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travel.jpgIf you find yourself in need of a holiday but short of cash (or time), it can be easier to book a cheap flight and hotel than to consider the costs - to the local economy as well as environment - of your holiday.

The responsible tourism awards, run by the Times and Responsible Travel, are hoping to change that by publicising the breadth of responsible holidays on offer. And by nominating a winner you can be entered into a prize draw to win a holiday of your own.

kangaroo%20bike.jpgI'm a cyclist, and I have a young daughter, but I've never been comfortable with the idea of her riding in a trailer behind the bike. I think they are too low, and vulnerable, and I'd hate not being able to see her, so we use a bike seat, but I would swap that in a second for one of these beauties by Kangaroo Bike. This is essentially a trike with front mounted 'cabin'. The bike frame is made of aluminium, so it's both light and strong. It has a 3-point steering system and independent suspension on the front, so the handling is great. It has hydraulic brakes on the front wheels and a footbrake on the rear wheel, so it will stop quickly, despite it's size. The cabin will carry two children (up to 150cm tall) and even has a baby seat to accommodate a little one up to nine months. At £1695 it's not cheap, but you could always sell the car!

Related: Charge up for the Tour de Presteigne Wrangler Electric Mountain Bike | Battery-powered biking from PowaCycle

heartspring1.jpgFancy a holiday? Need a few days away from the stress of everyday life? Then Heartspring Retreat in the lovely village of Llansteffan is the place to go. Heartspring is an eco-friendly house restored a few years ago using healthy, toxic-free materials and energy saving solar panels. There are rooms and small apartments available. The food as well as being delicious, is organic and vegan. Even the village pubs will cater for vegans if you ask.

Set in a designated conservation area, there are many sign-posted walks, from coastal paths to woodlands and marshes that will keep you occupied and fit throughout your stay.

Heartspring offers set retreat breaks that include a package of therapies, or you can simply stay at the hotel and book therapies if you want to. They have a comprehensive range of therapies available to guests, including meditation techniques, healing therapies, massage and living food workshops.

moped.jpgHere's a good compromise if you hate public transport, are terrified of cycling but you're not wedded to your car and you want to reduce your carbon emissions: the EcoMoped!

This moped is powered by electricity, cutting pollution caused by petrol - and if you have a green electricity supplier, it also means your transport will create zero or low carbon emissions. If you're tempted then now is the right time to order - not only is using a moped more enjoyable in the summer when you can enjoy feeling the sun as you ride, but for all orders placed before the end of April, EcoMoped are offering free delivery, vehicle registration and colour-coded top box.


Related:eGo Helio rechargable moped | More transport and travel

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Taking a greener holiday was among today’s carbon-diet advice in a two-day feature run by the Times. UK holiday makers have increased carbon emissions by 85 per cent since 1990 by flying abroad. Taking a cheap flight to Europe is deemed a carbon sin compared with the same journey made on emission-friendly trains. Flights from London to Paris or Brussels generate ten times more carbon dioxide emissions than taking the train, according to independent research for Eurostar.

The Times’ advice is to start cutting down on carbon calories by taking less flights. Limiting ourselves to one carbon-fat long-haul holiday every other year is one suggestion, exploring Britain by train or car is another. Perhaps they have missed the point when they suggest doing New York shopping online. But if you must fly we can do our bit by what they call “carbon offsetting” - a scheme by which concerned consumers can cancel out their impact on climate change by paying towards energy-saving projects in developing countries. We can donate towards installing wind turbines or rooftop solar panels when we book our airtickets. Check out British Airways’ scheme on their website.

Related Stories: Green Air Travel | Treeflights

Chill out with AutoVent solar car cooler

solar%20car%20cooler.jpgThe last thing you want after being out in the sun is to get into a sweltering, red hot oven of a car, but more often than not, that's what happens. You'll be pleased to hear then, that the cost of chilling your car while the sun beats down is just £28, with this solar powered car cooler. The AutoVent is available online at Sunshine Solar.The more sunlight there is, the more it cools. Clever eh?

Simply position the solar ventilator on the (closed) window of your car while it's parked, and it draws hot air and odours outside, replacing them with fresh cool air. If it's a particularly cloudy day, it can also operate by plugging in to your car's cigarette lighter.

tribewanted.jpgIf you have ever dreamed of becoming a castaway in an eco-sustainable community based in an exotic faraway location, now is your chance. Two UK entrepreneurs established Tribewanted, a real and online island community, with the aim of creating a sustainable village on Vorovoro Island, in Fiji and a bustling online community.

The founders were initially seeking 5000 people to join the tribe. Currently 1149 places are taken. When the numbers hit 5000, the tribe will be constructed and make vital decisions by voting through the Tribalwanted.com community, on various salient issues.

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No I’m not pulling your leg or your undercarriage, it’s called WheelTug. Instead of planes using their jet engines to taxi at 15mph or being lugged around by chugging tugging trucks, a Gibraltar-based company could put a stop to all this monkeying around. Wheeltug Plc have developed high-torque electric motors powerful enough to pull a passenger jet, and what's more they are built into the aircraft’s own wheels. Genius! Delta airlines think so too and have ordered the motors to be installed in their Boeing 737NG fleet by late 2009.

