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Tag: Eco Rally

Weekly Greenhouse Round-Up

Sally Hill | 02.07.10

This post from Martin Wright at Forum for the Future, written amidst the climate science controversy in the press earlier this year, hit the nail on the head:

If Climate Change Didn't Exist Would We Have to Invent It?

The essence of the article, highlighted in the cartoon below, is that the changes required to adapt to climate change need to take place whether it is real or not.

The adjustments needed to address climate change are also necessary to reduce our toll on resources, stabilise the condition of the planet, and they're not actually so bad for our quality of life either.

Climate Hoax Cartoon

Here are the links we loved this week:

Scotland's Big Tent Festival Adds Summer School to Promote Green Living
The weekend-long celebration of green and sustainable lifestyles launches new skills workshop

You Ask, They Answer: Slow Food UK
Q&A with the British wing of the Slow Food movement
(The Guardian)

Zero Carbonista: Wind Car Update
The latest from Zero Carbonista's wind car, racing in the Bridgestone Eco Rally
(Zero Carbonista)

Government Commission Urges Rapid Setting Up of Green Investment Bank
New UK Green Investment Bank to support low-carbon infrastructure ecological projects
(The Guardian)

Bridgestone Eco Rally 2010 to Showcase Cutting-Edge Car Design
Sustainable transport in action, a showcase of cutting-edge and super-fast eco cars
(The Telegraph)

Are Blue Bike Lanes Better Than Black?
Recent Guardian study shows that drivers give less room to cyclists when there is a painted bike lane

Sales of Small Wind Turbines Up, Even in Soft Housing Market
More people are turning to wind power: lower risk and less cost, what's not to like?

Organic Farming's Balanced Ecosystems Naturally Control Pests Better Than Monoculture
In case you needed another reason to favour organic farming over chemical agriculture

Eco Rally
The official site for the sustainable vehicle event

Book of Green
New Book of Green resources for your life, plus there's a great contest to win eco prizes

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Eco Rally - A Green Car Race from London to Brighton

Sally Hill | 05.07.10

Zero Carbonista wind car

The Bridgestone 2010 Eco Rally takes place this Wednesday 7 July. The race will see a selection of ‘alternatively fuelled’ vehicles travel from Brighton seafront to Hyde Park in London.

This is the fourth year of the event, and will showcase a huge range of vehicles, including electric scooters and motorbikes, the famous Tesla Roadster electric sports car, and a 9-seater electric bus.

Drivers include ethical living columnist for the The Guardian and The Observer, Lucy Siegle, F1 racing drivers including Ross Brawn, and TV personalities Kevin McLeod and Vicki Butler Henderson. Patrick Holden, Director of the Soil Association and Donna Air make up one of the driving teams.

But the car we’re keeping a keen eye on is the ‘Nemesis’ (pictured), developed and driven by Dale Vince of Zero Carbonista and Ecotricity. The Nemesis is a ‘wind car,’ built from an innovative lightweight body and run from a battery which stores power from wind turbines.

Here’s an intro to Dale’s wind car project:

More videos documenting the journey toward making the Nemesis race-ready can be found on Dale’s blog, Zero Carbonista.

Also on the day:

An exhibition at the finish line showcasing the spectrum of green transport innovation, from conception to everyday use.

Imperial Racing Green will announce the winner of the ‘Racing Green Endurance’ competition for students who have built low emissions, hydrogen fuel cell, and battery electric vehicles which have competed in races across the globe.

The UK’s first solar-powered ferry will be taking drivers on a cruise after the race.

The RCA is hosting an exclusive soiree for drivers and partners, which will give a rare insight into the zero waste design process by viewing the RCA’s aerodynamic study for Bentley.

You can follow your favourite team via the Eco Rally site and blog, and stay tuned for Greenhouse’s tweets on the live action of the day.

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Eco Rally Sparks Conversation About the Future of Transport

Sally Hill | 08.07.10

Lisa Rogers at Eco Rally

Yesterday a convoy of ‘alternatively-fuelled’ vehicles converged at the starting line of the 2010 Bridgestone Eco Rally in Brighton. The event finished in Hyde Park, London and celebratory drinks were had at an award ceremony at the Royal College of Art.

The day was not short of celebrities and glitz, among the spectators and drivers were TV presenters Lisa Rogers and Kevin McCloud, motoring journalist Quentin Willson, Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne and past and present F1 drivers and engineers.

Lisa Rogers, who presents Channel 4’s Scrapheap Challenge, was participating in the eco rally for the third year. She competed in her own car, an Audi A4, which she converted to run on vegetable oil. She said ‘In terms of running, it's great as it's so much cheaper. It's a bit messy but I have a farm where we have the space for a chip fat filter. It's not as convenient as going to a petrol station but, that said, it's incredibly cheap by comparison with filling up your engine with diesel.’

Chris Huhne, Energy and Climate Secretary took part, and commented that ‘What this event gets across is that electric and low carbon vehicles have really come of age. They are no longer just souped-up milk floats.'

The vehicles’ energy sources ranged from hybrid to electric to hydrogen-powered and major manufacturers supporting this year's event, including BMW, Citroen, Lotus, Tesla and Honda. The Honda CR-Z, the world's first sport hybrid, was first past the post. 

