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Buy a woolie hat, help a kid in Nepal

PeopletreehatsYep, it's that time of year to start donning hats with daft ear flaps and silly tassles. Instead of getting a £5 knock-off down the market, spend a bit more - £24, to be precise - and buy one of these People Tree Bo Beep ones. They're made from 100 per cent wool by mums in Kathmandu, Nepal, and People Tree funds half the running costs of their kids' primary and nursery schools. It's enough to make you feel warm inside as well as outside. People Tree [found via Eco Monkey]

October 31, 2005 in Fashion & accessories | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Princess high heels with ethics

Beyondskin1Being a twentysomething bloke, I don't pretend to understand much about high heels. I do know, however, that this mighty pretty Beyond Skin pair have a wonderful touch of the fairytale and are made in a commendably ethical fashion. They're put together in the UK, for a start, making them rarer than a decent single in the Top 40. Better still, they're wholly built from vegan materials. Buying from Beyond Skin also has its upsides, as the company's dedicated to sourcing 'eco-friendly' materials and an unspecified amount of revenue goes to unspecified ethical charities (I've asked). The £150 Lorelei pair in the picture are but one of five different heeled shoes and boots from the ethical shoemaker's new range. Check Beyond Skin's site to order; Equa stocks Beyond in London.

October 30, 2005 in Fashion & accessories | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Recycled lamp lights things up

GoelampAnd here's another one from the fantastic [re]design show that took place last month. It's a spiffing earthy-looking lamp made from recycled cardboard that - according to designer G|O|E - will take a good battering if you're inclined to knocking your lamps around. There's a concave, barrel (pictured) and cyclinder version available and they'll set you back £55 a hit. Pair with an energy-saving bulb for maximum greeness and minimal bills. G|O|E Design

Related stories:
Fully recycled lovely lampshades

October 26, 2005 in Design & furniture, Recycling | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Chocolate Festival & those Fairtrade After Dinner Mints

After_dinner_mints_cb_versionGlad tidings, fellow chocolate addicts - next week is the Chocolate Festival. To celebrate, sixteen deluxe chocolatiers will be hawking their goods around the UK (there's an event list here) and donating a portion of the profits to CLIC Sargent, a kids' cancer charity. Amongst their number is Divine, whose £3.50 After Dinner Mints (pictured) have just gone on sale in Oxfams across the nation (and online). As well as being the first Fairtrade alternative to After Eights, I can attest from first hand experience that they taste superb. The chocolate's suitably bitter, the mint is perfectly piquant and you can only eat a couple at a time - the exact opposite of bland old After Eights.

Related stories:
Divine Alternative to After Eights
Organic Fairtrade banana choc bars

Eat choc, help Madagascar

October 26, 2005 in Food & drink | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Stupendously good recycled hat-stand

Re_hat_stand_greenSome pieces of design are so good they speak for themselves. This is one of them. Put your ear close to one of Richard Taylor's reclaimed hat stands and you'll hear them debating the classic Bentwood stand design and discussing the need for a modern version small enough to fit into our teeny homes. Richard's ingenious space-saving trick was to remove half the stand and make it easy to screw to a wall. As he points out, it also stops it toppling over. You can buy one of these recycled wonders direct via email. They're £190 each and come in green (pictured), white, red, black and aubergine. [thanks to [re]design for the tip-off]

October 25, 2005 in Design & furniture, Recycling | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Composting if you don't have a garden

BokashiIt may look like a handful of sand, but - like a Transformer - there's more here than meets the eye. This is actually a yummy pile of bacteria, yeast and fungi dubbed 'Effective Micro-organisms' (Ems) and they're being heralded as the future of composting. Or, at the very least, the start of indoor composting if you don't have a garden. The big sell on Ems is that they speed things up and stop dodgy smells emanating from under your kitchen sink. Wiggly Wigglers, which is selling the Ems as part of its 'Bokashi' range, recommends you buy a pair of 19 litre composting bins to match. The bins plus 3kg of the Ems will set you back a steepish £120.

October 25, 2005 in Food & drink, Plants & gardens, Recycling | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Bonkers paper rucksacks

PaperucksacksBear with me on this one - it's not as dumb as it first sounds. The bag you see modelled on the left is a paper rucksack designed for light loads and those times you want to take stuff out - food, par example - and dispense with the bag. It's made from recycled paper that can be recylced again or chucked somewhere to rot (check this composter and this wormery).  Personally, try as I might, I still end up with reams of plastic bags that serve the same purpose. If you've managed to kick the plastic habit and fancy a greener disposable bag, however, snap up ten for £3 on Paper Rucksacks' website. [thanks, Katie]

October 24, 2005 in Fashion & accessories, Recycling | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Save Your 20% - it's Energy Saving Week

Ecokettle8_1You probably knew it was John Peel Week on 6 Music. But did you also know it's Energy Saving Week? Well, you do now - and this year the big idea is that we all try and cut our energy use by 20 per cent. The bribe - as if single-handedly saving the planet wasn't enough - is that you'll probably save 20 per cent on your bills too. The week's site looks duller than a night out in Aldebrugh, but persevere. It has some obvious-yet-good tips - buy energy-saving bulbs, don't waste water in your kettle, turn that thermostat down by one degree - plus a free online energy survey and links to installing better insulation, fitting your own wind turbine and more. Energy Saving Week

October 24, 2005 in Energy saving | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Winter shoes to keep you on your bike

Specialized_buzzsawClocks going back, temperatures plunging, rain coming in horizontally... It's a fair bet that right about now you're on the verge of dropping the cycling commute. But hold those public transport horses. For, lo, there is a way to keep cycling throughout the grey months and it involves getting kitted out with winter clothing. After a breathable and waterproof trio of jacket, trousers and gloves, the next thing on your list will be shoes. These Specialized Buzzsaws aren't designed specifically for roadbikes or commuting and there's nothing especially green or ethical about their construction. They are, however, very comfy, relatively light, warm yet non-sweaty, blessed with a sock-protecting boot design and completely waterproof (I've tried them). Unlike some cycle shoes, they also look innocuous enough to wear off the bike. In the UK, they're going for £80 over at Evans.

October 21, 2005 in Fashion & accessories, Transport & travel | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Reviewed: Organic Life mag

Organiclife_contentsI'm trying to think of a better time to launch a monthly magazine filled with organic stuff, but I'm struggling. All those apples, pumpkins and potatoes mean today really is the perfect time for Organic Life to go on sale. I've been having a read and am very impressed. The design's light and clean, the content is top notch - there's everything from an interview with Green & Blacks' founder, a profile on ethical label Howies, product tests, energy-saving tips and a large helping of food advice and recipes - plus the tone lives up to its jargon-free aspirations. If I was being paid to be anally retentive I'd point out a handful of pages are confusingly laid-out and there are a few subbing errors, but they don't detract from a great first issue. Anyone still wavering should be won over by the  bar of organic, Fairtrade Maya Gold choc that comes free in the mag. It's printed on 100 per cent recycled paper and costs £3 from WH Smiths now.

October 21, 2005 in Arts & information | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack