Archive for ‘Eco Gifts & Gadgets’


02
MAR

Lets Get Energized says:
Spring Prize Draw: Win the original Wonderbag portable slow cooker


Category: Competitions & Giveaways, Eco Gifts & Gadgets, Energy Efficiency
Tags: , ,


wonderbag-photo

Win a wonderful Wonderbag worth £30

We’ve got another fantastic prize for Lets Get Energized subscribers this Spring!

Wonderbag is a simple but revolutionary, non-electric portable slow cooker. 

It continues to cook food which has been brought to the boil by conventional methods for up to 8-12 hours without the use of additional electricity or fuel. It’s said that “The Wonderbag Will Change The Way You Slow-Cook Forever”.

It’s simple: you can boil it, bag it, slow cook it, then share it! The Wonderbag is made from Polycottons inside and out, filled with polystyrene.

WONDERBAG How does it work vers2 from Heidi Otto on Vimeo.

The story behind the Wonderbag

The Wonderbag was designed by Sarah Collins, an amazing woman who has devoted her entire life to searching for ways to empower people in rural Africa, especially women.

Inspired by the San people who bury food in the ground while they are cooking she says, “I thought to myself, ‘This is the oldest technology in the world.'” Wonderbags were originally created for poor families in Africa, to cut down the amount of costly firewood they need for cooking. And for every Wonderbag purchased in North America today, one is donated to a family in need in Africa, and so drastically changes the life of the family who receives the bag and becomes a catalyst out of poverty.

Sarah’s goal is to sell one hundred million Wonderbags worldwide, helping over a billion people. “It empowers consumers, by giving them innovative ways to be part of the solutions that the world is looking for.”

Read the full story here >>

Eco-friendly & perfect for picnics this Spring!

The Wonderbag is an extremely well-insulated cooking bag that keeps anything – from meaty stews and vegetable curries to simple rice and soups – cooking for hours without using any power, saving time, money and reducing energy use.

It’s clever insulating properties allow food that has been brought to the boil to finish cooking without extra heat. This greatly reduces the use of additional energy, and means you can cook appetising, hot meals while saving time, energy and money.  It’s ideal for home cooked hot dinners, camping, outdoor festivals and picnics.

imagehandler-ashx

Sign up & Get Energized for the chance to win a Wonderbag!

This wonderful jazzy patterned purple Wonderbag (pictured above) has been very kindly donated to us by STIR Into Action who use their own Wonderbag at all their workshops.

The competition has been extended and ends at midnight UK time on 30th April 2015 and the lucky winner will be picked at random from all our e-newsletter subscribers on 1st May.

Simply sign up to our e-newsletter, if you haven’t already, for the chance to win.

Click here to enter our prize draw >>

Look out for the announcement of last month’s competition winner who can take advantage of STIR Into Action‘s Workshop on Renewable Energy Co-ops on 6th & 7th June 2015 in Bridport, Dorset. As soon as we have checked they are available for the weekend we can announce!



15
DEC

Anna Celeste Watson says:
Anna’s Top 10 Ecotopia Gifts for an Eco-Friendly Christmas


Category: Eco Gifts & Gadgets, Energy Efficiency, Sustainable Living
Tags: ,


In case you hadn’t noticed, Lets Get Energized are giving away another fab Ecotopia shop voucher worth £30 in our monthly prize draw here, and I couldn’t help noticing that they have lots of fab new products available this year, which I’ve got my eye on myself! So… here is my Christmas wishlist for some top eco gifts…

(Do check out our team’s wishlist from last year too here – Booja Booja chocolate truffles and Lush Comforter Bath Bombs are still on my list this year too – can never have enough of those!!!)

ecotopia-human-being-tshirt

Human Being Womens T-Shirt

These supercool Human Being Not in danger of extinction tees are produced under the Global Organic Textile Standards (G.O.T.S) from 100% organic cotton using only renewable energy from wind & solar power and approved by the Carbon Trust (UK) for reductions in CO2 emissions.The Fair Wear Foundation (FWF) has audited the entire production chain for correct ethical labour practices.

ecotopia-bath-bombs

6 Cupcake Bath Melts In A Box

Love the look of this box of natural bath melts. Apparently each will leave your skin moisturised and the aroma is described as simply divine! All made with essential oils and natural cocoa and shea butters each one is hand molded and decorated with flower petals or pressed flowers. I’m not the most girly of girls but most of us like a little pampering now and again!

ecotopia-butterfly-bom

Kabloom Butterflybom

Our butterflies need all the help they can come the Summer and I love seeing them in our garden (Peacock butterflies are my fave)! This little ‘bom’ contains a wildflower mix loved by brilliant butterflies and other pollinating insects. You trigger your seedbom by placing it in water until soaked. Then you throw the seedbom into abandoned and derelict ground and then it grows March til May. Seedboms are made with an expolsive mix of peat free organic compost, coir and a selection of flower seeds embedded in a recycled paper shell. They are handmade in the UK from recycled, organic, eco-friendly and biodegradable materials. The packaging is produced from 95% pre and post consumer recycled waste, is printed using vegetable based inks and is glue free.

