Eco Matters At The Forefront Of People’s Minds

We’ve featured many products from Big Green Smile and now it’s time to feature some of the thoughts of those who work there. This first post links in nicely with the fact Big Green Smile is an online shop as it’s about eco products, written by Alasdair:

Climate change affects us all, but it’s good to see the ongoing economic crisis hasn’t taken over in people’s minds.

According to a report by Consumer Focus, the recession is not denting demand for eco products among Britons.

Indeed, sustainability expert Lucy Yates said: “Even now, when money is tighter than ever, people still want to buy products that are better for the environment.”

I’m inclined to agree with this point of view, as it was reinforced when I opened The Times this morning. A poll commissioned by the newspaper showed that nearly three-quarters of motorists have reduced their car use in the last 12 months.

By switching to public transport, they are clearly showing that ecological matters are at the forefront of their thinking.

Indeed, 14 per cent of respondents stated that the environment is the main reason why they have chosen to leave the car at home more frequently.

You can read more blog entries at Big Green Smile.

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Cath Kidston Kitchen Cleaner Eco Product Review

If you hate cleaning, like me, you should get the job of testing cleaners out. It’s amazing how it focuses you as you wipe the grime away and you start thinking more about the product than the actual cleaning. Try it, it works. In fact, buy this Cath Kidston Kitchen Cleaner from Big Green Smile and let me know if like it – then you’ll be cleaning and reviewing at the same time!

Cath Kidston Kitchen Cleaner

Anyway, part of the Washing Line er line of products, the kitchen cleaner comes in a simple, friendly bottle with an Eco Friendly cloud on the front. The ingredients list reads: aqua, alcohol, alkyl polyglucoside, sodium citrate, sodium lauryl sulfoacetate, benzophenone-4, parfum and lactic acid. It says it’s non-toxic, biodegradeable, contains no animal products, parabens or sulphates.

As you would imagine, you simply spray it onto the surface and wipe away. I initially tried it on my stainless steel sink and while it didn’t work as well as Method’s stainless steel cleaner, it did quite a nice job. And on the usual work surfaces it did as good a job as any other cleaner I’ve used – eco-friendly or not.

The nozzle is quite good and helps cleaning as you can choose it to either spray or stream the cleaner out depending on what job you’re doing and amount of cleaner you need. Maybe a lot of cleaners have them and this is the first time I’ve realised, but it’s quite useful.

Another way it stands out from other eco cleaners is the smell. Most have a neutral or citrus scent, but this is ‘cotton fresh’ which actually rather pleasant and was a nice surprise as I wasn’t expecting it.

It’s good a big name like Cath Kidston has gone down the eco route with its line of cleaners and you’ll be happy with the result. The Washing Line Kitchen Cleaner cost £3.95 for 750ml from Big Green Smile.

Eco Design Fair Back With A Party

London once again plays host to the Eco Design Fair with three days of the fair plus a recycling party night.

Eco Design Fair

On Saturday 20 June 2009 between 11am-5pm the fair is at Westbourne Grove Church:
Westbourne Grove
(Corner of Ledbury Road)
Notting Hill
London W11 2RW
Notting Hill Gate/Westbourne Park Tube

And on the 27 and 28 June between 10am-6pm at the Old Truman Brewery:
Dray Walk Gallery
Dray Walk
The Old Truman Brewery
Off 91 Brick Lane
London E1 6QL
Aldgate East/Liverpool Street Tube

Both events will give you free entry when you take an old mobile phone to recycle, but I can’t seem to seem how much it is without.

And finally on the Friday before the fair on Brick Lane, 26 June, there’s a fashion show and recycling party at the same venue.

To find out more, go to the Eco Design Fair website, there are even weaving demonstrations showing how to make a box from old juice cartons – lovely.

Trevor Baylis Eco Lantern Product Review

Trevor Baylis is one of the greatest modern inventors. Creator of the wind up radio, the developing world has benefited greatly and what has followed is a slew of wind up products. I’ll always remember the wind up Eco Media Player the most though, mainly for this awful video below. It’s almost painful to watch, but I still love the idea of his products and his vision.

Click here if you can’t see the video

The Eco Lantern is designed for camping trips where you don’t have easy access to mains electricity. A one minute wind will give 20 minutes of light from the five bright LEDs in the lantern. And it really does work, wind away for a minute and switch it on. The light is indeed bright and white. Although it wasn’t as bright as I expected, that was until I turned it upside down. Hanging it from the loop (an additional ‘S’ shape hook is included and you can also slip it onto a screw or nail) and the illumination seems much greater.

