Monday, 16 December 2013

Beyond Organic Skincare

Beyond Organic Skincare have recently launched their fabulous new age defying Ultra Radiance Range. 100% natural and with over 90% organic ingredients. Beyond Organic Skincare is the first company in the UK to have achieved Natrue organic certification. Also ISO 9001 & 14001 accredited. The NATRUE label was set up as an international kitemark to help consumers identify products that are genuinely organic and natural, wherever they are in the world. Beyond Organic products offer purity with performance and have won 19 prestigious awards. They are all 100% natural and certified organic, containing no synthetic chemicals at all. Their products are jam-packed with Omegas, Vitamins, Anti-Oxidants and over 190 biologically active compounds.

For more information contact:
E: T: 0845 500 3550 or 01326 341088


Kenya’s forests and the legacy of Wangari Maathai

Over the last 30 years, vast swathes of Kenya’s forests have been ruthlessly felled for fuel wood, building materials and other uses. Abusing nature in this way always results in a payback. In Kenya’s case it has been rising temperatures, increased droughts and persistent water crises.
The situation faced in Kenya mirrors that seen in countries such as Sudan. Population growth and expansion of human activity into previously untouched areas also play a part. John Michuki, minister for the environment, says: “Serious droughts have occurred in the last four years, major rivers show reduced volume, and many seasonal ones completely dry up. The consequent crop failures in 2009 placed an estimated 10 million Kenyans, or one in four of the population, at risk of malnutrition.”
There is, however, some hope that the bleak situation facing Kenya can be reversed or at least halted. The hope comes in the form of the legacy of the late Wangari Maathai, the Nobel prize-winning founder of the Green Belt Movement in Kenya. This movement has now secured government support to plant 450m trees each year. There are grand ambitions. The movement wants to enlist the help of thousands of schools, women’s groups and youth organisations to plant tree nurseries and hep to reverse the effects of illegal logging.
It is clear that the Kenyan government must act fast if it is to avert ecological disaster. Its main priority now is to protect the country's five great forests – the upland areas of Mount Kenya, the Aberdares, Mount Elgon, the Mau Forest and the Cherangani Hills. Together, these areas provide over 90% of Kenya’s water and electricity, storing rain in the wet seasons and pumping it out via the rivers during the dry months.
"We are vastly affected by climate change. The trends are now extreme. We are seeing adverse effects everywhere. When no crops grow, we have to seek aid. Our economy is greatly affected, so adaptation is our priority," says Moses Omedi, an official in the environment department.
It is to be hoped that Kenya’s efforts pay dividends and that the country can serve as an example to other African countries facing similar problems. In this respect, Wangari Maathai's legacy lives on.

Eco conscious consumers value the environment over price

Research published in the Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal has once again emphasised that eco conscious consumers are willing to pay a premium for environmentally friendly goods and services. Under the title Framing the Green Alternative for Environmentally Conscious Consumers, the researchers used a series of experiments to show that focusing on the advantages of green products creates a positive impression in the minds of consumers. Whilst this has little impact on price-sensitive consumers with little awareness of environmental impacts, it does increase the purchase likelihood for eco conscious consumers.
We can conclude from these findings that companies who specialise in selling green and fair trade products should not try to compete with generic sellers on a race to the bottom price basis. Instead, green companies should extol the virtues of their products and promote their eco friendly credentials. Eco conscious consumers and general consumers are essentially two different and distinct groups. The latter will always opt for lower prices regardless of the environmental benefits, particularly in times of economic hardship. Green companies, especially those operating in niche markets such as eco friendly insurance, should therefore not try to compete on price alone but should instead seek to appeal to the core group of eco conscious consumers who are actively looking for environmentally friendly alternatives.

For eco conscious consumers, helping to protect the rainforests, foster fair trade, saving endangered species, stabilising population growth and reducing climate change are noble pursuits which sit above purely price considerations.

Carbon offsetting in action

Carbon offsetting schemes have often come under fire, chiefly because some of these schemes have been in dubious projects with limited (and sometimes non-existent) impact on reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
However, genuine carbon reduction schemes do exist and make a valuable contribution to protecting the environment.
One such example is run by the insurance company Climatesure. When you buy a policy, Climatesure will calculate the carbon dioxide you produce by flying overseas and pay for it to be ‘offset’ by Climate Care, a leading carbon offset company. This payment is part of the price, and doesn’t cost you any extra.
One of the projects funded includes renewable power in India, introducing stoves into schools that run off a renewable fuel source, replacing stoves that use fossil fuel LPG. Crop waste is being used to make biomass briquettes for the stoves, providing an extra income to farmers. For the schools this is good news because the new renewable fuel is cheaper. This project is expected to save 11,000 tonnes of carbon emissions.
Another project supplies efficient lighting in South Africa, working with organisations including community groups and housing associations to install energy efficient lighting into people's homes. Most of the lamps are being installed in low income households – and use only a fifth of the electricity when compared to a standard bulb. Expected savings are 14,100 tonnes of carbon emissions.

