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Pretty felt fair trade handbags

L_alh001_003_felt_tall_flower_bags Aah, look at the pretty flowers!

These fair trade felt handbags from YourTomorrow make me smile.

We can all use a little flowery cheer mid-winter, and these little cuties are practical too.

Made by a women's cooperative in Nepal, the felt is hard-wearing and the colours run-free.

More fashion and accessories.

December 31, 2006 in Fashion & accessories | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Reviewed: The Toxic Consumer

190460142101_aa240_sclzzzzzzz_v37814945__1The Toxic Consumer; How to reduce your exposure to everyday toxic chemicals. Karen Ashton and Elizabeth Salter Green. Impact Publishing Ltd.

They are nasty and they are everywhere - chemicals, I mean.

Chemicals used in everyday products - to make things non-stick, bendy, flame retardant or stain resistant - are implicated in a staggering range of health issues including birth defects, lower sperm counts and rising rates of certain cancers.

I don't know about you, but I reckon it might be good to limit my exposure to these nasties, and this book gives advice on how.

It is a concise and easy-to-read guide, which offers a thorough explanation for the contents list of most household products.

Having explaining what the common toxic chemicals are and where they are found, there is a handy chapter on reducing indoor pollution in your home. And although I consider myself to be fairly-clued-up on this subject, it made hair-raising reading.

The Toxic Consumer is priced £7.99 and is available from bookstores or direct from the publisher.

December 30, 2006 in Reviews | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Yay or Nay: Should Al Gore give it away?

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Michael Eakes is a geek who knows his stuff, so it's not surprising he hit on a good way to get more people to see An Inconvenient Truth: he wrote a letter asking Al Gore to give the movie away free via BitTorrent.  "The film should be free (as in beer)," he wrote.  "Any fee is an economic inconvenience that guarantees a limited distribution.  You must reach everyone, in a way only “free” can.  I humbly urge you to give it away."  What do you think, Hippyshoppers?  Yay or Nay?  [GT]

An Inconvenient Distribution: A Web 2.0 Geek’s Letter to Al Gore

Related stories: An Inconvenient Truth nears theatres | Tuesday blog roundup: Inconvenient truth 2 et al | Schools Reject Free Copies of An Inconvenient Truth

December 29, 2006 in Agree or Disagree? | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Ecosexuals want a literal roll in the hay

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“I was dumbstruck,” says Pearson. “I think I ate my entire meal in silence. Pork plus NutraSweet? That was definitely our last date.”  Part metrosexual, part hippy, the ecosexual wants a "sexy conservationist" or a "romantic recycler" for a partner, and won't take steak for an answer.  Claudia, for instance, wasn’t happy when her boyfriend bought her a kitchen composter so she could recycle leftovers. “I was miffed that he was trying to tell me what to do, and he was miffed that I wasn’t using it,” she says. They, too, eventually parted ways. “It wasn’t just the compost,” Claudia says, “but it raised some control issues that we couldn’t resolve.”  Just read on.  [GT]

In search of a nice Gaia [via Commons blog]

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December 29, 2006 in Arts & information | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Solar Tube Skylights

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That you don't have room for a window where the light happens to be is no excuse for not getting natural light.  With the Solatube, you essentially periscope light through a zigzag, highly-polished metal tube, to emit as a beam of sunny goodness wherever you like.  Natural light, being what our eyes were designed to appreciate, makes everything look better and makes you happier, and if you can buy happiness in a non-drug form, well, you'll be a man, my son.  [GT]

Solatube [via Inhabitat]

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December 29, 2006 in Design & furniture | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Squirrels guess the future of their food

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Squirrels may not be psychic as such, but they do know how plentiful food will be in the coming months, and give birth accordingly.  Not only that, but to try to outsmart the squirrels, trees use a boom-and-bust seed production strategy, trying to starve the squirrels in lean years so that even when they do overbreed, the trees will still survive.  "It's a little bit tougher when things are unpredictable like seed production years, but the squirrels obviously figured out a cue," said Stan Boutin, a University of Alberta biologist.  Given that us humans have trouble figuring out the seeding cycle, we would do well to observe the squirrel population more closely.  [GT]

Squirrels are great gamblers on nature's unpredictable seeding seasons

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December 29, 2006 in Outdoors & games | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Money makes you sharp and selfish, says study

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A new study may shed some light on the non-sharing of haves with the have-nots.  Researchers at the University of Minnesota found that subjects primed with pictures of money were more self-reliant, but also more selfish.  One group was shown pictures of money, and another, pictures of fish.  Then, all were asked to bring chairs for everyone to sit on.  Those who saw the fish, also brought the chairs closer.  However, those primed with money also spent 70% longer working on a difficult puzzle, before asking for help.  "It always bothered me that most people looked only at the desire for money, and that the bottom line was if you wanted money you had problems," said Professor Vohs.  [GT]

Mind over money

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December 29, 2006 in Money & finance | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Recycled glass carafe and tumbler

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Dishwasher safe, this lovely carafe of recycled glass, with matching tumbler is decorated with leafy patterns of red, orange and lilac.  21.5cm tall and 13cm diameter, it's just the thing for keeping water on one's desk in something other than a plastic bottle.  At £10.50 it's an absolute steal, from Natural Collection.  [GT]

Curvy Carafe and Glass [via GreatGreenGoods]

Related stories: 'Green' and gorgeous recycled glass | Brilliant recycled beer goblets | Dazzling recycled worktops

December 29, 2006 in Ethical & green gifts | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

One World Cafe: pay what you will

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Don't skip lunch because you can't afford it: move to Salt Lake City instead.  The One World Cafe operates on the SAME principle: So All May Eat.  If you don't have enough money, you're requested to help with the dishes, weed the garden, sweep up, or otherwise participate in operations.  If you have too much money (and I know some of you do!) well, you might be so good as to overpay so that someone else can have a healthy, organic meal.  They've recently formed OneWorldEverybodyEats as a nonprofit venture to help others set up their own One World Cafe.  "Birky at SAME has yet to notice anyone not paying. And Cerreta has had to approach only a few people."   So even in the 21st century, people know right.  [GT]

Where "Check, Please" Is Your Call [via Spluch]

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December 29, 2006 in Food & drink | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Ellesmere ice shelf could clog seaways

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The Ayles ice shelf, the size of 11,000 football fields, broke off Ellesmere Island several months ago, with a suddenness that surprised scientists, and took only an hour to plunge into the ocean.  "It's like a cruise missile has come down and hit the ice shelf," said Professor Warwick Vincent of Laval University.  Now the remains are floating free, the largest iceberg on record, and are so enormous that they may even clog shipping lanes or do damage as the ice collides with man-made structures.  Coming in at 5-15 kilometers and 30-40 meters thick, the ice chunks are likely around 4,500 years old, but the average oil rig will be no match.  [GT]

Arctic ice shelf collapse poses risk: expert

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December 29, 2006 in Green News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack