Civilization is highly overrated

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

“Before our white brothers arrived to make us civilized men, we didn't have any kind of prison. Because of this, we had no delinquents. Without a prison, there can be no delinquents. We had no locks nor keys and therefore among us there were no thieves. When someone was so poor that he couldn't afford a horse, a tent or a blanket, he would, in that case, receive it all as a gift. We were too uncivilized to give great importance to private property. We didn't know any kind of money and consequently, the value of a human being was not determined by his wealth. We had no written laws laid down, no lawyers, no politicians, therefore we were not able to cheat and swindle one another. We were really in bad shape before the white men arrived and I don't know how to explain how we were able to manage without these fundamental things that (so they tell us) are so necessary for a civilized society.” -- John Fire Lame Deer, Native Indian Chief

The words, in a somewhat sarcastic tone, of Chief John Fire Lame Deer certainly say a great deal of what is being referred to as civilization and civilized society.

In our civilized society, especially the modern capitalist one, the human being does not stand in the center but only profit and greed.

Chief John Fire Lame Deer does well to ask how it was ever possible for the Native Americans to exist and even thrive, some groups probably more than others, without the benefit of all the fundamental things necessary for a civilized society. Should it not make us think as to whether we are actually on the right track?

The Native American society seems to have worked quite well until the arrival of the White Man without all those things that, for some reason, are considered by the powers that be as being fundamental and necessary for a civilized society.

Considering that the arriving Europeans saw the Injuns as savages because they did not have those things that they, the Europeans, considered necessary, but still the Native Americans had a society that worked well and in most case saw to is that everyone was taken care of. Unlike in the society whence the Europeans came and the “benefits” of which they insisted to force upon the Native peoples of the Americas.

The “benefits” that the European society brought to the American Injuns was disease, the church, placing their children forcibly in institutions, slavery and alcoholism, to mention but a few.

The White Man certainly could not bring them a better system than they had already and the Mohawk Nations even had a real proper democracy, something the whites did not even have at that time and, in fact, still don't have to this very day. Most countries claim to have democracy but it is not a real participatory one. It is but sham as so much amongst the so-called civilized nations, including the United States and Canada.

The same arrogance that the White Man had when coming to the New World, to the Americas, still persists in America of today, which leads Americans to believe that they must bring their brand of democracy and American values to every nation on Earth.

We can see that very well in what has been done in Iraq and what is being done in Afghanistan and with the drone strikes in Pakistan.

That kind of democracy and civilization we call cone do without, thank you very much!

© 2012

Could You Be Causing Yourself Injury In The Garden?

Over 240 million people visited physicians’ offices in 2006 with back, knee and shoulder problems and quite a few of these injuries were blamed on those who garden frequently. GardenToolbox suggest the best possible ways to avoid an unwanted trip to the physicians’ office or doctors.

GardenToolbox offer gardening safety tips for summer

Evesham, Worcestershire, UK : It’s well known that gardening can be quite a strenuous task, especially if you’re out there for several or more hours a day. It can cause injuries just like any other manual labour job or hobby, so it’s best to take precautionary steps to avoid an unwanted trip to the doctors complaining about joint ache.

GardenToolbox, one of the UK’s leading online garden equipment retailers knows about these injuries and problems very well indeed. Several people in the company are keen gardeners and they’ve all been subject to some kind of injury relating to their gardening habits in the past. They’re currently trying to raise awareness of the injuries that can be caused and just how simple it is to prevent them.

Gabi Stringer, a GardenToolbox employee commented on some of the things she has learned through years of gardening: “The problems that occur from gardening usually sprout from some of the most common things we do; crouching and kneeling to get at our plants are often the biggest contributors to injury. I had severe discomfort in both of my knees after spending the majority of my evenings in the garden last summer and had to undergo some physiotherapy to get them right again; at my age, I felt quite embarrassed by it.”

“The best tips to avoid these common injuries and problems are to change position often; getting up every 20 or 30 minutes and stretching or doing a lap around the garden will reset the joints and take pressure off them for a minute or so. Simple accessories like a garden kneeling pad will benefit your knees and the rest of your body by taking some of the direct pressure away from your knees.”

Prevention is the best way to avoid these kinds of injuries; however, most people don’t seek help or advice until they already have an injury. That’s the sole reason that GardenToolbox is trying to promote the risks of gardening as the summer season quickly approaches.

If strenuous work is being carried out (heavy lifting or digging), it’s strongly advised to take a break every hour or so and maybe more frequently for those over 60 or those who are unfit and not used to such work. Everyone is also reminded to lift from their legs and not with their back; this will prevent a lot of lower back injuries which can crop up often.

Get more gardening advice on the GardenToolbox blog which can be found here.

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.

Public Transportation Infographic: Make Life Simple and Green research infographic explores the hidden savings of public transportation

With the start of summer, publishes a new infographic to help Americans see the hidden savings of public transportation.


“When you ride the rails, bus, or carpool, the benefits are far-reaching,” says Charles Tran, founder of, a credit card comparison and financial education website. “Public transportation impacts everything from your wallet to the global environment. Plus, in areas where people rely heavily on public transit, there is a noticeable reduction in traffic congestion and stress.”

Key Takeaways:

  •     When you take public transportation, you are more likely to run other errands on your route, saving you time and money from additional trips with the car.
  •     Public transportation creates less congestion, saving money and the environment with shorter, less expensive trips for everyone.
  •     When used regularly, public transportation can reduce the need for some to have a second car (or a car at all). Imagine less debt, fewer car payments, less emissions, and less money spend on repairs and gas.
  •     Many transit agencies are now replacing old buses with hybrid or hydrogen fuel cell buses. This making public transit even greener, especially when connected to renewable sources such as solar.

Visit to view the full infographic on the hidden savings of public transportation.

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.

The Biochar Company Partners with Hawaii Biochar Products

The Biochar Company, makers of Soil Reef, partner with one of the biggest producers of biochar in the US, Hawaii Biochar Products.

Berwyn, PA : The Biochar Company, makers of Soil Reef™ soil amendment, are joining forces with one of the most successful biochar production companies in the US, Hawaii Biochar Products, LLC.

Hawaii Biochar Products, owned and operated by Josiah Hunt, has produced over 100 tons of biochar, an average of one ton per week, since the company’s inception in 2009.

According to Lopa Brunjes, co-director at The Biochar Company, “Josiah is one of the leaders in the biochar industry. He is a wise, old young man whose whole heart is vested in developing biochar. We are so lucky to have him, and Hawaii Biochar Products, as part of our greater mission.”

Brunjes sees this partnership as contributing to the greater goal of The Biochar Company, which is supporting the sustainable launch of the biochar industry and bringing the soil building benefits of biochar to the world.

“Demand for biochar is growing,” she explains. “It’s more effective to band together to make a difference rather than compete.”

Hunt wants the same thing. “If I am really going to make a difference, I need to make a heck of lot more biochar,” he says. “I have the motivation, the experience and the relationships. I have some great partners, as well—but I needed a partner with the capacity and shared vision that The Biochar Company team has, to really help make biochar happen.”

Back when Hunt first started making biochar in his own backyard, he decided to give his product away because no one knew what the soil building amendment was. Those first customers became paying customers, and they told their friends—who also became regular customers, because they all discovered how well biochar contributes to their soil health and crop growth.

“It’s like seeing your child off on the first day of school,” he describes. “It can be scary to let go and trust that the product will be okay on its own.”

Touted for greater fertilizer efficiency, greater water efficiency, greater microbial activity, and greater yield, biochar, or, biological charcoal, is used for soil building and to enhance overall soil health.

“Soil is like a pot of chili. It’s not just the beans. It’s not just the meat. It’s not just the veggies or the spices. It’s the whole thing, and the flavors are complimentary,” says Hunt.

“Charcoal is a naturally occurring element of soil and is not something new. The practice of using charcoal in agriculture is actually very old and most cases forgotten,” Hunt explains. “In the realm of science involving waste management, energy production, climate change mitigation and agriculture, the paradigm was so exciting it had to be given a name—biochar.”

A number of Hunt’s customers in Hawaii are home gardeners. Hunt says, “Home gardeners care about soil health and the quality of their produce because they are feeding themselves and their family.”

