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Google's digital maps will soon be able to provide detailed information about the pollution levels in urban areas, thanks to a new part...

Google Street View to map urban air pollution

Calendar Posted 30 July 2015 | Feed Icon | Calendar 0 Comments

Google's digital maps will soon be able to provide detailed information about the pollution levels in urban areas, thanks to a new partnership with US tech start-up Aclima.

Yesterday Aclima revealed it has been working with Google Earth Outreach to fit Google's Street View cars with air quality sensors, enabling the vehicles to measure levels of pollution on specific city streets.

The cars can measure the presence of nitrogen dioxide, nitric oxide, ozone, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, methane, black carbon, particulate matter and volatile organic compounds in the surrounding environment, providing a detailed picture of local air quality.

From the autumn the sensor- enabled cars will hit the roads of San Francisco to gather data on the city's air quality. Aclima hopes the data will help inform local health studies and community planning decisions.

The city's existing air quality monitoring network, which is managed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), often misses fine-scale changes in pollution levels, according to Aclima. It says its mobile sensing platform will complement the EPA's network by providing information on the air quality at street level.

Dan Costa, national program director at the EPA's office of research and development, said Aclima's data will help the agency better understand air pollutants at the local level. "New mobile air measurements can complement existing stationary measurements for a more detailed picture of personal and community air quality." he said in a statement.

Aclima already works with Google to map the air quality in 21 of its offices around the world. The system processes 500 million data points each day on everything from humidity levels to light intensity and air pollution.

Last year, President Obama took steps to tackle America's air pollution, announcing the EPA plans to tighten ground level ozone standards. Earlier this year, the administration also made moves to crack down on methane emissions from America's booming fracking industry.

Governments around the world are under mounting pressure to get a better view of air pollution levels in their cities, following a series of health studies that have shown many thousands of people are dying prematurely each year as a result of poor air quality. In April the UK's Supreme Court ordered the UK Government to address the country's high level of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) pollution. According to the ruling, the government must submit its plan to bring pollution levels within legal limits to the European Commission by 31st December 2015.

Original post sourced from

by H Burton | 30 July 2015

National Sustainable Schools Conference 2015

Calendar Posted 6 July 2015 | Feed Icon | Calendar 0 Comments

Two of GreenBuying's team attended last week's National Sustainable Schools Conference at the University of Bristol's Student Union Building. We wanted to meet like minded people and to understand how schools should best be engaging with their pupils and other stakeholders to encourage a deeper knowledge of sustainable development. The Conference was organised by SEEd and was well received by the 170 delegates.

There were several keynote speakers, including Quinn Runkle from the NUS who shared the results of a recent survey of young people. 85% said that they believed sustainable development to be very important. And yet many felt that the education system was not providing them with sufficient knowledge on the subject.

At the end of the conference there was an opportunity for delegates to give a talk about their own beliefs. Matt Roper, Founder of, talked about the importance of sustainable procurement. He said that many schools were buying products without considering the environmental impact of the purchase.

Given that there was an acknowledged case for promoting sustainability to pupils, Matt feels strongly that the schools themselves must reflect upon their own environmental impact and that their procurement strategy was arguably the most important determining factor. That's why was established - to help organisations such as schools procure eco friendly products more easily.

by H Burton | 6 July 2015

Which Party would Mother Nature vote for?

Calendar Posted 7 May 2015 | Feed Icon | Calendar 0 Comments

After seemingly months of electioneering, the day of reckoning has arrived and the UK populace decides who will rule over them for the next 5 years. Here at we thought we'd consider what each of the main Parties are offering in relation to the environment and climate change. So we've looked at the manifestos and found the following pledges, starting with the Party who you would expect to be the most eco friendly...

The Green Party

The Greens believe that Government must prioritise action on climate change to avoid devastating hardship to our economy, society and environment.

What are they offering?

  • Take serious action on climate change by working with other countries to ensure global temperatures do not rise beyond 2 degrees.
  • Phase out fossil-fuel based energy generation and nuclear power.
  • Invest in a public programme of renewable generation, flood defences and building insulation.

How will this benefit the public?

A rapid transition to a zero-carbon sustainable economy will create millions of jobs and secure a safe climate for our children and grandchildren.

