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Eco house inspiration

roof turbine

Source: Green Factory

Dreaming of an eco-home, here are some links to inspire you.

Green Factory

World Business Saving the Earth

Superhomes (Awesome)

Eco Hab

Take heed because above are accounts of real people who have created sustainable houses joining the Superhouses groups of low-carbon houses. Your eco-housing dreams can be realised by those who own the skills, the knowledge and the enthusiasm to work with you to make all our eco-dreams come true. Here is to a low-carbon future.

What do the environment agency say?

Flood alleviation: Green roofs

Climate change will lead to an increase in rainfall and more intense rain storms, leading to more frequent flooding, including from surface water. Green roofs are one way that we can help stem this problem.

Green roofs are an important example of the kind of technology that can help us adapt to climate change.
These roofs are partly or completely covered in plants, grown in a mixture of soil and recycled construction waste such as crushed bricks. This is laid on top of high-tech waterproof membranes. In addition to cooling and insulating buildings, depending on the outside temperature, green roofs also provide important habitats for biodiversity and cut the speed at which rain water runs off buildings. Green roofs are being used in several high-profile development sites including Greenwich Peninsula and Barking Riverside.
Green roofs are not a modern innovation but with advances in waterproofing technologies they have become an important element of sustainable construction in the last decade.
What we are doing and why

Because the Environment Agency has to be regularly consulted on planning decisions, we can play a big part in promoting green roofs. We have produced information for developers and local authorities about their benefits, installation and upkeep and we can also offer advice and guidance on the technology involved.

In the Thames region, around 14 hectares of green roof space has already been installed and much more is planned, with our staff influencing developers on proposals to include green roofs at several high profile sites.

Planning for the regeneration of Greenwich Peninsula, which will provide homes for 25,000 people as well as offices and leisure facilities, aspires to 100 per cent green roof coverage, with a minimum of 40 per cent coverage for all individual sites.

With around 2,500 hectares of existing flat roof space in London there is considerable opportunity to adapt our urban environment to a wetter and warmer climate by replacing these hard surfaces with living roof spaces.
We are pursuing this long term objective by working with a wide range of partners in both the public and private sectors – from universities to planning authorities and businesses.

‘Installing living roofs in our existing urban environment will not only help us adapt to a changing climate,’ says Marc Deeley, from the Thames Gateway Sustainable Development Team. ‘It will also create a new urban landscape that can be enjoyed by people through direct access or as an alternative view from the office window. Some living roofs can even be designed to provide us with food, so the potential for city regions to develop and implement these technologies could create thousands of sustainable jobs at the same time.’


The green roofs of the City of London, London

Source: (Getty Images/Arup/GLA via LIVING ROOFS)

What do livingroofs say:

The Future
The development of a unique London green roof policy has been driven by a number of specific factors. Urban ecologists and their issues certainly provided the initial impetus for policy activities and innovations. The climate change agenda and how a large city like adapts has certainly galvanized the need for a policy. What is needed in the future is a greater understanding and improved planning tools to ensure that good green roofs are installed to meet the cross cutting benefits that a city like London requires. It would be hoped that the Environment Agency Toolkit sets a precedent that at regional level [GLA] and a local [LBs] green roof policies and conditions can be refined to ensure the quality of green roof implementation. There is still unfortunately a tendency on designers, whether they be architects or landscape designers, to seek out mechanistic product based solutions.

The increased uptake in London is having an effect beyond the capital, in particular in the Greater London Watershed – in particularly the area known as the Thames Gateway. This area includes much of East London and stretches along the Thames estuary into Kent and Essex. Already there are a number of huge developments, which are under pressure to include green roofs as mitigation and compensation for ecological reasons.

However there will be a need to constantly refine policy to meet the changing climate and needs of London. Green roofs are certainly no longer a fad but are an ever-growing market and an integral response to impending climate challenges. The hope is that policy makers and regulators ensure that the roofs that are installed are of the quality needed to meet the capitals diverse and evolving agendas.

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Lesson’s from the Lorax

Today we went to see the The Lorax, a film based on the book of the same name, by Dr Seuss. It is a charming allegorical tale set in an artificial world where the absence of trees has made air is a commodity.

The catalyst of events is triggered by twelve-year-old Ted, who tries to win the affections of Audrey. Ted pays an impromptu visit to Audrey’s house; while there Audrey shows him her painting of ‘real’ trees, trees that Ted’s eyes have not beheld. The discovery leads Ted on a journey to meet the Once-Ler who is responsible for the death of the Truffula tree forest. The Once-Ler represents the corporate world and its disregard for the environment.

Ted visits the Once-Ler with a snail, a nail and 15 cents. The Once-Ler tells Ted about the Truffula-trees and the forests contented residents. The Once-Ler explains how he had discovered the species of tree and began making Thneeds (versatile wool)  on a mass-scale. He quickly found wealth, but the impact of his wealth was the demise of the forest.  The forest transformed from a colourful paradise to an inhospitable barren land, with the water becoming black and the residents forced to leave.

truffula tree

The parallels are clear between the Once-Ler who capitalised on his ‘Thneed’s’ he claimed “everybody needs.”  This acts as an expose of the modern consumerist age that revels in material desires, at the cost of the environment. Familiar marketing jargon is echoed in the Once-Ler’s punchy pitch.

Overall, it is a cautionary tale that relates the evils of our contemporary business exploits. An American  citizen, Dr.Seuss was saddened by the damage caused to the environment by the corporate world, and felt that these organisations did not do enough to protect or repair the habitat they damage on their path to the free-market.

Everyone should watch this film. It is clever and perhaps even more appropriate today than when it was first published in 1972.

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Oxfam back in fashion with Vintage collection

Oxfam have launched an online vintage collection to their clothing section. The collection , which includes pieces from four decades of fashion -the 1950’s to the 1980’s- contains a wide selection of pieces from scarves, to day wear, to going-out clothes.

Oxfam already offers a fantastic choice for online shoppers and is a  strong contender for consumers seeking an ethical shopping option. This newest addition is a welcome change and will surely increase their clientèle to include those who love vintage attire.

Fact file: 

  • Oxfam was founded in 1942
  • The organisation recognised the need to protect civilians during WW2
  • Raised money for victims of famine during and after WW2
  • 1948 the first shop opened in Oxford on 17 Broad Street
  • 1949- Oxfam goes global

Source: Oxfam 2013

Check out their site now where you will discover a lot of Beth Brett: knitted skirts and jumpers with extravagant flower detail; excellent if you are experiencing your own 80’s fashion revival.

Hot pick and perfect for the chilly spell we are experiencingHand knitted green jumper - Size: M


Vintage 1970's Size S Blue patterned top


BNWT Vintage 1980's Beth Brett Size M Lilac floral knitted jacket



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Remade @ Traid

If you want to wear clothes that have been modified and revamped in the name of social justice, development and the environment, then you need to visit Traid: Remade.

Traid Remade do not believe in sweat shops or paying adults, or worse children, less than $1 a day. No,  Traid have people and the environment at its heart.

Traid recycles the clothes we throw away, those that might otherwise finds their way in to landfills, polluting the planet and inject them with a new lease of life. Even if its a salvaged zip, pocket or button, Traid Remade will make use of it.

Aggrieved by sweat shops and growing landfills, Traid =     TRAID Textile recycling for Aid and International Development put the money their shops generate towards important causes. Causes such as  trying to end Western exploitation in the developing world, fighting global poverty and the huge-scale degradation caused by the textile industry. Read it straight from the horses mouth.

We visited TRAID in Camden town today. The Remade collection was quirky. We’ve selected some top picks for you to view, below. We are convinced these picks will add a touch of creative glamour to your wardrobe. The background to the pics is a beautiful home-made panel . Inspired, then do-it-yourself!

Traid remade also have an excellent   web-site.


TRAID’s A/W collection pieces, some samples below:

Top picks from the web-site:

Patch Mini SkirtSkinny Pattern TrousersCropped JacketTrapeze Coat

I am guessing you are overwhelmingly curious about the new Autumn/Winter collection 2012, right? Then head down to TRAID Dalston, 106 – 108 Kingsland High Street, London, E8 2NS-this is where it is all going down! We are off there now.

Don’t bin it, book a free collection with Traid
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Jewellery Box: Inside an ethical jewellery collection

Recycled silver tree earrings £44.99
Above, Oxfam. Recycled silver tree earrings, £44.99. These would look stylish with messy hair and would compliment all colours.
 Fair Trade horses necklace £9.99

Fair Trade horses necklace
£9.99 just because we thought it was über cute!!
Rough Ruby Single Drop Earrings £1,100
Rough Ruby Single Drop Earrings
£1,100. These are in case you are feeling especially plush, generous or just plain extravagant!
ASHIANA – Moonstone Disc Pendant £40
ASHIANA – Moonstone Disc Pendant £40. This makes us think of the moon it is beautiful and reasonable.

Amnesty International UK shop: Great Buys

SUEDE AND METAL MULTIWRAP BRACELET £19.50- We though this wrap bracelet sold by Amnesty was pretty funky –  for day and night attire.
WING NECKLACE £24.50-This is elegant and definitely great for a glamorous do
2 stone adjustable ring £44. 00
2 stone adjustable ring £44. 00- finally we include this gorgeous ring. Brighten up a gloomy winters day with this lovely ring.

A few red-hot ethical jewellery buys for the forthcoming party season!

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Emotional Brilliance is Lush

EMOTIONAL Brilliance is Lush’s new make-up range. The hotly awaited addition is a  rainbow of colours. Creative and quirky, the range derives its inspiration from emotions, so spin the wheel to find the right shade for your mood. Curious, then read on…

Were you one of the people who lamented the closure of their sister company, Be Never too Busy to Be Beautiful (BNTBTBB); the naturally inspired make-up that came in decadent pots, like this      and this  and this (SO gorgeous). Emotional Brilliance is, to some degree, here to fill your BNTBTBB hole although, without the beautiful packaging, humph.

BNTBTBB was a make-up first and their shops were as opulent as their pots. BNTBTBB closed their doors in 2010, therefore, we  were naturally overjoyed to hear Lush had decided to expand their make-up range to include lots of colour.

In July, Lush launched simple skin-toned colour pots.  Initially, the company introduced skin tints-to be worn as foundation or concealer – as well as translucent powers. The plant-based tints are said to be gentle on the skin. Lush have divided the ingredients into two categories: ‘natural ingredients’ and ‘safe synthetic’.

What is perhaps the most talk about addition to the Lush make-up collection are the colours.

Spin the ‘Emotional Brilliance Colour Wheel’ in store to find your emotions in colour!

Each colour is represents an emotion, quality or aspiration, such as ‘ambition’ which is a bold red ‘charm’ which is a soft pink, or  ‘calm’ which is sky blue.  I was lucky enough to be sent these three samples and have been very impressed by the ease of application.

The pots have their own fine-liner brush, but Lush also supplies us with thick brush too, best used when you are applying the colour as eye-shadow or cheek tint!

Our favourite is ‘fantasy ‘ AKA liquid gold. It glitters, shimmers and will add a sultry edge to your look.

Lush have excellent tips on applying make-up on their website.

emotional Brilliance is :   and     and 

which means guilty-free beauty:)