Palm Oil

Analysis paralysis in the palm oil industry. Palm oil is grown in the Tropics on land cleared from the rainforests. It is contained in 50% of all products consumed in the industrialised world, including everything from soap to jet fuel. Most efforts to contain the expansion of the industry and save rainforests have failed. The…

Some of the Better Headlines

Negative news headlines have dominated over the last few weeks and the usual doses of “stubborn optimism” and “reasons to be cheerful” didn’t exactly hit the spot last week, so here’s an EcoCounts version:

Pot Plants for Insects

Honeybees, mining bees, bumblebees, hoverflies, butterflies and moths all need our help. Grow these pollen and nectar-rich herbs: Try these flowering pot plants: but forget about verbena, pelargoniums and fuchsias as far as the insects are concerned.

Organic and Cheap?

Organic food is produced without agrochemicals but generally costs more. Perversely, some marketing for organic food leads us to believe it’s only for the wealthy, presumably because the marketing is based on its high cost or because they believe it must taste better, and usually it doesn’t. It’s just better for nature, the farms and…

Good Coffee

80% of coffee is grown by smallholder farmers, a population of 125 million spreading from Brazil to Vietnam. The farmers are sadly but typically the ones to see the least profit from their coffee – “large holder” farmers often stop producing when the coffee price on the international commodity markets drops too low, and smallholders…

Peat-free Compost

By the end of 2024, peat-based compost won’t be sold to the public in the UK anymore, thanks to new regulations. While this is brilliant for peat bogs and reduces all the associated CO2 emissions that the peat harvesting used to cause, it means everyone is trying out new brands of peat-free compost. Succeeding or…

Chocolate

Recently chocolate has been getting a lot of bad press because climate analysts have started to flag up the enormous and damaging land use changes that cocoa agriculture causes. 70% of the CO2 in chocolate comes from the cocoa. The rest would be from the milk, transport, factories and so on. Before you feel bad…

Heat Pump Resources

This is one for people who are seriously considering getting a heat pump. Because of the amount of misinformation out there and the newness of the industry, you’ll need the best advice. Here’s where to find some: Heat Pump Federation advice for homeowners Retrofit Works – protecting the environment & your investment Heat Geek offer…