Latest news on ethical and eco friendly living in the United Kingdom

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Ethical business

Record year for ethical banking 02.01.13

After an annus horribilis for Britain’s high street banks, alternative and challenger banks look set to reap the rewards. Ethical bank Triodos Bank reports a 260% increase in new customers in 2012 against the same period in 2011. And following the recent round of cuts in savings rates at high street banks Triodos Bank’s rates are now even more competitive - as a result it expects this strong growth to continue into 2013.

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Help Cloud Fund BOOKCHIN ON BOOKCHIN Documentary 06.07.12

BOOKCHIN ON BOOKCHIN is an independent feature-length documentary about the life and times of American political thinker Murray Bookchin, who made history as the founder of the social ecology movement.

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On track for Rio+20? How are global companies responding to sustainability? 22.05.12

UK and continental European companies are outstripping their US and Asian counterparts, according to a EIRIS’ latest report. The German sportswear manufacturer Puma is named a global leader in EIRIS’ Sustainability Ratings report with British drugs company GlaxoSmithKline and the Dutch electronics company Philips also scoring highly.

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Paraben-Free Cosmetic Formulations Gaining Popularity 03.05.12

New alternative preservation systems for cosmetic products are gaining popularity. In its new Technical Insights report, Organic Monitor finds the move to new alternative preservative systems is driven by high consumer demand for natural & organic cosmetics as well as the growing trend of formulators avoiding parabens.

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UK’s Natural and Organic Awards 2012 Winners Announced 04.04.12

BBC star Kate Humble hailed the “incredible passion” of the natural products industry as she announced the Natural & Organic Award winners on Sunday 1 April. Around 450 industry professionals saw her present the awards, jointly hosted by Natural Products magazine and the Soil Association. This year’s Natural Products Outstanding Achievement Award was won by Green & Black’s co-founder Craig Sams.

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Sustainable Investment organisations launch global trends report 04.04.12

Sustainable investment membership organisations in major markets have agreed to join forces to create a trailblazing report on the global scope of sustainable and responsible investment. For more than a decade, these regional bodies have produced research reports, generally on a biennial schedule, on the trends in sustainable and responsible investing within their own markets. The release of this harmonized global “Trends” report, the first ever, is scheduled for December 2012.

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Ethical Banks: Forging a new sustainable path for finance 04.04.12

A new study Commissioned by the Global Alliance for Banking on Values shows that sustainable values-based banks, which base their decisions first and foremost on the needs of people and the environment, are outperforming traditional mainstream banks in many areas, including financial indicators such as return on assets, growth in loans and deposits, and capital strength, making a compelling case for values-based banking.

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Yeo Valley signs up to Ethical Trade 12.03.12

Yeo Valley, the UK’s largest organic brand, is the latest addition to the Soil Association’s Ethical Trade scheme. This means that all of the milk used for Yeo Valley products – yoghurt, butter, cheese and milk – is now certified to Soil Association Ethical Trade standards. Following a major rebrand, their new packaging – which includes the Ethical Trade logo - went on sale this week.

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Government loses appeal over ’unlawful’ solar cuts 26.01.12

The Court of Appeal today (Wednesday 25 January 2012) unanimously rejected Government attempts to overturn last month’s High Court ruling that its plans to rush through sudden cuts to solar tariff payments are illegal.

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Ethical trade champions call for government to take ‘moral lead’ on ethical procurement 03.02.11

Champions of ethical trade from companies, health bodies, trade unions and public sector organisations have called on the government to play a much stronger role in driving ethical purchasing across the public sector. Source ETI

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Differences revealed in consumer views between PLCs and co-operatives 03.02.11

Figures published in a new report from Co-operatives UK have revealed stark differences between public perceptions of PLCs and co-operative businesses. Co-operatives are four times more likely to be described as ‘fair’ and ‘honest’ compared to PLCs. Conversely, PLCs are seven times more likely to be described as ‘greedy’ by consumers.

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How to harness ethical shopping’s ’floating voters’ 03.02.11

Ever since they first entered public consciousness in the late 1980s, a great deal of time and money has been spent pondering the mysteries of the ethical shopper. How many of them are there? How influential are they? Where do they shop and what makes them tick? writes the Ethical Trading Initiative’s Stephen Rylance

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Time to introduce kitemarking for ethical funds 08.11.10

Barchester Green Investment Limited, the leading ethical and environmental financial adviser, will be urging the introduction of kitemarking for ethical funds at their open seminar discussion on November 10th, during National Ethical Investment Week (NEIW) following the recent press reports of some ethical and environmental funds pulling out of BP in the wake of the Deepwater disaster.

