchouck of Bayer CropScience: “Today’s farmers have a lot of knowledge at their fingertips, helped by the spread of mobile communications. Combine this with the latest seed varieties, detailed weather data and crop analysis tools, and they have a better chance to increase production and cope with climate change. There is a real opportunity to help farmers with decision-making and use advanced technology in simple ways to manage their businesses better, and to lower costs. The Farming by Satellite Prize is a way of raising awareness of these opportunities and tapping into the talents of young people to make them happen.”

The last words go to the winners who said: “We are so excited to have been selected as winners; it has been a great experience, and we hope to see our idea become reality.”

Entrants must be under the age of 32 and can take part as individuals or as a team. They can submit case studies of trials, or new ideas and innovations, particularly those relying upon European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS), the forthcoming GALILEO system and COPERNICUS (the European Earth Observation Programme).

For more information visit: www.farmingbysatellite.eu or contact organiser Andrea King at andrea.king@askhelios.com.

SOURCE: EuropaWire

Renewable Home Energy.org Educates and Connects

Renewable energy – if you haven’t noticed, it’s the buzz around the world. We are using an alarming amount of fossil fuels every day; fossil fuels that won’t last forever. Some experts say we will be known as the generation that destroys the earth unless we change our energy behavior now.

“Renewable Energy makes sense from both a financial and a green responsibility” says Todd Sachs, co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer of www.renewablehomeenergy.org.

“We are committed in educating consumers on how to turn their homes into Renewable Energy Homes. We help by connecting consumers with qualified installers throughout the United States so they can save money on their fast rising energy bills, create more value in their home investment, and join together in reducing dependency on fossil fuels; together reducing the carbon footprint.” Sachs says.

A recent press release from the whitehouse.gov states the following:
“President Obama is committed to an “all-of-the-above” approach that develops all American energy sources in a safe and responsible way and builds a clean and secure energy future. That’s why the President’s plan:

Challenges Americans to double renewable electricity generation again by 2020. In order to double generation from wind, solar, and geothermal sources by 2020, relative to 2012 levels, the President called on Congress to make the renewable energy Production Tax Credit permanent and refundable, which will provide incentive and certainty for investments in new clean energy. Instead of continuing century-old subsidies to oil companies, the President believes that we need to invest in the energy of the future. During the President’s first term, clean energy tax incentives attracted billions of dollars in private investment in almost 50,000 clean energy projects, creating tens of thousands of jobs. Permanent extension keeps the momentum building, while creating new jobs in clean energy.”

Once Americans realize just how possible it is to remove their home from the grid completely and/or partially, many will turn to clean energy sources such as wind, solar and geothermal for home energy systems. Renewable Home Energy (www.renewablehomeenergy.org) just launched last week and is serving-up a great way to connect homeowners with qualified renewable energy installers throughout the entire United States.

Renewable Home Energy is committed to working with local governments, manufactures and installers to help develop affordable ways for consumers to save money with Renewable Energy to remove them from the grid and reduce the carbon footprint by reducing the usage of the finite fossil fuels.

The process is easy. Just click on www.renewablehomeenergy.org and learn about Renewable Energy for your home. You can also complete a form to connect with a Renewable Energy Installer. You will be contacted by qualified installers in your immediate area. They will review your current energy consumption and suggest the best Renewable Energy alternatives for your home.

There are great tax incentives for you to install renewable energy in your home, and great finance options with 4% or less interest rates for up to 10 year terms for qualified buyers.

Via EPR Network
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Compostory.org Launches IndieGoGo Crowdfunding Campaign to Develop Digital Learning Platform

Educating local government officials on the benefits of recycling their cities’ organic waste is about to become a whole lot easier, thanks to the digital age. Compostory.org, a brand-new media company with operations in Malmö, Sweden and San Francisco, California, just launched its maiden 35-day crowdfunding campaign on IndieGoGo.com.

Compostory.org is dedicated to packaging an unprecedented online learning platform for local governments in effort to bring officials up to speed on organic waste management practices. The team is driven by Camille W. Duran, a recognized media expert specializing in building digital platforms for the knowledge industry.

“As of today, it’s not easy enough for influencers from around the world to get basic education on organic waste management” according to Duran. “The difficulty of the early-stage research is a real barrier to action. We want to build a platform showcasing industry knowledge and great stories, to equip participants with a vision and a thorough understanding of the topic.”

Compostory.org is currently leveraging different funding avenues. The IndieGoGo.com 17k goal will directly finance the production of a first course, featuring seven to twelve minute documentary-style videos with whiteboard animated lessons designed by industry experts. The open course, comprised of several modules, will be accessible on-demand from an online course catalog for free. The first course will be initially distributed to 200 local governments in the US and Europe and aims at encouraging officials to start effectively managing and profiting from their city’s organic waste stream.

