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What we learned this week

Honey Care Africa is a nice little project addressing poverty through sustainable beekeeping. Duncan Green rightly points out that we might be concerned about inequality, but we actually know far too little about how to reduce it. Generaytor is an online community for solar power. You can join and compare your solar system to others […]

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eiffel-tower detail

Building of the week – the Eiffel Tower

Being of historic or cultural importance doesn’t need to be a barrier to refitting a building, as we’ve seen with Number 10 Downing Street. Here’s another example – the iconic Eiffel Tower. It was built in 1889 as the grand entrance to the Paris World Fair, held to mark the centenary of the French Revolution. […]

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the earth will teach you

On green living as a virtue

Last week I was reading The Earth will teach you by Kevin Durrant, a little book on ecology and theology. One little section that I found useful was a discussion of ‘consequentialist’ and ‘virtue’ ethics. A consequentialist approach to ethical living “involves performing good actions because we can see or imagine the beneficial consequences those […]

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clouds hart lane

Four reasons to look up more often

I’ve never really gone in for new year’s resolutions, but I sometimes set a broad and vague challenge to myself in January. This year I thought I would pay more attention to the sky, and I’ve been reading about weather and clouds and stars. Having done so for six weeks, I’m convinced it was a […]

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What we learned this week

Everyone’s been recommending it to me, and it is indeed well worth a listen if you’ve got half an hour – Robert Peston’s radio series The Price of Inequality. When we renovated our house I debated taking up the downstairs floorboards and insulating underneath, and decided it was too much work. Now I discover I […]

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Saving paper with disappearing ink

Decades on from the anticipated ‘paperless office’, global paper consumption continues to rise. More paper is recycled than ever before, but the rising demand from developing economies is piling the pressure on the world’s forests. It is estimated that 200 million trees were cut down to provide China with paper in 2013. That is driving […]

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Take a bite of Oxfam’s UK doughnut

In 2009 Johan Rockstrom and colleagues at the Stockholm Resilience Center published the Planetary Boundaries report. It identified nine environmental boundaries, and within them, a ‘safe space for humanity’. Kate Raworth, at Oxfam at the time, then added another element. Looking at the famous circular chart of the boundaries, she realised that no environmental impact […]

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leaf co2 offsets

What is carbon insetting?

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about ‘carbon onsetting’ as a creative alternative to carbon offsetting. And then no sooner was the metaphorical print dry on that blog post, I came across ‘carbon insetting’. So what’s that when it’s at home? And does it matter? Unlike ‘onsetting’, which is more of an eye-catching name […]

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A rare show of unity on climate change

You might have missed it among the other news, but over the weekend there was a notable moment of unity in British politics as the leaders of the three main parties signed a joint statement on climate change. This is a rare enough occurrence, particularly during election years, so it’s great to see. The agreement […]

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straw houses bristol

Building of the week: Bristol’s straw houses

There was a bit of a buzz in the green building world this week around the announcement of a new development of straw bale houses. It’s the first time that straw bale houses have been built for the open market. All previous examples have been self-build eco-home projects, and it’s great to see the technique […]

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