Posted 2 February 2016 | | 0 Comments
Test Driving the Tesla Model S Electric Saloon!
Tesla Motors was founded in 2003 by a group of engineers in Silicon Valley who wanted to prove that electric cars could be better than petrol-powered cars. With instant torque, incredible power, and zero emissions, Tesla's products would be cars without compromise. Each new generation would be increasingly affordable, helping the company work towards its mission: to accelerate the world's transition to sustainable transport.
In 2012, Tesla launched Model S, the world's first premium electric saloon. Build from the ground up to be 100 percent electric, Model S has redefined the very concept of a four-door car. With room for seven passengers and more than 64 cubic feet of storage, Model S provides the comfort and utility of a family saloon while achieving the acceleration of a sports car: 0 to 60 in about five seconds. The Tesla Model S has become a smashing success, blowing away the automotive industry with the highest ever consumer reports rating of a 99/100, and the highest safety rating in history from the US national highway safety administration.
Here's what Matt Roper (Founder of GreenBuying.co.uk) had to say about his recent Tesla driving experience!
When I was recently invited to test drive the Tesla Model S, I jumped at the chance. In case you don’t know, Tesla have created THE most beautiful looking premium electric saloon car in the world. It looks like a cross between an Aston Martin and Jaguar and has zero emissions so I’m bound to be interested!
So out I went with Jonathan from the Tesla “store” (they don’t call them dealerships) at Weybridge in Surrey for a 20 minute spin. The inside of the car is so luxurious, complete with large sat nav screen, very comfy leather upholstery, and a seat warmer which worked too well! The big surprise was when I started the engine….there wasn’t an engine to start! Simply one movement of a switch tells the car to go forwards, and a movement in the opposite direction tells the car to go backwards. No gears, completely automatic. And when we started moving, there was no noise at all. No engine, remember.
The journey seemed to last a minute but what a great ride it was. Because the car is relatively wide and has a low centre of gravity, the car felt really solid and yet I was very aware that if I put my foot down (which I couldn’t do in Surrey rush hour traffic), I would reach 60 miles per hour in just 2.7 seconds (i.e. in “ludicrous mode” – Tesla speak for very fast!).
I would have been very tempted to buy the vehicle there and then, if it wasn’t for the fact that the retail price of the Model S starts at approx. £52,000. With all the bells and whistles the top of the range model costs £117,000. Ouch! Fortunately Tesla are due to launch their Project X SUV vehicle within a few months and a less expensive electric saloon car so watch this space. Price point aside, the advantage of this vehicle when compared to other electric vehicles on the road is that the minimum range before having to re-charge the batteries is 200 miles, and the car can reach more than 250 miles without needing to be re-charged. The range is greater thanks to there being more battery space under the vehicle when compared to other vehicles. Plus the servicing costs are less (no need to change oil filters or spark plugs) and no road tax or London congestion charge. From an “eco” perspective, my only major question mark would be the environmental impact of the battery manufacturing and disposal process. And of course the charging of the car will require electricity which itself will typically have been sourced from the national grid, so not from renewables.
However, we should admire Tesla for their determination to create innovative vehicles which break the mould. The founder of Tesla, Elon Musk, has made the Tesla’s patents open for all vehicle manufacturers to use, as Tesla’s key mission is to advance the cause of sustainable transport. I can’t wait to see what comes next, from Tesla and from the many other manufacturers who are now racing to create the next generation of eco vehicles. - Matt Roper (Founder of GreenBuying.co.uk)
by H Burton | 2 February 2016
Posted 12 January 2016 | | 0 Comments
A Greener Road Ahead
Short of using tyres made from hemp or converting your combustion engine to algae (not as strange as it seems), drivers can often feel there is little more they can do to minimise the ecological impact of their motoring. Yes, there might be an ever-growing plethora of fuel-efficient cars on the market plus tax incentives aplenty, but many motorists suppose they need to summon superhuman levels of green halo-ness to reach forthcoming commissions targets. Which isn't great news for air quality campaigners - in the UK, transport accounts for nearly a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions, more than half or which comes from the humble car.
Yet some great progress has been made in recent years. A 2014 report by the SMMT showed that CO2 emissions have fallen across every strata of cars, and executive cars in particular. Emissions from company motors in 2013 were lower than those from small city cars in 2010.
The increasing popularity of diesel over the last decade also accounts for this CO2 cutback. Diesel-fuelled cars burn less fuel, therefore producing fewer grammes of Co2 per km than those powered by petrol. They're also in demand. In 2010 sales of diesel cars overtook those of petrol for the first time, possibly aided by eco-friendly government legislation. Today, vehicles with high CO2 emissions are penalised by higher fuel duty tax, while diesels with the lowest CO2 emissions are exempt from road tax and congestion charges. (They also receive better insurance premiums too).
But petrol-powered engines appear to be fighting back, thanks to better turbos that make them more fuel-efficient. Four years ago, diesel-fuelled cars from Lex produced 16 per cent fewer CO2 emissions per kilometre than petrol-fuelled cars. By 2013, this had dropped to seven per cent. Furthermore, a 2013 ministry report showed that diesel fumes were more damaging to health than petrol engines. The findings, published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, found that diesel-related air pollution contributes to lung disease, heart attacks and asthma, costing the NHS more than 10 times as much as those problems caused by petrol fumes.
Environmental issues are also being taken more seriously by employers. Recent research by Lex Autolease has shown that 45 per cent of managers have introduced focused policies in the last two years. meanwhile, 42 per cent of fleet managers said they welcome the idea of rentals base don mileage, with 12 per cent saying they liked the idea of employee car clubs in city centres.
Despite this burgeoning eco-awareness, popularity of electric vehicles and hybrids remains fairy debatable. Only two per cent of vehicles in Lex Autolease's fleet is an electric car, reflecting national trends which show they account for 2.3 per cent of the market.
However, SMMT statistics recently revealed that alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs) were up 59 per cent in October 2014, while electric carmakers Tesla delivered a record 7,785 sedans in the third quarter of last year. Incentives about for electric, hybrid or AFV's including government grands of up to £5,000 from the purchase price, exemption from London's pricey congestion charge and benefit-in-kind taxation. This taxation advantageous for company cars, although Lex Autolease has found that it triggers confusion in many executive car drivers. Company car tax was reformed in 2002 to an emission-based system, with the charge calculated by applying figure (determined by fuel type and CO2 emissions) to the list price of the car. If you own a cheap car and emit minimal CO2, you're much less likely to find the taxman scary. Despite this, only 50 per cent of company car drivers surveyed knew that CO2 emissions were involved in calculating their tax bill.
Furthermore, 45 per cent assumed their tax was evaluated by engine size and almost a quarter (23 per cent) believed it was affected by the make of car. One in seven even thought their tax was determined by family of friends driving the car.
A slew of emissions-slashing policies will be ushered in during 2015. This September, the Euro 6 emissions standards for cars comes into force, while all large organisations need to complete their ESOS energy adit assessment by December - something which will no doubt please those 44 per cent of fleet managers who would like stricter emissions standards. However, by 2020 (the European Commission's CO2 emissions target year), green automotive technology may have have radically changes the way we drive. Self-driving cars are due to hit British roads in soon, with cities such as Bristol, London, Coventry and Milton Keynes all hosting trials. A sports ca (the QUANT e-Sportlimousine) that runs on saltwater was recently certified for use on EU roads. Then there's the US firm Sapphire Energy, which produces algae-based crude oil, meaning algae-powered cars could soon be a reality too. However, there are already plenty of environmentally friendly transport options available, as our selection of green vehicles shows here...
FOUR OF THE BEST
Four of the most efficient eco-friendly cars:
1) Mitsubishi Outlander
2) Nissan Leaf
3) BMW i3
4) Renault Zoe
by IoD 'Business Wisdom' | 12 January 2016
Posted 15 December 2015 | | 0 Comments
UN Climate Change Conference
A deal to attempt to limit the rise in global temperatures to less than 2C has been agreed at the climate change summit in Paris after two weeks of intense negotiations.
The outcome of the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference outcome was delivered on the 12th December 2015, whereby the 195 participating countries agreed by consensus to the final global pact, the Paris Agreement, to reduce greenhouse gas.
In the document, the members agreed to reduce their carbon output "as soon as possible" and to do their best to keep global warming "to well below 2 degrees C." France's Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said this 'ambitious and balanced' plan was a historic turning point in the goal of reducing global warming.
What are the key points of the agreement?
- To peak greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible and achieve a balance of greenhouse gases in the second half of this century.
- To keep global temperature increase 'well below' 2C (3.6F) and to pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5C.
- To review progress every five years.
Share your thoughts with us about the #COP21 by tweeting us @green_buying
To read the full Paris Agreement document please Click Here.
by H Burton | 15 December 2015
Posted 1 December 2015 | | 0 Comments
The UN Climate Change Conference in Paris
See below a brief summary of The Daily Telegraph's report which outlines the events that happened on the 30th November 2015 at the UN Climate Conference in Paris.
David Cameron warned that "world leaders will have no excuses to tell their grandchildren if they fail to reach agreement to tackle climate change when the planet is in peril." He quotes "climate action is not difficult, it is do-able!" Here are Cameron's thoughts on a good deal:
- A deal that keeps the target of a maximum of 2 degrees Celsius global warming alive
- A deal with a binding legal mechanism
- A deal that has a five-year review so monitoring and an evaluation can be made
- A deal for the poorest and most vulnerable countries in terms of finance
- A deal so we can measure and verify what happens with the agreement that we make
- And a deal that transfers technology from the richest countries to the poorest countries
Mr Cameron said the UK was not suffering but thriving as a result of the legally-binding goals, which requires emissions to be cut by 80 per cent on 1990 levels by 2050. Critics in the UK are quick to argue that the rhetoric is out of step with recent changes to renewable energy policies at home - cutting subsidies for wind and solar farms, as well as scrapping a carbon capture and storage competition. These changes are estimated to leave the UK even further off meeting its future emissions-reduction targets.
The Prince of Wales issued an impassioned plea for action, warning that "in damaging our climate we are becoming the architects of our own destruction.”
US President Obama warned the world had almost run out of time to tackle climate change.
The Indian Prime Minster, Narendra Modi said "access to energy and a better life is a universal aspiration and so are green environment and healthy habitats. They must leave room for developing countries to grow."
The Japanese President Shinzo Abe addressed the conference stating "despite the Kyoto Protocol being signed in 1995, global average temperatures have been on the rise ever since."
Geoff Lean of the Telegraph writes that the leaders meeting in Paris will do little to change humanity's direction of travel, though they could affect its pace. Whatever decisions are made in the French capital over the next two weeks, the world is now irrevocably embarked on the greatest transition since the Industrial Revolution - towards a low (and eventually no) carbon economy.
Deep divisions remain between the countries over the different responsibilities that developed and developing countries should face in tackling climate change, with negotiators only just beginning to piece together a vast draft agreement with numerous disputed options.
Click Here to watch a 60 second video - An Introduction to Climate Change by the Royal Society
by H Burton | 1 December 2015
Posted 26 November 2015 | | 0 Comments
Who's ready for Black Friday? We are!
We are offering you a 15% discount off ALL our eco products! valid Friday only
Enter GF15 at the checkout. Don't miss out on this opportunity to get some great eco savings!
by H Burton | 26 November 2015
Posted 19 November 2015 | | 0 Comments
Go Green and Save money
It's really simple!
We supply a range of eco products including eco stationery, non toxic cleaning and bathroom supplies, recycling bins, children's playground equipment, benches and tables and eco classrooms.
We've had fantastic feedback from schools, colleges, nurseries and universities, many of whom have bought through our eco shop for many years.
With budgets being tight you will also be pleased to learn that GreenBuying.co.uk offers competitive prices - plus we offer a special 10% off all our eco products to the education sector!
by H Burton | 19 November 2015
Posted 15 October 2015 | | 0 Comments
Nowadays we're spending more money on new Halloween decorations. Not only does that hurt our wallets, it's also harmful for the environment. Teachers are you interested in creating handmade Halloween decorations by reusing materials you might already have laying around the classroom? We have drummed up 4 really simple and easy creations that are sure to put the spook into spooktacular!
1) Have a go at making your very own skeleton out of old milk bottles, paper sticks and paper mache.
2) Don't throw away empty bottles of pop. Turn them into fantastic pumpkin displays using coloured paper.
3) Re-use your sand bucket and fill with tasty treats.
4) Using old buttons and a black canvas, create goolish ghost characters.
To see images of these Halloween decorations simply Click Here
by H Burton | 15 October 2015
Posted 6 October 2015 | | 0 Comments
Get a 'moooove on! For a limited time only we're offering schools an exclusive discount of 15% off all our eco school supplies. So the 'cowntdown' begins to get your discount ending Tuesday 20th October 2015. To receive the discount simply type 'SCH10' into the discount field on the checkout screen.