Access to best practice guidelines, expert opinions, cutting-edge research and most importantly, success stories in neighboring cities, packaged in one online platform, can ultimately pave way for a domino effect. “It’s very exciting to see the impact that online education is having on other industries” says Camille, “and it’s time for the recycling industry to truly profit from it as well.”

Compostory.org aims to become a premium digital platform for knowledge sharing in the field.

Via EPR Network
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National Trust hires Kids’ Council

The National Trust has announced that, following a recruitment drive over the summer holidays, a group of ten youngsters, aged between seven and 11 from across the country, have been recruited by the charity for its Kid’s Council. The children will help the charity to evolve its ’50 Things To Do Before You‘re 11¾’ campaign and provide advice on how National Trust places can spark more children’s interest in nature and the outdoors.

The new Kids’ Council held its inaugural meeting at Dyrham Park near Bath and jumped into their roles with gusto. Having all tackled the ’50 Things’ list, the children are passionate about wildlife and outside activities and brimming with ideas to make the National Trust more engaging for youngsters.

Their first proposal to create a mud slide was put into practise with the help of a large hillside and Rob Holden, Head Ranger at Dyrham Park. Installing rope swings at National Trust places and creating a country-wide nature trail were other ideas discussed by the young councillors

The nationwide search for the youngsters opened in August and attracted hundreds of applications from across the UK. The National Trust judges were looking for imaginative and enthusiastic candidates who showed a real passion for the outdoors. The response from the nation’s children both inspired and delighted the judging panel with the applicants sending in photos, drawing pictures and even creating treasure maps.

Some of the more weird and wonderful suggestions that came up in some of the applications included meerkats at National Trust properties, barefoot nature walks and going inside a large rabbit hole to “see what it’s like being a rabbit”.

The successful applicants forming the new Kids’ Council are:

– Jessica Swales, aged 8 from North Yorkshire
– Max Hodgson, aged 8 from West Midlands
– Francesca Carrannante, aged 8 from London
– Kai Bickley, aged 7 from West Midlands
– Kit Le Froy, aged 8 from Cornwall
– Leif Wilson-Palmer, aged 8 from Gloucestershire
– Harry Wilson, aged 10 from Bristol
– Mia McDade, aged 8 from Stockport
– Sophia Tarling, aged 8 from Norwich
– Iona Howells, aged 11 from Kent

The members of the Kids’ Council and their families will be able to visit all National Trust places throughout the year to gain a true and deep understanding of what the National Trust has to offer. The children will report to the Getting Outdoors and Closer to Nature Programme board at the National Trust, and will share their recommendations at four meetings across the year.

Tony Berry, Visitor Experience Director of the National Trust, commented: “The applicants were imaginative, adventurous and exciting and we cannot wait to hear their views and start bringing their recommendations to life. The sheer number of applications shows that the children of Britain do want to get outdoors, have fun and connect with nature and our mission is to make this as accessible to all children as possible.”

Iona Howells, aged 11 from the Kids’ Council, said: “I am really proud to be part of the Kids’ Council. I want to make other children see that being outdoors can be fun and the National Trust has some great places where you can have heaps of fun – I hate sitting still inside so it is great to be part of getting other kids to play outside.”

Via EPR Network
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National Trust Holiday Cottages wins British Travel Award

National Trust Holiday Cottages has been named in the British Travel Awards 2012 as the winner of Best UK Cottage/Self Catering Booking Company. The announcement was made at a glamorous Gala Awards Dinner held at Battersea Evolution in London, attended by more than a thousand travel industry people.

National Trust Holiday Cottages have been operating as a holiday cottage business for over 50 years with some cottages dating back to at least the 15th century. Today, there are nearly 400 self catering cottages all with a unique style and character set in outstanding locations across the UK with all profits from bookings going directly back in to the National Trust’s conservation work.

Marianne Wanstall (Head of Holidays) said: “It is fabulous to be recognised in such high profile awards which are voted for by consumers and is a massive achievement for us and our unique product.

“The award is a tribute to the hard work and commitment of everyone at National Trust holiday cottages, from our contact centre team who deal directly with customers to the individuals who look after preparing and operating our portfolio of cottages across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.”

British Travel Awards’ chief executive Lorraine Barnes Burton said: “This year more than one million votes were cast by consumers to determine the winners of the coveted British Travel Awards. The Awards were created to reward travel companies, with the winning accolade being the benchmark for excellence when it comes to finding out who really is the best in the business of travel for the UK consumer. National Trust Holiday Cottages is to be congratulated on their achievement.”

Companies were nominated by the public before being voted for by the British consumer, including readers of News International publications – The Times, Sunday Times, the Sun and the Sunday Sun – listeners of Global Radio stations, including LBC and readers of the British Travel Awards magazine, ‘Check-In’. The voting process and results are overseen, scrutinized and audited by Deloitte LLP.

