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Your lifestyle guide to all things eco... May/June 2010

E W !

Why driving an
Aston Martin could
still make you an

Solar Energy
The newest addition
to the Glastonbury

Going organic
between the sheets

A break at an eco-luxe cottage
in the Cotswolds!

Win a break at an
eco-luxe holiday cottage
in the Cotswolds
Primrose Valley Hotel are giving one
lucky greenliving reader the chance
to WIN a two night stay throughout
March and April. To enter, simply
stating your name, address, phone
number, and where you got your copy
of the magazine - good luck!
Terms & conditions apply.

Set in the outstanding Cotswolds area, The Chestnuts is a beautiful
eco-luxe holiday cottage run as a Carbon Neutral Business and is a
member of the Green Tourism Business Scheme. 

he main part of the cottage dates back maintain the garden organically, source natural The Chestnuts are giving one
to the 1850s. It has many original fabrics and buy either organic or fairtrade lucky greenliving reader the
features including a curved stone where possible. chance to WIN a mid-week stay
stairway, beamed ceilings and a large (Monday-Friday) between
inglenook fireplace with bread oven. The The holiday cottage is run as a Carbon September and November.
original building has recently been extended Neutral Enterprise and offset any carbon
and today the property comprises three emissions that they can’t eliminate with the To enter, simply email
bedrooms, two lounges, two luxury bathrooms company co2balance, who audit them
and a separate spa style shower room. All the annually and put a portion of their stating your name, address, phone
rooms are designed in soothing neutral colours contribution to the planting of trees on land number and where you got your
with original art works and artifacts. adjacent to Summercombe Wood in Somerset. copy of the magazine – good luck!

The owners are committed to reducing waste Every care is taken to use and provide for Terms and Conditions:
and encouraging sustainability, providing guests products that are kinder to the planet, Not redeemable during bank holidays
recycling bins, compost bins and reusable resulting in a heavenly getaway where luxury or school holidays.
shopping bags to their guests. They also and sustainability meet.

4 May / June 2010

Holly Aurelius-Haddock
Assistant Editor:
Faye Allen
Art Director:
Chris Jones
Daniel Wild
Isn’t it funny what
Advertising: you remember as
a child?
Simon Temme
Molly Conisbee, Bill Gething, Rebecca Gooch,
Richard Spalding, Guy Watson. Most of my stand out memories are those
you’d expect for someone so hopelessly
greenliving Magazine clumsy: the moment of dread before
151-153 Wick Road, Brislington, Bristol, BS4 4HH
Tel: 01179 779188 | Visit: losing my footing on the stairs (a weekly occurence), the pungent smell of
antiseptic and the instant consolation of a Winnie the Pooh plaster.
Please send any comments or suggestions
to the publisher at the above address.
dicing with death aside, the sense of pride in having a gold star sellotaped
For general enquiries: onto my itchy school jumper is also firmly etched into my memory. This
Peter Francomb badge of honour, worn until worn out, was a blissful reminder that I’d
surpassed someone’s expectations of me. In adult life these tangible
© Copyright 2010 greenliving. rewards for good work are a little thinner on the ground, but not
impossible to find. I’ve been overwhelmed by the kind letters, emails and
All rights reserved. Material may not be
reproduced without permission of greenliving. phone calls we’ve received following the launch of greenliving, and it’s
While we take care to ensure that reports, been wonderful to hear that people love the magazine as much as we do.
reviews and features are accurate, greenliving
accepts no liability for reader dissatisfaction Almost as wonderful as those treasured gold stars...
arising from the content of this publication. The
opinions expressed or advice given are the views
of the individual authors, and do not necessarily Between catching up with household hero Kevin McCloud (page 21),
represent the views or policies of greenliving finding out how solar energy is Glastonbury Festival’s newest innovation
(page 16) and seeking out our favourite green goodies on the high street
(page 12), we’ve rewarded ourselves by discovering the secret to a truly
peaceful and well-deserved night’s sleep (page 32).
greenliving provides effective communication
through design. We specialise in brochures, Change starts with us. 
corporate identity, advertising, direct mail,
marketing and design for print.
We have a reputation for clear, creative solutions to Holly Aurelius-Haddock.
communication problems for a number of corporate,
sports, financial, charity and leisure industry clients.
We maintain the highest of standards, throughout
each individual project and our client relationship.
We pride ourselves on delivering distinctive designs
and ideas that will get you noticed.

Competition Terms & Conditions
In addition to any specifically stated terms and conditions, the
following applies to all competitions. All information forms part
of the rules. All entrants are deemed to have accepted the rules
and agree to be bound by them. The winner will be the first
entry drawn at random from all the correct entries received by
the closing date and will be notified by either post, email or
telephone. The prizes are as stated; they are non-transferable
and no cash alternative will be offered. All entrants must be at
least 18 years old. Competitions are open to UK residents only.
One entry per person. Proof of postage is not proof of entry.
greenliving accepts no responsibility for entries lost or
damaged in the post. Entrants agree to take part in any publicity
material relating to the competition. The name of the winner
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and no correspondence will be entered into. Prizes do not
include unspecified extras (such as travel). All prizes are subject
to availability. Please state if you do not wish to receive any
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organisers. You may be required to collect your prize.

May / June 2010 5


contents Welcome to greenliving!

you your home your planet
A break at an eco-luxe Ex-Changing Rooms star The newest addition to
cottage in the Cotswolds Oliver Heath makes going the Glastonbury line-up
green look gorgeous
Planet-friendly treats you 27 INSPIRING STORIES
shouldn’t be without 21 KEVIN MCCLOUD Church farm seeks to
Why driving an Aston connect people back to
Martin could still make the land
you an ecologist
Going organic between
the sheets
Our favourite alternatives Inspiring photography
to synthetic cleaning from around
products the globe

We hope you enjoy this issue of greenliving. We would love to know your thoughts so
please get in touch. Email or write to us at 151-153 Wick
Road, Bristol BS4 4HH

6 March
June 2010
May/June 2010
Meet the team...
With every issue we offer the latest eco news and advice The past 20 years have seen a
growing realisation that the current
from some of the sector’s most prominent figures: model of development is
unsustainable. In other words, we
are living beyond our means. From
the loss of biodiversity with the
RICHARD GUY felling of rainforests or over fishing
SPALDING WATSON to the negative effect our
consumption patterns are having on
Richard Spalding Having founded the environment and the climate.
teaches Human Riverford Our way of life is placing an
Geography and Organic, Guy increasing burden on the planet.
Environment Watson has
Studies at UWE always been fired The increasing stress we put on
in Bristol. Whilst by a passion for resources and environmental
sitting as the Chair of South good food combined with traditional systems such as water, land and air
Gloucestershire Local Food and Drinks farming principles. Determined to cannot go on forever. Especially as
Partnership and Winterbourne Medieval loosen the supermarkets stranglehold on the world's population continues to
Barn Trust, he also finds time to grow a quality and supply, Guy Watson deals increase and we already see a world
few vegetables of his own too! fairly with everybody, which remains an where over a billion people live on
intrinsic value to the businesses less than a dollar a day.
The goal of sustainable
development is to enable all people
throughout the world to satisfy their
basic needs and enjoy a better
quality of life, without compromising
the quality of life of future
Architect Bill With their fingers Unless we start to make real
Gething was a firmly on the progress toward reconciling these
long-standing pulse, the UK’s contradictions we face a future that
partner of Feilden leading organic is less certain and less secure. We
Clegg Bradley organisation need to make a decisive move
Studios before keeps us toward more sustainable
setting up an independent consultancy last informed on the latest campaigns and development. Not just because it is
year. He has contributed to the practice's community programmes promoting the right thing to do, but also
international reputation for sustainable planet friendly food and because it is in our own long-term
design and is currently a member of the farming methods. best interests. It offers the best
hope for the future. Whether at
Royal Institute of British Architect’s
school, in the home or at work, we
Climate Change Board.
all have a part to play. Our small
everyday actions add up to make a
big difference.

