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Feel Good Friday - Sharing positive Earth news...

  • 3 September 2021
  • 34 replies
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Feel Good Friday - Sharing positive Earth news...
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Our new weekly-updated happy place :grinning:

 

It’s sometimes hard to feel positive when thinking about the climate crisis - things are really heating up and it can feel like there’s a lot to be worried about with little chance to celebrate the progress we’re making or focus on the light at the end of the tunnel.

 

So introducing a small little corner of our OVO online community reserved for some feel-good Friday sharing! A place to gee everyone’s spirits and share some good-news motivation.

 

We’ll get the ball rolling and pop back every week, but as always we welcome your valuable contributions - Seen something you’d like to share?  Chip in!

 

Feel free to meander off-topic here and think locally as well as globally.

 

To kick things off I’m going to share the great news that dancing is about to get even better for the soul with a Glasgow nightclub using the body heat of their ravers to power the music - perfectly timed for COP26.

 

Dancing not your thing? - How about checking out the Comedy wildlife photography awards finalists - if anything’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face and remind you why it’s all worth it, it’s a photo of a chuckling seal pup.

 

Happy Friday everyone! :relaxed:


34 replies

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Great to see the roof is developing into quite the safe-haven for little critters, @Transparent - Can’t wait to see the bat bunk-beds (or would they prefer hammocks?) as well! :bat:

 

Some more ‘close to home’ Feel good news from Earthwatch’s Tiny Forest project (which the OVO Foundation helps support). They’ve just wrapped up the 2021 planting season with 17 tiny forests planted around the UK this year, including several Wee Forests in Glasgow just in time for COP26 and this one a stone’s throw from our Bristol HQ:


 

 

 

Not only does each of these forests do some great carbon-capturing (roughly 450 - 600 kgs per year once matured), they also provide a great outdoor classroom and a biodiverse pocket in urban areas - The city equivalent of your Bug-Hotel, @Transparent  :deciduous_tree:

 

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Whilst fixing the oak fascia to my new porch this week, a knot fell out of the end, leaving a hole the size of my finger.

It wouldn’t be easily visible because it’s covered by the lead-flashing above. But it would allow wildlife to enter space above the rafters with potential damage to the waterproof breather-membrane.

My solution was to cap the void between the fascia and the wall-plate, thereby turning it into a slate-roofed bug-hotel :beetle:

I’m still working on accommodation for the bats...

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If OVO are happy to splash out on some fancy work-wear, might I suggest that a couple of Arc-flash proof overalls and hard-hats would be really useful.

We can then get you two access to some of the more interesting parts of the Distribution Grid.

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Those are some fancy jumpers there. I wouldn’t mind having one you know!

 

Hahaha - Great thinking there, @Blastoise186!

 

We may or may not have some community incentives up our (new jumper) sleeves - Watch this space! 

 

Energy sector in crisis - just the one tumbler of wine between the two of them!

 

Happy to say the energy crisis hasn’t hit our cider funds yet (my glass was hidden just out of shot!) :beers:

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Energy sector in crisis - just the one tumbler of wine between the two of them!

 

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Those are some fancy jumpers there. I wouldn’t mind having one you know!

Not so sure about the photo though. It seems a little overexposed to me. I might fire up Samurott in a bit, since I think I can fix that. :stuck_out_tongue:

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bats
solitary (bumble) bees
swallows
moths

owls ?

rats
mice
wasps
wood-boring beetles
fungi

 

 

 

This is fantastic. I love this approach, I’d agree with your Ins and Outs, and I’m keen to see some more pictures soon!

 

Trevor the puppy looks like an absolute star. Best of luck to you and your housemate whilst he settles into to his new home. :)

 

Love the social snap, and agreed, I really enjoyed hearing from Rebecca, and I’m enjoying listening back as we get on with transcribing some of those Q&A!

 

Some good news for fans of live music in Glasgow:

 

 

The SSE Hydro, one of Scotland's top live entertainment venues, has officially been rebranded the OVO Hydro. It is expected to welcome over 1.2 million visitors next year thanks to a record-breaking schedule of shows. ⁠

OVO Energy said that it is committed to supporting the venue in further reducing the environmental impact of its world-class entertainment programme. OVO’s head of sponsorship & partnerships, Colin Banks said: "At OVO, we want to develop purposeful partnerships which reflect our commitment to make zero carbon living a reality - not just in the home, but in the things we love doing too, like going to see our favourite band or comedian." ⁠

 

Source: The Scotsman

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Nice to see your ever-growing Makita family and groovy looking porch, @Transparent.

 

I love that you’re factoring in the habitat potential of the roof as well - are you thinking a little bat front door too? :bat:

 

I had a new addition to my household as well this week - Meet Trevor my housemate’s new little bundle of fluff:

 

If he isn’t good news, I don’t know what is!

 

On a more energy-related topic I was amazed to read about this solar-powered campervan created by some students in the Netherlands with enough juice for a cross-continent trip - Wonder how long before you or I get our hands on one of these, @Jeffus.

