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(Another) Long Way Round

Last week, Ewan McGregor announced his second motorcycle trip. He�s due to set off in the next couple of weeks � and this time the journey will take him from Edinburgh to Cape Town.

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400-watt solar aircon

SolCool One LLC of Redlands, California, is marketing an air conditioner that uses so little power it can be run from the power generated by no more than four solar panels. The air conditioner uses less than 400 watts of power, allowing it to run off the power of four or fewer solar panels or a wind turbine.

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Geodesic Blue dome

Christopher Blue�s music career has taken him from working with John Cale to fronting his own raging band �10 Minute Warning�- alongside Duff McKagan, fresh off the ultimate in balls-out rock and roll trips, Guns N’ Roses. It�s no wonder he�s chosen an off-grid place to help him unwind and get away from the hectic Seattle music scene.



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Jessica Alba – secretly green?

Jessica Alba’s two new films have apparently persuaded the actress to embrace her green side. In the Fantastic Four sequel, The Rise of the Silver Surfer, Alba will be driving a Hybrid car � the �batmobile� of the Fantastic foursome, Fantasticar. In Good Luck Chuck, she’s a dolphin trainer. She’s also a fan of cult organic labelsLush, 1921 Premium Denim and Levi’s ethically-made jeans.

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Coastal Access for All

New rules proposed by the UK government mean we may soon be able to walk the whole outline of the British Isle unimpeded by pesky �keep out� signs � but don’t count on it. The big landowners are opposing the move – write to DEFRA to voice your support. Currently, the public has access to only half of the country’s coastline, and despite a popular misconception – none at all to most beaches.

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Urban Sea of Green

Green Roofs currently sweeping across Europe inverts our spatial perception by taking vegetation from the ground to the rooftops. Aside from their ecological benefits, nobody would deny the aesthetic improvement of replacing an ugly old rooftop with a floral delight

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Orlando Bloom’s Epiphany

Orlando Bloom is taking time out from acting to study Buddhism, and he is building a nearly off-grid home in London at the same time. Orlando says he needs time to reflect on what�s going on in his life. He embraced Buddhism after a break-up, and says it helped ease the pain after the four-year relationship ended.

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Green eating guide

You want to source local and organic food producers in the UK, but small shops and delivery companies aren�t going to flood you with advertising. We have just the guide to get you started.

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Grease me up

I started working toward converting my car to run on vegetable oil over a year ago. My 1992 Jetta can burn vegetable oil as well as regular diesel fuel; its engine is based on a design by Rudolph Diesel first shown in Paris in 1905, and slightly modified to run on a petroleum product we call diesel, rather than the peanut oil his engine originally used.

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Homepower your stereo

When it comes to renewables, you�ve got to be realistic. Try taking one small solar panel and think: what can I power with this? That�s the question Richard Rogers asked himself, and his answer � a hi-fi. Music-lovers can re-create his design using some basic equipment and a little electronics know-how.

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Going grey — water that is

This article discusses some basic aspects of a greywater system that could be used off-grid.

Greywater is the used water at a particular site, except for water coming from the toilet, which is known as blackwater. When building a greywater system you first separate the greywater from the blackwater and send the greywater through a separate treatment system. Ideally, after the greywater passes through the purification process it can then be reused. Greywater systems are an appropriate use of technology for many reasons, particularly for off-grid locations. They reduce the use of fresh water, there is less stress on existing more conventional septic tanks, it is a highly effective purification process, and there is less chemical and energy use.