Government approves construction of U.K.’s largest subsidy-free solar project FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享CNBC:The U.K. government on Thursday gave the green light for plans to develop the country’s largest solar park, a sprawling project which will cover a large chunk of land on the north Kent coast. A joint venture between Hive Energy and Wirsol Energy, the £450 million ($555 million) Cleve Hill Solar Park will be located near the towns of Caversham and Whitstable.The subsidy-free 350-megawatt scheme will use 880,000 solar panels and have the capacity to power more than 91,000 homes. The project is also set to include an energy storage facility to send electricity to the grid as and when required.The U.K. government is targeting net zero greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2050 and is aiming to remove coal from Britain’s energy system by the year 2025. It recently announced it would consult on moving this deadline to October 1, 2024.All of these goals will inevitably require the development of more renewable energy projects.Chris Hewett, the chief executive of the Solar Trade Association, said in a statement published Thursday that the government’s decision on the Cleve Hill Solar Park had shown it recognized the “vital contribution” solar can make to Britain’s energy mix. “This is a major milestone on the road towards a U.K. powered by clean, affordable renewables,” Hewett added.[Anmar Frangoul]More: U.K. approves plan to develop the country’s largest solar farm in the south of England
Thanks for your comments. Check out our latest Switchback poll here!
The Adidas Terrex Fast R Gore-Tex ShoeWhen I’m on foot on the trail I prefer a light, low top hiking shoe that performs more like a bomber running shoe than anything else. This is kind of my footwear philosophy in general. I am hesitant to wear anything but sneakers outside of the house, lest something unforeseen happen and I need to break into a sprint at any given moment. This may seem paranoid, but it has saved me on more than one occasion. Flip flops just won’t cut it when you have to escape a summer bonfire blast radius when some joey tosses a full, capped beer bottle in the blaze. Slip on mocs are not going to hold up when you have to chase down the guy who just put six Jaeger Bombs on your bar tab. Trust me, sneakers are the way to go.As an avid outdoors person, I’ve never really understood the giant, bulky hiking boot. Sure, it may give you stability and support, but is it really necessary to have footwear that makes NASA jealous? To have enough ankle support to withstand a Kathy Bates Misery-style sledgehammer attack?Maybe for some people, but not for this guy. I don’t need anything holding me back in the woods, where the ability to flee at high speed can mean the difference between being safe and being eaten by a bear – or at least stung by a bee. Bee stings are the worst.So, I am delighted to report that the Adidas Terrex Fast R Gore-Tex Shoe is a great blend of running shoe swiftness and hiking boot solidness. Obviously, Adidas has a long, storied history as a sports equipment manufacturer and have recently burst onto the outdoor scene with a full line of outdoor footwear and apparel. Their top of the line hiking/trail running shoe is the Terrex Fast R, a fleet yet stable shoe perfect for the trail runner and day hiker alike.First off, the Terrex Fast R is sleek in appearance – heck, the word Fast is right there in the product name – and weigh in at a relatively scant 13.4 ounces. This may not appeal to the barefoot running crowd, but it suits most needs just fine. When you slip your foot into the shoe, you can immediately feel the athleticism you are about to unleash on the trail. The sole is stiffer than a traditional running shoe, made from or designed from something called TRAXION and Continental rubber. Not sure what TRAXION is, but I know it works. The stiffness keeps you rock solid on a rocky trail and the rubber grips rocks and dirt very well. Plus, the tread on these things is super BOSS, so much so that I almost feel bad for the trail when I’m hiking. But more than anything, the Terrex Fast R feels like a shoe you can run in, whether it is on the trail or in the concrete jungle. Adidas packed a lot of technology into the Terrex Fast R, including an odor resistant sock liner and Gore-Tex to keep your feet dry from the inside and out. As you can see from the field test video, this stuff works.Adidas Fast R Review from Summit Publishing on Vimeo.The only drawback I can detect with this shoe is the lacing system. This may be personal preference, but cinch up, drawstring style laces have never done it for me. Great for snowboard boots, lousy for hiking shoes.That being said, this is a solid hiking shoe that can be utilized as a trail runner at any given moment, or bee attack, and should last for a good long while.Adidas.com; $180
What’s the best outdoor school in the Southeast and mid-Atlantic? We’re asking you to decide! The Blue Ridge Outdoors Top Adventure College Tournament puts colleges and universities in head-to-head matchups. The 32 schools were selected for their outdoor clubs and curricula, commitment to the outdoors and environmental initiatives, the quality of their outdoor athletes and programs, and their opportunities for adventure. Each week winners advance to the next round.Will your alma mater take the tournament crown?Vote Now: https://www.blueridgeoutdoors.com/best-adventure-school/
Looking to step up your accommodations from the back of your Toyota truck? Got a new girlfriend who insists on having a shower? For all those who might wear their hair just a little too long, who always travel with at least one dog (call before you book), and who are looking for a bed or a bunk to lay their weary head, here’s a look at our top laid-back lodging picks for your outdoor adventures. We’re not sure what thread count you’ll find, but it beats washing up in the gas station bathroom. Many of these spots are truly first class in both atmosphere and service.North CarolinaSweet Peas Hostel, situated conveniently below the Lexington Avenue Brewery in trendy Asheville, is the ideal destination for all fun hogs in the area. Yes, you heard that correctly, it’s connected to a micro brewery. This is a contemporary hostel with meticulous upkeep and a good vibe. Choose from bunks, pods, or private rooms that put you right in the heart of downtown Asheville, centrally located to much of the best outdoor recreation in the Southeast. The other nearby outdoors mecca of Hot Springs (take out for French Broad, Big Laurel, Spring Creek) has a myriad of offerings from slimy to swanky, as well as a number of solid campground options. To continue your downtown trend, check out the Iron Horse Station, a one-stop shop for eats, coffee, live music, drinks, and lodging. It sits on the Appalachian Trail and the multi-building complex is ripe with history, and now with convenience. While prices are reasonable by any standard, they aren’t exactly dirt-bag style, so you might consider combing your hair and shaking the sand out before you walk in. The Nantahala Outdoor Center’s various and expanding lodging accommodations at any of their rafting centers are really a can’t-go-wrong hook up whether it’s hiking, biking, or paddling you’re after. But it’s the NOC’s original outpost located right on the Nantahala River, spitting distance from the new world-class competition play hole, in a quaint but plentiful setting that is not to be missed. Just west of Bryson City, the lake, river, and mountain recreation is unbeatable by Southern standards, whether it’s family whitewater or Great Smoky Mountains National Park action you seek. The authentic and convenient cabins, inn, hostel/bunk house and campsites offer something for everyone, with a nice little restaurant on-site. GeorgiaNestled along the Appalachain Trail in Dawsonville, Georgia, is the well-known Hike Inn, a welcome respite for those putting in long, sweaty hours on the trail. There are indeed a few lodging options along the trail with similar names, coincidentally, but they aren’t all located a mandatory five-mile hike into the Chattahoochee National Forest. (They have their own parking area at the top of Amicalola Falls.) The Hike Inn prides itself on family style meals and world-class views, as well as their comforts-of-home vibe. The Inn features 20 rustic guest rooms, hot showers, communal areas, and rates include breakfast and dinner. PennsylvaniaFor those keen on running the Youghiogheny (Upper or Lower) or taking advantage of some of the other incredible outdoor recreation that is Pennsylvania, consider a stay at Ohiopyle’s Trillium Lodge. You can book direct or through outfitter Wilderness Voyageurs for all your outdoor adventure needs. Situated on 40 acres and just a stone’s throw from Ohiopyle State Park, the area is renowned for its paddling and biking opportunities. The lodge holds 23 people and can be rented in whole or in part year-round. TennesseeIt’s important to consider some of the family-run and laid-back campgrounds around the Blue Ridge region when out recreating—and the Nolichucky Gorge Campground & Resort near Erwin, Tenn., is no exception. The Nolichucky River Gorge features some of the premier hiking, boating, floating, biking, and fishing in northeastern Tennessee, surrounded by the Cherokee National Forest with the AT and additional whitewater options nearby. VirginiaIn the prime Appalachia territory of Damascus, Virginia, home to the Virginia Creeper Trail, you can go the VRBO route, find cabins online, shack up in inexpensive hotels, camp, or you can stay with Miss Ginny at the Lazy Fox Inn. When you look up “quaint B & B” in the dictionary, I’m pretty sure there’s a picture of the Lazy Fox Inn.Near the town of Luray in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley and located right on the Shenandoah River lie the five Shenandoah River Cabins. Open year-round and featuring fireplaces, hot tubs, decks, docks and views, you’ll find yourself just five minutes from world-class canoeing, biking, spelunking, golf, vineyards and the Skyline Drive through Shenandoah National Park. The River Cabins website can connect you with local outfitters and shuttles, and this dog-friendly property is just 90 minutes west of Washington D.C. West VirginiaFor premium access to the Potomac River Basin and all the fly fishing, paddling, hiking, biking, and other recreation this tri-state area has to offer, book a swanky room at The Angler’s Inn, a B&B in the quaint and sublimely located Harpers Ferry. It sits at the confluence of the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers, and even offers guided fly fishing trips and is affiliated with the nearby Kelly’s White Fly Shoppe for all your angling desires. This is premium access to the D.C.-area whitewater scene, so save up your beer and burrito money for this one. To paddle, climb, hike, and bike the New River Gorge, there’s a simple answer for dirt-lovers of all kinds: the River Rock Retreat Hostel, just a quarter mile from the famed New River Gorge Bridge. There’s no kitchen, but at $22.50 per night, you can afford to eat out, and you couldn’t be any closer to the outdoor goods.
Population: 1,060Public lands: Breaks Interstate Park, Pine Mountain Trail, Cumberland Gap State Historic ParkOutdoor highlights: Russell Fork, Pine Mountain Trail, Cumberland Trail
Portland-based outdoor-fashion brand Nau gives an inside look into the company with its new series, The Materealists. The videos give an inside look at the roots of Nau’s creative process. In the three-part story campaign, they will follow the full Nau process from source to sale.Part one explores Nau’s wool outwear collection through a hyperrealistic lens at clothing pieces that stem from classic men’s workwear designs – one of the biggest trends in outerwear today – developed into rugged products for both genders from farm to city. Nau manages to hold onto the qualities that make these designs so timeless, while still moving into the modern urban age with pieces such as the Wool Patrol Hoody, the Transporter Jacket, and the Trenchent Jacket for men; and the Fader Plaid Jacket, Treble Jacket, and Transporter Jacket for women. Keep an eye out for the rest of the project coming soon!
The problem occurs across the country, not just in industrial areas in major cities. The study also found that fine-particulate pollution from domestic sources caused 102,000 premature U.S. deaths each year from heart attacks, strokes, lung cancer, and other diseases. On average, African-Americans are exposed to 56 percent more fine-particulate matter than is caused by their consumption of goods and services. Hispanics are exposed to a 63 percent excess of exposure. In contrast, whites experience a “pollution advantage,” and are exposed to 17 percent less pollution than is caused by their consumption. A new peer-reviewed study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that white consumers disproportionately cause U.S air pollution but that African-American and Hispanic populations bear most of the burden caused by emissions.
Roanoke Boutique Hotel is a unique bed & breakfast,unlike other B&Bs in its form and function. “When I created the space, Idid not want it to feel like a Victorian B&B,” she explains. With a modern,rustic feel, it lacks the old-world Victorian décor, which typically dominatesthe B&B industry. “My house feels more like a New Orleans cottage than aNew England dollhouse, and that’s the way I like it,” Hailey smiles. RBH specifically targets outdoor enthusiaststo create a community of athletes to share knowledge and stories around thecommunal kitchen. “My vision for RBH was to host outdoorsy people, doingoutdoorsy things, and I’m so excited to see that vision come to life,” saysHailey. Rooms include breakfast served as early as 6 a.m., free parking, WiFi, and Netflix. Weekend rates typically start at $195 in peak season. Go to www.roanokeboutiquehotel.com to book or for more information. Owner/innkeeper Diane Hailey enjoys hosting outdoorenthusiasts of all types and specialties, “I have really enjoyed being part ofthe outdoor scene in Roanoke, and I’m excited to host Ironman and cyclingathletes year round.” “I’ve been an avid functional fitness and obstacle courseathlete for years, so I have some insight into what athletes are looking forwhen they travel,” says Hailey. Nutritious breakfasts, a quiet environment,comfortable beds, and safe equipment storage are always at the top of the listfor travelling athletes. Athletes from flat landscapes often take training“vacations” in the mountains to challenge themselves in elevation or train formountain events. Roanoke is among the top spots to book to get away from largermetropolitan areas and get in mileage around less traffic. Meeting the need forathletes in search of lodging is Roanoke Boutique Hotel (RBH). With itsDowntown location and gear-friendly spirit, more and more athletes are takingrefuge in this historic bed & breakfast, instead of a traditional hotel. Winning the bid for Ironman in 2020, Roanoke is making aname for itself as a sports mecca for the mid-Atlantic. Roanoke Boutique Hoteloffers healthy breakfasts with athletes in mind, respecting the training andnutritional needs of athletes.
The policy also requires the restaurant industry to phase out single-use straws by the end of the year and, by 2025, reduce single-use plastic items by 30%. Additionally, the country has banned the import of all plastic waste, and the use of medical plastic waste in the production of plastic. China has a plan for phasing out single-use plastics Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation is recipient of 2020 Stand Up Initiative Contamination of US drinking water with “forever chemicals” is worse than anyone thought The contamination of drinking water in the United States with manmade “forever chemicals” is worse than scientists feared, the Guardian reports. A report released by an environmental watchdog group found that some of the highest levels of these chemicals in drinking water were in major metropolitan areas like Miami, Philadelphia and New Orleans. The chemicals, called PFAS, are resistant to breaking down, hence the nickname “forever chemicals.” The Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation (BRPF) is one of two recipients of the 2020 Stand Up Initiative, a program launched by Darby Communications in 2016 that provides pro bono PR and marketing services to select environmental nonprofits. Read the story here: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jan/22/us-drinking-water-contamination-forever-chemicals-pfas Read the story here: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jan/19/china-moves-to-phase-out-single-use-plastics PFAS were used in products like Teflon and Scotchguard. The Guardian reports that of tap water samples taken by the Environmental Working Group from 44 sites in 31 states and Washington DC, only Meridian, Mississippi, which relies on deep wells, had no detectable PFAS. Only two cities, Seattle and Tuscaloosa, Alabama, had levels below the recommended limit of 1 part per trillion. China has a huge plastics problem, but the country has a plan to turn that around. The national development and reform commission and the Ministry of Ecology and Environment issued a policy banning many single use plastics as early as the end of 2020. Under the policy, plastic bags would be banned in major cities by the end of the year and in all other cities and towns in 2022. Fresh produce markets will need to phase out plastic bags by 2025. Darby Communications and Status Forward, a partner in the Stand Up Initiative, will team up with the BRPF on their Trails & Views Forever Fund campaign. Recently the nonprofit was awarded an ‘all or nothing’ $300,000 challenge grant. In a press release, the two agencies said they will lend a mix of media outreach, social media, email marketing and collateral support to help the BRPF reach the matching amount by their June 30, 2020 deadline.