Wednesday 30 December 2009

5 Eco Resolutions!

With the start of a New Year comes the opportunity to make some positive resolutions. Eco resolutions! Psychologists have noticed that New Year resolutions are rarely maintained throughout the year unless they were already deeply embedded in what you want from life, not just made up for New Year. Use the New Year to help reaffirm those eco resolutions you want to become habit. Here are my top 5 eco resolutions for 2010.


1. Kill the ‘Phantom Load’! The term refers to your mobile phone charger, computer cord and time-telling DVD player that all suck energy even when there isn’t anything attached on the other end, hence the spooky phantomness. Clock in the microwave? £50 a year added to your energy bill!

2. Walk or cycle! Jumping in the car might sound energetic, but it’s consistent walking and cycling throughout the year that will firm up your legs, bums and tums. You’ll look good on the beach, improve your life expectancy and save money. I think petrol engines in new cars will be unusual in 50 years time, but in the meantime, walk or cycle if you can!

3. Eat local, healthy and organic to reduce air miles and pesticide pollution. The average meal travels 1,000 miles from producer to plate. You might also save money learning to cook rather than ordering another pizza to be delivered!

4. Holiday locally! Although some air fares are cheap, you will often save money overall if you take into account airport taxes, travel to and from the airport, insurance and other costs associated with foreign travel. You’ll also spend a smaller percentage of your time in transit, allowing you more quality time together.

5. Use ‘oxo-degradable’ plastic bags whenever possible. These are given out at the Co-op and Tesco, and look, feel and carry just as much as other plastic bags. Oxo-degradable means the bag only takes 3 years to degrade in oxygen and light, rather than 100 years for normal bags. Yes there are pros and cons to oxo-degradables, but on balance they’re a step forward. Re-using is best, recycling is second best, disposing degradables is third best, disposing non-degradables is ‘so last year’.

Atul Srivastava
Eco Expert

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Thursday 17 December 2009

Monthly Round Up - December 2009

'Life' on BBC1 was incredible last night! Jellyfish have no brains! Some jellyfish are immortal!

Jo Wood Organics is certified organic with ECOCERT, the leading European certification organisation for cosmetics!

Looking for eco xmas present ideas? Try Jo Wood's organic body mousse for £15, or exfoliating salt scrubs for £24!

Xmas present ideas! Jo Wood Organics gift sets from 30 pounds!

I'm doing a sponsored run to help plant trees and flight climate change! On £135 now, please help get to £500!

'My Journey With a Remarkable Tree' by Ken Finn - ancient forest destruction in Cambodia for "pathetic and immediate economic gratification" reviews the Green Awards 2009 and quotes Eco Expert!

Green Fashion Show hits the Runway!

London College of Fashion: Green is the New Black!

Trash to Fashion! have a great eco-xmas present idea! Buy someone half an acre of rainforest for £25!

Latest news from Copenhagen!

Copenhagen temporarily renamed 'Hopenhagen'!

Want to do something practical to fight climate change? Support an environmental charity to plant trees!

Aiming to finish the 10k run in under 50mins!

Arctic summer ice may be gone in five years!

Developing nations storm out of climate talks for 5hrs!

Science explained: a really simple, 2min video to show how CO2 traps heat!

Octopus found using tools! Researchers now say octopuses are as intelligent as vertebrates!

Highly complex tool use shown by endangered chimps, recently discovered in Congo!

5 Eco Xmas Present Ideas!

Arnold Schwarzenegger says it's 5 times more expensive to fix than prevent climate change! Anyone going to argue with him?

Monthly Round Up - November 2009

Warmed globe melts Kilimanjaro ice:

'Ghost Forest' placed at Trafalgar Square during Copenhagen!

Striking a climate deal is "the single most important thing" the world could do:

Want an Eco job? Visit:

No "competition" between ecology and economy:

"Delay Kills" - Copenhagen must agree or risk water shortages and hunger:

Copenhagen is about people, not just nature. It's about preventing children being drowned in floods, thirsty and starving to death.

Climate talks make progress, pressure on U.S.:

Environment Agency buys £336M of green IT, saving £ long term:

UN- protecting environment worth trillions:

Rock chair power!