“Many of my clientele enjoy supporting a local cause and care about the greater environment. Those concerned about these things take part in the solution by growing some of their own food and using sustainably produced materials that embrace a greater stewardship of our planet’s resources,” he explains.

He also sells biochar to small, organic and progressive farms and various nurseries since biochar has been shown to improve growth and reduce the need for fertilizer and water, which can lower overall costs.

“The future of biochar lies not just in farmyards, but in backyards,” says Hunt. “Every gardener can make a difference.”

Find Soil Reef in select Whole Foods and independent garden centers in the North Atlantic United States, or at And soon, in Hawaii.

Soil Reef™ is a proprietary product of The Biochar Company, LLC, a Berwyn, PA biochar production company founded in 2011 with a vision to bring the soil-building benefits of biochar to the world at large.

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.

Edible Urban Forests

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

There is a new trend underway in urban agriculture these days. It is called the edible forest garden and it is modeled on the forest ecosystem.

03-28-2012_edibleforest Urban agriculture is nothing new. Community gardens for example, have been around for decades. But forest gardens? Not so much, but there’s a new trend in urban agriculture these days and it is, as said, called the edible forest garden.

Modeled on the forest ecosystem, edible forest gardens are part of the sustainable gardening movement that has taken root (pun intended!) throughout the US and are being created all over the US.

It has to be said that forests gardens are also not entirely new even though to the great majority of us they do appear thus. In fact forest gardens have been around before, in Britain, for instance, with the common woodlands of old, where trees for wood and trees for fruit were planted side by side to produce both timber and fruit.

The more modern version of the forests garden, however, is a little newer in the “West” in that the understory here is used for growing other crops, and this system is based on forests gardens that are found in some parts of Asia.

We are, however, still a long way off in many parts of the industrialized world to understand the concept, especially as far as the planners in town and country go, despite the fact that some countries and some areas in those countries more than others, have taken up the lead.

In Seattle, USA, recently a new project of a forest garden has gone underway with the first harvest to be hoped for in 2013.

The goal of this food forest in Seattle is to provide affordable healthy food for families and community groups in the city and will be “mixed use”, including smaller community gardens as well as the forest, which will be planted with nut and fruit trees such as walnuts, hazelnuts, apples, pears, and plums in addition to huckleberries, salmonberries, and a variety of herbs. There are also plans for beehives to help with pollination.

Residents of the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Seattle first introduced the idea of the “Beacon Food Forest” to city officials in 2010. The idea was approved and $100,000 was allocated for the first phase of the park, which is being built on land city owned land and is accessible to the residents of the numerous apartment complexes located nearby.

In Germany food growing has now begun in a number of cities in city parks with the express right for everyone to go and harvest the produce grown there. This certainly is a interesting development and one that we should encourage to be developed in other countries also.

As far as the UK is concerned I can just imagine the response from government officials which will be, as per usual, that it cannot be done in Britain and when one would ask the obvious “why not” question the answer, invariably, will be, of that we can be sure, that it is because Britain is different.

It is apparent that, despite all the great talk, for the suggestion was already a number of years back to convert many of the flower beds and other areas in some of the Royal Parks in London with Regents Park in the lead, to food growing, the political will is simply lacking.

The main problem, I would suggest, is that there are no backhanders in it for the politicians.

© 2012

Actions Not Words - The five goals Rio+20 should have announced

CloudApps helps businesses take charge where Governments have failed

LONDON, UK : The failure of the Earth summit, littered with jet-setting leaders from over 100 nations, to come up with ten actionable goals highlights the end of a multilateral effort to protect the world in which we live. The United States, whose leader was not present, asked for the text to be rewritten. Political and business leaders must not lose any more time and take remedial action to put sustainability back on track. Today, CloudApps announces a practical five-point guide, which can help to address the environmental issues highlighted in the summit.

The Rio text, has been described by George Monbiot, Guardian Environment Blogger, as best accompanied by drawings of “rainbows and psychedelic unicorns”. The Main Committee and Credentials Committee came up with a document without data, dates and goals in the final proposal. Some argued the Rio summit caused more damage than good to the environment due to the flights to Rio from participants.

In the UK, the government announcement of plans for UK businesses to carry out mandatory carbon reporting was taken lightly. CloudApps, the provider of sustainability performance management solutions, believes it is time for the private sector to take lead of sustainability. Companies globally have to address environmental issues independent of government legislation.

The CloudApps executive team has come up with five actionable suggestions that political leaders can use as a simple blueprint for success; practical suggestions that will help to create a more sustainable world:
1. Political Leaders – Don’t fly to Rio leaving a huge carbon footprint, use video conference facilities instead. Lead by example, the technology has been available for a long time.
2. Invite Business Leaders - Currently, business leaders are disengaged from the summit, they know there will be little-to-no actionable end result. Use practical examples from leading businesses that are already seeing the positive results of investment in sustainability projects. Allow them to showcase what works and equally as important what does not.
3. Publish Environmental Data Annually – Encourage businesses to look into combining environmental reporting with financial reporting. Today, progressive businesses report on their economic, environmental and social impact. Having a transparent report is the first step towards setting reduction targets. Investors appreciate companies who recognise the financial impact of energy consumption and the effect of their environmental impact on their brand.
4. Invest to Fuel Private Sector Sustainability - Marks & Spencer announcing it will be carbon neutral proves government intervention is simply not needed. Create tax breaks that enable proactive investment to support private sector efforts, rather than imposing yet more stifling carbon taxes.
5. Encourage employee engagement within business - Employees want to engage with sustainability issues at the workplace, invest in this enthusiasm. Costs calculated from national databases show the UK workforce spends £150 billion on energy use and business travel. An engaged workforce working with the right tools can cut the above cost by 10% (£15 billion) a low-cost and rapid way to fuel further growth.
These five simple suggestions will help encourage businesses to do the right thing and as a result drive down carbon emissions, deliver financial growth and a healthy brand image.

About CloudApps
CloudApps is an award-winning provider of sustainability and energy management software, enabling visionary organisations to make exceptional cost savings and meet sustainability targets by aligning the entire enterprise behind corporate sustainability goals.

No other software suite solves the sustainability challenge by connecting the sustainability efforts of employees on the front-line, or “bottom-up”, with the “top-down” commitments made by management.

By giving each employee visibility to their team and their own impact and suggesting actions through an innovative desktop application, CloudApps drives the behavioural change required to accelerate a reduction in the consumption of natural resources at the workplace, resulting in significant cost savings CloudApps is a Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) 2012 accredited and recommended solution and is delivered on the worlds most energy efficient cloud-computing platform ( delivered by market-leader

For more information, please visit

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 Environmentally Friendly Approach to Death

American University Grad Student’s Film “Dying Green” discusses new sustainable burial method.

Washington, D.C. : It seems that every facet of life is being confronted by the need to go “green”. A new documentary film by American University Graduate student Ellen Tripler takes things a step further: green burials. Her film, Dying Green explores a growing trend that for many people which avoids cremation or traditional embalming and sees the simple burial of a body in the ground, dressed with only a shroud, as an eco-friendly alternative.

“Dr. Campbell’s idea was revolutionary. It wasn’t just ‘green’, it created a nature preserve for generations to come,” said Tripler. “A person’s death could help conserve the land as well as not pollute the environment around it.”

Dying Green looks at Dr. Billy Campbell, a physician from Westminster, South Carolina, who in addition to practicing medicine created a land preserve for green burials known as Ramsey Creek Preserve. The preserve not only offers green burials that are chemical free, but acts to preserve land from development for generations because of statutes regarding the use of land for cemeteries. The preserve doesn’t use any of the chemicals that a standard cemetery would use to maintain the grounds, such as pesticides and herbicides.

“I created this film out of my graduate work for at the Center for Environmental Filmmaking at American University,” added Tripler. “Professor Chris Palmer was instrumental in laying the groundwork for an idea I had that I felt was engaging and intriguing.”

The film has also had some luck on the awards circuit. The film is the only film this year to have won both a Student Academy Award and a College Television Award. It also won a CINE Golden Eagle in the dependent division, and is an official selection in the Rhode Island International Film Festival.

American University is a leader in global education, enrolling a diverse student body from throughout the United States and nearly 140 countries. Located in Washington, D.C., the university provides opportunities for academic excellence, public service, and internships in the nation’s capital and around the world.

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.