Spokesperson for the Department
for Environment, Food and Rural
Affairs (DEFRA)

May / June 2010 7

News If you have any news or events that you would
like to share with us here at greenliving then

Green Party Victory
Green Party leader Caroline Lucas has become the first ever
candidate in the party to be elected into parliament after winning
the seat of Brighton Pavilion in this year’s general election.
With Labour coming second and the Conservatives finishing third,
The Green Party won with 31.3% of the vote.

Commenting just after her victory, she said: “Thank you so much
for putting the politics of hope above the politics of fear. This isn’t
just a moment when one MP out of more than 600 is elected. It’s
where a whole political party takes, for the first time, its rightful
place in our parliament.”

A Wheely Great
Co-op Fortnight
The Electric Transport Shop,
Bristol’s first dedicated electric
cycle retailer and repair centre
would like to invite greenliving
readers to the launch of their new
shop in Easton.

The event promises lots of
From June 19 June – 3 July co- although these are amongst the most
operatives nationwide will be taking successful models found on the high
demonstrator bikes to try, not to
part in a co-operative fortnight. street. There are in fact over 4800 mention plenty of refreshments
Whether you are in a co-operative independent co-operatives in the UK and cake!
already or new to the whole idea, the owned by more than 11 million people
two-week campaign aims to promote and the numbers keep on growing. Saturday 5 June 12-3pm at The
and introduce people to the benefits of Visit the website to find out more Electric Transport Shop, St.
the co-operative sector in several areas information and how you can get
Gabriels Business Park, Easton,
including the financial services, public involved within your area:
services, housing, agriculture and food.
Bristol BS5 0RT.

Co-operatives are not just 0117 955 2271
supermarkets and funeral services,

8 May / June 2010

greenliving is proud to be
working with Green Tomato Cars,
the environmentally friendly private hire service who not only use the eco-
friendly Toyota Prius to get you from A to B, but offset their carbon
emissions too.
T: 020 8568 0022 W:
If you’re reading this as a Green Tomato passenger, then send us an email to BuildStore’s self-build courses, for a chance to win a break in luxury eco hosted at the National Self Build and
accommodation! See page 4 for more information. Renovation Centre in Swindon are
back by popular demand. The course
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them learn and understand the
principles, skills and key decisions
involved in building a home, giving
Good Hair Day them the insider knowledge, practical
skills and confidence they too need to
Up to 5,000 barrels of oil a day are get their projects off the ground. In
gushing into the sea after a BP- just five days, delegates can learn
operated Deepwater Horizon rig everything they need to know to
exploded and sank in the Gulf of Mexico make their home building project a
at the end of April. Analysts say the
spill could rival the 1989 Exxon Valdez
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Self-build courses run from 4-8
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Communities across the globe have
been pulling together to ‘mop up’ the 2010 and the price for all five
spill with hair. Hair, fur and sheep’s modules is £300 (plus VAT).
wool stuffed into nylon tights are the Individual modules cost £75 (plus
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absorbent so oil clings to the many tiny farmers and of course, individuals. 0845 2234455
scales on each follicle. Matter of Trust
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Eco Workshops
Eco workshops, taking

place at the same
venue, are the ideal
solution for those who
want to get advice, on
Quest is in its 15th Year and has become a a one-to-one basis from an expert or
real focal point of the early summer in the simply want to sit in on a few
South West. seminars and simply up the
knowledge about heat and energy
The event is a meeting place for local solutions for the home.
complementary therapists and green
businesses to interact, network, share You’ll be able to dig deep for
and support each other. There are information on all the eco
informative and inspiring workshops
technologies on the market and find
and well over 100 stalls for you to
out what new systems could be
browse, as well as a great line-up of
available soon. Find out what's new,
musicians and talks from leaders of the
what works and what is practical for
green movement. Don’t miss this local
event where you meet people you know, your home: this is your opportunity
get inspired and feel part of your local to get the facts straight from the
community. experts and join in the discussions.

Grounds open 8am–11pm with free Eco Workshops: Sustainable Heat &
workshops and music. Book your day Energy Solutions is on 12 June 2010
ticket in advance for £7.50. 3 day tickets and are free of charge.
£20. Book online at
or call 01803 762674 0845 2234455

May / June 2010 9
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I started by studying architecture at Oxford
Brookes for six years before I went on to
work as an exhibition designer. I won a
competition in 1998 through BBC2 where I was
awarded Young Designer of the Year and from this
I was offered TV work. I started off in Changing
Rooms because I thought there was something
missing in their repertoire of designers and
haven’t looked back.

My most recent show, Dream Homes
follows people building their own home.
We visit many inspirational buildings that may
have encouraged and influenced the person who
is building their home to do something more
exciting. This building might be in England or
Europe or even America. We meet some amazing
architects and visit some astonishing sites.

I always did really enjoy taking part in
Changing Rooms. It was a high turnover of
ideas and projects and was a very creative time.
It was stimulating and challenging. I don’t think
people’s view of makeover shows has changed
since I took part in the show – they still enjoy
seeing transformations happen. We go from what
is essentially a wreck of a building or room to
something beautiful.

Very contemporary design can be
alienating – cold and impersonal. The
spaces I create are spaces you feel happy and
relaxed in. All those pieces that have knocks and
scratches take the harder edge off of
contemporary pieces. In a way it’s important to
get the balance between form and function.

I was a windsurfing instructor for five or
six years growing up in Brighton. When you
are teaching windsurfing you are really teaching
people to look after themselves in harsh
conditions and to respect the environment
because it can very easily get the better of them.
Equally these are messages that are transferred
into my architectural studies. The idea of working
with nature makes more sense than trying to
constantly keep it out.

I’m currently doing an eco refurb of my
own home and I’m very aware of what the

Oliver Heath
costs are. We spent about a year and a half
looking for a house in Brighton that was near
enough to the centre that we could walk or cycle
in. It’s a 1960’s detached house and is a great
place to get eco experimenting with. It has a
sweet little garden with a veg patch and
somewhere for our kids to play. It’s not the

S pecialising in environmentally sustainable
obvious beautiful house that you might expect of a
designer but I think it’s going to be great once we
have finished the work. architecture and eco interiors, Oliver Heath
I’m really interested in the future of design has his finger firmly on the green pulse.
and where architecture is going to go. It He made his debut on Changing Rooms
seems to make no sense that architecture affects
the environment unnecessarily. It doesn’t need to.
back in 2000 and is currently filming a
There are so many new technologies, new new series of Dream Homes. discover his
materials and such creativity out there that it’s
very easy to adopt a sustainable lifestyle without it inspirational designs in his latest book
impacting too much on our current lifestyle. Urban Eco Chic.

May / June 2010 11

Figs and Rouge Bodycare

Figs and Rouge bodycare range
combines natural and vintage inspired
aromas with organic ingredients.
Stylish, elegant and natural enough for
everyday use, this gorgeous range
nourishes and moisturises from head
to toe with no harsh chemicals,
synthetic fragrances or parabens.

T: 020 7272 7233
Mud Hut Company W:
With a passion for beautiful interiors, the Mud Hut Company holds
at its heart great design and sustainable practice. Like all of the £ 3.40
Mud Hut products, these stunning tiles are handmade using
ancient techniques and are fired to earthenware. No two items are
the same, and glazes and surfaces are often deliberately
distressed to have a worn-in and tactile appearance of age-old

Inspiration for these unique tiles is drawn from medieval tiles in
castles and churches, to Kasbahs and Moghul Indian designs. Tiles
can be supplied unsealed or pre-sealed with linseed oil for waxing
acheiving a warm look. All are stunning designs that capitalise on
the natural colours of different clays and natural pigments.

T: 01179 616773

Woven Bags
The woven bamboo handle bag is an
elegant woven bag, equally suited to
special occasions or trips to the shops.
Made using recycled juice packs which
have been ingeniously woven around
two circular handles of lacquered
bamboo, the bags are produced by a

co-operative of 500 female workers
in the Philippines and traded
according to Fairtrade principles.

T: 020 7272 7233

12 May / June 2010

£ 3.99
Catnip Mice

Handmade using vintage fabric, these gorgeously cute little
figures are stuffed with felt wadding and organic catnip,
perfect for a spot of cat and mouse playtime. The mice are a
perfect shape for cats to flip and chase and come with a
lovely long cord tail so owners can join in with the fun too.