Benefits of wind farms

In a recent poll by Ipsos Mori it was found that renewables are greatly favoured by the British public over fossil fuels in generating electricity. In fact, more Britons are in favour of subsidies for wind power development than those who are opposed. So it seems that, despite the frantic efforts of wind farm protestors, the balance of public opinion lies heavily with the wind far advocates.
The Ipsos Mori poll found that two thirds of those polled were either strongly in favour or tended to favour wind farms, believing that the impact on the landscape was acceptable.
Those opposing wind farms include the Daily Mail and US property magnate Donald Trump who is famously campaigning against them in Scotland. A new anti-wind farm campaign group has also sprung up called National Opposition to Windfarms.
It is with some amusement when asking wind farm protestors where they believe future energy demands should be met. Fracking and underground explosions polluting water supplies? Oil from despotic regimes who believe in stoning women to death? Coal powered stations belching out pollution and causing smogs? And what happens when these alternative sources run out, given that they are finite?
Opponents of renewable energy also claim that wind farms cost more to build than the electricity that they produce, and that the lights will go out because renewables are unreliable. Again, this is propaganda not substantiated by the evidence. For example, the Scottish government plans to generate all of its electricity from renewables by 2020. With further capacity due to be added after that date, it is set to become a net exporter of electricity to England.
The argument against renewables clearly is inane and short-term, which is why the public is not fooled and remains generally supportive of wind farms and other developing renewable technology. Yet the protests continue, most prominently by the tycoon Donald Trump, who has claimed that Scotland will become a third world wasteland that global investors will avoid.
There is a further, strong case for investment in renewable technologies. That is, they create jobs and stimulate investment. In Scotland alone, its waters are estimated to have a quarter of European potential offshore wind technology, which is forecast to generate about £30bn of investment and lead to the creation of up to 28,000 jobs.
Like fossil fuels, the protestors are relics of a past generation addicted to old oil and coal, destined to be left behind in the unstoppable momentum towards a cleaner and ecologically brighter future.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Essence of Eden

Trading since the spring of 2004 and celebrating their “Ten Year Anniversary” in spring 2014, Essence of Eden has a lot to be proud of. They were recently selected as a Finalist in the Quality Food Awards and also received a Gold Award in the Organic Food Awards.  Add this to their existing level of awards for product quality, consistency of supply and customer service all add up to an exceptional little company.
Starting with the Quality Food Awards, Simon Wright, Food Consultant and Chair of the QFA Judging Panel stated “Every Year the Quality Food Awards provides us with a glimpse of what is possible when the best food and drink producers focus on making something extraordinary. This year was no exception”
The Quality Food Award accolades are the most difficult to win in the food and drink business sector. So for Essence of Eden to be selected as a Finalist as a small producer  amongst the giants of Tesco, Aldi, Lidl , Sainsbury, Asda, Marks & Spencer, The Cooperative and others is no small accomplishment. So congratulations to all the Finalists and all the Winners of each category.
With over 1000 products submitted and over a 100 judges, the QFA of 2013 was a record breaker!  This award process is not a blind tasting session, but an analysis of the whole product. Value for money, quality of product, packaging, labelling and those that meet customer demand in all aspects.  The awards now in their 40th year are well placed to make such judgements.
The Organic Food Awards and the Free From Food Awards are run as blind tasting sessions, which are most useful.
This process is conducted via a panel of judges who do not know which company is behind the product they are tasting until all is revealed and Essence of Eden have been awarded a total of five awards to date, the only coconut oil to do so.  In 2004 when Essence of Eden was born, it was out of sheer desperation to have access to a top quality oil as what was available was gravely below standard, even though top prices were applied. It made it very difficult to determine top quality oil from those that were being made available as a food.  With blind tasting awards it put a stop to that scenario. 
And although Essence of Eden does not have the Fair Trade logo they are Fairly Traded as the price paid is above and beyond.  Each logo adds to the cost of producing the product which is then clawed back by adding to the price to the customer. We would rather give the annual fee direct to the farmer and quietly lead the way based on what we know to be morally right, even if that means paying quite a bit extra for our raw materials. We appreciate that the Fair Trade Organisation is absolutely necessary due to the majority wanting to purchase raw materials at base cost, believing it to make good business sense. We beg to differ, we don’t think it is good for business and are happy to pay a rate above being sustainable and so are our customers when they understand our stance on the issue. More importantly so are our farmers!  Not to say we will never go the Fair Trade route, even if it is just to ensure the correct public perception of what we stand for..........
Thank you for supporting all involved...........

