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    Comment and Opinion

    Iceland's Christmas Advert Rejected!

    By Grace Clowrey, Year 8

    For many people, the release of big brand shops’ Christmas adverts marks the official start of Christmas. However, this year, one has been banned! The advert was produced with Greenpeace and is a very controversial case – it has been banned for being “too political” and apparently going against advertisement rules. It urges customers to have an “orangutan-friendly Christmas” as the company is campaigning against the use of palm oil in production. Iceland will still be creating ads – but they will just be 10 second clips highlighting palm oil-free products.

    In my opinion, the advert shouldn't have been banned, as it highlights the important issue of deforestation. It was very emotional and would have melted people's hearts as well as beating other Christmas adverts – the founder of Iceland said it would have “blown the John Lewis ad out of the window”. The orangutan, who features in the ad, is now classed as critically endangered, thanks to palm oil production. These creatures could become extinct, and it will be our fault. We need to raise awareness of this issue!

    Recent Renewable Energy Sources

    By Ben Nutley, Year 7

    Electric bus charging

    There are surely some strange ways to make energy, but a solar panel on a lamppost and roadside wind turbines? Really? Here are some strange (and really expensive) renewable energy sources.

    Self-Charging Lamppost

    When you think about lampposts, you don’t think about them having a solar panel on top, do you? However, scientists are developing a concrete lamppost that will be able to charge through the day, store their energy, and use it to power themselves at night. Although renewable street lights will cost more than an average street light to install, by producing their own energy, it reduces their cost in the long run.

    Roadside Wind Turbines

    When cars travel down roads, not many people think about the wind that is generated when cars go forward but scientists at Devici Tech are some of the people who are.

    They have developed a vertical wind turbine that stands at the side of the road, collecting the wind generated by the passing cars. This method could be especially useful at the side of motorways, as over 100,000 cars drive on those roads every day, each travelling at around 60mph, generating a huge amount of wasted energy.

    Submerged, Street Solar Panels

    With solar panels being such big source of green energy these days, companies are finding any way they can to make new places accessible to use them. With wall- mounted solar panels and solar panels on the tops of cars, weird places aren't that new. However, scientists at Colas have developed a solar panel that is on the surface of the road.

    In principal, it would be a relatively good idea as you could charge them up all day and power street lights at night. However, with cars travelling on top of them all day, light would come only in between cars, and with cars constantly travelling on the roads, I think these wouldn’t be as useful as other power sources, as they would surely suffer from damage (think how hard it is to keep a road clear of potholes!)

    So yes, there are a lot of different and kind of weird power generators out there, but some aren't as useful as others. Of course, it is important for scientists to develop new forms of green power generators and power harnessers, weird or not, given the urgent need to reduce the carbon levels in the atmosphere.

    Who Should Be on the New £50 Note?

    By Caitie Swallow, Year 10