Time-Tested Mr. Rooter Tips For Unclogging Drains

Mr. Rooter's Daily Tips: Expert plumbing advice on unclogging household drains.

Youngstown, Ohio : A drain blockage may be in the trap under the fixture, in a branch line carrying waste from several fixtures to the main drain, or in the main house drain or its connection to the sewer. According to Bob Beall, Pittsburgh’s most referred plumber, “if only one fixture is blocked or sluggish, start by cleaning its trap.” The president of Mr. Rooter Plumbing Pittsburgh offers free daily plumbing tips at the new Mr. Rooter Media Center. Beall hosts a LIVE chat for residential or commercial consumers wishing to get answers to common plumbing problems.

“Clogged drains are one of the most common questions posed by homeowners,” says Mr. Rooter. “A common force-cup plunger and a drain-and-trap auger are not only the easiest unclogging tools to use, but also the most effective and the safest,” according to Beall. Beall adds, that devices that use compressed air often impact the blockage and may loosen or blow apart fragile pipes such as lavatory traps.

“It is not advisable to use a chemical drain cleaner in a fixture that is completely blocked. The most powerful cleaners contain lye, a caustic compound that is dangerous and can harm fixtures if left too long in them,” according to Mr. Rooter. If the chemical cleaner does not clear the drain, you will be exposed to the caustic when you open a clean-out plug or remove a trap.

According to the expert plumber who serves; Beaver, Cranberry, Pittsburgh, Sharon, Washington and Westmoreland Pennsylvania, and Youngstown Ohio, “after a drain has been cleaned, chemical cleaners do serve a useful purpose.” When used regularly—every two weeks or so—they prevent build-up of debris that could lead to a future blockage, according to Mr. Rooter.
Mr. Rooter’s Tip Of The Day

Lavatories and Sinks

Tip # 1 Using a plunger: Begin by removing the sink strainer or pop-up drain plug. If there is an overflow opening—most kitchen sinks have none—plug it with wet rags. Any air gap provided for a dishwasher also must be plugged. Be sure there is enough water in the basin to cover the plunger cup completely. Coat the rim of the cup evenly with petroleum jelly and center the cup over the drain hole. Without breaking the seal between the drain and the cup, pump down and up with short, rapid stroke 10 times, then jerk the plunger up from the drain quickly. Repeat the procedure several more times if necessary. If the drain still remains clogged, try Tip # 2.

Tip #2 Using an auger: With the strainer or pop-up stopper removed, feed a drain-and-tap auger into the drain by cranking the handle clockwise. As you push the auger wire farther into the drain, alternately loosen and tighten the thumbscrew on the auger handle. When you hook something move the auger backward and forward slowly while cranking, then withdraw the auger wire slowly while continuing to crank in the same direction. Pour hot water and detergent through the trap to clear away residual grease or oils. If the auger doesn’t not clear the trap, try Tip # 3.

Tip #3 Working through the clean-out plug: If the trap under the clogged fixture has a clean-out plug, place a bucket under the trap and remove the plug. After water has emptied from the trap, straighten a wire coat hanger, form a small hook in one end, and probe through the trap. If the obstruction is near the opening, you should be able to dislodge it or hook it and draw it out. If not, feed a drain-and-trap auger first up to the sink opening, then through the back half of the trap. If these three tips do not resolve your issue, the blockage may be in the vertical pipe behind the fixture or in a horizontal pipe—a branch drain—that runs through the wall or floor to connect to the main drain-vent stack serving the entire house.

This press release is presented for your information only.

Full Disclosure Statement: The GREEN (LIVING) REVIEW received no compensation for any component of this article.

This article is for your information only and the GREEN (LIVING) REVIEW does not (necessarily) approve, endorse or recommend the product, service or company mentioned.

“Leave the loaf at home – not at the duck pond, please.” - Bill Oddie

Bill Oddie’s Bird Food Recipes recently launched their quarterly Ask Bill Oddie event where questions asked through twitter (using the #AskBillOddie hash tag), facebook and YouTube are put to Bill Oddie – Britain’s favourite bird food chef.

One of the most frequently asked questions Bill Oddie hears whilst out on the Heath is, “I often take my little girl to feed the ducks. We throw in pieces of bread. They seem to love it but is it bad for them?” Fortunately, whilst filming Ask Bill Oddie, the right moment to answer this question presented itself and Bill’s answer is plain and simple: “leave the loaf at home – not at the duck pond, please.” However, Bill recognizes that feeding the ducks is a great way to introduce children to nature.

“Well, for a start it won’t be just the ducks that go for the bread: Swans, Canada Geese, probably Coot and – most squabbly and screechy of all - Black Headed Gulls. All that flapping and quacking and honking can be a little bit alarming for a small child, but most of them get to love it and it’s a great way to start some basic birdwatching.”

“As for is bread bad for them? The answer is that it won’t do them any good. Scoffing too much of it can be harmful, especially white bread. Bread and water. Starvation rations for humans and certainly not a treat for birds. Brown bread is a bit less useless, especially if it has seeds on it, but it still isn’t nutritious to a duck or a goose no matter how eager they are to grab it.”

“Feeding the birds at the duck pond is much the same as feeding the birds in your garden. Ask yourself: what do these birds eat in the wild? What is their natural food? Insects, worms, caterpillars, seeds, berries, aquatic plants. That’s what they need. The real thing. If they can’t find enough, then we can help enormously by providing equivalents, substitutes, and supplements, but the ingredients must be natural. Bird food specialists like Haith’s - www.haiths.com the bird food masterchefs, if you will – can sometimes even improve on nature with special mixes, dried mealworms and blends, but nothing is artificial or faked, and everything provides birds with good health and energy. Food for survival.”

Have fun at the park, but leave the bread in the bread bin is Bill Oddie’s message.

This press release is presented for your information only.

Full Disclosure Statement: The GREEN (LIVING) REVIEW received no compensation for any component of this article.

This article is for your information only and the GREEN (LIVING) REVIEW does not (necessarily) approve, endorse or recommend the product, service or company mentioned.

Latcham Direct announced finalist for Energy Efficiency 2012 award

The 2012 Sustainability Live Awards announced marketing communications provider Latcham Direct as a finalist for the National SME award for Energy Efficiency.

The Environment and Energy awards celebrate excellence and innovation from businesses and are seen as one of the highest accolades for sustainability in the corporate sector.

The SME award for Energy Efficiency is aimed at organisations that recognise the importance and value of good energy efficiency but have limited resources and manpower to do so.

To meet the criteria of the award, Latcham Direct had to demonstrate measures taken to reduce energy usage and provide proof of the significant results achieved.

These measures included working closely with Business Link to identify methods to cut costs and to reduce the environmental impacts of the business. In addition to switching energy supplier and installing LED lighting, over the last 12 months Latcham Direct has seen electricity usage fall by over 11% and gas use by over 28% - in total representing 80 tons less of CO2.

Mike Hughes, Managing Director of Latcham Direct comments; “We are very proud of our environmental credentials and our ability to support the Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives of our clients. People want to know what they can do to reduce environmental impact, not just by using less energy in planes, cars and domestic heating, but also in their business purchasing choices. This is especially important when it comes to choosing a print and direct marketing provider and as we have demonstrated it isn’t just about using recycled paper!”

For more information please visit www.latchamdirect.co.uk

For more information on the awards please visit www.sustainabilitylive.com

This press release is presented for your information only.

Full Disclosure Statement: The GREEN (LIVING) REVIEW received no compensation for any component of this article.

This article is for your information only and the GREEN (LIVING) REVIEW does not (necessarily) approve, endorse or recommend the product, service or company mentioned.

Woe the dissidents against the US government

Internment, resettlement and re-education not just for foreign “enemies” of America

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

From what is emerging from reputable sources freedom is under attack and nowhere more so than in the United States of America, the very country that always sets itself up as the great teacher in all things democracy and freedom.

When one considers, however, the recently signed into law “Defense Act” in which indefinite detention has been legalized, and also even targeted assassinations, of every American citizen at home and abroad, then everyone should realize that freedom in the USA and elsewhere is very much under attack.

While some “patriots” have been under the illusion that this would only apply to foreigners and real “terrorists” the truth that is emerging is an entirely different one.

The way in which the authorities in the United States, and elsewhere, have been and are treating the protesters of the Occupy Movement” also should provide proof and evidence enough as to which direction America, and not just America, is headed. Protesters have been treated and labeled as terrorists.

In Britain things are also getting tight in that – officially initially only for during the London 2012 Olympics – all protests and demonstrations have been declared illegal and any that should happen in spite of the blanket ban will be regarded as acts of terrorism and every participant as a terrorist. But it is the US that we shall concern ourselves with for the moment.

Some people have been misleading American patriots for years now with and about non-existent FEMA concentration camps, and Alex Jones, agent of the Zionist regime, in the forefront. There is, however, no need for FEMA to get involved and build any such camps as they already exist. They are called “military installations”.

