Ecobookers Celebrates Its 1st Birthday With A Redesign

October 21, 2008

Environmentally friendly travel site, Ecobookers, is one year old. Well it was at the start of September actually but I thought I’d take some time to look around the site as it’s been redesigned.

We first looked at Ecobookers back in November 2007 and liked what we saw. The new site is a bit easier to use and certainly more pleasing on the eye. Although I haven’t actually booked anything through it, I like the way all the accommodation is researched and the huge amount of information that’s given. Check out the review of the Lova Lava Land Eco-Resort in Hawaii for example.

Ecobookers

There are 130 eco-friendly accommodations in 38 countries around the world on the site, ranging from eco-friendly hotels, B&Bs and ecolodges to more unusual eco-friendly accommodation, such as yurts and treehouses. So check it out here.

Honda Release Environmental Report

October 20, 2008

Honda have released their fourth annual North American Environmental Report that you can read online. But why should you care?

It’s a report that (almost) regardless of content I’m very pleased a vehicle manufacturer produces. They are quite proud of it, in fact sending me a copy and asking for my opinion on it. Besides making me feel special (along with hundreds of others no doubt) it is actually quite interesting. Admittedly I haven’t read many others to compare it to but it’s an easy read. Divided into three sections, it gets good in section three – Reducing Honda’s Environmental Footprint. Admittedly corporate rhetoric and unnecessary language is abound but these days I found myself getting used to it a little too easily.

Clearly the best thing Honda could do for the environment is stop producing cars. However that’s not a practical or realistic solution, and while I found the Powersports vehicles section strangely amusing there have been some nice advances made, and planned for the future (from the parts I read at least). Some points that Honda were keen to highlight if you don’t want to read it yourself:

Honda Environmental Report

- The U.S. corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) for model year 2007 Honda and Acura cars and light trucks rose to 29.5 miles per gallon, the highest level in five years, based in part on the expanded application of fuel-efficient technologies like i-VTEC® variable valve control for 4- and 6-cylinder engines, and second-generation VCM™ (Variable Cylinder Management™) for V-6 engines.

- Three Honda facilities in North America attained Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council in FY2008, joining two existing green buildings. Three additional facilities – two in the United States and one in Canada – will seek LEED certification in FY2009.

- An industry-high 81% of automobile were shipped by rail, the most fuel-efficient means of product transportation. CO2 emissions from automobile transport were reduced by 5,493 metric tons through the use of more fuel-efficient Auto-Max rail cars.

- A $7 million renovation of Honda’s Ohio product distribution center improved efficiency and reduced consumption of diesel fuel by more than 500,000 gallons.

- Promotion of “green factory” practices to more than 650 North American OEM supplier partners helped lead 85% of suppliers to be third-party certified to ISO 14001 environmental management standards in FY2008, up from 80% in the previous fiscal year.

You can read Honda’s North American Environmental Report report here.

Bulldog Face Scrub Original Eco Product Review

October 17, 2008

I like a good face scrub, I think it’s to do with having a beard/stubble which means I like to get in between all those tricky hairs and get the dirt out. Bulldog’s original face scrub is free from parabens, sodium laureth sulfate, artificial colours and synthetic fragrances. As I’ve mentioned in other Bulldog reviews (go to our reviews page to see the others) a good thing about Bulldog is that you can go on its website and download a pdf of all the ingredients.

Bulldog face scrub

The face scrub also contains shea butter and rosehip oil to moisturise and the smell is dominated by the shea butter, which isn’t a bad thing. It comes is a small 100ml tube but you only need a small amount to spread around your face. In fact if you use too much it does take a hell of a lot of washing to get it off, but that makes me think it’s doing its job so that’s okay.

It’s also quite thick compared to other face scrubs I’ve used, but then again I like that and it works very well. I’ve been using it for a few weeks and am enjoying it, there’s also quite a lot left too so it should last me a while.

Bulldog original face scrub costs around £4.50 for 100ml and is available in the UK from places like Waitrose, Superdrug, Sainsbury’s and Debenhams. Check our www.meetthebulldog.com for more details.

Code Creations Eco Apparel Website Review

October 16, 2008

Code Creations is an online fashion website. Sounds simple enough. But when it asked for a paid review of its website it turns out it’s much more.

Firstly, it offers 100% organic cotton t-shirts for adults, kids, babies and, believe it or not, dogs. There’s some other stuff made out of hemp and bamboo too. What makes it different is that its funky designs and funny slogans aren’t its own creations, but rather an online community. Artists from all over the world come up with designs and then vote on their favourites which are them made into t-shirts for sale.

What they sell is limited edition designs which means you’re very unlikely to bump into someone wearing the same thing. Their aim is to make this process fun and exclusive and get people who wouldn’t normally wear eco apparel interested in it through design.