 

Just wanted to take this opportunity to say how much I personally enjoyed our latest online event with Rebecca - she certainly managed to boost my positivity and I’m really looking forward to making some of her great answers into forum comments for you all to read. Here’s a little insight to how me and @Tim_OVO celebrated after the event (rocking our new OVO jumpers!):

 

 

 

Have a great weekend everyone! :smiley:

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I’ve been building myself a new oak porch, which has now reached the roofing stage.

 

The observant amongst you will notice that my original Makita combi-drill has now become a breeding colony.

On which note I must now decide how to complete the roof such that it provides a suitable wildlife habitat without threatening the lifetime of the structure. My shortlist currently looks like this:

 

 

bats
solitary (bumble) bees
swallows
moths

owls ?

rats
mice
wasps
wood-boring beetles
fungi

 

 

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Not sure if it’s got quite the same narrative style as @Transparent’s tale there, but I spotted a great re-use potential for wind turbine blades this week.

 

Once they’re finished with the important work of generating clean energy, a Denmark design-agency has re-purposed the blades into some groovy looking bicycle hangers, further encouraging greener living by keeping those important bike saddles dry! :bike: A great example of Reduce Reuse Recycle in action! :recycle:

 

How would our other cycling members feel about having one of these in in their local area? - @Cwriggers, @Jeffus, @hecate, @knight, @david8 

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You’ve clearly never worked in customer service, @Transparent - poor Chris. 

 

However I must say that this had me laughing out loud. Especially the backroom, head round the corner chat.

 

So, Watts and Amps…..  watts the difference? 

 

:cowboy:

 

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Over here we've been discussing how much electricity gets wasted by leaving chargers plugged in and other domestic appliances on standby. It reminded me of the very first flat screen TV we bought.

 

There we were in Currys looking at four shelves of flat screen TVs when the archetypal young, over-eager salesman made us aware of his presence.

Having established that we wanted a screen of around 30-inch and that it was for wall-mounting, he strode between the most expensive models, giving each one a 5-star report on its impressive list of features.

At last I could take no more.

"How many watts to they take on stand-by?" I asked.

He was momentarily struck dumb as he tried to understand the question.

"You don't need to worry about that, Sir," he explained. "These are LCD screens. They don't take anything like the electricity of the old sort of TVs."

"That's great," I replied. "So what do they take on stand-by?"

He was clearly flumoxed and began looking at the feature-card beside each TV in the hope that the answer would magically appear. "It'll be in the manual," he eventually announced triumphantly.

"Wonderful," I responded. "So could you please go and look it up?"

"Which model are you interested in?" he asked.

I pointed out half a dozen of the better-known brands... his face growing more despondent as the list grew.

"I'll just be a moment," he said. "I'll need to find the boxes in the stock-room."

As he left us standing there, it became apparent that the stock-room was the space behind the display stand, through which we could hear every word.

A ladder was being dragged across the floor, followed by the sound of cardboard boxes being moved, opened and thrown to the floor.

"What are you doing, Chris?" another voice chimed in.

"I'm looking for the manuals," Chris replied.

"What do you want to know?"

"Sodding customer wants to know how much they take on stand-by..."

"You mean, when they're not switched on?" said the voice.

"I dunno. I s'pose so. Give us a hand will yer?"

"Who the hell wants to know how much it takes when it's not f*#&g working?

"Well that's what they've asked," said Chris in exasperation.

A face appeared around stock-room door about a dozen paces away to my left, stared at me for a moment and then ducked back inside again.

"Jeez, Chris," said the voice. "He's winding you up mate!"

"So what if 'e isn't?" replied Chris. "What if he's been sent down by Management to see how we're doing?"

The face appeared again momentarily.

"Nah; He's pulling your bells. Got you good'n'proper!"

Chris arrived back, his shirt pulled halfway out from his belt, and his tie sideways. He held out a couple of manuals.

"It's probably here somewhere," he said hopefully.

I took them, quickly flicked to the specification pages and learned that the Sony took over twice as much as the Samsung in standby mode.

"Here it is," I pointed out to him. "The Samsung takes 6 watts."

"Oh!" exclaimed Chris, reading the words standby current in one manual and standby power in the other. "So you want the Sony do you?"

"No," I explained. "I want the Samsung."

Chris was well and truly confused. "You want the one with the higher number then?" he asked.

"No. I want the one with the lower power consumption."

Chris was about to ask why, when he thought the better of it. "I'll get the box," he suggested, and dived back to the stock-room..


I know what you're thinking. I could've asked for the manager.

But then I wouldn't have had the entertainment value of listening to Chris trying to explain to his colleague what was the difference between watts and amps as we left carrying the Samsung.

No, of course it made no sense to either of them - a fact confirmed as the doors closed behind us with the 'voice' exclaiming "It's not switched on, Chris, you f*#&g idiot!"

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Some citrus blossom doesn’t emit any fragrance during the night. :thinking:

I have absolutely no idea how plant chemistry works to achieve this phenomenon… and nor does the internet apparently.

 

Extraordinary. Nature generally is. 

