The Ecologist


Green Living

Decolonizing your yoga practice: transcending the yoga-industrial complex

Susanna Barkataki

8th September 2015

Photo: via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA). The ancient spiritual Indian practice of yoga has been colonized, writes Susanna Barkataki - appropriated into a commercially-driven 'body beautiful' culture. True practitioners must reclaim its true purpose and stage their own ahimsa, or nonviolent revolution of the mind, body and spirit. more...

How green are your bananas?

Rachel Smith / Sustainable Food Trust

10th August 2015

A banana packing station in Ecuador. Photo: Andrea Guerra via Flickr (CC BY-SA). European retailers have imposed 'ethical' certification processes on their banana suppliers, writes Rachel Smith. But reports from Ecuadorian plantations reveal serious weaknesses in the schemes that leave workers poisoned and abused. To get to the truth, inspectors must dig deeper, and make surprise visits. more...

We are those who are on the side of the living. And we are going to win

Derrick Jensen

23rd July 2015

'We are people who no longer hope salmon survive, but will do whatever it takes to stop their extinction.' Coho Spawning on the Salmon River. Photo: Bureau of Land Management Oregon and Washington via Flickr (CC BY). Who are we? We are the people who are ready to fight back, writes Derrick Jensen. The people who no longer live in hope that the Earth will be saved, but in the certainty that we will save her. We are activists, survivors, lovers and fighters. And we say: the destruction will stop. more...

Earth First! summer gathering - the resurgence

Indra donFrancesco

17th July 2015

Where is the Love? That'll be at the Earth First Gathering in the Peak District, 19th-24th August. And much more besides ... Photo: Vertigogen via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA). Next month is the time for green activists to get together in the glorious Peak District, coordinate future actions on everything from fracking to road-building and climate change ... and of course, share the love, writes Indra donFrancesco, Yes, it's the Earth First! summer gathering, and there's never been stronger reasons to go. more...

Sowing wildflower meadows, and leaving Nature in charge

Jo Cartmell

10th July 2015

Solitary Leaf-cutter bee (Megachile centuncularis) nectaring on Small Scabious in Jo's wild flower meadow, Photo: © 2015 Jo Cartmell. When Oxeye daises looked like taking over her mini-meadow, Jo Cartmell was tempted to intervene. But instead, she held back and let nature take its course. Now, a few seasons later, the floral diversity has only increased, taking in some unexpected but welcome arrivals - along with their insect companions, all making their home on what used to be an unloved patch of lawn. more...

The small camp with the big message

Susan Clark

29 June 2015

Natalie Bennett talking about political activism and the Green Party at the Resurgence Summer Camp 2013. Photo: Teena Gould. Resurgence-in-Action brings together an eclectic mix of people who care about the same things - and throws in a great dollop of fun, laughter, world class music, provocative discussions and fantastic vegetarian foods. Susan Clark looks forward to this summer's festival. more...

Anti-austerity movement revives radical urban squatting

Almudena Serpis

24th June 2015

Radical Bankers gather in their social centre in an abandoned bank. Photo: The Source Brighton. Long a feature of British urban life, domestic squatting has now been criminalised, writes Almudena Serpis. But suddenly two social centres have come to life in a squatted bank in Brighton, and a long abandoned pub in London, reviving the rebellious spirit of the squatting movement, and promulgating a radical anti-austerity message that evokes the struggles in Greece, Spain and beyond. more...

Building the Ark - small scale farming in Poland for a green future

Julian Rose

20th June 2015

All about using herbs. Photo: ICPPC. Poland is the front line for Europe's small scale family farming, writes Julian Rose, under assault from the EU regulations, corporate agribusiness, and a hostile government. A popular campaign is fighting back from its base deep in the Polish countryside, a small organic farm that's developing new green technologies to enhance the sustainability of small farms everywhere. more...

Sea Dragon - exploring the oceans, exploring ourselves

Dr Kate Rawles

16th June 2015

Sunset on the Sea Dragon. Photo: Kate Rawles. Three scientific expeditions into the Atlantic ocean will take place this summer, writes outdoor philosopher Kate Rawles. But as well as gathering data about plastic pollution and over-fishing, they will give participants the chance to think deeply about our society, its values, the often false narratives it tells; and our place, as humans, in the natural world. more...