ecotopia-bike-fish-thsirts

Bike Fish Womens T-Shirt

More cool tees! The idea here is that alone we are little fish but together we will have our day! Another 100% Organic Cotton t-shirt, produced under the Global Organic Textile Standards (G.O.T.S) from 100% organic cotton using only renewable energy from wind & solar power and approved by the Carbon Trust (UK) for reductions in CO2 emissions.The Fair Wear Foundation (FWF) has audited the entire production chain for correct ethical labour practices.

ecotopia-bat-box

Original Bat Box

Bats are in need of habitat as many of their roosting places have been lost over recent years. We have bats that fly around outside our house so they may even be living in our loft, otherwise the big lime trees along our road, but I would still love to help them out with a special cosy home! This high capacity bat box offers two chambers and a valuable high capacity roost for a variety of species. It will fit into any garden, woodland, or a house wall site. Made from solid, high quality, durable FSC timber it provides longevity and excellent insulation. The narrow entrance slot and strong timber help to discourage predators. A swing panel at the base allows for cleaning, if required.

ecotopia-wooden-skittles

Wooden Skittles Set

Bring the fun of skittles to your home! This looks like one game our small garden may actually allow us to enjoy! The aim of this traditional bowling game is to knock all the skittles down with as few attempts as possible. It can also be played indoors.

ecotopia-Rowan-Washbag-Susie-Faulks

Rowan Bird Oilcloth Washbag By Susie Faulks

This vegan-friendly oilcloth washbag in an original Rowan Bird design is fully lined with a good quality waterproof lining and top zip fastening. Perfect for potions, lotions and make-up which is what I would use it for (for my animal-friendly make-up of course)!

ecotopia-charchoal-water-filters

Bamboo Charcoal Water Filters 8 Piece

Not the most exciting looking of the items on my wishlist, but I’d really like to try this! Bamboo charcoal is a refreshingly simple and natural way of filtering tap water. Just leave it in a jug filled with tap water and it will slowly filter out impurities such as chlorine and chloramines make your water tastier and free from typical tap water odour. Bamboo charcoal’s incredible filtering ability comes from its super porous structure – some may find it hard to believe but 1g of high quality bamboo charcoal has a surface area equivalent of up to 3 tennis courts. It works like a sponge and absorbs impurities into its pores. Other woods can be used to make charcoal for filtering water but the larger number of porous cavities in bamboo charcoal is considered to give it better filtering abilities – 3 times greater per gramme than wood charcoal. As a fast growing plant, supply is abundant and sustainable.

ecotopia-me-my-birds

Me & My Birds Cake Kit Refill

I love feeding the birds in my garden and get very worried about them in cold Winter weather when they need extra help. The Me & My Birds refill is a pack of replacement feed and magic mix for the Me & My Birds Wild Bird Kit and has everything you need to make the bird food for your kit. Each refill will make about 12 cup cakes and also several log refills. If you fancy reading my blog for The Compassion Collective about Feeding the Birds this Winter do check it out on this link.

ecotopia-radio-shower

Water Powered Shower Radio

Last but not least, this is the world’s first shower radio powered by the pressure of the water alone! It never needs batteries, and costs nothing to run. The radio automatically starts when the shower is turned on, and is powered by an ingenious small hydro turbine. This coupled with a built-in rechargeable battery, allows energy to be stored as well as playing the radio, so it will to continue to play after the shower is turned off and the last station and volume level are automatically stored after use ready for your next shower. It’s incredibly easy to fit. Simply fit between the existing shower hose and tap – no tools required, just unscrew the existing fixings! Sounds good to me!

There’s lots more eco Christmas gift ideas at the Ecotopia shop here: www.ecotopia.co.uk/promotions/feature-pages/christmas-gift-ideas

Make sure you order by midday 19th December though to get your delivery in time for Christmas!

Bon Noel : )


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • Erik Blakeley comments:
    "Bah Humbug – not really!
    As we approach Christmas again I find myself in a bit of a dilemma. What do I say about the sort of Eco-friendly stocking fillers featured elsewhere in the blog? On the one hand I do like to give and receive gifts and there are some nifty things around with varying degrees of eco-friendliness. However should we advertise them? By labelling things as “must haves” etc we buy into the concept of consumerism, especially Christmas as a consumer fest, that is a major part of the problem we face today with an ever expanding economy in a world of finite resources. It is very hard to tell people that you don’t need to spend thousands on expensive gifts in huge numbers, many of which are really just a bit of fun and may not even be wanted by the recipient and then say that you really should be buying these fair trade, sustainably farmed, plant extract body washes etc. We saw the very worst of the Christmas consumerism in the Black Friday coverage. If you are happy in your relationships then lots of extravagant gifts might just get in the way of a good Christmas. How many parents are tired and irritable with their kids on Christmas Day because they dashed out of work early on Christmas Eve and spent half the evening fighting for that last special gift? If you are not happy in your relationships then trying to buy your way to happiness with gifts is very unlikely to succeed. In fact, as many relationships founder due to money worries, it is a vicious circle. More and more these days I am giving donations to charities as Christmas and Birthday gifts. The charities usually send you a card and a certificate you can wrap up and put under the tree and you know that the money donated will be used well by the charity of your choice. Encouraged by my better half I have also got over my previous embarrassment not to say snobbery over buying gifts in Charity shops thereby combining a triple whammy of virtue by getting a relatively cheap present that has been recycled and supporting another of my favourite causes. Have a merry, relaxed and low impact Christmas! "

    December 19, 2014 a 8:50 am


05
DEC

Lets Get Energized says:
December Prize Draw: Win a £30 voucher to spend online at Ecotopia


Category: Competitions & Giveaways, Eco Gifts & Gadgets, Sustainable Living
Tags:


 

Great news! We’ve got another £30 Ecotopia voucher to win in our December Prize Draw! The prize will be in the form of a unique online voucher code you can use until the end of June 2015.

Plus if you spend over £50 your delivery will be free too.

The competition ends at midnight UK time on 5th January 2015 and the lucky winner will be picked at random from all our e-newsletter subscribers on 6th January.

CONGRATULATIONS TO LAST MONTH’S WINNER JASON LYLE who has also won a £30 Ecotopia voucher we hope he will enjoy spending this Christmas!

Click here to enter our prize draw >>

‘Shop Your Principles’ for great eco gifts at Ecotopia

Ecotopia is about harnessing the power of shopping, to change the world.

Their eco-friendly products range from; organic food, eco cleaning and natural bodycare, to energy saving devices, or you can choose some lovely gifts for the home and garden such as their grow your own kits and seed bombs, to a funky range of organic t-shirts and clothing for men, women and children.

Ecoptia say, “We spend our money where we have a chance to make a difference. Money makes the world go round after all… and it’s our choice which way round it goes. The things we buy can reinforce the status quo, or support a better way of doing things. Everything you’ll find in Ecotopia supports a better way of doing things – whether it’s Fairtrade, organic or sustainably sourced – there’s a social, ethical or environmental benefit inherent in everything we sell. We’re here to help you ‘Shop your Principles’”

Sounds great to us, so make sure you enter and good luck : )

Check out the online Ecotopia shop on www.ecotopia.co.uk

Click here to enter our prize draw >>



31
OCT

Lets Get Energized says:
Win a £30 voucher to spend online at Ecotopia in our November Prize Draw Competition


Category: Competitions & Giveaways, Eco Gifts & Gadgets, Sustainable Living
Tags: ,


 

This November we are offering a fantastic prize of a £30 voucher to spend online at Ecotopia in the form of a unique online voucher code you can use until the end of June 2015 (although we reckon it could be used to get some great gifts in time for Christmas!).

Plus if you spend over £50 your delivery will be free too.

The competition ends at midnight UK time on 30th November and the lucky winner will be picked at random from all our e-newsletter subscribers in December 2014.

CONGRATULATIONS to last month’s competition winner LAUREN SCOTT in Leicestershire who has won a selection of Respect Organics cakes that she tells us her uni flatmates are looking forward to sharing with her (!) as well as a gorgeous ‘Cooking from the farmer’s market’ cookbook we hope she will also enjoy.

Click here to enter our prize draw >>

‘Shop Your Principles’ for great eco gifts at Ecotopia

Ecotopia is about harnessing the power of shopping, to change the world.

Their eco-friendly products range from; organic food, eco cleaning and natural bodycare, to energy saving devices, or you can choose some lovely gifts for the home and garden such as their grow your own kits and seed bombs, to a funky range of organic t-shirts and clothing for men, women and children.

Ecoptia say, “We spend our money where we have a chance to make a difference. Money makes the world go round after all… and it’s our choice which way round it goes. The things we buy can reinforce the status quo, or support a better way of doing things. Everything you’ll find in Ecotopia supports a better way of doing things – whether it’s Fairtrade, organic or sustainably sourced – there’s a social, ethical or environmental benefit inherent in everything we sell. We’re here to help you ‘Shop your Principles’”

Sounds great to us, so make sure you enter and good luck : )

Check out the online Ecotopia shop on www.ecotopia.co.uk

Click here to enter our prize draw >>



28
OCT

Jacob Windsor says:
Why LED bulbs are a bright idea


Category: Eco Gifts & Gadgets, Energy Efficiency
Tags:


eco-led-bulbs

Would you like to save money and improve the environment?