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Ethical Investments Given Dragon Den’s style treatment 06.11.10

Just as the value of the market for ethical investments in the UK is expected to be confirmed as surpassing £10bn for the first time, a Dragons’ Den style event taking place next week will highlight ethical issues and the wide range of ethical choices the consumer can now consider.

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YO YO Yeo Valley’s Organic Rap advert 18.10.10

It ’an’t about fast cars, women, shooting your enemies- and there isn’t a piece of Bling Bling gold in sight. It’s the Yeo Valley latest advert, who thought organic could come up with this. Great fun.

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Selling Organic: The Next Chapter Conference 14th October 07.10.10

Organic Farmers and Growers, an organic certifying body, are holding a Conference in Oxford this month that brings together many of the key players from market research organisations, buyers, organic producers and policy bodies.

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Shared Interest: Ethical Investment that understands fair trade 04.10.10

Shared Interest is a twenty year old investment organisation solely dedicated to investing in Fair Trade organisations. With just over £33 million invested in projects in 36 countries Shared Interest is the lender dedicated 100% to fair trade. Their deep understanding of the unique financial requirements of the fair trade business model means that they have been able to support over 450 Fairtrdae producers and buyers throughout the world.

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Les jardins du Salvet- Smart Green Technology 01.10.10

For some strange reason there is a connection between Green thinking and technophobia. True many Greens are hostile to transgenetic organisms, not so hot on nuclear power, and want to move away from our total reliance on petrochemicals. However being hostile to certain technologies does not equate with some stone age embracing hostility to all technology. Low carbon living, sustainable living or what ever you call it requires if anything a deeper understanding and more hands on approach to a myriad of technology than present modern, urban living requires. Nowhere was that brought home to me than a day’s training at Jean-Louis Rey and Caroline Rondinaeu’s amazing farm, Les jardins du Salvet.

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Triodos Bank sees record increase in lending of £34 million for the first six months of 2010 30.07.10

Triodos Bank, the global leader in ethical and sustainable banking, today announced growth to its UK lending of 14 per cent during the first half of 2010. Loans to customers including the Glastonbury festival’s Michael Eavis have enabled the bank to increase its total UK lending to £282m, a £34m net increase on the end of 2009.

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Sureblades rises from Vestas ashes 26.07.10

One year after workers occupied the Vestas wind turbines factory on the Isle of Wight in protest at the company’s decision to cease production a new organisation, Sureblades, set up by former Vestas employees, has risen from the ashes and is due to begin production of blades within two months just yards from the closed factory.

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Meet 3 leading Fairtrade producers at Caffé Culture 24.06.10

The Fairtrade Foundation is bringing three representatives from Fairtrade regional producer networks in Africa, Asia and Latin America to speak at this year’s three-day Caffé Culture conference in Olympia, London which starts today ( 23 June ).

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93% of CEO’s say that sustainability is the key to future success 22.06.10

In spite of the recent economic downturn, an overwhelming majority of corporate CEOs – 93 percent – say that sustainability will be critical to the future success of their companies. Furthermore, CEOs believe that, within a decade, a tipping point could be reached that fully meshes sustainability with core business – its capabilities, processes and systems, and throughout global supply chains and subsidiaries.

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Work Foundation-A 2020 Low Carbon Economy 22.06.10

New research from The Work Foundation shows that confusion over regulation and a proliferation of agencies and bureaucracy is putting the creation of jobs in the low carbon economy at risk. The low carbon economy has been identified as a potential area for economic growth and job creation.

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Co-operatives- formula for 166 years of success 21.06.10

Co-operation is back in vogue. The principles developed by the Rochdale Pioneers in the UK over 166 years ago, are now the foundation for a global economy supporting half of the world’s population, a co-operative sector in the UK to which one in five of us belong and the government’s new coalition leadership.

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5 Point Guide to Greenwashing Adverts 04.06.10

With the rise in public interest in ethical investment a wide number of Banks have tried to re-position themselves, and their investment strategy, as somehow green and ’caring’. Your EthicalMoney, an EIRIS initiative, have done a 5 point guide to the more obvious greenwashing that advertising agencies have dreamed up to try and dress a goat as a lamb.

