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It was reported today that sales of organic food are in decline for the first time in years, and consumers are complaining that many foods sold as 'eco-friendly' - particularly those sold in premium food 'emporiums' like Whole Foods Market - are simply too expensive.

This got me to thinking on how else the current economic climate could affect our shopping habits, and whether we'll see a return to buying cheaper, less healthy and less ethically-produced food. But my hunch is that it need not: there are ways to eat organic all year round without visiting any posh delis: growing your own, for example, or ordering in a veggie box to make a week's worth of nutritious organic meals. And for non-food products, buying green is often a big money saver: greener gadgets invariably result in lower energy use, for example. But are we prepared to put in the effort when you can buy intensively-farmed chickent for a couple of quid? Yay or nay.

Related: Hippyshopper guide to saving money the green way | Supermarkets forced to electronically tag organic chicken

nigelsecostore-hols.gifNigel is offering a generous holiday gift for the rest of August, in the form of 10% off the price of anything on the site.

I hardly need to tell you how much great eco stuff there is to be found in the store, but you might want to check out in particular these hot pink fairtrade sneakers, solar powered shaver and the mini fridge. If you'd like to save some pennies with your purchases, simply enter the code ECOAUG in the checkout when purchasing. Thanks Nige!

Related: Ethical clothing sale at Fashion Conscience | Adili sale: now up to 50% off the best in eco chic

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The fight against global warming is being fought (literally) at our doorsteps, with new solutions to plastic milk bottles being thought up all the time, addressing our perculiar attachment to cow juice. First it was milk in a bag, and now a cardboard bottle has been designed to replace the sturdy plastic sort, resulting in an apparent 48 per cent 'lower carbon footprint'. The bottles, which are also easier to recycle than plastic ones, will initially be trialled at Asda in Lowestoft.

Of course, it could be argued that dairy farming is already such a big contributor to this country's C02 emissions that this is small improvement, but I don't see small steps forward as a bad thing (and until they develop a decent-tasting vegan cheese, will not be giving up milk for anything!)

[Via EcoFriend]

Related: Sainsburys to sell milk in a bag | Turn milk bottles into stylish contemporary lamps

save_the_sea.jpgEco designer extraordinaire Katharine Hamnett has turned the focus of her attention to the aquatic world with her latest collection (well, 'slogan'), which bears the legend 'Save the Sea'.

"We get 98% of our oxygen from the sea; the sea is dying because of pollution and environmental degradation", warns Hamnett, who has created the new range of oversized (it's an '80s thing) tops in association with the Environmental Justice Foundation's campaign against a practice called pirate fishing, which I'm sad to say involves neither dressing up or Johnny Depp.

Follow the jump to find out where to buy these red hot designs

prince_charles.jpgPrince Charles has issued a stark warning on the use of GM produce in an interview with the Telegraph today, claiming the genetically tweaked crops could cause
global catastrphe.

The Eco Prince, who has a passionate personal interst in the subject, went against the official government line on GM crops, which is stepping up research in the area insisting that the dangers are exaggerated. But Charles sees the developments as a disaster waiting to happen, claiming the crops are damaging the earth's soil and are 'an experiment gone seriously wrong'.

Related: Government backing plan to grow GM crops in the UK | Prince Charles to release Hollywood eco-documentary?

moreeco.jpgIn these penny-pinching times, green intentions can sometimes take a back seat, so here's some good news if you're a regular at green online stores like Nigel's Eco Store, Natural Collection and Big Green Smile and want to save some cash: there's now a loyalty card scheme that gives discounts on all these eco retail haunts and more.

MoreEco is very simple to use, as all you need do is sign up online and start shopping. As you clock up points, you can trade them in for further green purchases, carbon offset schemes or donations towards forest protection schemes. With such great partners and such an easy to use interface, I can't see any reason why not to take advantage of this scheme, so why not sign up?

Related: Get carbon cred with new green rewards card

the_caravan_poster255x361.jpgUnused as we are to natural disasters in this country, it's hard to believe that the residents of 2,200 households in the UK are still scraping together an existence in caravans following last summer's epic floods.

But go and see The Caravan, a new production from documentary theatre company Look Left Look Right, and you'll feel significantly less distanced from the events of 2007; the wettest summer on record. To recreate the cramped environment endured by flood victims, the performance takes place in a real 20-foot mobile 'home', where audience members jostle for space as the actors recount real-life accounts of those affected while offering you custard creams and cups of tea in styrofoam cups...

