eBay Turns Green With Instant Sale

Well maybe not green as such, but eBay has promoted its new Instant Sale service as being green.

Selling your old gadgets has always been a good way of being green and the Instant Sale service is really just the same old eBay but easier.

eBay acts as the middle man, taking an active role. Finding you a buying, giving you free shipping labels, taking your gadget and wiping all of your personal data before sending it on to the buyer.

And if it doesn’t sell? eBay will recycle it for you – so green all round then.

Only available in the US for now, you can find out more here.


DIY Can Be Eco Friendly

Home improvement has been getting greener and greener over the years but this is the first time I’ve heard of a totally green DIY store.

Kbane, a store based in France, is a one stop shop for green home improvement. Every product in its store has a label explaining where it’s from and in-store experts offer expert advice, energy audits and even demonstrations.

The store focus on six areas: gardening, energy efficiency, healthy home interiors, air quality and water, insulation and eco-construction, and solar and new energies. Hopefully it’ll become more and more popular and Kbane’s plans to grow and open new stores comes to fruition.


Five Green Books For Your Christmas List

Each year, Americans generate a staggering 25 million extra tons of household waste between Thanksgiving and New Year. That’s a pretty good reason to think about how to increase your green during the holiday season. And since it’s also a time for gifts and giving, we’ve got the perfect list of eco-friendly books to pop in the festive stocking for your nearest and dearest. Enjoy!

1. Green Christmas: How to Have a Joyous, Eco-Friendly Holiday Season, by Jennifer Basye Sander & Peter Sander, with Anne Basye
Based on a number of key principles including family involvement, entertaining without waste, improving energy efficiency and supporting local business, Green Christmas is a wonderful way to enjoy a more ethical Christmas. From throwing greener parties to eco-friendly Christmas decorations, this book reminds us of what the holidays are all about – enjoying time together as a family while doing our bit to protect the environment. So, if you’d like a fun, stress-free and more economical Christmas, check out this guide to a greener holiday!

Green Christmas

2. Easy Green Living: The Ultimate Guide to Simple, Eco-Friendly Choices for You and Your Home, by Renee Loux
If you’re keen to make more ethical lifestyle choices for you and your family, this book is a great place to start. Renee Loux covers everything from green cleaning to personal care, lighting and home furnishings to interior decorating. Loux encourages readers to take small steps towards greener living, by focus on how we can all make simple, healthier and more sustainable choices, which are good for us and good for the environment. A great book to help put your greener new year’s resolutions into action.

3. Easy to Be Green: Simple Activities You Can Do to Save the Earth (Little Green Books) by Ellie O’Ryan
If you’re interested in inspiring your children to think green, this great little activity book could be just the thing. It’s packed with lots of information about global warming and why it’s important to act now to help reduce our carbon footprint. With chapters on trash and landfill, endangered animals, recycling and composting, there’s plenty of practical ways to encourage your children to take action. Each section is also accompanied by games, activities and puzzles to reinforce learning and raise awareness of the environment and how we can protect it.

4. Shift Your Habit: Easy Ways to Save Money, Simplify Your Life, and Save the Planet, by Elizabeth Rogers
Packed with practical tips to help you save money and save the planet, Shift Your Habit helps you make simple new choices about the way you life your life. There’s loads of great ideas including brewing your own beer, reducing food waste and bringing food back to life, disposing of disposables (forever) and natural recipes for cleaning products – definitely something for everyone! And the best news is that these eco-friendly ideas can save you hundreds of dollars. Good for your wallet and good for the environment!

Shift Your Habit

5. The Green Body Cleanse, by Dr Edward Group III
If, like me, you’re inclined to over-indulge during the holiday season, this is the book for you. Dr Group provides a range of tools and techniques to help you detox your home, your office and your body. Packed with tips, recipes and ideas for living a toxic-free life, this book is a great way to feel better about yourself at the same time as taking care of the planet!

The Eco Gift Guide

The weather has turned colder, the nights are drawing in, and many people are turning to thoughts of Christmas and Thanksgiving, and buying gifts for friends and family. As soon as the TV adverts commercials start to feature Santa, you know it’s time to write your Christmas list and work out what you are going to buy for people to open on the big day.

A great way of helping the environment and supporting the people around you to do the same is to buy green gifts for everyone. This helps to highlight awareness of the environment, and also makes sure you can buy ethical products which bring added value to the people who sell them, as well as supporting your friends and family to be environmentally friendly.

The good thing about buying in this way is, that people are cottoning on to the huge market out there for green gifts, and this means there is a huge range of beautiful products out there that will suit your budget and needs without compromising on quality or the pleasure your recipients will get from your gift.

Choosing the right green gifts for those you care about
There are a huge number of green traders available to browse online. Start with Miki, a cool and green site designed to help you find the latest organic, recycled or innovative eco gifts. Your next port of call could be Good Green Gifts which features some beautiful gifts including recycled glass products, and a range of lovely items ordered by which room in the house they are designed for.

If there is someone you know who is a gadget enthusiast, look no further than www.gadgets.co.uk/category/green-gifts, which features every imaginable kind of green gadget from solar chargers right through to power meters. If you are looking for something a little unique, why not head over to Project Concern, where you can purchase a gift of life – supporting people to live well, and be healthy, through green sponsorship and support.

Other gift ideas include supporting people and the environment by sponsoring a family in a third-world country, adopting an endangered animal or simply donating to great causes on behalf of your friends and family.

The best things come in green packaging
There are a number of ways you can counter the environmental impact of the festive season when it comes to wrapping your gifts. Try using recycled paper to wrap your gifts, with some organic ribbon for an original and visually-appealing twist on a traditional gift wrap. Instead of using cards which have been made from unsustainable sources, check out the recycled options available, or consider donating to your favorite green charity instead of sending out expensive, and environmentally-harmful, options.