Code Creations

The website makes all this quite clear but it took me a while to work it all out in my head, especially as you can sign up to be in the Code Club which means you get a new t-shirt every month plus three free ones thrown in or you can just treat the site as a regular shop. As a way of appealing to trendy people who update their look all the time, the club is a great idea. For someone like me it’s good to have the option to buy a new t-shirt when I feel like it, which is normally twice a year or something.

You could spend days on this website, even without going on the shop. There’s information on there not only about Code Creations but also about if you’re going shopping for apparel and what to look out for. There are links to videos, information about fundraising, the red team and even tea parties. It’s a bit like a social network, but just for design fans and you can become involved as much as you like. If you want to get out and try and find one of the 50 limited edition t-shirts they’ve hidden in a treasure hunt style around America then you can. Or you can just buy a night shirt.

21 Birds On A Wire

Registration is free and simple although your application does have to go through a moderator but that literally took a minute. It seems you can actually vote on designs without registering but where’s the fun in that? Submitting a design is a little more complication, with the focus on ‘little’ as the team have made it pretty easy for you to do. You can download templates and do whatever you like. Even for those like me who can’t draw to save their life you can use some of the site’s codes like the t-shirt pictured on the left. Each bird corresponds to a letter which you need to decode through the site (it says “ONCE UPON A MIDNIGHT DREARY” by the way). Or if you have a funny slogan in your head you could just do that.

The Code Creations team approve the designs and put them up onto the site for others to vote on, which is where the fun begins. If the design is popular enough and then sold by the site you’ll receive US$1 per t-shirt sold. But you can also win prizes and other fun stuff too to get people involved.

There seems to be lots and lots of t-shirts on there for around $25 but there’s also stuff for your baby or dog. Which reminds me that 25% of the company’s profits goes to animal rescue organizations.

Reviewing the website is also a bit like reviewing the company itself although I don’t know anything about the quality, delivery times etc etc. Writing this review has left me feeling very impressed and surprised as I didn’t know anything like this was out there. Take a look for yourself at www.code-creations.com. And until 31 December 2008 if you enter AMBER at the checkout you’ll get 15% off your bill.

Blog Action Day

October 15, 2008

Today, 15 October, is Blog Action Day 2008. In 2007 it was all about the environment with blogs straying away from their usual topic and writing about the chosen subject.

This year the theme is poverty and at least 15 of the top 100 blogs have signed up to discuss it. If you go to Blog Action Day here you’ll find links to all the sites involved and get to read some great stuff from your favourite writers. I’ll be spending most of the day doing it.

Wales To Be Britain’s Biggest Plastic Recycler

October 14, 2008

It was only earlier in 2008 that Closed Loop Recycling opened its plant in Dagenham, England. But now it’s been announced that an even bigger plant is to open in Deeside, Wales.

The £12 plant has been given the go-ahead by the Government and it’s hoped it will open next year. The existing plant is the first recycling facility in the world to take plastic milk and drink bottles and turn them back into plastic suitable to be made into more drink bottles – hence the ‘closed loop’ bit.

Closed Loop

The new plant will recycle 50,000 tonnes of bottles that would have otherwise gone to a landfill in the UK or shipped abroad. To put that in perspective, a 500kg bale of plastic bottles contains around 12,500 of them, so multiply 25,000 by 50,000 and you have a huge number of bottles that are getting recycled.

It’s a very clever process how they sort all the bottles out, you can find out for yourself here.

Optima Aloe Dent Toothpaste Eco Product Review

October 13, 2008

I’m slightly ashamed of it, but I love toothpaste with stripes in. It must be something to do with the child in me but for some reason I find it quite exciting and clever and even explaining how it’s done won’t change that for me. So it’s a bit of a wrench to try and get me away from it but when Male Organics sent me some Optima Aloe Dent toothpaste to try, I thought I’d give it a go to keep in the spirit of things.

As the name suggests, it’s made with aloe vera and claims it “cleans, protects, whitens – naturally”. Reading the ingredients, everything, even the chemical sounding names, seem to be planet derived and has co-enzyme Q10 for healthy gums, although I have no idea what that is.

Aloe Dent toothpaste

I expected it to taste horrible to be honest, but it’s not bad at all. With it containing aloe vera, tea tree oil, chitosan, silica, horse chestnut and more it’s no wonder I expected it to be bad, but the peppermint and menthol helps it out as it doesn’t taste too different from regular toothpaste without the strips and other bits they add.

The only thing I’m a bit suspicious of is the lack of fluoride. I know they’re using natural ingredients instead but I’ve been brought up with fluoride being added to toothpaste and water so it must do something. However if I can get away with it I will and going into a pharmacy/drugstore they actually sell non-fluoride toothpaste for people who have to avoid it and children, so maybe it can be harmful. More research is need I think.

If you want to make your own mind up. A 100ml tube is £3.49 from Male Organics. Also it’s not suitable for vegetarians due “to inclusion of marine source ingredient”.

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