This is Calfy Cow from our recycling bins range. He's great at telling jokes.
Q: Why should you never-ever tell a cow a secret?
A Because it will just go in one ear and out the UDDER!
Get your very own Calfy, perfect for making recycling fun and engaging. Buy Now
Say hello to Carly Cow, part of our kids fun furniture range. Want to hear another joke? Of course you do!
Q: What do you call a cow that can't give milk?
A: Milk dud, or an Udder failure!
You can own your very own farm animal piece of furniture. Minus the joke telling!) Buy Now
by H Burton | 6 October 2015
Posted 21 September 2015 | | 0 Comments
The World's Largest Lesson
The Global Goals and UNICEF have launched the World's Largest Lesson, an initiative to teach children in over 100 countries about the new Sustainable Development Goals that will be adopted by the UN General Assembly later this month.
As part of the campaign to tell everyone about the Global Goals, the World's Largest Lesson will engage children and young people in the global effort to build a more sustainable future for every citizen. The initiative has already attracted support from influential leaders and public figures including Eminent Advocate for UNICEF Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan; UNICEF ambassadors Nancy Ajran and Serena Williams; PLAN International global ambassador Freida Pinto; and Dani Alves, Hrithik Roshan, Kolo Toure, and Neymar and the Neymar Jr. Institute.
"The World's Largest Lesson will do more than teach children about the global goals. It will engage them in the effort to achieve those goals - educating them about the challenges that are shaping their futures and encouraging them to drive change in their own communities," said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. "Young people can help achieve the global goals by holding their leaders accountable for the promises they are making - and by holding themselves accountable for building a better future for everyone."
The World's Largest Lesson will be held in classrooms on every continent during the week of 28th September. A potential 500 million girls and boys between the ages of 8 and 14 will have the chance to learn about the Global Goals, which range from ending extreme poverty for all people everywhere, to tackling climate change, and giving all children the opportunity to gain a quality primary and secondary education. Government leaders and ministers from a number of countries will be teaching and participating in lessons.
Specially created lesson materials include an animated film by Aardman and author and education expert Sir Ken Robinson that introduces the Global Goals, and a downloadable comic book by Josh Elder, Karl Kesel and Grace Allison. SOme of the public figures backing the campaign have recorded their own introductions to the World's Largest Lesson, including Serena Williams, Kolo Toure, Neymar and Dani Alves. Additional lesson plans and information are available for teachers to select based on the themes more relevant to their pupils.
"The World's Largest Lesson is a fantastic opportunity to tell all children, everywhere what the Global Goals are and how they can play their part to make sure they are achieved. By making the Global Goals famous we can give them the best chance of working around the world - and help make us the first generation to end extreme poverty, the most determined generation in history to end injustice and inequity, and the last generation to be threatened by climate change." said Richard Curtis, founder of the Global Goals
The World's Largest Lesson provides a unique opportunity to foster global citizenship in schools across the world. It supports student learning across a range of subject areas such as Science, Geography, Citizenship and Technology and help teachers explore important global issues such as human rights, poverty and climate change.
How can my school get involved?
There are numerous ways in which your school can get involved with The World's Largest Lesson. By doing various activities and lesson plans in the classroom you are helping to build a more sustainable future for every citizen.
Please follow the links below which will take you to lesson plans and other activities to help you.
by H Burton | 21 September 2015
Posted 17 September 2015 | | 0 Comments
On Wednesday 9th September 2015 GreenBuying.co.uk visited the winners of our Art Competition- Dormer House School - to deliver their prize, a fantastic personalised eco table.
It was a delight to meet the welcoming staff and friendly pupils. We also gave a presentation about the importance of the 3R's 'Reduce, Re-use and Recycle' and the journey of the eco table. It was great to see lots of hands raising, and questions being answered and we were very impressed with how much the children knew about the importance of 'going green'.
Next came the very exciting part where we presented the lovely personalised eco table that the children had personally designed. Everybody was super excited when we brought out the eco table and the smiles on both the teachers and children's faces was lovely to see. Lots of photographs were taken with eco table, the certificate and the buddy artists. Way to go Dormer House School!
by H Burton | 17 September 2015