In my family, it's gotta be my parents for their short haul holidays several times a year. But it varies from family to family, as I found in an article I've written for this month's House Beautiful magazine -- it features an energy-guzzling daughter, a Dad uninspired by going green and a home-working Mum who just can't do without the heat up. The mag's out now (August issue) and asks why some family members have clown-sized carbon footprints. So -- who's the culprit in your family, and why?
A disclaimer first: this is a shameless self-promotion post. Yesterday myself and the team over at CNET Networks UK formally launched SmartPlanet (you can get the offical press release here). The basic gist is news and reviews of anything green or ethical. Plus a bit of humour. And a lot of research. If you've ever wondered whether an energy-saving gadget, organic beauty product or so-called green car are as good as the hype proclaims, the site should be up your street. In a personal capacity, I'm going to find it really useful, since a lot of these 'conscientious' products are only available online and you're basically buying blind when shopping at ecotailers. One of the ideas behind SmartPlanet is too take the guesswork out of that, as we'll have checked out the eco and ethical creds, done our research and actually sampled or tested the product hands-on. Like any site, it's a work in progress -- so please let me know what you love or hate in the comments. I know everyone says it, but I'd genuinely like as much feedback as possible.
If you're looking for green alternatives to trad Christmas presents, head on over to SmartPlanet. Today Rikke's got some suggestions for an eco alternative to the weekend away, including a trip on the slick new carbon neutral Eurostar to Paris. Every day until December 25th, the site'll feature mighty fine ethical alternatives to trad Xmas pressies, from socks to smelly box sets.
Finally, I can share what I've been working away on for the last two months - ladies and gentlemen, meet SmartPlanet. It's a green and ethical consumer blog put together by me, our excellent staff writer Rikke Bruntse-Dahl and a whole bunch of other people at CNET Networks who I owe thank yous to. Here are a few of my favourite articles: interviews with Lush and Neal's Yard on ethical beauty, a video on Londoners' carbon footprints and a first-hand report from that O2 Sustainability Show last weekend. This is our first toe in the water. Expect even more exciting things very soon...
Yep, that's me to the Prime Minister's left yesterday. I'll blog about the experience in full soon via my new day job SmartPlanet, but the long-and-short is that it was a great experience. I was there with seven other people -- plus MP Joan Ruddock -- representing energy-saving communities around the UK. In a ridiculously flattering gesture, the Energy Saving Trust invited me to Downing Street to represent online green communities, so if you're a Brit and write a green blog, post in eco forums or joined a green group on Facebook, I owe you a big thank you. Incidentally, today is 'digital day' of Energy Saving Week, so if you're chatting with mates online, spread some of these tips. In the photo, from left to r ight: Joy Greasley (WI) Kai Boschman DSGI (DIXONS),Rachel Bradley B&Q, Philip Selwood CEO Energy Saving Trust, Adam Vaughan environmental journalist,PM,Joan Ruddock,Dr Martin Blake Royal Mail,Andrew Fisk Proctor and Gamble,David Shreeve C of E.
Sorry for all the 'me-me-me', but for housekeeping's sake here's a link to a piece in last weekend's Telegraph quoting me blabbing away about reusing and recycling your telly if you're switching to digital. For all those Whitehaveners - try giving your old TVs away or flogging them before going down recycle road.
For those mates and work colleagues who were wondering what rabbit hole I'd disappeared down... I can now stop being enigmatic and reveal I'm working over at CNET Networks UK. I can tell you absolutely zip about the details, but can say that we're launching a UK green consumer lifestyle site that I'm really, really excited about. I'm biased, of course, but I think this is a site that'll - in the long term - genuinely shake up the green web. Watch this space!