Great news for outdoor lovers: high performance without PFCs is possible

“Going PFC-free in one of the world’s most extreme and challenging natural environments is possible. I can do it”. This was the idea David Bacci – an Italian professional climber – submitted to us when we asked the outdoor community for ideas to make the PFC threat more visible to the public and challenge the outdoor sector to eliminate hazardous chemicals from their products. We thought it was the perfect way to show the world that PFC-free alternatives do work.

David asked us to help him find some PFC-free gear for the challenge, so we decided to borrow some clothing from Páramo, a UK brand that doesn’t use PFCs in any of its products.

Now, a few months later, David has successfully completed two of the most intense climbing trails in the world, reaching the Patagonian peaks of Cerro Torres and Fitz Roy. He has become the first climber in 40 years to climb the demanding Ragni route, up the Eastern pillar of Fitz Roy.

According to him the “PFC free clothing from Páramo kept me dry and warm in extreme conditions” – he was very happy about it.

@David Bacci/Greenpeace

A couple of days ago, at the ISPO (International Sport Fair) in Munich, Páramo announced its decision to make another important step forward by eliminating all hazardous chemicals from its supply chain and products. In being the first outdoor brand to sign the Detox commitment and join forces with the other 34 committed global brands, Páramo has shown itself to be a true leader in the industry.

Their commitment shows that it is absolutely possible for a brand producing high performance gear to stop using hazardous chemicals. Páramo are setting the highest standard in the whole outdoor sector and this example should encourage bigger brands to take the lead for a toxic-free future.

You can help: ask Mammut and The North face to stop contaminating the great outdoors and provide us with products that are not a threat to nature.

Join nature lovers around the world by asking these brands to Detox now.

Chiara Campione is a senior campaigner at Greenpeace Italy and she leads the corporate dialogue team for the Detox Outdoor project.

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Samsung Sets a New Record for Light Efficacy in HP LED Packages

Samsung Electronics has achieved a major upgrade in its industry-leading performance levels for high-power LED packages. The efficacy of Samsung’s LH351B package that features 173 lm/W (85℃, 350 mA) has improved 8% over last year’s record performance. This new efficacy level extends Samsung’s leadership in high-power LEDs.

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Why do whales strand on beaches?

Shocking and sad images have been all over the media in the past few days as some massive sperm whales have washed up dead on British beaches. Normally humans and these deep water leviathans live far apart, so it’s understandable that we are surprised and distraught to encounter them like this. But why does it happen? And what can you do?

Crowds of onlookers stand outside a cordon to see two sperm whales found washed up on Gibraltar Point beach, near Skegness. Photo by Lee Swift.Crowds of onlookers stand outside a cordon to see two sperm whales found washed up on Gibraltar Point beach, near Skegness. Photo by Lee Swift.

Sperm whales are huge. They have the biggest animal brain on the planet, and make some of the deepest dives in the ocean, where their legendary battles with giant squid fuel our imagination. Immortalised by Moby Dick and Pinocchio, their fictitiously fearsome reputation sometimes overshadows the fact that these were the first whale to be decimated by industrial whaling to be turned into oil. They tend to live and travel in groups, and you don’t normally see them in shallow water like the North Sea.

In fact, when we do see them in shallow water, it’s usually followed by bad news. Every year hundreds of dead whales, dolphins and porpoises wash up dead on British beaches. Amongst them there are usually a few sperm whales. They’re obviously far more noticeable and remarkable than a dolphin, because of their massive size and rarity.

In the UK we have some amazing organisations looking after our sea life, and amazing scientists monitoring what’s going on.

That was really evident 10 years ago when the city of London had its own whale stranding. when they all came together to try and help.

This week it seems that a whole pod of sperm whales has somehow got stuck in the North Sea, and tragically died. Scientists will be checking the bodies to try and determine why, but there’s a good chance they won’t be able to definitively say. For deep sea whales like sperm whales there’s a pretty good chance that they have become ‘stuck’ in shallow waters and not been able to find food (they can also dehydrate this way, as the Thames’ whale did, because they get all of their water from the food they eat).

That then begs a question as to how they got lost? Were they chasing prey? Was it freak weather? Were they affected by something humans did – busy shipping lanes, seismic testing, military noise or something else? There are also the ‘invisible’ threats that whales in our seas carry, most notably a heavy burden of toxic chemicals which could have played a part somehow.

Across the world, as whale populations recover from decades of commercial whaling, they increasingly face a range of new human-generated threats, which are much less visible, but just as deadly. That’s been shown in the pilot whales killed by underwater noise, and the killer whale that got caught up in fishing gear.

Of course not all whales getting into shallow water die, and sometimes a helping hand can make a huge difference – as the great work of the British Divers Marine Life Rescue team shows, or the recent efforts by Scottish fishermen to free a humpback whale.

So what should you do if you see whales or dolphins stranded on a beach or in shallow water?

If they are alive – contact your local Wildlife Trust, or British Divers Marine Life Rescue.

If you find a dead whale, dolphin or porpoise on a beach, then get in touch with the UK strandings network. It’s also a good idea to keep a distance as there might be nasty infections around, and decomposing whales have a tendency to ‘explode’.

Willie Mackenzie is a Programme Advisor for the Biodiversity campaign at Greenpeace UK.

This story first appeared on Greenpeace UK.

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PI’s New Highly Efficient LYTSwitch-5 ICs Support Multiple LED Driver Topologies

Power Integrations, the leader in high-efficiency, high-reliability LED driver ICs, today announced its LYTSwitch™-5 single-stage LED driver IC family. LYTSwitch-5 devices combine PFC and constant-current output, and support multiple common LED driver topologies.

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Green Creative Launches Energy Star Certified 60 W Incandescent Replacement LED Candles

Green Creative, the commercial grade LED lighting manufacturer proudly announces the launch of its new 60 W replacement candles. Part of Green Creative’s Titanium LED series, the Energy Star® certified 5.5 W E12 and E26 base candles are energy efficient solutions to replace incandescent decorative lamps. The B11 candles feature an innovative crown lens that creates a unique sparkling effect, making them ideal for use in chandelier, sconce and uplighting applications.

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Cree XLamp XQ-A LED: Lower System Cost in Proven Ceramic XQ Pkg

The XLamp XQ-A LED brings a mid-power, cost-effective option to the proven, compact ceramic XQ package, enabling lighting manufacturers to quickly expand their product portfolio by leveraging a common XQ design. Unlike plastic mid-power LEDs, the ceramic-based XQ-A LEDs are designed to deliver the long-term calculated lifetimes of Cree’s other high-power LEDs. Available in white and color, the XQ-A LED delivers up to 89 lm at 85°C.

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Lumitech Licenses Seoul Semiconductor for PI-LED Technology Applications

Seoul Semiconductor, a global leading LED components manufacturer from Korea, and the Austrian company Lumitech, a leading manufacturer of components for Human Centric Lighting announced a licensing agreement for PI-LED technology patents. These patents govern the industrial trade mark rights of Lumitech’s PI-LED technology, which can implement tunable white from 2.500 to 7.000K with perfect colour rendering in a high and constant efficiency. Based on the license agreement, Seoul Semiconductor has the right to offer tunable white components based on the leading PI-LED technology, worldwide.

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