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Organic Plum Baby Food snapped up for £10 million 01.06.10

The fact that organic baby food has shrugged off the recession has not been missed by Darwin Private Equity who today announced they have paid £10 million to acquire Plum Baby Limited. Founder Susie Willis will stay on with the company as Creative Director.

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Organic Companies Taking Sustainability Route 18.05.10

Organic product companies are increasingly turning to sustainability in order to shore up their green credentials, says Organic Monitor. The leading organic research company finds that organic food pioneers are leading the way, with a growing number marketing their products on sustainability values.

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UK Organic market drops 12.9% in 2009 14.04.10

Organic sales in the UK had a terrible year in 2009, after a decade of double digit annual increase, last year saw a 12.9% drop in total sales to ₤1.84 billion, from a high in 2008 of ₤2.113 billion. Particularity hard hit was the organic meat and prepared food sectors, while organic milk, baby foods and home cooking ingredients held up and cosmetics and health product demand increased. Early signs from 2010 indicate a slow resurgence with projections of between 2-5% according to the newly released Soil Association’s Organic Market Report 2010.

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Fairtrade and Fairmined gold standards launched 18.03.10

Fairtrade Labelling Organisations International (FLO) and the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) launches the first ever third party independent certification for gold, opening up market opportunities for millions of impoverished artisanal small-scale miners and their families.

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Businesses pushed to convert to Fairtrade cotton 18.02.10

Following the success of Fairtrade cotton in the UK market over the past five years, the Fairtrade Foundation is now rolling out a strategy to target public procurement and the business world to open up new market opportunities for marginalized cotton farmers in the developing world.

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Co-operatives Fortnight:19 June to 3 July 18.02.10

Co-operatives Fortnight will be an amazing opportunity for worker co-operatives to get involved in the wider movement and promote themselves as an ethical alternative (particularly relevant in the present economic situation). This is ripped straight from our press release but, its good stuff

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Business Leaders Warn Of Impending Oil Crunch 09.02.10

A report due to be launched on Wednesday will say that the UK economy is particularly dependent on oil and will urge any new government to pursue coherent policies to enable the UK to adapt to a future of high-cost oil.

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Mothers of Innovation: One Mum leads a fight against the recession! 28.07.09

Reports on the Credit Crunch have indicated that it is affecting women in employment more than in previous downturns. New website Mothers of Innovation aims to be an antidote to recessionary gloom and a breath of fresh air for working women and mothers in the UK.

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The Real Green Retail Group welcomes M&S £200 million plan and green marketing campaign 21.07.09

M&S has launched a national advertising campaign pushing its £200m ethical plan and chiding rivals for retreating from commitment to green issues. The Real Green Retail Group applauds M&S’s commitment to green retailing, reveals what the economic downtown has meant to them, and their hopes for the future.

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£100m Green Deal to Slash SME Energy Bills 30.06.09

The Carbon Trust is to improve access for small and medium businesses to over £100m in interest-free and unsecured loans, it was announced today, 29th June. The move is intended to help more businesses survive the recession by cutting both their energy costs and their carbon footprints.

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Cotton On: Conference 9th May 30.04.09

A groundbreaking conference to be held in Bristol on 9 May will present a new vision for sustainability in the cotton industry. ‘COTTON ON!’ will be introduced by environment journalist Lucy Siegle and will offer expert speakers from the Department for International Development, Soil Association Oxfam, Fairtrade Foundation, Labour Behind the Label, Gossypium, Monsoon, and more.

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Only 40% of FTSE 350 companies assess risk of Climate Change 30.04.09

According to a new report by Acclimatise, sponsored by IBM , only 38% of the two thirds of FTSE 350 companies who reported their climate change activity to the Carbon Disclosure Project, declared they conducted any financial or quantified analysis into the impact of climate change risks to their investors.

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Grants available for E Rejuvenation 30.04.09

The Leadership Rejuvenation programme is for those in leadership positions and those who want to develop their leadership potential. The programme helps leaders enhance their vision, clarity and optimism whilst maintaining good health & work/life balance. These are essential skills in demanding times - and not easy to maintain when under strong pressure.

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The Sustainable Events Summit 2009 08.04.09

The Summit takes place on Friday 22 May at One Wimpole Street, London. With sustainability currently a huge issue in the events industry, and organisers eager to learn best practice and implement sustainable measures, this is a timely moment for the summit to take place

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New Low Carbon Business Guide 31.03.09

As securing capital investment becomes more challenging, the Carbon Trust has developed a how-to-guide to help facilities managers, works engineers and environmental managers make an effective business case for investment in low carbon projects.

