Mainstream Green

I went along to Grand Designs Live yesterday in a very big shed in London’s Docklands. It was amazing to see how mainstream eco-living is becoming. I remember when the only place you could really see renewables demonstrated was CAT in Wales, but now there are hundreds of companies getting in on the act.

The funny thing is that alongside the stands selling solar water heaters and wind turbines, you still have people selling gas-fired patio heaters and energy guzzling hot-tubs. It’s all very strange. I’m writing a bit about it at the moment because I think we’re only just at the beginning of climate change confusion.

Anyway, I did come away with a very cool toy. Bye Bye Standby

basically makes it really easy to turn off all those gadgets that sit on stand by in one go. Seems to work really well.

Bye Bye Standby

Lurching between optimism and pessimism

Just noticed that the RSA have put up a transcript (pdf) of the climate change event last year where I responded to the Treasury’s Michael Jacobs. My short talk was about the emotionally exhausting nature of the climate change issue — how it has developed an uneasy relationship between optimism and pessimism.

Also noticed that Matthew Taylor — new Chief Exec at the RSA — has started blogging.


A little while back I met Tom Savage at a event about social enterprise. Tom is behind Tiptheplanet which is a kind of editable ‘How To’ guide to being more sustainable. It strikes me as a genuinely useful use of a wiki — as Tom explains:

From little things, like cleaning your leather shoes with a banana skin – (rub with the inside of the peel, then wipe and buff with a cloth), dusting down the coils at the back of the fridge (dusty coils can waste up to 30% extra electricity) or not having a screen saver (set your computer to sleep instead to save money and energy)… To those bigger issues, such as recycling (if 100,000 people who currently don’t recycle began to do so, they could collectively reduce CO2 emissions by 42,000 tons a year) to turning off office lights at night (Lighting an average-size office overnight wastes enough energy to heat water for 1000 cups of tea), has tips that can help individuals and organisations do their bit toward making the world a better, easier and cheaper-to-live in place!

Well worth a look.