In 2012 more than one million votes were cast in The British Travel Awards making it the largest awards programme in the UK. The BTAs were created to reward the best companies in travel and are recognised by consumers and travel professionals throughout the UK. With categories spanning 75 types of holiday experience – transport, destination, cruise, customer service, holiday extras, and accommodation – The British Travel Awards is quite simply the benchmark for excellence when it comes to finding out who really is the best in the business.

Via EPR Network
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Nation rallies to safeguard iconic White Cliffs of Dover

A £1.2 million appeal launched by the National Trust in the summer to raise funds to acquire the iconic stretch of the White Cliffs of Dover coastline has reached its target in just 133 days, raising an average of £9,000 per day.

The Trust needed the money to buy a 0.8 mile stretch of this world-famous and much-loved piece of the Kent coastline overlooking the port.

It completes the missing link of coastline under National Trust care, uniting a stretch of more than 7km (nearly 5 miles) between the Trust’s visitor centre and South Foreland Lighthouse.

More than 16,000 people and organisations* have supported the White Cliffs of Dover appeal which was launched in June 2012 with an average donation of £40.21 (including Gift Aid) from members of the public.

Hundreds of messages of support were posted on a virtual White Cliffs of Dover on the charity’s website**.

Donations from supporters included a significant contribution from the Dover Harbour Board, which helped the Trust to reach its target earlier than had been anticipated, and support from the Regatta Foundation, Royal Oak Foundation and 16 National Trust supporter groups.

The fundraising drive was given a boost in July when a number of household names including Dame Vera Lynn, Dame Judi Dench and the soul singing sensation and Dover-born Joss Stone gave their support.

Writer and philosopher Julian Baggini spent a week in August at the White Cliffs in Dover looking into how they have come to symbolise what they mean for the UK’s national identity***.

Fiona Reynolds, who is in her final week as Director-General at the National Trust, said: “Thanks to the generosity and support of thousands of people we’ve reached our target nearly two months early.

“The Trust will now look to enhance the quality of access to this new land and build on some of the fantastic nature conservation work that has been carried out by the team on the ground.”

Standing proud at over 110 metres (taller than Big Ben or the same height as twenty-five London buses stacked on top of each other), the White Cliffs of Dover have witnessed many dramatic moments in England’s history.

These include the arrival of the Romans and the welcome return of British armed forces after the evacuation of Dunkirk during the Second World War.

The cliffs are also home to a rich array of wildlife including the Adonis blue butterfly, rare coastal plants such as oxtongue broomrape and sea carrot, and birds including skylark, the only pair of breeding ravens in Kent and peregrine falcons.

Alison Burnett, a volunteer on the White Cliffs of Dover team, added: “There has been a real buzz around the appeal with this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to add the missing piece of the White Cliffs so that they are in the care of the National Trust.”

Hundreds of thousands of people come to visit the dramatic chalk cliffs every year with their wonderful views across the English Channel.

Notes to editors:
* The total number of people and organisations that donated to the White Cliffs of Dover appeal is 16,570.
** Examples of the messages of support and messages about why the White Cliffs of Dover matter can be found at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/whitecliffsappeal
** ‘A Home on the Rock’ by Julian Baggini was published in October and can be read on the blog that ran during his residency – whitecliffsofdoverwriter.wordpress.com

Via EPR Network
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The National Trust Reveals Kids’ Plea For More Family Time

The National Trust has revealed one in five 8-11 year olds want to spend more time with their parents and more than a third of parents said they want to spend more time with their kids.

While watching television and DVDs tops the YouGov poll* as the most common way for parents and children to spend time together in the UK** 26 per cent of children aged 8-11 years old and nearly half (49 per cent) of all parents surveyed said they would like to spend more time together just going for a walk.

To help families get out on an autumn walk, users of the website Mumsnet have provided some top tips on making sure that parents have got everything ready for a fun day out such as climbing a huge hill, flying a kite or hunting for some treasure on a beach.

Over the half-term period there will be hundreds of family walking adventures at National Trust properties as part of the Great British Walk, which has been organised in partnership with PruHealth.

These walks are the perfect way for kids to tick off their ’50 things to do before they’re 11 ¾’, including collecting and play conkers and picking and eating apples straight from the tree.

Simon Pryor, Natural Environment Director at the National Trust, said: “Despite the fact that TV seems to be dominating family life its really encouraging that children and parents want to spend more time together and that walking is seen as a great way of doing just that.

“Walking is a brilliant way for families to spend time together, get fit and discover the joy of the British countryside.

“And with so many great activities taking place at National Trust properties around the country this half-term there’s no better time to get out and go on a walking adventure.”

Mumsnet co-founder and CEO Justine Roberts added: “It’s all too easy to end up spending all family time in front of screens, watching TV or playing video games. Spending time with the children outdoors can be just as cheap as well as fun and educational and offers a bit of balance in a world dominated by X-Factor and Fifa 12.”

Dr William Bird, GP, said: “Children can benefit hugely from walking in the outdoors. High blood pressure, cholesterol and depression can be detected in children as young as 10, due to inactivity. Spending time with family, in the outdoors, can invigorate even the most TV or X-box-obsessed children.”

Free family friendly trails can be downloaded fromwww.nationaltrust.org.uk/greatbritishwalk and families can share their favourite walks online for the chance to win a stay in a National Trust holiday cottage.

Via EPR Network
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IL 1st Congressional District Cook County Voters Support Peloquin Suburban Preservation

The first election using the 1st Congressional Redistricted South Side of Chicago and their Southwest Suburbs extending into Will County has city voters crossing over to support the states suburban life style.

With 74% of the new district voters being from the original 1st district, many of original voters are pushing to preserve their weekend getaways in the suburbs and the continued expanse of the commuter train stations for their suburban and rural lifestyle.

City Folks are now realizing they’re far more dependent on their rural and suburban agriculture businesses and how city politics overlook the needs of the rural and suburban growth at their cost.

It’s a wake-up call for many in Cook County; with Will County positioned as one of the new “Agriculture Cross Roads Of America”, their grain export business offers significant growth in the emerging markets such as Viet Nam, Russia, and China, and that means more jobs, revenue for the state and lower costs for their districts agriculture needs.

This 1st Congressional Districts election is fast becoming the center stage for a nation, as Big City residents learn “Intermodal Growth” is the ticket to world competition, not a party ticket.

You simply cannot achieve Intermodal Growth for the agriculture business with the city politicians quest to keep the spend in the city at the expense of the state’s best opportunity to sustain and gain more jobs outside its original district. Here is a short video clip on Intermodal Job Growth.

As the 3rd largest city in the U.S., the voters are realizing they’re dismal job growth has been limited to their federally subsidized projects within the city versus rebuilding the city through better decisions on how to compete globally within the state.

A Win Win situation, without a solution for decades, it’s time for a change, and it starts with educating the people on how to best affect change, and why. There’s a need here, a need to turn things around before we lose the opportunity to reduce our state and nations overall deficit, which ultimately results in the loss of the federal funding we’ve grown to know as the way the City Politicians create more jobs.

The Don Peloquin Campaign for the 1st Congressional District supports growth through voter education. Many people are totally unaware that if Congress doesn’t pass the new Farm Bill, you may as well forget about the food stamp program with its $80 billion a year, or 80 percent of all spending in the $500 Billion Farm Bill. Our position is to grow globally with the best opportunities, and our suburbs and rural areas have the best potential of securing grants for jobs like the $6 million awarded to UW-Madison. That focuses on encouraging more farm-to-school programs like the Research, Education, Action and Policy Food Group’s farm-to-school program, which supplies area schools with fresh, locally produced fruits and vegetables. We need a well balanced spend to gain the maximum benefits for all.

The Time For Change Independent Voice:  Dedicated To Public Announcements That Affect Our Suburban and Rural Life. We simply state what’s before us from the eyes and ears of those affected.  Get Out And Vote For A Change, Visit www.peloquinforcongress.com and read for yourself.

Via EPR Network
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Banana sourcing policy holds key to feeding the world’s growing population says The Co-operative

Banana sourcing policy holds key to feeding the world’s growing population says The Co-operative.

In a move to mark this year’s Fairtrade Fortnight, The Co-operative today (Monday 27 February) announced a new banana sourcing policy, which could be the blueprint for feeding the world’s growing population.

The Co-operative, which was the first to launch Fairtrade bananas into the UK, has now switched all its bananas to 100% Fairtrade, with a unique sourcing model demonstrating unrivalled commitment to fellow co-operatives and small-scale growers, who between them will supply the bananas on a 50/50 basis.

All of The Co-operative’s bananas are now supplied by fellow co-operatives, 23 of which are made up of thousands of smallholder growers from countries including Peru, Colombia and Ecuador.

Bananas are the most popular fruit in the UK, and The Co-operative sells a staggering 230 million bananas a year – enough to circle the globe.

As part of its groundbreaking Ethical Plan, The Co-operative has pledged that if products can be labelled as Fairtrade, they will be, and by the end of 2013, the retailer hopes to be 90% towards this target.

Oxfam, which has teamed up with The Co-operative, believes that smallholder producers, many of which are co-operatives, are the key to feeding the extra two billion people that it is estimated will be on the planet by 2050, despite the gathering pace of climate change and dwindling natural resources. Together The Co-operative and Oxfam will campaign for increased international investment to help smallholder growers and co-operatives to feed the world sustainably.

At a time when the United Nations has designated 2012 as the International Year of Co-operatives, they will also help to ensure that the role co-operatives play worldwide is recognised.

Group Chief Executive Peter Marks said: “Despite the economic downturn, Fairtrade sales in the UK continue to grow, and support for Fairtrade from our own customers and members is as strong as ever.

The switch to 100% Fairtrade bananas in more than 4,000 Co-operative stores in the UK is a demonstration of this commitment to Fairtrade, co-operatives and small-scale farmers.

“However, having been instrumental in bringing Fairtrade into the mainstream, we recognise the unique role we can play as a co-operative in going beyond Fairtrade and increasing support for our producers to tackle global poverty.

“Our new partnership with Oxfam is an example of this and is particularly timely given it’s the United Nations International Year of Co-operatives.”

Via EPR Network
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Green Schools App From The Co-operative Gains Five Star Feedback

The Co-operative Group’s revolutionary Green Schools app has made a strong start in Apple’s iTunes store since it was launched one week ago (Friday 9).

The game, which is compatible with the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, encourages kids, teens and adults to learn about green issues while battling to complete a number of different challenges and levels. The Green Schools app, which is available to download for free from iTunes, has already gained 27 ratings and has a current ranking of five stars out of five (correct at time of writing).

Feedback left by one gamer read: “Great game. Loads of fun. The kids are beating me!!!”

‘McrGiant’ wrote: “Love this app – nice game play and I can see it will be a great game for parents to get their kids to play AND learn stuff too. Well done.”

Others described the app as “fast & fun”, “fab green fun!” and “great educational app”.

So far the free app, which was launched as part of The Co-operative’s Green Schools Revolution has been downloaded 300 times and The Co-operative Group is really pleased with how well it is being received.

Melanie Phillips, who heads up Green Schools Revolution for The Co-operative Group, said: “We are really proud of the Green Schools app and it’s really nice to see that people love the game and are recommending it to their friends.

“When creating the design brief for this app we wanted to make sure that the games were primarily fun but that they also had a green twist, and we think this balance has been achieved really successfully.”

For those who want to download the free Green Schools Revolution game, it can be found on the App Store by searching ‘Green Schools’.

[ENDS]
Notes to editors:

1. The app is available to download free from the iTunes store by searching ‘Green Schools’.
2. Green Schools Revolution is a comprehensive learning resource prepared by education specialists and available to all UK primary and secondary schools for free.
3. Over 3,500 primary and secondary schools across the country are registered for Green Schools Revolution.
4. Registered schools have access to a range of free cross-curricular classroom resources and activities through www.greenschools.coop, giving young people and teachers the tools to inspire change in their schools, homes and local communities.
5. The Co-operative is offering schools free fun and educational visits to its own wind farm to see renewable energy in action and to seven Co-operative Farms to see first hand how food grows and how to cook it. Schools will be able to take advantage of free high visibility jackets to help set up “walking buses”, helping them take practical action to cut their carbon emissions.
6. The Co-operative’s Ethical Plan has 47 distinct targets, among them a cultural shift in youth perception and opportunities for young people through Green Schools Revolution, an Apprenticeship Academy and the creation of 200 Co-operative Schools by 2013.
7. As Britain’s largest farmer over 50,000 children have visited one of our 15 Co-operative Farms, gaining hands-on experience about where their food comes from.
8. The Co-operative Group is the UK’s largest mutual business, owned not by private shareholders but by over six million consumers. It is the UK’s fifth biggest food retailer, the leading convenience store operator and a major financial services provider, operating The Co-operative Bank, Britannia and The Co-operative Insurance.

Among its other businesses are the number one funeral services provider and Britain’s largest farming operation. As well as having clear financial and operational objectives, the Group has also set out its social and sustainability goals in its groundbreaking Ethical Plan, which specifies almost 50 commitments in these areas. The Group operates 4,800 retail trading outlets, employs more than 106,000 people and has an annual turnover of more than £13bn. Further information is available at www.co-operative.coop.

Via EPR Network
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New Green App For Eco-Gamers

The Co-operative Group releases innovative new children’s gaming app on Apple’s iTunes store!

From today (9 December), kids, teenagers and adults with an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch can download the Green Schools app from iTunes and get tackling the addictive eco-tasks straightaway. By downloading the new Green Schools Revolution game, kids up and down the UK can battle it out to become the ultimate eco warrior.

According to a recent study by The Co-operative Group, over 90 per cent of children want to learn more about green issues* and this fun new app, being launched today, sets kids on a mission to become green revolutionaries.

By downloading the free app to their iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, kids can race against time to harvest the carrots before the rabbit gets them, turn off the taps to save the duck in the bath tub and save energy by switching off lights whilst putting their green knowledge to the test to unlock the secret bonus level and become an eco warrior.

With fun quizzes about energy, water and healthy living, the app is a great way to learn important lessons while having loads of family fun this Christmas!

Melanie Phillips, who heads up Green Schools Revolution for The Co-operative, said: “We are lucky that our youngsters have such a tremendous appetite to learn more about green issues.

“Our new Green Schools Revolution app is a fun and engaging way to help children and young people learn about building a more sustainable world whilst competing with their friends and family to become eco warriors!”

The Co-operative’s Green Schools Revolution education programme, part of its Inspiring Young People campaign, was launched in 3,000 primary and secondary schools in September by farmer and TV presenter Jimmy Doherty. It has been designed to inspire the next generation of green pioneers, with free lessons, trips and green activities available to all UK primary and secondary schools.

You can download this exciting app, available on the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, from the iTunes store from today (9 December). Simply search the app store on iTunes for ‘green schools’ to download the game for free or visit the Green Schools Revolution site to find out more about the app and the initiative.

*Opinion Matters interviewed 1,027 children aged between 7 and 14 and 1,002 parents of children aged 7 to 14 in August 2011.

Via EPR Network
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7,000 Kids Join UK’s Biggest Ever School Trip

Energy, water and healthy living will be the highlight of the timetable for 7,000 school kids this week (7 – 11 November) as they join the UK’s biggest ever school trip to get a real taste of learning about sustainability outside the classroom.

At The Co-operative’s ‘Green Schools Revolution: LIVE!’ events up and down the country, all 7,000 pupils will get to visit one of eleven UK Science and Discovery Centres, including the Eden Project (Cornwall), the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew (London), Thinktank (Birmingham), Museum of Science and Industry (Manchester), W5 (Belfast), Satrosphere (Aberdeen) and Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) (Wales) for a special Green Schools Revolution lesson.

During the week, each venue will bring unique experiences into the Green Schools Revolution programme, from pupils ascending 305 steps to the top of the world’s only climbable wind turbine at Ecotech in Norfolk, to exploring the importance of plants and the vital role they play in sustainable and healthy living at Kew Gardens.

Entry to the venues for all 7,000 children is fully funded by The Co-operative, with the first 100 schools to have registered also landing themselves subsidised coach travel.

According to research by The Co-operative, 92 per cent of children (aged 7-14) want to learn more about green issues, helping to save the environment and healthy living*, which are the key components of the Green Schools Revolution.

And parents are backing the initiative too with 87 per cent of them wanting their kids to learn more about green issues*. This could be down to the fact their own green knowledge is lacking – over half of parents are confused about what causes climate change*. Clearly educating their children has a much wider impact as parents are willing to learn from their kids with 95 per cent saying they have become greener as a result of their kids pester power*.

The Co-operative’s Green Schools Revolution education programme, part of its Inspiring Young People campaign, was launched in 3,000 primary and secondary schools in September by farmer and TV presenter Jimmy Doherty. It has been designed to inspire the next generation of green pioneers, with free lessons including recycling tips, trips and green activities and leisure ideas available to all UK primary and secondary schools.

Michael Fairclough, Head of Community and Campaigns, said: “We are lucky that our youngsters have such a tremendous appetite to learn more about green issues. Green Schools Revolution LIVE! will be the UK’s biggest ever school trip giving school children from all four corners of the UK the opportunity to visit their nearest Science and Discovery Centre for an inspirational school visit that will ensure the next generation are better equipped for the challenge of building a more sustainable world.”

Jean Miller, Head teacher of Hottsbridge Primary School in Waterbeck near Lockerbie, said: “This superb event will enable schools to build upon and develop important skills for our children to become creative, inventive and enterprising adults in a world where the skills and knowledge of the environment are needed across all sectors of the economy for a sustainable future.

“Green education is so important to us and this programme fits in perfectly, not only with our Science, Social Studies and Health and Wellbeing curriculum, but also with our overall school ethos and the School Improvement Plan. With the Co-operative’s strong environmental credentials behind Green Schools Revolution, we wanted to make sure we didn’t miss out on being part of this exciting programme.”

To find out more about Green Schools Revolution visit www.greenschools.coop. *Opinion Matters interviewed 1,027 children aged between 7 and 14 and 1,002 parents of children aged 7 – 14 in August 2011.

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The Co-operative Moves On Palm Oil

The Co-operative Group has become the largest UK supermarket to certify all of its palm oil use as sustainable.

The move by the consumer-owned retailer will help to protect endangered species, such as the orang-utan and the Sumatran tiger, as well as safeguard the future of smallholder farmers.

The retailer is purchasing accredited GreenPalm certificates from a co-operative of smallholders who are producing sustainable palm oil, accredited by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).

The premium the smallholders receive helps them to build capacity for further production of sustainable palm oil.

Palm oil, which is used in modern food products, such as biscuits, pies and ready meals is one of the largest drivers of global deforestation, with Malaysia and Indonesia, which have some of the richest rainforests on the planet, accounting for 90% of production worldwide. These rainforests provide refuge for endangered species such as the orang-utan, the Sumatran tiger, elephants and rhinos. Further deforestation on Indonesian and Malaysian islands (Borneo, Sarawak and Sumatra) will push these species closer to extinction.

As part of its groundbreaking Ethical Plan launched earlier this year, The Co-operative committed to be a leading UK retailer on forest protection, and to move its palm oil sourcing to a sustainable footing by the end of 2011.

The retailer has achieved its target ahead of schedule, meaning that 4,729 tonnes of palm oil used annually will be certified as sustainable via one of the four certification systems agreed by the RSPO.

The Co-operative has also been working to increase the number of its own-brand products that contain fully traceable, certified sustainable palm oil, aiming to ensure all palm oil used as an ingredient in The Co-operative brand products come from this system by 2015. This move will further help customers of The Co-operative Food stores to make ethical and sustainable choices in store. It currently has 81 own-brand products that contain fully traceable, sustainable palm oil.

Sean Toal, Acting Chief Executive, The Co-operative Food, said: “Deforestation and the loss of natural habitat for the orang-utan and other endangered species are major issues, but, as a consumer-owned retailer, we are determined to play our part in supporting sustainable solutions.”

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Children Teaching Grown-Ups A Lesson Or Two About Green Issues

Children are resorting to “green pester power”, pushing their parents to act more sustainably – and their efforts are paying off, according to a new report published yesterday (20 September).

Half of parents say they struggle to answer their children’s questions about green issues – more than half for instance, incorrectly put the blame for climate change on carbon monoxide.

But six in ten say their children are persuading them to be greener, with recycling, conserving water and leaving the car at home among the things their offspring are asking them to do most often…and when they’re pressured, 95 per cent of them change their behaviour as a result.

The study is published by The Co-operative, to mark the official launch of its Green Schools Revolution (GSR) educational programme, which forms part of its groundbreaking Ethical Plan. The programme will meet the needs of information-hungry children, who rate green issues a close third in terms of learning priorities just behind Maths and English.

More than four in five parents believe their children learn more about the environment at school than they did – two in five say they were taught nothing about the issues at all.

The Co-operative Group says it has been “overwhelmed” by the pre-registration demand for the programme’s range of teaching materials from more than 2,500 primary and secondary schools across the UK, caring for over one million children.

Paul Monaghan, Head of Sustainability at the Co-operative Group said: “We are lucky that our youngsters have such a tremendous appetite to learn more about green issues and make a difference.

“Through our Green Schools Revolution programme, we hope to do our bit to help the thousands of switched on teachers who want to ensure the next generation are better equipped for the challenge of building a more sustainable world. However, parents aren’t off the hook – clearly they need extra homework and the programme will put children in a good position to teach them.”

Farmer and television presenter, Jimmy Doherty is launching the programme with the help of schoolchildren at a London primary school. He said: “As a parent, a farmer, and an enthusiastic advocate of sustainable living, I think it is vitally important to educate our children about green issues from an early age. I’ve been passionate about the environment since I was a teenager, but back then there was little information around to inspire others to change, so I’m delighted to see that The Co-operative is launching its Green Schools Revolution programme, which offers so much to encourage children to consider their environmental impact as second nature.”

From today, all GSR schools across the country will have access to a wide range of free cross-curricular classroom resources and activities through www.greenschools.coop, giving young people and teachers the tools to inspire change in their schools, homes and local communities.

The Co-operative is offering schools free fun and educational visits to its own wind farm to see renewable energy in action and to seven Co-operative Farms to see firsthand how food grows and how to cook it. Schools will be able to take advantage of free high visibility jackets to help set up “walking buses” for pupils, helping both schools and parents to take practical action to cut their carbon emissions.

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Alive! Expo Green Pavilion And Mix Media Luxury Lounge To Deliver Yet Another Talked-About Sustainably Stylish And Distinctive Eco-Educational Lounge During Sundance’s Sea Of Celebrity Gifting Suites

Alive! Expo Green Pavilion and Mix Media Luxury Lounge have joined forces, again, to deliver yet another talked-about sustainably stylish and distinctive eco-educational lounge during Sundance’s sea of celebrity gifting suites from January 21st – January 23rd, 2011, in Park City, Utah.

Merging the “goodness of green” with the “lap of luxury”, eco-luxury pioneers Patrycja Siewert-Towns (Alive! Expo Green Pavilion) and Kim Shimmel (Mix Media, LLC) have made a name for themselves by turning Hollywood’s red carpets ”green”. Amongst the Festival’s hearty stock of award-winning actors, filmmakers, and national media, this dynamic duo has proven that by sharing their environmental alliance of education, social responsibility, and the power of celebrities, it is possible to take steps towards a more sustainable future.

At Alive! Expo Green Pavilion and Mix Media Luxury Lounge’s eighth year surrounding Sundance, Siewert-Towns and Shimmel will exemplify the perfect union of eco and extravagance by hosting Project Green’s CELEBRITY Photo Studio. A 501c3 non-profit organization, Project Green’s mission is to invest in a“Greener Tomorrow” by protecting green space for future generations and launching an annual “Back to Basics” Summer Camp for under-served kids and young people. The Photo Studio is an exclusive opportunity for celebrities, and notables, to share their ecological efforts in Project Green’s upcoming coffee table book on“Celebrities Going G-R-E-E-N”. Focusing on sustainability and teaching the 3 R’s -“Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” with proceeds from the book will benefit Project Green’s objectives.

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Hazmat Training Comes to Wilmington

When workers handle hazardous waste or ship hazardous materials, training is not just a good idea, it’s the law. According to the EPA, workers who handle hazardous waste must be trained annually, and the federal DOT requires that workers involved in the shipment of hazardous materials be trained at least every three years.

Environmental Resource Center, the leading provider of environmental and safety training, will present the mandatory training in Wilmington, Delaware at the Sheraton Suites December 14-16, 2010. Classes begin at 8am and end at 5pm each day.

Hazardous Waste Management: The Complete Course will be taught on December 14 and 15.

DOT Hazardous Materials Training: The Complete Course will be taught on December 16 at the same location.

Registration for the training is available by calling 800-537-2372 or at http://www.ercweb.com/classes.

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Hazmat Training Comes to Burbank

When workers handle hazardous waste or ship hazardous materials, training is not just a good idea, it’s the law. According to the Department of Toxic Substances Control, workers who handle hazardous waste must be trained annually, and the federal DOT requires that workers involved in the shipment of hazardous materials be trained at least every three years. If your facility generates hazardous waste in the state of California, you must comply not only with the California hazardous waste regulations, but also with federal regulations that have not yet been incorporated into the California rules.

Environmental Resource Center®, the leading provider of environmental and safety training, will present the mandatory training in Burbank on December 14 – 16 at the Holiday Inn – Burbank Media Center.

Hazardous Waste Management: The Complete Course will be taught on December 14 and 15.

DOT Hazardous Materials Training: The Complete Course will be taught on December 16 at the same location.

Registration for the training is available by calling 800-537-2372 or at http://www.ercweb.com/classes.

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Hazmat Training Comes to Charlotte

When workers handle hazardous waste or ship hazardous materials, training is not just a good idea, it’s the law. According to the EPA, workers who handle hazardous waste must be trained annually, and the federal DOT requires that workers involved in the shipment of hazardous materials be trained at least every three years.

Environmental Resource Center, the leading provider of environmental and safety training, will present the mandatory training in Charlotte, North Carolina at the Holiday Inn – Charlotte University on December 7 – 9, 2010. Classes begin at 8am and end at 5pm each day.

Hazardous Waste Management: The Complete Course will be taught on December 7 and 8.

DOT Hazardous Materials Training: The Complete Course will be taught on December 9 at the same location.

Registration for the training is available by calling 800-537-2372 or at http://www.ercweb.com/classes.

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Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response Training Comes to Cary

Personnel who are expected to stop, contain, and clean up releases of hazardous materials are required to have 24 hours of initial training. Personnel who are involved in clean-ups at waste sites, including Superfund sites, RCRA corrective action sites, or voluntary clean-ups involving hazardous substances must have 40 hours of initial instruction.

Environmental Resource Center, the leading provider of environmental and safety training, will present the mandatory training in Cary, NC on December 6-8 for the 24-Hour Hazwoper and December 6-10, 2010 for the 40-Hour Hazwoper. Classes begin at 8am and end at 5pm each day.

Personnel that complete this course will receive a Hazwoper wallet card, a training certificate, one year of free Answerline service and handbook updates, and a free subscription to Environmental Resource Center’s safety and environmental e-newsletters.

Registration for the mandatory training is available by calling 919-469-1585, 1-800- 537-2372 or at http://www.ercweb.com/classes

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Hazmat Training Comes to Mobile

When workers handle hazardous waste or ship hazardous materials, training is not just a good idea, it’s the law. According to the EPA, workers who handle hazardous waste must be trained annually, and the federal DOT requires that workers involved in the shipment of hazardous materials be trained at least every three years.

Environmental Resource Center, the leading provider of environmental and safety training, will present the mandatory training in Mobile on November 2-4, 2010 at the Holiday Inn – Bellingrath Gardens.

Hazardous Waste Management: The Complete Course will be taught on November 3-4.

DOT Hazardous Materials Training: The Complete Course will be taught on November 5 at the same location.

Registration for the training is available by calling 800-537-2372 or at http://www.ercweb.com/classes.

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