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Online wind estimator tool blows away confusion around wind power 05.03.09

The Carbon Trust is today launching a new online tool to help businesses and consumers considering installing a wind turbine to work out how much power it could generate alongside the cost and carbon savings.

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EcoCoffins- a lighter last footprint 05.03.09

Many of us live by our green values, so why should it be any different when our final farewell comes asks EcoCoffins founders Sophie Dansie and her husband Ben.

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State of Green Business 2009 report now out 26.02.09

Green Biz have published their second State of Green Business annual review. Joel Makower, Executive Editor, Greener World Media, runs through their findings.

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Co-op’s ethical policy says no to £1 Billion of business 03.02.09

The Co-operative Bank today (2nd February 2009) unveiled a radical new Ethical Policy. The value of business turned away since launching its ethical stance in 1992 has now passed the £1 billion mark; however, over the same period, the Bank’s total commercial lending has grown from £571 million in 1992 to £4.4 billion in 2008, an average of 14% per annum.

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Tropical Wholefoods launchs Fairtrade Apricot hearts with a new look 01.02.09

Award-winning fair trade dried fruit company Tropical Wholefoods is introducing a new product range and unveiling a new design for its packaging.

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Organic Monitor’s 2009 Predictions 31.01.09

With the slowdown in the global economy, there is some uncertainty about the year ahead for ethical & sustainable industries. At the end of the first month of 2009, Organic Monitor gives its predictions on its specialist industries for the year ahead.

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Ethicalsuperstore.com bucks trend with 50% growth 31.01.09

The online ethical retailer has witnessed record festive sales, dispelling the myth that the credit crunch is forcing consumers to opt for budget lines.

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Get Ethical this Christmas 03.12.08

With the crowds abandoning the High Street for the comfort of online shopping, there’s still the issue of visiting several different stores to get everything you need for Christmas gifts for friends, family and colleagues. There is a great – and green – solution now, with online ethical store Get Ethical www.getethical.com

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Will The Alternative Energy Industry Survive The Oil Price Crash? 30.11.08

Two years ago CarbonFree warned that companies exploiting the growing market for alternative energy should ensure their technology and services remain competitive, even if the price of oil fell as low as $30 per barrel.

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Ethical Consumerism Report 2007 28.11.08

Household expenditure on ethical goods and services has almost doubled in the past five years according to the eighth Co-operative Bank Ethical Consumerism Report published 30th November 2007.

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WWF call on retail industry to boycott BlueFin Tuna 04.02.08

As more and more major European retailers boycott Mediterranean Bluefin Tuna, WWF used the occasion of the Barcelona Seafood Summit to call on more to join the ban until the imperilled species is out of the danger zone.

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Co-op saves £120,000 with Green tills 30.01.08

Turn off your computer at night is a common tip to save energy, but supermarket tills are left on all night. Which is a huge cost when you have 45,000 of them like the Co-op has. Now in a partnership with IBM at last they can be turned off.

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Barclays backs Catalyst Social Venture Capital Fund with £5 million 17.01.08

Barclays has today (17 January) announced that it will invest £5 million into a pioneering £25+ million social investment fund managed by Catalyst Fund Management & Research.

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ASA slams ’sustainable’ palm oil adverts 09.01.08

Friends of the Earth has today welcomed a decision by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in which palm oil described as "sustainably produced" was ruled to be false advertising. The verdict followed a Friends of the Earth International complaint against an advert by the Malaysian Palm Oil Council.

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Natural Choices top ethical business books- 2007 17.12.07

Jonathan Porritt, Adrian Henriques, Simon Zadek, John Grant, Chris Anderson, and Paul Allen – the quality of books on ethical business and corporate social responsibility has never been better.

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Top 28 Ethical companies to chose from for Christmas Gifts 13.12.07

The Ethical Company Organisation publishers of The Good Shopping Guide and the site www.gooshing.co.uk have published their top accredited ethical gifts companies, organic food and clothes, to green energy and pet foods. You couldn’t want for a better place to start your seasonal shopping.

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Adili.com 1st ethical fashion company to launch on AIM 04.12.07

One of the leading ethical fashion sites, adili.com, has announced that it is floating on AIM to raise money to drive their development. Adili.com’s Chief Executive Adam Smith talks to naturalchoices about this audacious move.

