Our Top Three Sustainability News Stories for October 31st

No spooky news here

It’s Halloween tonight and the spooky scary shenanigans will be going on late into the night.

Like Halloween, sustainability news can often be a bit scary, but at Play It Green, we always focus on the positives to show everyone the good in the world.

Showing people what can be done helps to encourage and creates a positive ‘can-do’ mindset.

Through empowerment and self-belief, we can achieve anything and with that in mind, here are three great news stories demonstrating positive action and change.

3 step solution - Reduce Repair Regive

Zara launches ‘pre-owned’ platform

On November 3, Zara will introduce a new “Zara Pre-Owned” repair, resale, and donation programme in its UK stores, online, and through its app.

Customers will be able to request repairs on any used Zara item from any season through the repair service available on the Pre-Owned platform.

A comprehensive range of repair choices, from replacing buttons and zippers to patching seams, will be included in the services provided.

The repair process can be carried out by customers either online or at a Zara store of their choice.

As well as a repair service, people will be able to sell their preloved Zara clothes on the platform.

Customers will be able to buy or sell any Zara item from any collection through this customer-to-customer approach, with Zara providing the technology and customer support.

The resale platform will be arranged according to product categories, and each item will include full information, updated photographs provided by the seller, and the original product details provided by Zara.

Zara launches new platform in store, web and app

Customers will also be able to request that used clothing be picked up from their homes for donation through the platform.

These donations are given to the red cross to help support the development of projects in local communities.

As a fast fashion retailer, this is a monumental step in the right direction, recognising the importance of circularity and providing alternatives to landfill for end-of-life garments.

Let’s hope other fashion retailers recognise this and follow suit.

Solar windows are no longer science fiction

In a recent breakthrough, transparent solar panels that break all previous records could make way for windows that produce electricity.

The new efficiency record was set for dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs), by researchers, creating new market opportunities for transparent solar panels.

Solar Windows and Green Walls are no longer Science Fiction

The discovery was produced by researchers from École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland using specially created photosensitizer dye molecules that, when combined, can absorb light from the whole visible light spectrum.

According to the researchers, DSCs’ transparent qualities make them suitable for use in screens of portable electronic devices as well as in windows, greenhouses, and glass facades.

Additionally, the solar screens are flexible, relatively affordable, and may be produced using standard roll-printing methods.

This means that they can theoretically compete with fossil fuel electricity generation because of the price/performance ratio.

When asked about this new technology, the lead scientist said:

“Our findings pave the way for facile access to high-performance DSCs and offer promising prospects for applications as power supply and battery replacement for low-power electronic devices that use ambient light as their energy source”.

The study was published on the 26th of October and can be seen on Nature.Com.

Being able to power our entire infrastructure and technology using the infinite clean supply from the sun has just taken another step forward and for this, we should all have hope.

'Greener' petrol changes to be introduced this week

This week will see the ongoing rollout of E10 unleaded fuel, which will bring about significant changes to petrol stations.

E10 petrol will be made available on all Northern Ireland forecourts starting on Tuesday, November 1, bringing the region into line with Great Britain.

When E10 fuel is introduced, it will replace E5 as the normal unleaded fuel, making E10 the new standard grade of petrol.

The petrol is greener than current fuel and contains up to 10% renewable ethanol, which will assist Northern Ireland in reducing carbon in transportation.

Its deployment across the UK should help reduce transportation-related CO2 emissions by as much as 750,000 tonnes annually.

The secretary of state for Northern Ireland, Shailesh Vara said E10 would help drivers reduce their impact:

“The Government is committed to supporting the growth of green energy across the UK and the introduction of E10 petrol will help reduce emissions of carbon dioxide on Northern Ireland roads.

Petrol isn't great, but a reduced impact is better than nothing

“The decarbonisation of transport methods has an important part to play in achieving the UK’s net zero goals as well as creating opportunities for growth in our economy.”

Whilst we transition to a sustainable future using renewable energy for transportation, we are currently still reliant on fossil fuels and this small step will help those driving petrol cars reduce their footprint and is definitely a reason to be cheerful.

That’s the news we loved for this week – hopefully it gave you a feeling of positivity!

These are just the proverbial tip of the iceberg and wherever you look, positive changes, innovation and consciousness awakening is happening all around.

Being part of the change makes us all feel better – doing good feels good.

Just one step...

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