Archive for January, 2010

The Future of Recycling – A Video by May Gurney

January 30th, 2010 by Richard Lord

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Slow Food Guernsey Film Showing: Vanishing of the Bees

January 28th, 2010 by Richard Lord

The Channel Islands Co-operative Society Ltd. is sponsoring the Slow Food Guernsey showing of “Vanishing of the Bees” at the Frossard Theatre, Candie Gardens on 28 January 2010 beginning at 7.30 pm.  The showing of the film will be followed by a talk by Guernsey Beekeepers’ Association veteran Chris Tomlins.  The film highlights issues concerning Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). After the film there will also be an opportunity to taste local honey.

Click ‘Vanishing of the Bees‘ to download flyer.

 

Bees on wood-bound comb frame (click to expand - ©RLLord)

Honeybees at the entrance to one of Chris Tomlins' beehives (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Chris Tomlins inspects beehive in April 2009 (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Guernsey Environmental Policy Plan presentation by Chief Officer Steve Smith

January 27th, 2010 by Vanessa

Mr. Steve Smith, Chief Officer of Guernsey’s Environment Department, will present the States of Guernsey Environmental Policy Plan at the Frossard lecture theatre, Guernsey Museum, Candie Gardens at 7.30 pm on 27 January 2010.

Steve Smith speaking about Guernsey's Environmental Policy Plan

Last July the States of Guernsey debated, approved and fully endorsed Billet XVIII 2009 which presented the Policy Council’s strategic plans for three key areas of government, namely:

  • Fiscal & Economic Policy Plan
  • Social Policy Plan
  • Environmental Plan

The Environmental Policy Plan maps out a 25 year sustainable environmental strategy for Guernsey. This is important for our small island jurisdiction which is confronted with growing pressure to balance sustainability with the need for consuming resources.

Mr Smith will outline the Environmental Policy Plan and explain the range of activities necessary to achieve progress through shorter term ‘Action Plans’ – the first of which relates to 2009 – 2013.

For many of us who strive to promote sustainability and conserve Guernsey’s natural environment, bringing environmental consideration to the heart of government is welcome news.  However transforming ambitions into reality, relies on ongoing political will and the allocation of meaningful resources.

What will be needed is clear public support that demonstrates that Guernsey people care about the decisions our politicians make that affect our natural environment. We each share that responsibility. And the need to inspire others to do the same, will be more important than ever.

Please click States of Guernsey Environmental Policy Plan for a copy.

Ecocradle Packaging – Using fungi to make Styrofoam-like packaging

January 24th, 2010 by Richard Lord

Ecocradle packaging is made from agricultural by-products and fungi. The fungal rhizomes grow out to fill a mould in 7 days. The ecocradle packaging is stronger than Styrofoam and completely biodegradable after use either through anaerobic or aerobic digestion.

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Global Warming and the Cold Spell in early 2010

January 21st, 2010 by Richard Lord

A video from Pete Sinclair explaining why we can still experience cold winters while the average temperature of the earth’s atmosphere warms up.

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Making Sense of Carbon Foot Printing in the Built Environment

January 20th, 2010 by Events

Peter Taylor of CarbonPlan

Peter Taylor, Director of CarbonPlan, will give a presentation on “Making Sense of Carbon Foot Printing in the Built Environment” on 20 January 2010 at the Duke of Richmond Hotel, St. Peter Port, Guernsey. The event organised and sponsored by the Channel Islands Group of Professional Engineers (CIGPE) begins at about 2030 after the CIGPE dinner.

A Carbon footprint relates to the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases produced over a given period of time by an entity – a person, an organisation, a building – using energy produced by burning fossil fuels.

The greenhouse gases produced by human activity raise the overall temperature of our atmosphere and this causes the climate to change in unpredictable ways leading to more extreme weather events. To reduce the risk caused by climate change we need to reduce the burning of fossil fuel.

Peter Taylor’s talk will discuss the key issues associated with greenhouse gas emissions produced by our built environment. Mr. Taylor will illustrate why the built environment plays such an important role in attempts to reduce emissions. He will look at carbon accounting and examine the cost and design implications of planned changes to the UK building regulations based on research conducted by CarbonPlan. Zero carbon homes will be discussed also.

To find out if you can attend this event please call Matt on 256088.

Putting Something Back In – The Guernsey Community Foundation

January 18th, 2010 by Stuart Falla

Stuart Falla MBE was guest speaker at the Guernsey Chamber of Commerce lunch at the OGH Hotel, St. Peter Port in January 2010. Stuart Falla is Chairman of the Garenne Group, which has businesses in both Guernsey and Jersey that employ 500 people.