Help our vital pollinators - join the Great British Bee Count!

Paul de Zylva / Friends of the Earth

29th May 2015

The Common Carder Bumblebee is easy to identify - it's a drab gingery brown all over. Photo: Dave Goulson. You can help save our bees with 'citizen science', writes Paul de Zylva - recording those you spot in your local area to help build up a long term picture of their changing numbers. Today we publish an identification guide to the 'top ten' bees, so you can get started right away. But be quick - the Great British Bee Count 2015 ends on Sunday. more...

Wilderness is the water in which our freedom swims

Grant A. Mincy

23rd May 2014

After a day of rain, a flaming sunset illuminates the Smoky Mountains. Photo: Boqiang Liao via Flickr (CC BY-SA). The joy of the wild is rooted deep in the human spirit and without it our lives are starved of a vital nutrient, writes Grant A. Mincy. Only through experience of wilderness and its untamed beauty can we be truly human, and only in wilderness can we open our awareness of the perilous wonder of being, and know the freedom that lies within us all. more...

Jo's mini meadow - our beautiful and vital insects

Jo Cartmell

7th May 2015

Six Spot Burnet Moth and Large Skipper Butterfly supping nectar on Common Knapweed. Photo: © 2015 Jo Cartmell. First Jo Cartmell converted her uninspiring front lawn into a 'mini-meadow' full of wild flowers. Next, she waited the return of insect life - not for very long as it turned out. Barely a few years into the project, a remarkable profusion of bees, beetles, moths and butterflies were buzzing and humming around the blooms ... more...

Moonlit melody - the resurgent nightingales of Knepp

Hazel Sillver

7th May 2015

A nightingale in full song. Photo: courtesy of David Plummer Images. At the inspiring new 3,500 acre 'wildland' of the Knepp Estate in West Sussex, the nightingale is making itself at home amid the thorny thickets, writes Hazel Sillver. That's proof to any that need it that the bird's extinction is far from inevitable - if only we can muster the will to save it! It also offers a wonderful opportunity to hear its magical song ... more...

Nearby wild - how I turned my lawn into a mini-meadow

Jo Cartmell

27th April 2015

Transformed! An early summer riot of Ox-eye Daisies, Red Clover and Meadow Buttercups. Photo: Jo Cartmell. Decades of regular mowing left my front lawn looking bare and sterile, writes Jo Cartmell. But in fact, the exhausted, infertile soil made it the perfect place for a host of wild flowers to take up residence - some from planted seed, others blown-in, or from long buried seed lying dormant in the soil. And after that, the butterflies ... more...

The Green Gathering - a festival for fun, frolics and fundamental change

Emma Fordham

15th April 2015

Performers at the Green Gathering. Photo: Green Gathering. The Green Gathering is a festival with a rich history that's not afraid to encompass hedonism, writes Emma Fordham - but also goes way beyond it. A showcase of real life alternatives with a mission to have fun and change the world, it's coming back this summer - so prepare for an unforgettable experience (and £10 off the ticket price). more...

'Repair cafés' are about fixing things - including communities

Jade Herriman

7th April 2015

'We can repair it!' Photo: club125.greenbelt via Flickr (CC BY). Some people like fixing things - others have things to fix. Repair cafés are a new global phenomenon that brings the two together, writes Jade Herriman - giving satisfaction to both, sharing skills, keeping stuff out of landfill, fighting 'designed obsolescence', and building communities sustained by mutual help. more...

Crossing a chasm slowly, in ten small steps? Sustainable living demands big changes

Kirstie O'Neill, Adrian Friday & Adrian K. Clear

29th March 2015

Sustainable living does not mean choosing a more efficient tumble drier - but washing clothes less often, and hanging them out to dry! Photo:  JW Capture via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND). A new government website to promote more sustainable lifestyles is hopelessly lacking in ambition, write Kirstie O'Neill, Adrian Friday & Adrian K. Clear. We need to be re-engineering our infrastructure, re-imagining society and re-thinking the ways we live for disruptive, transformative change - not tinkering ineffectually at the margins of 'normality'. more...