T: 020 7272 7233 W:

Whitstable Bucket BBQ

With summer just around the corner,
this Whitstable BBQ offers a good-
value reusable alternative to
disposables. Measuring 30 x 33cm,
the Whitstable BBQ is made from
galvanised steel and consists of
three parts; the bucket, a tray that
sits inside the bucket where the
charcoal goes and the griddle on top.
Portable and sturdy, when the warm
weather calls for it, the BBQ bucket
can be easily carried from the back
garden to the beach, neighbours
garden or park for a spontaneous

T: 020 7272 7233
Tree Hugging
Squirrel Design is a family business specialising in creating
inspirational bespoke wooden structures that encourage a greater
appreciation and enjoyment of our outdoor environment.

Their tree houses range from smaller, magical hideaway spaces to £ 21
larger, adventurous schemes including rope walkways, trapdoors,
zip wires and more. Their garden retreats on the other hand
include beautifully crafted carbon friendly eco-lodges, using
materials such as sheep’s wool insulation and timber cut from
sustainably managed forests.

Each Squirrel Design project is carefully and individually designed,
and skilfully built to provide customers with a wonderful space to
spend time in – for play, leisure, education and living.

T: 01454 238967

May / June 2010 13
greenliving_solar energy

A common misconception in the UK is that you have to live in the middle of the Mediterranean
to benefit from solar energy, when in fact the British climate offers the ideal conditions for this
green energy alternative. With the National Grid buying back your unused energy as well as a
whole host of other cash incentives, solar is an increasingly more viable option both
environmentally and economically, enabling you to avoid the increasing cost of depleting fossil
fuels. In this issue, greenliving finds out about an exciting new project set to change the fields
of Glastonbury for the better and also seeks out the best local experts on the subject…

Catch the sun

May / June 2010 15
greenliving_solar energy

Y Solarsense
Michael Eavis, founder of the renowned installations on their portfolio, or maintenance costs of any PV system,
Glastonbury Festival, the largest Solarsense are in a good position to he will continue to reap the financial
contemporary music and performing deliver Mr. Eavis with a system that will benefits in years to come.
arts festival in the world, will set another cater to his financial and ethical
record in August this year when work specifications. One of Mr Eavis’s wishes The Clean Energy Cashback Scheme is
commences on a new Photovoltaic solar was that all equipment used in the not limited to large installations however.
system at Worthy Farm in Somerset. installation should be British-made and Any person installing a PV system on
to this end Romag, a glass specialist and their property will be eligible to receive
The site of the Glastonbury Festival will solar panel manufacturer based in up to 41.3p per unit, tax free, for every
now be home to a 200kW solar Durham, have been selected as the kWh their system generates. With the
Photovoltaic system, the largest panel of choice for the
domestic solar system in the UK and project.
over 50 times the size of the standard PV “The site of the Glastonbury festival
systems normally being installed on The recent launch of the
households. The project will see over Clean Energy Cashback
will now be home to a 200kW solar
1100 solar panels cover the roof of one of Scheme has enabled the Photovoltaic system, the largest
large cattle barns at Worthy Farm; if project to be not just domestic solar system in the UK...
these panels were put end to end, they green, but also a sound
would stretch for 1.5km. financial investment for if these panels were put end to end,
the Glastonbury founder. they would stretch for 1.5km”
Solarsense UK Ltd, an award-winning With the Clean Energy
installer based in Bristol, has been Cashback Scheme,
working with Mr. Eavis on this project Mr. Eavis can expect a return on his cool clear conditions in the South West, a
since early 2007. With 16 years’ of investment of up to 12%, which medium-sized domestic system of
experience in the business, and over translates into an annual income of at 2.1kWp would be expected to generate
3000 commercial and domestic least £60,000. With the minimal running around 2000 such units per year. Maybe
that’s why The Financial Times asked its
readers, “It makes you wonder why you’d
bother with an ISA this year, doesn't it?”

Solarsense will be keeping a blog about
progress on the Glastonbury project at Also available
on the Solarsense home page is the
Clean Energy Cashback Calculator,
whereby homeowners interested in PV
can see in real figures what financial
benefits are available for those getting
involved in green energy.

T: 01275 394139

16 May / June 2010
greenliving_solar energy

Y Fair Energy
Fair Energy is a community interest Their ultimate aim is to help alleviate
company specialising in seamless, full global fuel poverty and encourage
service transitions to renewable secure and affordable energy to fuel
heating for domestic and commercial our future.
customers. Put simply, they design,
install and integrate solar thermal hot Also since Fair Energy are MCS
water systems as well as wood fuel certified, it means all their solar
biomass boilers. thermal and wood fuel installations will
be eligible for the Renewable Heat
As a community interest company they Incentive, where the government
also have social enterprise goals, reimburses participants for using
helping individuals and communities renewable heat energy.
take control of renewable heating to
give them energy independence, lower T: 0845 12 66 555
fuel costs and lower CO2 emissions. W:

Y Plug in
to the Sun
These guys were the first solar PV
installer in Cornwall and offer professional
installations for homeowners, business,
community groups, housing associations,
schools and councils.

For those who are thinking of making the
switch they offer a free no obligation site
survey followed up with a fixed price quote
and detailed plan. Based in Penzance and
working throughout Cornwall and Devon,
Plug Into The Sun pride themselves on top
quality installation and professional
customer service. 

T: 0844 800 9512

Y Ecocetera
Ecocetera is a Bristol based Because solar systems don’t need
renewable energy company who are direct sunlight to produce electricity
passionate about helping but actually operate more efficiently
homeowners reduce their at lower temperatures, they‘re
dependence on fossil fuels and perfect for our British climate –have
nuclear power. They specialise in a look at their website for local
solar photovoltaic systems that success stories!
convert the sun’s energy directly into
electricity. The electricity supply T: 01179 590580
feeds the house first of all and any W:
surplus energy is exported to the
National Grid, not wasted.

May / June 2010 17
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designer –– maker of fine furniture

and save money on your bills

Timeless contemporary classics for
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Made with care & creativity using
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Organic facials
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5 Market Street, Bradford on Avon, BA15 1LH,
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greenliving_eco veggie fayre

The Bristol Eco Veggie Fayre (May
29th and 30th) is one of the world’s
biggest gatherings of veggie
food and a must visit even if
you’re a meat eater!

Some of the UK’s finest veggie food
producers gather together at the first ever
Bristol Eco Veggie Fayre on Saturday May
29th and Sunday 30th 2010, with the
organisers expecting up to eight thousand
people through the door to experience the
delights of one of the UK’s fastest growing
lifestyle choices – the veggie diet.

Some choose to be veggie for health
reasons, others make the choice because
they are concerned about the welfare of “There’s a real increase of interest in
animals and others go meat free due to anything eco-friendly and especially in
environmental issues. No matter the Bristol which has a huge population of
reason, a growing number of people are veggies already,” adds Tim, “and with such
going veggie for one reason only – the an excellent variety of products, food,
outstanding food! experts and information available, it’s
going to be a busy and exciting weekend.”
Veggie food has long since shed the really good way to find out just how good
earnest but rather dull hippy image of the the veggie lifestyle can be.”
‘70s and with leading UK veggie caterers
at the Bristol Eco Veggie Fayre alongside The weekend will include 48 talks and Tickets are now on sale at
some award-winning food producers, cookery demos as well as an
there is a huge choice to be had. entertainments arena with three stages. For more information:
Saturday’s headliners are Roots Manuva
“Visitors to the show will be spoilt for and there will be a gypsy music theme The show is organised by Yaoh and
choice when it comes to what to eat,” says with 3 Daft Monkeys on Sunday. You can sponsored by Beanie’s Health Foods,
organiser Tim Barford from Bristol based also find a licensed bar, a kids area, a Bute Island, Vitamix, Natural
hemp firm Yaoh. “There is an incredible green homes zone, an eco cinema and an Balance, Activeg, The Spark, Viva!,
selection of really tasty food on offer and art exhibition. There really is a full line up Cook Vegetarian, Chunkies, Excellart,
all of it is 100% plant based. We have over to suit all tastes and with an advance VeggieVision, and Foods for Life
100 stalls at the event with some amazing admission price each day of just £6 for
products on offer, including bodycare and adults and £3 for kids and OAPs, Tim is Tel: 01179 239053
clothes, plus loads of information – it’s a expecting a full house.

