Category Archives: Projects

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

Environmentalist Lori Grace of Tiburon funds Biorock Technology project to contribute to help SF Bay underwater life

Tiburon, CA, 2016-Sep-03 — /EPR Network/ — Lori Grace, founder of the Bay area organization, Save Our Bay, Save Our Ocean, a division of Sunrise Center, is now funding Tom Goreau of the Global Coral Reef Alliance to work with the Romberg Environmental Research Center in Tiburon in a Biorock project that, if successful, will assist the SF Bay Area in supporting salt marsh, oyster and eel grass growth . It will also help reduce sea level rise at the same time.

Bio-Rock Pemuteran Bali Indonesia / Photo by EunJae Im | www.eiLabs.net
Bio-Rock Pemuteran Bali Indonesia / Photo by EunJae Im | www.eiLabs.net

There is great excitement at the County, NERR, and Richardson Bay Audubon about the possibilities offered by bringing this technology to the SF Bay Area. The results will definitely be fully assessed in the experimental tanks of the Romberg Center by June 2017.

After showing the success of Tom Goreau’s Biorock technology in a tank, plans are to introduce this technology with the County’s approval to the Richardson Bay Audubon sanctuary, Bothin Marsh, the Corte Madera Salt Marsh, and Stinson Beach among other locations.

Media contacts: Edward Ellsworth, 6 Playa Verde, Tiburon, CA 94920

http://saveourbaysaveourocean.org/

https://www.youtube.com/c/sunrisecenterchannel

http://www.globalcoral.org/

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 reveals vision for HS2 around Aylesbury

Proposals for an improved design for HS2 around Aylesbury, if it goes ahead, have been revealed by the National Trust.

Whilst being neutral over the principle of HS2, the National Trust opposes the specific proposed route in the Aylesbury area and through the Chilterns AONB.

This is because of its landscape and other impacts, especially on Hartwell House, where it would require the acquisition of the Trust’s land.

The plans revealed today show how the impact on hundreds of people’s lives and the special places they care about could be reduced if HS2 Ltd plans for mitigation on a big enough scale.

This would include acquiring additional land either side of the railway line to give room for the necessary landscaping and other measures, such as creating a 600m long ‘land bridge’ for the route as it crosses through the Hartwell House estate and next to Fairford Leys, where many local people will be heavily affected by the railway.

This would involve building the land up on either side of the line, then placing a lid on top, with vegetation and tree planting covering it. Wide, landscaped embankments which would screen trains and conceal noise barriers and security fencing also feature.

A range of specialist consultants, including experts in rail engineering, landscape character, landscape architecture, noise and hydrology have been brought in by the National Trust to advise on the best possible mitigation over an 8km stretch of the line from Stoke Mandeville, around Aylesbury and up to Waddesdon.

Since the route for HS2 was published in January this year, the Trust has been talking to local authorities, parish councils, landowners, other charities and organisations, as well as HS2 Ltd, aiming for proposals which take into account the views of as many people as possible who are affected by the line.

Peter Nixon, director of conservation for the National Trust, said: “Although HS2 is still not a foregone conclusion, and we object to the route chosen, in case it does go ahead it’s sensible for us to negotiate for the best scheme which minimises its impact for as many people as possible and on the special places they care about.

“We hope our proposals, which draw on our practical experience elsewhere, raise expectations of what could be achieved.

“There is still a lot of detail to work up. This would have to be done with HS2 Ltd, the community, local authorities and landowners and we believe a collaborative approach here will deliver the best scheme if HS2 does go ahead.

“We hope that HS2 Ltd and the Government will adopt this scheme, however we have also been clear that if this is not the case we would be prepared to petition Parliament in order to try and get the scheme included in the necessary legislation.”

The current proposed route of HS2 will pass directly through the Hartwell House estate which has an international history and significance stretching back almost a thousand years to the reign of Edward the Confessor.

