are constantly warnings that climate change threatens London with flooding.
residents seem to be reluctant to take action to reduce the production of greenhouse
Every year millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide, the main cause
of global warming, are poured into the atmosphere.
So what should we be
doing to become environmentally friendly?
And how green is your family?
Murray family's green excursion
Walking or cycling to work instead of driving helps to reduce air pollution
and traffic congestion as well as your risk of heart disease and stress.
10% increase in the number of people cycling regularly would lead to a 4% reduction
in the number of people with heart disease, saving the NHS £200 million
If you cycle around London, why not consider joining the London
Cycling Campaign which offers members various benefits such as free third
party insurance, bike-shop discounts and free cycle maps of London.
to use public transport if walking or cycling is impractical.
Transport for London Travel Information line to find out the current status of
... or speak with a travel advisor to get advice on how best to
reach to your destination on London public transport.
Call 0207 222 1234
If you travel long distances
and do need to use a car think about car sharing.
Murray family from north London have agreed to go green for three months.
Martin, mum Stella, 16-year-old Tom and eight-year-old Joseph all have to play
We follow their story in his three part diary.
Samantha Heath is Head of the London Sustainability Exchange
- an organisation set up to help people like the Murrays change their carbon creating
This week Sam challenges the Murrays to cut the use of their carbon
hungry cars by a third.
Between them, they clock up more than 25,000 miles
a year - the equivalent of driving once round the equator.
a Brompton bike and investigates bio-fuel and Stella and Joseph take the tube
to school. Sam also encourages them to try eco-friendly clothing on for size.
diary Part two: Getting around
couldn't really believe it when I found out we clocked up about 25,000 miles a
year with our two cars, so cutting our mileage down will have to be dramatic.
|Stella, Joseph and Martin Murray face-up to green transport|
"Stella left extra early with Joseph to catch the tube, I don't
think he was so keen but I'm sure he will enjoy it."
"It seems Joseph and Stella were fine taking
the tube. She said it was a lot easier than she thought it would be. Joseph even
seemed to enjoy going on the tube and they are going to try to do it more often.
"Sam suggested I try bicycling at work. I think it will be difficult
though. At work, I have to visit clients in their homes and so really my car is
like a portable office, it has everything in it.
|Martin Murray tries a folding Brompton Bike|
still keen to try to make as many trips as possible on a bike and the local authority
employers say they will provide me with one.
"I was given a Brompton
Bike which folded out of the boot of a car. I used to be a keen cyclist in my
younger days, however after my first ride I couldn't remember how to signal or
anything. However, I am sure I will get the hang of it.
"I thought using bio-diesel, produced from recycled chip fat, might be
a good alternative to normal diesel for when I have to use my car.
bio-diesel I chose neutralises carbon emissions by 20% . However, it was not as
easy as it seemed.
"There are few garages in London offering this
green fuel - it was about the same price of ordinary diesel but I had to search
the Internet to find it."
|Martin, Joseph and Stella Murray try on eco-friendly
I checked my warranty and if I poured the chip fat into my car then my warranty
would no longer apply.
"Instead I found out I can cut my carbon emissions
by filling up at Tesco as their garages mix their diesel with 5% biofuel."
"Sam says we
should try eco-friendly, organic clothing instead of normally manufactured clothing
as a lot of mass produced clothing is made in sweatshops with damaging chemicals.
"These are harmful to the environment because of how they are made
and how they were dyed. I could not believe they contribute 2 to 5 kg of carbon
"Sam showed us some clothes that were actually quite nice,
Joseph liked his t-shirts, I quite liked my shirt and Stella really liked the
|Samantha demonstrates a bag made from recycled seatbelts|
"I thought the seatbelt
cushions were great. However I don't think Tom would be too interested in eco-friendly
clothing as he wouldn't think it very cool, and a bit hippy. But Sam's suggestions
of recycled Nike clothing may be a good idea."
'It seems we have done
exceedingly well! We have cut our carbon emissions by more than we expected to
and I think Sam was happy with our results.
"We had a 75% reduction
in our carbon emissions so I think using the Tube and the bike a bit more made
a lot of difference."
Follow the progress of the Murray
family in their bid to become greener over the next two weeks on BBC Inside Out
London TV and our website.
Part one of the Murray family's green excursion
If you want further
information on any of the activities in the programme, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Drinking to Olympic Glory
"You have this dream and you are not going to give up until you have reached
"My dream is to win Olympic gold at Beijing 2008."
Fenn has been out of competition for nearly two years due to injury and is now
investigating new ways to boost her performance with nutrition.
coach, Ayo Falola says the competition is already fierce:
are about five under 1.57, there are seven girls this year under 2.0 in Britain."
|"If you have a inappropriate diet you will
not get the same effect from your training session. So nutrition cannot be under-estimated"|
|Professor Asker Jeukendrup|
to shave seconds of her time just to qualify for her race and Professor Asker
Jeukendrup from the University of Birmingham thinks nutrition is a key constituent
"If you don't have the appropriate diet, then
you won't get the ultimate benefits from your training," said Jeukendrup.
Fenn has turned to meat now but was a vegetarian for many
years and thinks this lack of iron in her diet was holding her back.
"I do feel better, I can string 2 or 3 hard training sessions back to
back. Whereas before I struggled," said Fenn.
|"Some green leaf vegetables contain much
iron, but absorption of iron from vegetables is poor. The absorption of iron from
meat is much better."|
|Professor Asker Jeukendrup|
Six months ago Jo's team contacted Jeukendrup and now world leading
sports scientists are working on a drink that may be her answer.
"We have been working on a drink that improves the peripheral capacity
of the blood, when you run your body produces lactic acid, and that acid accumulates
in the muscle and will eventually cause you to fatigue.
"So if you
can buffer those acids in the muscle or in the blood, then you can delay the onset
of that fatigue and your performance will improve," said Jeukendrup.
the taste is not great, "a taste between mangoes and tuna fish," said
Professor Juekendrup's work may also benefit England's 2012 Olympians.
taste will not deter her:
"I'm 31 now, I don't think I'll
be there in London 2012, this is like my chance, and I just have to get it right,"
more on this BBC Inside Out story
Links relating to this
of Birmingham School of Sport and Exercise Sciences
2008 Olympic Games
|Reporter Nick Lawrence goes undercover|
IT training is big
Words like "multi skilling" and "upskilling"
are part of every day language, so it's no surprise IT course providers are raking
in millions from hopefuls looking to get ahead.
Schools Ltd trade as Skillstrain and Scheidegger.
They claim to be Europe's
number one for computer training, having been in business since 1947.
their most recent accounts show a turnover in excess of £18 million.
Impressive numbers, but not so impressive are the numerous complaints received
by the BBC about the Skillstrain "course advisors" responsible for student
Posing as a would-be web designer Inside Out reporter Nick Lawrence
A couple of days later "course advisor"
Dave turned up.
Dave not only promised a job in web design at the end of
the course, he also told Nick the course certification he was selling for £2,500
was required by a lot of companies.
He also claimed Skillstrain worked
in association with Manpower and they were advised by Elan IT on the content of
told us whilst there used to be a relationship between the two organisations.
far as they were concerned, their association was at an end and they had been
in contact with SKillstrain over the past 18 months requesting them to stop using
the Manpower name.
Elan IT told us they have never advised Skillstrain
on the content of their courses, and the certification Nick was being offered
was certainly not a requirement in the UK and was, in fact, largely unheard of.
handed over footage of his meeting with "Dave" to Colin Steed, Chief
Executive of the Institute of IT Training who give accreditation to SKillstrain.
Colin told us the "course advisor's" behaviour was unacceptable
and has said that he would investigate.
Skillstrain told us they were not
at fault because they had contracted out their student enrolment to a company
called Multimedia Computer Training, and also said:
1947 (59 years) Scheidegger has trained, under its various brands, over 5 million
people in 12 European countries.
"We invite feedback from students
and take any complaints we receive very seriously
"It is not
our policy to guarantee jobs at the end of our courses... If it turns out Multimedia
Computer Training Ltd and or its advisor have broken this policy, we will take
this very seriously and take further action against them... As far as we are concerned,
we have a current agreement with Manpower."
Computer Training Ltd say that they don't believe such false representations were
made - if they were, then disciplinary procedures will be taken against the salesperson.