Sadly, our friends at Zero Carbonista were forced to pull put at the last minute and could not race the ‘Nemesis’ wind car. However, the car is still being developed, and we’ll keep you up to date with its release.

The twittersphere followed the day enthusiastically, with the #ecorally hashtag seeing snaps posted throughout the day and rivalries coming to the surface.

The day also helped to spark conversations online about sustainability and the future of transport. Eddie Irvine, who participated, noted that he could happily live in most parts of the world without a conventional car, and that it’s ‘a very interesting period in the world in terms of what is going to happen over the next 20 years.’

One tweeter made the challenge: ‘The very idea of an eco rally is an oxymoron. You are still using unnecessary energy.’ We hope the Eco Rally will spark an ongoing conversation and inspire more Brits to think about alternatives to travel as we have known it.

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Weekly Greenhouse Round-Up

Sally Hill | 09.07.10

It has been a week of exciting events and developments for sustainable transport.

Here in the UK, Greenhouse kept a close eye on the Eco Rally, which showcased a hoard of new alternativelly-fuelled vehicles.

And more fascinating still, there was news of a solar-powered plane which took a 24hr flight in the darkness. The story was first reported here by Inhabitat that the plane, the Solar Impulse, was about to embark on a trial journey. The plane successfully completed the trip and landed in Switzerland 26 hours later.

The flight will progress investment in solar-powered aircraft, with particular emphasis given to the fact that the plane was able to store enough energy to fly in darkness. While a commercial solar flight is still a long way off, this is a trail-blazing design and a huge step forward, and shows that the seemingly impossible can be done. You can follow Solar Impulse flights in real time on Solar Impulse TV.

Here are the links we loved this week:

'Glastonbury's Call to Eco-Conscious Arms'
Daisy Dumas seeks out 'eco-ness' at the festival and discovers it is built into the design of the festival.
(The Evening Standard)

'Eco Rally: A Green Car Race from London to Brighton'
Profile of Dale Vince's wind car entry into the 2010 Rally.

'Healthier Office Spaces Benefit Everyone'
The 'Living Office' at the Chelsea Flower Show designed around research that shows the link between plants and fresh air and productivity.

'What Does the UK Public Want to Drive?'
Gap exists between those who want to be sustainable and those who would be willing to buy an electric vehicle.
(Eco Rally)

'Greenpeace Names, Shames Companies Over Deforestation'
Tesco named among those responsible for large scale forest destruction and species loss in Indonesia
(Yahoo Finance)

'Take Up of School Lunches Rises in 2009-2010'

Release of figures shows uptake growing in both primary and secondary schools
(School Food Trust)

'Eco Rally Sparks Conversation About the Future of Transport'
What participants had to say about the 2010 Eco Rally and what it means for transport.

'European Union Could Cut Emissions by 95% With Renewables - Greenpeace'
Report from Greenpeace says savings would easily outweight investment in renewables.
(The Guardian)

'Gordon Brown's Vegetable Patch Goes to Seed'
The Brown's beloved vegetable patch has been overlooked by David and Samantha Cameron.
(The Telegraph)

Oh My God What Happened
'The Book for Everyone Who Wants to Move Into the Digital Era of Awesomeness'

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‘I will never, never buy a petrol car again’

Sally Hill | 04.08.10

Robert Llewellyn, Chris Huhne, Kevin McCloud, Lisa Rogers, Peter Curran and Patrick Head offer their take on alternatively-powered vehicles in this video from the 2010 Eco Rally - in which they all participated.

The journey of both hydrogen and electric cars going from Brighton to London is held to nudge the public consciousness closer toward letting go of our addiction to fossil fuels.

Inspiring stuff.

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Greenhouse Weekly Round-Up

Sally Hill | 06.08.10

This week we were disappointed, but not surprised, to find out that fossil fuels receive more than ten times more in Government subsidies than renewables.

Encouragement came from the across the pacific, though, where four US states now get 10% of their power from wind energy. We saw another world first for sustainable aviation, the first 100% algae-fuelled flight. And UK based solar and wind companies joined forces to power a solar panel manufacturing plant with wind energy.

A Guardian survey asked which green government schemes readers wanted spared from funding cuts, with National Parks, the Environment Agency, the Sustainable Development Commission and the Forestry Commission topping the list.

We blogged a video from the 2010 Eco Rally and heard - from Robert Llewellyn, Chris Huhne, Kevin McCloud, Lisa Rogers, Peter Curran and Patrick Head - why they're done with petrol cars.

Here are the links we loved this week:

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Greenhouse Weekly Roundup

Sally Hill | 17.09.10

The Prince of Wales' 'Start' initiative has hosted a two week long sustainable living drive which saw a star-studded 'Garden Party to Make a Difference', the IBM green business summit, and the Prince himself touring the country.

As part of the initiative, there was an eco-car spectacular held in London. You may have been aware of the Bridgestone Eco Rally held earlier this year, and it was exciting to see the momentum continued with this event.

The Prince's eco rally was attended by celebrities, as well as auto and enviro experts including Quentin Willson, Kevin McCloud and Sir Stirling Moss,

With HSBC predicting that the market for alternatively-fulled cars to triple, we hope the potential of these incredibly innovative vehicles will soon realise their potential. The Prince's weeks spent supporting environmentally-friendly projects has certainly given these forms of transport another vital nudge toward the mainstream.

Here are the links we loved this week:

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Notes from the Greenhouse

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