May / June 2010 19
greenliving_kevin mccloud

This month household hero
and environmentalist Kevin
McCloud tells Rebecca
Gooch why the recession has
been a tonic for sustainability
and why being green is
purely a state of mind…

If Kevin McCloud weren’t so green, you’d
call him prime time gold. The Somerset-
based presenter of Grand Designs – the hit
show which follows self-builders in
pursuit of excellence – has been described
as the David Attenborough of the
construction site.

“Hmph,” he snorts dismissively,
unimpressed by the glowing epithets. “All
stuff to fill newspapers with.” What
admirable modesty. He has even described
himself as “a piece of telly fluff”. While the
52-year-old may not have a big head, he

certainly has big viewing figures.

Although he predicted back at kick-off in
1998 that Grand Designs would probably
only be watched by “a few
surveyors”, it’s now the
highest-rated programme

McCloud on Channel 4, watched by
around 4 million people per
episode, and bought by 127

“It’s the stories that make it
popular, the human
condition,” he says. “Home-
building is one of the last big adventures
we can all go on, and it’s tangible,
something everybody could do. I’ve met
people who live in council flats in Sheffield
who love the programme. Not because
they’ll ever have the money to even buy a
house let alone build one, but because
they connect to the people who are doing
it. They see the difficulties they are going
through, and it’s a dream they all have.”

May / June 2010 21
greenliving_kevin mccloud

“To drive a Toyota Prius
50 miles a day to and from
work doesn’t make you an
ecologist. If you have an
Aston Martin in the garage
and you walk or cycle the
short journey, that makes
you an ecologist.”

Although Kevin puts the show’s appeal rather than treat their homes as an Oxford Professor Avner Offer in his book
down to the human stories involved, his isolated box that is part of their pension ‘The Challenge of Affluence’, say that since
own erudite and enthusiastic input has plan or investment portfolio.” the war we have immeasurably increased
been just as integral to its huge success. our standard of living in Britain, and we
Having “things” does not make us happy, have also increased our happiness. But
Surprisingly, he’s big on sustainability, he insists. He hates buying new stuff, actually our happiness sort of peaked in
recycling, anti-acquisitiveness and grows a lot of the food he eats and only the mid-’70s, and frankly we could have
‘retrofurbing’ – the refurbing and really uses the supermarket to buy loo got by with a lot less material
upgrading of the old, rather than replacing rolls. But he does admit spending “a improvements to maintain the same
with the new. And after a filming trip to the frightening amount of money” on rare and standards of happiness and self-worth.
Dahravi slums of Mumbai late last year, specialist design books, and is fond of his
he’s also bigger than ever in his conviction two highly sustainable bespoke Harris “The point is that happiness doesn’t come
that our homes, environment and how they Tweed suits, one green and one blue, from material benefit – it’s from family and
contribute to social interaction are which he had especially made for filming – relationships, it’s that simple. What we
absolutely crucial to our happiness. even if they can get a bit whiffy… need to be doing, in all of our social
housing schemes and eco towns, is
The people he lived with had few “Traditionally they would soak the cloth in planning for better social interactivity and
possessions, and lived side by side in urine during part of the dyeing process, so more social cohesion. And you can do that
corrugated shacks, where every inch of when it rains you worry you’ll start by giving people shared gardens and
space had a multi-function, which smelling like an incontinent Scotsman.” shared space and all kinds of shared
engendered natural sociability. “Because Yet, of all his possessions the one that facilities. Fundamentally, it’s dependent on
women don’t have huge kitchens, they gives him most pleasure is, perhaps people talking to each other over the
rinse their pots in the street. That has to be surprisingly, his little diesel Volvo C30. washing line, isn’t it?"
the most civilised, sociable way of doing “I love that car – it’s beautiful inside, funky
the washing-up – outside in the sun, outside and does 70 to the gallon. I don’t He’s putting his money where his mouth is
chatting to your neighbours. It’s all about have to drive a car like a dodgem!” on that one, with a £19 million project to
people sharing things. build 200 eco-homes near Swindon. This
It’s about making sure “It’s interesting that brave venture only came about when a
people are happy where all the people who similar eco-development project in
they are living and write about Cornwall that Grand Designs had been due
content to stay there, happiness, like to follow suddenly fell through when the

22 May / June 2010
greenliving_kevin mccloud

“The point is that happiness doesn’t come from material benefit –
it’s from family and relationships… Fundamentally, it’s dependent
on people talking to each other over the washing line, isn’t it?”

contractor decided he didn’t want to be one car is an eco car. It’s not the object it doesn’t matter how energy performing
filmed. that determines its environmental your house is…it’s about how we live.
performance really; it’s how we use it.
“So it just ground to a halt, and slightly in “That’s what I’m interested in – how we
desperation I said, you know what – I’ll “So to drive a Toyota Prius 50 miles a day live.”
become the developer.” In 2007 he set up to and from work doesn’t make you an
his own enterprise called HAB (Happiness ecologist. If you have an Aston Martin in Grand Designs Live:
Architecture Beauty), and on May 27th, the garage and you walk or cycle the short May 1–9, London ExCel
after ‘ploddingly slow’ progress, work journey, in my view that makes you an October 8–10, NEC Birmingham
finally begins on the first project; a 42 eco- ecologist. If you run three baths every day,
home development called The Triangle. turn the heating up and open the windows,

“And I’m still putting money where my
mouth is!” he laughs. “It’s been painful at
times, but no, I don’t regret it.” Both
bureaucracy and the recession contributed Kevin’s Green Heroes
to the occasional pain, he says. But he
believes that one beneficial side effect of
the economic crisis is that we’ve all 1 Tirex carpet - doormats and
carpets made from strips of reused
7 Hemcrete - Building material
made from British-grown hemp
fibre and lime-based binder.
become a little bit more thrifty – recycling
and repairing, when once we might have
binned and bought new. Without realising
it, many of us have unknowingly joined the 2 Sting fabric - Upholstery fabric
made from recycled wool and
fibre from stinging nettles. 8 Giles Miller cardboard king -
Sustainable, corrugated
sustainability movement. cardboard furniture.
Home for him, his interior designer wife
Zani and four children, is an ‘unshowy’
500-year-old farmhouse with 20 acres 3 Insulated blinds - Five-layered
blinds that offer heat-saving
equivalent to 85mm of fibreglass 9 Smile plastics sheet material -
Sheet plastic made from recycled
near Frome, full of retrofurbishments and
eco-innovations like loft insulation made insulation. plastic drink bottles, yogurt pots, Cds
from Black Mountain sheep wool – which and factory waste.
is one of his hand-picked Green Heroes
showcasing at Grand Designs Live in
London (May1-9) and Birmingham 4 Combined solar panels - divert
excess heat into heating water. 10 Parans solar lighting system -
External panels channel
(October 8-10).
sunlight via fibre optic cables into
He’s not just an avid fan, he’s a user of
these “new, exciting, under-represented’ 5 EcoForce plastic products - Bath
scourers, sponges and cloths
made from recycled plastic.
inside rooms.

hero products. “I’m ordering some Heat
Saver blinds and we use the scourers
made from recycled plastic. We’ll be using
Hemcrete on our houses in Swindon too.”
6 Black Mountain sheep’s wool
insulation - High performance
insulating material made from the
But products aside, he’s a great believer
that our eco-friendliness is not down to fleece of British upland sheep.
what we own, but how we use it.

“I give a talk now and again with some
slides and I show lots of pictures of
houses, and ask which is the eco one?
Then I show pictures of cars, and ask the
same question. Is it the restored 1972
Sunbeam? Is it the Range Rover? Is it the
Smart car? The answer is none of them.
No one house is an eco house, just as no

May / June 2010 23
greenliving_style over speed

Lose the Lycra!

3 lycra’s a thing of the past – this
year it's all about looking chic
on your bike.

