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Moving towards a Circular Economy

The European Commission adopted the Communication “Towards a circular economy: a zero waste programme for Europe” and annex to establish a common and coherent EU framework to promote the circular economy.  Turning Europe into a more circular economy means:

  1. boosting recycling and preventing the loss of valuable materials;
  2. creating jobs and economic growth;
  3. showing how new business models, eco-design and industrial symbiosis can move us towards zero-waste;
  4. reducing greenhouse emissions and environmental impacts.

This is an article from http://ec.europa.eu/, to read the full post, click here.

 

We have obtained a large interest in this topic and we also believe in creating products like our RecycleLED luminaire, to support the circular economy.

Another company that strives towards a circular economy is Philips and if you know Swedish, CircularEconomy.se is a very good page to find more information.

 

 



38 ways to save energy

With increasing energy bills and with the environment in mind, we want to share some useful information about how you can save a lot of energy, by changing your behavior when it comes to your use of energy at home. You might not think it’s possible, but we can tell by experience that you will notice a big difference, especially if you find out that you utilize some of the things excessively.

 

Lighting

1. Replace the bulb with LED. If you have not already, now’s the time. A LED lamp of the highest quality holds up to 40,000-50,000 hours, if you count that it’s on 8h/day it means that it has a lifetime of 13 years. The development is progressing and LED formerly often only had a cold light, but now it’s also possible to have a warmer and dimmable light.

2. The right light in the right place. Having the right lighting in the right place is very important. Stronger lighting where you work, and then the more limited general lighting gives the experience of the right light in the right place, without unnecessarily high energy use.

3. Extinguishing when light is not needed. Switch off the lights when you leave a room. There are several different means to ensure that lights are off when not needed. It may include light sensors, motion detectors and timers.

4. For your outdoor lighting, you can install a dusk sensor that turns the light off when daylight is strong enough or a motion detector that turns on the lights when someone comes into the lamp’s vicinity. This means that outdoor lighting is not lit unnecessarily.

5. Leave all the lights to the recycling center. Energy saving light bulbs, fluorescent tubes and compact fluorescent lamps contain mercury, which is a prerequisite for them to be able to function. All lights, including light bulbs, should be recycled. At the municipal waste disposal (recycling center) are special collection containers for the lamps. Some stores also have collection of lamps, making it easy to leave the old bulbs while you buy new. It is important that you follow the instructions and displays available to show you where to put your lights so that they are taken care of properly.

 

Electronics

6. Turn off stand-by mode. All appliances in the home that are not turned off the power switch, consume energy when they are in stand-by mode. How much you can save is very different, but on average it is about 250 kilowatt hours per year for all the devices in your household combined. One tip is to switch them to a power strip so you can easily turn off all at once.

7. You can set your computer to go into sleep mode and the monitor turns off when you have not used it in a while. This is usually found under the power options or similar.

8. New televisions often have power saving modes that can automatically adjust the picture according to the light in the room using a light sensor. Energy consumption can be reduced by about 50 percent if it is dark in the room.

9. Ask for energy consumption when buying a new TV. A LCD or plasma TV does not draw much more than an old fat TV with the corresponding image area, but often cost you wear a little bigger TV when you still want to buy a new one. For example, energy use when switching from 28 inch tubes for 42 inch plasma tripled.

10. Most new televisions today have built-in decoders for terrestrial and cable television. Built-in box for satellite TV is still quite rare. Energy use for a TV does not increase because it has a built-in box, so you save the entire box of energy by having a TV with integrated box. Do you still want to have a separate digital set-top boxes are now available that can be turned off completely without the default settings are lost. A set-top box can draw as much energy as a small television per year.

11. Choose energy labeled. Svanen, Energy Star and the TCO label is an example of energy labels for IT equipment. Mandatory energy labeling of televisions came in 2011.

 

Cooking and Food Storage

12. Set the temperature in both the refrigerator and freezer. In the fridge recommended +5 degrees and -18 degrees in the freezer. Each additional degree cooler increases energy consumption by about 5 percent.

13. When you are buying a new refrigerator or freezer so enlist the help of the energy label. Refrigerators and freezers in energy class A + + are most effective.

14. Use pots and pans with flat bottoms that fit into the plate or zone size.

15. Place lid on the pan, then use only one-third as much energy as compared to if the lid is off.

16. Leave the oven door closed during cooking. Temperatures can drop as much as 25 degrees every time you open the oven door.

17. Grill out more often during the summer. To use the oven in the summer forces you to let the AC indoor work harder, which will increase your energy bill.

18. When buying a new ovenm watch the energy labeling. From 2015 extend the energy label for a further three A-levels where energy class A + + are most effective. Look not only at energy class but also on the energy per spin, a smaller oven typically uses less electricity than a bigger oven.