The Labour Party

They claim that a Labour Government will play a leading global role in tackling climate change.

What they are offering?

  • An ambitious adaptation programme will be produced.
  • A new infrastructure commission will prioritise investment in flood prevention.
  • The problems of air pollution will be tackled by giving local authorities the powers they need, backed up by a national framework.
  • Protect and improve wildlife habitats and green spaces, and make them an important part of our thriving tourism industry.
  • Put a stop to the government’s ineffective and cruel badger cull.
  • Improve the protection of dogs and cats, ban wild animals in circuses, defend the hunting ban and deal with wildlife crime associated with shooting.

How will this benefit the public?

Cleaner air, creating a healthier environment for generations. Protecting the natural environment, and ensuring a kinder life for animals.

The Conservative Party

The Tories have set themselves the goal of being the first generation to leave the natural environment in a better state when they leave office than when they entered office.

What they are offering?

  • Invest £3bn from the Common Agricultural Policy to enhance England's countryside
  • Put it place a new ‘blue belt’ to protect precious marine habitats.
  • Invest in clear air and water for you and your family.
  • Keep our forests in trust for the nation.
  • Meet our climate change targets, cutting carbon emissions
  • Working with other countries to ensure global temperatures do not exceed 2 degrees.
  • Tackle international wildlife trade.
  • High animal welfare standards.
  • Develop 25 year plan to restore the UK's biodiversity.

How will this benefit the public?

£3 Billion will be spent in order to enhance England’s countryside and keep the much loved, treasured greenery. We will continue to do even more to tackle our pollution and clean up our rivers and waterways, including supporting the Thames Tideway Tunnel.

The Liberal Democrats

They spearheaded the UK's push to persuade the EU to set an ambitious target of reducing carbon emissions by at least 40% by 2030. They will carry on greening electricity, getting rid of coal generation by 2025 and setting an ambitious power sector ‘decarbonisation’ target.

What they are offering?

  • Renewable energy will make up a third of our energy by 2020.
  • Cut council tax for green homes by at least £100 a year for 10 years.
  • Invest in research and development in cleaner energy.

How will this benefit the public?

Encouraging people to live a healthier, greener lifestyle.

So there you have it. Which one gets your vote? Whilst there are many important challenges ahead for the UK Government, of whatever Party, we can't think of an issue more critical than the health of our environment.

by Matt Roper | 7 May 2015

Happy Customer!

Calendar Posted 27 March 2015 | Feed Icon | Calendar 0 Comments

We've had lots of great feedback from customers about our range of Children's Playground Equipment - all made from recycled plastics diverted from landfill.

Here's what one customer said today, having just received our very popular Jimmy's Tractor - so called as it was originally commissioned by Jimmy's Farm, as seen on TV:

"Just to let you know and say thank you, the tractor is brilliant." Kelly, the Cornish Birds of Prey Centre.

by M Roper | 27 March 2015

Have a wonderful Christmas!

Calendar Posted 25 December 2014 | Feed Icon | Calendar 0 Comments

On behalf of the team here at, may I wish all our customers (and everyone else!) a very Happy Christmas! Remember to recycle all the excess packaging.....

All the best,

Matt Roper


by M Roper | 25 December 2014

Separate collections of waste paper, metal, plastic & glass

Calendar Posted 13 November 2014 | Feed Icon | Calendar 0 Comments

It is already a legal requirement for waste producers to treat waste in line with the waste hierarchy. Once you've considered waste reduction and re-use, you need to ensure that all recyclable materials are recycled where possible to avoid landfill.

But as of 1st January 2015, the revised EU Waste Framework Directive 2008 requires that the UK government must make arrangements for the collection of waste paper, metal, plastic and glass separately where 'technically, environmentally and economically practicable' and 'appropriate to meet the necessary quality standards for the relevant recycling sectors.'

This law covers both commercial, industrial and domestic waste. The information stated below does not constitute legal advice and is no substitute for legal or other professional advice.

How does this affect your organisation as a waste producer?