Now that the clocks have gone back and the nights are drawing in it’s time to think about how we can use electricity more efficiently – so switching to LED bulbs makes real sense.

Save energy with LEDs

LED bulbs are the most energy efficient and eco friendly way to light your home. All LEDs from the Ecotopia shop come in the same shapes and sizes as conventional light bulbs and last for up to 22 years.

We worked out that you could possibly save over £120 by switching one halogen spotlight for an LED equivalent over the course of its lifetime.

Ecotricity are offering you some of the most competitively priced LEDs on the market, and we have over 90 lines for you to choose from :-)

FREE LED torch with every LED bulb order at Ecotopia!

eco-led-torch

Plus, as a gift to you, we’re giving away a FREE LED torch with every LED bulb order, while stocks last!

Go shopping at Ecotopia now >>



18
JUL

Anna Celeste Watson says:
Top 5 Eco Essentials for the Festival Season


Category: Eco Gifts & Gadgets
Tags:


We’re truly into festival season now, so it’s time to get your wellies on and listen to some live music in a hopefully sunny but probably soggy field (well, let’s face it you can’t rely on the British weather and that’s a fact!).

In a bid to become Britain’s greenest festival this year Glastonbury encouraged all traders and festival goers to drink from reusable bottles rather than disposable ones. It’s also the fab Tolpuddle Festival in Dorset this weekend, so here is our top 5 list of products for ideas on how you can be as green as possible at festivals this year, and most are available online from Ecotopia so you can save on postage getting them all together too!

 

Essential Eco Festival Kit

1. Essential Eco Festival Kit Special Offer £28.46

Ecotopia’s Essential Eco Festival Kit is designed to see you through your favourite festival in true eco style. It includes Ecoleaf toilet rolls (how decadent!), a Bentley Organic Hand Sanitizer and a reusable Ohyo Water Bottle.

 

Outdoor Eco Festival Kit

2. Outdoor Eco Festival Kit From £21.99

Light up the Eco BBQ for some delicious food during your festival weekend. Make sure you’re eating free range, better still organic meat, or I highly recommend enjoying some meat-free burgers or veggie sausages if you really want to be eco – VegiDeli Meat-Free Quarter Pounder Burgers are my absolute favourite and are available in all good healthshops, and I don’t think you can beat Linda McCartney Vegetarian Sausages in a hotdog, (both are vegan-friendly) available at most supermarkets (I also recommend bbq-ed onions and smothering everything in ketchup and mayo!). If you’ve got the room and a chillbox then take salad, and ready-cooked baby new potatoes and corn on the cobs to bbq too, yum! If you don’t buy the Essential Eco Festival Kit above then this kit also comes with a wind up Collapsible Lantern to brighten up your evenings and you can avoid bites with the Natural Insect Repellent.

 

Freeloader Pico Solar Charger

3. Freeloader Pico £24.99

The Freeloader is a compact and lightweight solar charger for mobile devices and is great for people on the move (and at festivals!). Pico charges in 10 hours using the sun, 3-4 hours when plugged in, and comes with a number of connector tips for charging multiple devices. I’d like to think festival-goers could get back to nature in the great outdoors and live without their mobiles for a day or two… but most of us just can’t resist checking messages or sharing photos and videos on facebook so best to be prepared!!!

 

Spudcoat Biodegradable Raincoat

4. Spudcoat from £5.99

Okay it doesn’t look very cool at all but sometimes dismal weather calls for desperate measures, and it also doesn’t feel very cool getting soaking wet!!! Stay dry at festivals this season with the (not-so!) trendy Spudcoat. It can be worn over and over again, is made from potato starch bioplastic and has seeds embedded in it – so once you’re finished with your coat you can plant it in the garden and it will grow into cucumber or tomato plants – how cool is that!!! They are perfect for adults and children alike as they come in two sizes.

 

compassionate-tees

5. Compassionate Tees from £15.10 / £20.10 Organic

To counteract the possible threat of having to wear a Spud/Rain Coat (!) I recommend standing out from the crowd in one of Compassionate Dorset’s cow t-shirts, or their new ‘100% Organic’ t-shirt in you’ve guessed it, 100% organic cotton. All profits are donated to the leading farm animal welfare charity Compassion in World Farming to help end factory farming which is the biggest cause of cruelty to animals and environmental destruction on the planet, so you’ll look cool and feel good too!

 

Have fun and please let us know which festivals you’ve gone to and how you get on with any of these products by posting your comments below, or recommend more eco festival essentials!



29
JAN

Sophia Karlberg says:
The Wind Tree – Innovative Silent Wind Power from France!


Category: Eco Gifts & Gadgets, Wind Power
Tags: ,


I absolutely love this new invention! Designed by French company NewWind, The Wind Tree (Arbre à Vent) is an innovative concept to exploit the airflow passing through the urban or peri-urban areas thanks to its rotating leafs.