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Global SeeSaw

With Christmas less than a month away, many people are busy with buying gifts for family and friends and overwhelmed by the number of choices that need to be made.

For many, life becomes that bit more complicated as the “need to get presents bought” competes with values and the desire to “do Christmas differently.”

Our friends have told us how they want to avoid retail giants such as Amazon for a wide number of reasons. Others have said how important gifts are that make a real difference to both those who make them and those who receive them. We think that is where we can help.
Each one of the items listed on our website are handmade by great people at social businesses’ where the employees are at the centre. They do not cut staff to slash costs and increase profits for owners. Instead it is the staff who are the key people. Through running as a clear social enterprise we use business as a tool to move people out of poverty and exploitation. We believe business can make a real difference and whether Christmas or not, we make sure people are empowered and lives changed.
In the last few months we have revamped our website and have both new and popular existing products.  Why not help us to help you this Christmas and visit our online shop to find great presents which show that you have thought of people.

Toucan Eco Cleaner

If you are looking for something new and exciting in the world of cleaning the Toucan-Eco™ stands out as a real innovation. Imagine making a low cost and effective combined cleaner/disinfectant from a simple solution of salt and water using electro chemical activation.
  • The activated fluid is inexpensive to produce
  • It is made fresh on the spot
  • It is safe to use around people and animals
  • It will replace most other chemicals
  • It cleans and disinfects brilliantly
  • Suitable for use in the home and commercial sector.
  • Tried and Tested

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

EcoKnit Quick Drying Snag Free Towels & Robes

Welcome to EcoKnit Quick Drying Snag Free Towels & Robes. EcoKnit products have been designed to save you money, this they guarantee. From quicker drying times to longer lasting towels you will be amazed of the benefits EcoKnit products can provide to you and the environment. Cut your laundering time and costs considerably with EcoKnit quick drying snag free products and enjoy hassle free, environmentally friendly laundering. No More Lengthy Laundering times, No More High Energy bills, No More Snags, Reduced Water consumption and Reduce your Carbon Footprint.

Free UK home improvements with Green Deal

Free UK home improvements with Green Deal

Want to make your home more energy-efficient without having to provide money upfront? This is where the Green Deal can help. The Green Deal is the government’s plan to help households become more energy efficient without upfront costs to pay for the improvements. This plan was set in place from 28th January 2013, so you can now get funding of up to £10,000 to help pay for your home energy improvement measures. Therefore, instead of using your savings or taking out loans to install your improvement measures such as loft insulation, solid wall insulation, double glazing, renewable energy systems or even a new boiler, you can take out a long-term Green Deal finance package instead that is attached to your property.
The Green Deal is available to everyone so anyone can benefit from a Green Deal assessment at their home in the UK. If you are interested in improving your home’s energy efficiency then read on.

What happens next?
If you are interested in the Green Deal you will need to undergo an inspection of your home by a local certified Green Deal Assessor. The Green Deal assessment process is made up of two main parts, the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and an Occupancy Assessment (OA) so that your assessor can give you specific recommendations tailored to your energy usage and the fabric of your home.

The EPC determines your home’s energy performance; your assessor will walk around your home making a floor plan, taking photos as supporting evidence and look at what your home is built with. This is non-evasive so your assessor will not venture anywhere that is locked or lift boards. The OA is the second section of the assessment, where your personal energy usage is measured. The sort of questions you can expect to be asked include, what temperature your thermostat is set to and what your heating timings are set to. You will also go through your energy bills with the assessor so they can input how much you currently spend on energy.
Depending on the results from the assessment your Green Deal assessor will not only give you recommendations that you can get through the Green Deal but they will also advise you on how you might be wasting energy in your everyday routine and which measures you can put in place to suit your lifestyle and home. Therefore, creating a Green Deal Plan specifically tailored to your preferences and property. Your plan also contains the financial terms and agreements and the customer protection measures such as guarantees and warranties to cover the installation and measures.

After your Green Deal assessment

Once your Green Deal plan has been created it needs to be assessed by a Green Deal Provider who will approve and arrange your finances to cover your home improvements installations. Your provider is responsible for your finance funding, over-seeing the installation of your energy measures and dealing with your queries and for providing information when a new bill payer moves in.

Once your home improvements have been approved and finance has been put in place you can start having your energy efficiency measures installed at your property. However, only an authorised Green Deal installer carrying a Green Deal quality mark can install your improvements to ensure that you will be eligible for the Green Deal finance.

There are over 40 different energy efficient measures available for installation at your property, including, boilers, home insulation, electric storage heaters and microgeneration products such as air and ground source heat pumps, solar PV, solar thermal and biomass boilers to name a few. These home improvements will not only improve your comfort of living but also reduce costs and CO2 emissions.

Article written by Liverpool Green Deal Upgrade, your local Green Deal Assessor for homes in Liverpool and the rest of the UK.