Green and purple lampposts.

Green Tech Briefing: 15th November

Nov 15, 2018 - 2min read

From self-cleaning underwear to free beer, ice-cream and film tickets for cyclists, we bring you the best eco-friendly news stories for November 2018.

Bye bye Fossil Fuels!

The times really are a’changing in the UK. For the first time ever, the capacity of renewable energy has overtaken fossil fuels in a landmark moment that experts didn’t believe would be possible a few years ago. While the capacity of renewable energy has tripled in the past five years, fossil fuel capacity has fallen by one third.

Green Holidays

Think eco-friendly holidays are all about hiking through the mountains, living in a cave and eating insects? Think again! City life isn’t normally known for its green footprint, but these cities show that urban life doesn’t have to be chained to pollution, waste and bad air. Reykjavik earned its place at number 10 by promoting walking and cycling, while Portland creeps in at number 5 by promoting eco-friendly transport options, banning plastic bags and building accessible bike paths. With less than 30% of the population owning a car, it’s no surprise that Copenhagen steals the show and comes first place. Which other cities made the list? Find out here!

Energy Efficent Street Lamps Given The Green Light

What only works at night, is eco-friendly and lasts for 20 years? Answer: Edinburgh’s new LED street lights. Following successful trials in 2012 and 2014, Scotland’s capital will be replacing 7000 of the old, yellow flickering street lanterns with more sustainable, long-lasting ‘white light’ lamps. Not only will these new street lights last 20 years (while the average street light lasts just four) and help Edinburgh cut C02 emissions, but they also provide a brighter, clearer light that will better illuminate the streets after dark to make them safer.

Want free beer and ice cream? Move to Bologna!

Imagine a world where cyclists, walkers and anyone who travels to work by bus or train is given free ice cream, beer and film tickets. What if I told you that this is happening right now in Bologna, Italy? Every year from April to September, Bologna runs the Bella Mossa (‘Good Job’) initiative where people can download the Better Points app, log up to four journeys a day and use their points to get discounts and free stuff from over 100 businesses in the area. Points are rewarded based on the number of journeys rather than the distance of the journeys and, to stop people cheating, the app uses a GPS tracker to make sure people are telling the truth about their journey. The app also shows participants how much C02 they saved by cycling, walking or taking the bus - which is an incentive in itself.

Want To Save The Environment? Don’t Wash Your Knickers

If you want to do your bit for the environment, have you considered using the eco-friendly setting on your washing machine, taking shorter showers and not washing your underwear? What was once an anti-social and quite frankly unpleasant idea could now become socially acceptable thanks to Organic Basics, an environmentally friendly underwear company which is selling a line of “durable, comfortable and odour-killing” pants. According to the company, these pants will be ventilated in sweaty areas, will be self cleaning and won’t have to be washed for days to weeks at a time, which will save water and decrease CO2 emissions. As everyone’s bodies are different, the company still advises that you clean the pants when they start to smell funky. Yeah, we're not quite sure about this one either!