Author Archives | Jeremy Williams

Building of the week: the flood resilient home

At the end of August the news was full of images of inundated streets, as Houston took the full force of Hurricane Harvey, and India, Bangladesh and Nepal struggled with devastating floods. For a couple of weeks the most read post on the blog was this one from last year: Five ways to make a […]

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Donate your spare paint to the Community Repaint Network

At the weekend I took the family down to the nearby High Town neighbourhood of Luton to help out with some community gardening. A new peace garden was being installed, and the kids helped to paint a fence and make mosaics while I picked up endless bits of broken glass from the soil. People painted […]

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Tasting notes: Chirps Chips

Six Foods – because six legs are better than four – are one of the more high profile start-ups in the insect food world. Their charismatic founders did a roaring trade on Kickstarter, and then appeared on Shark Tank (the US version of Dragon’s Den). They’re a fun and likeable company, and I think that […]

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What role can churches play in the new economy?

There are all sorts of people involved in the movement for a just and sustainable economy – political parties, NGOs, trade unions and pressure groups, and a handful of faith communities and organisations too. To give a few examples among many, I admire the work that the Archbishop of Canterbury has done on credit unions […]

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Transport innovation of the week: open data

Many of the innovations I’ve covered in this year’s series on sustainable transport have been technologies. Others have been policies. This one lies somewhere in between those two things, and it comes from Helsinki in Finland. The city authorities want to raise the number of journeys taken by public transport, thereby reducing traffic and lowering […]

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Building of the week: Fluid Solar’s off-grid office

Off-grid buildings are those that are self-sufficient in energy and don’t need a grid connection. They are almost always private homes, which makes Fluid Solar House in Adelaide a notable example: it’s a unique off-grid office building, a world first for its type. Fluid Solar is a company that specialises in affordable clean energy and […]

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What if you could tape solar panels to your roof?

My co-working space in Luton is in a lovely old industrial building next to the station. It has a roof that ought to be suitable for solar panels, and the owners of the building made some enquiries. Unfortunately it wasn’t strong enough to support the extra weight. Nothing to be done. Here’s a possible solution: […]

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The many absurdities of GDP

Reading Lorenzo Fioramonti’s book The World After GDP recently, I was struck again at how simplistic Gross Domestic Product is. It remains our primary measure of national success because it’s now deeply embedded in our institutions, but it’s blind to what really matters. We urgently need our politicians to consider a wider set of metrics, […]

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Tasting notes: insect falafels

There’s no shortage of snack bars on the market, but more unusual insect foods take a little tracking down. That’s something I’ve learned over the last few weeks. There’s no online store for insect foods, no central hub. Insect ingredients are still hard to source at scale, and most companies aren’t shipping through mainstream retailers […]

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Reducing the embodied emissions of cars

There are two elements to consider when assessing the carbon impact of a car: the CO2 from using it over the course of the vehicle’s lifespan, and the embodied emissions from making it in the first place. For the average family car, 20-25% of total emissions come from production, and the rest from driving it. […]

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