World Energy Supplies on an ‘Unsustainable Path’ says UNEP

In an attempt to refocus attention onto the world’s dwindling supply of fossil fuels, the UN Environmental Program (UNEP) has published a dramatic fifth edition of its Global Environmental Outlook. The report says that the world is failing to make any significant progress towards its environmental objectives and is on an ‘unsustainable path’.

The report was timed to come out just before the week’s Rio+ 20 Summit. The summit is one of the largest environmental meetings in years, where more than 50,000 delegates from governments, companies and environmental organisations will try to agree on new goals on everything from water and food security to energy supplies. But according to the report the delegates will have a lot of work to do. UNEP calls for a greater focus on the policies that target the factors that drive environmental change, such as reliance on fossil fuels for energy production. They also say that there is a need for greater accountability in international agreements and that more reliable data is needed to ensure that policy makers can make better informed decisions.

Backing from the EU
UNEP’s findings are backed up by an EU Commission publication, which suggests four main areas where immediate action is needed to ensure that renewable goals for 2020 are met.

They believe that intensive action is needed on:
• Market reform to bring about a smoother integration of renewables
• Support schemes that encourage cost reduction and avoid over compensation
• An increased use of co-operation mechanisms that allow renewable energy to be traded between member states
• An integrated regional market in northwest Africa that would facilitate large-scale investments in the region, and allow EU states to
import energy.

The communication also proposed setting clear objectives for 2030, including national targets, EU-wide targets and goals for greenhouse gas emissions rather than renewable energy.

Singing from the same songsheet
Industry experts in the wholesale energy supply markets agree with the findings of both reports. “It’s good to see that everyone seems to be singing from the same song sheet at last, and the EU’s points in particular are ones that we have been raising ourselves for some time now,” comments EDW Service Delivery Director, Graham Paul. “But what we’ve got to see now are two key things – agreement and delivery. Everyone understands what needs to be done to ensure that energy supply in particular keeps pace with demand over the next 20 years, and that wherever possible that energy comes from renewable sources. But while rhetoric is a fine thing and grabs the headlines, it’s the delivery of those targets and how they’re incorporated into the existing structure of the energy supply industry that will make all the difference to the bottom line numbers,” he adds.

While lifestyle changes and encouraging consumers to change how they look at energy will be an important part of the process, Graham believes that these aren’t the only things that have to be considered. “UNEP is right in that we are on an unsustainable path,” he comments. “What we have to do now is create a new roadmap that is sustainable but that doesn’t include knee-jerk reactive measures that could end up doing more harm than good. The Rio+ summit is probably one of the most important summits in years for the energy supply industry, and we have to make sure that our interests are represented and presented so that informed decisions can be made,” he concludes.

About EDW:
EDW have a long history in developing, implementing and supporting best-of-breed software solutions for retail electricity quoting and customer management including their bespoke energy billing software for the industrial and commercial market sector.

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.

What are Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)?

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

There is a complete and utter confusion going on out there, aided and abetted by many of the “green” lobby”, as to genetically modified organism and people believe that all GMOs are genetically engineered but there is a difference. And it is a difference, and a marked difference, that we must know and understand.

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)

GMO plants are those that have been bred through any type of genetic modification (biotech or human), including selection of fruits and vegetables for certain traits such as disease resistance, fewer seeds, thinner skins, redder color and so on. All plant hybrids, whether organically or conventionally grown are the result of genetic modification by plant breeders.

Genetically Engineered (GE)

Although GE and GMO are frequently confused, they are distinctly different. GE refers to the use of biotechnological techniques (typically recombinant DNA) to genetically manipulate organisms. In other words, these organisms, in this case plants, do not exist in nature – and never will without human intervention. GE seeds are used by agribusiness (think “Bt-corn” or “Roundup Ready”) and are not available to home gardeners.

In other words, the great majority of seeds that you buy, unless you settle for Heirloom Seeds, are hybrids of one kind or another and are, theoretically and practically, genetically modified in one way or other, though, predominately, by breeding and selection.

You can, however, keep and reuse seeds from F1 and other hybrids and they will produce new plants, but, it is reckoned, not the same variety as the original hybrid.

Personally, I have done that with beans and they turned out better than their “parents” in yield and growth and should have done that again this year also.

As I, however, due to my writing activity, get inundated with seeds from breeders and suppliers via events I did not bother keeping seeds last year and I must say that many of the runner bean seeds used (new varieties mostly) did not germinate and grow well (so far).

I have used Heirloom Seeds before also from a variety of sources and found that most of them were a waste of time and money due to the failure rate in germination.

To recap: There is a difference between genetically modified plants and seeds and genetically engineered ones. GMOs are any that are not heirloom, that is to say all hybrids, and GEs are only those that are biotechnological engineered ones.

© 2012

Repurpose® Compostables launches greenest coffee cup in the world

Product Review by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Revolutionary, new, plant based, insulated, compostable One Cup requires no sleeve or double cupping, making it the greenest hot cup on the market, with the exception, I would like to add, of reusable cups such as and especially KeepCup.

Repurpose® Compostables, a manufacturer of premium, high quality food service products, based in Los Angeles, has, in the beginning of 2012, launched their new One Cup, the exciting new insulated hot cup that is 100% compostable. No more double cupping. No more sleeves. The insulated technology keeps hot beverages warmer for longer, and prevents heat from escaping the cup, protecting the user and creating a more comfortable feel with only one product. The revolutionary new One Cup requires no sleeve, uses 65% less CO2 than a traditional cup to produce, and can be composted in 90 days. The One Cup uses FSC-Certified paper, the highest standard for sustainable forestry, and is certified compostable.

When it says “certified compostable” this refers to, at least in my understanding, to compostability in commercial composting facilities, aka hot composting. While such “certified compostables” do, eventually, compost in a normal composter or compost heap it may take several years to do so. And it is the same with plant-based plastics, whatever anyone might wish to tell you.

Traditional insulated cups are made by adding additional layers of paper; however, the Repurpose One Cup does the same with our patented insulation material on a single wall cup. This high quality food service product finally offers the greenest possible alternative to Styrofoam and non-compostable insulated cups.

Repurpose products are made from plants, not petroleum, using Ingeo™ resin and meet ASTM 6400 compostability standards. Founded in 2009, Repurpose® Compostables offers a line of high quality, compostable food service products for businesses and consumers. Repurpose also offers custom products solutions in every category. Our mission is to educate the public about the problems of continuing to use petroleum based plastic products and offer renewable, plant based, compostable alternatives. Additionally, Repurpose works with businesses, municipalities, and individuals to retrofit any traditionally plastic based product with a bioplastic alternative at competitive prices. Find out more at

Let me reiterate once again: Compostability with regards to bioplastics of any kind refers to the ability to be composted in a commercial hot composter within three to twelve months and not, repeat not, in a domestic composter or compost heap.

However, this material will break down well in a landfill facilities simply because of the fact that landfills are, in fact, rather hot inside. One of the reasons they often – at least in third world countries, catch fire.

Repurpose® Compostables' One Cup is a great alternative to the old style paper or worse still Styrofoam cups but it is and remains a disposable and we should educate people rather to use reusables, as KeepCup is doing with its products.

© 2012

RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2012 Champions Community Gardening

For the first time, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and Groundwork have united for the world’s largest annual flower show, to raise awareness of the extraordinary difference community gardeners are making to Britain today. Landscape designer and broadcaster, Chris Beardshaw, has designed the biggest feature for RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2012 (3-8 July), to champion the impact of this work.


Photo by Henry/Bragg. Cable Street Allotments, part of Tower Hamlets in Bloom.

The Urban Oasis garden, sponsored by M&S, was inspired by Groundwork and RHS It’s Your Neighbourhood (IYN) projects that Chris Beardshaw visited across the country. It is a vast 1,600m² representation of the wonderful ways that neglected public spaces can be transformed into beautiful and productive community havens. With mature trees loaned by Majestic Trees, garden features include Derelict Space, Gated Alleyway, Community Allotment, Community Garden and Community Orchard.

Community gardening is very much of the moment and, through the Urban Oasis garden, both the RHS and Groundwork are keen to draw attention to it in the hope of inspiring even more people to sign up to projects. Despite council cuts and extreme weather changes, there has been a 10% increase in the number of IYN and Britain in Bloom groups signed up this year.