Related Stories: Outerspace with Virgin Galactic | Boeing's Concept Hydrogen Plane

diesel.jpgGreen-Car-Guide.com recently highlighted that diesel cars are better for the environment. Eh? Aren’t diesels basically oil burning moving chimneys? Well apparently not. Diesel engines produce around 10% less CO2 emissions than petrol engines. Now we all know that they produce higher emissions of Nitrogen Oxide (NOx), which is bad for local air quality. However, if a diesel is fitted with a particulate filter, the naughty NOx effect is brought to almost zero. If this is true then it is unfair that diesels have a higher road tax due to a pollution myth.

Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show the demand for diesel cars increased by 7.8% in the first quarter of 2006. This is more than superminis which grew by 6.6%. For those uninitiated, supermini is car lingo for little cars with small engines and are the greenest option for petrol cars due to their low fuel consumption. But now we don’t have to suffer from green guilt due to our car buying habits. Especially since a Which? magazine survey of around 25,000 of its readers last year found that 94% wanted fuel efficient cars to be cheaper while 76% backed tax increases for fuel inefficient cars.

kodak.jpgThis story was of particular interest to me as it contains two of my favourite things...beer and men with shaved legs! 'Kodak Gallery pro cycling team presented by Sierra Nevada Brewing Company' not only get the award for the longest name in pro cycling history, they are also the first pro team to go carbon neutral.

U.S team Kodak Gallery got together with Renewable Choice Energy to purchase enough wind energy to offset 100% of the carbon emissions they produce, including the team and management's home electricity usage and transportation emissions, not from their bikes I might add! According to the U.S Dept of Energy the credits which have been bought equate to not driving 670,000 miles, planting 8,500 trees, or preventing the burning of 345,000 lbs of coal! Perhaps they should also consider generating their own energy by fitting some modern dynamos to their bikes while they're racing!

Related: Bike Friday folding bicycles | The Bike Station: recycled cycles | Do carbon-offset schemes work?

wrangler%20electric%20bike.JPGWhat would you want to be riding when you enter the 2007 Tour de Presteigne Electric Bike Endurance Rally? As continental as it sounds Presteigne is a small Welsh border town, but nevertheless, I’m not going to be seen dead on one of those converted granny-bike lookalikes however many watts the spec says it’s pumping. So how about this medium priced little number? The Wrangler electric mountain bike is exactly that: a 21 shimano-geared, aluminium alloy framed, 26” wheeled normal looking funky masculine mountain bike. But once you get a bit sweaty under your lycra, you can let the 200W electric motor power you effortlessly to your destination. [Jonathan Kalmus]

NICE%20mega%20city%20car.jpgNICE stands for 'no internal combustion engine', and it's the company responsible for the cute, zero-emission vans that have appeared all over London in recent months. Due to the vans' resounding success in the capital (taking into account congestion charging, and fuel costs they can save businesses up to £7,000 a year), NICE is now bringing the zero emission experience to the masses, with its Mega City car - a must-have for true urbanites who want to be nice to the environment.

The Mega City is exempt from road tax, as well as congestion charging. While the car itself produces no C02 emissions, you can go a step further, and opt for a completely carbon neutral package, as NICE will ensure that the electricity used to charge your car will come exclusively from renewable sources, provided by Ecotricity. Alternatively, you can choose a carbon offset scheme. The car retails from £9 995.00 (VAT inclusive)

Related posts: Hippyshopper at the Sexy Green Car Show | Look out for Pret-a-Manger's cute little vans

Toni Electroni: the scooter from the supermarket

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Crazy-cool Dutch brand From the Supermarket have moved up a level from selling water, juice and t-shirts: they've just launched Toni Electroni, a nippy little moped that runs on electricity and makes hardly any noise at all. It's entirely eco friendly, and cute as a button.

Its makers say that the bike is great at hill-starts as the engine doesn't suffer from the delay of a petrol engine, and riding one is said to feel like 'skiing on land'. With a 2.2 Kw engine, it's both fast and clean. It also has 'Wifi and iPod' possibilities, so you can zip along to your favourite tunes.

Related posts: eGo Helio rechargable moped

heels.jpgI can't walk in high-heeled shoes, so I've given up buying them, but this new gadget from the ethical superstore made me smile so I had to share it.

Heels on Wheels is a rubber attachment that fastens on to your bike pedals so that your feet will grip the pedals no matter what shoes you're wearing. That means no more using your heels as an excuse for driving or getting a taxi...

Related posts: Winter shoes to keep you on your bike | Put on your recycled dancing shoes

The c,mm,n: a quite uncommon car

commoncar.jpgThe c,mm,n (pronounced 'common') is being billed as an 'open source' car. It's also green, but let's get back to that later. What of the open-source stuff? The geeks in the office tell me this means 'that you can adapt it, like Wikipedia', but I was still a little baffled by how this definition could be related to motoring. Isn't most open-source software free for a start?

[Via Gizmodo]

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