Related: Climate change at home: UK floods caught on video | MPs tell us to learn from Europe on dealing with floods

dell.jpgLike most electronics brands today, Dell wants to be the greenest technology company on the planet. It came a step closer to that goal today when it announced that it has met its carbon neutral goal sooner than planned, thanks to an 'aggressive' global energy efficiency campaign.

The 'greening up' began in earnest in 2004, when Dell began investing in green electricity from utility providers, including wind, solar and methane-gas capture. The interest in green energy also extends to the company's own global HQ campus, which is powered by 100 percent green energy.

Related: Dell's new mini hybrid PC | New Dell PC made from 'bamboo, bottles and jugs'

nail care.jpgI always felt there was something sinister going on in those nail parlours that are cropping up all over the place; and I'm not just talking about the disturbing designs they like to paint on women's oversized talons! No, I'm refering to the smell, that waft of chemical wrongness that hits you in the face every time you walk past one.

And it seems I was on to something, because health experts have pointed an 'accusing finger' at nail bars this week, claiming they are risking the health of their customers by using a range of unregulated, harmful chemicals...

giantkites.jpgI know people who get a lot of pleasure out of kite flying, but I've always tended to rib them about their hobby being a bit, well, pointless. Now it seems I might be eating my words, as their frivolous little passtime could be about to revolutionise how we power our homes.

Dutch scientists came up with the concept, which would use giant kites moored in windy areas to harness the power of the wind.

[Via Dvice]

winner-lrg-tall.pngIn just three years, Nigel's Eco Store has become the first port of call for many eco-minded shoppers, as well as being a great source of advice on green living. Now, founder Nigel Berman has drawn on his unique spot in the green community to host the Green Web Awards, and has called upon the combined wisdom of the ecorazzi to rate everything from best ethical health and beauty sites to the worst greenwash culprits.

I was delighted to learn that Hippyshopper had scooped third place in the Eco Blogs and News Sites category and it was a particular honour to finish just behind the mighty Treehugger and the Guardian Environment pages! To read the full list of winners, click here.

climate_camp_2008.jpgYou may be aware that this year's Climate Camp is currently taking place at Kingnorth in Kent, where there are plans to build the first new coal-fired power station in the UK for 30 years. There's no illegal activitiy going on as far as I'm aware, as the landowner has agreed to let the protesters move in.

An online friend of mine is at the camp right now, and has been sending regular twitter updates on what's been happening. It's all been peaceful until today, with some fun sounding eco workshops and other harmless awareness-raising activities taking place. But she's just reported in a friend's blog that riot police are now trying to break into the site and using pepper spray, tear gas, and physical violence

woodland.jpgAt one point or another, it's likely you'll have given the Woodland Trust some money towards planting a tree, and soon you'll be able to see the full impact of your generosity as the Trust prepares to purchase a vast 850 acre site, with the sole intention of filling it with trees! The site, which was until recently shrowded in myster, has now been named as Sandridge, near St Albans, Herts.

A continuous native forest of this size has never been created in England before, so this is a huge project. If you'd like to put your weight behind this epic project and be responsible for one of the trees, it's easy to donate online.

Follow the jump for a lovely video all about the project and why it's important

Related: Dorothy Perkins teams up with the Woodland Trust | Britannia Building Society and Woodland Trust launch Tree For All campaign

innocent_village_fete.jpgIt's Innocent Village fet time this weekend, so if you've already got tickets, I'm sure you'll be looking forward to some good clean fun in the park. I certainly had a lovely time last year.

But if you're not ticketed up, don't despair: Liberation Nuts, the first and only 100% fair trade nuts company, will be rocking up at the fete, as a part of its on-the-road campaign to drive awareness for fair trade -- and they promise to whizz over the tickets to winning entrants before tomorrow the fun starts. For instructions on how to enter this fabulous last minute competition, read on over the jump.

lush_stardust.jpgFor any company that wants to appeal to today's eco-savvy, health aware consumer, the watchword is 'transparency'. And Lush has gone a step further than most, with a new project to make every single ingredient it uses searchable on the site, using a Wikipedia-style database.

The 'Lushipedia', which is now nearing completion, lets you click on any ingredient listed for each product and takes you to an information page with facts about the substance in question (clickable ingredients appear in blue).

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