19. The hood does not draw as much electricity, but the energy required to replace the indoor heated air that the hood pulls out of the house can be more than ten times as large. From year 2015, the hoods energy labeling and marking also shows how efficient grease filtration is, lighting and noise.

20. Kettle and microwave can save energy and time. Use the kettle when you boil water. It saves energy and time. When you want to heat one to two servings of food or just a cup of tea water then the microwave is a good option. Food accounts for a large portion of household energy consumption.

 

Laundry

21. Wash at full load.

22. All new washers must pass laundry Class A, which means that the laundry is clean.

23. Use the washing machine economy program when you have lightly soiled laundry. In this way, the laundry is done faster.

24. Wash at lower temperature if possible. 40 degrees instead of 60 degrees can nearly half the energy. Look at the washing instructions in the clothes.

25. Air-dry the laundry, preferably outdoors, instead of using clothes dryers. A dryer takes two to four times more energy than to dry your laundry over to wash it.

 

Washing

26. The dishwasher is more energy smart than doing it by hand. Avoid rinsing dishes under running hot water before putting it into the machine, often sufficient to scrape the food scraps.

27. If you wash by hand, wash dishes in a bowl rather than under running water.

28. Place the dishwasher in economy mode, to use less water and electricity.

 

Showering

29. A brief shower in five minutes instead of the quarter can reduce energy use for hot water by 500 kilowatt-hours per year.

30. Switch to low-flow shower head and faucet with a power saving function. With efficient faucets in kitchen and bathroom, you can reduce water use by up to 40 percent.

31. Replace gasket when the tap starts to drip.

 

Heating

32. Do you have an electric towel rail in the bathroom which is on all year around, it can draw as much as 600 kilowatt-hours per year.

33. The cost of heat depends partly on where in the country you live and how well insulated the house is.

34. You may be able to lower the temperature one degree. For the home owner does each degree drop about five percent lower cost for heating.

35. With good guidance and control gives you both more even heating and a more comfortable indoor environment, while reducing your costs.

36. When you go away, you can lower the temperature inside to about 15 degrees.

37. Insulate the house better, such as the attic. About 15 percent of the heat is lost otherwise through the roof.

38. Seal drafty windows and exterior doors.

To get more tips, visit the websites, Energimyndigheten (Swedish) and  Progress Energy (English). We’ve used there information to produce these tips. On Ledgiganten you can get information about how much energy you will be able to save when changing your bulbs to LEDs.  Additionally, on the website of Allmännyttan (Swedish) you’ll find a lot of good information!

Can you come up with more tips to save energy, write a comment!


MRW National Recycling Awards 2014

Our luminaire RecycleLED was nominated in the category for “Best Recycled Product” in this years NRAwards. On Thursday July 3, 2014 the leading names in the recycling and waste management industry gathered at the London Hilton on Park Lane. Unfortunately, we didn’t win but we are satisfied with all the innovative projects that were presented.

Thank you NRAwards!

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Recycle week 16-22 of June

This week it’s Recycle Week in the UK!

But we of course think it’s important that we all go over how we recycle, whether you live in Sweden, Spain or USA.  Country Living in UK shares a short, but good list, of some examples you can think of when you recycle:

Recycle
Recycling from home helps conserve resources, saves energy and protects the environment:

Many councils are different, so find out exactly what you can and can’t recycle from your doorstep with this postcode locator.

Keep your recycling bin next to your main bin and work recycling into your routine by combining your weekly supermarket trip with  a stop-off at the recycle point.

Everyday items now have more and more labels and symbols, so here is a handy guide to decoding these – print it off and pin to your fridge.

If you’re still unsure of how to recycle certain items and packaging, visit Recyclenow.

Click here to read the post in full.

 


Interview with Jan Sjöwall

Jan Sjöwall started his carrier in direct-marketing and logistics. In 1988. For 21 years he was in leading positions in the Kinnevik Group.

He founded TV-Shop which became Europe’s largest home shopping company with activities in 16 countries. He also pioneered E-commerce with CDON, which today is a listed company in Sweden and a leading Scandinavian E-commerce group. He was appointed CEO for Metro International in 1998 with one task, to build the most read newspaper title in the world, a goal that was fulfilled a few yeas later.

After the IPO 2000 he continued as Senior VP to expand Metro to Asia, Latin America and Russia and hence made the successful franchise concept that Metro now use.

When quitting Kinnevik 2009 he decided to work with start-ups in sectors where new technology brings new opportunities. LED-lighting is one of them. And he founded the Swedish Aaxsus, that is engaged in the development and marketing of LED products. The company is an importer and developer of LED light sources and its drive electronics.

We have had the opportunity to ask him about the lighting sector and as we thought, he had some interesting views and perspectives to add.