It also passes within view of Coombe Hill in the Chilterns; through the Waddesdon Estate which has a Victorian garden thought to be one of best in Britain; and close to Claydon House, once home to Florence Nightingale.

The scheme has already received backing from a number of local groups.

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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National Trust co-founder honoured at Westminster Abbey

Octavia Hill, leading social reformer and co-founder of the National Trust, has been honoured at a service to dedicate a memorial to her at Westminster Abbey in London.

One hundred years after Octavia Hill’s death, a memorial stone, commissioned by theNational Trust and designed and crafted by Rory Young, has been dedicated at the service that celebrates her remarkable life.

Thousands of flowers, foliage and fruit from National Trust gardens across the South West were incorporated in eight spectacular displays for the service. Conceived by Mike Calnan, head of gardens at the Trust, the dramatic arrangements were made and assembled by London based floral artist Rebecca Louise Law, daughter of one of the Trust’s head gardeners, together with Abbey florist, Jane Rowton-Lee.

National Trust Chairman, Simon Jenkins, and Director-General, Dame Fiona Reynolds, broadcaster Julia Bradbury and writer Robert Macfarlane were among the members, supporters, staff and volunteers from the National Trust and other organisations who paid tribute to Octavia Hill with readings and prayers at the service conducted by The Very Reverend Dr John Hall, Dean of Westminster.

The memorial stone, measuring 600mm x 600mm, is made of Purbeck marble, and has been laid in the nave of Westminster Abbey.

Octavia Hill founded the National Trust in 1895 with Sir Robert Hunter and Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley.

They were concerned about the impact of uncontrolled development and industrialisation and set up the Trust ‘for the protection of the public interests in the open spaces of the country.’

Octavia Hill also played a pivotal role in the housing reform movement and had a lifelong passion for learning and welfare.

Dame Fiona Reynolds said: “Octavia Hill had a profound impact on this country both as a social reformer and as a co-founder of the National Trust. She and her fellow reformers believed passionately that access to beauty, heritage and nature was a basic human need. Her biggest legacy has perhaps been the National Trust, which last year reached 4 million members – surely exceeding even her ambitions. All year we have been commemorating the work of this remarkable woman, and I am delighted by the opportunity to honour her legacy in this way.”

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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Green Mountain Signs Distribution Agreement with Solluxus for Bio-Miracle Products

Robert Brehm CEO of Green Mountain Development Corp (Pinksheet: GMND), announced that Green Mountain and Solluxus, LLC have signed a joint venture (JV) distribution agreement for a private label version of the company’s Bio-Miracle™ microbial products. Solluxus plans to market the microbial products with its non-GMO seeds to groups and individuals who want to preserve and protect the integrity of the food supply.

Under the terms of the agreement, Solluxus will have exclusive channel international marketing rights for Bio-Miracle™ products through its proprietary sales and marketing program and Green Mountain will provide fulfillment services for the Bio-Miracle™ and Solluxus products. Both companies will work together to develop and distribute related products for Solluxus including solar power, water treatment, and backyard and community food growing systems that empower individual and community self reliance. The three year renewable agreement provides for exclusive channel marketing rights in return for a $5MM product purchase commitment. Initial product deliveries are expected in the third quarter beginning April 1.

Brehm commented, “I have known the principal of Solluxus for over 20 years and when he invited me to participate, I was very excited to not only supply the Bio-Miracle™ products but also to be actively involved in the market development and product mix decision making. I believe our past experience in water treatment and the company’s microbial product line will be very useful in quickly ramping up Solluxus’ sales efforts to domestic and international customers. Our initial efforts will be in branding, packaging design, kitting, and setting up the internal operations for product fulfillment and customer support for deliveries beginning in the third quarter. The Solluxus relationship adds a new channel of distribution and potentially large, new customer base that augments our existing international channels for Bio-Miracle™ product distribution.”

About Green Mountain Development Corp

Green Mountain Development Corp provides project development services for capital providers and technology operators and distributes licensed products related to the energy, agricultural and environmental sectors.

