The Observer Ethical Awards

Now in their fifth year, The Observer Ethical Awards reward those that have an innovative way at looking at and tackling ethical issues be that in a business sense or a community project. Sponsored by Ecover, ff you have an ethical initiative, project or product you can enter.

In previous years the awards have attracted a diverse selection of winners from politicians such as Ken Livingstone and Caroline Lucas to community projects such as Lomeshaye Marsh Local Nature Reserve Stockbridge Junior Rangers, winners of the Ethical Kids award and bursary.


You can also nominate entries that you think deserve it, in the following categories: campaigner of the year, politician of the year, online retailer and local retailer. Those that nominate will be entered into a draw to win a Warren Evans bed, a rail break to Provence courtesy of Explore, cosmetic gift sets and an organic food hamper. To enter, vote or for further information visit Observer Ethical Awards (on the Guardian website).

The judging panel includes Colin Firth; Ben Fogle, TV presenter; Iwan Thomas, Olympic athlete; Bonnie Wright, actress; Rick Edwards, T4 presenter; Sue Perkins, comedian and presenter; Ben Okri, poet and novelist; Deborah Meaden, businesswoman and Dragon’s Den star; Kate Humble, TV presenter and Jo Wood, Jo Wood Organics.


Follow What’s Going On In Copenhagen And Save Money With Method

Cleaning brand and all-round good eggs (it’s an English phrase) method, has a nifty little site that will keep you up-to-date with what’s happening at the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen this month. Click here to get to co-founder’s Adam Lowry’s blog.

And being the nice company it is, if you sign the petition through a link on this page, and give them the details of what you posted, you’ll get a money off voucher. Lovely eh?

method copenhagen

Your Children and Toxic Chemicals

New Bill to Protect Children from Untested Chemicals. This post is sponsored by Seventh Generation.

Emerging science increasingly links exposure to toxic chemicals with serious health problems. From bisphenol-A in baby bottles to phthalates in children’s toys and flame retardants in nursery furnishings, the modern world is filled with synthetic compounds that research now shows likely cause neurological and behavioral disorders, reproductive and developmental disruption, cancer and other troubles.

There are hundreds of untested chemicals in the products families use every day. The law that directs the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to conduct safety reviews of chemicals, the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), was passed by Congress in 1976. Since then, the EPA has investigated just 200 of the more than 80,000 chemical compounds available to manufacturers today. Critics of the law say it doesn’t give the EPA enough authority to demand that companies supply the information needed to evaluate a chemical’s risk.

Now, Safer Chemicals Healthy Families, a coalition of nearly 30 leading non-governmental organizations, is working to help Congress overhaul the nation’s chemical regulations. Other supporters of the coalition include the Environmental Defense Fund, Healthy Child Healthy World and Seventh Generation, the maker of all-natural cleaning products and diapers. The group supports new legislation proposed by several Congresspeople, including Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ). The legislation would require that new chemicals be safety-tested before they are put into products that children and others use. Manufacturers would also have to prove that chemicals already in production are free of danger. This information would be publicly availably so that consumers could see exactly what they’re bringing home.

For more information on how you can help the proposed legislation become law, visit

How To Look Great During The Festival Season

Another post from Big Green Smile. This one’s written by Tanja.

Music lovers across the land are in heaven now that festival season is underway. Glastonbury was as successful as ever, while punters are now gearing up for more big events such as T in the Park.

But one of the main problems faced by women is how on earth can they maintain their natural beauty when they are sleeping in a tent?

Luckily, the Sun [newspaper] has issued a few handy tips and recommendations to those who don’t know what natural skin care products to take with them.

Cleansing wipes were flagged up as one essential item to take, as being outdoors at a music festival can make skin very grimy and vulnerable to blocked pores and blackheads.

The Sun said wipes can be particularly useful because festival shower and toilet facilities “can often leave a lot to be desired”.

Women were also advised to remember to put sun block in their rucksacks, as UV rays can still damage a person’s skin even when the sun is not beating down.

You can read more blog entries at Big Green Smile.

Convertible Bicycle And Stroller/Buggy

I was enjoying the British summer in the park the other say. And apart from spotting D-list celebrities, I also saw one of these things gently amble past. That’s not my picture by the way, but it was just a sunny.


A week later, I was looking through some old emails and good old Springwise had a little feature on it. Called the Taga, it’s:

“A recent winner of the Red Dot Design Award, the Taga bike uses simple click-to fit technology that allows it to be switched from stroller mode to bicycle mode in just 20 seconds. Child seating can be reclined for a sleeping little one, and there’s both a hood and rain guard for protection against the elements. Future options will include seating for two children, a car seat adapter, a cart mode, a wooden double seat and extra front-end protection. The Taga is available in stores throughout Europe and the UK, where pricing is GBP 1,695.”

A bit pricey then, maybe that’s why I haven’t seen any more.

Eco Emporia in Vogue

Last year I reviewed a denim jeans cushion from Eco Emporia. Well now the company has gone a little further and appeared in the US version of Vogue.

Eco Emporia’s fire hose belt was worn by actress Cameron Diaz in a feature on green fashion. Founder Anna Burns wrote:

“Eco Emporia were delighted when they were contacted by Vogue magazine to help highlight green fashion in June’s issue of American Vogue. Hollywood’s green queen Cameron Diaz talks about making eco sensitive shopping choices and models our stunning West End Fire Hose Belt whilst on a shoot with world renowned photographer Mario Testino.


“The belt is part of a collection of accessories made from decommissioned fire hose saved from landfill and transformed by the team at EaKo Ltd. All are handmade and unique, each bears the scars of active fire-fighting duty and many retain details of the original hose batch number and manufactuer’s name. All are made in the UK and even the belt buckles and rivets are made from 100% reclaimed pewter.

“The full range of 11 stylish eco-friendly belts, plus card holder wallet, wash bag, saddle bag and tote bag are available from online gift retailer Eco Emporia. What’s more 50% of profits made by EaKo Ltd from the sale of every item in the fire hose range are donated to The Fire Fighters Charity.”

To read more about the Vogue photo shoot and see the full range of fire hose accessories visit

Furniture That Lasts 300 Years

Ever bought a new chair and have it fall apart a couple of years later? They don’t make things like they used to do they? Well in fact the do. A Swedish company, Brikolör, guarantees its furniture will last 300 years.

I’ll repeat that, 300 years. That’s what sustainability is all about – building quality things that last. It is quite expensive though, around EUR 500 for a stool. Still that’s only EUR 1.66 for ever year it lasts. Beat that Ikea.


Spotted at: Springwise