When all this is done, you can feel proud of your contribution to the environment without letting your friends and family down – a thought that will make you feel smug as you head off to recycle your Christmas cards!

Green From The Inside Out: Greening Your Undergarments

Lingerie is big business, with financial forecasters predicting that by 2016, the retail market will sell 1.64bn bras and 4.74bn briefs worldwide. However, behind all the lace and frills, many retailers have dubious manufacturing credentials, which fail to adequately consider the sustainability of their fabrics or the ethics of their production lines.

Enter Green Knickers, a lingerie business which was the brainchild of Sarah Lucy Smith, a young entrepreneur with a flair for design and firm commitment to ethically sourced, Fair Trade products. Sarah attended a degree course in Eco Design at Goldsmiths College (part of the University of London), where she was inspired to create a special line of ‘green’ knickers, using environmentally-friendly fabrics including silk, hemp and organic cotton, to create a truly unique lingerie business which puts the Fair Trade back into fashion.

Fair Trade fashion
Green Knickers is committed to creating a commercially viable business built on ethical principles – giving customers greater choice, and ensuring that global and local suppliers get a fair deal. Sarah, with her business partner (and old school friend), Rose Cleary, are also keen to challenge the eco-warrior stereotype, reflecting a fun and playful sense of humour in all their products. Green Knickers are stitched with quirky messages like ‘Stop deforestation’ and ‘Cycle more’ which aim to convey serious messages in a fun and accessible way.

Green Knickers

Explaining their approach, Sarah says: “There are a variety of styles, but there’s humour in all of them. That was my aim: to add a cheeky excitement and much needed humour to green politics. I want people to be excited about changing their lifestyles – not bullied into it. Otherwise you can get demoralised – people who care, often end up feeling guilty all the

It’s certainly a sound proposition, which combines stylish, sexy designs with ethical production values.

Just a fad?
We all know how fickle the fashion world can be, so it’s easy to assume that the focus on ethical fashion could be a passing fad. And with Green Knickers at £25 a pair, there are significant affordability issues which the average consumer might find difficult to swallow. However, while cost is perhaps a barrier for now, it’s clear that fair trade fashion is growing
in popularity. Charity shops have reported significant increases in sales, with Oxfam and others capitalising on the vintage fashion potential of clothing donations to their stores. Indeed, with fashionistas like Sarah Jessica Parker regularly sporting the vintage look, it’s clear that recycled fashion offers consumers a chance to develop a unique and individual look that high street store chains simply can’t deliver.

So whether you’re looking for a vintage collectable, or shopping with a conscience, it’s clear that ethical fashion is on the rise. Green is definitely the new black, and it seems that at least some high street retailers are starting to…ahem…cotton on. Consumer demand for ethically produced clothing is also likely to increase pressure on big name designers to adopt fairer trade and production values, encouraging the rest of the industry to follow suit. And with Green Knickers proving that you don’t have to substitute style for substance, let’s hope the trend is here to stay.

Oil By Tom Bower Book Review

There’s no getting away from oil and with the spill in the Gulf of Mexico still fresh in our minds, we received a book all about the black gold.

Oil: Money, Politics, and Power in the 21st Century by Tom Bower was written before the latest disaster but nonetheless aims to tell the story of oil over the last 20 years. Oil follows the stories of BP, Shell, ExxonMobil, Chevron, the traders, Russian oligarchs and environmentalists.

When I picked up the book I was a little apprehensive, thinking it would be a serious tome, but Bower is an old hand and has written it in an easy-going style that makes it a compelling read.

Oil by Tom Bower

Saying that, it’s a hugely complex issue with many different players across businesses and countries, so it takes a certain concentration to read. Again, Bower has helped by giving these people personalities from his extensive interviews (more than 250 people) and research. You start to think you know the head of BP or Shell as you go through your book.

It’s a fascinating read, and the amounts of money involved, shady deals and disasters all make an intriguing book. I found myself compelled to read more and learn about the world of oil and while Bower tends to shy away from making judgments, he does offer facts that lead you to certain conclusions. Especially on the environment issue, calling BP’s rebranding greenwash and showing how reality and perception aren’t the same thing.

Oil: Money, Politics, and Power in the 21st Century by Tom Bower is available from bookshops and online at the Hachette Book Group priced $26.99.

Last Chance To Enter The Green Awards 2010

Today (22 October) is deadline day to enter the 2010 Green Awards.

Green Awards

The categories are:

Best Green Educational Project (Promoting Sustainable Development Issues) – NEW, sponsored by Birds Eye/Iglo
Best Green Product Innovation – NEW, sponsored by Microsoft Corporation
Best Green Third/ Charity Sector Campaign Award
Best Green Advertising Award (Print & Outdoor)
Best CSR Report Award
Best Green Direct Response Award (Direct Mail /Drtv / Dr Radio Etc)
Best Green Event Award (Shows / Exhibitions)
Best Green Internal Communications Award
Best Green International Campaign Award, sponsored by Hayes & Jarvis
Best Green Mixed Media Award (Integrated)
Best Green Moving Image Award (Audio-Visual / TV Spot / Short Film / Animation)
Best Green Packaging Award
Best Green PR Campaign Award
Best Green Public Sector Campaign Award, sponsored by Yell, publisher of the Yellow Pages Yell.com and 118 24 7 telephone service
Best Green Use Of Online Media Award (Banners / Social Media Campaigns / Websites)
Best Green Use of Mobile Apps and Technologies – NEW
Green Awards Grand Prix (Awarded by the Judges)

So get in quick! Full entry requirements can be found on its website.