The Wind Tree is a wind system whose leaves act like many mini wind turbines capable of providing power and energy autonomy. Clearly, it’s an artistic version of our traditional wind turbines. The major advantage of the Wind Tree is that it can be established everywhere, both in towns and in the country, in perfect harmony with its environment and it’s of course silent!

By lowering the starting threshold for these ultralight turbines, 2 m /s wind speed instead of 3 or 4 m /s for conventional turbines equivalent power, it is possible to operate these trees wind up to 200 days year instead of the usual 100 to 110 days. The trunk steel carries a structure able to withstand raffals of strong wind.

Two trunk sizes 8m and 12m are available in order to stay below the limit that requires a building permit (France). Micro -generated electricity is multiplied by as many leaves as a tree has to reach the required minimum power. From a base, anyone can compose the Wind Tree of his choice to get the power he wants, simply by reducing or increasing the number of leafs / turbines on the branches themselves removable. Its leaves are being clipped by a simple Plug & Play, one can intervene on a leaf without the rest of the production is stopped.

For example; an 8 meters tree with branches including 100 leafs could produce up to 3.5 kWh of electricity, adequate for a household of 4 people.

3 Wind Trees can provide 10.5 kW, enough to recharge your electric car at home or at the parking lot of your business or your usual supermarket.

These charging stations are essential to the development of using electric vehicles.

The average unit price of the system is around 16,000 euros. NewWind has an international patent since October 2012.

The Wind Tree is not only a simple innovation, it is also a beautiful and esthetic innovation! This renewable source is perfectly suited for the local authorities market.

You can view the website (and let Google translate into English) at: www.arbre-a-vent.fr /www.arbre-a-vent-blog.fr



13
DEC

Lets Get Energized says:
The Dorset Energizers Recommended Top 25 Eco Christmas Gifts


Category: Climate Change, Eco Gifts & Gadgets, Sustainable Living
Tags: , , , , , ,


With Christmas around the corner and people rushing around finishing off their Christmas shopping, we thought we’d ask our voluntary team of ‘Energizers’ here at Dorset Energized to share their top eco xmas gift ideas…

…So here they are! We hope they will inspire you to find or to give something a bit different and special this year, and we’ve given links to places you can buy online but of course if you can support your local retailers, bookshops or garden centres instead then even better!

Stu’s Eco Xmas List (Illustrator/Designer)

eco-tiger-kids-torch

1. Wind Up Tiger Torch
www.nationalgallery.co.uk/products/childrens/toys/p_1033199
Stu stumbled across this little stocking filler through the National Gallery as part of their Tiger range which is inspired by the main character featured in artist Henri Rousseau’s ‘Surprised Tiger in a tropical Storm’ painting. This ingenious wind-up tiger torch with carry strap uses no batteries at all – just harness your child’s (or big child in Stu’s case!) energy to pump the tiger’s arm and trigger the dynamo mechanism that will keep it shining in the dark. Useful, fun and definitely cute, this is a great, eco-friendly toy that simply won’t run out of steam. The wind-up torch is made by Ecotronic toys whose battery free products are also packaged in recycled, biodegradable cardboard.

imac-pet-bed

2. Upcycled Apple iMac Computer Pet Bed by Atomic Attic
www.etsy.com/uk/listing/171066424/upcycled-apple-computer-pet-bed-imac?ref=favs_view_4
This is pure genius and the ultimate in up-cycling!!! It’s a converted old imac computer turned into a cosy pet bed for cats and small dogs. Stu and Anna are holding onto their old blue imac in the hope it will appear on the Antiques Roadshow one day (!) but luckily for now they can buy one of these for their pussy cats to cat-fight over in a choice of colours from Atomic Attic’s handmade shop at Etsy.

solar-keyboard

3. Logitech wireless solar powered keyboard for Mac
www.logitech.com/en-gb/product/wireless-solar-keyboard-k750-mac
Wireless keyboards are brilliant, especially since these days so many of us are watching films and TV online – now we don’t need to be chained to our desk. But they eat through batteries. This smart design from Logitech puts pay to that, charging itself with lamplight or sunlight, outdoors and indoors. And on a full charge it works for at least three months, even in total darkness! The keyboard is only 1/3 of an inch thick, and boasts the traditional Mac layout we’re all familiar with. Plus, its advanced 2.4 GHz wireless connection virtually eliminates delays, dropouts and interference. Now we just need one for PCs and solar powered tablets too!

solar-radio

4. Solar or Hand Crank Powered AM/FM Radio
www.usefulthings.com/shop/home/solar-hand-crank-radio.php
Stu’s got this handy AM/FM radio on his wishlist! Powered by the sun’s rays it will play for seven hours when fully charged. Or use the hand crank on rainy days. Turn it for just one minute and the radio will play back for about thirty minutes. The Solar Radio measures just 3.25″ x 3″ x 2.25″ which makes it extremely portable. Perfect for camping, doing the dishes or working in the garden. Batteries not included because no batteries or plug-in required!

Anna’s Eco Xmas List (Web Designer)

Anna says “I’ve got loads of things on my wishlist so maybe I’m just greedy (!) although some things I got last year for xmas and highly recommend! As an animal lover and vegan a lot of them revolve around animals or food (as Stu pointed out to me!), but then what girl doesn’t love a good cookbook, some chocs, smellies or a cute cuddly animal?!!!”

wwf-threadless-melting-tshirt

5. ‘Melting Away’ Polar Bear T-Shirt by Threadless
www.threadless.com/product/4608/Melting_Away/tab,guys
This design by Jana Misheva was voted as the winning design at supercool t-shirt shop Threadless in their WWF Design Challenge so 25% of sales from this tee will go to WWF to protect natural species and habitats across the world. This tee is certified organic cotton and printed with water-based inks.

lush-Comforter

6. ‘The Comforter’ Bath Bubble Bar by Lush Cosmetics
www.lush.co.uk/product/408/The-Comforter-Bubble-BaI
This isn’t called ‘The Comforter’ for nothing! This has a warming, comforting and reassuring scent to give the same sense of safety and calm that your favourite teddy, your comfort blanket or a snuggly scarf gives. At times when you feel you need to protect yourself from the world – immerse yourself in this pink bath (but don’t have too many baths of course, it does use a lot of water!) and allow the familiar oils to envelop you in a comforting berry scented embrace. Anna says: “I love all of Lush’ stuff and they are one of the most ethical companies plus they started here in Dorset! But this my absolute favourite – its the most amazing smell in existence, its like berry bubblegum, you could eat it it smells so good!”. Lush, who support many charities and green causes, say that by using a solid bubble bath like this, you are eliminating the need for packaging on your product. Plus liquid products need preservatives, but solid products like this don’t. So it’s better for you and better for the environment; what a comforting thought!

booja-booja-chocolate-truffles-gift-boxes

7. Hazelnut Crunch Chocolate Truffles (and/or Champagne Truffles!) by Booja Booja
www.hollandandbarrett.com/pages/iq.asp?SearchText=booja+booja&Search.x=-1391&Search.y=-121&Search=GO
Anna says that Booja Booja make the most delicious scrumptious chocolates ever – fact!!! (And she has many years experience in these things!). You can buy from your local Dorset health food shop such as Naturalife but they are also available from many resellers online and also at Holland & Barratt. As well as being yummy and vegan friendly, they are also organic.

rivercottage-veg

8. River Cottage ‘Veg Everyday’ Cookbook by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
http://astore.amazon.co.uk/rivecott-21/detail/1408812126
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is a writer, broadcaster and campaigner. His series for Channel 4 have earned him a huge popular following, while his River Cottage books have collected multiple awards. River Cottage started out here in Dorset but has now moved to nearby Axminster, Devon. This books contains so many inspiring mouth-watering recipes that are nearly all suitable for vegetarians as part of Hugh’s (and many people’s) belief that we must all eat less meat to improve farm animal welfare and support sustainable farming for the sake of our health and the planet, so this book really is a must-have for any kitchen!

dorset-wildlife-trust

9. Dorset Wildlife Trust / Wildlife Trusts Membership
www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk/join.html
A great gift for Dorset friends or family and nature lovers – protect local wildlife and take part in events and receive their fantastic magazine and guide to all their local reserves. To find your local Wildlife Trust visit www.wildlifetrusts.org.

dorset-animal-prints

10. Compassionate Dorset Prints – 10% off until 31st December when you quote ‘XMAS2013′
www.etsy.com/uk/shop/CompassionateDorset
Okay, we are biased on this one as these gorgeous prints created and made here in Dorset are by Compassionate Dorset which is a completely voluntary group run by Dorset Energizer’s Anna and Stu to raise awareness and funds for UK animal welfare charities, but several of their prints are on the wishlists of their friends and family and we believe that taking care of animals and nature is an important part of being green for our planet too!

56b81e11-4d55-dc02

11. Rapanui Organic T-Shirts at Ecotopia
‘Cross Top’ www.ecotopia.co.uk/organic-clothing/womens-clothing/organic-t-shirts/cross-top-white
‘Peace Top’ www.ecotopia.co.uk/organic-clothing/womens-clothing/organic-t-shirts/peace-top-black
‘Green Is The New Black’ www.ecotopia.co.uk/organic-clothing/womens-clothing/organic-t-shirts/green-is-the-new-black-organic-womens-t-shirt-white
Anna says “I think one of the best eco t-shirts ever was Rapanui’s ‘Wind Turbine’ tee which sold out a while ago but these tees are pretty cool too and all on organic cotton – cool ethical clothes for the eco-conscious!” If you buy through Ecotopia you will also be supporting renewable energy generation here in the UK.

