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Bushcraft adventures

Cimg0090bigIf you're a bit of a Ray Mears at heart and would like to know how to live from the land then why not try a survival holiday this year.  Dryad Bushcraft will develop your understanding of the natural environment through the pursuit of primitive survival skills and wilderness adventure. The company is committed to the sustainable use of natural resources around Gower, South Wales. There's lots of courses to suit everyone including a one day bushcraft course, a two day practical woodsman course and a week long bushmaster course. 

The one day (9.30am until dark) course will include an introduction to survival tools, fire lighting, shelter building and wilderness cookery. It costs £55 for adults and £45 for children. The comprehensive 'bushmaster' weeks course is £480 for adults and £300 for children.

For less physical pursuits, try the family gourmet weekend; a chef will be on hand to help cook a 3 course meal from seasonably available wild foods.  If you're worried about feeding off leaves and weeds alone, you can rest assured that extra food will be brought along to supplement it! The gourmet weekend costs £85 for adults and £40 for children.  Dryad Bushcraft courses would make a great father's day gift or just a birthday present for the man who has enough gadgets and socks! [Ella]

March 31, 2006 in Transport & travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Worth a trek

Trek_cocoa A long walk around the cliffs requires some sustenance and I can't get enough of these 'cocoa brownie' Trek bar's. Initially tempted by the name, I must admit these taste nothing like a regular chocolate brownie, more like a cocoa laced fruit and nut bar. Made from raw wholefood, natural non-GM ingredients with added ginkgo biloba and ginseng - the Trek bar promises to give you natural energy that lasts. Plus it's suitable for vegetarians and vegans.  Makers, Natural Balance Foods claim to do their best to support environmental, social and ethical causes.

A percentage of the sales of these bars goes to the global humanitarian organisation Care International. Trek bar's are provided for every participant in the Care International Challenge Series 2006/7 - outdoor pursuits to challenge poverty.

For less energy (for say, sitting at your computer all day) but more cocoa taste then try the 'cocoa loco' Nakd bars by the same makers.  The bars are available to buy in bulk from Natural Balance Foods for £24.99 for 24.  I got mine in Sainsbury's for £1 something. [Ella]

March 31, 2006 in Food & drink | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

From eco confetti to an ethical wedding

Basket_lg Most churches and wedding venues have a confetti ban.  It seems a bit 'bah humbug' but all those paper and foil shapes do create a lot of waste.  Bridalwave has suggested that blowing bubbles could be the new 'green' confetti but you may not be entirely convinced if you're worried about the nasty soapy mixture in plastic bottles (unless you make your own Ecover mixture!). The answer may lie with The Real Flower Confetti Company who make biodegradable confetti.  Of course, if you're planning an ethical wedding, the confetti is probably the last thing on your mind - there's the venue, rings, outfits.......

The Real Flower Confetti Company produce and sell delphinium and wildflower petals which are entirely natural.  No artificial drying or colouring is used in their preparation, allowing them to biodegrade as natural blossom.  One and half litres of the stuff (apparently enough for 20 guests) costs £21.00. [Ella]

Eco and ethical weddings - links of related interest:

The Independent - How to have a green wedding - Advice on food, transport and more.

Eco wedding dresses have been created for Well Fashioned - Crafts Council exhibition.

City Hippy has a new feature on ethical weddings - a dedicated site is soon to follow.

Bridal Wave - the blog for everything wedding-related. Want a conflict free diamond engagement ring? Read their post on Ethical diamonds are forever

Ganesha - Set up a wedding list through their fair trade shop

Related Hippyshopper Posts: Alternative Wedding List / Eco weddings at Penrhos / With this eco ring, I thee wed

UPDATE: I've found a few more great links; The Changing Times had an eco fashion challenge, which featured ethical wedding dress maker Wholly Jo and jewellery from Silver Chilli

Greenfibres, who sell organic bedding, clothing and more, also have a free wedding list service

That's it for now!!!

March 30, 2006 in Ethical & green gifts | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

It's not easy being green

056349346102lzzzzzzz No, I'm not refering to Kermit the frog's song but BBC's new series about one family's astonishing attempt to go green.  The Strawbridge family (dad - Dick, mum - Briget and kids - James and Charlotte) have taken on a 300 year old farmhouse in Cornwall with three acres of land, leaky roof and worst of all - no electricity, plumbing or other home comforts.  The Strawbridge's aim to live a modern lifestyle and be self-sufficient for energy and food.

Updated!

I'm absolutely gutted that I missed the first episode on Tuesday (I blame BBC 2 Wales digital) but I gather that the family built a water wheel to power their lighting.  In the next episode Dick, a retired Lieutenant-Colonel, plans to built a heat exchange made from recycled glass to keep his green house warm at night, as well as a solar shower.  You can also see how the family's permaculture vegetable plot is coming on.  Plus there are pigs and chickens to care for that are sadly destined for dinner.