A recently discovered and leaked Army Field Manual FM 3-39.40 INTERNMENT AND RESETTLEMENT OPERATIONS deals with the Army and its Military Police, and the Security Police of both the Navy and the Air Force no doubt will also be allowed to have a part to play in this, having been tasked with the internment, resettlement and re-education of dissidents, including and especially American dissidents.

It would appear American patriots, and others, in any country of the world, who disagree with US government policy, the POTUS, etc., can now be detained without a warrant for an indefinite period without trial, sent into internal exile in the USA and for re-education.

The United States government also gives itself the right to arrest, remove from whichever country, and then detain foreign citizens, as well as Americans.

Also, provisions have been made to kill any of those that they deem “a treat to US interests” (please note that it says “US interests” and not “US national or US security interests”) and who they consider incorrigible. Such targeted assassinations, in fact, have already happened. How many, however, we do not know. Even the Soviet Union in the heyday of Stalinism did not go that far ever.

Welcome to Gulag USA, I guess...

© 2012

The National Trust recognises unsung 'Green Heroes'

The National Trust has announced the six winners of the first ever Octavia Hill Awards at a special ceremony in London

A prolific drystone waller, an intrepid volunteer youth worker and famous TV walker were among the green heroes celebrated by the National Trust.

The awards are named after Trust founder and social reformer Octavia Hill who died in 1912. They are being run in partnership with Countryfile Magazine.

Nominated by the public and then put to an online poll that saw nearly seven thousand votes, each winner is keeping the spirit of Octavia alive - standing up for precious natural spaces and places. 

The winners of the Octavia Hill Awards were:
Patrick Frew from Country Antrim, Northern Ireland is the 'Growing Hero' - Patrick has turned a one-acre site into a diverse growing space. Young children enjoy visits to the site to reconnect with nature while elderly residents are treated to home deliveries of compost and easy salad plants ready to make their own DIY 'Doorstep Allotments'.

Roger Parkinson from Wakefield, West Yorkshire is a 'Natural Hero' - Roger is an inspirational tree conservation leader, a public speaker and field teacher. As a practitioner, he's helped restore a five-acre arboretum with more than 150 tree species and he's helped individuals and groups with their own woodland creation projects.

Matt Smith from Bootle, Liverpool is the 'Inspirational Hero' - Volunteer youth worker Matt is tackling anti-social behaviour by getting young people into the outdoors. As a volunteer he organises nature hikes, camping and self-sufficiency trips that educate, inspire and sometimes change lives.

Julia Bradbury was voted 'The People’s Campaigner' - Julia picked up the award for someone in the public spotlight who's championed an issue or cause. Her passion for walking began at an early age and she was formerly President of the Ramblers Association. Her public profile as a popular TV presenter gives her the chance to champion and promote the landscape she loves.

The Friends of King Henry's Walk Garden in North London are the 'Green Space Guardians' - A scrap of wasteland in North London is now a tranquil community garden thanks to this group. King Henry's Walk Garden is enjoyed by the many families who don't have outside space and people can rent space to grow their own produce.

Eric Shorrocks of Arnside Knott, Cumbria wins the 'Love Places' Award - A self-taught professional drystone waller, Eric has passed on his skills, training up at least 20 others in the craft and, as a National Trust volunteer, he's been dedicating his free time to everything from litter picking and path clearing to saving precious limestone grassland from scrub invasion.  

The Awards attracted more than 160 entries and a final shortlist was selected by a panel of judges with a wide knowledge of green and social issues. Sitting on the panel alongside Fiona Reynolds, Director-General of the National Trust, were Fergus Collins, Editor of Countryfile Magazine, academic and broadcaster Professor Alice Roberts and journalist and writer Candida Lycett Green.

The public then voted, in their thousands, for the shortlisted entries.

Each of the winners will receive a specially commissioned bowl made by Tony Alderman who works at the National Trust's Chartwell in Kent. The bowls have been made using English elm, oak and yew collected from woods near to Crockham in Kent where Octavia Hill lived.

They also win the opportunity to be mentored by a Trust expert and will be profiled in Countryfile Magazine.

About National Trust:
The National Trust looks after more than 250,000 hectares of countryside, 710 miles of coastline and hundreds of historic places across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. For more information, and ideas for a family day out, go to: www.nationaltrust.org.uk.

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This article is for your information only and the GREEN (LIVING) REVIEW does not (necessarily) approve, endorse or recommend the product, service or company mentioned.


Marks & Spencer and Aquamarine Power have both won the 2012 European Business Awards for the Environment (EBAE). They were victorious over 156 other entrants from across the 24 European Member States.

M&S won the Management Award which goes to companies with outstanding strategic vision and management systems that enable them to continuously improve their contribution to sustainable development, for their Plan A – Doing the Right Thing programme which embeds the sustainable management of resources across all their operations and beyond.

Aquamarine Power won the Product Award which goes to a firm that has developed a new product or related service that makes an outstanding contribution to sustainable development, for their innovative Oyster wave power technology which captures energy in nearshore waves and converts it into clean sustainable electricity.

The EBAE awards ceremony was held at the Royal Museum of Art and History in Brussels on May 24th. The awards were one of the highlights of Green Week, the European Commission’s annual conference on environment policy.

The awards were presented by European Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik who said, "Resource efficiency is the key to a competitive, sustainable Europe. These companies show that it is not only possible but desirable to combine a healthy bottom line with environmental protection. They are green growth in action and I applaud them."

The awarding jury for M&S Management Award added that the company had successfully integrated resource management across all its operations and has adopted a sustainable retail practice model with high replication potential. For Aquamarine Power they said the product was innovative and could be used in many coastal areas under tough operating conditions and may provide low-cost electricity for water desalination.
The biennial EBAE awards are given in five categories and recognise European businesses that make a particular contribution to sustainable development by combining innovation, economic viability, environmental concern and social responsibility. Marks & Spencer and Aquamarine Power were two of the five winners with the others coming from Slovakia, Germany and Belgium. The winners were chosen from 156 entries from 24 EU member states - a 10% increase on 2010 which reflects the growing interest of businesses in sustainability and their understanding of today's environmental challenges. 14 entries reached the final on the 24th May.

Applicants to the awards scheme first competed at national level before being selected to compete at European level, meaning that companies awarded the European prize are ‘the best of the best’: the most far-sighted, responsible and innovative across Europe.

More information on the winners, the runners-up, the selection procedure and past EBAE competitions can be found at: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/awards/

For details of the 2012 finalists, see IP/12/306 or EBAE April 2012 newsletter:

Marks & Spencer - Plan A
Plan A was launched in 2007 to embed the sustainable management of resources across all operations.

Plan A is structured around one vision (to be the world’s most sustainable retailer), seven pillars and 180 commitments encompassing their most material impacts. The pillars consist of Climate Change, Waste, Natural Resources, Fair Partner and Well Being, along with How We Do Business and Involving our Customers. M&S commitments are extremely ambitious, such as sending zero waste to landfill, paying a fair living wage in factories and going carbon neutral.

Progress since the launch in 2007 has been overwhelmingly positive. Results include: reduced carbon emission by 25% (at a time of growth), 54% of electricity is procured from renewable sources, reduced waste by 34%, 98% of remaining waste is recycled, including all unsold food with 39% of this going to anaerobic digestion to generate energy; reduced non-glass packaging by an average of 26% per item and in the food business they cut carrier bag use by 80%. In 2010/2011 90% of the wild fish sold and 76% of wood used was independently assessed as coming from more sustainable sources. Additionally they have reduced water usage per sq. foot by 62% in food warehouses.
Plan A is not an ‘add on’ to the M&S organisation, but a fundamental characteristic. They have undone the myth that sustainability had to be expensive and proved the opposite – that it makes good business sense: in 2010/2011 alone, Plan A delivered over £70m in net benefits.

Aquamarine Power – Oyster Wave Technology
Pioneering wave technology company Aquamarine Power is developing the innovative Oyster wave power technology to capture energy in nearshore waves and convert it into clean sustainable electricity.

Oyster is a buoyant, hinged flap which is attached to the seabed. The hinged flap, which is almost entirely underwater, pitches backwards and forwards in the nearshore waves. The movement of the flap drives two hydraulic pistons which push high pressure water onshore via a subsea pipeline to drive a conventional hydro-electric turbine. By locating Oyster near the shore, the device naturally avoids the massive storm forces which other devices are exposed to in the open ocean. Oyster’s innovative design means it ducks under the largest waves giving it enhanced survivability.

The benefit of this technology is that is takes advantage of the world's vast untapped wave energy resource to produce clean sustainable energy, providing the potential to replace a significant portion of the current carbon intensive electricity generation. Oyster's key selling points of simplicity, survivability and shore-based electricity generation as well as its potential application for reverse osmosis desalination put this innovative and unique technology at the leading edge of wave energy innovation.

The first full-scale 315kW Oyster was installed and grid-connected in November 2009 in Orkney, Scotland.

This press release is presented for your information only.

Full Disclosure Statement: The GREEN (LIVING) REVIEW received no compensation for any component of this article.

This article is for your information only and the GREEN (LIVING) REVIEW does not (necessarily) approve, endorse or recommend the product, service or company mentioned.

An imposter in the White House

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

The statutes as to who can become President – let's use that title – of the United States clearly state that he (or she) has to be a native born citizen of the United States, which means he or she has to have been born in one of the fifty states of the Union. Kenya is not, as far as I am aware, a state of the Union, however.

Thus, to all intents and purposes, Mr Barak Obama, the so-called 44th President of the United States of America is, actually, illegally occupying the throne in the White House.

The fact that Mr Obama was not eligible to be President has been suggested by many American patriots ever since he began running for President and his election in 2008 as he is not a native born citizen of the USA.

The truth, hidden by all, including all media, bar a few lonely voices, is that Barak Obama indeed appears to be, nay is, foreign born.

In fact, he himself has said so openly in his biography in the brochures of his literary agent and the statement of “born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia, Hawaii and Chicago” remained on the Distel agency's literature until around 2005 and may, in fact, have still been there until early 2008.

Strangely enough at about that time when the bio was changed to read “born in Hawaii” Mr Obama began his preparations for his race for the White House to become POTUS.

Prior to that time he was proud of the fact to have been “born in Kenya”, to be foreign born, but that would have made it impossible for him to run for president so things were changed and further manipulated even by the production of a doctored copy of a Hawaiian short birth certificate. A 'birth certificate' that was only produced, in more than one sense of the word, when too many people asked to see one for Barak Obama as prove that he was eligible to be President.

Those that, afterwards, continued to question and demanded the truth were written off as cranks and troublemakers but the old documents from Mr Obama's literary agent have been still on the Internet – maybe the purge should have been a little more thorough – and anyone can look at them.

The 44th President of the United States is illegal and all that have sworn to uphold the constitution, despite the fact that that document, in reality is also illegal, must act and put that imposter in irons.

© 2012

Old carbon sinks still absorbing CO2 and more than thought

No further increase in carbon dioxide in atmosphere since early 2000s, study finds

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

According to a study released in May 2012 old carbon sinks that were considered no longer to be working in fact still continue to absorb CO2 and more than thought even. Also according to the same study there has been no further increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere since about 2004.

thus, though being acutely aware that the climate is changing and man has played a not significant role in inducing climate change, it may rather be more a natural phenomenon at base and therefore adaptation together with transitioning to a fossil free future may, nay is, required.

Everyone in government and such is claiming that climate change, previously referred to as “global warming”, that is if we do not count the claims of “global cooling2 in the 1960s and 1970s, is entirely down to human activity. And because of this notion there is also the belief that, because we caused it, we can stop and reverse it, if we but reduce carbon dioxide by curbing carbon emissions.

That belief may prove to be a fallacy if there is a large proportion of the Earth's own activity involved. If that is the case then reducing green house gas emissions alone is not going to cut it and we must actually actively adapt to the changes.

Having said this does not mean that changing to a fossil free economy and society and cleaning up our act in general does not matter. It matters a great deal in fact and we must do it. No ifs or buts. And we must do more. We must remove all pollutants and stop polluting the Planet.

Even if we can stop things happening and adapt to climate change, as we must, a planet whose soil, air and water is polluted is not something to be aimed for. This also makes nuclear energy, in actual truth, not an option.

Here also lies my issue with the constant clamor as to carbon dioxide and carbon per se. It is NO JUST carbon emissions we need to cut and carbon dioxide we need to remove but we need to remove all pollutants and all forms of pollution.

As far as the old carbon sinks have stopped working claim goes it would appear that climate scientists got it wrong (again).

The study indicates that far from having stopped working those old carbon sinks have been absorbing more CO2 in recent years and kept the levels steady but still, climate change continues.

Have we concentrated too much on CO2 and carbon reduction. Methinks yes and that to the detriment of other, possible, solutions to clean up the Planet.

Reports now also indicate that many of the Himalaya's glaciers, far from reducing are actually increasing and some of them at a tremendous rate.

Carbon and carbon reduction has become an industry and worldwide market, something that removing plastics from the world's oceans, or removing other pollution from water, soil and air can never be. Hence, it would appear, the emphasis that is being put on carbon and carbon reduction alone. It is a nice little earner for some.

© 2012

The United States: Not a republic but a kingdom

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

While the majority of the American people believe that the forefathers established a “Constitutional Republic” the truth which but a very few realize is that the USA is nothing of the kind and nor is it a democracy.

Aside from the very fact that the Constitution is, theoretically, illegal the United States are, to all intents and purposes, nothing else but a kingdom, or an empire, with a king or emperor, as the head of state, bar with a different title. The latter in order to confuse the people.

Americans believe that they live in a democracy and in one where they, as “we the people”, directly elect their president (kind or emperor in all but name) but nothing could be further from the truth.

The election of the President is held in a conclave, much like the election of the Pope, called the “Electoral College” and it is those people create the emperor of the USA, the so-called President.

They do this even to such an extent as to appoint someone to President who is not eligible to hold that office as not being native born, as is the case with the 44th POTUS, one Barak Hussein Obama. Kenya is not part of the USA, not even by the greatest stretch of someone's imagination.

When the American colonists overthrew the British rule and monarch all they did was to replace one monarch for another; a hereditary one for a non-hereditary one. And it was just what the powers that be, which in essence have not changed, intended to happen. The people, however, got blinded into believing that they had changed things into a republic.

The great majority of the American people are blissfully unaware of what their country actually is, in real political terms, aided and abetted by an educational system that teaches them relentlessly that the USA is a democracy and in years gone by it was claimed to be a constitutional republic.

No one is aware, bar a few, either of the fact that the constitution upon which they lay so much store is, in fact, an illegal document as the delegates at congress who created this document in the later 18th century did not have the mandate to do so.

Wake up America and Americans!

© 2012

Charity Shops are now officially cool and trendy

Forget designer stores, even Kate Moss shops at Charity Shops now

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

While she may be one of the most famous super models in the world, Kate Moss is not, so it would appear, unless it is a publicity stunt, let that go to her head.

The beautiful model was spotted in London recently having a good old rummage through her local Oxfam Charity Shop. If it is for real then one can but say in the good ol' Ozzie slang... Good on ya!

Kate must have realised (just many of us have by now... at least I hope so) how many amazing things you can find in a charity shop that you wouldn’t find in a mainstream store.

There are so many unique and unusual things you can pick up from your local thrift store, from home ware and books to some truly original fashion.

Personally I must stay well clear of charity shops nowadays as I have well too many book bought from there that, it would appear, I will never find the time to read. Same wish shirts. I mean I love nice comfortable shirts and many real good ones can be found for little to nothing in charity shops but I have far too many now. One can only wear one shirt at a time.

And this is not the first time Kate Moss has done the green and eco movement proud.

She is completely vegan (I am not but am leaning towards a mostly vegetarian route nowadays) and loves nothing more than taking a little vacation by train.

Let us hope that Kate Moss' example may inspire others to go the same route as to where to shop.

Mind you, if everyone did it charity shops soon would put their prices up and also might soon be running out of stuff to sell.

There is always a but, isn't there?

© 2012

Give cycling a go

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

If getting fit and staying healthy is on your list of priorities, and it certainly should be, then it is well worth thinking about getting on your bike.

cycling-pic-300x201 Unlike some forms of exercise which can seem like a hard slog, cycling is easy and fun. It is suitable for everyone, whatever age, size, or level of fitness. It won’t cost you a monthly fee, it’s easy to make it a part of your weekly routine, and all you need to get started is a bike, and it does not even have to be a new bike. In addition to this you can actually use a bicycle no just for exercise but for getting from A to B and back to A.

Regular cycling will help your aerobic fitness, stamina, strength, and muscle function, as well as reducing the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. It is low impact so won’t put a strain on your joints, and it’s also great for combating feelings of stress and depression.

In addition to that, according to several natural health practicioners in the USA and my own experience, gently using a bicycle also can alleviate (I said alleviate and not cure) lower back pain and sciatica. This will save you lots of money on chiropractors and such like.

In fact, such are the health benefits that experts have worked out that cyclists are likely to live two years longer than non-cyclists!

And, the good news is that you don’t have to kit yourself out in head-to-toe Lycra and start tackling fifty mile rides. Gentle 10-15 minute rides to work or to the shops are just as good for your health.

Also, as I have indicated already, there is no need to go and spend hundreds on a new bike. A secondhand one will do as well and will come a lot cheaper.

Do learn a few tricks of the trade though such as how to fix a puncture, etc., up to how to replace chains, and much more. Unlike a car most things to do with a bicycle can be easily learned and done.

Personally, and I am no bike mechanic though do want to learn a lot more about it still, I rebuild bicycled from those found abandoned and otherwise thrown away into the countryside and I have built a couple of very useful ones that way.

Finally a little suggestion: Get yourself a single-speed bicycle or one with three to five hub gears. The Shimano-style dérailleur gear shifts are a pain in the backside to repair and adjust. A single-speed bike does not need to be expensive either. Again a secondhand one can more than likely be found for little money, as they tend to be the older kind of bikes.