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Ethical market worth £32.3bn in 2006 30.11.07

The Co-op Bank’s ethical consumerism report for 2006 show the sector has grown from 29.3 billion in 2005 to £32.3bn in 2006. Household spending on ethical goods and services is now £664, up from just £366 in 2002 an 81% increase in five years.

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Green Computing - The Internet Meets The Oil Crisis 15.11.07

A report published this week by CarbonFree, explains how the recent rise in oil and gas prices, combined with the explosion in the use of information technology in both the home and workplace, has focused attention on the energy required to process and store the megabytes of data we create and access each day.

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Raw Gaia- breaking the cosmetics marketing hype 24.10.07

Mainstream bodycare marketing, and even a lot of ‘ethical’ marketing, centres around images of “impossibly perfect looking” models and phrases such as ‘anti-aging’ and ‘getting rid of wrinkles’. Hector Bolanos, Joint Managing Director of Raw Gaia talks to Naturalchoices about why they have taken a different route.

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The 6 tribes and ‘Green’ Tescos- what £50 million buys you 18.10.07

The °Climate Group today launches the findings the Climate Brand Index which tracks consumer perceptions of how brands are performing on climate change. It concludes that greenwash no longer works- then places Tescos as the strongest green brand.

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Ethical consumption - consumer driven or political phenomenon? 08.08.07

The most effective campaigns to encourage ethical consumption are those that take place at a collective level, such as the creation of Fairtrade cities, rather than those that target individual behaviour, says new report from the Cultures of Consumption project

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Your Ethical Business by Paul Allen 08.08.07

How to plan, start and succeed in a company with a conscience. Paul Allen’s book, in association with P3 Capital and NGO Media is the perfect starting place for ethically motivated entrepreneurs.

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Male-Organics.com the natural site for men 03.08.07

Male-Organics.com, a site specifically targeting men who are looking for natural grooming products, has just hit the internet. Founder Anthony Oram talks to naturalchoices about why organic cosmetics are all the rage.

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Ethical Goodies- a new site for green and ethical competitions and giveaways 17.07.07

This week saw the creation of www.ethicalgoodies.co.uk , a single online venue where businesses can promote new products and consumers can either win or enter draws for products or services that are organic, fairtrade, environmentally friendly or otherwise ethically sourced.

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80% of consumers want to buy local, recycle and have less packaging 10.07.07

In a new report on ethical consumption in the UK published in this week’s Marketing, Henley Centre HeadlightVision shows that 80% of consumers want to buy local food, reduce product packaging and recycle rubbish.

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The rise and roots of ethical consumption in the United Kingdom 09.07.07

Peter Shield, editor of naturalchoices looks at the roots of ethical consumerism in the United Kingdom. From the Rochdale Pioneers in 1844, to the growth of consumer power in the 1970s.

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The Eco-store that Nigel Built - from clicks to bricks 05.07.07

Nigel’s Eco Store was founded strangely enough by a man called Nigel-Nigel Berman. While the trend in retail is moving from selling through shops to selling online, Nigel Berman talks to Natural Choices about why they have gone the other way.

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Who are today’s ethical consumers? 03.07.07

Peter Shield, editor of Natural Choices, looks at the latest research on ethical consumption, and how ethical consumers profiles have changed in the last six years. Which sectors will continue to grow and what are the blocking points?

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Love Actually Love Naturally 25.06.07

Natural Friends was the first online introduction agency for green and ethically motivated people. Its founders James and Barbara Bradshaw talk to naturalchoices. Starting off 25 years ago little could they image how the internet could transform their business.

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Responsible Travel – just another business bandwagon? 25.06.07

Scott Anderson, director of The Enlightened Traveler, a travel company based in the Camargue, in the Languedoc region of southern France, writes about how they have created a responsible travel company for the discerning holiday maker.

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How to live a low-carbon life by Chris Goodall 03.04.07

In the UK the average individual is responsible directly and indirectly for 12 ½ tonnes of carbon dioxide. How do we get that down to 3 tonnes- well reading Chris Goodall’s ‘How to live a low carbon life- the individual’s guide to stopping climate change’ is the best start.

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Brown’s budget a lighter shade of Green 21.03.07

Gordon Brown’s 11th budget held few surprises for the environment. It continues Brown’s theme of carrot and stick, encouraging ‘good’ behaviour rather than punishing ‘bad’.

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