The RHS community campaigns engage more than 200,000 volunteers and Groundwork work in 98% of the most deprived areas of Britain. Together, Groundwork and IYN volunteers invest over a million days of community gardening each year, looking after an estimated 56,000 acres of public space, the equivalent of 165 Hyde Parks.

Chris Beardshaw says: “The green space around us has a fundamental effect on our emotions and behaviour. It’s well documented that in areas where these spaces are neglected there is strong evidence of social unrest and it is easy to see why when you stand in these spaces yourself.

“Evidence shows that access to green space that is looked after transforms peoples’ lives and plays a fundamental part in drawing communities together: as a consequence, communities see reductions in crime, stress levels and neglect and an increase in neighbourliness, community spirit, social mobility and economic investment to name but a few of the benefits. The important aspect of this joint initiative is that it involves everyone from every walk of life.”

More than 50% of recipients to an RHS survey said that anti-social behaviour and crime had dropped, 90% said the biggest impact was a stronger community and 40% reported their campaigns produced a safer environment. A recent Groundwork survey showed that 79% of people the charity works with feel their neighbourhood has improved.

After the show the gardens will be relocated to communities in need of urban green space in London, Birmingham, Ellesmere Port and Merthyr Tydfil.

Community gardening makes up a central theme for the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show this year. Features include Social Deckworking, which was inspired by the need to encourage teens to get outside and socialise, rather than to shut themselves away indoors. Award-winning designers Anthea Guthrie and Nicole Burnett are showing how to convert wasteland into a community garden for Preserving the Community. Other features around this theme include Wheels of Time, in association with Southend Youth Offending Service, Falling Leaves and The Edible Bus Stop which, inspired by last year’s UK riots, aims to illustrate the benefits of green space and the idea of reclaiming forgotten and neglected spaces.

This will be the fifth Urban Oasis exhibit in a series of show gardens by Groundwork and the RHS to bring to life some of the most challenging urban environments where gardening and community work have brought people together and yielded powerful social benefits. The partnership is a fitting tribute to celebrate Groundwork’s 30th birthday and the RHS’s ongoing commitment to supporting community gardeners.

About the gardens
For the first time ever, the RHS will be working in partnership to bring an exhibit to every RHS Flower Show this season, starting with Cardiff:
• RHS Show Cardiff: 20 – 22 April 2012
• Malvern Spring Gardening Show: 10 – 13 May 2012
• RHS Chelsea Flower Show: 22 – 26 May 2012
• BBC Gardeners’ World Live 13 – 17 June 2012
• RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show: 03 – 08 July 2012
• RHS Flower Show Tatton Park: 18 – 22 July 2012

About RHS Britain in Bloom and RHS It’s Your Neighbourhood
RHS Britain in Bloom and RHS It’s Your Neighbourhood help more than 2,800 communities around the UK to improve their local environment. Using gardening as a tool, volunteers in cities, towns, villages, urban communities and neighbourhoods work together to make positive changes that touch the lives of millions. To find out more, visit:

About Groundwork
Groundwork is the community charity with a green heart. We want places to look better, streets to be safer and outside areas to be green and beautiful. We want people of all ages to be able to do stuff together to make the best of where they live. We want to improve job prospects by offering training and employment opportunities. We want to show people how they can make their homes and workplaces better for the environment and cheaper to run.

About Groundwork and Marks & Spencer
Groundwork and Marks & Spencer have a long and fruitful history of working together to improve the quality of life in communities across the UK. We have created or improved 100 ‘Greener Living Spaces’ together funded from the 1.85p profit on each M&S 5p food carrier bag sold. Our ‘@myurbangreen campaign is helping communities to shape the future development, maintenance and management of their local green space.

About the RHS
The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s foremost gardening charity, helping and inspiring millions of people to garden. We do this at our gardens and shows and through our scientific research, publications, libraries and our education and community programmes. The RHS community programmes support more than 5,000 community groups around the UK, including those involved in the Bloom and Neighbourhood campaigns. We are entirely funded by our members, visitors and supporters.

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

Reduced Fruit Crops This Autumn

RHS warns that the wet and cold April and May may cut crop yields.

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) is recommending a number of ways that gardeners can use to counteract the potential poor fruit crops expected this year. Fruit growers visiting RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show (3–8 July), sponsored by Ecover, will be able to talk to the charity’s advisors for free about best ways to keep yields up.

Although the warm start to the year initially raised hopes of a good harvest, frosts in April and cold rainy weather in May and June reduced pollination and led to losses of remaining fruitlets. This will mean poorer plum crops this summer and a dearth of apples and pears later.

The charity is suggesting that to preserve whatever crop is left it is even more important to keep down weeds around trees so that there is less competition for nutrients – especially important if there are dry spells. Careful control of pests and diseases will also help. And there will be little need to thin out the remaining fruit.

The RHS is advising gardeners that it will be necessary to summer-prune restricted forms of fruit trees such as cordons and espaliers. With few fruits to support it is expected that trees will grow too many branches and leaves.

“Because trees have dropped quite a lot of their developing fruits, gardeners should be wary about thinning fruits – and in many cases not thin out at all this year,” says Guy Barter, RHS Chief Horticultural Advisor. “This current warm, moist weather, in the absence of a heavy fruit crop, will also encourage lush growth so summer pruning will help direct nutrients to the fruit and promote productivity for 2013. Adding potassium (high potash) fertiliser to the weed-free area at the base of the tree can help harden growth and promote fruitfulness.”

Any gardeners needing more advice about getting the maximum from their crops, or who have any other gardening problem, can talk to the charity’s advisors for free at this year’s RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, sponsored by Ecover.

RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show

Date: Tuesday 3 – Saturday 8 July 2012
2 July Preview Evening
3–4 July RHS members only
5–8 July RHS members and non-members

Time: 2 July 5.30pm – 10.30pm
3–7 July 10.00am – 7.30pm
8 July 10.00am – 5.30pm (sell off starts at 4.00 pm) afternoon tickets
valid from 2.30pm

Venue: Hampton Court Palace, Surrey KT8 9AT

To buy tickets: / 0844 338 7505
Ticket prices range from £14.50 – £32.50; each full paying adult may bring two children aged 16 and under free of charge to the show.

About the RHS
The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s foremost gardening charity, helping and inspiring millions of people to garden. We do this at our gardens and shows and through our scientific research, publications, libraries and our education and community programmes. We are entirely funded by our members, visitors and supporters.

About Ecover
Ecover, producer of innovative, effective cleaning products designed to make a healthy and sustainable lifestyle easy, is this year’s new headline sponsor for the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show (3–8 July 2012).Ecover seeks to contribute to the process of creating economical, ecological and social change within our society for people today and future generations.

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

Censorship by US and UK

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

The largest public protests, rallies and demonstrations that the world has ever seen are happening right now - with almost no media coverage.

Not only is there a blackout on these events in the media, but YouTube is frequently removing footage of these mass rallies and events when requested to do so by governments:

“Google, the owner of You Tube, has complied with the majority of requests from governments, particularly in the United States and the UK, not only to remove You Tube videos, but also specific web search terms and thousands of “data requests,” meaning demands for information that would reveal the true identity of a You Tube user.”

These events are truly inspiring and should be front page news! Yet mainstream media is working with governments to keep people uninformed and disempowered.

YouTube has also, on behest of the German government, removed a great many films (full films) and episodes of TV series from the German Democratic Republic – now gobbled up by the German state – because, more than likely, they have communist “propaganda” and to some extent “glorify” the first Worker and Peasant State on German soil and the people who brought about this New Germany after the War but also fighters of the communist and socialist cause such as Hans Beimler, Ernst Thälmann, Arthur Becker, and others.

In a frightening example of how the state is tightening its grip around the free Internet, it has emerged that You Tube is complying with thousands of requests from governments to censor and remove videos that show protests and other examples of citizens simply asserting their rights, while also deleting search terms by government mandate.

The latest example is You Tube’s compliance with a request from the British government to censor footage of a protest by the British Constitution Group Lawful Rebellion.

The British government does not want certain kind of information going viral in the public domain because it is scared stiff of the possible repercussions by the people.

When viewers in the UK attempt to watch videos of the protest, they are met with the message, “This content is not available in your country due to a government removal request”.

YouTube, so it is said, also occasionally receives requests from governments around the world to remove content from sites, and as a result, YouTube may block specific content in order to comply with local laws in certain countries.

