Grand Designs’ Kevin McCloud reveals the best ways to make your home more eco-friendly

To find out more, spoke to Grand Designs’ Kevin McCloud to discuss the biggest changes you can make to your home to make it more eco-friendly, sustainable and efficient.
"You do more for the environment by super-insulating a building.
The embodied energy of a building is a very small part of the environmental impact compared to the in-use energy costs over say 50 to 100 years.
Kevin emphasises the importance of remembering to do the small things, rather than just the big, fundamental changes to your home.
The event will offer visitors many interesting seminars on environmental topics.
"There is a big water saving and non-plastic theme this year at the show.
I’ll also be talking about another comparative area – clean drinking water," says Kevin.
"Friends of the Earth are selling their aluminium water bottles throughout the show, but we’ve also got ‘Join the Pipe’, an initiative to promote clean drinking water across the world.
"As part of that I’m giving the talk about the history of the toilet, all about sanitation.
And there is a very simple and fundamental fact that unless a home has a functioning toilet and clean drinking water, human beings can’t use it.

Eco-Friendly Investment Opportunities in China: The Rise of Green Bonds

China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), the main regulator of the securities industry in China, released a new set of guidelines to support the issuance of green bonds on March 2, 2017.
The policy support and market growth provides foreign investors and businesses operating in China with a wide range of opportunities: foreign investors can profit the support of a state-run program, while China-based businesses can fund eco-friendly projects with relative ease.
The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) has made it clear that public investment alone is not enough to meet the funding requirements needed to drive green and environmentally-friendly solutions, and has set out to make green bonds a powerful financial alternative to attract foreign investors.
Companies in industries that have high emissions or energy usage, such as in the oil industry, will not be allowed to issue green bonds.
The process to become a green bond issuer are as follows: First, companies are required to disclose their projects and the details of its assets (the same process is undertaken by normal bonds issuers); A company can then chose independent review to secure its reputation or submit details of the project directly to the relevant regulator according to its nature (see the table below); After being approved, the company can start to issue green bonds.
Utilizing government incentives The Chinese government has been making efforts to attract green investors and support green projects at a time when many companies are increasingly taking action to combat climate change.
Companies that will address such interests will not just only be rewarded by the government and potential investors, but by a fast-growing green market.
Tax incentives, funding opportunities, government support, and the high demand for these kind of products and services create the right scenario for successful business.
Although entering the Chinese market requires a detailed business plan, the range of incentives offered by the government for green projects and responsible companies make investments in China worthwhile.
For assistance with China business issues or investments into China, please contact us at or visit us at

connecting people through news

connecting people through news.
Beijing municipal government has focused its attention on clean energy development, improving water treatment and garbage disposal, and other environmentally friendly initiatives in recent years, said Fang Li, director of the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau.
Beijing has invested more than 250 billion yuan ($37 billion) in 133 environmentally focused projects, with an average annual growth rate of 10 percent for funds dedicated to environmental projects in the last five years.
The Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development and the Ministry of Environmental Protection have called for the authorities to cut more than 40 percent of the amount of “black and smelly water” in builtup urban areas in 2016 and totally eliminate it by the end of this year.
To this end, Beijing has taken measures such as sewage interception and sediment dredging, with the aim of maintaining clean and safe water.
The city is promoting renovation of black and smelly waterways through drainage recycling and ecological management, among other methods, said Pan Anjun, spokesman of the Beijing Water Authority.
The construction and reconstruction of 42 facilities and refuse-processing plants has improved the city’s capacity to incinerate garbage, which has now reached 9,800 tons per day.
The amount of biochemical treatment has reached 5,400 tons per day, Sun said.
It plans to cover more of the outskirts of Beijing with greenery to form a stronger barricade against pollution.
In the future, parks in the Future Center located in Changping district, Shallow mountain in Shunyi district, Beijing Yanqi Lake Ecological Demonstration Zone and other six parks covering more than 5,000 hectares will be put into operation.

Green Crematoriums Being Planned Along The Ganga But Will People Give Up The Traditional Pyre?