Eco Lantern

Pressing the on button for a second time switches off the white LEDs and illuminates two orange LEDs on a strip around the outside of the lantern. These are called the ‘night lights’ and give off a soft glow. At first I thought these were too soft and pretty useless, but when using it in a confined space the light is actually quite nice and works as described.

The only gripe I have is that a mains charger isn’t included. There is a car charger, which will fully charge it in three hours but what if you go to your camping trips on public transport and want to charge it before you leave? The winding action is housed in the base and a minute of winding is easy enough. When you haven’t used it for a long it suggests a three minute charge and that is a little tougher. My arm started to ache a little doing that, which I put down to lack of going to the gym, so I’ll suggest passing it around to your camping buddies.

Available from Ethical Superstore, the Trevor Baylis Eco Lantern costs £21.95.

Ecobookers Celebrates Its 1st Birthday With A Redesign

Environmentally friendly travel site, Ecobookers, is one year old. Well it was at the start of September actually but I thought I’d take some time to look around the site as it’s been redesigned.

We first looked at Ecobookers back in November 2007 and liked what we saw. The new site is a bit easier to use and certainly more pleasing on the eye. Although I haven’t actually booked anything through it, I like the way all the accommodation is researched and the huge amount of information that’s given. Check out the review of the Lova Lava Land Eco-Resort in Hawaii for example.

Ecobookers

There are 130 eco-friendly accommodations in 38 countries around the world on the site, ranging from eco-friendly hotels, B&Bs and ecolodges to more unusual eco-friendly accommodation, such as yurts and treehouses. So check it out here.

Green Link Love – Other Great Green Sites 5

You can read the previous editions here: one, two, three and four.

Thing That Make You Go Green is a site that is dedicated to chronicling the progress of a few ordinary folks called JB, Paul, and Hendrick, as they try to go green. I liked the style of the site such as global warming will make you less fat, and how, in their opinion Best Buy should be ashamed of itself.

Life Goggles Green Link Love Logo

This month I also liked Green Me’s Ecological Cooking book review which has a few recipes I might try.

Reader, friend and contributor Trisha sent us this site about Hypermiling. That is “a method of increasing your car’s gas mileage by making skillful changes in the way you drive, allowing you to save gas and thereby have an easier time withstanding the rising oil and gas prices”

Billy Warden sent us an email about his Greening the Generations blog. He spent a decade contributing to L.A.’s smog and now he’s trying to raise a green family in Raleigh, NC. He shows helpful green discoveries, such as this one focusing on sexy summer sustainability.

Swap Tree was another site sent to us, that like the much missed Swango allows users to swap books, CDs, DVDs and video games for free. All users have to pay is the shipping and handling cost. It’s actually pretty cool, and shows you what you can swap for your unwanted stuff, or what you need to offer in order to get that wanted item. I hope to have given it a trial run by the time you read this.

Real World Green is a new site from For Your Imagination. It’s a new video series that are a collection of tips that, being followed, will make apparently your life style more environmentally friendly. Some interesting videos are available, such as “donuts are not green”, and “how to green your dishwasher”.

Greenzer is a new shopping portal site that is exclusively for “green” products, offering people the chance to shop at online merchants including Patagonia, Zappos, eBags and GAIAM. Products are offered across ten categories, and must meet a minimum green requirement. When I asked what this requirement was, their answer was “Greenzer.com decides if a product meets the requirement for the site by judging a product’s overall impact on the environment (i.e. does it run on rechargeable batteries?), its green attributes (is it made from recycled materials? Does it use organically grown materials?), green labels/certifications and the manufacturer’s overall green practices”. Not a bad idea, I like parts of it such as the water bottle cost comparison

Marilyn, from the excellent Intelligent Travel blog sent us this link from The Green Guide on how hair clippings can be used to remove oil spills.

Finally Greener Cars is a very handy guide for comparing the “greenness” of vehicles. It’s the official website for ACEEE’s Green Book is a unique consumer resource providing Green Scores rating the environmental friendliness of every vehicle on market.

If you have an interesting site you would like to be featured here, just let us know.

Are You Confused By Eco Labels?

I know I am, and with all the competing voluntary and compulsory labeling schemes in existence it’s likely to get worse.

A website that aims to cut through all this confusion is http://ecolabelling.org by being an independent database of ecolabels. Just check the database and see if the label is in there and learn more information about it. It’s as simple as that.

ecolabelling

They also have a Label Geeks blog.

[Via: Ecopreneurist]