Saturday, 30 April 2011

Mio in motion

Here is a video of my great friend Marion who sadly passed away in April 2010, one year ago. For those who do not speak French, she is explaining her work on a project on ‘La Réunion’, an island in French Polynesia. This is not a direct translation and my French is somewhat rusty, but for those who speak conversational French it is a quite clearly spoken in the video so you may be able to pick up the gist.

Essentially, the project (one of only two in the world, the other in Hawaii, and currently a prototype) is looking at harnessing the energy of the sea to produce electricity and is dubbed ‘evolutionary’ and the most spectacular energy solution in this century. The island of La Réunion is in a tropical zone and the temperature difference between the surface of the water and at 1000 metres deep is around 20 degrees. This temperature difference acts to induce a circular motion due to the currents created between the warmer and cooler water. Large balloons (seven metres diameter) float in rows under the surface and move with these currents. They are each connected to a pump and the pump motion induced by the balloon’s movement can create electricity. They are currently testing the efficiency of the balloons at various distances out to sea (3-15km), to understand which location would make for more efficient electricity production.

The technology is Australian and a similar project using a ‘serpent’ floating in the water has been used in Portugal. La Réunion is aiming to produce all of its electricity through renewable by 2030 and also all of its transportation by 2050 so is an ideal location for such a project. With further development and financing, the La Réunion project could serve as a model for many other projects like this around the world.

A 23-year-old Breton and a specialist in marine energy, Marion invested a lot personally in the project and had accomplished a lot through her passion for the environment.

A message from me:

Encore eco-chic extraordinaire, Marion tu resteras dans mon coeur et mes mémoires pour toujours. Tes yeux verts me manques! Je n’oublierai jamais toi et je continuerai à soutenir l’environnement pout toi. Grosses bisous à toute ta famille...Bisous sweety xxx

A message from her family:

Une année que notre belle Marionnette a fermé ses yeux sur la plage d’Étang Salé, une année qu’elle nous accompagne au quotidien, chaque minute, au creux du cœur ; une année qu’elle est partie de la Pointe de la Torche, du bout de sa Bretagne, sa région de naissance et de cœur, et qu’elle a déjà suivi un bout de chemin dans son tour monde au gré des courants. Nous aimerions qu’en cette journée, des fleurs que vous aurez cueillies dans la nature, dans votre jardin, l’accompagnent sur son chemin. Jetées dans la mer, l’océan, un fleuve, une rivière, où que vous soyez dans le monde, ce petit geste lui montrera que toute l’énergie qu’elle a passé à tisser des liens de par le monde ne s’est pas perdue. C’est sans doute le plus bel hommage que l’on peut lui rendre.

Pascale Gérard Maëlle Robin

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Ethical Fashion Exclusive: MFA Forum Closure!

OK chicos and chicas, so I am slightly late in letting you know, but the second issue of the Ethical Fashion Forum Magazine is out, for which I wrote two related, and exclusive, pieces:

1. A Brief History of The Multifibre Arrangement and MFA Forum

2. Looking To The Future: Textile Manufacture Trading post-MFA Forum

I would like to thank Kate Ives, who managed the closure of the MFA Forum and Cathy Dix, Global Responsibility Manager for Gap Inc, a key signatory and participant of the Forum, for their invaluable contributions. I feel very privileged to meet and converse with such inspired and motivated people, to gain an insight into the wealth of knowledge that they hold.

If you would like to read the full articles (which, obviously, I strongly recommend), as well as all future issues, I suggest becoming a member of The SOURCE.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Earth Day 2011

Friday 22nd April was one of the many spring 2011 bank holidays, but was also World Earth Day! Find out what you can do here- it is not too late to make a pledge for their Billion Acts Of Green (there are over 102 million pledges thus far).

If you're more into vids, it's cheesy and American, but here's a vid of a fittie Boston hockey player (and apparently also an 'athlete of the earth') doing his bit on the Earth Day Network...

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation

If you ain't yet heard the word of the Ellen Macarthur Foundation, take a peek at the website to find out what she has been up to post-extraordinary-sailing-feats and find out more here (I was lucky enough to sit at the table next to hers at an event recently and am currently reading her autobiography)- cool beans.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Some thoughts on Green Tourism

Currently residing with a group of friends in a Scandanavian-style chalet at Langdale Hotel and Spa, en plein campagne in The Lakes. Did not think it was particularly eco apart from a small section on Sustainability in their Welcome Guide, a tiny sign saying you can recycle glass, cans, plastics and paper in a communal recycling facility by the Main Entrance, as well as the Bare Minerals make-up collection in the Spa (which isn't necessarily as sustainable as it could be) but lo and behold, they won Green Tourism Gold Award! I will be keeping my eyes peeled now to find out how they won this- what the buildings are made of, where the restaurant food is sourced from, where the solar panels are... I am all for positive reinforcement, celebration of achievement and praise but thus far I am struggling to see the achievements... Nonetheless, it is beautiful here and we have been walking, cycling and sailing so at least our activites are fairly eco!