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Ecobob Weekly Top 10

Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Welcome to the first edition of the Ecobob Weekly Top 10 where every week we will bring you snippets of info and links to interesting eco stories on the web. We will keep you updated with any interesting news, events or happenings in the eco-world.

If you know of any interesting eco-info that we could include in our weekly top 10 please email it to info@ecobob.com - your feedback is important to us!

Please post your feedback/comments at the bottom of the page.

1. Apartment gardens (New Zealand)

If we're going to become more sustainable in New Zealand, it is crucial that things change in our cities given that is where the majority of us now live. The 'Apartment gardens' web site is well worth checking out for some inspiration on starting your own apartment garden!

Especially be sure to check out the urban garden inspiration page, it's got some great photos to inspire you.

Apartment Gardens is inspired to lead New Zealand towards the international movement of urban ecology awareness. Triggered by our growing understanding of human impact to worldwide natural resource and ecology, we have learned to recycle, to shop smart, reduce waste and to conserve energy. Gardening allows a personal step beyond conservation to actively regenerate ecology and diversity.

Visit the web site...

2. Bloom Box Fuel Cell (International)

Anyone wanting to live 'off the grid' will be interested in a new device about to launch. A new but still unseen technology called the Bloom Box that its creator claims can be an off-grid source of cheap, clean electricity in a device the size of a loaf of bread is about to get its close-up.

The formal debut of Bloom Energy's much-hyped fuel cell, known as the Bloom Box, will take place at eBay's headquarters in California on Wednesday, and will reportedly attract figures from the former secretary of state, Colin Powell, who is on the company's board, to the state's governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The anticipation can be gauged by a segment on the CBS network's flagship television programme, 60 Minutes, on Sunday which talked about the "holy grail" of clean energy technology. A clock on Bloom Energy's website – which contains little information bar an inspirational video of astronauts and of winning runners cresting the tape at the finish line – counts down the minutes until the launch.


Read the article on The Guardian...

3. Swap your home grown produce (New Zealand)

For all the back-yard gardeners out there, now there is a way to trade your home grown produce with your neighbours. The Garden Trader on MyGarden.co.nz allows you to list any gardening produce, tools or equipment for trade with others in your area. It is a way of reducing our reliance on the fossil fuel based 'supermarket' food system and connect with other gardens in our community.

Swap your home grown produce and other gardening stuff. List gardening items such as produce from your garden or gardening equipment you wish to sell, swap or give away.

MyGarden Gardening web site...

4. Investigating eco-friendly brands (International)

An interesting article on the New Scientist web site about the perception consumers have about how eco friendly various brands are.

IF YOU care about the environment, you may want to show that in the way you spend your money. Maybe you shop at an organic food store rather than a conventional supermarket. You probably look at energy efficiency labels before buying a new laptop. And if you're really serious, you may even be concentrating your nest egg into "green" investment funds.

All of these decisions could help steer us towards a truly green economy - but only if consumers and investors have a good idea of which companies have genuinely minimised their impact on the environment. Do the corporations that benefit from our environmentally conscious purchasing and investment choices deserve their green halo?


Read the article on the New Scientist...

5. The Sustainable Living Programme (New Zealand)

This is a very worthwhile sustainable living course run throughout New Zealand. If you're looking to live more sustainably (and save cash in the process) as well as connect with other kiwi's then I would highly recommend finding out more about this course.

The eight Sustainable Living study topics have been designed to work if necessary as self-contained content, so some venues (especially in rural areas) offer each topic separately promoted. A typical course covers most of these topics on consecutive weeks:

•energy efficiency
•eco-building design and insulation
•water use and protection
•gardening with nature
•organic veges
•waste reduction, including composting
•shopping with the planet in mind
•travel options and carbon impacts
•community resilience (new for 2010)


Visit the Sustainable Living Programme web site...

6. International Year of Biodiversity (International)

You are probably aware by now how important biodiversity is to a sustainable planet. The eco system lives in a delicate balance with each ecological element impacting a myriad of other elements. Well, the United Nations has proclaimed 2010 to be the International Year of Biodiversity. This is intended to motivate people all over the world to safeguard our natural wealth and reduce the loss of biodiversity.

On the pages of this website, you will be able to find out a bit more about the International Year of Biodiversity.
Visit the pages to find out:

  • The important role biodiversity plays in our lives and what is happening to it.
  • What people are doing around the world to combat biodiversity loss
  • How people are celebrating the International Year of Biodiversity
  • Some of the resources available to you in your celebrations


Visit the UN web site...

7. Sustainably harvested timber (New Zealand)

A NZ company is using NZ Draft-wood to build an urban eco house. Draft-wood is a timber that has been harvested with the up most care to minimise impact on the environment - the trees are selected and carefully felled to minimise damage and extracted using natural draft horse power. Draft horses have the ability to maneuver in the stand to allow single tree selection and they also have very little ground disturbance not to mention no fossil fuels, smoke or noise (you can still here the tui).

Follow the project on Facebook...

8. Water usage and Dirty Dairying (New Zealand)

There's a major water dispute in Canterbury right now and it's fundamentally about public good versus private profit. Our rivers and aquifers are being sucked dry by dairy corporations for their profit. Meanwhile, the environment suffers and some communities are short on clean drinking water.

Also, it’s not just what’s happening down on our industrial farms that’s causing climate change, it’s also what’s being destroyed to make way for them. In the rush to convert to land to dairy farming, tens of thousands of hectares of forests are being felled.

More on deforestation for dairy | Dairying in Canterbury

9. Will GM food save the world?

Will GM technology feed the world - or destroy farming, and human health, in the name of corporate profit? How can we tell, when the science is up for sale?
Read this article on the New Statesman for an interesting piece on GM crops.

Read the article on GM food...

10. How to make the Iraq War more eco friendly (Spoof)

An oldie, but a goodie, a spoof by the guys at 'The Onion' on how to make the Iraq war more eco friendly. In all seriousness though, I wonder how much of an impact the global wars (in Iraq and Afghanistan) are having on the environment?




Have you got any ideas for our weekly top 10? Email them to info@ecobob.com
 

 

Your comments:

by Anonymous 24 Feb 10, 2 replies : Last Post Sort by:
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3840 posts
Weekly Top 10 Comments 
Posted 24 Feb 10 12:36 AM
#8 Water etc.

If you want some evidence as to what dirty farming is doing in New Zealand you MUST watch this TVNZ piece online (it's free):

http://www.3news.co.nz/100-pure/tabid/371/articleid/116553/cat/923/default.aspx


3840 posts
Re: Weekly Top 10 Comments 
Posted 24 Feb 10 2:57 AM
Regarding the info on dirty dairying etc... farmers have to make a living too. If we don't allow farmers easy access to NZ's water resources how are they supposed to create an export income for NZ?

3840 posts
Re: Weekly Top 10 Comments 
Posted 24 Feb 10 1:46 PM
It's not all about "the economy" - certainly not using current flawed economic models. For more recent and better economic thinking do some reading about Ecological Economics and/or Natural Capitalism.

Real Farmers are environmentalists - they are in it for the long-term and care about their land and ecosystems. Big business, on the whole, is not.
 

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