Green Crematoriums Being Planned Along The Ganga But Will People Give Up The Traditional Pyre?.
In what will hopefully turn out to be the execution of a long-standing plan, eco-friendly crematoriums are set to come up in villages along the Ganga river.
According to a report in the Times of India, a green crematorium uses only 100 kg of wood per body while the traditional cremation requires up to 600 kg of wood.
In fact, in 2007, the Los Angeles Times had carried a piece on traditional cremation in India which claimed that at least 50 million trees were felled in the country every year to build funeral pyres.
The LA Times article had also mentioned the ‘Green Cremation System’ developed by Mokshda, a non-profit group in Delhi, that uses very little wood and burns the body in one-third the time compared to traditional pyres.
With proper air flow and increased combustion efficiency, these crematoriums work like a wood stove.
The green crematorium initiative plans to check water pollution.
Swami Chidanand Saraswati, who is supervising the initiative in Rishikesh, told the TOI that they will eventually bring down the amount of ashes immersed in the Ganga.
The action plan for the Namami Gange programme that was drawn in 2015 also emphasises the need for eco-friendly cremation methods and the safe disposal of dead bodies.
However, even though the incinerators took less time, less money and used less wood, people preferred the traditional method of cremation.

H&M, Zara, M&S and others found buying from highly polluting factories in Asia

H&M, Zara, M&S and others found buying from highly polluting factories in Asia.
Global fashion brands including H&M, Zara and Marks & Spencer are buying material produced in factories that devastate peoples’ health in Indonesia, China and India, a new investigation has found.
Toxic run-off from the manufacture of viscose, a supposedly environmentally friendly fibre used to make clothes, is contaminating water supplies and has been linked to increased risk of cancer.
Viscose is a plant-based fibre which means it is sometimes promoted as an ethical choice for consumers.
However, most viscose is currently produced using a highly chemical-intensive process, according to the campaign group the Changing Markets Foundation.
In one instance in West Java, Indonesia, locals were found washing viscose products in the river, directly exposing themselves to toxic chemicals contained in the fibre.
Near another plant in Jiangxi, China, viscose production had apparently turned the water of the Poyang Lake black, killing fish and shrimps, and stunting crop growth.
Unless the garment industry acts to clean up production the damage caused by viscose production will get worse, according to the report.
The organisation calculates that 10 companies control around 70 per cent of global viscose production, meaning there is a “clear opportunity for rapid and transformational change across the sector”.
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Using FTIR spectroscopy to measure hydrocarbon pollution in water

Using FTIR spectroscopy to measure hydrocarbon pollution in water.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF’s 2015 Progress on Sanitation and Drinking Water report almost 700 million people around the world don’t have access to clean drinking water [1].
Measuring the pollution levels in water, as a means of controlling CHC levels, is critical to protecting human and environmental health.
Developing A Method to Analyze Hydrocarbons in Water When analyzing CHC levels in water, the challenge is to use a suitable liquid-liquid extraction method, to remove the water itself which would interfere with the measurement, with an environmentally friendly solvent.
This led to a temporary decrease in the use of FTIR in environmental water analysis for hydrocarbons.
Choosing the correct FTIR model for hydrocarbon analysis remains to be challenging.
The model should be easy to use and offer several pathlengths for added versatility.
Case Study: using Infrared Spectroscopy to Measure Hydrocarbon Levels Attenuated total reflectance (ATR) FTIR has been used to study CHCs in water [2].
Infrared Accessories for Effortless Liquid Analysis The Pearl™ liquid FTIR transmission spectrometer accessory from Specac is a high specification liquid transmission accessory, ideal for measuring hydrocarbon pollutants in water.
The Pearl’s liquid transmission Oyster™ cells are available in five pathlengths; 50μm, 100μm, 200μm, 500μm and 1,000μm, which allows for the simple calculation of sample concentrations without the need for dilutions or a calibration curve.

Market Focus: Moo Moo Express Car Wash building 12th location

Market Focus: Moo Moo Express Car Wash building 12th location.
Moo Moo Express Car Wash ‘moo-ving’ to Marysville, Ohio MARYSVILLE, Ohio — Moo Moo Express Car Wash announced that construction has started on its 12th Central Ohio location, according to a press release.
Moo Moo Express effectively washes vehicles with under 20 gallons of fresh water — less than the typical home washing machine, and drastically less than the 120 gallons of water typically used when washing at home or at older carwash facilities, the release added.
Crew Carwash raises over $54,000 for Riley Children’s Foundation INDIANAPOLIS — Crew Carwash announced that it is donating $54,884 to Riley Children’s Foundation, thanks to the generous donations of its customers, according to a press release.
In its inaugural fundraiser for Riley Children’s Foundation in 2016, Crew raised $31,563 to help fund the recruitment of leading experts to provide mothers and babies comprehensive care at Riley, the release stated; today, Riley has eight maternal-fetal medicine specialists.
A check presentation with Crew and Riley executives was held at Riley Children’s Hospital at Indiana University Health on May 24th, the release concluded.
Speedy Clean Car Wash now offering touch-free system MERRIMAN VALLEY, Ohio — According to, the Speedy Clean Car Wash at 1521 Akron-Peninsula Road will soon be renamed Valley Car Wash after it finishes undergoing renovations.
Tidal Wave Luxury Car Wash hosts grand opening CHESTERFIELD VALLEY, Mo.
It held its grand opening on May 20th, the article noted, where it offered free washes and prizes.
From soft wraps, rinse water, every aspect has been thought out in detail.” Wash prices start at $7, the article noted.

Dog’s Eye View: Reaching critical mass

Editor’s note: This column was originally published in summer 2016.
This weekly column about dog training publishes on Fridays in the Steamboat Today.
Our parks and trails are increasingly polluted as this product is leached into the ground.
According to the EPA, this contaminant is as toxic to the environment as chemical and oil spills and is the number 1 cause of water pollution.
This is our only way to contain the spread of contamination to our planet.
Editor’s note: This column was originally published in summer 2016.
This weekly column about dog training publishes on Fridays in the Steamboat Today.
Our parks and trails are increasingly polluted as this product is leached into the ground.
According to the EPA, this contaminant is as toxic to the environment as chemical and oil spills and is the number 1 cause of water pollution.
This is our only way to contain the spread of contamination to our planet.

AACC supports green college

AACC supports green college.
AACC’S Arnold campus is home to dozens of environmentally friendly features.
The cultivation of rain gardens around major storm drains on campus reduces water pollution, Dawson said.
“[They’re} a great opportunity for students to participate in the green efforts.” AACC students, under the supervision of Dr. Susan Lamont, maintain the rain gardens around campus.
In addition, AACC reduced its water user by 42 percent in the library by installing low-flushing toilets, motion-activated sinks and a rooftop rain garden.
Dawson said the 75,000-square-foot Andrew G. Truxal Library has reduced its energy use by 50 percent since AACC remodeled it according to LEED standards.
Devin Valcich, an environmental science major, said the library is “cool … because of all the efforts we are taking to make it green.
The school I transferred from didn’t have that, so I appreciate it.” Outdoors, solar panels cover Parking Lot B as part of Project Sunburst.
AACC encourages students and staff to be mindful of the impact each person can have on the environment.
Additionally, the campus features multiple bike racks; charging stations for electric cars; and recycling bins around campus.

Big Q, Easy A: What Does ‘Green Fashion’ Really Mean?

What does it mean for a product to be “Eco-Friendly”?
Not all products are completely biodegradable, but the more organic materials used in a product, the more biodegradable the product and better for the environment.
Brand Example: Svilu Buy It!
Brand Example: Back Beat Rags Buy It!
Brand Example: Ashley Pittman Buy It!
Ashley Pittman Earrings, $375; What does it mean for something to be upcycled?
Often, companies will supplement environmental sustainability with programs that give back to communities or provide training to artisans, creating lasting sustainability qualify What is sustainable production?
Can a product be eco-friendly, but not sustainable?
Can a product be sustainable, but not eco-friendly?
This does not mean that the product is necessarily eco-friendly; however, it’s pretty safe to assume that if something is eco-friendly or sustainable, that it has been ethically made.