Having said that, however, new single-speed bikes are rather expensive as they have also become very popular indeed. However, with a little skill and knowledge you can convert almost any dérailleur gear shift bike into a single-speed one without much ado. Only requirement is, aside from tools, that the frame does not have a vertical dropout at the back.

All my conversions are achieved like that and they work better than they did originally and no need to take care of the dérailleurs and such. Dérailleurs are very sensitive to being knocked – it throws them out of alignment – and also to dirt and muck. Single speed ones do not have that problem.

© 2012

The Orchard Canteen at 116 Kensington Park Road London, Opens September 2012

Natasha Abraham introduces The Orchard Canteen to Notting Hill in September 2012

Working at London's River Cafe for the past three years, Natasha Abraham looks to Notting Hill to open The Orchard Canteen in the Fall 2012. A canteen in format, daily changing menus will provide customers with an array of seasonal food from the start of their day until the evening.

“From 7:30 am until 5pm, customers can pick up breakfast or lunch on their way to work or for those who have the time, they can have a seat and enjoy their meal at The Orchard. We cannot wait to welcome them in”, says Natasha.

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Full Disclosure Statement: The GREEN (LIVING) REVIEW received no compensation for any component of this article.

This article is for your information only and the GREEN (LIVING) REVIEW does not (necessarily) approve, endorse or recommend the product, service or company mentioned.

More than half of Britain’s smokers will have switched to e-cigs by 2017

E-Lites electronic cigarettes

British smokers are switching to electronic cigarettes at an unprecedented rate according to figures released this week by the UK’s biggest manufacturer, E-Lites ahead of World No Tobacco Day on 31st May 2012.

The safer alternative ‘cigarettes’ which are free from tar and tobacco, have been available in the UK for over five years but it’s the last two years that have seen the fastest growth, with around 8,000 smokers switching every month.

That still means only 250,000 of the UK’s £10m smokers are now electronic, “However, at the current rate of growth” says E-Lites’ co-founder and director Adrian Everett, “we’re on target for half of Britain’s smokers to have made the switch within five years. In fact, one major retail chain reports that nine per cent of all its smoking sales are now electronic.”

And a new USurv.com survey reveals that health is NOT the chief reason why smokers want to quit the habit.

Despite the millions spent on health education programmes the 1000-sample survey revealed that 58 per cent rated smell as their chief dislike, followed by bad breath (46 percent). Damage to health was relegated to third place (37 per cent) suggesting that image-conscious Britons care more about their attractiveness to others than their health.

With the average cigarette pack now costing around £7, it’s perhaps unsurprising that 69 per cent of smokers complained about the rising cost of getting their fix. Yet only 13 per cent knew that electronic cigarettes are cheaper than normal cigarettes.

“That’s certainly an awareness factor that needs to be overcome” admits Mr Everett, “because an electronic cigarette is around one quarter of the price, so a typical 20-a-day smoker would save around £200 per month by switching.”

E-Lites, founded in 2007, is the UK’s most established brand, providing smokers with a reliable electronic device that’s safer, cleaner, healthier and cheaper than tobacco cigarettes, as well as being legally unrestricted for use in public places.

The absence of tar, tobacco and other toxins allows E-Lites users to avoid the damaging effects of smoking, while still enjoying a familiar experience of nicotine inhalation. Being free of nasty smells and smoke, E-Lites present no passive smoking issues and are therefore far less objectionable to non-smokers.

E-Lites (www.e-lites.co.uk) was established in the UK in 2007 and is already a leader in its field, producing some of the most advanced electronic cigarettes on the market. The company is expanding nationally and internationally as demand grows for its innovative products.

Its latest range of new-generation E-Lites are the result of extensive UK research and development.

The evolution of E-Lites has been supported by significant investment in design and testing to ensure its electronic smoking devices are made to the highest standards and deliver the most authentic and luxurious smoking sensation possible. The company’s manufacturing facility uses the latest state of the art micro-electronic technology, ensuring E-Lites set the standard within the electronic smoking industry. E-Lites are globally patented, internationally trademarked, and are backed by an international parts replacement guarantee.

Michael Ryan, one of the founding directors of E-Lites, is also chairman of the Electronic Cigarette Industry Trade Association (ECITA), a representative body which provides advice, guidelines and support to members, as well as working to ensure the correct regulatory framework is applied to such products. For more information, visit www.ecita.org.uk

This press release is presented for your information only.

Full Disclosure Statement: The GREEN (LIVING) REVIEW received no compensation for any component of this article.

This article is for your information only and the GREEN (LIVING) REVIEW does not (necessarily) approve, endorse or recommend the product, service or company mentioned.

Refinery creates Bee app game for Co-op

The Co-operative has enlisted Manchester-based integrated marketing agency Refinery Marketing Communications to create a free app game to promote its Plan Bee Campaign.

Refinery, working in conjunction with Salford-based creative production studio Mi, produced the game as part of Plan Bee Campaign, which is an initiative highlighting the plight of the honeybee, whose numbers have drastically declined in recent years.

The game, called “The Pollinator”, features a superhero bee sent back from the future to save bees from extinction.

The free game is available for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch and can be downloaded from The App Store.

Set to the Flight of the Bumblebee music, The Pollinator game challenges players to move through three outdoor scenes – countryside, garden and urban – collecting as many bees as they can, whilst avoiding dangers such as wasps, rain and Varroa mites, highlighting some of the hazards facing bees in real life.

Players can share their scores through Facebook and Twitter and compete to see who can save the most bees. The app communicates tips on how to help bees in your own garden, such as keeping plants well watered to ensure they produce lots of nectar for bees, which pop up at the end of each level.

It’s being promoted through PR, Facebook advertising and social channels, The Co-operative’s customer magazine and email marketing, on the brand’s website and at member events taking place throughout the summer.

This press release is presented for your information only.

Full Disclosure Statement: The GREEN (LIVING) REVIEW received no compensation for any component of this article.

This article is for your information only and the GREEN (LIVING) REVIEW does not (necessarily) approve, endorse or recommend the product, service or company mentioned.

Hand Pump Pressure Washer – Product Review

Review by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
Hand_Pump_Pressure_Washer This hand pump pressure washer, supplied in the UK by Save Water Save Money Ltd. (www.SaveWaterSaveMoney.co.uk), is made in Poland by Marolex (www.marolex.pl).

It is, basically, a hand pump sprayer with a 12 liter capacity (just over two imperial gallons) but its different size nozzles, two of which come as standard, also enable it to become a low-power pressure washer.

Its original name at Marolex is “Auto Washer” and that is already a giveaway as far as its use is concerned. Originally it is intended for the washing of cars, motorbikes, bicycles, and such, predominately replacing the needs to mess about with a garden hose. This makes it especially ideal if you haven't got a faucet for a hosepipe anywhere near where you want to wash you car or, in my case, as I do not own a car, bicycle.

This is something that I did to really give it a test run and the bicycle in question has some real grease and dirt accumulated almost everywhere. A little use of some Plusgas followed by the use of this hand pump pressure washer and the bike – which is, after all, a rebuild from a number of abandoned bicycles – looked almost new.

The hand pump pressure washer is also a great way to beat any hosepipe ban such as the one in force since April 1, 2012 in a large part of England.

The Marolex Hand Pump Pressure Washer (Auto Washer) is probably one of the most versatile water-saving products I have come across. No hosepipe. No electricity. Water saving at its best and thus also it scores quite well on the sustainability scale.

It requires neither on electricity nor a hosepipe, so you can use it for just about everything, at any time and anywhere, whether at home or in a remote field. This makes it a great tool also and especially for the off-gridder and homesteader.

With its adjustable pressurised water spray delivered through a handy trigger system, you can use water efficiently and effectively, choosing to apply a range of sprays from concentrated jet to a fine mist.
Here are just some of the uses that the Hand Pump Pressure Washer could come in handy for:
  • Washing the car – you can clean a 4 door saloon with under 10 litres of water
  • For those with babies and young kids, it’s ideal to jet wash muddy pram wheels
  • This will come in handy for sports enthusiasts, who’d prefer to clean their equipment before they pack it in the car – mountain bikes, canoes, rugby balls…. the list is endless
  • Cleaning windows – the jet will reach out-of-reach first floor windows
  • Gardeners will love this because they can carry it to those far reaches of the garden where their hosepipe just won’t reach. Or to water the lawn when buying a thirsty sprinkler is not practical.
Using the red nozzle a fine mist can be produced and the nozzle can be adjusted to give also a quite powerful jet, the latter which may be too powerful for plants though. However, mid-range adjustment should be just right. Absolutely ideal for watering plants in the garden.

The hand pump pressure washer is a lot easier to use when watering plants, especially with “deep root” planters of the kind that I use for vegetable growing, than a watering can. The latter, in this case, often requires lifting to a height above the plants which is well over 5 foot. Not very comfortable with a full watering can. No such problem with this sprayer.

