UN warns of Food Wars

UN warns of Food WarsMost of the information we receive about climate change suggests more severe weather patterns across the globe. But, ultimately what does all this mean to humans?

Droughts, flooding, rising sea levels, mini ice ages, bigger deserts, melting glaciers… many people struggle to get their heads around this sort of stuff because it seems a little too “doomsday” to believe. In many ways it is the old “it’ll never happen to me” way of thinking that prevents these scenarios from feeling real. And, whilst we all see the sense in being more environmentally friendly, how many of us understand the true impact of climate change on the human race?

The difficulty with understanding climatology is that the predicted changes are not immediate. These changes occur over decades and centuries (barely two centuries according to latest predictions). So, rather than guessing where the coastline will be in 96 years time or whether we can grow grapes in the Midlands let’s take a fictional country and try to understand what might happen.

The country of “Safee” has a population of 67 million people and enjoys a vibrant fishing industry, 2 harvests a year of cereals, vegetables and fruit and a popular and lucrative wine industry. Over the next 75 years the rise in sea levels spills over into the low lands where 40% of your crops are grown. Your sea defences keep failing due to tropical style storm surges and renders the soil poisoned by salt. A series of droughts has withered the vineyards on the mountain slopes so you no longer make any money from your wine exports (all the related jobs have gone too). Flash flooding keeps washing the remaining good quality top soil into the rivers chocking the fresh water fish. More and more countries are ignoring your fishing territories which is becoming increasingly difficult to police with a navy that you can no longer afford.

Your neighbouring country of “Greedy” is doing very well indeed from climate change. They can grow more crops. Their wines are regarded as some of the best in the world and their navy has no problem chasing off the scavengers. People from “Safee” understandably begin to emigrate to “Greedy”. It starts with the highly skilled professionals who are very much in demand. This results in a shortage of skilled jobs at home and the lost revenue begins to affect your own education facilities which becomes a downward spiral. Then the less skilled workers begin to leave for the country next door. Ethnic tensions in “Greedy” begin to rise. Both governments begin to fall out because “Greedy” add additional duties to the foods your import. Political tensions between the neighbouring countries escalate as crime amongst illegal immigrants rises. Where does all this go?

This is an extremely and purely fictional example but listening to the words of the UN’s Special Representative on Food, Security and Nutrition and you’ll be left feeling like you’ve had a spanking. More incentives for private companies are needed to encourage the right kind of change if we are to maintain stability in the fair distribution of food across the planet. And the reason they are so adamant about this subject probably has something to do with the fact that we haven’t managed to crack this nut properly yet – and this classes as the good time (from a climate change point of view).

So now you have the “big picture” it’s important to ensure that you do your bit for the environment at every single opportunity.

Safestyle have Eco Diamond double glazing which is recommended by the Energy Saving Trust so you know you’re choosing the top rated windows. On the website you can ask for a free quote as well as finding out more information on Safestyle’s corporate environmental policy.

Are our front gardens becoming car parks?

Are our front gardens becoming car parks?There are over twenty million houses in the UK that have a front garden but finding one with a little gnome fishing in a pond next to some well-kept rose bushes is becoming quite a rarity.

A new report estimates that as many as a third of these front gardens have been tarmac’d over or block paved to provide a parking space.

Is this because we just can’t be bothered gardening anymore? Have our tastes changed? Or maybe the difference in car insurance premium is the issue. The question on your insurance form asks if you park your car on the street or on a driveway and the implication is that your car is more likely to get damaged, stolen or broken in to by the public roadside than on your property.

Other reasons proposed point to a desire to get a parking space outside your own house and when you consider just how cluttered your average suburban street has become over the last twenty years it makes sense. You arrive home after a hard day’s work with a boot full of shopping only to discover that you’ll have to park fifty yards away from you front door. Or worse still, in the next street.

Your local council are not under any obligation to provide parking facilities in residential areas which is why you sometimes see people’s curtains twitching with annoyance should you dare to park your outside their house.

An Englishman’s home is his castle and we can get very territorial over the issue of parking even if it’s in a public area outside your house. And because we have no real right to park outside our own houses the solution is obvious, build a driveway, park outside your front door and prevent anyone from blocking the drive. You also get lower insurance premiums as a bonus.

There is however an unpleasant environmental side effect resulting from seven million fewer front gardens in urban areas and that’s the issue of flash flooding. Preventing excess rainwater from soaking into a small front garden effectively turns the area into one giant gutter which dumps millions of tons more water into the draining system. The result is a major flooding problem.

So, will we see a change in legislation that requires additional licensing and fees when attempting to pave over your front garden, or will the government shy away from the topic and put the emphasis on new drainage infrastructure? No one knows but we’ll watch this one very, very closely.

If you are turning your front garden into a carpark why not enhance the new look with a spanking new set of double glazed windows from Safestyle.

The Greenest Games ever!

Safestyle are passionate about limiting their carbon footprintWhat a wonderful event Britain has held over the last few weeks! There have been lots of medals won by some exceptional performances from athletes who have travelled from around the world to compete.

The biggest worry for lots of people when events of this size happen is the impact it will have on both the local environment as well as the global affects. There are millions of people flying, driving and travelling by train to attend the events and this all accounts for added emissions as well as the construction of venues and waste associated with an event of a size such as the Olympics.

One of the driving forces behind getting the games to London was down to the passion and drive behind London’s bid in providing an energy efficient and green games. This included things like venues having a 25% requirement to be made from recycled materials and the drive on people to cycle and walk to the games wherever possible. The Commission found that the Olympic committee reused or recycled over 98 per cent of waste in the demolition phase of building Olympic facilities, and 99 per cent in construction of the Olympic Park.

The result was not only a fantastic games hosted in London, but also the greenest ever according to  the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012. An excellent example to show for any future event hosts!

Safestyle are also passionate about being leaders in recycling and waste management in our industry. Find out about our recycling policy here.

Turning the lights off doesn’t just save energy, it also saves lives

Turning the lights off doesn’t just save energy, it also saves livesWe are always trying to turn off the lights. It helps bulbs last longer and also saves energy. But researchers in the US have developed a car headlight that switches itself off and on, by the millisecond.

This move wasn’t to save energy, even though switching off your headlights reduces drag from your car’s dynamo and therefore saves petrol or diesel (bet you didn’t know that!). The researchers were trying to tackle a problem which has plagued us in the UK during this very wet year. The problem is that of headlight glare.

Anyone caught driving through one of our recent torrential downpours will be well aware of the difficulties caused by oncoming headlight glare. You lose sight of the lanes and it prevents to from concentrating and anticipating things ahead. It also makes your eyes heavily fatigued.

This new system effectively has your headlights dodging the raindrops by playing around with the beams and switching them off very briefly so they don’t hit the rain drop and refract into oncoming traffic.

It sounds like complete and utter nonsense but this is how sophisticated our technology is becoming.

Even your everyday double glazing technology is getting very smart indeed. Especially if you’re clever enough to ask for Safestyle’s Eco Diamond windows which are brilliant at disrupting heat rays so that they stay in the room rather than working their way outside. The Energy Saving Trust was so impressed by the performance of our windows that it chose to recommend them. Not bad eh?!

Consider the fact that all of our premium windows are BOGOF (buy one get one free) and you can see that Safestyle is clearly the smarter choice. Ask for a free online double glazing quote here and see for yourself.

Double Glazing win for one lucky competition entrant

Safestyle Eco Diamond Windows not only look good, but help save energy and money The Safestyle team would like to say a great big congratulations to the winner of our latest competition, Sandeep Guntupalli. The competition was run to celebrate World Environment Day on the 5th of June and Sandeep correctly answered the following question:

Safestyle’s amazing technology ensures maximum heat retention and minimum heat loss – saving you more than enough energy to make how many extra cups of tea a year?

The answer was 34,000 cups which could be found on our Safestyle Eco Diamond Windows page and by correctly answering the question Sandeep won the grand prize and £5000 worth of windows and doors to be fitted to his home.

Sandeep, 24, a stock taker for a stocktaking firm, Orridge, was ecstatic when he found out he had won. He said: “I am thrilled and excited to have won this fantastic prize. The win couldn’t have come at a better time as I’m in the process of renovating my first home with my partner.  We’re having the windows installed next week and I can’t wait until it’s ready for us to move in. I’ve experienced the best service from Safestyle and I’m hugely grateful for the win.”

