The Ecologist

 
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Green Living

Creating sustainability? Join the Re-Generation!

Daniel Christian Wahl

25th April 2016

Longji terraces in Longsheng county, Guilin, China, January 2009. Photo: Anna Frodesiak via Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain). Faced with multiple converging crises humanity is challenged to redesign the human presence on Earth within the lifetime of present generations, writes Daniel Christian Wahl, and so transform our impact from degeneration to regeneration. We are capable of creating diverse creative cultures elegantly adapted to the uniqueness of place. more...

The 'non-compliant challenge' - mindful disengagement from modern evils

Julian Rose

11th April 2016

Be the one that got away ... and others may follow. Photo: Rodrigo Benavides via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND). How to dissent peacefully from the corruption, waste and destruction of the world? By a mindful disengagement from evil, writes Julian Rose: from fossil fuel energy to propagandist media, from sweatshop clothing to the predatory financial system. Some of the steps we can take are easy, others very difficult - but what ultimately matters is the direction of travel. more...

Going veggie could save slash emissions and prevent 8 million deaths a year

Marco Springmann

31st March 2016

If we ate more of this, the world would be a cleaner and healthier place! Fruit vendor in Devaraj Market, Mysore, India. Photo: Christopher Fynn via Flickr (CC BY). Oxford researchers have quantified the benefits of the world becoming vegetarian, writes Marco Springmann. Their study shows that simple changes - like moving to diets low in meat and high in fruit and vegetables - could lead to significant reduction in mortality and health care costs, while cutting food sector greenhouse gas emissions by two thirds. more...

Can love stories change the world?

Matt Hopwood

10th March 2016

Walking on the South Downs: a perfect place for contemplation, reminiscence ... and love? Photo: JR P via Flickr (CC BY-NC) Sharing tales of love is good for our souls, and allows us to be vulnerable with each other, writes Matt Hopwood. In his life changing journey of emotional exploration, he travelled over 1,500 miles in search of stories of the heart. He found them in abundance, along with tales of loss, pain, suffering, and isolation. And with that came a deeper sense of connection, and a means of personal and social transformation. more...

Conserving and popularizing wild fruits in Sri Lanka - the Native Forest Foundation

Damitha Rajapakse

1st March 2016

Children learn about the wild fruits of the forest. Photo: Damitha Rajapakse. Modern practices mean that more than ever, people are disconnected from nature, writes Damitha Rajapakse. In Sri Lanka - a biodiversity hotspot which is full of endemic plants with unique properties - a conservation programme is under way to teach the new generation about the rich heritage of native fruits which surrounds them. more...

In search of the unseen: an investigation into plastics in our oceans

Ana Stanič

21st February 2-16

Cruising the open seas on the Sea Dragon. Photo: Katrina McQuail. One of the biggest threats facing marine life is the 'microplastic' particles found in ocean ecosystems from bottom to top of food chains. Just back from a voyage of environmental exploration in the tropical Atlantic sampling the waters to build up a global picture of this ubiquitous pollutant, Ana Stanič writes of the joys and trials of life on the waves, and the need to keep our oceans clean. more...

Earth First! Winter Moot next weekend: nourishment, inspiration and solidarity for eco-activists

Louise Somerville Williams

16th February 2016

Upton Solidarity Day Group 2016. Photo: Louise Somerville Williams Whether you're fighting fracking, coal mines, new roads or a third Heathrow runway, next weekend's Earth First! Winter Moot is for you, writes Louise Somerville Williams. Campaigners and activists from across the UK and beyond will gather in Stroud to build common strength in our struggle against ecological destruction, and to work for a world of social and environmental justice. more...

Can eating less meat really tackle climate change? (Yes)

Mike Berners-Lee, Lancaster University

27th January 2016

The problem is not just eating meat, but the kind of meat. Brazilian beef causes emissions around ten times greater than chicken. Photo: butcher's shop in Mares, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil by Vin via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND). Meat is responsible for about 30% of all 'wasted calories', writes Mike Berners-Lee, so with food causing a third of all greenhouse emissions, eating less meat is one of the most effective things we can do to reduce our climate impact. But no less important is to switch from high to low-impact meats - and to do all we can to cut food waste in our kitchens. more...