The lime day glow colored nozzle is the one that you want to be using for the pressure washing of cars and bikes. Please, however, do not expect it to deliver the same pressure as a Kärcher or similar pressure washer with electric pump and fed from the mains water supply.

The Hand Pump Pressure Washer from Save Water Save Money Ltd. is a very versatile device and a great tool for anyone, especially those in hosepipe use restrictions and the off-gridder and homesteader without mains electricity and/or water.

© 2012

Take a walk...

...its good for you and for the environment

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

It seems like everyone is in a hurry these days. Look around while doing your daily errands. All of us have some place to be with not a minute to spare. Due to the pressure to keep a fast-paced lifestyle and the lack of reliable public transport, most Americans drive everywhere. Even if it is just to the store down the road, cars equal convenience.

family-walking-in-woods But, despite relatively reliable public transport, in Britain the same phenomenon is evident. People seem to be unable to use their legs, be it by way of walking or cycling, to even go the shortest distances.

It always used to be said that the Americans would, if they but could, use the car to go to the lavatory but that adage must also be applied to the British people of today and I am sure, if they but could, they would do it.

But many do take “walking holidays” or have gym membership to get fit. They could save themselves all that nice money if they would but walk or cycle to the shops, the school, and even to work.

The U.S. is home to the largest number of cars in the world, and the number of motor vehicles has been rising by an estimated 3.69 million each year since 1960. As we know, this increase in cars leads to an increase in carbon emissions and pollution. While driving efficiently, participating in a carshare, and investing in fuel-efficient vehicles are all important ways to help, much of the problem is how dependent we are on driving itself.

In the US the car became a necessity with everyone moving into the suburbs during the wars and after World War Two especially. Everything was built with car use in mind.

Britain copied this, to some extent, by encouraging people to move out of the cities into suburbia land with the city centers becoming only places where people work and shop.

Many parts of the U.S. are now designed specifically for cars, not pedestrians and the cyclists are not faring much better either in that equation. Nonprofit organization America Walks says that 41% of all trips made in the United States are one mile or less, fewer than 10% of all trips are made by walking and biking. But there is no walking and cycling infrastructure in existence making walking and biking unsafe, to some extent.

There are many benefits to incorporating walking into our lives. Take the example of walking kids to school. It is a great way to get kids moving, and makes kids and adults alike feel more connected to their surroundings. According to America Walks, parents driving children to school comprises 20-30 percent of morning traffic congestion in urban areas. So organizing a "walk your kids to school" program would improve morning traffic, ensure that kids get their exercise for the day, and help people get to know their neighborhoods better.

When we look at the traffic volume around our villages and towns in Britain we see exactly the selfsame picture. Road are gridlocked, especially around the areas of schools, simply because people cannot even be asked to walk their kids to the local school which, at times, is no more than half a mile or less away from their homes. The SUV has to be used and only to take them there and back in the afternoon. Often the parent taking the children will drive from the school back home and that's it. It is mad.

Walking is indisputably the most environmentally-friendly mode of transportation. It does not produce any pollution, and it requires no supplies or maintenance, except for shoes. In fact, walking contributes to your maintenance of you. The next best thing after walking, and it gets you further and faster is cycling. Anything else is not very environmentally-friendly at all.

So, let's walk and cycle. Good for you and good for the Planet.

© 2012

Solar PV Set to Shine Again

Government announcement on solar subsidy means future stability for all.

Many homeowners may be aware of all the commotion that has surrounded the government funded feed-in-tariffs (FITs) since they launched in April 2011. This fuss would have undoubtedly put most consumers confidence at a low, however in an announcement made on May 24, 2011 by the Department of Climate Change (DECC), stability for solar is on the horizon. We can now reveal that the subsidy is set to receive a beam of security which will at least last for the next three years.

From August 1 2012, the subsidy which currently stands at 21p kWh for 4kW systems introduced into domestic properties will drop to 16p kWh. As the FITs were never set to be an everlasting subsidy, this new inevitable decrease has also been introduced with a range of new modifications set to help rebuild consumer confidence by bringing stability into the market. These modifications include;
• A multi-installation tariff for organizations with over 25 installations. They will receive 90 % of the standard applicable tariff, which is up from 80%
• Export tariff will be increased from 3.2p to 4.5p/kWh for those installations with an eligibility date on or after August 1;
• The FIT lifetime will be reduced from 25 to 20 years for those installations with an eligibility date on or after August 1; and
• Tariffs for installations that do not meet the energy efficiency requirements will mirror the tariffs for standalone installations.

This revision combined with the new rate has now outlined the FITs plans for the next 3 years, unless there is significant uptake. The DECC have announced the new tariff of 16p kWh and have outlined the process in which the tariff will decrease over the next three years. The announcement detailed that the FIT will steadily decrease at a rate of 3.5% every 3 months, beginning October 1st 2012. This means that over the course of a year the subsidy will reduce by around 2.24p which is a welcome and slow decline considering it has dropped a staggering 27.3p since December 2011. This new rate is set to introduce and reaffirm consumer confidence and put back some confidence in the installer that has invested their time and money into solar too.

As the new tariff is set for August 1 2012, consumers still have a 9 week window in which to gain the current higher rate of 21p kWh so as always time is of the essence for those wishing to obtain the higher rate which will be guaranteed for 25 years.

Carl Bennett, Managing Director of Trade Skills 4U, Britain’s premier electrical & renewable energy training company reveals his thoughts on recent announcement. “There have been a lot of gloomy headlines about solar power but the fact is the returns on offer are far better than anything you can get in the bank. The smart money is on solar PV. And by investing in solar power not only do householders protect themselves from rocketing electricity bills; they help local businesses and employment. Our business has enjoyed growth as result of our investment in solar. Last year we built a first storey training roof, which is the only one of its kind in the UK, in order to train solar installers and in the environment they will be working in when they qualify. Our dedication to ‘real life’ scenario training as seen a steady rise in business and helped to drive us forward in the recession when many have cut back. Now that government have announced future stability for the Feed-in-Tariff, we can only predict a steady and stable future for solar which is of course great news for everyone.”

Martin Gebbett, Director of DPS Renewable Technologies says: ‘The announcement by the DECC signals an end to the uncertainty that has prevailed in the PV solar industry since September 2011. We believe the new set guidelines allow us to plan move clearly for the future and drive our business forward. We have seen a noticeable increase in enquiries over the last few weeks and see a positive outlook’.

The environmental campaign group Greenpeace is keen to encourage people to invest in solar. Dr Doug Parr, Policy Director at Greenpeace UK explains why: “Local renewable energy remains a valuable contributor to a sustainable economy. We welcome further solar PV systems, taking advantage of genuinely sustainable energy in the drive to protect the planet from climate change.”

Virginia Graham, Chief Executive of the REAL Consumer Code said; “It is true that solar power can still offer attractive returns to householders in the right circumstances. We recommend anyone interested in installing solar power to ensure the supplier is listed on the REAL and MCS websites and to read our guidance for consumers carefully before going ahead:http://www.realassurance.org.uk/consumers/top-tips .”

There has been over a quarter of a million installations across the UK since the launch of the FIT in April 2010. The industry has blossomed to employ around 25,000 people and it is set to grow rapidly, despite the recession. Thanks to campaigning by the Solar Trade Association the role of solar power is now recognised by Government and the Prime Minister with 22GW anticipated by 2020.

This press release is presented for your information only.

Full Disclosure Statement: The GREEN (LIVING) REVIEW received no compensation for any component of this article.

This article is for your information only and the GREEN (LIVING) REVIEW does not (necessarily) approve, endorse or recommend the product, service or company mentioned.

How households can save water and beat the drought

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Households across large parts of south and east England are being asked to reduce the amount of water they use and since April 1st are, actually, under a hosepipe ban. But just how easy is it to use less water and what products are available to help?

Tim Robertson, Director of Save Water Save Money, who works with the UK’s Water Companies to promote water efficiency advises: “The easiest way to save water is to reduce wastage with water saving devices”.

Save Water Save Money’s website has a section dedicated to drought beating products. Water savers on offer include water butts, shower timers and drought resistant plants. Talking about Save Water Save Money’s best sellers, Tim Robertson says: “Our hand pump pressure washer – a water efficient alternative to the hose - is really popular now with customers who won’t be able to use their hosepipes this summer”.

With drought conditions expected to continue into the future changes in our behavior are necessary too. Save Water Save Money are available to share their water efficiency expertise and the website has helpful water saving advice which now includes tips sent in by customers.

There are many ways to save water inside and outside the home. Turning off the tap when brushing your teeth (and I cannot, for the life of me, understand why someone would leave the tap running when brushing the teeth), to not rush to flush it it's only a pee, to water the garden only in the evening when the sun is low, and, obviously, employing any water saving devices possible.

© 2012

DHL introduces jogging couriers

The return of the foot messenger, only a little faster

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

DHL has contracted foot courier firm JogPost to carry out crucial deliveries in London during the summer of 2012, and potentially beyond.