More than 200 runner-ups missed out on the grand prize but still managed to pick up an energy thermal gun, enabling them to check for any areas of their home where they are losing energy.

To find out more about Safestyle’s super energy efficient windows and how they could save you money on your home energy bills visit the Safestyle website.

National 3 Peaks Charity Challenge

Safestyle 3 Peaks Mission Accomplished!A massive well done to our team from Safestyle Manufacturing for completing the monumental achievement of the National 3 Peaks Challenge!

The charity challenge was undertaken by our brave factory team, so a big well done to Simon Fairbairn, Nick Bacon, Richard Poulton, Mark Scaife, Nick Stokes, Tony Ward, Keith Jones, Andy Worroll, Darren Wade and their designated drivers  and all round helpers, Gemma Caves and Peter Margieson, on completing the Challenge.

Reaching the summit, the sky’s the limit!They scaled the highest peaks in Scotland (Ben Nevis), England (Scafell Pike) and Wales (Snowdon), all in  just 24 hours!

In doing so, the team managed to raise almost £5000 for their chosen charities which were Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice, NSPCC, RSPCA and Cancer Research UK.

Here’s what some of the exhausted team had to say:

“A real shock to the system… with little sleep, hours of travelling and close to 30 miles of relentless walking I was really pleased to complete the challenge within the 24 hours – the sense of achievement and raising almost £5,000 for our charities made the couple of days of aching worthwhile! Thank you for your support and generous donations. Bring on next year’s challenge!” – Nick Bacon

Done the 3 Peaks in 24 hours, tired but with a great sense of achievement!“One of the hardest things I have ever done, had I not started training six weeks prior to it I don’t think I would be able to do it. It was well worth the hard work to help out our four charities.” – Simon Fairbairn

“When I came back I wished I lived in a bungalow as my legs were aching so much I could barely climb the stairs!” – Andy Worroll

The whole team would also like to give a big THANK YOU for everyone who gave generously sponsoring the National 3 Peaks Charity Challenge!

 

Projected wall pictures are the future of home art

At Safestyle Windows we are always looking for new ways to turn double glazing into home entertainment. That’s why our TV commercials are so “in your face”. (By the way, there’s a competition out to create your own Safestyle ad and win a camcorder… have a go here).

But TV ads aside, Disney have created a glass that can project your favourite picture onto the wall. No really, they have and here’s the video to prove it.

Pretty amazing stuff isn’t it. Perhaps this signals the end of the three porcelain ducks on the wall, or Constable’s Hay Wain, or that tennis lady scratching her bum.

The glass works by combining hundreds of tiny curved bits of glass that bend the light like a lens and focus the image on the far wall. It’s a great idea but unfortunately it currently takes three days to make just one which means it will be very expensive.

So don’t hold your breath, image projecting glass won’t be here anytime soon but we always like to let you know what’s occurring in the wacky and weird world of the scientists that work on the glass of the future.

As far as futuristic glass goes you can’t get any more up to date than our Eco Diamond energy efficient windows which trap in the heat so well that they’ve been recommended by the Energy Saving Trust. Ask for a free online quote today.

 

New laser can eavesdrop through a window

Shhhh. Don’t shut the window, someone may hear. It sounds ridiculous that someone can eavesdrop through a closed window but this James Bond spy gadget is very much real.

Your vocal chords vibrate when you pass air over them and that’s how we make speech noise. Those vibrations pass through the air and make our eardrums vibrate which in turn becomes signal that our brains can understand and, hey presto we have language and a conversation.

But those vibrations also permeate all of the air in a room and, strange as it may seem, they make everything else vibrate ever so slightly. That also includes the windows. It’s not that your windows are loose in any way, especially if you’ve got Safestyle’s Eco Diamond Windows which are absolutely rock solid.

For the conspiracy theorists who are convinced that we are being listened to at every moment of every day, you’re never far from a listening device whether it be a hidden “wire”, a bug under your coffee table or an unscrupulous journalist hacking your mobile phone. The idea of someone sat hidden from view and firing a laser at your lounge window still sounds like it belongs in a Hollywood movie but actually it is probably happening somewhere, to someone, right now.