 

How would you say that the lighting sector has developed during your years working in the sector?

Like most tech sectors in its beginning the development is very fast. We early determined that Aaxsus chance as a small player in a global market is to have know-how and early adopt new components as well as constantly challenge the existing designs and try to improve them. As a small manufacturer with short series we can apply the latest technology and bring it to market faster. We located the company to Lund which can be compared as the “Silicon Valley” of Sweden, in order to get easy access to resources in R&D. Most development by the industry so far has been to save energy, and to resemble the light quality we been used to. Making light which looks and behaves like the old bulbs, dimability etc. The next phase will be to use all the new possibilities the LED technology brings.

Is there a greater demand today to continuing progressing the lighting sector, does it develop faster than before?

Still there is a learning curve by consumers and business customers regarding LED. Most consumers still believe that the light is measured in Watts since a 25W old lamp has weaker light than a 60W.

The knowledge about how light affects health and well being is not known as well as the possibilities. It’s quite recently the third receptor in the eye that triggers physiological processes was discovered (2002). Currently cutting edge research is made in this field, which we hope will lead to new insights and new products, which improves peoples life.

We have heard a bit about Smart lighting, can you tell us what it is and how you are working with it?

Smart Lighting is a wide description of lighting systems that deliver more than the usual “opposite to darkness”. It includes practical solutions such as remotely control and preset your home to the possibility that light itself can carry information with terms like “Internet of everything”, collecting “Big Data”, and now also systems to deliver a light which contributes to well being and prevention of medical problems. Aaxsus is one of the founding members of Inside Light which is an organization with the objective to interlink the latest research with companies and users.

Hence we are working very close with Lund University. Currently our MD for instance is engaged in a research project, started on Aaxsus initiative which shall result in a more effective light for schools and offices.

What other tendencies/trends would you like to see within the sector? Is there something that you miss?

I think the government shall take a larger responsibility to educate the market, by for instance by consumer information about LED. They can also help R&D by making innovation tenders for practical applications, instead of just buying old tech “safe” solutions. This will challenge manufacturers of both components, lamps and lighting systems and hence help to create the future market.

Thank you so much Jan, to visit the website of Aaxsus click here.


Green Week Conference 3-5 June 2014

“The 2014 edition of Green Week, the biggest annual conference on European environment policy, will take place from 3 to 5 June at The Egg Conference Centre, Rue Bara, in Brussels.
The theme will be Circular Economy, Resource Efficiency & Waste.

Green Week is open to the public and participation is free of charge. Green Week also has an area for exhibitors and satellite events take place all around Europe.”

Don’t miss out on this opportunity! As we can’t participate in Brussel we will partake in the satellite events that will be hold across Europe.

If we would be able to be in Brussels, we find the Side Event  “Ecodesign as a Tool for Resource Efficiency and Circular Economy”  especially interesting.

To find out more about the Side Events click here.

To see the program for the Satellite Events, click here.

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China takes a step forward

For the first time in 25 years, the Chinese legislature has voted in favor of changes to its environmental policies.
We think its a very good step forward towards a much better climate in China.  Let´s just hope they really go through with it.

To read the article, click here.


Recycling creativity signed by Coca Cola

To engage and encourage people to think different, you need to be innovative and creative. It might sound easier than it is. As human beings we tend to do what’s most comfortable for each and everyone of us, it’s normal. That requires some creativity from the companies that try’s to make a difference. And the sensation then if they succeed, tremendous.

We couldn’t be more exited about the latest innovation from Coca-Cola! Bangladesh and the city Dhaka, has a huge waste problem. To raise awareness about the importance of recycling, Coca-Cola together with the local advertising agency Grey Dhaka, came up with the “Happy Arcade” game. Instead of inserting coins in the machine, the passers put in empty Coca-cola bottles.

Find out how it went in the video below and give it up for Coca-Cola in their job with energy saving and recycling!


Why do we need to recycle?

We are saving a lot of energy if we recycle. This is a fact that Avfall Sverige writes about and answers the question of why. And it doesn’t take a lot of effort from us to choose to recycle. To choose to sort out cardboard, plastic, aluminium, cristal etc. To choose to sort out electronic material, batteries and bulbs.

We have in 10 years, doubled the recycling in Sweden and that’s good. But we can do better and we can work for that other countries follow our good example.

Just take these examples on the benefits of recycling:

  1. It saves 95 percent of energy if you use recycled aluminum than when using new material.
  2. In Sweden we use 300 million tea lights every year. If we would recycle all containers, we would save 1,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.
  3. From 1 ton of cell phones, 1 kg of silver, 300 grams gold and 100 grams of palladium are recycled.

Think of what you can do to contribute, with small efforts you can do a lot!