With regard to search terms, one struggles to understand how a specific combination of words in a Google search can be considered a violation of any law. This is about government and Google working hand in hand to manipulate search results in order to censor inconvenient information, something which Google now freely admits to doing.

The real reason for the removal is the fact that the British government is obviously petrified of seeing a group of focused and educated citizens, black, white, old and young, male and female, go head to head with the corrupt system on its own stomping ground.

But, as I have indicated earlier, it is not just the UK government that demands blocking of content on YouTube and the removal and suspension of users and their identity. Germany is doing the same, and the same is happening in the bastion of democracy and freedom – yes, I am sarcastic in this case – the USA.

Facebook too is doing its own censoring as to political content and that especially with anything that does not portray the Israelis in a good light.

In their efforts to keep a lid on the growing populist fury that has arrived in response to rampant and growing financial and political tyranny in every sector of society, governments in the west are now mimicking Communist Chinese-style Internet censorship policies in a bid to neutralize protest movements, while hypocritically lecturing the rest of the world on maintaining web freedom.

Via a combination of cybersecurity legislation and policy that is hastily introduced with no real oversight, governments and large Internet corporations are crafting an environment where the state can simply demand information be removed on a whim with total disregard for freedom of speech protections.

US Senator Lieberman has been at the forefront of a push to purge the Internet of all dissent by empowering Obama with a figurative Internet kill switch that he would use to shut down parts of the Internet or terminate websites under the guise of national security. Lieberman spilled the beans on the true reason for the move during a CNN interview when he stated “Right now China, the government, can disconnect parts of its Internet in case of war and we need to have that here too.”

But China does not disconnect the Internet “in case of war,” it only ever does so to censor and intimidate people who express dissent against government atrocities or corruption. And this is precisely the kind of online environment the British and American governments are trying to replicate as they attempt to put a stranglehold on the last bastion of true free speech – the world wide web.

So much for democracy and freedom of speech but then we must not forget the words of one of the recent British Home Secretaries who stated that “freedom of speech is NOT a right of the people but a privilege and can be removed at any time that the government feels it right to do so”.

The Minister was, in fact, correct, as the “Freedom of Speech” in the UK not really applies to neither the people nor the press but only to Members of Parliament and that only when they are in the House.

© 2012 Guide to Preventing Bicycle Theft

Use these tips to help prevent cycle theft!

In 2011, the Office for National Statistics noted a 7% rise in reported cycle theft compared to the previous year; approximately 123,207 bicycles. The British Crime Survey, which also includes estimates of non-reported offences, puts the figure at 533,000. That's a lot of bikes.

Yannick Read of iLoveMyBike, one of's top providers, agreed that "most of the half million victims of cycle theft last year will have been uninsured, which is a blow both to the individual - who is left out of pocket - and cycling in general; research has shown that having a bike stolen leaves people reluctant to replace it and carry on cycling. Unfortunately, it’s a problem that looks set to get worse - as long as bikes are a cinch to steal and even easier to sell on afterwards, petty thieves will continue to pinch them. There are high-tech solutions on the horizon, including GPS trackers that can be hidden inside a bicycle’s frame, but it will be some time before such gizmos are common place so in the meantime cyclists are best advised to invest in a stout lock and a good insurance policy."

With current police estimates suggesting that only 5-8% of stolen cycles are ever re-united with their owners, the team at Cycle Insurance have put together these top tips for keeping your bicycle safe.

1. The Right Lock.

If you have spent money on a bicycle, you should always purchase a suitable lock to keep it secure. Cheap, thin locks present no barrier to a bicycle thief; they will simply cut through them and ride away in moments. You should seriously consider purchasing a Sold Secure rated lock based on the value of your cycle, usually it is suggested the lock should cost at least 10% of the cycle value. You should also consider using more than one lock, making sure you have two different types. D locks are often more reliable than chains or cables, as they are less easily cut.

All of this creates more work for the thief before they can free your cycle, and the harder it is to remove your bike the more likely they will be to leave it alone.

2. The Right Way.

Never secure the lock just through the wheels. If you do, the wheels may be the only thing you come back to. Always secure through the wheels and the frame, preferably at the front and the back of the cycle.

It is also recommended that you avoid securing your cycle to old fashioned Victorian iron railings. These can sometimes be broken with a sharp hammer blow, and the thief might just take the cycle, locks and railing with them!

3. The Right Place.

Lock your bike in a busy, public area. Thieves are less likely to strike when there are lots of people around to see them at work. Whenever possible, lock your bike indoors, and never leave it outside overnight if it can be avoided.

It’s also good to be aware of the local cycle theft hotspots in your area. Look at the crime map in your town and if you can see that certain locations suffer more thefts than others, avoid them! This won’t always work, but it is common sense and may help to reduce the risk of theft.

There are a few signs to look out for that might indicate that someone is trying to, or has tried to steal your bicycle.

If you come back to find one of your tyres punctured, you should immediately remove the bike and take it indoors. Thieves who desire a cycle will often deliberately puncture a tyre to stop the bike being ridden away, tempting the owner to leave in the rack. They will then go to collect the right tools to deal with the locks and come back later to steal the cycle at their leisure.

If using a combination lock, set it to a set number when leaving the bike. If it has changed when you return, someone may be trying random combinations on the off chance of getting it right.

We hope that these tips have been helpful. Remember, whatever security devices you use, there is still a chance that your cycle could be stolen by a determined thief. You should always consider purchasing Cycle Insurance to cover you if the worst should happen.

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. launches new recycled product range for eco-friendly customers has added many new recycled products to its range after demand from customers looking to do their bit for the environment.

office stationery has added many new recycled products to its range after demand from customers looking to do their bit for the environment.

Beverley Hughes, a company spokeswoman, commented that “Customers fed back to us that we had a very limited recycled eco-friendly product selection. We therefore set our buyers the task of increasing the range! Within a short time they have done this, with some great new products entering the warehouse”.

She continued, “We now have a comprehensive recycled range which includes copier paper, pens, pencils, note books, pads and folders. The prices are very competitive and in line with their non-recycled equivalents so whereas years ago customers were put off buying such products – now there is no reason not to”.

Finishing she explained “Most of us at home are very good at recycling paper, plastic and glass – now our customers have the opportunity to buy recycled products but not compromise on the standard or quality”. is a supplier of office related items including paper, pens, office furniture and electrical business equipment. They offer a bespoke printing service as an essential aid to their many business customers. The company directors have over 40 years of cumulative experience within the office supplies sector and therefore have a wealth of knowledge and experience to help you make the right choices when it comes to purchasing your office stationery.

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.

Anglian Home Improvements announces Hampton Court Palace Flower Show sponsorship with TV garden expert David Domoney

Following the award-winning success of their collaboration at last year’s RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, Anglian Home Improvements has announced that it is again teaming up with TV garden expert David Domoney for this year’s gardening show.

The window, door and conservatory specialist is sponsoring the magazine-style Grapevine Theatre, hosted by Domoney offering a fun and interactive destination for garden-loving visitors to the event. At the centre of the show, the Grapevine Theatre will offer an opportunity to relax and be entertained, picking up some great gardening tips whilst keeping an eye on everything else that’s going on around the show.
Green-fingered celebrity guests John Craven, Bill Oddie, Adam Henson and Toby Buckland will join Domoney in the Grapevine Theatre marquee to chat about their love of gardening and much more. Roving reporters will capture all the action from the show, beaming it back to the screen at the Grapevine Theatre marquee where top garden design experts will be on hand every day to provide ideas on gardening and outside living.
Melanie McDonald, Head of Marketing and Communications at Anglian Home Improvements, explains the reasons for the company’s continuing involvement with the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show.

Gardening is a favourite hobby of many of Anglian Home Improvements’ customers. It makes perfect sense that homeowners who invest in maintaining their property with good quality home improvements will also take a keen interest in the look of the outside space and garden.”

“For many years, Anglian Home Improvements has supported horticulture shows by sponsoring a garden design or exhibiting products like our conservatories that ‘bring the outside in’.

Following last year’s success of working with David Domoney on the Naked Garden, we are delighted to continue our association and feel that the Grapevine Theatre gives us an excellent platform to showcase our products in the dedicated display areas, tying in with some of David’s top gardening tips such as landscaping around conservatories, the best plants to grow in conservatories and creating kerb appeal at the front of your home with window boxes and hanging baskets.”

