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Archive for the ‘Community Projects’ Category

This blog is now moving over to the Environment Solutions website where we hope to build a more comprehensive information portal for solutions on the environment.

Please visit the new site and update your blogroll link.

Thank you for your continuing support and interest.

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FareShare is the national charity working to relieve food poverty by providing quality food and other support services to organisations working with disadvantaged people in the community. FareShare works with over 100 food businesses to minimise food waste by providing practical solutions to help ensure that the maximum amount of ‘fit for purpose’ food is consumed wherever possible.

In 2005 2,000 tonnes of food was saved from being wasted. This food was distributed to a community food network of 300 organisations. This food contributed to over 3.3 million meals to 12,000 disadvantaged people each day in 34 cities and towns across the UK. As well as also providing 250 work and volunteers placements last year, £5 million was saved by the network of local charities, which was reinvested into the community.

Research by the Royal College of Physicians has shown that at least three in five homeless people have no daily intake of fresh fruit and vegetables. Many day centres and homeless people themselves simply cannot afford a regular supply of high quality fresh food. At the same time, due to stringent company policies, food retailers and wholesalers are throwing away huge amounts of good quality food. This waste frustrates many food suppliers, but they do not have the means to arrange and co-ordinate its distribution.

The food is either collected in refrigerated vans or delivered direct to a FareShare depot where it is sorted and distributed to hostels and day centres according to their needs.

To help by donation or by volunteerng your time click here.

Fareshare’s home page is here, with lots of very interesting information.

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Image: from Carbusters magazine. They provide useful background to car free development.

This new approach to modern urban living is supported in Government planning policy guidance and for the city of London, by the Mayor of London’s Transport Strategy and London Plan. Camden is one such central London borough that has this approach on its agenda. See here for more.

This is a planning policy for new housing schemes where the space traditionally reserved for car parking is instead used for more housing units or greener uses such as more play spaces and cycle parking. Residents of car free housing schemes are not eligible for on-street parking permits.

Up to the summer of 2004, Camden says they have granted planning permission for 2,523 car free housing units (in 287 residential schemes), saving approximately 5,046 car trips each day once they are all built.

Car free housing is also being introduced in cities such as Amsterdam, Berlin, Bremen, Cambridge and Edinburgh. In London, a number of other councils are now also encouraging the development of car free housing.

An example of such a development in the city of Glasgow can be found here. The positive approach of such developments can lend them to widening their environmental remit into other areas such as energy. The Glasgow example utilizes geothermal energy from a coalmine and solar ventilation.

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Contour bunding
is a fairly simple method of retaining topsoil and moisture and is one of several methods being used with significant effect to re-green the Sahara.

It consists of placing lines of stones along slopes and contours on the land to help rainfall soak in, and to stop topsoil washing away.

And that is helping to transform thousands of hectares into productive fields – where nothing grew just a decade ago.

This story has been going around the various media channels for some time popping up every now and then. Good news and positive techniques like contour bunding need coverage because there are relatively simple and inexpensive solutions out there for African farmers located in and around the Sahara.

The technique is explained here.

A report on the success of re-greening the Sahara here.

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WRAP works in partnership to encourage and enable businesses and consumers to be more efficient in their use of materials and recycle more things more often. This helps to minimise landfill, reduce carbon emissions and improve our environment.

Check out the links below;

Working with Consumers

Recycling in the Garden

Working with Schools

🙂

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Thanks to Keith’s ‘Temas’ blog for this news.

‘Imagine most of the farms across the four nations of MERCOSUR (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay) generating much or all of their daily electricity needs through biogas (primarily methane) siphoned off from biodigestors processing their own farm wastes.

Now imagine much of their passenger transport coming from electric vehicles charged quickly from those biogas-fueled generators — cars constructed at a plant in Foz de Iguaçu, the area where Brazilian, Argentine and Paraguayan territories come together, utilizing mostly MERCOSUR-sourced parts and technology.

That is the vision being nurtured by FIAT and Itaipu Binacional (IB) — the bi-national (Brazil, Paraguay) firm that built and runs the huge Itapu Dam that provides power to much of southern Brazil — with technical help from Swiss power producer KWO.

Fiat already have a prototype of such an electric car (see photos) prepared based on the FIAT Palio model, which they have taken around to several fairs, expo’s and other events involving rural producers.

The FIAT interest in this vision is obvious: they want to be the car maker that sets up that factory, taps the MERCOSUR market and perhaps someday build on it all to sell the resulting electric cars outside of MERCOSUR.

The current prototype car only goes up to 130 kilometers per hour, can only go 140 kilometers on a charge and charging takes eight hours. FIAT and BI hope in five years they’ll be able to offer a better version that goes up to 150 km/h, covers 450 km per charge, and only requires 20 minutes to charge.’

Wouldn’t mind one of these little electric car classics. It’s called a Tama and was built by Nissan after WWII, when oil was scarce.

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Low artificial input desert greening, with rainwater harvesting and mulching produces magic results that even the locals can’t at first believe. There are solutions to desert greening without using huge amounts of artificial fertilisers, plastic poly tunnels and wasting precious water.

Watch this if you’re interested in how we can feed the starving, particularly in desert regions like the middle east and the Sahara.

Thanks to Willem for this.

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