Can hitch-hiking survive the 'sharing economy'?

Adam Weymouth

20th March 2015

Hitching a ride on Iceland's 1,322km 'Ring Road', which runs right around the island linking most of its population. Photo: Martin Lopatka via Flickr (SS BY-SA 2.0). Thumbing rides must be one of the greenest forms of travel, and despite all the scare stories and public service warnings, drivers still stop for hitch-hikers. But Adam Weymouth fears for the future of hitching, as the 'sharing economy' sanitizes the experience and strips out the essential sense of adventure, revolution and travelling into the unknown. more...

Recycling is not enough! Sharing is the way to achieve a circular economy

Mariale Moreno

13th March 20-14

Spin Cycle Cafe & Laundromat, Newington, CT, USA. Photo: Brian Cook via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0). How can we reduce our ever increasing throughput of raw materials? By breaking out the the 'iron cage of consumerism', writes Mariale Moreno: make things to last - whether clothes, houses, cars, or washing machines. Join a car club. Share domestic appliances with neighbors. And bring back the laundromat! more...

No-dig farming to sustain nutrition in soils, crops, and us

Matt Adams

2nd March 2015

The GREEN research garden in Stroud, Gloucestershire, which generated eight years of research data. Photo: Matt Adams. An eight-year research project into the nutrient content of food grown under three different organic gardening systems has left a filing cabinet full of documents, writes Matt Adams. Now he wants to analyse those years of accumulated data, in the hope that they can show the way to richer soils, more nutritious food, and healthier people. more...

Green living in Sweden's Ecological Village of Solbyn

Gillian Thomas

23rd February 2015

Ingeborg Löfgren, a pillar of the Solbyn community. Photo: Gillian Thomas. Solbyn, a sustainable community in southern Sweden, is a cold place to spend the winter, writes Gillian Thomas. But for all the snow outside, the well-insulated homes stay warm in the harshest conditions - and the welcome is warmer still. Come summer, there's an organic farm to nurture, but February is a month for friendship, making plans, and brilliant starry nights. more...

Carbon conversations: we need to talk about climate change

Rosemary Randall

15th February 2015

We need to talk about climate change ... Photo: Pedro Ribeiro Simões via Flickr (CC BY 2.0). Despite the urgency of climate change, most people close their eyes, turn away turn away and hope someone else will sort it out. It's not that we're bored, writes psychotherapist Rosemary Randall - we're more likely to be fearful, anxious or embarrassed. So how can we help people to feel less scared, and see that we are all are part of the solution? more...

Live long, die green and recycle your discarded body

Robert John Young

8th February 2015

Vultures pay their respects at a sky burial in Sichuan province, China. Photo: Lycopodium L (CC BY-NC-SA). If you live a green life, you'll also want a green death, writes Robert John Young. Sadly pollution, energy use and methane emissions mean there's no completely green way to dispose of your body. The good news is that a new 'fast composting' technique ticks all the boxes - but it's still under development. more...

The Way of the White Cloud

Jules Pretty

31st January 2015

Tuva, Siberia. Photo: Jules Pretty / The Edge of Extinction. In his search for alternatives to consumerism and industrialism, Jules Pretty travelled around the world to find surviving nature-based cultures. In this extract from his book 'The Edge of Extinction', he tells of the Tuva people of the Siberian steppe - proud of their traditions and closeness to the land, but very much part of the modern world - strictly on their own terms. more...

Trust can fix our future: lessons from the simplicity of island life on Palau

Andrew Broadbent

24th January 2015

Palau sunrise. Photo: by Y A B via Flickr. After spending twelve days on a small island in Palau without the ample resources of modern life in developed cities, Andrew Broadbent ponders the crucial role trust will - and must - play in restoring our communities. more...

Fair Trade gold mining in the highlands of Peru

John Crabtree & Judith Condor-Vidal

14th January 2015

The Sotrami company office. Photo: John Crabtree. Most gold mining in Peru causes serious environmental damage, write John Crabtree & Judith Condor-Vidal, but there is one exception - a Fair Trade certified mine close to the world-famous Nazca Lines. Now it's up to us to demand Fair Trade gold from the jewellery trade, rewarding responsible producers and expanding the market for new Fair Trade gold miners. more...

Sick to death of consumerism and debt? Find freedom in a tiny house

Samuel Alexander

10th January 2015

Tiny houses at Hatteras, North Carolina. Photo: Bill Dickinson via Flickr. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0. There is a simple solution to the problems of rampant consumerism, debt and a lifetime of servitude, writes Samuel Alexander - radical down-sizing to a truly tiny house. For a start, it's only big enough for the things you really need. And it's so cheap to build, that it's paid for from a month or two's salary. Just one question - what will you do with your freedom? more...

Five easy ways to keep your home warm this winter

Roland Ennos

2nd January 2014

Even with double glazed windows, it's well worth closing blinds and curtain on winter nights. Photo: Roland Ennos, Author provided. As the warmth of Christmas fades and winter proper sets in, Roland Ennos shares his tips for keeping warm in winter without spending a fortune on fuel. Simple, low-cost measures include closing curtains and blinds at night, leaning sheets of cardboard against cold outside walls, and and exploiting the insulating power of books. more...

Reducing food waste with taste-bud tickling recipes for Christmas leftovers

Gavin Ellis

29th December 2014

Keep the Yuletide flames burning with Christmas pudding ice cream ... Photo:  Brian Uhreen via Flickr CC-BY. Freezing Christmas leftovers can save families money, help the environment by reducing food waste, and tickle our tastebuds with new and exciting flavours, writes Gavin Ellis - who shares delightful recipes to make the most of your Christmas sprouts, turkey and plum pudding ... more...

Olive oil for peace and justice in Palestine

Cathi Pawson

11th December 2014

Bringing in the olive harvest. Photo: Zaytoun. Palestinian minister Ziad Abu Ain died yesterday after being attacked by Israeli soldiers while planting olive trees in the West Bank - a peaceful and fruitful challenge to a long and brutal military occupation. As Zaytoun co-founder Cathi Pawson writes, we can help by buying organic Palestinian olive oil, available in the UK against all the odds. more...

Making cities sustainable with urban agriculture

Herbert Girardet

3rd December 2014

In Shanghai much food used to be grown within the city. In recent years peri-urban agriculture has taken over from intra-urban cropping. Whilst some land has been paved over as the city expanded, large areas of peri-urban land are still being set aside fo To reduce the pressure on the world's productive land and to help assure long-term food security, writes Herbert Girardet, city people are well advised to revive urban or peri-urban agriculture. While large cities will always have to import some food, local food growing is a key component of sustainable urban living. more...

Food and drink

Is a raw food diet right for you?

by Hazel Sillver

crunchy chocolate hearts Raw foodism is becoming increasingly popular. Advocates report high energy levels and less need for sleep. But is it a healthy way for everyone to eat, asks Hazel Sillver more...

Primrose Cloud Easter Cake

March 28th, 2013

by Susan Clark

If you want to serve an Easter cake that brings a forgaging panache to the party, try this Primrose Cloud sponge's heavenly says Susan Clark more...


Cohousing and community on the coast

April 9th, 2013

by Sarah Lozanova

Sarah Lozanova tells the Ecologist why her and her family have decided to make the move from a city dwelling to an Eco-village.... more...

Why are we still living in structures that cut us off from nature?

February 21st, 2013

by Tony Culver

According to Tony Culver about 99% of all domestic houses are redesigns of prehistoric cave dwellings. Here he explains the rationale behind this claim and argues that it is time to emerge from our caves.... more...


Foliar Feeding Your Garden

Jakob Barry

Jakob Barry explains the concept of foliar feeding, a great way to revive any plants that aren't looking their best....... more...

Container gardening - 35 of the best blogs

April 17th, 2013

by Jeralyn Nelson

These 35 blogs will help you get your container garden under way with tips on plant and container types, and will give you ideas for getting more from your container garden than you put in. more...