 

And some good news for the natural world was reposted by OVO Newswire this week:

 

Nine philanthropic organisations have collectively pledged to provide $5bn for projects that advance progress towards a goal of protecting 30 percent of land and ocean by 2030, in a donation that has been touted as the largest-ever private funding commitment for biodiversity 🌎

Together forming the ‘Protecting Our Planet Challenge', the Bezos Earth Fund, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Rob and Melani Walton Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Nia Tero, and Arcadia, Re:Wild, Wyss Foundation and Rainforest Trust have collectively pledged to provide billions of dollars of investment over the next 10 years towards the goal, by strengthening and expanding protected areas and supporting Indigenous stewardship of traditional territories.⁠
-⁠
Full story at ovonewswire.com⁠

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I found out something new this week about plants conserving energy:

Some citrus blossom doesn’t emit any fragrance during the night. :thinking:

Citrus × limon 'Eureka'; variety Lunario

I have absolutely no idea how plant chemistry works to achieve this phenomenon… and nor does the internet apparently.

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Well, I do have some pretty good news actually. It’s a little late because I erm… Wanted to… Umm. “Test” the feature out first… But it’s now possible to login to the OVO Forum using either your email address or your username (and obviously, you’ll need your password too)!

It’s been in testing for a while within inSided and it’s just recently started to roll out across the platform. So, if you can’t remember your username, don’t panic! Simply use your email address in place of it when logging in and the forum will find your account that way instead. Just make sure not to use your email address as your username when you sign up! :rofl::joy::stuck_out_tongue:

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And what’s the protein content like?

 

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Crabapple jelly for me, a local villager had some many, that whole buckets would appear outside their front door daily with a ‘help yourself’ sign. Crabapples the size of golf balls!

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Never mind removing the bits of hedgerow, boil it up, strain overnight and it all adds to the flavour :slight_smile:

 

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Yay - Jam time is my favourite time of year!  :strawberry::cherries::tangerine:

 

Sure my mum’s epic output is pretty unbeatable though (I’m usually just about finishing off the jars from last year when the berries start appearing again)

 

Reminded of this lovely Jam initiative happening locally in Bristol - Jam Plan converts what would be wasted fruits into jams which are then donated or sold with any profits supporting local charities - fancy volunteering any time or jam-making expertise, @Transparent ? 

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Ah yes… it’s that time of year again:

 

I’m now picking blackberries from the north side of the hedgerows. There’s less bird predation than the south-facing side. Consequently the fruit is more full of flavour because of the higher protein content.

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It’s not Friday, but I wasn’t able to get online last Friday so let me off please. 

 

I was out on the Brecon Beacons, hiking and camping. I was carrying everything with me, so that meant food had to be carefully chosen for high calorific content vs weight. It was a heavy bag, no room for cooking equipment. 

 

Fortunately, it’s the season for all sorts of berries. I feasted on blackberries every morning and evening, giving me a boost of energy and vitamins to fuel my exertions. 

 

Look at these:

 

 

What a wonderful way for nature to reward the carriers of its seeds. These thorny plants might be mistaken for being a bit nasty and malicious. Well think again, these are delicious and nutritious. Thank you nature for being so wonderful! 

 

@Transparent is known for making huge batches of jam every Autumn. What have you got on the go at the moment? 

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A piece of poetry there from @Transparent!

 

In keeping with the animal theme I’m going to share the life-story of Rodrigo Medellin - ‘The Bat-man of Mexico’ whose childhood interest in bats has inspired his amazing dedication to protecting these wonderful creatures and educating others about the vital role they play in our eco-system.

 

My ecologist friend would approve - He loves sharing stories of saving bats roosting in attics and potential development sites.

 

Anyone else had any inspiring run-ins with nature recently? @SianiAnni , @Jeffus , @Mw2870 ? :bat::ant::duck::deer:

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Working from home can be lonely, but it's a good time to take a look around and put life into perspective. Expert advice varies, but here's a round-up of some of the best:

 

If it's fine weather, get outside and breathe fresh air into your home-office, they said.

Listen to the sounds of nature all around you, they said.

Raise your head, look around and see what wonders of nature there are to behold.

Better understand what real life is all about, they said.

So I raised my head, looked about me and behold…

 

 

Real life is just a load of bullocks.

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I know it’s not Friday but I missed my chance last week, and I want to share some interesting news I heard yesterday:

 

Siemens Gamesa pioneers wind circularity: launch of world’s first recyclable wind turbine blade for commercial use offshore - article here

 

Here’s what OVO Newswire Instagram have to say:

 

 

Siemens Gamesa says it has developed the first offshore wind turbine blades that can be fully recycled, potentially saving hundreds of thousands of the bulky objects from landfill and resolving an issue long highlighted by the industry’s critics

Siemens Gamesa estimates that the recyclable blades, if taken up by offshore wind developers, could save as many as 200,000 from ending up in landfill sites as large volumes of wind capacity are expected to be deployed globally to cut emissions by 2050.⁠

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LOL! I knew that joke was coming...

Don’t play those games with me though mate. Not unless you want me to send you to the end of time...

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