The reality is, this technology doesn’t even class as space age, here’s a website that shows you how to build your own laser listening device (don’t take that as an invitation to go firing lasers at people’s houses… that’d just be rude!… and probably illegal).

Naturally, for the subversives amongst you, Safestyle will offer an “anti-spy” window as soon as we hear there’s one available. In the meantime you can stop peeping toms from seeing your bits and pieces with our creative range of obscure glass (you probably better know it as privacy glass or “frosted” glass).

Obscure glass is available with all of our Eco Diamond double glazing so keep the beady eyes at bay and ask for a free online quote today.

Safestyle Windows talk about the benefits of bear proof windows

When it comes to our double glazing we all like the peace of mind that comes with security locks and toughened safety glass. Just watch an old spooky film and the windows are forever smashing as soon as the wind gets up.

At Safestyle we’ve always got safety in mind, that’s why we’re called “Safe-Style”. Essentially it’s all about keeping the outside where it belongs… outside. Windows have always been good at keeping out the rain. Stronger windows and weather-proof seals also meant we could keep out the wind. Then came the problem of the cold which was addressed by double glazing. Then we replaced the air between the double glazing panes with Argon gas, which keeps the cold out even better. Then our Pilkington K Glass™ incorporated a special layer that bounces the heat back inside to prevent it escaping outside.

But spare a thought for our Canadian cousins. A typical cabin in the woods is not only double glazed (wow it gets nippy out that way in winter!), but Canadian cabin windows have to keep another intruder out… bears!

A typical pane of glass in a log cabin residence is around 18cm thick otherwise a determined bear can (and probably will) claw its way through to get at your yummy smelling din dins.

Luckily for us in the UK we haven’t had the problem of bears for a few hundred years now although, at Safestyle UK, we are eager to help. So, if you’ve any special requests (no matter how unusual), fill in the form for a FREE quote and we’ll call you right back.

Get a FREE quote today for Safestyle Eco Diamond windows.

Glass reflects ghosts as well as heat!

Spooky double glazing reflection caught on camera!

The lady in white, seen through a window is a common paranormal sighting around the world. Often appearing as a grainy or smudged image in a photograph these spooky apparitions make the hairs on our necks tingle. But are they real or are they faked? Opinion is often fiercely divided so we thought we’d investigate the science behind the “ghost in the glass.”

The first explanation seems relatively obvious: someone has tampered with the photo. There are a few ways this can be done. Before digital photography it was possible to “double expose” a photograph in the dark room. By masking off a portion of the photo (perhaps a large corner of the window) you expose your photograph normally and then “add in” a second photo (of a person) afterwards. By under exposing the second image you could create a ghostly (slightly see-through) image of the person in the window. Hey presto, a ghost!

Now that we can take digital photos we really can make the camera lie. “Photoshopping” is a term we often associate with airbrushing pictures of models on magazine covers so they look near perfect. However, you can do a lot more with the Adobe Photoshop software used by designers (available for both Apple Mac and Windows). A skilled graphic designer can easily fake a ghostly figure in a dark and spooky window. If you’re into your graphic design here’s an article that shows you how to make your own ghost.

There is another explanation for a mysterious entity appearing in a window that involves a clever technique created long before photography was invented. It is called Pepper’s Ghost. Thanks to the work of pioneering 16th Century Italian scientist, Giambattista della Porta, a Victorian inventor, John Pepper, created a special effect for theatre productions that made it possible for ghosts to appear on stage during a play, magic or psychic performance. The system involves a hidden room, just off stage, and a carefully angled sheet of glass in which the ghost materialises and then fades away.

Of course, there is a third possible explanation for the ghost in the window… there really was a ghost!

Safestyle Eco Diamond windows may be absolutely magical but the only ethereal stuff they contain is Argon gas… rather than ectoplasm! And while they will reflect heat back into your home to prevent heat loss and help reduce your heating bills, we wouldn’t worry too much about ghosts! So for energy saving windows and doors, who you gonna call?

The latest double glazing news from Safestyle UK