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Silo brighton

Building of the week: the zero waste restaurant

Brighton will soon be home to Britain’s first zero waste restaurant. Called Silo, it will be a restaurant, bakery and coffee house that can seat 50, run by pioneering chef Douglas McMaster out of an old warehouse. The key to zero waste is to plan dishes backwards, working from the bin back to the table. […]

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10,000 African slow food gardens

Four years ago the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity launched a project to create 1,000 slow food gardens in Africa. Last year they passed their target, and having mobilised 50,000 people to take an interest in community food growing, they decided to re-launch with a little more ambition. They now aim to create 10,000 gardens. […]

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Where environmentalism and conservatism overlap

Over the past couple of years, there has been consternation over the appointment of Owen Paterson as Britain’s Environment Secretary, as he didn’t appear to take climate change seriously. He never quite came out and said so, but he never met with climate scientists either and seemed suspicious of green groups. Those fears were confirmed […]

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Russia gas exports

Europe’s dependence on Russian energy

In the wake of the MH17 plane crash, Russia is under renewed pressure to pull back its support for rebel separatists in the Ukraine. Yesterday David Cameron warned of further sanctions. “If Putin does not change his approach to Ukraine in this then Europe and the West must fundamentally change our approach to Russia.” The […]

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The difference between growth and development

Economic growth is a major priority for most governments, and in Britain ‘going for growth’ is a mantra for politicians of all stripes. It is taken for granted that growth in GDP is progress, and therefore success as a nation. But as Ha-Joon Chang describes in Economics: The User’s Guide, growth and progress are not […]

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What we learned this week

I recently wrote about Honda’s Smarthome. This week they emailed to say that they have open sourced the architectural plans, so anyone can learn from the experiment and replicate the bits they like. Thousands of wellies are left behind at music festivals every year in Britain. Festival Reboot collects the Glastonbury ones up and recycles […]

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The world’s most energy efficient economies

Ever wondered which countries are the most energy efficient? The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy has just released its 2014 results. They’ve looked at the world’s 16 largest economies, and assessed their energy efficiency across 31 different factors – some of them policies and some of them performance metrics. Germany comes out on […]

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child hands

Fixing the adoption shortfall

In 1968, there were 25,000 adoptions in Britain. It took an average of four months for each one to go through. Forty years later the wait had stretched to an average of two years, and in 2011 there were just 3,050 adoptions. That was a record low, and turning the trend around is one of […]

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Five ways to encourage car sharing

One of the biggest obstacles to sustainability is car culture. Our whole geography is engineered for the car, and in many places it is hard to get around without one. They’re also important culturally. Cars are status symbols and a source of pride and satisfaction. And certainly in Britain, learning to drive is as close […]

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rapanui factory

Building of the week – Rapanui’s t-shirt factory

A few weeks ago I received a email from the clothing company Rapanui, informing me that because they had opened their own factory, they were reducing their t-shirt prices. What’s interesting is that where most people drive down prices by opening factories overseas, Rapanui have done the globalisation thing in reverse and opened a site […]

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