How to

How to....grow your own wine

by Hazel Sillver

You don’t need acres of land to fill a cellar with your own wine. Hazel Sillver looks at the different options for small-scale and shared vineyards. more...

How to...have an eco-friendly Halloween

Ben Hudson

26th October, 2011

Halloween pumpkins Creating extra waste and encouraging over-consumption; Halloween isn’t the greenest holiday. But as Ben Hudson explains, you can still have a scarily good time without it costing the planet more...

Q & A

Q&A: Wildlife documentary filmmaker, Kim Wolhuter

Ruth Styles

30th November, 2011

KIM WOLHUTER Playing with hyenas, hunting with cheetahs and running with wild dogs is all in a day's work for Kim Wolhuter. He tells Ruth Styles why he does it more...

Q&A: Geraldine Howard

Ruth Styles

19th October, 2011

Geraldine Howard Aromatherapy Associates founder, Geraldine Howard, discusses naturals, synthetics and why certification schemes need an overhaul with Ruth Styles more...



by Hazel Sillver

In our culture of quickly consumed high street fashion, it’s vital to recycle and reuse discarded clothes. Hazel Sillver looks at three companies paving the way. more...

Green jeans: Sweden's Nudie goes organic

Grace Philip

29th May, 2012

Nudie jeans It might have taken 11 years but Nudie – purveyors of green jeans for the super stylish – has finally taken the plunge and gone entirely organic. Are you paying attention, H&M? more...

Health and Beauty

Tried & tested eco-cosmetics

April 26th, 2013

by Hazel Sillver

Avoid cosmetics that cost the earth – today’s eco makeup is much better quality anyway, says Hazel Sillver. more...

Union: the British perfume that’s boosting biodiversity

Ruth Styles

1st June, 2012

State of the Union: the British perfume that’s boosting biodiversity Making the most of the UK’s bountiful flora, Union’s four fragrances are an olfactory celebration of the British countryside, says Ruth Styles more...

Behind the Brand

What's the real cost of Bernard Matthews Christmas turkey?

Peter Salisbury

20th December, 2011

Bernard Matthews In a Behind the Brand special, Peter Salisbury assesses whether Bernard Matthews has cleaned up its act following undercover investigations revealing 'shocking' cruelty and the notorious avian flu H5N1 outbreak more...

Behind the Brand: Hyatt Hotels

Peter Salisbury

16th November, 2011

Hyatt Hotels The carbon footprint produced by travel doesn’t evaporate at the airport - hotels are big energy consumers, polluters and carbon emitters too. The Ecologist looks into hotel chain Hyatt's efforts to go green more...


How Deep Is Your Love: Vietnam’s Halong Bay

March 12th, 2013

by James Rippingale

Nine years after his first visit to Halong Bay James Rippingdale returns to find dramatic changes have taken place...... more...

Spring retreats

February 15th, 2013

by Hazel Sillver

You don’t have to fly to India to find spiritual nourishment. Hazel Sillver rounds up 10 of the best places in the UK to achieve inner calm. more...

Ecologist Guides

The Ecologist guide to skills, courses and employment

Laurie Tuffrey

1st February, 2012

The Ecologist guide to skills, courses and employment What does it take to make it in the low-carbon economy? The Ecologist takes a look at the skills and courses that will set you up for success more...

The Ecologist guide to greening Christmas

Ruth Styles

1st November, 2011

green christmas From food to fun, we've got the skinny on how to make this year's festivities the greenest ever more...

Green Business

Green Business: Greenhouse Public Relations

Peter Salisbury

2nd August, 2011

green headlines Anna Guyer has made a name for her company by only taking clients with impeccable green credentials and refusing to ‘greenwash’ big brands. Peter Salisbury met her to find out more more...

Green Business: Bulldog

Peter Salisbury

29th June, 2011

Bulldog products A natural, Fairtrade men's skincare line might sound obvious, but when Simon Duffy and Rhodri Ferrier launched Bulldog, it was a wholly new concept. Peter Salisbury sits down with the men making grooming green more...

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