Thursday, January 03, 2008

7 Useful Green Sites for Home-Based Environmental Action

As consumers wake up to the realities of climate change, businesses are increasingly embarking on programmes of "greenwashing" - PR strategies that attempt to create an impression of environmental concern among current or future customers.

Against that backdrop, it can be difficult for ordinary householders to get objective information about reducing their environmental impact. The following is a list of web sites I like which promote practical solutions for individuals and households wanting to take practical action within their own lives and families.

I hope you find them useful.

Community Recycling Network is a national body (funded by its members and grants) which promotes local sustainable waste management - that's reduction, re-use and recycling. What I like about this site is the breadth of information and the large number of links to groups who are doing practical work in reduction and re-use across a wide range of areas. It's a good place to start if you are the kind of person who likes to have your imagination fired by creative thinking and good practice.

Freecycle is a site that pops up often on my blogs. The idea is simple - people list items they no longer need or items they would like to acquire. People contact each other via the site and give or receive as appropriate. The only condition is that everything listed has to be free of charge. The site has numerous local sites across the world.

How Can I Recycle This? As the name implies, this site lists hundreds of everyday items (with ideas often generated by readers) on how that item can be re-used. It's surprisingly addictive (unless I'm just not getting out enough.)

Veggie Garden Tips. Growing your own food is one of the best ways of reducing resources - by cutting out the food miles that most of the food we eat has logged by the time we buy it. When I started out on this journey (yes, the carrots are mine, thank you) I found this site practical for the novice like me who couldn't tell his perennials from his conifers.

Green TV. If you blog or just enjoy new media, this site has a ton of cutting edge media resources on environmental issues. You can also upload your own films - though unlike YouTube, the quality control measures here are robust.

Ecovillage Network. If you thought food recycling was cutting edge, spare a thought for the pioneers of ecovillages - local communities which are striving for near-zero environmental impact in entire neighborhoods. It's the kind of site that might make you topple over into a full paradigm shift.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. This is the place to find the hard facts and figures on current environmental issues. The best brains in the world pool their findings here on everything from the rate of sea level rises to desertification, from the details of what we mean by a greenhouse gas to the impact of glacial shrinkage in the Andes. It's quite user-friendly and full of resources for eduction and media purposes.

If you've got a favourite, please list it with your comment.

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