Friday 16 January 2009

Carbon Offset.

With the bitterly cold weather this Christmas you might be thinking 'global warming, what global warming?', but with plans for a 3rd runway and 6th Terminal at Heathrow carbon is still at the forefront of many people’s minds.
So should we feel guilty about jetting off around the world? Is there anything that really does 'offset' your carbon emissions and decrease your 'footprint'?

Here at Quest we offset all our staff flights and encourage all our volunteers to do the same. £20 for each long haul return flight goes straight to one of our partners:

Excellent Development- have a Tree Duty scheme which involves planting rare and endangered species in rural Africa which both boosts the local biodiversity and mitigates the effects of climate change. Excellent are half way to their target of 1,000,000 trees planted by 2010. If you would like to donate please visit their site.

Rainforest Concern- support and protect venerable corridors of rainforest in South America. You can log onto their site now to donate.

If you would like to calculate your carbon emissions go to the governments website. Thanks to not owning a car my Carbon footprint is 2.13tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.

Carbon Footprint Calculator

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Thursday 15 January 2009

Drunk on the job

Here in the UK it would be out of the question to turn up to work drunk. Not only would it affect the quality of your work but the health and safety issues would be a nightmare! In fact if you were operating heavy machinery or driving it would be illegal!

This view is not shared by Peru's top court which has ruled that workers cannot be fired for being drunk. The Government has criticised the ruling as it could set a dangerous precedent. Let's hope that people stick to soft drinks such as the local Inca Cola (more popular than Coca Cola in Peru).

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Tuesday 13 January 2009

Choose your gap year souvenirs carefully

The British government has started a campaign to help make travellers aware of what they can and cannot bring back to the UK. Not so much focussed on illegal trafficking or smuggling, it's more looking at preventing unwanted pests or diseases from bringing in food or other organic products.

After the past few years, where foot and mouth, bird flu and even plagues of termites have managed to make it's way onto our shores, we are keen to support this campaign and encourage you to check out their website, below:

Know what food you can and can’t bring in

It’s illegal for travellers to bring many foods into the UK from countries outside the EU. These include all meat and meat products, milk and dairy products and potatoes. This is because they could carry pests and diseases such as Foot and Mouth Disease which could have a devastating effect on our environment.

Don’t let an outbreak in

To find out more, visit
Or call 08459 33 55 77 from within
Or +44 20 7238 6951 from outside the UK

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Kenya Waterelief Video

Check out Excellent Developments video on-line now and learn more about Sandams and how they are changing the lives for many people in rural Kenya.

With another year of poor rains in Kenya there is real risk of starvation. Sandams act as reservoirs and can be used to irrigate the land, so this project has never been more crucial.

I want to volunteer this summer and build Sandams!
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Africa loves Bush??!!

While 80% of Americans disapprove of Bush in opinion polls, similar polls in Africa show that the same percentage approved of him while in office.  When he visited Tanzania last February President Jakaya Kikwete praised Bush commenting that he had been "good friends to our country, and Africa."

So why do many African's like President Bush?  Since Bush has been in power African Aid quadrupled from $1.3bn to $5bn.  In addition billions of dollars were spent by the US to reward good governance programmes to help combat HIV/Aids and malaria.

The love for US Presidents is sure to continue.  Obama's father is Kenyan (from the Nyang’oma Kogelo, Nyanza Province) and as a result has given the people hope and inspiration.  The whole country followed the election very closely.  His face was everywhere from peoples cars to t-shirts.  Songs were sung about him and there was even a musical performed in Nairobi!

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Sunday 11 January 2009

Paris - Dakar Rally, in Argentina???

Have they just got really lost???

Not quite. After the disappointment of having to cancel the 2008 rally due to terrorism threats, the organisers did not want to be defeated by adversity again this year, and decided to move one of the most famous rallys in the world across the water to South America.

Starting in Buenos Aires, crossing the Andes into Chile and then coming back into Argentina via the Atacama desert, 584 teams of bikes, cars and trucks began last week and are braving heat, cold, ice and sand across 10,000km of terrain to see who will pass the ultimate endurance test. Only around half will finish, and the winners will be crowned next Sunday the 18th January.

The adventure began back in 1977, when Thierry Sabine got lost on his motorbike in the Libyan desert during the Abidjan-Nice Rally. Saved from the sands in extremis, he returned to France still in thrall to this landscape and promising himself he would share his fascination with as many people as possible. He proceeded to come up with a route starting in Europe, continuing to Algiers and crossing Agadez before eventually finishing at Dakar. The founder coined a motto for his inspiration: “A challenge for those who go. A dream for those who stay behind.” Courtesy of his great conviction and that modicum of madness peculiar to all great ideas, the plan quickly became a reality. Since then, the Paris-Dakar, a unique event sparked by the spirit of adventure, open to all riders and carrying a message of friendship between all men, has never failed to challenge, surprise and excite. Over the course of almost thirty years, it has generated innumerable sporting and human stories.

If you happen to be out there at the moment, enjoy, and be careful crossing the road...

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