We believe that as of start 2015 you will need to considering the following:

  • Keep a well-documented audit trail when deciding which collection system to use and hold regular reviews to ensure your waste management system remains compliant.
  • As a minimum, you will be expected to separate mixed dry recyclables (paper, metal, plastic, glass) from general waste prior to their collection unless space for containers, cost of collection or any other genuine barriers prevent this.
  • If it is not technically, environmentally and economically practicable (TEEP) to do this, you will need to implement the most suitable alternative solution and ensure you have evidence as to why a separate collection is not practicable. If you are already separating out the recyclable materials into a combined waste collection, you will need to consider the suitability of this, and whether your waste contractor has the capability to separate these out into separate individual waste streams. As a minimum you are likely to be required to have a separate glass collection.
  • Whether or not you separate out your waste into individual waste streams or combined, you will need to ensure that the quality of these collections is of a high standard and not contaminated with non-recyclable waste.
  • Although not a legal requirement, it is advisable to verify the end destination of these wastes, as a best practice measure, to ensure that they are sent for recycling and not landfill.

The diagram (below) is the Waste Regulations Route Map, and for general information only.

We can help you become compliant is committed to ensuring that its customers are compliant. Our UK national waste partners will review your waste practices. They can:

  • Work with you to assess the practicalities and options for implementing combined or segregated collections if you're not already doing so and implement any agreed service changes on your behalf.
  • Provide assistance to communicate with your staff and other stakeholders to ensure that materials separated are of a sufficient quality and not contaminated with non-recyclable waste.
  • Regularly check the quality of your recyclables to ensure that high standards are being consistently applied. If issues are found, they will work with you to resolve the problems and improve the quality of your recyclables.
  • Ensure you have a well-documented audit trail and regular reviews of your waste management system.

You're running out of time to ensure compliancy by 1st January 2015 so we urge swift action!! Just call 0845 217 8995 or email and we'll help you.

by M Roper | 13 November 2014 Recycling Presentation at Droitwich Spa High School

Calendar Posted 12 November 2014 | Feed Icon | Calendar 0 Comments has a dual mission – first to inform, and then to provide practical help for buyers who seek to procure supplies in a way that does least harm to the environment. We do of course sell products via our webshop, but that’s not where it starts and ends. We believe that too many buyers are not considering the environmental impact of their activities, partly due to lack of knowledge, partly due to a misconception that buying “green” products necessarily cost more money. We also recognise that there are other ways in which organisations can help the environment – by encouraging recycling (using our recycling bins), by encouraging the re-use of waste materials (hence – our free to use waste exchange)

That’s why, when we were recently invited to make a presentation on “The importance of Recycling” during an assembly for Year 8’s at Droitwich Spa High School in Worcestershire, we jumped at the chance! The invite came from Mrs Whitehouse, Head of Year 8, who had previously been aware of as a customer. The school has previously purchased recycling bins from the website.

We spent a quarter of an hour talking to the whole of Year 8 about the impact on the environment of throwing rubbish into landfill. We gave them some amazing facts to consider - for example, did you know that the amount of rubbish thrown away by homes in the UK every day is enough to fill 190 Olympic sized swimming pools and weighs as much as 12,000 elephants!

We finished the presentation by examining ways in which the children and staff at the school can improve their recycling practices. Droitwich Spa are well advanced in their thinking about recycling but we know that many schools have yet to take the initiative and get everyone involved to reduce landfill waste.

Says Mrs Whitehouse "It was great having Matt and Hattie from in school to reinforce the message of the importance of recycling in our school. The children were given interesting facts and information about recycling and also good advice about how they could do more. They were encouraged to believe that every small step adds up to make a big difference to our environment."

Would YOUR school like our recycling presentation?

If your school is located within 100 miles of Cheltenham and you would like us to come and deliver our recycling presentation at an assembly, please email us at

by Hattie Burton | 12 November 2014

Join the Ice Ride this October

Calendar Posted 30 September 2014 | Feed Icon | Calendar 0 Comments

Join the Ice Ride!

Let's raise awareness of the threats to the fragile Arctic environment.

Only six days to go before the global Ice Ride to raise awareness of the threats to the fragile Arctic environment from oil exploration and climate change - which are surprisingly linked! Manchester Greenpeace and other friends and supporters will be meeting with their bikes in Albert Square, Manchester on Saturday October 4th to join millions of others around the world with the message Save the Arctic! If you've got a bike or can borrow one, put on some white or blue clothing and come along - it'll be a gentle ride around the city centre.

