In a week where the hottest global average temperature record was broken almost daily as California, the Mediterranean and parts of China swelter in record-breaking heatwaves that look set to continue, finding positive news stories can be something of a challenge. Whether it’s in a national news programme or all over Twitter, it seems almost inescapable and can lead to eco-anxiety and the feeling that there’s nothing we can do. But worry not, there are still some positive stories out there!

Carbon-Negative Beer!

In 2021, the UK public spent £3.4billion on beer with 24million barrels consumed across the country and I know I consumed more than a few of those! But thinking about the carbon footprint of those drinks is something i’ve rarely, if ever, done.

A pint of locally produced ale or lager has an average carbon footprint of around 350gCO2e, but can be slightly more if it’s brewed internationally with the emissions that come from travel from brewery to home. Depending on the processes and the source of the energy that is used to brew beer that figure could be less. Now, however, there is now a new beer that claims to be carbon negative!

And they aren’t doing this by offsetting emissions in the same way many big businesses claim to be carbon neutral! To do this, the brewery employs sustainable practices all the way through the process of brewing the beer, from growing the barley to only selling the beer on tap. The barley is grown using wild farming methods that are considered to be regenerative and combined with recaptured hops that have already been used to brew a previous batch of beer. This along with Gipsy Hill’s beers only being available on-tap keeps waste at a minimum!

Have you tried any of the Gipsy Hill beers yet?

New EV Charging Services!

One of the biggest hurdles in the transition from petrol- to electric-powered vehicles is building the infrastructure to be able to park on the road. For someone who travels the country from time-to-time in a plug-in hybrid, I know full well what a challenge it can be to find a working electric charging point on the road.

Service stations are slowly getting there, but not quick enough at all. The UK government is targeting a tenfold increase in publicly-available electric vehicle charging points with motorway services seen as vitally important in achieving that. A brand new facility based on the A34 near Winchester is due to be built with everything a services would normally come with, but lots of much-needed electric vehicle charging points!

Higher Parking Fees for SUVs!

This good news story is more of a personal one for me but its something I see as great news. For a long time now I have struggled to understand why people living in cities would own and drive huge 4x4s or SUVs that are almost completely unsuitable for smaller inner city roads. Particularly in older cities where the roads are smaller and were never designed with these large vehicles in mind, they are just so unsuitable and unnecessary!

Paris has decided to do something about it. With the ownership of these large vehicles increasing by 60% in the last four years in the French capital, the city council have decided to discourage drivers from buying and driving these vehicles by increasing parking charges for 2024 for bigger vehicles. There is no specification just yet for what vehicles may be affected by the increase, but hopefully it will have an impact on the number of oversized vehicles in city centres!

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