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Trevor Bayliss wind up bike lights
There's nothing I'd like better than a spot of cycling right now (though possibly not in this morning's drizzle), but unfortunately my shiny new electric bike *still* hasn't arrived from Urban Mover. I ordered it in the summer time, but it's still not here, and it's probably safe to say that the summer is now well and truly over. Personal bike gripes aside, those of you lucky enough to own a bike will probably be turning your thoughts to the imminent clock change on the 28th October.

ECOutlet has done a nice post on its company blog to advertise its range of eco-friendly bike lighting. First up, their new Micro Bike Lights have been designed by the supreme Trevor "wind-up" Bayliss. One minute of winding provides 90 minutes of illumination, which should be more than enough to get you home and back. .

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If a country merely considering green its national colour doesn't make it green enough for you to want to visit it, then you may like to look at the GreenBox website. The Greenbox region is Ireland's first ecotourism destination - a beautiful, unspoilt landscape boasting unique ecosystems and areas of high conservation value - and Responsible Tourism Ltd (trading as Greenbox Ltd) is an organisation which was created in order to further develop ecotourism in the area. All the companies which offer retreats and tours in the Greenbox region must adhere to a standard known as the The European Eco-label for tourist accommodation services and camp site services (The EU Flower).

Ireland Ecotours runs two particularly interesting looking day-long tours. The Green Scene tour transports passengers round the region in an eco-friendly bio-bus powered with Pure Plant Oil, stopping on the way to teach them about the solar panels, windmills and micro hydro power used in the area. The Two Forests Mountain Biking Tour is a comprehensive tour of the region which also focuses on teaching cyclists how to adopt the most environmentally friendly practises possible whilst out biking. Cyclists are taught not to disturb wildlife, spread seeds, or churn up areas of marsh and wetland, and given a code of practise to take away with them. Alternatively, if you fancy a more spiritual approach, and err more towards the 'retreat' side of things than the 'tour' side, you might wish to investigate the breaks offered by Wilderness Therapy Sessions, The Ard Nahoo Eco Retreat Experience, or Blaney Spa and Yoga Centre.

multimap.jpgLove it or hate it - we all have to travel sometime. But now Multimap has joined forces with carbon-reducers Carbon Clear to help us keep our travel carbon footprints to a minimum.

By looking at things like mode of transport and engine size, Multimap will provide information how much CO2 each journey will use up. Travellers will also be able to compare their carbon foot print if they were to take other modes of transport.

Multimap's founder Sean Phelan, said, "We all know that driving has a negative effect on the environment. We've partnered with Carbon Clear to help raise users' awareness of the impact of driving, and also to make it easier to offset the carbon emissions of those journeys."

raileurope.jpgIf you’re booking your winter holiday, why not travel to the Continent by train with Rail Europe? They’re the specialist in online French and European rail travel and the UK’s largest distributor of European rail travel, with over 100 years of experience and a wide range of travel options available.

Rail is the eco way to travel to Europe. The network of 300 km/h services will carry you swiftly and comfortably to literally hundreds of destinations. Rail Europe can book travel on Eurostar, on the entire French network including the high speed TGV, overnight trains including the Elipsos hoteltrain from Paris to Barcelona or Madrid, the Motorail service from Calais to the South of France and the Snow Train, to the French Alps. According to the French Environmental Institute, domestic flights have a carbon footprint of 180g per kilometre for each passenger, whereas trains have a mere 5.7g – choo choo I say.

Related stories: Virgin trains to eco chug on biodiesel | Poll: Train vs. Plane – Which is greener?

raileurope.jpgIf you’re booking your winter holiday, why not travel to the Continent by train with Rail Europe? They’re the specialist in online French and European rail travel and the UK’s largest distributor of European rail travel, with over 100 years of experience and a wide range of travel options available.

Rail is the eco way to travel to Europe. The network of 300 km/h services will carry you swiftly and comfortably to literally hundreds of destinations. Rail Europe can book travel on Eurostar, on the entire French network including the high speed TGV, overnight trains including the Elipsos hoteltrain from Paris to Barcelona or Madrid, the Motorail service from Calais to the South of France and the Snow Train, to the French Alps. According to the French Environmental Institute, domestic flights have a carbon footprint of 180g per kilometre for each passenger, whereas trains have a mere 5.7g – choo choo I say.

Related stories: Virgin trains to eco chug on biodiesel | Poll: Train vs. Plane – Which is greener?

ecobookers.jpgecobookers.com is a new booking engine for eco-friendly accommodation around the world. Search for accommodation by destination or take a look at one of the lifestyle sections for inspiration, such as eco luxury, eco families or eco on a budget. You can book securely and easily online. I picked a nice country manor in Sao Pedro do Sul in Portugal to keep down my flying footprint. The manor is set in certified organic farmland.

My impression is that it’s a new website and they need to increase the number of destinations available. For example, there was only one in the entire USA. But it’s a nice idea, and one which hopefully will take off and give the average person the choice to book an eco holiday.

Related stories: Organic places to stay in the UK | Ecoescape green travel guide

BDO_for_article_thumb.jpeg If you're a real hippy at heart, why not celebrate the Equinox this Saturday with the Big Wheel's Big Day Out at Nottingham Castle. The day is designed to encourage and celebrate sustainable transport and healthy living in general in and around Nottingham.

There's a travel offer for families travelling to the Big Day Out on certain local public transport routes as well as information on local walking and cycling routes. For lunch, there's local organic and ethnic food to eat, and to relax afterwards, try out the Healing Zone with various complementary therapies, such as Indian Head Massage.

Bike%20Commuter%201.jpgGovernment backed cycling group Cycling England have said that by encouraging more people onto bikes we could save the taxpayer £520 million and help reduce the effects of climate change. They claim that just a 20% increase in journeys by bike would lower health costs and reduce congestion. They added if the Government were to make an annual investment of £70 million in cycling initiatives they could cut up to 54 million car journeys per year by 2012, which would reduce CO2 emissions by 35,000 tonnes.

[via The Guardian]

Google to invest $10 million in green cars

google-elevator.jpgAs if we didn't need it, here's proof that Google is still greener than its 'energy saving' rival, Blackle!

The world's favourite search engine has announced that it is to invest $10 million in “green” startups with a new scheme called RechargeIT. Specifically, the company is looking to invest $500k - $2 million in multiple for-profit startups that are focusing on electric and hybrid transport.

Google is asking for funding proposals to be submitted to by October 22 (FAQ here). These will be reviewed by Google employees, as well as a team of external advisers with expertise in Electric vehicles. Google is certainly a company with a good track record for tapping into the zeitgeist, so this project could result in some very interesting and worthwhile projects. Go google!

bccmailcyclist.jpgOctober is officially Breast Cancer Awareness Month and one of the events taking place to help raise funds is Life Cycle. It's a fun challenge which asks participants to cycle various distances to raise funds for breast cancer research. You could cycle 50 miles in one month, 25 in one day, or another distance of your choosing and the highest individual fund raiser will win a top model mountain bike from Evans Cycles. It's a great opportunity to get fit, while raising money for a good cause.

There are many other events being organised across the country to help with this worthy cause, including running events, friendship walks, barbecues and simply wearing pink. If you want to take part in any of them, or would like to organise something of your own you can find details on the Breast Cancer Campaign website.

homepage.gifIf you're in or around the centre of London on the 23rd September you may notice something rather weird. There will be an eerie quietness due to the fact that, for one day only, there will be a complete ban on all motorised transport on a nine mile stretch of the city's streets. Everyone who rides a bike is invited to don their helmets and pedal down to the Nations capital to enjoy a full day of car, van and bus free cycling. You will have the opportunity to safely ride pass some of London's most famous sights such as the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace thanks to bread makers Hovis, who are sponsoring this event, and Red Ken - the Mayor. When you've had enough of the cycling you can head over to St. James's Park where the Freewheel Festival will be held, with a Cycling Circus, bike maintenance classes, refreshments and other entertainment. You can sign up and receive your free welcome pack here.

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How literal do we need to get when it comes to persuading people that green cars can be sexy?

The latest mean machine is less subtle than most, dubbed the 'Fetish'. Made by Venturi, a young motor company which launched its first electric sports car at the Paris motorshow in 2004, it will be rolling out the Fetish later this month. The car will have a zero-to-60 time of around five seconds, and there's no denying that it looks cool.

However, don't get too excited just yet. Venturi plans to produce only five of the cars per year (yes, you did read that right) each with a price tag of €450,000—about six times the price of its rival, the Tesla. Can you guess what Venturi's fetish is? That's right...extreme sadism!

splash_photo2a.jpgI enjoy running, but I've never been dedicated enough to do it while I'm on holiday. If you're not as lazy as me, and want to combine some exercise with some sight seeing you should consider a City Running Tour. The idea was founded by a keen runner from New York City who wanted to share his passion for the sport with his love for the city. He's aiming the tours at the business traveller who is bored with the hotel gym, and the marathon runner who wants to keep training while on vacation. There's also the people who just want to see the city from a slightly different perspective.

S1_5_2_Environment.jpgIf the Liberal Democrats have their way all petrol cars will be banned by 2040. The radical proposals were announced today by party leader Sir Menzies Campbell, and environment spokesman Chris Huhne as part of a scheme to make the Britain carbon neutral by 2050. Mr Huhne wants to see hydrogen fuel cell powered cars and predicts there will be other new technologies which will replace petrol engines. He compared the changes to the move from steam to internal combustion engines at the start of the 20th century. Their ten point plan also commits to 100% non nuclear, carbon-free generation by 2050, and a green tax aimed specifically on those who pollute the most.

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If you’re buying a new car, find the most environmentally friendly one on the Government’s Act on CO2 website. It has the top 10 'Best on CO2' car rankings for each class, a system compiled in association with What Car? Magazine. Just type in the car you’re after, transmission and fuel type and you’ll be given a list of the lowest CO2 emitting models.

Steve Fowler, Editor of What Car? said:
“These car rankings are exactly what consumers need to make an informed choice about the type of car to buy in order to minimise their fuel consumption, save money and help tackle climate change. Car buyers are making increasingly difficult choices about the cars they buy and these rankings will help them to include environmental factors when making that vital decision.”

Related stories: Act on CO2 carbon calculator | Electric mini

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