Connecting with nature through wildlife, place and memory

John Aitchison

19th January 2016

Otters waiting for fish at Loch Creran, West Highlands, Scotland. Photo: Jennie Rainsford via Flickr (CC BY-SA). Some of us are fortunate enough to have close relationships with the nature around us, writes John Aitchison. But what about everyone else? We must find ways to make people feel like old friends with wildife near and far, and feel that their wild homes and habitats are extensions of our own. And hence, that they are as deserving of our care as human neighbours - if not more so. more...

The great bathroom debate: paper towel or hand dryer?

Simon Lockrey

6th January 2016

Choices choices.. Photo by Sabotrax (CC-BY) Which of hand dryers or paper towels have the greatest impact on the environment? asks Simon Lockrey. Are your paper towels recycled or tree-pulped, your dryers power-hungry and long-blowing or short-blast and power-saving. Only full Life-Cycle Analysis can reveal the true punches these seemingly harmless items can deliver to our environment. more...

Saving Earthship Brighton - to inspire and educate for decades to come

Phil Moore

2nd December 2015

View of the west side of the Brighton Earthship. Photo: Mischa Hewitt. Earthship Brighton, an award-winning off-grid community centre set in an organic farm within the South Downs National Park, has hosted hundreds of events and inspired tens of thousands of visitors over the last decade, writes Phil Moore, demonstrating green technologies and energy-efficient living. But now it's in need of a refit. more...

Seaweed on the shore, seaweed in the kitchen

Fiona Bird

26th November 2015

Dulse growing on kelp as an epiphyte: a feast fit for a king. Photo, Fiona Bird. Fresh or dried wild seaweed may be on sale in a supermarket near you, writes Fiona Bird. But much better than supporting what may be unsustainable harvesting, gather your own at low tide on rocky shores, picking just enough for your needs. Once a poverty food, seaweed is now a sought after ingredient that expresses the 'fifth taste', umami. more...

COP21 101 - The Ecologist Guide to the Paris mobilisations

Kara Moses

3rd November 2015

If there's one thing the French are good at, it's demonstrating - as it this huge climate action and anti-nuclear protest outside the Assemblée Nationale, Paris, on 20th March 2011. Photo: philippe leroyer via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND). This December, world leaders will meet at COP21 in Paris to negotiate a global agreement on climate change, writes Kara Moses. But the real action and inspiration will be in a host of parallel events, conferences, action and demonstrations attended by tens of thousands of global climate activists. So here's your definitive guide to what will be happening - and how you can join in! more...

Kinkeling Community Garden - fruit trees and music make the world go around

Allan Kerr

10th November 2015

A passion for traditional drumming led to a project to revitalise land and community in the wildlife-rich Nuimi district of The Gambia, writes Allan Kerr. And now there's plans to take it to the next level, with organic farming, tree nurseries, forest gardening, a borehole for safe drinking water, craft workshops ... and don't forget the music! more...

Hazardous chemicals on outdoor clothing: let's get rid of them!

Gabriele Salari

27th October 2015

Does this rain-loving toddler need toxic PFC finishes to make his coat proof to Arctic storms? On balance, probably not. Photo: John Bastoen via Flickr (CC BY). Eight Greenpeace expeditions to far-flung corners of the Earth all found ubiquitous traces of PFCs, writes Gabriele Salari. These toxic, long-lived chemicals are widely used on outdoor garments to make them proof to the fiercest of storms - even though there are safe alternatives and most people don't need them anyway. If you're buying outdoor gear, be sure to choose PFC-free! more...

Decolonizing your yoga practice: transcending the yoga-industrial complex

Susanna Barkataki

8th September 2015

Photo: MeditationMusic.net 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...

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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