3 Make sure you're not wearing
anything too baggy that might
get caught in your chain.

3 Consider investing in a helmet
if you think it’ll help you feel
more confident – or you plan
on going really fast! 

3 don’t be a sweaty Betty!
Consider loose, breathable
fabrics. Wear a few thin layers
that you can easily remove
rather than a heavy jacket or

3 Invest in panniers and you’ll
avoid a sweaty back from your

Style over speed
In a bid to get commuters or many people, the thought of roading’ or climbing a mountain is
from behind the wheel and
onto the saddle, we offer
up a few ideas on why
cycling needn’t mean
F cycling to work is at best a
seasonal activity, at worst an
impossible undertaking. A lot of
this resistance to change our daily
commuting routine can be put down to the
carrying your bike up the steps to store it
in the front porch!

Town bikes such as Raleigh Shoppers are
back in vogue again; bikes that encourage
same reason we criticise city 4x4 drivers: an upright position and afford the rider a
anything more than an the vehicule just isn’t appropriate for the far better view of the road ahead as well
easy way of getting from job. Or so we think. Because with a few as redistributing your weight so that it
A to B. small changes in both attitude and attire, isn’t sat on top of the handlebars, making
peddling your way to the office has never the ride far more smooth and comfortable.
been easier or more enjoyable… Some town bikes also come with chain
guards, mud guards and internal gears so
SENSIBLE BIKE you don’t have to tuck your trousers into
your sock to avoid the oil or arrive with
If you're lucky you might find one or two mud up your back.
bikes in the corner of your average bike
shop that fall into a sensible category, but
everything else will probably be a
mountain bike or a racer, neither of which We don’t dress up to walk to the shop for a
are particularly practical. In reality, the pint of milk - so why should we if we if we
closest the majority of people get to ‘off- go by bike? Since the Cycling City Project

24 May / June 2010
greenliving_style over speed

For help and advice on what to wear,
where to cycle and the best bike for you,
register at
training or call 01179 222877

was launched, women cyclists are being
seen around Bristol more and more, but by
no means are they clad head to foot in
Day-Glo, Lycra and overshoes!
It goes without saying, but be sure to make
your daily journey as safe as possible by
Switched on?
allowing plenty of time to get there - and Some people prefer to have a
Cycling enthusiasts quite rightly own all cycling a little slower in the process. You helping hand, especially when it
the correct kit for mountain and tour don’t need to tear round the city at 30mph comes to tackling the hills in and
biking, but this type of kit is appropriate for in order to feel the benefits of leaving the around Bristol. Electric bikes can
the task in hand and not this 3-mile car in the drive. take the strain when you’d rather
commute. The most important thing is for not. local stockists include:
city cyclists to be comfortable by wearing Travelling at a sensible speed also means
thin layers and loose clothing – if this a more gentle form of exercise for those Atmosphere Electric Bikes
advice is heeded then you’re likely to arrive who are just getting back in the saddle; you 01179 087153
at work with nothing more than flushed might never forget how to ride a bike, but a
cheeks, and the need for the office to have gruelling and sweaty re-introduction to Fred Baker Cycles
a shower facility becomes an excuse two-wheeled transport might make you 01179 249610 
rather than a requirement. Many online want to!
cycling retailers and some larger high The Electric Transport Shop
street cycling shops have a great range of Cycling need be nothing more than a 01179 552271
female-friendly cycle clothing on offer and pleasurable and relaxed mode of
will happily point you in the right direction. transport, so let's get bikes and clothing fit
for the purpose.

May / June 2010 25
The Electric Transport Shop
0117 955 2271
Gabriels Business Park
(map on website) BS5 0RT

Bristol’s first dedicated electric cycle retailer
and repair centre - now open in Easton.
greenliving_inspiring stories

Stories: Better Food,
Better Farming
Never before has a generation been so disconnected from the land and food. The food
industry has created an obesity epidemic, costing the UK billions, as well as a dependency
on oil and gas to make nitrates and pesticides accounting for around 40% of the fossil fuel
inputs into agriculture. This month, greenliving takes a look at a project that provides a
beacon of light for the farming network and customers alike.

n 2007, the government brought out a Tim argues, “It’s a measure of the failure
report entitled Food Matters which of our present farming methods that the
caused a huge global shake up of the countryside is so depleted of these things.”
awareness of food production inside and
outside of the UK. Food Matters Church Farm is a modern, ecological
highlighted the need for the government to revival of traditional mixed farming,
take a more integrated approach, not only creating an alternative to corporate
in providing information to consumers, but supermarket consumerism. Tim asserts:
to our entire food policy. This need to “We reject desert monocultures in favour
tackle the health, social, environmental of a mixed farm that values and improves
and economic challenges in the food the land and the wildlife that lives on it,
system has been the driving force of and that means renewing our ancient
change in recent years. contract with animals. It also means
radically altering our food system from
It’s no secret that a point of crisis is within food to fork and finally, it means
sight. This developing crisis has caused a reconnecting people and communities with
resurgence of interest in local produce, their food and where it comes from,
farmers’ markets, box schemes, “People are realising that making farms the bustling centers of
seasonality, community farms and they’re surrounded by this community they once were.”
allotments, to name but a few.
kind of debt-fuelled The farm processes and sells the food
One such project that sought change was illusion of satisfaction; that directly to customers. Tim also offers
Church Farm in Hertfordshire. The farm’s they’ve been overspending households the chance to join the farm
owner Tim Waygood took over the plot of whether that means playing an active role
land after growing tired of seeing in a meaningless way and in the running of the farm or simply visiting
tasteless, miserable looking food on that it’s time to re- and feeding the animals.
supermarket shelves at inflated rates. “I’d
been looking into climate change and peak
prioritise” “It’s all about re-imagining all that a farm
oil, as well as all the other nightmarish can be rather than churning out
side-effects of what gets called very best traditional methods. commodities for mass markets – we want
‘conventional agriculture’ – eventually I to provide a sustainable lifestyle. Our
knew I had to something about it”. The Farm also recognises philosophy is to start with great food. To
that not only would we achieve that you need great farming, and
The ethos behind the farm is founded on benefit from fine food but that kind of farming can be part of a
the belief that securing good food for all is also a more stable great life.”
about the careful management of the food agriculture, which
world’s natural resources by tried-and- would provide clear To find out more information
tested methods, not just a reliance on new streams, teeming about Church Farm call 01438
technologies. Church Farm believes that wildlife and thriving 861447 or visit
answers lie in a radical reworking of the rural communities.

May / June 2010 27

Architect Bill
Gething was a

your home:
partner of
Feilden Clegg
Bradley Studios
before setting up an independent

A whole house
consultancy last year. He has contributed
to the practice's international reputation
for sustainable design and is currently a
member of the Royal Institute of British

Architect’s Climate Change Board.

The Government may be planning for all new build housing to be “zero carbon” by 2016, but
this month Bill Gething looks at the problem at hand – the vast extent of existing housing that
will still be standing by 2050 and demonstrates why change can only begin at home.

The Climate Change Act (2008), a legally 2016, all new homes will be “zero carbon”. buying more efficient appliances and
binding commitment, requires that by But what about all our existing homes? It moving towards more efficient light
2050, the UK will have reduced its national has been estimated that, given how few fittings, to more major interventions like
carbon dioxide emissions by 80% as homes we demolish, over 80% of the replacing boilers, hot water cylinders and
compared with 1990 levels. homes that will exist in 2050 have already heating controls. Nevertheless, these
been built, many of which have very poor incremental changes should be made in
This challenging target is achievable but energy performance. Almost all of these the context of an overall strategy for the
only by a combination of reducing our need will need upgrading between now and 2050 whole house so that opportunities are
to use energy in the first place, using and to energy performance standards similar exploited to their maximum potential and
distributing what energy we do use more to the new homes of today. the individual steps complement each
efficiently and reducing the emissions other.
associated with producing energy. All A surprising difference can be made at no
aspects of our way of life need to be cost simply by being more careful about Similarly more major interventions, such
reassessed in these terms. the way we use energy in our homes. as improving wall insulation, may
Looking at insulation, ventilation and air inevitably be quite disruptive. These need
Over a quarter of our total emissions are tightness as well as possible renewable to be carried out to a high enough
produced by our homes; over three energy options and a reduction in water standard, similar to that of a new home,
quarters of these are from space heating use (and hence the need to heat it) are all that will stand the test of time so that they
and water heating, with the rest due to appropriate measures that consider a will not need to be revisited in the
lighting, cooking and using all the whole-house approach to energy efficiency. building’s lifetime.
appliances and gadgetry that appear to be
an essential part of modern life. There may be occasions when there is an Many interventions are interlinked and will
opportunity to undertake a comprehensive only be possible, or will be better value,
Whilst it is true that these emissions may refurbishment, perhaps when moving into when carrying out other work and these
be reduced by changing the way we a new house, but it is more likely that offer “trigger” points where it will make
produce our energy, that energy is likely to improvements will happen incrementally sense to include energy efficiency work.
be much more expensive and probably as part of the normal cycle of maintenance For example, if a house needs re-roofing
scarcer. We therefore need to look at how and refurbishment. These will range from and external wall insulation is being
to radically reduce the use of energy in the
home as well as the possibilities of
generating some or all of that energy on or “The realities of what we need to do to avoid catastrophic
close to our homes. climate change are beginning to dawn on us. New financial
Thermal standards for new homes are mechanisms are being developed but we need to make a
becoming increasingly stringent. From fundamental change in our attitude to our homes”

28 May / June 2010
greenliving_upgrading your home

considered, it makes sense at least to Innovative Pay As You Save (PAYS) financial
extend the roof so that it will cover the packages are also being trialled in Stroud,
external wall insulation even if the Birmingham, Sunderland and Sutton to
insulation work is to be carried out later. test out ways of enabling householders to
The Government recognises the scale of upgrade their homes at no upfront cost,
the challenge and also that the straight with a loan that is linked to the property
forward financial payback from some (rather than the householder) where the
thermal upgrade measures can look pretty savings in energy costs pay off the loan
unattractive given the length of time over an extended period.
people typically stay in a home.
The realities of what we need to do to avoid
Their CERT (Carbon Emissions Reduction catastrophic climate change and to deal
Target) scheme, which runs until 2011, with diminishing reliable sources of cheap
requires substantial domestic energy fossil fuel are beginning to dawn on us.
suppliers to make savings in the emissions New financial mechanisms are being
of their customers predominantly by developed to make it possible to finance
offering discounted cavity wall and loft the work involved but more importantly we
insulation. A further £350 million will be need to make a fundamental change in our
contributed by energy suppliers through attitude to our homes; to make sure that
the Community Energy Savings we add real long term value to them by
Programme (CESP), running until the end upgrading their performance rather than
of 2012, offering free and discounted making cosmetic changes that in all
central heating and other energy saving likelihood will be ripped out by the next
measures on a street by street basis, owner.
targeting households in most need of
Replacing hot water cylinder

Adding a conservatory

Replacing windows

great opportunity
Replacing boiler
Moving in or out

loft conversion

New bathroom

possible opportunity

New heating
New kitchen




Wall insulation
Roof insulation
Floor insulation
Heating controls
Cylinder/pipe insulation FURTHER READING:
Airtightness improvements
CE309 Sustainable Refurbishment: Towards an 80%
Efficient ventilation
reduction in CO2 emissions, water efficiency, waste
Windows reduction and climate change adaptation. Energy
low energy lighting Savings Trust, February 2010. Download free from
Energy efficient appliances

May / June 2010 29
greenliving_soil association

A new food campaign launched by the Soil
Association ‘Better Nursery Food Now’ has
attracted interest from many parents,
nurseries, nutritionists, caterers and cooks.
Policy manager Pamela Brunton takes a look
at the latest supporter to jump on the better
nursery food bandwagon: the government.

Thought the Turkey Twizzler had had its quality of food served to older children,
chips with the school dinners campaign? and evidence is growing of improved
Think again. Unclench your toddler’s pupil wellbeing, better behaviour and
sweaty palm and you may still uncover increased ability to learn. The Trust must
the remnants of a reformed meat nugget, now follow the recommendations of the
high in fat, salt and additives that are now Soil Association’s Better Nursery Food
banished from school lunches for older campaign and put in place compulsory
children. standards for the food served in all
nurseries, to make sure every child gets
Our youngest children are the most the start in life they deserve.
vulnerable to the effects of poor diet.
Children’s eating habits are formed at a The Soil Association’s 2008 report was
young age so the food they eat at nursery the first detailed investigation into the
has a far-reaching effect on their food state of food fed to young children
choices and physical health. Almost one attending nurseries in England and
in four children start school already Wales. It found wide variety in the quality
overweight or obese, meaning they are of food served in early years day care.
more likely to suffer from serious health Despite the lack of authoritative guidance
problems like heart disease and cancer many nurseries do their best to serve
later in life: yet there are no clear rules good food, but most fall short of serving
for the food that nurseries can serve. important food like oily fish, and
processed foods high in salt, fat, sugar
Last week the government’s Department and artificial additives, that are now
for Children, Schools and Families banned in schools, are still on offer in
announced that they have tasked the nurseries. More than four in every five
School Food Trust with reviewing the nurseries in England and Wales are
rules for nursery food. The SFT were privately run and parents pay on average
responsible for putting in place the £35 a day for childcare, yet the report
standards for school lunch that have found some nurseries spend as little as
seen such great improvement in the 25p on ingredients for a child’s food. And

30 May / June 2010
greenliving_soil association

there are no rules to stop them.
Case Study
Over a year ago the Soil Association asked
DCSF to put the School Food Trust in
Abbeywood Tots, Bristol
charge of standards for nursery food, to
Money spent per day per pupil: 80p
make sure nutrition and cookery training
was available for nurseries’ cooks and Organic ingredients: 100%
care staff, and to improve the inspection of Local ingredients: Fruit and veg from a local wholesaler.
nursery food. Parents agree. In a new All meat from a local organic farm.
survey on a social networking site Unnecessary processed food: No
Mumsnet, 1,000 parents with children at
Parents given information on menu: Yes
nursery have told us they want strong
rules for nursery food: sweets, chocolate Parents involved in setting menus: Yes
Comply with CWT guidelines: No
Menu analysed by a nutritionist: No

Mike Williams is the owner of three nurseries in Bristol, which are all
certified organic by the Soil Association. They provide an average of 120
meals per day to children spread over three sites, and each day they spend
80p per head. Abbeywood Tots decided to become 100% organic so that they
could provide a locally sourced, healthy balanced diet. Mike explains: “It was
not an easy process by any means and it did take time to find the suppliers
with the right quality products and the right delivery times. We had to make
the changes gradually, and not overnight.”

In order to pay for the organic meat on the menu, Abbeywood have reduced
the number of times they eat meat to two or three times per week. The rest
of the time the caterer uses pulses (sourced from Essential Trading Co-
operative in Bristol), pasta dishes and fish dishes. To supply a fully organic
menu, Abbeywood Tots found that the costs went up by 20% initially. Mike
explains that this was off-set by lower wastage and now this difference is
and chips, which are banned or restricted down to 15% as a result of reviewing the menus gradually.
in schools, also banned in nurseries;
additives that are linked to behavioural
problems banned in nurseries; and
compulsory nutrition training for nursery
cooks. Want to help?
To parents everywhere: the government is Thousands of people have signed Better Nursery Food Now’s online
listening. Now is the time to speak up and petition demanding better nursery food for our children, with thousands
tell them we need better nursery food, for more people following the campaign’s progress on Twitter and Facebook.
the lasting health and wellbeing of the To join the campaign or sign the petition, visit
next generation.

May / June 2010 31
greenliving_sweet dreams

The importance of getting a good night’s sleep is invaluable for improving our
health and well being. Going one step further, sleeping organically ensures benefits
for farmers, traders, retailers and eventually, consumers. In this issue,
greenliving puts together a selection of the best eco bedware companies to
ensure you sleep as easy as can be...

