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Five books for teaching children about the environment

I have a lot of books in the house, and we have a lot of children’s books too. I’m a sucker for secondhand books, and regularly pick up new stories for the children. My attention is drawn by good artwork, things that feel distinctive and crafted. I also look out for books with an educational […]

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Hello Tractor: smart farming for Africa

Mobile phones are one of the best documented forms of leapfrogging – when people in developing countries skip a generation of technology. In this case, many households have a mobile phone now without ever having a landline. Because smartphones are so versatile, there’s also an opportunity to skip a whole load of other things. One […]

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Transport innovation of the week: solar trains

Solar power is used on the world’s rail networks in a variety of ways. In Britain we have the solar bridge at Blackfriars, and Belgium has a solar tunnel that feeds into the network. Indian railways are pioneering solar power to run train interiors. So far I’m not aware of anyone directly powering the trains […]

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Building of the week: RenovActive

I’ve been exploring the Active House idea over the last couple of weeks, explaining what it is and then looking at the first building to receive the certification. I’ve got two more posts on the subject, and today I want to look at renovating to Active House standard. This is really important, because we can’t […]

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How waste can save lives and create jobs

On Tuesday I dropped in on the launch event for the Virtuous Circle report, hosted by Tearfund and the Institute for Development Studies. The report is all about how the circular economy can deliver economic growth, create quality jobs, and save lives in developing countries, while improving the environment at the same time. It’s one […]

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The world’s first mall for recycled goods

Last week I wrote about the Edinburgh Remakery, and how they are trying to foster a culture of repair. It’s one of the most shared posts I’ve ever written, and there’s clearly a real interest in this whole idea. Lots of you have been in touch to share similar projects, including this one from Sweden. […]

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Book review: The Myth Gap, by Alex Evans

Alex Evans is campaign director at Avaaz, formerly a Special Advisor and climate negotiator, and – where I first came across him – a blogger at Global Dashboard. He’s someone who has spent his career trying to make a difference at the highest level, and the book was prompted by a rather bitter moment. He […]

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What we learned this week

Want to do something practical about air pollution? Take part in this large scale citizen-science project from Friends of the Earth. While you’re thinking about action, perhaps you’d like to take part in the Global Divestment Mobilisation in May. And can you spare one hour’s salary to help send children to school? My friend Dan […]

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The world’s first certified Active House

Last week I introduced the Active House concept, a new vision for sustainable housing. The ideas have been around for a few years, but it was only recently formalised into a certification scheme. Houses that meet the right criteria can now be labelled with the stamp on the left, and this is the first house […]

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The US states taking action on climate change

Climate change action is firmly off the agenda for America’s new Republican administration. Actually that’s not true. It is on the agenda, but only to water down or remove any current commitments. Though they may change their minds at some point, for now it looks like the US government is only going to make things […]

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