Click Here to find out more information.

Join in on the Twitter conversation beforehand (#IceRide)

by M. Roper | 30 September 2014

Getting ready for Recycling Week

Calendar Posted 20 May 2014 | Feed Icon | Calendar 0 Comments

Recycle Week is a celebration of everything about recycling. Now in its 11th year it is organised by WRAP under the 'Recycle Now' brand and delivered to the public by a range of partners across the country. It encourages people to recycle more things more often by thanking them for their efforts and showing what more can be done such as explaining the importance of recycling good quality materials and reducing contamination.

The theme for this year ‘Recycling at Home and Away’. It is a great opportunity to encourage people to recycle more things more often and show how it is now easier to recycle away from the home environment.

Some facts and figures...

  • Commercial and Industrial waste accounts for 23% of total waste produced in the UK so there is huge potential benefit for both the economy and the environment of increasing recycling in this area.
  • In the UK we send 700,000 tonnes of clothing to be reused or recycled every year –
  • enough to fill 459 Olympic sized swimming pools every year.
  • Did you know that 9,201,000 tonnes of food is thrown away by the hospitality sector each year and 3/4 of this food could have been eaten.
  • All steel cans are 100% recyclable. They can be recycled over and over again, into anything from cars to motorcycles to more steel cans.
  • More than 60% of householders in the UK say they have unwanted clothes and textiles stored in their homes.
  • In a whole year, an individual drinks can could be recycled eight times, saving enough energy to make 160 new cans.
  • Recycling seven steel cans saves enough energy to power a 60-watt
  • light bulb for 26 hours.

How Business & Schools can get involved

  • Cascade information about recycling services at team meetings, through the intranet, internal newsletters and e-zines, as well as verbally and by using posters.
  • Introduce the removal of individual ‘under desk’ bins and install single waste and recycling points. This increases the amount of material recycled by removing the temptation for people to ‘easily’ throw away. It is important that this is clearly communicated in advance. You are likely to see initial resistance, but people soon get used to the new system.
  • Use posters to help get the message out, including some that can be stuck on or near the recycling bins to indicate what can and cannot be recycled.
  • Encourage senior management to get involved. Their buy-in is important and it is beneficial for messages to come from them.
  • Tell staff why you are recycling and stress why it is important to put items in the right bins.
  • Tell staff how it will save money and what the environmental benefits will be.
  • Speak to cleaning staff to ensure that they recycle correctly.
  • Send round daily tips and facts to all staff.
  • Provide a new screen saver relating to Recycle Week.

In preparation for Recycling Week, please email us links to your YouTube clips showing what you're doing at your school or business to encourage recycling. We'll then add them to our YouTube TV Channel.

by M Roper | 20 May 2014

Five-a-day keeps the packaging away!

Calendar Posted 13 May 2014 | Feed Icon | Calendar 0 Comments

How many of us would like to eat more fruit and veg but just don't seem to have the time? I have certainly in the past bought fruit and veg that's ended up in the bin a few days later. Making sure i had my "five a day" just didn't seem to fit in with a busy work schedule and the school run.

But all this changed when my wife told me about 'Juicing' and it all started from there. Wednesday 14th May 2014 will be my 13th day of doing the Juice Detox. I'm following Jason Vale juicing detox plan. So far i've enjoyed a range of colourful drinks, from bright greens to brilliant reds (thanks to raw betroot juice!). And amazingly, all being well, i will have lost 1 stone on this day (just 13 days from the start of the plan!) Fingers Crossed!

But it strikes me that there is a great further benefit of doing this detox, other than weight loss and "detoxification"- and that's the benefit to the planet. Imagine if huge numbers of the UK population decided that they would juice detox for just two weeks a year.. think of all the food packaging that would not be going into landfill! Think of the reduction in manufacturing processes (with all the power and carbon being generated) that is caused by the fall in processed food manufacturing. And that's before we consider the drop in NHS resources required through the fall in obesity and diseases that appear to be diminished too- that's a lot of carbon reduction!!

by M Roper | 13 May 2014