Enjoy walking and want to save money on getting to the countryside? Visit:

Well done to Car Free Walks! Eco Expert was pleased to present them with a Highly Commended certificate at the Green Awards last night!

Looking for organic health and beauty products? Jo Wood has her own range!

Sponsor Eco Expert to run the Telford 10k Road Race in aid of BTCV!

Eco Expert Running the Telford 10k Road Race!

No backing out now, I've received my race number for the Telford 10k Road Race! Sponsor me and raise money to help tackle climate change!

Want some eco friendly xmas gift ideas? Visit

Daylight Saving Bike invented! Pedal power for street lights!

Check out my website and blog! and

Monthly Round Up - October 2009

Good luck to 'Two Jags' Prescott - now the Council of Europe's Rapporteur on Climate Change - and travelling by public transport!

850 new species of invertebrates discovered underground in Australia!

200 Bearded Vultures have been spotted in a remote part of India!

Lighter Coke bottles save costs and the environment:

IOC voting on Friday for venue of 2016 Olympics. Tokyo's bid has environment as priority with Olympic stadium to be powered by solar energy

Let's hope Formula 1 keeps KERS in 2010 rules! Kinetic Energy Recovery System. It uses heat generated by brakes for power, saving fuel

Clock on your microwave? £50 a year onto your energy bill! Turn off your microwave at the wall when you're not using it, to save you money

Starbucks in Canda now have compostable cups made of partially recycled material!

France invests 1.5Billion Euros on infrastructure for electric cars, including a million battery-charging points to be built by 2015!

60 celebs record eco song!

Save money and help the environment by purchasing energy efficient products such as dehumidifiers, refrigerators and televisions

India setting up Green Party!

UK approves world's largest biomass plant:

10 eco myths busted!

Giant pandas on brink on extinction - debate rages as some wildlife experts say let them go and spend the money saving other animals!

What do you think? Save the pandas or spend the money saving other animals? I say fight to save them, but only Chinese government can do it!

Want to meet new people? Volunteer for a day in a nature reserve planting trees!

New research into plants that create hydrocarbons chemically identical to petroleum:

Watch the amazing lyrebird mimick chainsaws:

Arnold Schwarzenegger signs climate agreement:

Eco gadgets make great birthday or Christmas presents!

Sony brings out 'presence sensor' TV that turns on / off when you enter / leave the room, saving up to 50% of power consumption.

Notable scientists and authors unite in calling for new Nobel prizes for 'Global Environment' and 'Public Health'!

Homeowner and want to save on your heating bill? Ground source heat pumps save an average of 540kg of carbon a year - use instead of boilers

Save money and hang your washing to dry! Clothes dryers account for at least 6% of household electricity consumption

Endangered parrot tries to mate with Stephen Fry's photographer!

Want to stop getting junk mail and reduce waste paper? Register with the Mailing Preference Service!

Green Awards 2009 Shortlist Announced! Find out which organisations have been leading the way on eco-issues at

Scientists Raise Alarm as Biodiversity Loss Surges:

Buy The Times on Thursdays for the Eureka magazine - science, life and the planet!

Want to live longer? Walk! It's the ultimate low-cost, ecofriendly, carbon-neutral mode of transport. Walkers in their 80s live longer!

Want to lose weight or get fit? People burn about 100 calories per mile when walking at 3mph. Walking also reduces depression! 350 is the most important number in the world-it's what scientists say is the safe upper limit for carbon dioxide in the atmosphere

Shark mums 'invest' in newborns:

Some interesting thoughts on 'spiritual ecology':

New solar panels align themselves with the direction of the sun!

When you lose habitat area you lose species, it's "the most important relationship in ecology" says Washington University

Warmed forests yield less timber:

University of Wisconsin is putting on a free environmental film festival:

Rachel Carson, in her book "Silent Spring," pointed to the decline of birds to warn about toxins like the now-banned DDT.

Obama dismisses warming sceptics:

New book claims that pet dogs are as bad for the environment as driving an SUV: "Time to Eat the Dog: The Real Guide to Sustainable Living"

Up to 70% of female alligators remain with the same male year after year:

Billions of ladybirds will invade UK!

Watch The Community Channel on Sky at 11pm GMT tonight! Eco Expert presenting a 15minute film about conservation volunteering!