4 living
Memory foam mattresses and support can be some major drawbacks with regular
pillows are recommended the world
over for their pressure relieving
memory foam. It is made from synthetic
(petro chemical) foam that can emit up to The Fine Cotton
comfort and support. However, there 61 chemicals. The synthetic foam traps
body heat and can be too slow to recover
making it difficult to move. 4 Living is one Passionate about quality and with the
of the UK’s first dealers offering the only emphasis on style and luxury, The
all-natural memory foam mattress and Fine Cotton Company has introduced
support pillows. Their patented memory a collection of stunning organic
foam is natural, 80% more breathable and cotton bedding for babies, which is
offers up to 72% faster recovery time soft to the touch, kind on the
compared to the best regular memory conscience and great value too. Skin
foam. They come with a 90-night trial friendly yet beautifully designed ~
with full money back guarantee and an everything your baby needs for a good
unrivalled 20 year warranty. night’s sleep!

T: 0800 7565199 T: 0845 6029050
W: W:

Biome lifestyle
Biome Lifestyle offers sumptuously
soft organic and fairtrade bedding in
The little a variety of colours and patterns to

Green Sheep ensure the perfect look for your
room. Each set has been individually
selected according to its look and
Launching the latest in cot bed technology, feel plus, importantly, the ethics
the award-winning Little Green Sheep is involved in its production and
proudly presenting the newest addition to distribution. With sustainability and
the flock – the Ryeland – the most assurance at its heart, Biome
environmentally friendly, all natural cot makes it easier to create a unique
bed to date. This revolutionary product personal space to relax and
offers an idyllic environment for babies, unwind in.
toddlers and young ones up to five years.
T: 020 8809 6188
T: 0800 028 1433 W:

32 May / June 2010
greenliving_sweet dreams

Here’s a few top tips from Fou
Furnishings on why opting for organic
bedding makes sense and looks
gorgeous on your bed too.

• Organic cotton bedding uses long
fibres which allows your bedding to
keep its look with every wash as well
as feeling soft and comfortable
against your skin.
• When chosing quality, a good sign is
the thread count which can range
from 150 to 475 and Egyptian organic
cotton is the height of luxury.
• For a crisp look choose percale or
for silky softness opt for sateen.
• Certified organic bed linen gives
assurance on provenance and
• Linen should be tested for
shrinkage, colourfastness and

Bamboo, the new eco-fabric pilling, as well as organic sources
and finishes.
If you’re looking for eco-friendly bedding Bamboo textiles are made of Moso, Ci and • If you have sensitive skin, toxin free
but demand comfort, style and durability Dragon Bamboo– not the type of bamboo and soft organic cotton bedding is
then you should be sleeping between 100% that pandas eat. It’s finer and smoother ideal for you too.
bamboo bedding! Bamboo fabric is made than cotton and has a silk-like drape, the • Organic fabrics protect the
by harvesting organic fast growing bamboo softness is ideal for babies, sensitive skin environment, reduce chemical
and pulping the stems in a closed system. and for allergy sufferers. Bamboo is softer, sprays and toxins for farmers and
This releases the cellulose and natural stronger, more lustrous, and three times ensure fair trade, allowing you to
antibacterial properties of the bamboo. more absorbent than cotton – it keeps rest very well assured that you are
The pulp is then refined and spun into a away moisture, so it is cool in summer and doing your bit even when you are
soft yarn and woven into fabric of luxurious warm in winter, also ideal for people prone asleep.
quality. Bamboo is free of chemicals and to night sweats as the bamboo allows
certified organic, in contrast to cotton excellent ventilation. T: 01416 445211
which is grown with many fertilisers and W:
pesticides. T: 01380 739234

White Cloud
White Cloud specialises in the very best using only the best wool in the world
wool bedding products. Used for from New Zealand; natural wool filled
bedding, wool is a natural choice for the duvets, pillows, natural wool underlays
future as it is renewable, sustainable, and magnetic underlays, organic and
100% natural, and biodegradable. Pure natural blankets and cashmere duvets.
wool provides both lightness and The unique Supawool process used in
comfort all year round, resulting in manufacturing separates the wool
consistently better quality sleep. It is a fibres to maximise the retention of
good insulator and naturally creates a the loft (up to 30% more than
microclimate keeping warm in winter conventional methods) making it the
and cool in summer. Wool uniquely warmest and lightest on the
transfers moisture away from your skin, market. None of White Cloud’s wool
helping maintain an even body duvets are treated with chemicals
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offers relief from allergies and is fire need fresh air and sunlight with an
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May / June 2010 33
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Bamboo fabric is ideal for bed
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down on
Riverford Farm...

pring is here and it’s time to rekindle Rhubarb makes a comforting, traditional

S our affection for rhubarb. Despite
being widely used in desserts,
rhubarb is actually a vegetable; it’s a
pudding topped with crumble mixture and
rolled oats. Later in the season, throw in a
few handfuls of strawberries too. Custard
member of the ‘polygonaceae’ family and essential! Or make the most of its vibrant
related to sorrel. Rhubarb was popular in colour by swirling stewed rhubarb through
Victorian times and through most of the creamy yoghurt for a quick dessert.
20th Century, but suffered along with
many of Britain’s homegrown, traditional Think rhubarb’s only good for pudding?
vegetables as supermarkets began to sell You’re in for a treat. Its sharpness works
out-of-season fruit from around the world. beautifully with meat and fish. Try serving
Jane Baxter’s simple Rhubarb Butter
We love growing organic rhubarb on our Sauce with an organic salmon fillet. It’s
farms. It’s an excellent crop to grow in good with other oily fish and pork too.
Britain, enjoying cool climates and
suffering very few pests. It also packs a
flavoursome punch at the table. Guy Watson
Founder of Riverford Organic

36 May / June 2010


ww M o
w. r ore sOn
riv ecip eas lin
er es a ona e
fo t l
By Jane Baxter, .co
Riverford Field Kitchen .u
Taken from the Riverford Farm Cook Book k

Easy Serves 6-8
Rhubarb Butter Sauce for Fish
Put the rhubarb, sugar, orange juice and Ingredients:
zest in a pan and cook gently for about 15
500g rhubarb, cut into batons
minutes, until the rhubarb has broken
down into a purée. Meanwhile, in a 2 tsp sugar
separate pan, boil the fish stock until juice and grated zest of 1 orange
reduced by half its volume. Stir in the
rhubarb, season and cook for 5 minutes, 150ml fish stock
then push through a sieve into a clean pan.
40g chilled butter, cut into
Just before serving, heat the sauce and
small pieces
whisk in the pieces of butter a few at a
time to give a glossy finish. Season to sea salt and freshly ground
taste. black pepper

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May / June 2010 37
greenliving_green & clean

From hip eco home-care producers BATHROOM CLEANER, £5.95
Method, whose fans include Brad Pitt and This lime fresh, scum-busting chemical- MAISON BELLE ECO GLASS
Stella McCartney, comes this stylish free cleaner is made with 100% CLEANER, £4.50
wood floor cleaner which can be used to naturally derived ingredients, and like From the Isabella Smith Apothecary –
dust, using the compostable sweeper all Bentley Organic’s UK Soil denmark’s answer to Martha Stewart –
pads (made from corn); or to clean, using Association certified formulations kills comes this prettily (and recyclable
the washable microfibre pad and non- 99.9% of all household germs and PET) bottled, non-toxic, biodegradable
toxic, biodegradable Omop Juice, made bacteria such as ecoli, listeria and glass cleaner, scented with green tea
from coconut derived cleaning agents. salmonella – the only natural/organic and sage. Just spray and wipe for a
cleaning range to do so. smear-free sparkle.