JogPost couriers will join the DHL workforce to make deliveries on foot or via public transport, direct from DHL Service Centers in London. They will also join driving couriers for the final mile of deliveries in areas that are inaccessible because of the Olympic route network, or congestion which DHL expects to increase by 30 per cent on London’ s core routes.

DHL handles some 50,000 deliveries in London each day.

Phil Couchman, CEO of DHL Express UK and Ireland, said: “Keeping London moving is a priority for us; our customers expect their critical deliveries to arrive on time regardless of what’s happening in London. By using innovative delivery methods we are able to sustain our high service levels during what will be a busy time for businesses, and also reduce our carbon footprint by sending fewer vehicles into the city.”

Throughout the Olympic and Paralympic Games DHL will have a dedicated operations control center that will monitor and adapt services for issues such as changes to the network and localized congestion.

“Using joggers to carry out deliveries has the potential to be a viable and environmentally-positive solution well beyond the Olympics,” said JJ Harding, founder of JogPost.

JogPost bills itself as the UK's number one leaflet delivery company.

Not so long ago foot messengers were a part of the fabric of the Capital and every Livery Company used them, every bank, and almost every firm that thought something of itself.

Those were all, predominately, in-house messengers, that is to say, part of a company's workforce, and they went on foot and by public transport all over the capital to deliver important (and not so important) messages. The couriers in cars, on motorbikes, etc. put those employees out of a job however.

Seeing the way many courier companies are either incapable or unwilling to go the extra mile and actually find an address with correct postcode and all because it is a little off the beaten track or because the sat nav says that they have arrived at their destination – a map is something they have no idea of using and asking they can neither – and then don't ever deliver or mis-deliver consignments the old-fashioned foot messenger might be a good idea again and some other kinds of real people willing to do the job rather than faceless companies.

I have had many an escapade so far with courier companies that refuse to find the delivery address for me and then send consignments back twice to a country abroad and on the third attempt, when given a different address to deliver to, end up at the address they could not find the two previous times. And that is but one example.

While there has not been a problem, so far, with any deliveries via DHL, there has been with about every other company, from ANC, FedEx, of which the former is now part of, and especially DPD and Hermes. All of them are useless beyond comprehension.

Yes, it is true that Royal Mail and Parcel Post (the parcel arm of Royal Mail) are a little on the pricey side, maybe, at least, in most instances, they can find an address and, if all else fails, a card is left or sent so that one can collect from a local office.

Let's go back to basics, also in the carrying of messages, mail and packages. Maybe the Penny Post in Coffee Houses needs reintroducing.

© 2012

Frischer Wind für die Energiewende

Windenergie im Fokus der 13. RENEXPO® 2012

Reutlingen, Germany : Die Windenergienutzung steht vor einem Boom. Bis 2021 soll die Windenergie allein in Bayern bis zu 10 Prozent des bayerischen Stromverbrauchs decken. In Baden-Württemberg sind die Pläne sogar noch ehrgeiziger. Eine großartige Chance für Grundbesitzer, Hersteller, Planer, Investoren, Energieversorger, Energiedienstleistungsunternehmen und Betreiber. Folgerichtig steht die Windeenergie auch besonders im Fokus der 13. Internationalen Energiemesse RENEXPO®, die vom 27. bis 30.09.2012 in Augsburg die ganze Bandbreite zukunftsfähiger Energiesysteme präsentiert.

Das 2011 beschlossene Energiekonzept der Bayerischen Staatsregierung setzt auf Energieeffizienz und Erneuerbare Energien. Die Windenergie weist im Freistaat ein großes, noch größtenteils ungenutztes Potenzial auf und soll zu einer der Hauptsäulen der zukünftigen Stromversorgung ausgebaut werden. Die Staatsregierung hält die Errichtung von 1.000 bis 1.500 neuen Windkraftanlagen in Bayern bis zum Jahr 2021 für möglich. Der Anteil der Windenergie am Stromverbrauch in Bayern soll demzufolge von derzeit rund 0,6 Prozent auf 6 bis 10 Prozent steigen.

Um diese ambitionierten Ausbauziele zu erreichen, hat der Ministerrat im Dezember 2011 den Windenergie-Erlass verabschiedet, der mit Hinweisen zur Planung und Genehmigung von Windkraftanlagen das Genehmigungsverfahren schneller und transparenter machen soll. Das Energiekonzept sieht eine verstärkte Beteiligung der bayerischen Kommunen an der Umsetzung der Ausbauziele vor: Sie sollen vermehrt Vorranggebiete in Flächennutzungsplänen ausweisen und bei Windenergieprojekten mit ausgewählten Entwicklern und Investoren oder anderen Kommunen kooperieren.

Die 13. RENEXPO® bietet vom 27. bis 30.09.2012 in Augsburg eine optimale Plattform für die Windeenergie-Branche im süddeutschen Raum. Die großen Hersteller, Planer und Dienstleister, wie ENERCON oder Nordex und Projektierer wie zum Beispiel die Windreich AG und OSTWIND, stellen im Messebereich beziehungsweise in der die Fachtagungen begleitenden Ausstellung zum Thema Windenergie aus und präsentieren aktuelle Produkte und innovative Lösungen.

Am Freitag, den 28.09.2012 veranstaltet die REECO GmbH in Zusammenarbeit mit dem Bundesverband WindEnergie die 2. Fachtagung "Mehr Windenergie in Bayern". Die Tagung informiert zukünftige Betreiber, Planer, Hersteller und Investoren darüber, wie die Ausbauziele zur Windenergie umgesetzt werden können und welche geeigneten Standorte existieren. Sie bietet außerdem eine Diskussionsplattform für verschiedene Interessenslagen und zeigt mögliche Lösungen auf, die Umweltschutz und nachhaltige Energieversorgung vereinen. Nicht zuletzt stellt sie Gestaltungs- und Steuerungsmöglichkeiten für Kommunen vor.

Kleinwindanlagen mit einer maximalen Leistung von rund 70 kW fristen in Deutschland noch ein Nischendasein - im Gegensatz zu anderen Ländern, wie Großbritannien, USA oder auch China. Dort stellen sie längst ein etabliertes Konzept zur dezentralen, sauberen Stromerzeugung dar, das auch eine ideale Lösung für netzferne Einsatzgebiete bietet. Das Marktpotenzial für Kleinwindanlagen ist also riesig und die Einsatzmöglichkeiten vielfältig, jedoch gibt es noch viele Fallstricke, die Interessenten unbedingt beachten sollten. Der 4. Kongress Kleinwindanlagen, der am Samstag, den 29.09.2012 in Zusammenarbeit mit dem Bundesverband Kleinwindanlagen e.V. als zweiter Kongress zum Thema Windenergie bei der RENEXPO® in Augsburg veranstaltet wird, ist das Forum für Planer, Produzenten und Anwender der kleinen Windkraft in Süddeutschland. Der Kongress zeigt Bedingungen für einen wirtschaftlichen Betrieb von Kleinwindanlagen auf und setzt sich mit verschiedenen Standorten auseinander.

This press release is presented for your information only.

Full Disclosure Statement: The GREEN (LIVING) REVIEW received no compensation for any component of this article.

This article is for your information only and the GREEN (LIVING) REVIEW does not (necessarily) approve, endorse or recommend the product, service or company mentioned.

How We Need To Rediscover The Ability To Taste

How We Need To Rediscover The Ability To Taste – 79% Can No Longer Detect Basic Flavours; Only 28% Savour What They Eat

A campaign has been launched to encourage consumers to take the time to taste their food after scientific research showed that 79% of people were unable to identify even basic sandwiches and just 28% of a national poll admitted to savouring their food.

Busy, stressed workers are being encouraged to reawaken their taste buds by a leading psychologist after 60% of the population admitted to ‘never’ or ‘rarely’ tasting what they ate – 1,000 people were polled.

The majority (42%) of British workers admitted to eating at their place of work most days with just 13% leaving their place of work for lunch – almost half (44%) described their lunch as ‘a means to an end’ to refuel their body.

Incredibly, with Britain a multicultural melting pot of global cuisine, awareness levels around food nutrition and healthy eating never higher, and the widest range of great tasting food and flavours at the public’s finger tips, it seems the ability to actually taste food is under threat.

Food brand GLORIOUS! has launched the Flavour Map – a global, online, crowdsourced resource – to inspire as well as re-educate consumers about flavour and taste, as well as unearthing little-known global flavours to launch for the UK market.

The scientific research into the UK’s lunchtime eating habits was commissioned by GLORIOUS! and led by Dr David Lewis with scientists at Mindlab.

Participants were able to only correctly identify 35% of ingredients and most did not detect flavour swaps – 93% were unable to discern beef from Chinese pork, 92% couldn’t tell ham from tuna, 82% could not detect Quorn from chicken, while 78% could not distinguish pork from chicken.

Researchers found that, on average, 79% of people were unable to detect when basic flavours had been swapped, this rose to 88% when people ate whilst distracted, increasing to 93% for people eating under time pressure.

The interactive flavour map – www.gloriousfoods.co.uk/greatflavourmap – a ‘Tripadvisor for taste’ allows the public to pin flavours ‘from around the globe or around the corner’ such as meals, recipes, or natural produce.