Anglian Home Improvements and David Domoney won a silver award at last year’s Hampton Court Palace Flower Show for their Naked Garden, featuring plants from around the world that can grow without soil to produce flowers, foliage, fruit and vegetables. Inspired by Anglian glazing technology, which is hidden in the natural transparency of glass so ‘invisible’ to the homeowner’s eye, the garden exposed plants in a series of cleverly constructed glass containers and transparent materials to show the beauty of ‘naked’ plants and expose what is conventionally left undiscovered.

For a chance to win tickets to the event, contact Anglian Home Improvements via Twitter, Google+, Pinterest or Facebook using the hashtag #HCGrapevine, explaining why you would like to attend the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. The competition closes at 6 pm on Thursday 28 June and winners will be notified by 6 pm on Friday 29 June. Competition terms and conditions can be found on the Anglian Home Improvements website,

Following an Exclusive Preview Evening on Monday 2 July with fireworks and live music in the Grapevine Theatre, the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show officially opens on Tuesday 3 July and runs until Sunday 8 July. Details about the event including ticket information can be found at For further information about Anglian Home Improvements, please visit

About Anglian Home Improvements:
Established in 1966, Anglian Home Improvements is the UK’s leading home improvements company, responsible for the employment of 4500 people. With more than 45 years’ experience of providing UVPC double-glazing windows, Anglian ensures it is ahead of the competition with a continuing research and development programme. Anglian offers an extensive range of home improvement products, including double glazing replacement windows and doors, conservatories, driveways, solar products, garage conversions and roof trims.

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.

Gebündelte Kompetenz für die Zukunft: EcoStar Independa - das Energiewendehaus

Holzminden, BRD :  Drei innovative deutsche Mittelstandsunternehmen - darunter STIEBEL ELTRON - haben ihre Kompetenzen gebündelt und präsentieren privaten Bauherren eine zukunftsweisende Lösung für ein Leben ohne Energiesorgen: das Einfamilienhaus "EcoStar Independa".

Das energieeffiziente Massivhaus "EcoStar Independa" von Heinz von Heiden entspricht KfW-Standard "Effizienzhaus 70". Ziel des gemeinsamen Projekts ist das Haus zur Energiewende, das trotz der zukunftsweisenden und unabhängigen Haustechnik für jeden Bauherren erschwinglich ist / Bild: Heinz von Heiden Das energieeffiziente Massivhaus "EcoStar Independa" von Heinz von Heiden entspricht KfW-Standard "Effizienzhaus 70". Ziel des gemeinsamen Projekts ist das Haus zur Energiewende, das trotz der zukunftsweisenden und unabhängigen Haustechnik für jeden Bauherren erschwinglich ist / Bild: Heinz von Heiden

"EcoStar Independa" ist eine ganzheitliche Energielösung für Einfamilienhäuser, die hochmoderne Gebäudesubstanz, private Energieerzeugung und intelligente Haustechnik für Heizung und Warmwasser kombiniert. Die architektonisch attraktive Hülle für das Energiewendehaus nach KfW-Standard "Effizienzhaus 70" stellt der Massivhaushersteller Heinz von Heiden. Das innovative technologische Innenleben bilden das Solar-Eigenstromsystem Azur Independa von PV-Vorreiter Azur Solar sowie die Luft/Wasser-Wärmepumpe, die thermische Solaranlage und der Kombispeicher von Wärmepumpen-Pionier Stiebel-Eltron. Das Ergebnis der Kooperation: das Energiewendehaus "EcoStar Independa". Ein kostengünstiges Effizienzhaus zu einem einzigartigen Preis-Leistungs-Verhältnis mit perfekt aufeinander abgestimmten Energiespartechnologien - erschwinglich für jeden Bauherren.

Das Eigenstromsystem Azur Independa von Azur Solar

Herzstück der Technologielösung ist Azur Independa: Das intelligente Solar-Eigenstromsystem sichert Haubesitzern einen gleichbleibenden, günstigen Strompreis, macht sie somit dauerhaft unabhängig von den steigenden Preisen der Stromversorger und deckt den eigenen Stromverbrauch mit umweltfreundlichem, selbst hergestelltem Solarstrom ab. Azur Independa setzt vollkommen neue Maßstäbe, denn der Strom wird nicht nur selbst produziert, genutzt und der Überschuss ins öffentliche Netz eingespeist - er kann zudem in einem leistungsfähigen Solarspeicher gespeichert werden. So steht er auch dann zur Verfügung, wenn die Sonne nicht scheint. Der Solarspeicher besteht aus einer Blei-Gel-Batterie mit großer Speicherkapazität. Nur wenn der Speicher leer ist, wird Strom über das öffentliche Netz bezogen. Das Eigenstromsystem beherrscht das Wechselspiel von verbrauchen, speichern und einspeisen somit perfekt und deckt bis zu 80 % des Strombedarfs mit Eigenstrom ab. Das modular aufgebaute System aus leistungsstarken Solar-Modulen, intelligentem Energiemanagement und großem Speicher, ermöglicht zahlreiche individuelle Konfigurationsmöglichkeiten und lässt sich dadurch genau an den Verbrauch seiner Besitzer anpassen. Für seine Innovationskraft erhielt Azur Independa bereits in diesem Jahr den Plus X Award als "Bestes Produkt des Jahres 2012" und gewann zudem in den Kategorien Ökologie, Funktion, Innovation und Bedienkomfort. Im Rahmen des Innovationspreises des Landes Baden-Württemberg wurde Azur Solar Geschäftsführer Bernd Sauter gemeinsam mit dem Eigenstromsystem zu einem von 60 "Übermorgenmachern" gekürt.

Stiebel Eltron liefert Komponenten für Heizung und Warmwasserbereitung

Im Energiewende-Haus "EcoStar Independa" sind die einzelnen Komponenten zur Energieerzeugung und -verteilung intelligent miteinander verbunden und optimal aufeinander abgestimmt. Der durch Photovoltaik erzeugte Eigenstrom ist zum Teil Energiequelle für die kompakte Luft/Wasser-Wärmepumpe WPL 10 AC aus dem Hause Stiebel Eltron. Sie zeichnet sich vor allem durch eine sehr hohe Effizienz aus und liefert eine Heizleistung von knapp 5 kW (A-7/W35). Die Wärmepumpe arbeitet flüsterleise und sorgt dadurch gerade in eng bebauten Neubaugebieten für hohen Komfort. Mit der Kombination aus Wärmpumpe und thermischer Solar-Anlage wird ein hoher Anteil Erneuerbarer Energien eingebunden.

Neben der Wärmepumpe stammen auch die thermische Solaranlage SOL 27 BASIC sowie der Kombispeicher SBS 601 W SOL von Stiebel Eltron. Die Solaranlage nutzt die Kraft der Sonne und wandelt Sonnenenergie in nutzbare Wärme für die Warmwasserbereitung und Heizung um. Der Systemspeicher von Stiebel Eltron ist gleichzeitig Warmwasser- und Heizungspufferspeicher. Er ist ein wahres Platzwunder, das die erzeugte Wärme speichert und sie erst dann wieder abgibt, wenn sie benötigt wird. Ein weiterer Vorteil des Kombinationsgeräts ist die verbesserte Hygiene im Speicher, da nur noch geringe Mengen an Trinkwasser zur Verfügung stehen müssen, um das gesamte Haus mit Warmwasser zu versorgen. Gleichzeitig werden höchste Komfortansprüche erfüllt.