lorax-book

12. Book: ‘The Lorax’ by Dr. Seuss – available at the Woodland Trust Shop
www.woodlandtrustshop.com/products/409-the-lorax.aspx
So it looks like a film has been made of this but it’s the first time we’ve stumbled across it and looks like a great fun read! Apparantly, the Lorax is the original eco warrior in this Dr Seuss fable about destroying the forests. Packed with zany humour and silly rhymes it delivers an important message – “UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

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13. Give a Hen a Home (but not just for Christmas) – Adopt an ex-battery chicken (or 2, or 3…)
www.bhwt.org.uk
Everyone knows that a dog (or any pet in fact) is for life and not just for Christmas, so whatever you do please do not get anyone a pet as a gift unless you know they are fully committed to the responsibility and cost it entails and have actually asked you for one! Also make sure you get any pets from a rescue centre – there are thousands of animals waiting for a loving new home including from the RSPCA and Cats Protection who are completely inundated. But Anna’s top tip is to adopt some chickens to keep in your garden and enjoy fresh eggs every day the free-range way! The British Hen Welfare Trust rehomes thousands of commercial laying hens destined for slaughter that deserve loving homes and can still lay enough lovely fresh eggs for you and your family for years to come. Anna says “I know so many people here in Dorset who absolutely dote on their ex-batts and say they make great pets!”. Alternatively you can buy some lovely hen related gifts in the BHWT shop too!

Sophia’s Eco Xmas List (Carbon Strategist)

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14. The Alternative Christmas Tree : Christmas Tree Wall Hanging
www.notonthehighstreet.com/betsybenn/product/christmas-tree-wall-hanging
Not something to necessarily buy as a gift but if you haven’t got your Christmas tree yet Sophia says “We bought one at IKEA last year – it’s a prined cotton xmas tree that you hang up on the wall! Use over and over and practical if short on space or if you have a puppy which would chew up the real tree!” There is a whole range available on Not on the High Street for something a bit different!

15. Book: ‘Ecohouse’ (4th edition) by Sue Roaf
www.amazon.co.uk/Ecohouse-Sue-Roaf/dp/0415526779/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1386869064&sr=1-1&keywords=Ecohouse+4th+edition+by+Sue+Roaf
Sue Roaf is famed for her approach to design and her awareness of energy efficiency. In this book she reveals the concepts, structures and techniques that lie behind the realization of her ideals. By using her own house as a case study, Roaf guides the reader through the ideas for energy-efficient design or ‘eco-design’. Now in its fourth edition, the bestselling Ecohouse continues to be both a technical guide and an inspiration for thousands of architects, designers and eco-builders all over the world. Ecohouse provides design information about the latest low-impact materials and technologies, showcasing the newest and best ‘green’ solutions. Revised and updated, this edition also includes new case studies inspiring readers with more real-life examples of how to make an ecohouse work.

seedbomb

16. ‘Seedboms’ by Kabloom at Ecotopia
www.ecotopia.co.uk/ecotopia-shop/home-garden/garden-pets/garden
Small start up garden kits, seeds (like these ‘Seedboms’), how to cultivate your own veg-guides and the like, make lovely gifts for aspiring eco warriors or just for anyone who enjoys lovely flowers in the garden or wants to grow their own veg!

beehive

17. Animal Habitats / Insect Hotels for the Garden
www.ecotopia.co.uk/ecotopia-shop/home-garden/garden-pets/animal-habitats
There are lots of insect, bee, bird, hedgehog homes and more at Ecotopia and hopefully at your local garden or DIY centre. Sophia says “These are really good for biodiversity – we bought one in wood made by the learning disabilities groups in Salisbury and they are decorative too”. Another great gift for nature lovers or gardeners.

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18. Book: ‘Guide to Bees & Honey’ by Ted Hooper
www.amazon.co.uk/Guide-Bees-Honey-Selling-Beekeeping/dp/1904846513
Sophia’s partner Piers is doing a course in 2014 to help save the bees – which of course is vital to sustain bio-diversity and hopefully they’ll get some nice organic honey too – so this handy book is on their xmas wishlist!

