Monday, December 17, 2007

Merry Christmas to you all!

Due to Christmas holidays, postings will now be sporadic until the New Year. So it is probably a good time to wish all the readers of this blog a fantastic festive period and the best of fortunes for 2008.

I'm off to Belfast (yes, I'm f*****g) for rest, relaxation and mulling on whether the outcome of the Bali conference is the breakthrough the world has been waiting for, a disaster or a mixture of both. I just can't make up my mind!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Ever been misled by a 'green product'?

Earlier in the week I mentioned the 'natural' product containing the decidedly unnatural triclosan - well here's an amusing little piece on the six deadly sins of green-washing (hat tip to Charlie Clutterbuck on the Compass Network).

By the way, I spent yesterday at the Faith in Nature factory near Bury - they are hardcore green, so no worries there!

Labels: ,

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Down the drain?

While most environmentalists are focussing on the big issue du jour, climate change, and the talks in Bali, the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) has flagged up the fact that we still need to take care on more parochial issues such as not poisoning our water supply. Musks and petroleum based materials for personal hygiene products can take a very long time to break down in the environment and some are toxic.

I've been using this lovely chocolate shower gel from Faith in Nature. One of the claims is 'no SLES'. I must admit I had to look up what SLES was: sodium laureth ether sulphate - used as a foamer. According to Wikipedia, there's been quite a debate about the toxicity (or otherwise) of SLES, although it is known to inflame sensitive skin, so probably not a bad thing to avoid anyway.

The green personal cleansing product market has been established for a long time, but take care with the labels. I spotted a 'natural' product in one major high street store which contained triclosan - an anti bacterial agent. There has been a similar debate on whether triclosan can cause bacteria to become resistant to antibiotics (the scientific community suggests not), but it is still regarded as a persistent pollutant in the RSC study so shouldn't really be in a product promoted as 'green'.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, December 10, 2007


OK, I might be making a mountain out of the proverbial, but this little humdinger really hacked me off. I normally buy organic free-range eggs, but these battery hen eggs weedled their way into my fridge. You should be able to make out that they say "From Caged Hens for Food Safety".

Food safety? Two words: Bernard Matthews.


Friday, December 07, 2007

It's a long walk to CC

If you haven't heard, the big annual climate change march is in London tomorrow. Fine if you like that sort of thing, but it's not my cup of tea...

Labels: ,

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Hotel Toilet Fun (no, it's not what you think, I'm afraid)

I'm writing this in a very funky Leicester hotel room because I'm at the Local Government Association Climate Change Conference.

The bathroom has a dim light that comes on when you go in and automatically switches off when no motion (ahem) is detected, normally when you've left. Brilliant in eco-terms, but if you nip to use the loo, it switches off unless you keep moving.

Toilet dancing - it'll be the next big thing - you heard it here first.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Citroën wins "Green Car Manufacturer of The Year" 2007

Citroën isn't a name which would readily drop off my lips when it comes to the environment, but they've won the Green Fleet Awards "Car Manufacturer of The Year" for 2007. Looking at their stats (23 models exempt from the London congestion charge for low emissions) it looks as if they've stolen a march on their competitors. Let's see if anyone else takes on the challenge...

Labels: ,

Sunday, December 02, 2007

We're all getting greener...

The Co-operative Bank is reporting that ethical consumer spending in the UK has doubled to 5% of total expenditure since 2002. This backs up the recent DEFRA survey on the general public's attitudes.

Food in particular is one sector where consumers are choosing fairtrade, organic and sustainably sourced products, breaking through the 5% 'glass ceiling' to hit 7%. Interestingly the cash spent by people choosing to shop locally has increased by 50%, although I could imagine a little guilt inspired exaggeration could have crept into that one...

Energy efficient white goods continue to grow ever more popular, up 44%, aided by easy-to-understand energy ratings. Micro-renewables are doing much better, but are still low in priority, up from £0 per household in 2002 to £6. The ongoing problems with renewables grants and the news story today that micro-wind turbines in urban settings can produce less energy than they take to make won't help that one...