May 17, 2020

Mango Energy Greenwashing Desktop Wind Turbines

3 min
Greenwashing desktop wind turbines
Greenwashing is the attempt of a company to sell their products and/or services as “green” or “sustainable” when they truly are...
Greenwashing is the attempt of a company to sell their products and/or services as “green” or “sustainable” when they truly are not. In the past few years, as the green movement has made its way to the forefront of consumer decision-making, companies have found clever ways to sell their products off as “green” without having actually changed their products at all, or making minor changes that aren’t as green as their marketing campaigns lead on.

One good example of this is Mango Energy’s desktop wind turbines. These mini desktop toys serve no actual purpose, and are being hailed by the company as a tribute to alternative energy. They feature small solar panels that turn the desktop wind turbine’s blades.

So let’s break this product down shall we? First of all, you have the choice of either a metal or plastic desktop wind turbine, which means that either oil had to be pumped to make the plastic, or mining operations were conducted to recover the metal. Both of these options aren’t in the least bit green and sustainable (not to say they do not serve their vital pruposes). Then you have the components making up the miniature solar panel on the mini turbine… again, fossil fuel-derived and mined materials. Plus, it seems counterproductive to need to generate energy to turn a wind turbine’s blades.

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Of course, the desktop wind turbines could be made of 100 percent recycled materials, but unfortunately they are not. In fact, as Mango Energy boasts thousands of these desktop wind turbines having been sold, the sad reality is that the majority of them are produced… where else? In China. It seems like that’s where most useless plastic junk being pawned off to consumers is coming from these days.

The bottom line is this: While oil and mining operations certainly do serve a vital purpose in our world, I’d like to think that at this day-in-age the precious resources that are carefully extracted from the ground—with devastating consequences at times—would be utilized for far better purposes than a greenwashed product like a Chinese-made plastic wind turbine that is somehow supposed to pay tribute to renewable energy. Don’t be fooled people, especially you renewable energy executives out there who may want one for your desk! How do we solve the world’s energy problem? We could start by using our resources a little more wisely, and not try to trick the general public just to turn a profit.

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May 18, 2021

Toyota unveils electric van and Volvo opens fuel cell lab

Dominic Ellis
2 min
Toyota's Proace Electric medium-duty panel van is being launched across Europe as Volvo opens its first fuel cell test lab

Toyota is launching its first zero emission battery electric vehicle, the Proace Electric medium-duty panel van, across Europe.

The model, which offers a choice of 50 or 75kWh lithium-ion batteries with range of up to 205 miles, is being rolled out in the UK, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Sweden.

At present, alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs, including battery electric vehicles) account for only a fraction – around 1.8 per cent – of new light commercial van sales in the UK, but a number of factors are accelerating demand for practical alternatives to vans with conventional internal combustion engines.

Low and zero emission zones are coming into force to reduce local pollution and improve air quality in urban centres, at the same time as rapid growth in ecommerce is generating more day-to-day delivery traffic.

Meanwhile the opening of Volvo's first dedicated fuel cell test lab in Volvo Group, marks a significant milestone in the manufacturer’s ambition to be fossil-free by 2040.

Fuel cells work by combining hydrogen with oxygen, with the resulting chemical reaction producing electricity. The process is completely emission-free, with water vapour being the only by-product.

Toni Hagelberg, Head of Sustainable Power at Volvo CE, says fuel cell technology is a key enabler of sustainable solutions for heavier construction machines, and this investment provides another vital tool in its work to reach targets.

"The lab will also serve Volvo Group globally, as it’s the first to offer this kind of advanced testing," he said.

The Fuel Cell Test Lab is a demonstration of the same dedication to hydrogen fuel cell technology, as the recent launch of cell centric, a joint venture by Volvo Group and Daimler Truck to accelerate the development, production and commercialization of fuel cell solutions within long-haul trucking and beyond. Both form a key part of the Group’s overall ambition to be 100% fossil free by 2040.

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