Recycled paper in the toilet paper

It is a premier in Portugal for toilet paper from recycled paper!!!

I found it in FeiraNova yesterday.

renovagreen - love & action
- 100% recycled paper
- non-chlorine bleached
- no colouring agents
- no fragrances

One might have thought that a new product would have been accompanied by a PR campaign. But no, nada and zilch ... even the websites (renovaonline.net and wellbeingworld.com) is devoid of any mention ... but perhaps not so surprising since this is from the same company that spent lots of money pushing their BLACK and RED toilet paper ... perhaps even more bigger surprise that they actually released this product. But perhaps it is made by a subsidy in Spain, France, Belgium or the UK? After all, the text on the pack is in French, Spanish, English Portuguese and Dutch.

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EUtube and the Ardystil disaster

EU has taken the step into Youtube on EUtube. One of the vidoes put out sofar is about REACH - the new chemical legislation REACH. It mentions a Spanish company Ardystil. Six workers died from inhaling toxic fumes from textile dyes, yet 72 more contracted serious lung disease and damage. The idea of the video is to show that REACH will make sure we will avoid any more Ardystil disasters.

I had look on internet about Ardystil. Most of it in Spanish. Not even Greenpeace had information about this disaster. Language barrier? This disaster happened 1in 1992. No mention on Wikipedia either (botn EN and ES).

One site talks about at the Ardystil syndrome. I quote: "In June 2003, a Spanish court issued its judgment on the 'Ardystil syndrome', one of the country's worst occupational health disasters,... The long-awaited ruling found that the employers concerned were clearly responsible, and that the public authorities failed to fulfil their role as a guarantor of safety. ... It is curious that even the Labour Inspectorate (Inspección de Trabajo) showed a scandalous lack of concern about the working conditions in these companies."

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GM Contamination Register

At last a register of GMO contamination events have been formed. Greeneace and GeneWatch UK has joined forces to make this register and update it. Of course only events that has been noted and the register has been informed of will be entered so one would expect that the register is a gross underestimation of all contamination events. Still, this should prove to be a powerful tool for the environmental movement.

From 1996 to 2006 142 events were publicly registered.


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Too hot for nuclear power

Nuclear power needs water. Lots of water to cool down their reactors. When it gets warm like during global warming it is too warm to be able to cool. So during a heat wave do not rely on nuclear power. Like in France 2003 heat wave 17 reactors were shut down. Read more here.

The UK government will not subsidise the construction of nuclear power plants. Would be great if all other governments would do the same. Including not subsidising the insurance the nuclear melt down and the tearing down of the nuclear plants. Read more here.

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It is urgent to act upon global warming

Or so it is the finding in Eurobarometer 67 pages 48-51. Even so 57% say it is very urgent for the European Union to have policies in place to reduce greenhouse gas emission by 20% until 2020. Not a very high target so should be fairly easy to met. Greece and Cyprus are in top with 86% totally agreeing that this is urgent. Sweden third place with 81%. Poland in the bottom with 40%.

Lets hope that the European Commission, Council and Parliament act on this! And lets not forget the national governments and parliaments!

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Quercus has made a study called Ecofamilias on 30 families with altogether 82 members. They measured energy consumption for 8 months. From that data they recommended some alterations, mainly turn off things on stand by, switching to low energy bulbs and choosing a better payment scheme from the electricity distributor.

As have been stated over and over again the first two very small switches can decrease the consumed energy quite amazingly in comparison to how simple it is.

Quercus will increase the study to 225 all over 9 climatic zones on continental Portugal during 2007-2008.

Notably most of the families in the first phase around Lissabon almost all had single walled unisolated houses...

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Lets save the world in a conventional cotton T-shirt

Just surfed into spreadshirt.com.

I like this design:

Spreadshirt Marketplace - People are Killing Me

BUT it is only available in conventional cotton.
For all know it might be GMO!!!

Although spreadshirt have organic T's in their selection, but apparently not for this one ...

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Lots more wind power in Portugal

Reading an article in the national issue of Metro Portugal stating that the capacity of wind power in terms of installed wind turbines will increase from 1800 MW today to 7100 at latest in 2012. It also says that 1800MW is 7% of the "produced" energy in Portugal. So predicted 20% in 2012 from wind power alone.

There was an article the other day stating that too much alarmism in the media only will cause apathy. Thus no change will lead from exaggerated alarmism.

So this increase in wind power energy capacity in Portugal is a very positive sign of change.

Now we only have to be much better at using that energy ...

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European solar map

Here is a map that reveals the solar energy potential for the Europea, and part of Middle East and North Africa: 11 MB pdf file.

Perhaps not to anyone ones surprise: The Mediterrean countries have much higher potential than Northern Europe. But even in the southern parts of Sweden solar panels for heating up water can be economically viable with break even of investment already after 5-7 years. Considering that a good house should be able to used for 100 or more years is is reasonably quick. And most people that buy a house would probably live in it more much longer than 7 years.

Read more on euractiv and JRC PVGIS.

I guess that most of the OPEC countries could be energy self-suffiecient by going over to solar energy. Since the Arabic peninsula mostly is desert it should be no match for them to set aside land enough for this. Same goes for Marocko and Libya etc. Maybe Khaddafi should write a really green book?

