Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Go Green

extracts from the Telegraph, UK

Paula Robinson from The Earth channel said "I am embarrassed to think how many times I've bought something based on looks and price alone, without pausing to think where, how and from what it was made. By contrast, my new regime of "shopping green" is hard work, especially when it comes to furniture. It isn't fast, easy or cheap, and I have had to re-think my approach to shopping entirely. I took my cue from the way the French shop for food: for quality, not convenience, carefully picking each establishment for its best produce rather than opting for a one-stop shop. Applying this principle to "green shopping" instantly turned it into an enjoyable quest rather than drudgery. Buying locally-made furniture is a major objective: it's better for the environment than anything shipped from halfway around the world. I'm a huge advocate of buying the work of British craftsmen. They offer quality and value for money and are well worth seeking out."

The notion of 'green shopping' is becoming more in vogue as more people are demanding organic food, products from a sustainable source, or reclaimed and recycled. Paula Robinson suggests that we should ask more questions of the supplier to identify the products history and ideally choose natural finishes to products as these will have lower energy consumption. Additionally she highlight the 'buy local' ethic as Britain is a big producer of wool, hemp and other natural products.

"Ultimately, the best eco-furnishings are pieces already in existence, transformed into something new and exciting with minimal fuss. Repaint old furniture using natural paint, lime, quark, or stain it with old recipes such as tea and vinegar, and plant colour. For inspiring, simple eco-finishes. Look around your home, second hand and charity shops, and architectural salvage yards to see what can be transformed from one use to quite another. Some of my favourites include turning a paned window frame into a mirror; discarded trellis into a kitchen wall rack; a stair spindle into a tall candlestick; and an old shutter into a CD rack.If you must discard furniture, don't go to the tip.Contact organisations that re-distribute unwanted furniture to underprivileged families. And, before buying anything new, pause: don't let looks and price alone dictate your choice. Ask where it comes from, what it's made of, and how it's made, and avoid anything with excessive packaging. There's something satisfying about making a difference, one step - and one person - at a time." Paula Robinson said.

Telegraph-'Going green is worth the effort'

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