Eco-Halloween Costumes:

Watch The Community Channel on Sky 539 at 11am, 5pm or 11pm GMT! Eco Expert presenting a 15minute film about conservation volunteering!

Edward Norton runs NYC Marathon for environment!

Ban internal flights for 1 day per year to help meet CO2 targets! Add it to the calendar as 'Carbon Holiday' or 'Aviation Holiday'!

An interesting, unexpected impact of the recession, and 9/11, is that it reduced CO2 emissions in some countries!

Summary of Eco Expert on the Internet - 17 December 09

Wednesday 16 December 2009

5 Eco Xmas Present Ideas!

With Christmas fast approaching, many people at this time of year are stuck for present ideas. You've known someone for years, but still can't think of what to get them. They seem to have everything they want and need. Maybe it's time to think outside the gift box. Think Eco! Here are my top five tips for environmentally and socially friendly Christmas presents.


1. Save an Acre of Rainforest

My number 1 Eco Xmas present idea for 2009 is The World Land Trust Gift Pack. A gift donation of £25 will enable the WLT to purchase half an acre of rainforest, or £50 for a full acre. The recipient will receive a certificate recording that habitat has been saved on their behalf. Remember to select the paperless certificate option, so they receive the certificate by email rather than paper!

2. Adopt a Monkey or Donkey

Through various wildlife charities and local zoos you can arrange for a rare, and perhaps quite amusing, animal to be adopted as a present. My personal favourite is the Adopt a Monkey Gift Box for £23! Careful not to offend if you choose the Donkey option!

3. Membership of an Eco Organisation

Think of a small environmental organisation that has specific relevance for the person receiving the present. If they enjoy walking in the outdoors, try a year's membership of the Ramblers. If they like honey, try the British Bee Keepers Association. A list of small environmental organisations can be found at:

4. Experience Days

You don't need gas guzzling F1 car or skydiving experience days to get the adrenaline pumping. has a specific section of experience days for nature lovers, including lion feeding and shark diving! Or why not arrange for yourself and your 'presentee' to enjoy a trip to a luxury spa, theatre, concert, cinema or sporting event? No wrapping involved, yet far more personal than a book or a record token!

5. Organic Fragrances

If you're thinking toiletries, think eco! The Body Shop have a range of ethical products for men and women. Jo Wood Organics have a series of organic fragrances and health and beauty products. I recommend her particularly stylish gift sets.

Atul Srivastava

Eco Expert

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Tuesday 8 December 2009

No brainers! What Jellyfish and Cliff Richard have in common!

I was watching 'Life' on BBC1 last Monday, narrated by Sir David Attenborough, and was fascinated to learn that jellyfish have no brains!

Jellyfish are captivating creatures, and a reminder that we do not need to look into outer space to find exciting beings that are wildly different to humans. Want to see an alien? We have them right here on Earth.

Jellyfish have a loose network of nerve endings known as a nerve net. They react directly on food and danger stimuli via nerve impulses, without a brain to process them. It remains a mystery how they can process this information without a brain.

Scientists have recently been jumping over themselves in frantic 'jellyfish research scramble', with funding justified on the basis of their increasing populations and resultant contact with humans.

And now they have found something truly astonishing.

An immortal jellyfish has evolved, and is swarming through the world's oceans. It's numbers are rocketing because it can reproduce, but need not die. Eventually something might eat it, but that's not the point.

Turritopsis nutricula may be the world's only immortal creature.

It's the only known animal that is capable of reverting completely to its younger self. Instead of dying after reproducing, like other jellyfish, it reverts to a juvenile polyp of sexual immaturity and rejuvenates itself. A far better deal.

It does this through a cell process of transdifferentiation, where cells transform from one type to another. The switching of cell roles is usually seen only when parts of an organ regenerate. However, it appears to occur normally in the Turritopsis life cycle. Scientists believe the cycle can repeat indefinitely, rendering it potentially immortal. This tiny creature is just 5mm long, and is the focus of many marine biologists and geneticists, to see exactly how it manages to reverse its aging process and achieve eternal youth.

Or they could just ask Cliff Richard.

Sources and thanks to:

Thursday 3 December 2009

I'm doing a sponsored run to help plant trees and fight climate change! On £135 now, please help get to £500!