Dr David Lewis said:"The abundance of great flavours food experiences have never been more diverse, yet our findings suggest consumers are lazy when it comes to tasting and appreciating their food.

“I doubt there’s ever been such a rich tapestry of food and flavour combinations at our disposal, yet we’re not savouring what we eat, which is not just a shame but a genuine waste of taste.

Our lunchtime habits in particular show that workers consume food as a means to refuelling the body and most rarely, taste what they’re eating.

“The GLORIOUS! Flavour Map campaign is helping to reawaken taste buds, encouraging consumers to take time out to savour their food and inspire new taste and flavour combinations.
“There’s so much fine produce, ingredients and meals available – from budget to blow-out – that food should be an adventure, yet most consumers are getting lost in the basics of taste exploration.”

A Dozen Top Tips To Wake Up Taste Buds:
1. Eat mindfully by truly focusing on what you are eating. Avoid distractions such as reading, watching TV etc.
2. Set aside time to enjoy the food without rushing. Leave at least 15 minutes for even a snack, a full meal should take 30 minutes of more.
3. Relax when you are eating. Do not keep glancing at your watch or thinking about all you have to do after the meal.
4. Chew the food carefully. Remember that chewing is the first stage of digestion. An enzyme in the saliva starts the process by breaking down the food morsels.
5. Take small mouthfuls. The larger what is termed the food ‘bolus’ the less effectively it is chewed and savoured.
6. Avoid talking while chewing. Not only does it prevent you paying full attention to your food but also causes you to swallow air, leading to a greater risk of embarrassing belches.
7. Efficient chewing not only allow you to savour the taste, aroma and texture of the food but also enables the body to adsorb the nutrients better.
8. Avoid drinking too much while eating. Fluid not only distends the stomach but also dilutes the digestive enzyme in the mouth and essential acid in the stomach.
9. Do not over salt the food. Not only does it spoil the taste but, with some kinds of salt, risks increasing blood pressures.
10. Eat with your eyes as much as your mouth. Anticipating how the food will taste not only adds to your enjoyment of the meal but also triggers the release of enzymes so ensuring good digestion.
11. Leave the food in your mouth for enough time to experience all the aroma. What we think of as taste is mostly smell. The tongue is only receptive to basic tastes, such as sweet and sour, the rest of the enjoyment comes from cells lining the nasal passages. Molecules of food broken down by chewing take time to reach these cells, so slow down and enjoy more.
12. By enjoying the experience of eating you will not only enhance the pleasure you derive from your food but also encourage a greater sense of overall well-being. That old adage ‘you are what you eat’ is not quite true. More accurately you are what you ingest and digest. Both these processes work best when they are allowed to work slowly.

Dr David Lewis continued: “Apart from denying ourselves the pleasure that savouring tasty, well-cooked and presented food provides, there are other negative consequences of what Dr Brian Wansink has termed ‘mindless eating.’

“Because we eat inattentively the food is often insufficiently and inefficiently chewed.

Mastication, the process in which the food in our mouth is broken into smaller fragments and thoroughly mixed with saliva, represents the first stage of digestion. Saliva contains a digestive enzyme essential for the proper absorption of the meal. If this stage is bypassed, as it typically is when consuming food inattentively, the results can range from indigestion and heartburn to an inadequate uptake of essential nutrients from the food.

“Poor mastication also means that we fail to savour and appreciate the true taste and texture of the meal. What we regard as taste is, in fact, mostly smell. As the food morsel is broken up in the mouth, molecules are released which drift upwards to a sense organ known as the olfactory epithelium. It is here that we recognise and enjoy the great taste of most food.

“The tongue itself contains thousands of conical shaped receptors sensitive to touch. It is these which convey the sense of texture that adds so greatly to our enjoyment, provided they are allowed sufficient time to do their work.

“Finally, rapid, ‘mindless’ eating means that the food goes ‘down’ so rapidly that by the time the stomach signals to the brain that it has ‘had enough’ we have, in fact, overeaten. The consequence is that we add unnecessary calories and so put on weight.”

Full Statistics
• 59% of UK workers spend less than 15 minutes eating lunch
• 21% spend just 5-10 minutes eating lunch
• 60% admitted to ‘never’ or ‘rarely’ tasting what they eat
• 42% did not leave their desk during their lunch breaks
• 13% leave their place of work for lunch
• 44% described their lunches as a ‘means to an end’ and a way of keeping hunger at bay
• 20% described their lunches ‘really enjoyable’
• Participants in the scientific experiments correctly identify just 35% of ingredients
• On average, 79% of people were unable to detect when basic flavours had been swapped
• 88% were unable to detect swaps when eating while distracted
• 93% were unable to detect swaps when eating under time pressure
• In specific produce flavour swaps
o 93% were unable to discern beef from Chinese pork
o 92% couldn’t tell ham from tuna
o 82% could not detect Quorn from chicken
o 78% could not distinguish pork from chicken

The GLORIOUS! product line includes a range of fresh, high quality soups, stews and pasta sauces all developed within its A-Z of Global Flavours ethos.

*Find flavour inspiration at the GLORIOUS Flavour Map: www.gloriousfoods.co.uk/flavourmap

Lab research conducted by MindLab on behalf of GLORIOUS!, February 2012
National research poll conducted by YourSayPays – 1,000 people, January 2012.

Twitter: @GloriousFoods
Facebook: www.facebook.com/GloriousFoods

GLORIOUS!® is an award-winning range of soups, sauces and stews developed by in-house chefs. The range currently includes four Meal Soups, five Skinny Soups, three pasta sauces and three stews. GLORIOUS!® delivers products with bold, international flavours. Since launching in 2008 GLORIOUS! has won 6 prestigious awards including the Grocer Food & Drink Awards and the Quality Food Awards.
For more information, including stockists, visit http://www.gloriousfoods.co.uk

This press release is presented for your information only.

Full Disclosure Statement: The GREEN (LIVING) REVIEW received no compensation for any component of this article.

This article is for your information only and the GREEN (LIVING) REVIEW does not (necessarily) approve, endorse or recommend the product, service or company mentioned.

Dandy’s Topsoil Launches New “Multi-Purpose Topsoil”

Dandy’s Topsoil Launches New “Multi-Purpose Topsoil” as Part of their ‘Dig For Victory’ Campaign to Celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

As one of the UK’s leading topsoil producers and suppliers, with over 180 years trading under their belt, Flintshire based Dandy’s Topsoil have decided to up the ante with their efforts to get Britons out in their gardens growing their own organic fruits and vegetables by re-launching an old Second World War campaign – Dig For Victory.

Dig For Victory with Dandy's Topsoil

Topsoil producers, Dandy’s Topsoil, are re-launching an old Second World War campaign – Dig For Victory – in an effort to get homeowners, amateur growers, allotment keepers and even those with just enough space for a window box, out in their gardens planting and growing their own fruits and vegetables.

Dandy’s started life as a fruit and veg stall on old Chester Market way back in 1826; since then the business has gone through some significant changes; notable, in 2004 the company were the first in their market to begin selling topsoil and landscaping supplies online for home delivery. Since then the business has gone from strength to strength and has grown to employ over thirty people whilst remaining a family run and owned company which holds on to the values and ethics of such.

The ‘Dig For Victory’ campaign will showcase Dandy’s best-selling, bespoke topsoils; namely their Vegegrow®, Bordermix® and new Multi-Purpose Topsoil with offers, discount vouchers and free gifts being launched on the run up to the Queens Diamond Jubilee in June this year.

The original Dig For Victory campaign was launched during the Second World War in an attempt to encourage Britons to grow their own vegetables; saving them money and rations and freeing up valuable space on merchant shipping convoys for metals, weapons and machinery.

The campaign was so successful that by 1943 over a million tonnes of vegetables were being grown by homeowners on British soil.

“Nothing tastes better than home-grown, in-season vegetables and it is our mission to get as many people in Britain growing their own as possible. Not only will people growing their own save money but they will also reap the benefits of organically grown produce, the health benefits of which are substantial. The sense of achievement when taking the first bite of your own home-grown veg cannot be topped by even the most exotic imported fruits and vegetables!” said Adam Dandy, owner of Dandy’s and son of James Dandy whose own home-grown fruit and veg feature on the menu at ‘Jim Dandy’s Welsh Diner’ located at the North Wales Truck Stop, Deeside.

The company’s latest product; high quality topsoil developed to be suitable for almost any gardening job – Multi-Purpose Topsoil – has already proven popular with return buyers and new customers alike. Though Dandy’s supply bespoke blends of soil and improvers for use creating new lawns, for building up beds and borders and topsoil specifically for growing vegetables, this new mix has been carefully constructed of exactly the right ratio of soils, sands, improvers and composts to make it friable, free-draining, nutrient rich topsoil which is suitable for any landscaping or growing job.

Dandy’s is a multi-award winning, family run business and has been so since 1826.

