The Ecologist

 
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Green Living

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...

My conversion - from shearwater hunter to protector of birds and ocean

Gil Rodrigues Fortes / Sea Shepherd

23rd November 2014

Isobel (Bella) and father Gil Rodrigues. Photo: Sea Shepherd / Simon Ager. For nearly 30 years, Gil Fortes was a hunter of Cabo Verde's shearwater chicks, helping to drive the bird to the brink of extinction. But following a life-changing rethink, he and his daughter Isabel (Bella), are now at the forefront of efforts to save the shearwater and rebuild its perilously low numbers. more...

Virtuous veganism for health, beauty and pleasure

Mitra Wicks

15th November 2014

Mitra Wicks: 'my skin was more luminous and I was left revelling in a self-satisfied haze of leafy liberation'. Setting aside her fondness for meaty delicacies, Mitra Wicks decided to follow the celebrity vegan trend. Buoyed along by the gastronomic pleasures of London's finest vegan restaurants, she declares the change a success - in terms of health, wellbeing, beauty ... and reducing the exploitation of animals in industrial farming. more...

Making it happen - a community orchard in downtown Boston

Orion Kriegman

7th November 2014

Boston in bloom - sunflower at the Eglestone Community Orchard. Photo: Alvin Kho via Facebook. A orchard garden has taken root on a long-vacant lot in an economically and racially divided neighborhood of Boston, writes Orion Kriegman. In the making it has united a community, helped to heal deep scars of violence, and inspired a wider reclamation of the urban commons. more...

The great Hallowe'en pumpkin rescue

Gavin Ellis

31st October 2014

Glowing pumpkins of the night, our to eat, not just to fright. Photo: Andrea Verganic via Flickr. Every Hallowe'en the UK throws away enough pumpkin to make 360 million portions of pumpkin pie, soup, or cake, writes Gavin Ellis - a shocking waste in these hungry times. Hence a bold new initiative to rescue all those pumpkins from landfill, and turn them into delicious food we can all enjoy as part of our seasonal festivities. more...

Vertical farming - viable agriculture or urban pipedream?

Matt Bevington

27th October 2014

Inspecting a tomato at the wonderful Evergreen Brick Works' greenhouse in Toronto. Photo: Joseph Morris via Flickr. If you don't want industrial agriculture ravaging the world to feed cities nutrient-deprived, genetically modified, chemical-drenched pap, here's an alternative, writes Matt Bevington: let cities grow their own fresh produce on 'vertical farms' in disused industrial buildings, restoring sustainability and accountability to the food chain. more...

Raso Island, Cape Verde - a jewel in the crown of Africa's wildlife

Simon Ager / Sea Shepherd

22nd October 2014

A Raso Island shearwater chick looks out from its nest - a ball of grey fur, but mind the sharp beak! Photo: Simon Ager / Sea Shepherd. Shearwater chicks are cute grey furballs with beaks, writes Simon Ager, and they are all too ready to use them on pesky wildlife researchers. But Cape Verde offers abundant compensations to nature lovers - so many that its future surely lies in conserving, not exploiting its biological riches.
more...

Stony broke - the hard side of the good life

Alicia Miller

11th October 2014

A gorgeous organic vegetable box from the Miller family farm. Photo: Alicia Miller. The green dream of being a small farmer producing high quality, organic food for local people has ended up being anything but for Alicia Miller. The problem is money - there's never enough of it. But she's not alone. All over the world, life is a financial struggle for small, ethical cultivators, and constant source of stress. more...

Celebrate the seeds that feed us!

Rowan Phillimore

3rd October 2014

Ripe poppies awaiting harvest near Winchester in Hampshire. Photo: Neil Howard via Flickr. Seeds are essential to our food and our entire lives, writes Rowan Phillimore. So join in celebrating and sharing them at a series of events this month in London, Bristol, Devon, Oxford, Lancaster, Herts - and begin the fightback against corporate domination of seeds and oppressive government regulation. more...

Coming to a rooftop near you - the urban growing revolution

Rachel Dring / Sustainable Food Trust

30th September 2014

Salad leaves growing in Lufa's rooftop farm in Montreal. Photo: Lufa Farms. Could London, New York and other cities be self-sufficient in fruit and vegetables? Yes, writes Rachel Dring, by converting wasted roof space into gardens and greenhouses. Benefits include reducing waste; raising energy efficiency, sustainability and food security; and healthier, more connected citizens. more...

Eating your ethics: Halal meat

Alicia Miller

22nd September 2014

A New Zealand lamb in the spring. Is it more important that the lamb is 'tayyib' (good, wholesome, ethically and humanely produced) or halal (slaughtered iin accordance with Muslim ritual)? Photo: Tim Pokorny via Flickr. Halal ritual slaughter has raised huge controversy in the UK press, writes Alicia Miller. But the far greater issue is farm animals' entire quality of life - as reflected in the Qu'ranic principle that meat must be 'tayyib' - good, wholesome and from well-treated, healthy animals. Is this something we can all agree on? more...

Urban Plunge - open swimming in the heart of the city

Jane Withers

13th September 2014

Copenhagen Harbour Bath designed by JDS Architects. Photo: Lucy Reynell. With the growing trend for natural swimming in cities new opportunities are opening for architects and designers to create dramatic, inspiring, enjoyable new public spaces in urban waterways, writes Jane Withers. And it's the subject of a new exhibition at London's Roca London Gallery ... more...

Wildfjords - an Icelandic exploration of the natural world

Daniel Crockett

7th September 2014

A well deserved rest-stop on the trail. Photo: Tanja Geis. Daniel Crockett guided a 300km walk along ancient horse routes through the Westfjords, a remote, depopulating region of Iceland rich in nature, myth and magic. The wild, non-human environment enters our beings, he writes - and thus infected, the onus is on us to spread the message far and wide. more...

Green meals for 85? No problem for Schumacher College's Head Cook

Julia Ponsonby

30th August 2014

Spring Feast, with Julia Ponsonby (right). Photo: Joanna Brown. Good food is an essential ingredient at Schumacher College, writes Julia Ponsonby, made with love using fresh, wholesome ingredients many of which have traveled no further than the vegetable garden. No less important, the sense of companionship, learning, fun and frequent hilarity that permeates the building - and the kitchen in particular. more...

Healing and inspiring children with animals, mud and a touch of magic

Martin Large

23rd August 2014

Children at large in the orchard at the Apricot Centre. Photo: Photo: Martin Large / Biodynamic Land Trust. The Apricot Centre in Essex is a unique project that uses organic horticulture and animal husbandry to heal, inspire and educate children from diverse backgrounds, and kindle love for the natural world, writes Martin Large. Now it's expanding to Devon, to establish a second, much larger biodynamic smallholding near Totnes and Dartington. 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 cake...it's heavenly says Susan Clark more...

Home

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...

Gardening

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...

Fashion

Hand-me-downs

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...

Explore

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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