My chosen title today is “Putting something back in.” And whether or not you respect our current crop of States members they have at the very least have had the spirit, strength and fortitude to stand up and be counted. They are putting something back in.

Stuart Falla MBE speaks to the Guernsey Chamber of Commerce about The Guernsey Community Foundation (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Now that I’ve given up all that excitement, I’ve decided to join the ranks of the ‘grumpy old men’. In fact I think I’ve become pretty good at it over recent years. Not taken it yet exactly to an art form but at least verging on the edge of being a pain in the neck. Just ask my wife. She says I could get an ‘A’ level in it.  But what’s my particular bug bear?

Well, we’re all incredibly lucky to live and prosper in this lovely island. We’re all quick to take advantage but are we as quick to put something back in to our community?

In my business career I’ve seen it as an essential skill to be able to recognise and observe trends. By doing this you hopefully get ahead of your competitors and then stay there.

Well there are non-business trends as well. Continue reading

Accelerated Food Composting

January 14th, 2010 by Richard Lord

We should not put food waste into landfills anymore because as food waste decays it produces methane, which is a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. Our soil needs organic matter. By using a composting system that destroys harmful bacteria we can safely apply onto our soil the compost produced from food and garden waste.

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Guernsey solid waste treatment plant tendering process already exposed as inherently flawed

January 8th, 2010 by Rosie

In early January 2010 I listened to Deputy Flouquet tell us on the radio of the ‘robust’ and ‘transparent’ way that the search for a waste plant has been conducted.  He told us that the documentation is all there for us to read, should we so wish.

It has to be remembered that these comments are made from the safety of knowing that precious few people will volunteer to plough through 10 years worth of, (what can only be described as turgid) documentation, billets, reports etc.   He knows, as well as we all know, that no-one will.

However, in 2008 there was a group of people who did do just that. Collectively they gave hundreds and hundreds of hours of their free time to thoroughly trawl through all the reports, documentation etc so that they could write their findings and conclusions on the procurement procedure into a shorter report for the benefit of all the Deputies and us, the public.   The huge amount of time that they put into their research was far in excess of anything that had been envisaged at the formation of the group and meant that they became far more knowledgeable about the subject than probably anyone in the States.

Their conclusion was that the tendering process was inherently flawed and would result in a plant that would be ‘inappropriate to the needs of the Island of Guernsey on grounds of cost, capacity and environmental impact’. Any form of ‘mass-burn’ incineration would be prohibitively expensive and utterly unsuitable. They suggested that the tendering process be ‘suspended forthwith’.

When the report was finished, the group were asked to delay the publication of it and being keen to be seen as unpolitical, they agreed. Too late they realised that by so doing, the Deputies were not given adequate time to read and understand the report before it would be debated in the States.  In the ensuing debate, over half the Guernsey deputies recognised that the report needed more time to be looked at in greater detail and the comments listened to.  Unfortunately, the two Alderney Deputies voted last, and felt that the report should be thrown out and the current tendering process continued. Their vote swung the debate against the report by just one vote.   (oh! the irony of the Alderney Deputies now saying that they will not send their waste to the Suez waste plant because it will be too expensive….. something that the report had warned about!)

After this debate, the volunteer group were disbanded and told that their services were no longer required.

The group was formed on the request of former PSD Minister Bill Bell and they were called the Waste Disposal People’s Panel, presumedly so called because they were acting on behalf of the ‘people’ to check that the department was acting in the best interest of the ‘people’.  They did their research on behalf of us.  They wrote their report on behalf of us.  They spoke on behalf of us.  They did it because they knew most of us wouldn’t be bothered to go to the efforts they were prepared to on our behalf. Were they listened to?   No!

Deputy Flouquet’s comments that we are all welcome to look at all the documentation consequently has a rather hollow ring to it!

RETHINK! the Suez Incinerator Proposal

January 7th, 2010 by Richard Lord

Wear an Orange Ribbon to support the Rethink! Campaign

“Attach an orange ribbon (on your coat, your jacket, your car, your house, your bicycle, your umbrella, or your pet…) to tell your Deputies that you want them to Rethink the Suez solid waste treatment proposal and instead implement a cheaper, cleaner way of dealing with our waste that cre­ates local jobs and keeps more of our money in GUERNSEY”

The RETHINK! campaign believes that the States of Guernsey has got this decision wrong and that there are better alternatives.