Often at the forefront of their market, the business has also seen great success in the production of other products such as their Ultragrip Rock Salt which saw Dandy’s as the only company in the UK able to supply businesses, home-owners, Councils and the emergency services with a de-icing product after salt mines closed in the winter of 2009/2010.

Dandy’s are pioneers in the topsoil and compost production industry and they were the first in their market to begin selling topsoil and landscaping supplies online; since then they have remained market leaders in their industry and are continually producing new products and services to sustain this position.

This press release is presented for your information only.

Full Disclosure Statement: The GREEN (LIVING) REVIEW received no compensation for any component of this article.

This article is for your information only and the GREEN (LIVING) REVIEW does not (necessarily) approve, endorse or recommend the product, service or company mentioned.

Middle class selling family silver to make ends meet

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

The British middle class is selling the family silver, literally, to make ends meet, taking advantage of the high price for scrap silver.

According to jewelers up and down the country people are beating a steady path to their doors with all manner of silver objects to be sold for scrap.

The high scrap value of silver in the first half of 2012 – and it would appear that this trend is likely to continue for some time to come – is making people think about those things that sis and lay about their homes made of Sterling or other grades of silver and which are, more often than not, never ever used. It turns out that even sets of antique silver cutlery are more worth as scrap silver than they are as antiques.

The price of silver, including scrap silver, is at an all time high due to the demand for silver by the electronics industry and is, probably, going to remain that way despite any more such supplies coming onto the market.

This phenomenon, unlike some might wish to claim, does not make a point for and is not proof that holding and hoarding silver as a precaution for hard times. It is just that the demand of the industry is there, at present, leading to those high prices. It would not be the case after a collapse of society or the proverbial end of the world as we know it.

Should a collapse of our current way of life occur, and chances are that, sooner or later, it may, nay will, silver will no longer have the value that it has when industry's demand for it is there, as it is and was in the first half of 2012. Thus hoarding silver (or gold, for that matter) as a hedge fund would be a waste of money.

Even as money, in the form of “trade rounds” and such like, such as various silver coins from wherever, silver (nor gold) is not going to buy you anything after a collapse. Nothing! Nada! The only folks that are benefiting from this is the vendors that tell you that silver, in coins or bullion, is an investment for hard times.

What this fact of the sale of silver by the middle classes does, however, show clearly are at least two things. One is that the British economy is, regardless of what the government is trying to make the people believe, in real trouble and two that they middle classes just are incapable to adjust to change in circumstances. They are far too attached to their high lifestyle and living standards.

Methinks the world is in serious trouble...

© 2012

RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2012 Award Winners Announced

The Brewin Dolphin Garden, designed by Cleve West, wins Best in Show.

The award and medal winners at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2012, sponsored by M&G Investments, have been announced.

Bob Sweet, Head of Shows Development of RHS Chelsea Flower Show, said: “As the world’s most famous flower show, our awards celebrate best in class gardens, designers and horticulture.

“We have been delighted to see an abundance of impressive, ambitious and diverse gardens in each category. Our designers have continued to push the boundaries of horticultural design and set trends which will filter out into the wider gardening landscape.”

In the Show Gardens category nine Gold medals were awarded to gardens including: Andy Sturgeon’s garden for show sponsor M&G Investments; Sarah Price’s garden for The Daily Telegraph, whose garden won Best in Show in 2011; the Quiet Time: DMZ Forbidden Garden, designed by Jihae Hwang, which has been created to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Korean War; and the The Brewin Dolphin Garden, designed by Cleve West, which celebrates the 250th anniversary of Brewin Dolphin and the continuing popularity of topiary. This garden also won Best in Show in the category.

Five Silver-Gilt Floras were also awarded in the category, with winners including Diarmuid Gavin’s dramatic Westland Magical Garden; The Arthritis Research UK Garden; and Trailfinders Australian Garden presented by Fleming’s Nurseries. The judges also awarded Diarmuid Gavin’s Westland Magical Garden an award for Most Creative Show Garden.

In the new Fresh Gardens category judges awarded one Gold, two Silver-Gilt Flora, two Silver Flora and four Bronze Flora medals. The Gold award was given to Easigrass – The Artificial Grass Company for Green with… The garden also won Best in Show in the category. Both The Renault Garden by Renault UK and The Soft Machine by Humko Bled won Silver Gilt, and the latter was also awarded a prize for the Most Creative Fresh Garden.

Satoyama Life by Ishihara Kazuyuri Design Laboratory took Best in Show in the Artisan Gardens category. In total two Gold, two Silver-Gilt Flora, and four Silver Flora medals were awarded.

In RHS Environment, Sparsholt College from Hampshire won Gold and Best Exhibit in the category. In total, two Gold, three Silver-Gilt Lindley, four Silver Lindley, and two Bronze Lindley medals were awarded.

In the Great Pavilion, a new award was presented for the best floral exhibit: the Diamond Jubilee Award was presented to HW Hyde & Sons by HM The Queen, Royal Patron of RHS Chelsea Flower Show, during her annual visit to the show. Out of 108 winning exhibitors, 55 Gold, 34 Silver-Gilt Flora, two Silver-Gilt Grenfell, one Silver-Gilt Lindley, 13 Silver Flora and three Bronze Flora medals were awarded.

Winner of this year’s RHS Chelsea Plant of the Year 2012 award was the tropical-looking Digitalis Illumination Pink ('Tmdgfp001'), bred by Thompson & Morgan, and appearing in one of this year’s Generation Gardens. The nearly impossible cross of the Digitalis (Isoplexis) canarienses with the hardiness of Digitalis purpurea resulted in a spectacular tropical looking foxglove, a bee magnet with non-stop flowering for the six months of summer. Second place winner was the Dianthus Memories ('WP11 Gwe04') from Whetman Pinks, with its white flowers and exceptionally strong spicy perfume, and in third place was Hyacinthus orientalis 'Royal Navy' from J S Pennings "De Bilt", and its deep blue flowers with double florets.

Winner of this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show Garden Product of the Year 2012 Award was the Harrod Slot&Lock™ Framework Building System by Harrod Horticultural. The product was designed and developed in the UK by Harrod Horticultural as a result of their customers’ frustration with supporting framework falling to pieces and ruining their flowers and vegetables. With this system, aluminium tubing simply slots into the sockets in a range of plastic connectors which can then be locked into position with a stainless steel screw. This product is the answer to the problems associated with building framework for protection netting and supporting plants.

Every year, members of the public are able to vote for their favourite garden, with the winner being awarded the People's Choice Awards. People can vote for their favourite gardens online at www.rhs.org.uk/Shows-Events/RHS-Chelsea-Flower-Show/2012/Gardens/People-s-choice . Voting closes at closes at 4pm on Friday 25th May and the winners will be announced on the morning of Saturday 26th May.

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Full Disclosure Statement: The GREEN (LIVING) REVIEW received no compensation for any component of this article.

This article is for your information only and the GREEN (LIVING) REVIEW does not (necessarily) approve, endorse or recommend the product, service or company mentioned.

African Farmers Forced to Adapt to Climate Change

Work needed by UN on preparing farmers for impacts

BONN, GERMANY : As negotiations continued at UN climate talks, the African Group of Negotiators (AGN) emphasised that there must be a greater focus and support for farmers in poor countries to adapt to the impacts of an already changing climate.

Seyni Nafo, Spokesperson of the African Group said: "Agriculture is the lifeline and mainstay of livelihoods for three out of four Africans, and therefore adaptation to climate change in this critical sector is not an option but a necessity. African farmers and pastoralists are already seeing changes in the timing of rains, in the severity of rains, in temperatures, and in the progressive drying of their soils."

Mr. Nafo further noted that "Global temperature rise must be limited urgently to avoid serious impacts on African agricultural production. International offset programmes, which provide a substitute for action in developed countries, will further threaten food security in Africa."

Finally, he said; "The negotiations on agriculture here in Bonn must focus on identifying and taking action on what the international community must do now to assist African farmers to adapt. Discussions of enhancing 'synergies' between adaptation and mitigation offset efforts is a dangerous and costly distraction from the most pressing needs for adaptation."

Warming as low as 1.5˚C threatens food production in Africa significantly.

At the current rate of temperature increase, global average temperatures will have increased 1.5°C by 2050. The latest science estimates that average production losses by 2050 for African maize at 22%, sorghum 17%, millet 17%, groundnut 18%, and cassava 8%.

"Africans demand ongoing work on agriculture under the Adaptation Framework, as recommended by the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment, both to ensure food security and address slow onset temperature rise and the yield declines that will follow," noted again the Spokesperson.

A copy of a report by the African Centre on Climate Policy on Climate Change and Agriculture in Africa is available here.

The African Group is the group of 54 African countries represented in the UN climate change negotiations. Seyni Nafo of Mali is the Group's spokesperson.

This press release is presented for your information only.

Full Disclosure Statement: The GREEN (LIVING) REVIEW received no compensation for any component of this article.

This article is for your information only and the GREEN (LIVING) REVIEW does not (necessarily) approve, endorse or recommend the product, service or company mentioned.