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A lovely bunch of cocopots

CoirpotwdaffssmallSmall ones, large ones - some as big as your head. Yes, what's true for coconuts is true for products made from coconuts, such as these rather spiffing coir garden pots from Wiggly Wigglers. Coir's the leftover husk of a coconut, which gets washed, sun-dried, steam-treated and then bound together with biodegradable latex into pots, dishes and tubes. Unlike nasty plastic pots, these ones will biodegrade in around 9 months above ground, 3 below. Wiggly's coir also comes from a reputable source - a single grower in inland Sri Lanka (Thorayaya, backpacking fans). Sizes range from 80 to 202mm; prices from £2 to £24.

April 30, 2005 in Design & furniture, Plants & gardens | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Country piles - cheap and green

FalferryHurrah! The Bank Holiday weekend has arrived. And what better way to spend it than by visiting one of the National Trust's gorgeous country piles? In a praiseworthy bribe to make you leave your car at home, the Trust is offering 2-for-1 entry to all its properties if you travel by train instead. You just need to download and print this PDF voucher. There are about 200-odd places to visit, such as Chartwell - Churchill's old pad - which you can reach by train and bus, or Trelissick, an estate with an Eden-like garden that you can catch the ferry to (pictured). The offer runs from May 1st to the end of June.

April 29, 2005 in Transport & travel | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Water out of thin air

Waterex2This sounds so similar to the food replicators in Star Trek - spot the geek - that I'm almost convinced it's a wind-up. It's a water cooler that apparently makes water from the air - a kind of dehumidifer with a filter. I'm going to suspend my disbelief for a minute, though, to tell you that it's capable of producing 38 litres of water in 24 hours, that it has five filters to make the water taste nice and that it has an overflow protection sensor for when it's full. My favourite boast is that it "provides water much like crystal-like dew only found on mountaintops." If it's real and it works, it's a brilliant idea for places where plumbing's hard to install. It's called the Waterex and is being sold in the UK by Pure Water Technology, who I've asked for a price.

You can buy one in the UK for £1000. Pure Water says one cooler should provide enough daily water for 10 people.

April 28, 2005 in Food & drink, Green gadgets | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Get Honda's hybrid hero for peanuts

Civic_imaChances are you know all about the Toyota Prius and its hybrid engine. But have you heard of its lesser known Honda rival, the IMA Civic? This 4 door Saloon's been around for nigh on 2 years but I mention it now because you can pick up a secondhand one for a - comparatively speaking - bargain-tastic £10,500. I say "pick up". Of course I mean "pull away in an ultra quiet fashion with its electric motor". Like the  Prius, it has both a petrol and an electric engine, the latter kicking in at low speeds and recharging when you brake. Honda rate the MPG at a whopping 57 - 2 more than the Prius. I've not driven the Civic but the verdict on the driving experience is mixed - Tom, a HippyShopper reader, bought one and says "I've never been a fan of Hondas... but I'm really impressed with it" while WhatCar reckon it's "mushy" to drive. The only other downer is that it looks about as exciting as a night out in Tunbridge Wells, a crime the Prius is equally guilty of.

April 28, 2005 in Energy saving, Renewables, Transport & travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Go bananas (the green & ethical way)

Banana_hangerThis is one to file under 'not new, very simple, still brilliant', if you're the filing type. It's exactly what it looks like - a banana hanger to keep your bananas from prematurely ripening the rest of the fruit in your fruit bowl (which I recall from my GCSE biology is caused by the high quantity of Ethylene bananas produce). Anyhow. It's both green and ethical. Green because it's made from rubberwood, a type of tree that's used for latex throughout its living life and is - usually - only felled at the end of its life. Ethical because it's made by Thaicraft, a member of the International Fair Trade Association. You can buy one for £12 online from Traidcraft.

April 27, 2005 in Design & furniture, Food & drink | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Terrific tarpaulin bags

Freitagbags HippyShopper's not become The Bag Lady this week - I just seem to have been deluged by very cool-looking green bags! These Freitag ones are made from used tarpaulin, seatbelts and inntertubes - all sewn by happy folks in Switzerland, Portugal and Tunisia. The four pictured are the Laura (handbag), Donna (sadly, there's no Tracey or Sharon. This one's a shopping bag), Cooper (a bigger, 23.9litre shopping bag) and Bob (shopping bag with a satchel carry option). You can buy online or in person if you live in London or Liverpool.

April 27, 2005 in Fashion & accessories, Food & drink, Recycling | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The current account that cuts bills

Coop_2Here's proof of the save cash and save the planet mantra, if ever I saw it. The Co-Op's just relaunched its posh upgrade account, Privilege, and is offering a £35 discount on your electricity bill when you open an account - provided you're happy switching to green supplier Ecotricity. You also get several other 'ethical benefits', including 25% off a sub to Ethical Consumer mag, 20% off Hug organic clothing and the chance to buy some discounted plants. There are a whole load of money benefits, too, not least free travel insurance and a £100 interest-free overdraft. All this doesn't come for free, mind: you have to pay £6.50 a month for the  - ahem - privilege.

April 26, 2005 in Money & finance, Renewables | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sloane ranger eco bag

ConrancolourknitlargebagI know I'm not the target audience for this Redizioni shopping bag because its £225 price tag makes me blanch. Once I've got my colour back, however, I can't help but love it - it's a simple but very, very handsome design. It gets its eco points by being made from old textile scraps, although it is also partly made from plastic. You can order one online or buy it at a Conran shop. Or you could check out this (far cheaper) recycled Wayne Hemmingway bag instead.

April 25, 2005 in Fashion & accessories, Recycling | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

HippyShopper - The Show

GreenlifestyleshowI'd really like to tell you that HippyShopper's been made into a musical. Sadly, I can't - yet - but I can tell can you about the real show in question - the London Green Lifestyle Show. A one day bonanza at Greenwich Park on 5th June, it's going to be a showcase for living a greener life, with a mix of practical advice for now and glimpses of future tech and products to whet appetites. Best of all, it's going to have a beer tent serving organic, "fairly-traded" pints. [Found via How to Save The World For Free]

April 25, 2005 in Announcements | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Lofts, newspapers and bills

WarmcelInsulating lofts is boring. Duller, even, than buying energy-efficient fridges. It is, however, a dapper way to save some cash and be green into the bargain, especially if you use insulation made from 100% recycled newspaper such as Warmcel. That's what the bloke in the picture's spraying - he's not emptying the dirty contents of a very big Dyson. It costs about the same as itchy nasty fibreglass and is meant to be equally good at keeping heat in. You could also cut your gas bill by a quarter, according to the Energy Saving Trust. [found via The Guardian]

April 23, 2005 in Energy saving, Recycling | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack