Thursday, 28 June 2007

Natural soap from Andalucia

The Andalucia region of Spain is well known for its Mediterranean climate and unspoilt terrain. The Andalucia Soap Company manufactures natural Castile soap made with locally grown natural olive oil as a base. Why Castile soap? Because it is made with plants rather than animal fats and it has therapeutic and medical qualities. The other plant based ingredients are locally grown too, with the warm Mediterranean climate giving a rich abundance of fruit and vegetables from which to choose. The entire range of Andalucia soaps is free from chemical and synthetic fragrances, preservatives, detergents or chemicals. The colours used are all either plant based or made from natural clays. Apart from the all-natural nature of these wonderful soaps, you also get the benefit of aromatherapy oils blended into the soaps for their aroma and their therapeutic benefits. The soaps are so gentle they can be used as a facial cleanser and as a shampoo, they can even be used as a shaving soap. The other important thing to mention is that they are not tested on animals. The range is available on-line via their website and the prices are around €4.50 for a 100g bar.

Auto switch-off extension lead

Am I the only person that finds turning off appliances actually quite easy? If you do have difficulties turning off your appliances, there is ever increasing number of products on the market to help you. This adapter lead is the latest product on the market that's designed to make switching appliances off less of an effort. You can plug up to seven devices into the adapter and then you simply switch off the device in the master socket and it very cleverly powers down all the other sockets. For example, you can have your computer in the master socket and your peripherals in the other six, and once you power down your computer, the power is switched off from the peripherals for you. I must admit, it is pretty handy if your power sockets are in hard to get to places, and it does make it much easier in the evening when you’re tired and all you want to do is switch off your computer and go to bed.

If you do want to buy one, you can get it from Eco Electricals for £16.99.

Folding Solar Panel

The Sunlinq roll-up solar panel will power energy hungry gadgets like DVD players, hand-held computer games and other such gadgets. There is also an optional battery charger attachment that lets you charge your mobile phone, digital camera…etc. The Sunliinq power panel will run virtually any device that would normally work from or can be charged through your 12v car lighter adapter.

The panel comes with an accessories kit that includes a female CLA, male CLA, SAE barrel connector plug, battery clamps and 8ft. extension cord with SAE connectors and a build in charge regulator.
The whole thing is durable and lightweight, and when folded measures just 13 x 23 x 1.3cm and weighs only 200g, tough enough to stand up to hiking, camping and general backpacking. You can buy all this solare power for £85.00 from the greenshop.

ScootElectric Helio electric moped

The Helio electric moped offers affordable electric transport for the growing number of frustrated people who, despite paying the highest travel costs, suffer queues, delays, gridlock and poor parking facilities.
The Helio is 100% electric and has a range of 20-25 miles on one charge. It has a top speed of 23mph, though this is hardly a racing bike, it is more than fast enough for most of us. There is lots of cargo carrying capacity fro your shopping and other bits and pieces.

The Helio is Vehicle Type Approved in the UK and classed as a sub 50cc electric moped and at the moment you can get a £200 government grant.

The Helio costs £1399.00, but with the grant it costs a mere £1199.00 and is available from eGO Vehicles.

Floating wind farms could solve our electricity problems

The problem with wind farms is they’re massive, they damage the local environment and wildlife and the local populations hate them. Although they are good for reducing CO2 emissions, they blight the rural landscape. Now there is possibly an answer to these problems.

Seimens and Norsk Hydro have teamed up to try to generate electricity in the middle of the North Sea. They are testing a prototype wind turbine in the North Sea. It will be the world’s first floating off-shore wind farm. The prototype project could be finished in 2009 and if it works, a small offshore wind farm of 200 turbines could be built by 2014. This could provide enough electricity for many coastal cities. What is new and unique about this project is that the actual wind turbines are floating and tethered to the seabed, rather than fixed into the seabed. This means they can be much further out to sea where the winds are much stronger and more consistent. The other advantage is environmental. There is a great deal of public hostility to wind farms in the locality of the proposed installations. No one wants a massive wind farm on their doorstep. Quite apart from this, is the impact on the wildlife around the proposed wind farms. You only have to look at the opposition to the wind farms at Whinash near Kendal and on the Greek island of Skyros, to realise how unpopular these installations are.

This is no doubt an engineering challenge, but if successful will pave the way for many more floating wind farms. The prototype turbine is expected to produce 5 megawatts, enough for 1,000 homes. This is an elegant and effective solution that meets all the criteria for renewable electricity without the environmental damage or public opposition.

[Via The Independent]