About Solluxus
Solluxus is connecting like-minded people and groups to encourage strategies for protection of family, for self-reliance and for sustainability through delivery of non-GMO seeds and related products. (see www.Solluxus.com for more info or contact at 1-702-871-8535).

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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How One Dollar Lights Up Africa

In the beginning there was light for all – and a little later there was electric light for, well, only some of us: 1.5 billion people still live in darkness. Dutch startup Off-Grid Solutions makes an end to developing countries’ killing kerosene dependency. They want their high-tech, low-cost WakaWaka solar LED lamp to light up Africa ‘like a Christmas tree’.

Via Kickstarter.com, the general public is now enthusiastically pre-ordering WakaWaka´s for 35 dollars each. The minimal support to contribute to their mission is one dollar. Thanks to this innovative way of crowdfunding, WakaWaka grows at the speed of light .And with it, the dream of providing all Africans with a sustainable light solution becomes more real by the minute.

1.5 billion people live off-grid. They depend on kerosene fuel for their basic lighting needs. Annually millions of children suffer severe burns from accidents with kerosene lamps. The toxic fumes cause even more health problems. World Bank reports that each day 780 million women and children inhale the equivalent of two packs of cigarettes as a result of indoor air pollution.

Fuels for lighting take up to 20% of income of people who try to survive on less than $2 a day. This way, the poor stay poor. But there is light at the end of the tunnel: WakaWaka solar LED light.

The WakaWaka (‘Shine Bright’ in Swahili) solar lamp uses the latest in patented solar technology developed by Intivation, allowing for superior charging in any weather conditions.

Each day of free solar charging gives 16 hours of decent reading light. It has different light intensities and fits on a bottle, stimulating recycling and opening up opportunities for joint promotions. Innovative distribution methods will reach even the most remote rural areas. Various accessories (cell phone chargers, radios, etc.) are already in development, which will further enhance livelihood and help people get out of poverty.

Co-founder Camille van Gestel: ‘I genuinely believe that if you can make a difference, you must. I have never done anything with so much passion. The support and inquiries we are receiving for WakaWaka from all over the world are as stimulating as they are heartwarming. We are doing the right thing.’

Let’s hope this new bright light spreads fast, for all and everybody. LED there be light.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/229055906/wakawaka-is-the-coolest-solar-led-light

http://www.wakawakalight.com

************************************************************************

About Off-Grid Solutions
Founded in 2011 by 4 partners: sustainable entrepreneur, inspirator and guru Maurits Groen, hands-on change maker and entrepreneur Camille van Gestel, carbon emissions consultants Do-Inc, experts emerging markets and finally Paul Naastepad seasoned executive in clean tech industry.

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Below the Surface Announces the Launch of Its Riverview Project

Below The Surface (BTS) announced today the launch of their interactive Riverview Project, the core program of BTS in the coming years. This initiative is a major leap forward in protecting America’s rivers through a permanent photographic record of the current conditions of America’s waterways. This heritage project will help guide generations to come in their use and stewardship of rivers and drinking water by providing a visual benchmark of the current state of the nation’s water.

The main focus of the Riverview Project is to provide panoramic photos and videos of America’s most imperiled rivers. It is, essentially, Google’s Streetview for the nation’s waterways. Below the Surface’s co-founder Jared Criscuolo says “the Riverview Project represents a major step forward for protecting our rivers. It allows Below the Surface and the greater environmental movement, along with water management leaders, to leverage social media and cutting edge photographic techniques to create the opportunity for anyone, anywhere to explore rivers. We hope this effort will compound social exposure to water issues and the conditions along rivers, and to inspire stewardship of these critical resources both now and among future generations.”

Below the Surface is working with the following partners, who without their collaboration or funding the Riverview Project would be made possible: United States Geological Survey (USGS), Immersive Media, Surfrider Foundation, and the Clif Bar Family Foundation.