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Less chemicals in your water

The EU parliament yesterdat voted for a legislation that increases the list of chemicals to be monitored in water. The water you drink will thus be less toxic in the long run. Or so is the idea I would assume.

The legislation lists substances of which some are priority hazardous substances and has to be phased out within 20 years. Here is the list of priority and priority hazardous substances.

The priority hazardous substances are:
  • Anthracene
  • Pentabromobiphenylether
  • Cadmium and its compounds
  • C10-13-chloroalkanes
  • Endosulfan
  • Hexachlorobenzene
  • Hexachlorobutadiene
  • Hexachlorocyclohexane
  • Mercury and its compounds
  • Nonylphenols
  • Pentachlorobenzene
  • Polyaromatic hydrocarbons
  • Tributyltin compounds

    See, the world really is starting to come to its senses :-)

    Read more here.

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  • 2007-06-11

    Sexual harassment is part of the academic tradition in Coimbra

    I just had a quick look through the "newspaper" académico 20070605.

    Under the section "na regiao" Ricardo Rio makes a story about the majority in the city council in Braga not wanting to have an external analysis of their performance. Specifically in relation to (the lack of) sustainability thinking. And he ends with a very ironic touch :-)

    Later on in this issue is an article that says that 3 out of 4 Portuguese students cheat on their exams. And those that cheat do that already at high school. One sociologist in the articles says that the teacher are allowed some room for alterations in the examinations. He suggest making the exams such that the students should apply what they are supposed to have learnt rather than just regurgitating memorised data.

    On a note: students seem to sit very close to each other. One way to avoid is to randomise the order of the questions. At least one pair of students at UMinho have been caught just copying the answer in the numerical order. Funny, no thinking at all during the exam ... at least for some ...

    The "council of veterans" at the university of Soimbra has punished two persons by "downgrading" them to freshmen status because they damaged the scrotum of one student and severly bruised another. In some kind of backwards defence the head honcho of hazers said that they were only supposed to shave off the pubic hair above the penis. The sheer stupidity of this José Luís Jesus is just amazing!!! One student made a complaint to this "council of veterans" which of course does not have any real power. The other made a much wiser choice and made a formal complaint to the police. I have an idea: all praxistas must be eunuchs!

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    Sign of the times?

    Before the G8 meeting Merkel said that Germany would take the lead in world to become a sustainable society.

    In a comment in a Swedish after the same meeting it was stated that the USA is taking the initiative in the politics of curbing climate change. I guess Bush wants to end his last period as president on a positive note. There is a Swedish saying: "When the devil gets old he gets religious".

    Also, the Vatican will install photovoltaic cells on one of its buildings very soon. And more is expected.

    Is it a crazy world or is it finally coming to its senses?

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    An improved CITES is needed

    In early June, the 14th conference of the 'Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora' (CITES) will be held in the Netherlands.

    The convention regulates international trade in endangered species and protects plants and animals from extinction. But Milieudefensie/Friends of the Earth Netherlands wants CITES to do more - their proposed changes to the convention would make an impact on the international trade in destructively and illegally logged wood.

    Send an email to the Dutch minister who is hosting a special meeting that will set the agenda for CITES.

    Visit: http://www.foei.org/en/get-involved/take-action/cites

    Also: I would recommend you to make some changes in the letter, just I did!

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    Shi Tao

    Apparently Yahoo.com helped the Chinese government agencies hunt down journalist Shi Tao. He was because of this helping hand by Yahoo.com Shi Tao was later thrown into jail.

    Shi Tao has now been awarded the Golden Pen of Freedom award by WAN.

    Ironically, there has popped up a number of Shi Tao groups on yahoo.

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/shitao/ and 18 more.

    Make a search on http://groups.yahoo.com/ for Shi Tao
    or open up this:

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    Energy certificate

    In just a month Portugal will have implemented the first step of Directive 2002/91/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2002 on the energy performance of buildings. This year all new buildings with over 1000 square meters needs a certificate of their energy performance. As of 2009 all buildings irrespective of age needs such an energy certificate in order to be sold or rented.

    Just reading the Portuguese news paper it only seems to be energy rating just as dish washer and similar already have (the A-E rating system). Hopefully this will encourage improved energy performance, ie better and more intelligent use of energy. It might even lead to more spread use of self sufficient houses. But as noted earlier such an transition might take up to 100 years. At least very old houses are with stones. But newer houses are based on a concrete skeleton with hollow tiles as walls. The life of those might only be 20 years so the turnover to efficient houses might be lower than 100 years?

    And here is the Portuguese law. Both it and the EC regulation above mentions a minimum energy efficiency but no numbers are mentioned in either text?!

    We shall see.

    Even better, this legislation accompanied by a few other laws Decreto-Lei 79/2006 in its article 32 par 2 basically says that renewable energy such as solar panels on the buildings itself is mandatory unless the owner can show that it is not economically viable. What a shocker! I am stunned. This is absolutely amazing? Perhaps not the best way to get understanding for renewable energy, but still!!!

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