Theresa’s Eco Xmas List (Sustainable Projects Manager)

wonderbag-big

19. ‘Wonderbag’
www.nigelsecostore.com/acatalog/Wonderbag.html
Theresa’s partner James has selected a Wonderbag as his eco-gift of the year. Its an extremely well-insulated cooking bag that keeps anything – from meaty stews and vegetable curries to simple rice and soups – cooking for hours without using any power, saving time, money and reducing energy use. Wonderbag’s clever insulating properties allow food that has been brought to the boil to finish cooking without extra heat. This greatly reduces the use of additional energy, and means you can cook appetising, hot meals while saving time, energy and money. Wonderbags were originally created for poor families in Africa, to cut down the amount of costly firewood they need for cooking. It’s ideal for home cooked hot dinners, camping, outdoor festivals and picnics, as it keeps food warm for up to 12 hours.

kelly-kettle

20. ‘Kelly Kettle’
www.kellykettle.com
Theresa has a Kelly Kettle on her xmas wishlist which she hopes to be able to use at her off-grid community garden here in Dorset. It claims to be the most reliable ultra-fast Camping Kettle & Camp Stove for the outdoors!

freeloader

21. Freeloader Solar Powered Charger
www.ecotopia.co.uk/home-garden/energy-saving/electricity-saving/freeloader-solar-powered-charger-pink
Theresa recommends this Freeloader Charger Pack which takes power from its own solar panels or via a supplied charge cable that plugs into a computer’s USB. Freeloader is an advanced portable charging system that can power any hand held device anywhere, anytime. What more could you want? (And it’s even available in pink for girls!).

Simon’s Eco Xmas List (E-Bike Enthusiast)

eagle_lg_stepthrough

22. FreeGo Eagle Electric Bike
http://hantsanddorsetelectricbikes.co.uk/freego_eagle.html
Simon’s No1 fave Ebike is his own Electrified Recumbent, rust an ‘all, but as it’s no longer for sale, Simon says: “I met a couple out on a ride the other day, both with electric bikes and the chap a lifelong road cyclist had done some serious distances on his – and it was a Freego Eagle which he’d bought in Dorset with the 16ah battery – he’d often done 60 miles plus in a day on a single charge on the bike and he loved it – and he was very pleased with the service from the bike shop, Hants and Dorset Electric Bike Co. Two more of his friends had the same bike and were equally as pleased so I would recommend the Freego Eagle as a a top of the range e-bike that is good and reasonably priced bike, and with a good local dealer.”

woodland-trust

23. Have a Tree Planted by the Woodland Trust
www.woodlandtrustshop.com/products/283-plant-a-tree.aspx
An unusual and long term sustainable gift that goes on and on for nature and tree lovers! By contributing to plant a tree at one of the Woodland Trust’s beautiful sites, you will be helping to create a big impact for new woodland throughout the UK. Your donation will contribute to the initial planting of the sapling and also the careful nurturing of the tree and the woodland over the next 12 years, transforming the land into a flourishing forest in just over a decade. The newly planted tree can be dedicated for you too, and you or the recipient will receive a confirmation certificate by post or email.

Cows-Save-the-Planet-cover

24. Book: ‘Cows Save the Planet’ by Judith D Schwartz
www.amazon.co.uk/Cows-Save-Planet-Improbable-Restoring/dp/1603584323
Simon reviewed this book for Dorset Energized back in October and says it is “A fascinating book with many practical examples of how some farmers are working to bring back health to the soil (and thus create healthy plants, and interestingly helping the soil itself absorb atmospheric carbon – which improves the microbial health of the soil, assists in retaining water and of course works to reduce the levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide emitted as a result of burning fossil fuels)… It’s a book I’d recommend for anyone interested in the environment, farming, horticulture, or food and health”.

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25. Book: ‘The One Straw Revolution’ by Masanobu Fukuoka
www.amazon.co.uk/One-Straw-Revolution-Review-Books-Classics/dp/1590173139/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1386870631&sr=1-1&keywords=The+One+Straw+Revolution+by+Masanobu+Fukuoka
Simon recommends this book too – originally published in 1975 but still relevant and an absolute classic. Simon says “Perhaps one of the books that got people worldwide thinking about and more importantly trying out methods of agriculture and horticulture that are based not on tradition, nor science (though not ignoring either), but rather seeking to work with nature. Masanobu Fukuoka used this approach and got yields equal to the most intensive (modern scientific style) farms, while using methods based on minimal intervention where nature is allowed to do what it does best – grow abundantly. The book also has a spiritual side – Masanobu Fukuoka being a contemporary exponent of zen in action”.

We could go on forever recommending more top eco gifts but we hope we’ve given you some interesting ideas for now and for this season of good-will… Please do send us your recommendations too please!


2Comments | Post your own comment

  • Erik Blakeley comments:
    "I know that not many employers are this flexible but it occurs to me that one of the most eco-friendly gifts you could give to someone is to pay for them to take a day’s unpaid leave during which they could stay at home and try to have a little environmental impact as possible by reading one of the many books already on their shelves or taking a long walk around their own area or just staying in bed! We spend so much of our time working at things that don’t really justify the expense of resources and environmental impact maybe it is time we started to question the old work ethic and make a virtue of slowing down even unto sloth. "
    December 9, 2014 a 2:56 pm

  • vince adams comments:
    "What a wonderful list of great idea’s for Christmas, its solved my present list dilemma’s "
    December 9, 2014 a 11:00 am


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