“We’re extremely excited to cooperate with Below the Surface in order to help produce and make accessible 3D photography for as many streams as possible,” says Katherine Lins, Chief, Office of Water Information for USGS.

Below the Surface is also being featured in the December 2011 issue of Outside Magazine as part of its “Reader of the Year” initiative. Below The Surface founders Jared Criscuolo and Kristian Gustavson are being honored as the 2011 “Readers of the Year.” As part of the initiative, Criscuolo and Gustavson will blog about the Riverview Project on the Outside site, Outsideonline.com, detailing their progress throughout the year. In support of Beneath The Surface, Outside Magazine is also providing a free subscription to supporters of BTS who pledge a donation of $50 or more via the BTS site through December 2011. Please email riverview@belowthesurface.org for additional information and ways to sponsor and contribute to the project.

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.”

Via EPR Network
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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.

Via EPR Network
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Rebuilding the Amazon Rainforest One Tree at a Time

What is Amazing Forest?

Yes, the Amazon rainforest is being cut down as you read this. 17% is already gone. The world’s lungs – as it’s referred to – is decreasing in size. Yes, everyone knows this. But what can we really do about it? The Amazing Forest is a chance to do something right from where you are, sitting in your chair, a few clicks and USD 60 away.

Amazing Forest is the venue where people from all over the world are combining their efforts into one single strain to restore the Amazon rainforest to its original state.

We sell trees. Not trees to be delivered to your door, but to be planted on your behalf, in your name, in a designated specific area of the Amazon rainforest. The trees being planted are new trees. So, instead of preserving already existing areas of the rainforest, the Amazing Forest is actually reversing deforestation. We take so much from Earth everyday; this is a way to give something back to it.

It’s a common saying that, to eternalise your passage in this life, one must have children, write a book and plant a tree. Well, the four tree species that are currently being planted in the Amazing Forest (they are native species typical of the region: jatoba, copaiba, ipe rosa and louro freijo) live in average 200 years.

And what’s cool about it, people get their own tree, which will never be cut down and remain throughout its life individualised by a name tag, with the name they choose for it.

“We want to give people the opportunity to make a difference for the environment while leaving their own positive footprint in the planet”, says Rodrigo Nascimbeni, the founding partner of the company, “a footprint so tangible and concrete that people can come and see it, show to their children, to their great-grand-children, to their friends…” he goes on referring to the fact that customers can visit their tagged trees in situ while walking inside the real Amazon rainforest.

Amazing Forest goes much beyond simply selling trees online, it is each person’s way to contribute to a better world and to guarantee that future generations will share the same bliss to live here on our planet.

And, better yet, this noble act of planting a tree and committing to a better world can be renewed as often as wanted. Each tree is sold for USD 60.

Besides doing your share of good for a better planet, people can buy trees either as a present for a loved one, a memorial, a way to mark an important occasion or as a simple and convenient method of offsetting their carbon emissions.

Amazing Forest launched on Monday the 23rd of May 2011. The first piece of land to be replanted is situated approximately 34 miles outside the city of Boa Vista, Roraima State in North Brazil (if you go to Google Maps, we’re right where the green arrow points to at these coordinates 2 29 44.40 N 60 56 40.85 W).

The Amazon rainforest is the world’s largest rainforest. It is the home of the world’s richest area of plant and animal diversity and an enormous source of potential lifesaving medicines. Not only that, it is a massive carbon sink that acts as the lungs of the world. Sadly, it is believed that “at current [deforestation] rates, 55% of [the Amazon’s] rain forests could be gone by 2030 – a looming disaster not only for the region’s plants and animals, but for the world”. (Quote Source: http://www.worldwildlife.org/what/wherewework/amazon/)

Who is behind Amazing Forest
Amazing Forest is the realisation of four guys. It all started when the Brazilian Rodrigo Nascimbeni and the New Zealander Ben Cook, two lifelong friends, decided to take on this journey.

