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Wayne-Hemingway.jpgIf you've already switched off your heater for the spring, I'm pretty sure you're in the minority. Temperatures are set to stay colder for longer than usual in 2008, and many households will continue using central heating well into the remainder of the year.

As my Dad has always been fond of telling me, the best way to keep warm is just to put on more clothing. This view was not exactly fashionable in my youth, but now Wayne Hemingway has teamed up with B&Q to remind us all that we can save loads of energy just by putting on a jumper.

myhab3.jpgA year ago, the idea of a cardboard tent seemed like a highly unlikely, if not undesirable prospect for your temporary festival home. But following a successful trial, the Myhab is about to make its debut on the festival circuit.

Compared with pitching up your own tent, choosing a Myhab is in many ways a luxury option. They come pre-erected at various festival sites, including Reading, Leeds, Latitude, T in the Park and End of the Road festivals, and are fully waterproof, made from ultra tough recycled plastic and water proof cardboard.

biofuels.JPGTypical, isn't it? Just as most of us have worked out that biofuels are no solution to climate change, the government makes it clear that it really hasn't caught up. As of today, it has announced that all petrol and diesel sold in the UK must include at least 2.5% biofuels, a plan which the Department for Transport says will cut carbon-dioxide emissions by 2.5 million metric tons a year.

Laying aside the validy of that claim for now, one major concern is that this move comes at a time when the cost of staple food crops is rising drastically (130% on the price of wheat!) and riots are breaking out simultaneously in parts of the world where resources are scarce.

alexa chung.jpgTV presenter and former model Alexa Chung is hoping to blow the lid on the controversial world of sweatshop workers in a brand new reality programme for Channel 4.

In the 'reality TV' show, Alexa will investigate the conditions that factory workers in Asia, who get paid as little as 15p an hour, work under by setting up her own sweatshop right in the heart of London's Covent Garden. I can't help thinking of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's mock-up intensive chicken farm here, and wonder how realistic the conditions will be...

Trilby by Mae Finlayson 29 99 (3) (2).jpgCancer research UK has teamed up with recycled couture label reVamp to create some unique clothes and accessorise, refashioned from items donated to the charity's shops.

Each item is carefully handcrafted by reVamp to create truly unique statement pieces. The idea behind the collection is to lessen some of the environmental impact created by the fashion industry by sourcing existing materials to create the unique one-off designs whilst also raising money for research into cancer; the range launches next month. ReVamp's range is featured on the Cancer Research shopping site.

made in china.JPGIf the Olympic torch has shed light on anything, it's the case against the Chinese regime that's now shining brightest in many people's minds.

Laying aside for one moment the country's actions in Tibet, there have been concerns raised over its appalling human rights record (including 'starvationa wages' and poor working conditions), jailing of anyone who dares speak out against the regime and animal rights violations to name but a few objections.

choose your mail.jpgThe Mail Preference Service is a fantastically simple and efficient way to reduce the amount of junk that comes through your door, and takes less than a minute to register online.

Today, I found out about Choose Your Mail, another free service that helps you manage junk mail, but this one gives you more control over what you do and do not allow through your door. Say you're a big fitness freak and want to know about all the latest deals being offered by gyms in your area, but aren't so fussed about being sold new credit cards: you can specify these areas of interest on the site

[Via Greenjellybean]

soft_boiled_egg_1-thumb.jpgMore shoppers than ever are prepared to 'shell out' for free range eggs, following Jamie Oliver's expose on battery farming, it emerged last week. For the first time in supermarket history, free range outsold battery, with 51% of sales.

In 'Jamie's Fowl Dinners', which aired in January, Jamie Oliver highlighted some of the cruel practices of intensive chicken farming, and captured the nation's hearts by putting live, fluffy chicks on the dinner table - only to slaughter the male ones mimicking what goes on in egg farms every day. This was reflected in February's eggs sales, from which the figures were taken.


Coca cola recently anounced that it is to to introduce a line of clothing made from recycled plastic bottles, in a move that has attracted widespread criticism from the green movement. The t-shirts are made from a blend of recycled plastic bottles and cotton and feature playful, pithy slogans such as "Make your Plastic Fantastic" and "Rehash your Trash."

Many green bloggers and commentators have attacked Coca Cola for hypocrisy, claiming that the stunt does little to address the growing mountain of plastic drinks bottles that are not recycled (only 34% of PET bottles are recycled at present).

[Via Treehugger]

google earth.jpgCould an internet mapping program help save wildlife, preserve forests and protect biodiversity the world over? It sounds far-fetched, but Google has taken on the challenge, launching a new feature for Google Earth, which helps conservationists do their job.

An example of where the globe-trotting software could help the planet is provided by Chief Almir Surui from Brazil, who has been working with Google for the past year to map his tribe's lands in the Amazon and to create a 50-year plan for sustainable living. He explains: "The Google Earth Outreach team is helping me and my people to map our lands to ensure our knowledge is saved for future generations and to ensure our forests are not cut down by illegal loggers."

[Via Daily Telegraph]

Blu-ray logo.jpgBlu-ray (the DVD format that triumphed over rival HD DVD, and which will be thus appearing in all living rooms before the decade is out) has been awarded the "Best Green Packaging" award by the Digital Entertainment Group (DEG) at this year's Green Entertainment Awards, held last week in Los Angeles. That's good to know, if it's going to become the standard format.

"We are delighted that the home entertainment community is embracing eco-friendly solutions that will help lessen the effects on climate change," said Amy Jo Smith, Executive Director, DEG. "We give particular recognition to Disney's Larry Wilk who is a crusader for embracing environmental friendly practices in the industry." [Via HDTV UK]

olympic torch.jpgIt's not exactly been plain sailing for the poor old olympic torch. Already snuffed out twice and reduced to travelling by bus in Paris, its progress around the 23 Olympic cities has been seriously hampered by controversy over China's recent behaviour in Tibet.

But that's just the beginning for the infamous symbol of strength and athleticism: it's also been revealed that the 'pyro parade' will emit 5,500 tons of CO2, factoring in all the flights that will take it between London, Paris, San Francisco, Bangkok, Islamabad and Almaty to name but a few of the locations it will visit.

sun jar blue.jpgShould this new version of the ever popular sun jar really be called the 'moon jar'? No form of global warming has ever made the sun glow this ghostly shade of blue as far as I'm aware, but it certainly looks pretty when placed in a darkened room.

Perfect for camping trips, curious kids or anyone into quirky lighting, the sun jar stores up solar energy during the day so you can use it at night. When the jar is placed in sunlight the solar cell creates an electrical current that charges the battery. This energy is then used at night to power the three LED lamps inside the jar.

£19.99 at Totally Funky

twscoopmoon.jpgThe Green Apple has always been high on my list of top hippy shopping joints, but it's looking even better following a recent makeover. I dropped in for a look and noticed the changes this afternoon, which make navigation around the site even easier than before.

While I was there, I noticed this gorgeous scoop-neck top, an organic cotton/lycra blend that's being sold exclusive to the site. Sweatshop-free and delivered to you under a carbon neutral tree-planting scheme, it's a tribute to mother nature! £23.00 at the Green Apple

therma coat.jpgStill feeling the pinch of winter? (I admit I slept with my socks on last night). If so, there are many things you can do to reduce energy leakage around the home: putting foil behind the radiators, blocking crevices in the windows and putting a trusty dog or snake draught excluder under the door to name but a few.

Another solution is applying insulating substrates or 'primers' to the appliances that heat up, effectively sealing in the energy. One such product is Therma Coat, whose makers claim will cut your energy loss by 20%.

Related: Top 5 green ways to keep warm

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