Sarah Backhouse

Sarah Backhouse

Ethnically ambiguous with the accent to prove it, I’m thrilled to be on the cutting edge of this brave, new green world.

Aion Kitchen | As Bladerunner-esque As It Sounds

aion001 Aion Kitchen | As Bladerunner esque As It Sounds

If you live in New York, Tokyo, Hong Kong or any other dense metropolis, this futuristic kitchen by French industrial designer Antoin Lebrun could be the space saver you’ve been waiting for. If you live in Montana, you may want to skip it.

Created as a prototype for Fador Brandt, the Aion is a green, multifunctional appliance that combines electro-mechanics with vegetable technology. Although the unit may resemble a portable wheat grass stand (now there’s an idea!), the plants were specifically “developed by the aerospace industry for their filtering and cleaning properties”.

aion002 Aion Kitchen | As Bladerunner esque As It Sounds

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Guess? | From Sexy To Sustainable

adriana lima guess ad Guess? | From Sexy To Sustainable

Guess? set the bar for sexy advertising. From the former campaign bombshells (Claudia Schiffer, Anna Nicole Smith, Adriana Lima and Paris Hilton) to their current cover girl Bianca Balti, the spitting image of young Sophia Loren, who can stop traffic with her mesmerizing…smile. Sex appeal has been the winning formula behind the Guess? clothing, accessories, shoe and handbag empire. What Guess? isn’t known for is sustainability. Until now.

Putting the sweatshop labor scandal of the nineties well behind them, Guess? is doing a good turn for the environment by releasing their eco-friendly line, Guess Green, to be released later this Earth Day month. First item to get the ethical make-over? Jeans, naturally. The “pinched ankle boot cuts” are made from chemical dye-free organic denim and would pair perfectly with their organic ribbed tank “embossed with a smudgy earth and peace sign”. The hand tags are made form recycled paper and printed with soy-based ink. 10% of the proceeds will go to the Environmental Media Association.

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Warning | Your Home May Cause Cancer

non stick pan Warning | Your Home May Cause Cancer

When I came across “The Five Carcinogens That Lurk in Your Home” article while browsing Men’s Health Magazine, I must admit I was not happy. I usually avoid these types of stories like the plague. It’s never reassuring to find out that an aspect of your domestic routine (and one that’s existed for years) is not only unhealthy but downright dangerous. However in this case, ignorance is not bliss. It’s cancer. And cancer can come in many forms, as the article says: “sometimes it looks like a cigarette, other times sunburn. And then there are the times when you’re face-to-face with it and don’t even know it”. Scary stuff.

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Octopussy | The Wild and Crazy Sex Lives of the Eight Leggeds

octopussy Octopussy | The Wild and Crazy Sex Lives of the Eight Leggeds

Want to know who doesn’t have a boring sex life? Wild octopuses. Emphasis on the wild. Unlike their tame domestic counterparts, these frisky eight-limbed sea creatures were recently observed off the coasts of Indonesia by a team of perverts, I mean scientists, from the University of California, Berkeley and their findings were published in the journal Marine Biology.

A recent National Geographic article reveals that wild octopuses “engage in ‘jealous murders,’ gender bending, and once-in-a-lifetime sex.” Here are some more juicy details: upon observing the baseball-sized Abdopus aculeatus octopus species, the team witnessed male octopuses jealously guarding their digs. If any competition approached, the males would “occasionally go so far as to use their 8- to 10-inch (20- to 25-centimeter) tentacles to strangle romantic rivals to death.” Says Berkeley biologist Roy Caldwell, who co-authored the new study: “This is not a unique species of octopus, which suggests others behave this way.”

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Mod Skin | Wonderful For the Complexion and Black As We Like It

mod skin skincare 01 Mod Skin | Wonderful For the Complexion and Black As We Like It

Looks can be deceiving. Not everything organic has to be packaged in earthy tones with flowing script and flowers. Hell no. Designer fashion labels elsom, Noir Illuminati and Katharine Hamnett are all a case in point. They’re minimalistic, have lashings of black and make a statement about the environment. The same applies for skin care… which I guess is what first attracted me to mod.skin labs.

Founder and President Raffaele Ruberto’s streamlined skin care range is free of parabens, phythalates, synthetics dyes and fragrances — which means it’s naturally wonderful for the complexion and, best of all, comes encased in chic, sleek minimalistic packaging that’s blacker than the ace of spades.

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Ocean Thermostat | 31 is the Magic Number

coral reefs 002 Ocean Thermostat | 31 is the Magic Number

The recent bleaching of coral reefs serves as a terrifying reminder that the threat of global warming is upon us. The increase in water temperature, along with other factors like the acidification of the oceans, has left its ghostly mark on reefs off Australia, the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Tanzania and the Seychelles.