Massives Energieeffizienzhaus von Heinz von Heiden

Heinz von Heiden ist Deutschlands führender Massivhaushersteller und hat bis heute bereits über 41.000 Häuser gebaut. Das Unternehmen steht für maßgeschneiderte System-Architektur, technische Innovationen und ein überzeugendes Preis-Leistungs-Verhältnis. Das Effizienzhaus "EcoStar Independa" erzielt die guten Energiewerte einerseits durch die effiziente Haustechnik auf Basis der regenerativen Energien, andererseits durch die gute Gebäudedämmung sowie die dreifach verglasten Klimafenster. Das technische Gesamtpaket inklusive komfortabler Fußbodenheizung und dem Familien-Kraftwerk der Kooperationspartner Azur Solar und Stiebel Eltron ist auch mit allen anderen Hausvarianten von Heinz von Heiden kombinierbar. Das Haus "EcoStar Independa" steht für einen Basis-Haustyp, der ausschließlich mit regenerativer Haustechnik inklusive Stromspeichermedium ausgestattet ist, und dennoch mit einem Quadratmeterpreis von 1.090,- Euro auskommt. Mit 177 m² bietet das Haus genügend Platz für eine ganze Familie, die Wert auf Umwelt- und Ressourcenschonung sowie Kosteneinsparung und Kostensicherheit legt. Im Preis enthalten ist eine dreijährige maßgeschneiderte Elektronikversicherung der LVM für die Photovoltaikanlage. Der Bau des "EcoStar Independa"-Hauses ist ab sofort realisierbar.

Über die Kooperationspartner

Heinz von Heiden GmbH Massivhäuser: Der Massivhaushersteller aus dem niedersächsischen Isernhagen ist der Marktführer in Deutschland und feierte im vergangenen Jahr 80-jähriges Jubiläum. Das Angebot umfasst die gesamte Dienstleistung rund ums Bauen - vom maßgeschneiderten Bau auf Kundenwunsch über die komplette Einrichtung des Hauses bis hin zur Übergabe. Heinz von Heiden bietet mit über 5.000 m² Ausstellungsfläche in vier KompetenzCentren und 40 Musterhäusern, sechs Stadtbüros sowie über 300 Vertriebspartnern bundesweit Beratung und Betreuung auf höchstem Niveau.
Azur Solar GmbH: Azur Solar ist ein technologiegeführtes und international agierendes Solarunternehmen aus Leutkirch im Allgäu, dessen Fokus auf der Entwicklung von innovativen Photovoltaik-Produkten für die unterschiedlichsten Anforderungen im In- und Ausland liegt. Unabhängige und zufriedene Kunden sind der Antrieb des 2004 gegründeten Unternehmens. Azur Solars Beitrag zur Energiewende ist das bereits mehrfach ausgezeichnete, intelligente Eigenstromsystem Azur Independa mit leistungsfähigen Solarspeichern.

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.

It’ll be a Stylish Summer with Haws and GardenToolbox

The online retailer of gardening tools and equipment, GardenToolbox, has added an incredibly stylish range of watering cans from the manufacturer Haws, to its website. Be the first to get your hands on these this summer and impress the neighbours!

GardenToolbox launches new brand Haws in preparation for the summer!

Evesham, Worcestershire : Haws, founded in 1886 by John Haws, has a long tradition of manufacturing attractive and high quality watering cans. Such is the desire for these products that in a recent Daily Telegraph feature on ten of the most stylish watering cans, Haws took up two places. The two cans in question were the Slimcan in duck egg blue (seven other colours are available) and the 7 litre Deluxe plastic can in green.

Although both watering cans are fantastic they are just a taster of the full range now available on With both metal and plastic cans, in sizes from 0.7 litres to 8.8 litres, there is something for everyone.

Lee Taylor, General Manager at GardenToolbox, said: “We’re delighted to be able to offer Haws watering cans on our website. We already had an impressive range of cans but nothing as good looking as these. There’s something for every purpose, indoor or outdoor, whether you just need to water pot plants in your conservatory or large flower beds and borders in your garden. I’d recommend the 2.25 litre conservatory can and the 8.8 litre heritage watering can respectively.”

As well as the watering cans, GardenToolbox is also offering the full range of Haws roses and accessories. These are available in plastic, rubber or brass versions. There is a wide variety of roses, everything from fine spray to course spray, designs specifically for weeds and others specifically for rows of seedlings, all in a number of sizes.

Lee added: “Like I said, the variety in this range is fantastic but what’s even better is the array of colours. The majority of the watering cans are available in a number of colours such as duck egg blue, sage or aubergine – they’re very tasteful. And the quality and diversity of roses is fantastic. It’s the kind of thing that gets gardeners rubbing their hands together in glee.”

Other products that feature in the Haws range are jugs, vases and pot holders, all available in the traditional Haws colour range; sage, cream, ruby, duck egg blue, cerise, black and aubergine. These different products showcase all the high quality of Haws watering cans and make an exciting and complementary addition to any garden.

With the summer months here, GardenToolbox see these luxury stylish watering cans as the perfect summer gift for gardeners.

GardenToolbox currently operates on the new, rebranded and ever-expanding Online Home Retail Network which currently encompasses around 50 websites which sell everything from heated towels and shower pumps to chainsaw clothing and leaf blowers. Online Home Retail Limited first started out as Plumbworld Ltd back in 1999 and since then it has been bought by the Grafton Group PLC in 2006 and received a major rebrand in 2012. The business now employs 60 people in its purpose built warehouse/offices and has a total turnover nearing £25 million per year.

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.

Organic Consumers Association Challenges Logic of American Medical Association's Position on GMO Labeling

AMA votes in favor of pre-market testing for GMOs, but against mandatory GMO labeling

Finland, Minn. : The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) today challenged the American Medical Association (AMA) on its failure to support mandatory labeling of foods containing genetically engineered ingredients.

At a meeting last week, the AMA called for mandatory pre-market safety testing of genetically engineered foods as part of a revised policy, but the AMA did not call for mandatory labeling of GMOs.

“The AMA’s new policy on GMOs does not go far enough,” said Ronnie Cummins, Executive Director of the OCA. “We are disappointed, and frankly confused. On the one hand, the AMA is telling consumers that GMOs should be tested for any potential health hazards, before food manufacturers are allowed to sell them to the public. On the other hand, they’re effectively saying that it’s OK that products containing GMOs are not labeled. It makes no sense to acknowledge enough doubt about the safety of genetically engineered ingredients to recommend pre-market testing, but disagree that consumers should have the right to know which foods contain GMOs. Shouldn’t consumers be able to avoid GMOs unless they have first been proven safe?”

Between 75% - 80% of all processed foods in supermarkets contain GMOs, Cummins said. Yet there is no way for consumers to make informed choices about these foods, because food manufacturers are not required to label GMO ingredients. “Without labeling laws, biotech and food companies can continue to test GMOs on unknowing, unwilling human beings.”

The AMA’s failure to recommend GMO labeling came on the heels of yet another new report earlier in the week on the health hazards of GMOs. The report, "GMO Myths and Truths", presents a large body of peer-reviewed scientific and other authoritative evidence of the hazards to health and the environment posed by genetically engineered crops and organisms (GMOs).

American Public Health Association, American Nurses Association, Illinois Public Health Association, and the California State Medical Association have passed resolutions calling for labeling of genetically engineered food, according to the Truth in Labeling Coalition.

The OCA is a strong supporter of the upcoming Nov. 6 California Ballot Initiative that will require labels on genetically engineered foods and ban the routine industry practice of marketing GMO-tainted foods as “natural.”

The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) is an online and grassroots non-profit 501(c)3 public interest organization campaigning for health, justice, and sustainability. The Organic Consumers Fund is a 501(c)4 allied organization of the Organic Consumers Association, focused on grassroots lobbying and legislative action.

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Energos shows how to maximise efficiency of energy from waste

Energy from waste (efw) facilities must utilise their heat potential to maximise efficiency and carbon dioxide emissions savings, according to Nick Dawber, Managing Director of UK-based clean energy recovery from waste business Energos.

gasification, advanced conversion, advanced thermal conversion, ACT,

Speaking at The Waste to Energy City Summit, in London on 21 June 2012, Nick Dawber, Managing Director of Energos told the audience that efw plants should exist within the heart of industrial and residential communities. As such, they can utilise the heat value of the waste instead of wasting this renewable, low cost energy resource.

He said: "To achieve higher levels of efficiency we need to sell heat - either directly as steam to industrial customers to displace existing fossil fuel supplies - or as combined heat and power (CHP). When the ratio of energy used is two parts heat to one part electricity, facilities will achieve up to 50% efficiency, which rises to as much as 85 % if you utilise the full heat potential."

Nick Dawber explained that it is necessary to develop smaller waste to energy plants to capitalise on heat potential since there are more available sites for small facilities, which can be located close to the potential demand for heat and are appropriately sized to satisfy that heat requirement.