Green & Clean
We squirt, scrub and spray – but without careful consideration for the
chemicals we use, home cleaning can bring harmful contamination, as
Rebecca Gooch reveals….
Everyone wants a nice clean house, and compounds (VOCs) that evaporate from all • Alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEs) – found
nobody wants to fill it with toxic the other eco-unfriendly dirt-busters we in detergents, disinfectants and all-
chemicals, do they? But take a look at spray and squirt without considering the purpose cleaners; a suspected hormone
what’s lurking under your kitchen sink health side-effects for our family, pets disruptor.
and you may feel like putting a big orange and environment. You don’t need to
hazard warning on the door. swallow these ingredients to be affected It’s a myth that only synthetic chemicals
by them, inhalation and contact with the can get things super clean, and there is a
We’ve been brainwashed into believing skin is enough; and many of the toxins are growing choice of alternatives which
that without a truckload of synthetic bioaccumulative, so over time even mild won’t harm your health or pollute the
chemicals, cleanliness is not just next to exposures can build to toxic levels. planet. We’ve hand-picked some of the
Godliness – it’s next to impossible. These best – or you could try some of the DIY
powerful ingredients do the trick, but at a A few of the nasties include: tips from Stephanie Zia, author of ‘Done &
price. • Chlorine bleach – a highly caustic Dusted – The Organic Home on a Budget’.
disinfectant which can irritate the lungs
The air inside our homes has 5-10 times and eyes; once in the drains it can create
as many pesticides as the air outside – toxic and possibly carcinogenic
why? Because any product that claims to organochlorides.
kill germs or bacteria contains a • Sodium Hydroxide – found in drain,
pesticide, which pollutes the air we metal and oven cleaners, this can burn
breath, along with the volatile organic eyes, skin and the respiratory tract.

38 May / June 2010
greenliving_green & clean

CLEANER, £6.95
Made from orange peel extract, with no
toxic or carcinogenic chemicals, this all-
purpose cleaner – winner of the Edison
Award for Environmental Achievement –
can be used diluted or neat to clean most
household areas. At full strength it can
remove stains like ink, grease and oil
from clothes, carpet and upholstery.

After seven years in the lab, Ecover’s
men in white coats have developed the
world’s first ‘Eco-Surfactant’, using an
entirely biochemical process, similar to
brewing beer. It’s the power within this
BIO-D GENERAL PURPOSE POLISH, degreaser, which they say is as effective
£3.65 as Cillit Bang Power Cleaner degreaser
Great for cleaning wood, veneer and when it comes to ovens, pots and pans.
laminate surfaces, this ready-to-use spray
comes from a family-owned, ethically-
motivated company, whose
hypoallergenic BUAV and Vegan Society
endorsed products are made from natural,
largely plant-derived ingredients,
supplied wherever possible from
renewable sources.

A nifty pack of four washable microfibre
mitts each designed to clean a particular
home surface – glass and mirror; TV and
Proof that not all cleaners have to smell
computer screen; stainless steel and
of lemons, this deliciously snifftastic hard
general kitchen – without the need for
surface cleanser uses the power of
chemicals. Just dampen one side with
parsley – yes, parsley – in an all-natural
water to clean, then flip over to buff and
formula which has no harmful chemicals,
and like the rest of the plant-based Earth
Friendly range works as well as
conventional cleaners, smells fabulous
and offers good value for money.

May / June 2010 39
Spalding teaches
Geography and
Studies at UWE
in Bristol. Whilst sitting as the Chair of
South Gloucestershire Local Food and
Drinks Partnership and Winterbourne
Medieval Barn Trust, he also finds time
to grow a few vegetables of
his own too!

40 May / June 2010
greenliving_the view from the plot

veg of
Reconnecting the people back to the soil...

Since mass production was enforced by a system catering for profit rather than
seasonality, our food landscape has had to endure unrecognisable changes.
This month, Richard Spalding takes us back to our homegrown soil and shows
us how market gardening can make an easier return than expected…
set myself the target of making regular the city and perhaps offer us some wisdom

I visits to the plot before the Easter
holiday. I have achieved wonders in
sixteen hours (over eight visits) and added
on local provisioning for the future. Whilst
the economics of UK market gardening
don’t seem to add up at present, surely
to my collection of pottery, glass and clay neither does the bedlam economics of
pipes. No Saxon hoard as yet, but every global food production systems with their
piece tells a story of people and their seemingly scant regard for seasonality and
endeavours on the allotment. their focus on corporate control of what we
put in our bellies.
This skinny strip of red soil where I garden
commands views over the north Bristol Back at my feet, the preparation goes on
fringe. When I break for a moment, I can apace and the milky juices pour out of
see what I have christened the “Blue severed dandelion roots as I crack them
Finger”. In fact, the plot sits right on it. deep underground with my spade. I think
This high grade agricultural land running about Charles Dowding’s exhortation to
north out of the city used to form the refrain from digging and simply use
foodscapes are like, but I suspect they are
Bristol Market Gardening and Dairying mulching to build soil structure with the
many and varied across the South West
Sub-Region and showed up as a distinctive help of earthworm and teeming soil fauna.
and you, like me, will continue to think
blue tract some eight miles long and about It is a remarkable and deeply moving idea
about and act upon ideas for revitalising
a quarter of a mile wide on the 1950s map that this thin crust of soil sustains
them for generations to come. This work
of land use classification. humanity, even though our treatment of it
will continue to lay out the ground for our
often lacks a long term sense of
collective food culture and will need
Its glory days are gone, as today it is criss- stewardship.
persistence and insistence on all our parts
crossed by pylons carrying electrical
if we are to convince our policy makers
energy, motorways carrying lorries full of Plot 67 is in good shape thus far, but I have
that food and place must once again
food energy and yet it holds memories of been here before at this time of year and
become a central feature of our moves
foodscapes past; a place worked by many then gotten overtaken by events; returning
toward resilient communities.
of the figures we see staring out at us from to an overgrown plot in September with
the 1897 photo of the Bristol and District dreams dashed for another year. It may not
Back to the plot again and those edible
Market Gardeners Association. be vegetable heaven yet, but my quest is
utopian dreams!
still intact on All Fools Day.
They evoke a powerful sense of control and
order over local resources used for feeding I don’t know what your own local
Richard Spalding

May / June 2010 41

Directory Welcome to the greenliving directory. Updated
bi-monthly, this directory is your essential guide to
featured businesses, organisations and producers
in Bristol, Bath and the surrounding areas.

Asheston Eco Barns Boscrowan Farm Camper Daze The Linen Shed

T: 01348 831781 T: 01736 332396 T: 07540 474987 T: 01227 752271
E: ashestonecobarns E: E: E:
The Linen Shed

Camilla House O’Connors Campers Rezare Farmhouse Rosehill Lodges

T: 01736 363771 T: 01837 659599 T: 01579 371241 T: 01209 891920
E: E: E:


Abaca Ltd Bamboo Textiles ECOS Organic Paints Edward Bulmer Limited

T: 01269 598491 T: 08448 26 25 25 T: 01524 852371 T: 01544 388 535
E: E: E: E:

Fou Furnishings Gecco Interiors Limited The Greenshop Pink Hat
T: 029 2021 1418
T: 0141 644 5211 T: 01494 565459 T: 01452 770629 E:
E: E: E:

42 May / June 2010

L: 01179 7


Apollo Renewables Ltd Capture Energy Ltd Chris Rudge Eco-Exmoor
Renewable Energy
T: 01672 511211 T: 01209 716 861 T: 8442 412992
T: 01297 306114
E: E: E:

Ecocetera Ltd Fair Energy Solarsense UK Ltd Southern Solar

T: 01179 590580 T: 0845 12 66 555 T: 01275 394139 T: 0117 953 9090
E: E: E: E:


Ascension Monkton Wyld Court Beyond Skin Eco Concierge

T: 0845 3881 381 T: 01297 560342 T:0845 373 3648 T: 07505 480903
E: E: E: E:

Great Elm Physick Garden Liv-UK Izzy Lane Worn again
T:(0)1373 814607 T: 07912062141 T: 01386 791055 E: T: 0207 739 0189
E: E:

May / June 2010 43
greenliving_a planet worth saving

A planet worth saving... March / April 2010
‘‘The waterfalls at Semuc Champey have to be
one of the most beautiful places in Central
America, set in the middle of the jungle
untouched by civilization. When I was there the
only other person was a local woman, she looked
so serene against the vivid green water and
forest, it was an inspiring and calming

Semuc Champey, Guatemala
Picture taken by Skye Saker from Bath

Have you taken a breathtaking picture you'd like to share with our readers? If so, please email
March / April 2010 45 or write to us at 151-153 Wick Road, Bristol, BS4 4HH
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