There's a book due to be published 'The House that Dick Built / It's not easy being green', which can be ordered from Amazon (don't forget to do this through the Water Aid link).  The series will be shown every Tuesday night until 9th May at 8pm.  I certainly won't be missing the next one and there will be regular weekly links on Hippyshopper following their progress.  By the way, if anyone actually saw the programme, I'd love to hear your comments (below). [Ella]

Related Links: The Independent 20th March - Living The Eco Life In Cornwall / BBC Gardeners World News

190413239102lzzzzzzz Update: I was kindly send a copy (thanks Guy).  The first episode was fascinating; I couldn't get over their enthusiasm despite all the hardwork needed to get their project up and running.  Of course, they couldn't have done it without their student army of helpers and their advisors.  Why not do an environmental audit like the Strawbridge's did of their old lifestyle? Get Donnachadh McCarthy's book - 'Saving the planet without costing the earth - 500 simple steps to a greener lifestyle'.  I loved the way that Donnachadh was able to transform his London semi into an eco-house - you don't actually need a farm in Cornwall to live a greener home life! Can't wait for tonight's episode..... [Ella]

March 30, 2006 in Arts & information | Permalink | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Write for Hippyshopper

Single_recycled_pen It doesn't seem that long since I was answering this plea to write for Hippyshopper. Telling folks all about the latest green and fairtrade products gives me a real buzz (really!) and I'd love to hear from people with a similar passion for ethical consumerism. For now, there's no cash involved - the renumeration is simply the joy of the wordsmith and the prestige of being read on a site that gets more than a thousand hits every day. Plus you're doing your bit for the planet by showing readers the better alternative.

Interested? Email me with a sample Hippyshopper story - in the style of the site - on a subject you're interested in. Please paste it into the body of the mail rather than sending it as an attachment. [Ella]

Get writing! Pictured: Pen made from recycled computer printers. Costs 85p at Ecotopia.

March 29, 2006 in Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Patching up our environment

3girls Restitch aims to reduce the environmental impact of mass production and transportation of clothing around the world by using material already at hand. Their motto is 'recut, restitch, reuse'; adult clothing is turned into truly unique children's clothing.  Restitch uses corduroy and cotton because both are hard wearing and wash well.  The designs include beautiful pinafore dresses (pictured) and prices range from £25 to £35.  All products are made in England.

Their collection is for children aged 3 months to 3 years. Plus you can send you favourite work shirt and get your child a bespoke garment.  While this may seem like an innovation, its just a hark back to the old 'make do and mend' idea. Restitch is currently available at Equa, London and Big Blue Sky, Norfolk but their site will be transactional from July. [Ella]

March 29, 2006 in Kids stuff | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Plastic or paper? The winning cup

Thermo_mug_blue When we consider the use of plastic, its production and disposal - we immediately believe it to be the poor choice.  For example many of us automatically see a paper cup as preferable to a plastic one.  However a Canadian study has shown that a polystyrene cup uses less energy and raw materials in its production than a paper cup. But the paper cup will degrade right? Not if its put in a landfill.  And what about all that double cupping to protect your hands? Friends of the Earth, the voice of common sense, say that its better to use reusable cups than disposable ones.  But its not always going to be possible to have your reusable cup handy (excepting my grandma who even takes her willow pattern china cup on holiday). 

There's a great discussion at Treehugger - Eco cups - spilling the beans - basically you have to use your ceramic cup about 600 times to get your energy's worth.  Sounds a lot but with a couple of cups of tea a day, you'll soon reach that amount - as long as you're not a butter fingers!  Why not splash out on a Sigg Thermo Mug (£13.95) for hot drinks on the go? Plus you may like to protect your table with a coffee cup coaster made from recycled plastic vending cups - £3 at Biome Lifestyle .  [Ella - Thanks for the info Alex M]

March 28, 2006 in Energy saving, Food & drink, Recycling | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Eye want one

Untitled Add a little bit of sparkle to your make up routine with this eyeshadow encased in this decorative trinket box.  The eyeshadow is available in both subtle and bold shades and each comes in a different bejewelled case which has been fairly traded from Tara Projects, India.  Priced at £7.50, the eyeshadow is available from bnevertoobusytobebeautiful. Although it is noted that the make up itself is not fair trade. [Ella; Source: New Consumer Issue 22]

March 28, 2006 in Health & beauty | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Beauty In Detail

Ba002sml Fair Trade Art sell original paintings and limited edition prints that promote sustainable fair trade.  The current art available is posted on their website and includes a beautiful peacock feather painting entitled 'Beauty In Detail'.  This original acrylic on board by Berhane Adonai is priced at £550.

Fair Trade Art state that 1/3 profit goes to the artists; 1/3 helps fund projects in the countries that they import from and the final 1/3 remains in the company to fund exhibitions, advertising and to keep the company viable.  If an original painting is too costly, the limited edition prints start from £50. [Ella]

March 28, 2006 in Design & furniture | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Fair trade tourism

119_main You've probably heard about 'eco-tourism' defined by Responsible Travel as a 'walk on the wild side' that supports conservation and local people. 'Fair trade' tourism is the latest ethically motivated adventure available through Traidcraft Meet the People Tours.  You can develop your knowledge of different cultures and see first hand the impact fairtrade has in improving poor peoples lives.

You can visit Traidcraft producers in a variety of locations including India, Thailand, Kenya and Cuba.  How about trying basket weaving in Southern India (pictured)? This 15 day adventure includes one week learning skills at a basket making co-operative and living alongside workers in their homes.  In the second week, you can journey to palaces, gardens and temples and take the opportunity to see how a non governmental organisation is involved in integrated rural development; providing education and work.  The tour is priced at £990 (excluding flights) and includes train travel throughout the area, guided visits and 60% of your meals. I'd love to know if anyone has tried out one of these tours - please comment below. [Ella]

Related Posts: A green getaway in the sun / Intrepid Travellers

March 27, 2006 in Transport & travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack