Friday, 17 December 2010

Oxfordshire town uses human waste to heat homes

Householders in Didcot have become the first in the UK to use gas made from their own human waste and supplied via the national grid to heat their homes. Up to 200 Oxfordshire homes will be using biomethane made from sewage they had flushed away three weeks earlier. British Gas, Thames Water and Scotia Gas Networks now hope to roll out the process across the UK.

China now the largest energy user in the world

Figures from the International Energy Agency (IEA) indicate that China's energy demand has doubled in the last decade. China’s surging economic growth means that it has now overtaken the US to become the world’s top energy user. Whilst China has challenged the IEA findings, it sets a precedent since the US has been the biggest consumer of energy for more than 100 years. The surge in demand for energy in China was further fuelled by its rising population.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Big increase in animal populations in Ugandan national parks

It seems as though the number of animals in Ugandan national parks and game reserves has soared over the past decade. In fact, Lillian Nsubuga from the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) claims that the population of some species has actually doubled since 1999.

The biggest increases in population have been for zebras, impalas, buffalos, giraffes, elephants, hippopotamuses and waterbucks. The successes are believed to be due to improved monitoring, the expulsion of rebels from the country, and offering incentives to local communities to protect wildlife.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Fortis buys Kwik-Fit Insurance, owner of the Green Insurance Company

We reported in February 2010 that Kwik-Fit was selling its business. Well, it’s now been sold to Fortis UK for £215m. The deal gives Fortis a combined retail customer base of 1.6 million, making it the 4th largest personal lines intermediary distributor in the UK.

This is important for the green and eco-friendly insurance market since Kwik-Fit owns the Green Insurance Company, one of the flagship eco-friendly insurance companies offering to offset 100% of a driver’s annual emissions.

It is unclear at this stage what will happen to the Green Insurance Company, and its promise of offering to offset a driver’s carbon emissions. Last year we reported that I Buy Eco had abandoned its commitment to offset drivers' carbon emissions and were instead offering a £5 charity donation

Friday, 3 December 2010

Is Africa's wildlife being eaten to extinction?

Rapid growth in the global demand for bushmeat is leaving many African species facing the possibility of being eaten out of existence. Whereas traditional bushmeat hunting was a subsistence activity it’s now a multi-billion dollar international trade involving hundreds of species including elephants and primates.

Commercial logging and road building has also given hunters easy access to previously impenetrable African forests, and ready-made transport routes to towns and cities.

It is estimated that more than a quarter of all mammal species hunted for bushmeat are threatened with extinction.