“We don’t believe that the size of a task should limit your ambition,” says Ben Cook. “The sad fact is that over 17% of this forest which is so integral to the health of our planet has been devastated by deforestation. If we all wait for someone else to take on this problem then we might just be too late. Rodrigo and I believe we have the passion and the skills to make this project work as a viable business where we can have fun whilst using our respective abilities to actually do something positive for the world we live in.”

Before launching Amazing Forest, Rodrigo created something called a receivables investment fund, the first one in Brazil. He also started and managed a few companies in the financial sector – which means he probably just gave up a successful international career in Investment Banking to plant trees in the Amazon rainforest.

Ben, although he achieved an honours degree in Plant Science, is the co-founder of Shake Interactive, a digital marketing agency operating from South Africa and the UK.

The two met in 1993 when Ben took part in a Rotary youth exchange programme in the tiny town of Votuporanga in Brazil. What started as a mutual need to learn the others native tongue ended in a lifelong friendship. Both have always wanted to work together but their respective careers had taken them in opposite directions and to different hemispheres.

As Amazing Forest was boiling inside their minds, they met Manuel Haas and Florian Herzog, two German Forest Engineers – also lifelong friends – living in Brazil and widely experienced in rainforest management and regeneration. Manuel and Florian came on board at the founding stages and are now an integral part of the team.

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The Co-operative Launches Most Radical Corporate Ethical Plan and Encourages Customers to Join the Revolution

Group encourages customers to Join the Revolution as it announces the most radical sustainability programme in UK corporate history that will spearhead its membership drive and help build a more sustainable economy.

The Co-operative Group today (18 February) set a new benchmark for corporate sustainability in the UK, which will support its aim to have 20 million members during this decade and boost the move to a more environmentally sound and just UK economy.

Among the groundbreaking pledges in The Co-operative’s new Ethical Operating Plan are:
+ the toughest operational carbon reduction targets of any major business, and the deployment of £1billion of green energy finance by 2013
+ the most radical Fairtrade conversion programme ever undertaken
+ the world’s first ethically screened general insurance products
+ a three-fold increase in membership from 6 million to 20 million by 2020
+ significantly enhanced funding for co-operative enterprises and schools

After enjoying a strong economic renaissance, which has seen it double revenues, double profits and double membership over the past three years, The Co-operative is launching a new three year rolling programme, which encompasses all its businesses and sets out a joined up set of goals and targets to drive its ethical and co-operative aspirations.

In raising the bar across key areas including the environment, ethical finance, global poverty, animal welfare, social fairness, health and community enterprise, The Co-operative will demonstrate that the quiet revolution that began in Rochdale in 1844 is still as relevant as ever.

Furthermore, in early March, The Co-operative will launch a radical new advertising campaign that will showcase the sheer breadth and impact of its community and co-operative initiatives and will urge customers to the join The Co-operative revolution.

Group Chief Executive Peter Marks said: “Our ambition is to build a better society and this Plan will stimulate and reinforce the unique benefit of the consumer co-operative model.

“At a time when UK society is picking up the pieces from a recession exacerbated by corporate greed and speculation, we are seeking to show that there is another way. The plc model is not the only game in town. It is possible for business to embrace the efficiencies of the market economy and also the need for robust legislation to ensure that progress is sustainable and just.

“Taken together, we believe the measures and pledges set out in our Ethical Plan raise the bar on corporate sustainability. Over the next 10 years working with our customers, members, suppliers, staff and communities we believe we really can make Britain even better.

Leading environmentalist Jonathon Porritt said: “By launching this Ethical Plan, the Co-operative is taking corporate sustainability into a new era. Other businesses will now be seeking to benchmark themselves against this Plan”.

Harriet Lamb, Executive Director of the Fairtrade Foundation said: “Always a pioneer of Fairtrade, The Co-operative’s commitment to ensuring that virtually all primary commodities that can be Fairtrade will be Fairtrade sets the bar anew for the corporate world.

Via EPR Network
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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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