He also said that there will be higher public acceptance for 'community sized' advanced conversion energy from waste facilities. Smaller plants minimise traffic to the site and can sit alongside recycling facilities to provide a local solution for local non-recyclable waste while delivering a renewable supply of low carbon, low cost energy.

He stated that a large 400,000 tonnes per annum efw plant, producing around 32MW of electricity, would have a surplus of around 70MW of heat that is normally lost to the atmosphere because there are very few industrial facilities that have sufficient CHP demands for large-scale energy from waste.

Dawber stated: "Small-scale facilities such as Energos’ gasification facilities in Norway and its UK sites, scheduled to open in 2014, can supply usable amounts of energy (up to 20MW of heat) to local customers. Apart from the efficiency benefits, such plants also qualify as a 'recovery' plant under the EU Waste Framework Directive and stand to benefit from the UK's Renewable Heat Obligation.

He continued: "Another approach is to provide a new commercial or residential development with an efw plant to meet its carbon neutral requirements and satisfy planning conditions. Energos is partnering with UK developers to integrate local waste treatment infrastructure with low carbon energy supply for such developments."

Since 2002, Energos' Forus advanced thermal processing facility in Stavanger, Norway, has operated at high efficiency to provide electricity into the local grid and hot water into a district heating system for an adjacent industrial and commercial estate. The 40,000 tonnes per annum EfW plant exists at the heart of the community, handling municipal and commercial waste and complementing local recycling facilities.

The Energos patented gasification technology, an advanced thermal conversion technique, was developed in Norway during the early 1990s in conjunction with the University of Trondheim.

Energos offers a proven and commercially viable gasification technology capable of generating renewable energy from household waste and post-recycling residue. It offers a clean energy recovery from waste solution that provides a best practice alternative to mass-burn incineration and a commercially proven and bankable alternative to landfill.

The company has more than 500,000 hours of operating hours over more than 15 years at eight plants across Europe.

The Energos process converts residual, non-recyclable waste into a gas by using the heat of partial combustion to free hydrogen and carbon in the waste. Residual waste is fed into the gasification chamber, where it is converted into a syngas. This syngas is then transferred to a secondary oxidation chamber where it is mixed with air and recycled flue gas under tightly controlled conditions that ensures complete and efficient combustion resulting in reduced emissions in the flue gases. The upshot is ultra-low emissions that outperform EU Emissions Standard (2000/76/EC), with the resulting heat recovered to produce steam and/or electricity.

A typical 80,000 tonne p.a. Energos plant can serve a community of between 200,000 to 300,000 where recycling levels are around 50%. It has the flexibility to accept a variety of wastes so can adapt to meet the changes in the waste streams over the longer term.

Energos’ newest gasification facility is at Borregaard Industries, Sarpsborg, in Norway. The 78,000 tonne,The 32MWth double-line advanced thermal conversion facility treats non-recyclable commercial and industrial waste and produces 256 GWh/a of high grade steam to displace approximately 22,000 tonnes of heavy fuel oil per annum.

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Superiority of pen and paper

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

pen-and-paper In our modern age many people have begun to believe that electronic devices are better for everything, including note taking, and many believe that pen and paper are sooo outdated.

Environmentalists with little knowledge or lots of the wrong “knowledge”, and there are far too many of them around, it seems to me, keep regurgitating the erroneous mantra of paper equaling dead trees and the destruction of forests and especially the rainforests of the Amazon, and such.

That is a complete and utter fallacy, and outright falsehood in the main as, first of all, hardwoods, deciduous or not, are, bar one or two exceptions, and they are actually rather soft deciduous trees, are not suitable at all for the making of paper pulp. Most paper comes from specifically planted and grown softwoods, predominately here pine and spruce, and also some “hardwoods” such as birch and poplar. Also, were it not for the paper industry those trees would not be and many forests would not be in existence as they are owned and managed by the paper industry.

When it comes to sustainability pen and paper are better by far than electronic devices, in the long run as well as in the short, for the environment, as a paper notebook does not require power and thus has no batteries, and the same is true for the pen, whether ballpoint or fountain pen or the most humble of writing instruments, the pencil. Better still to a bought notebook is the one that you have made yourself from scrap paper. You have saved even more resources then.

My notebooks can, basically, be run over by a MBT (that's main battle tank, for the uninitiated) and the data will still be retrievable and usable. The book itself may be even. And, as said, neither pen or paper do need any batteries to work.

In addition to that most of my notebooks are handmade, by myself, from “waste” paper, such as from pages that have been printed on one side only, often from press releases received on the various shows that I attend, from junk mail and such like, and thus are good for the environment too.

They are fairly easy to make, cost virtually nothing, can be archived for future reference (OK, they are not searchable) in shoe boxes or such containers afterwards and, and that is also good, make nice conversation pieces too when talking sustainability.

As far as I am concerned there is nothing that beats being able to make noted and such anywhere without having to worry as to whether the batteries are going to hold out or whether the environment where I am at that time is safe for an electronic device.

I can drop my notebook or pen as often as should happen without having to fear that they won't work anymore. They will.

Pen and paper requires no power source, no software, etc., can be used in most light conditions and environments and can be dropped from a great height and that without getting damaged necessarily.

In the long run, in my view, pen and paper are higher on the sustainability scale than any digital device – period – and if I am not mistaken they are also making somewhat of a comeback. Not that they have ever really gone away.

© 2012

Just 2% plan to buy electric car in next five years

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

While a great number of people seem to think that electric vehicles may represent our motoring future, only two per cent of people are likely to buy an electric vehicle (EV) in the next five years according to a new survey.

Personally, I must say that I do not blame the people one little bit and that for more than one reason. The main one being the price of those things and the second one the fact that charging stations are still few and far between and that they just take still far too long to charge.

Despite Department of Transport claims that 2011 would be ‘the year of the electric car’ – offering hefty subsidies and advising councils to plan for an electric future – just 1,000 of the battery-powered vehicles were sold in the Britain in 2011. One thousand EVs is but a drop in the ocean and that way those vehicles will never go down in price as, putting it simply, the demand is not there.

And when specialist car insurance broker Adrian Flux asked 1,000 of its customers how likely they were to buy an EV in the next five years, just two per cent were seriously considering swapping the petrol pump for the charging point.

Nearly 70 per cent ruled out a switch entirely, with the remaining 28 per cent firmly in the wait and see camp.

While most of us agree that petrol and diesel-powered cars are unsustainable in the long term, it seems few of us are prepared to buy a car we feel has a high purchase price, limited range, long recharge times and questionable resale value.

However, the electric revolution is still charging forward despite the lukewarm appetite of the British people. In May 2012 alone, 60 charging points were opened in Oxford, making the city the EV capital of Europe with one charging point for every 2,400 people, the best ratio in the EU.

London has 654 charging points – the most in Europe – and British cities dominate the top 10 list of electric-friendly locations in the continent.
New charging stations will recharge an electric car battery in four hours, slashing previous charging times by 50 per cent, and future charging points could cut this time to just 20 minutes.

Presently, a domestic charge at 240 volts on a 13 amp socket could take between six and 10 hours to fully charge an electric car, although this will change significantly as technology improves, if we are lucky.

Although the majority of people’s car journeys are short, they still want to know that – if they choose – they could travel long distances in their car without having to worry about finding a charging station.

There are options available, such as range-extended electric cars with petrol or diesel generators to provide extra electricity and hybrid cars which recover energy from the movement and braking of the car.

While there are ever more new EVs coming to the market one car maker, the German firm AUDI, which is part of Volkswagen, has decided to ditch the idea entirely and concentrate on hydrogen fuel cell. The fuel cell that is yet another stupid idea and will only make money for certain people again.

So, could someone tell me again about the electric car being the future. The fact is that it is not. The future is human and animal powered transportation and the sooner everyone got that message the better.

The truth is that the age of personal motoring is all but over and will be as soon as oil become more and more expensive as we are coming to the end of its viable production. As a result of that also the electric cars and vans will become more expensive.

The only option that we have is a total rethink of the way we travel and where we live and work.

Human and animal power are the future and not the electric car or the car with hydrogen fuel cell. What that will mean for farming and food production I am sure everyone will understand by now as well.

Farming too, and everything else, will have to change and that means that the large machines also will be history as they are no longer usable; sustainable they never were in the first place.

We must rethink our ways and we must do it now...

© 2012