But why has it affected some areas and not others? A study carried out by scientists from the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research (Ncar) and the Australian Institute of Marine Science (Aims), reveals that it may have to do with an built-in ocean thermostat that prevents the sea surface temperature from exceeding 31 degrees Celsius. Lead author Joan Kleypas explains: “Global warming is damaging many coral but it appears to be bypassing certain reefs that support some of the greatest diversity of life on the planet.” The upshot? “In essence, reefs that are already in hot water may be more protected from warming than reefs that are not; this is rare hopeful news for these important ecosystems.”

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Going Green | 5 Tips For Cutting Your Energy Bill

stop fridge abuse now Going Green | 5 Tips For Cutting Your Energy Bill

Fridges. Their primary purpose is to keep leftover pizza from going bad. Or to rummage around in for hours in search of tomato ketchup. Or to stand in front of with the door ajar on a hot summer’s day. (Sorry ‘bout that one; I think I just had a “Freaky Friday” experience with a teenage boy).

In actual fact, the fridge is the biggest energy sucker in the kitchen.With that in mind, the good people at Hippyshopper have given us five tips to help us all to go green and reduce our carbon footprint.

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Wind is the New Oil in Texas

wind turbine texas oil Wind is the New Oil in Texas

The TV show “Dallas” is looking pretty dated these days, and it’s got nothing to do with Victoria Principal’s wardrobe or whatever you call that hairstyle worn by Patrick Duffy. Actually it’s the premise – the affairs of an oil magnate – that makes it look so 30 years ago.

Once the oil capital of America, Texas is fast becoming the epicenter of wind-power, and this clean energy source is proving a money-spinner to boot.

Erase the visual of a quaint Dutch windmill — like everything in Texas, these wind turbines are big: “twice as high as the Statue of Liberty, with blades that span as wide as the wingspan of a jumbo jet”. Texas is currently ranked number one in the country for megawatts of wind power. Wind turbines currently provide 3 percent of the state’s electricity (enough to power one million homes) and 1 percent of the electricity in America (the equivalent of 4.5 million homes).

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The 411 on Fair Trade

411 on fair trade 02 The 411 on Fair Trade

In order to be able to contribute intellectually at dinner parties, you need to be informed on important topics. This is where the third installment in my 411 series comes in handy. Together with its predecessors – Darfur and Global Warming – the premise is simple, really: know the facts before you open your mouth (or in this case, before you buy things that don’t fall under the criteria below).

What is fair trade?

It’s a social movement, an environmental standard and an alternative way of doing business. Mostly applicable to exports from developing countries to developed countries, fair trade primarily refers to the paying of a fair price to producers of certain commodities.

411 on fair trade 01 The 411 on Fair Trade

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Pottery Barn Kids Helps Keep Your Kids From Lead-Based Imports

green pottery barn kids 03 Pottery Barn Kids Helps Keep Your Kids From Lead Based Imports

Kids’ toys have been under the spotlight for all the wrong reasons of late. From the illegal lead paint-laced Thomas the Tank Engines and other Chinese imports, which pose risks to a child’s neurological development, to the legal but highly controversial phthalate-laden rubber duckies and their plastic fantastic friends that impede the production of testosterone in infant boys. As the dangers associated with toys grow, it’s nice to see at least some home-grown companies taking a socially responsible approach.

green pottery barn kids 02 Pottery Barn Kids Helps Keep Your Kids From Lead Based Imports

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Sarah Backhouse | 30-Day G / Diet Experiment

sarahbackhouse gdiet 02 Sarah Backhouse | 30 Day G / Diet Experiment

I’m a pescatarian; I’ve not consumed meat for over 20 years — and with the exception of yogurt and the odd mouthful of ricotta cheese, I don’t do dairy. You know what this means? That I’m some sushi and a Yoplait away from a being a… vegan.

Ordinarily the “V” word is a no-go word at our modern, green lifestyle network. And I know why. “Vegan” just sounds scary — hardcore and militant, yet at the same time conjuring up images of sprouts, matted hair and bad hygiene. Or maybe that’s just me. Here at G Living we call everything Plant Based, because that is all Vegan really means.

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Huma Bhabha | Blah, Blah, Blah

huma bhabha 001 Huma Bhabha | Blah, Blah, Blah

Art is as about subjective as it gets. What one person loves another might loathe. Except, of course, if that one person is Charles Saatchi — then regardless of whether you love it or loathe it, it’s going to be of cultural significance. After all, Saatchi is the man credited with propelling young British artists Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin into the art stratosphere.

Karachi born artist Huma Bhabha works primarily with found materials (how very “G”), reworking everyday objects into new and fascinating forms. Now, I’m no Saachi — but for what it’s worth, here are my observations:

huma bhabha 002 Huma Bhabha | Blah, Blah, Blah

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