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.

Garlic | Vampire Weekend in Old Blighty

fitness health garlic Garlic | Vampire Weekend in Old Blighty

The infamous Garlic and Shots restaurant in Soho, London offers more garlic-laden dishes than you could shake at a coven of vampires. During my time as a resident of London, the restaurant was dismissed as tourist trap by us locals. But with the benefit of hindsight, I’ve got to concede that G and S is onto something.

Because it turns out garlic is exceedingly good for your health.

Packed full of phytochemicals and nutrients, garlic boasts an amazing array of health-giving functions. Its anti-clotting properties can help prevent heart disease and stroke. Ajoene, an antioxidant found in garlic, can stop skin cancer cells from spreading. It can assist in avoiding colon cancer, prostate cancer and stomach cancer. Allicin in garlic has been proven to lower blood pressure and cholesterol.

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Filed Under Fitness/Diet, G Living Tags

Coconut Milk | Creamy Goodness

coconut milk1 Coconut Milk | Creamy Goodness

Creamy and sweet, rich and fatty. A food item described by these four adjectives surely can’t be good for you. Or can it? In the case coconut milk, that’s an affirmative. Whereas most foods high in saturated fats are bad for your waistline and your heart, when it comes to coconut milk the (albeit not super slim) but definitely heart-healthy South Pacific islanders are living testaments to its good all round health properties.

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Filed Under Fitness/Diet Tags

Thanks To Enterprise, You Can Now Rent A Hybrid!

enterprise prius green hybrid rentals Thanks To Enterprise, You Can Now Rent A Hybrid!

It takes a lot for me to mention my spouse in an article, but this one calls for it. DH (wow, I finally get to use that weird abbreiviation) is somewhere along route 80, last seen leaving Little Rock. He flew to Miami a week ago and is driving back to Los Angeles. For work, you see. No, he’s not a drug courier. He’s a screenwriter and is doing some research for an upcoming project. As a socially conscience guy, he dreamt of crossing this magnificent country, not in a cliched Mustang convertible, but in a Toyota Prius. However, he was shocked to discover that his American dream was actually mission impossible. None of the major car rental companies in Miami had Priuses, or any hybrids for that matter.

Which is why we personally applaud Enterprise Rent-A-Car’s recent announcement that they’ll be greening their fleet.

Enterprise, the nation’s biggest car rental company, announced last week that they’ll be opening four new “green branches” in Atlanta, where 60% of their cars will be hybrids or fuel efficient vehicles. Analysts say that the majority of hybrid renters will be of the socially conscious persuasion or those looking for an extended test drive. “Those who are looking for a value in terms of dollar for dollar will absolutely not get hybrids,” said Brian Chee, the head automotive analyst at With hybrid premiums of $5 – $15 per day, auto experts reckon that this will outweigh fuel savings in short term rentals.

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Flax | Good For the Body, Not Always For the Taste Buds

flax seed nutritional benefits 03 Flax | Good For the Body, Not Always For the Taste Buds

I’ve eaten flax before and thought it tasted like the sawdust that covers the floor at the circus. But as it is a superfood, I’m determined to unearth all of its amazing health-giving properties and attempt to talk my palate into trying it again. Because, filled as it is with unique nutritious qualities, flaxseed certainly deserves its superstar status.

Flaxseeds are full of lignans — “up to 800 times the amount as in any tested plant food” — which is a promising cancer fighting agent (especially breast and colon cancer). Flax consumption can help reduce total cholesterol, including the bad kind and triglycerides. Which makes it good news for the heart as well. As flax is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, it can help diabetics reduce their blood sugar levels and ease the painful inflammation associated with arthritis.

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Radiohead | Live and Green From Across the Ocean

hollywood billboard green issue top musicians radiohead Radiohead | Live and Green From Across the Ocean

A lot of musicians are down with green these days. Jack Johnson has a denim walled recording studio, Guster tours with biodiesel buses and the Rolling Stones eat organic. But no one takes it quite as seriously UK indie band Radiohead. From the digital release of “In Rainbows” and monitoring their carbon footprints to auditing their tours refusing to play Glastonbury over poor public transport, these guys walk the walk.

The latest Radiohead environmental news? The Oxford five piece put the kibosh on a promotional performance on NBC’s Late Night with Conan O’Brien because of “concerns over global warming”. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos

The 411 on Global Warming

global warming 01 The 411 on Global Warming

Religious nut jobs and weather channel founder John Coleman aside, there’s a general consensus that the earth is getting warmer. In the last 100 years, the earth’s temperature has risen 0.75°C or 1.35°F. The ten hottest years on record have all occurred since 1990. To put that in perspective, the earth’s temperature has been relatively stable for the preceding 2,000 years. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) attributes this rise in the earth’s temperature to the increase of greenhouse gases.

Big deal.

Well, it is actually. Global warming will increase water temperatures, causing sea levels to rise, the Arctic to shrink and glaciers to retreat. Extreme weather patterns will bring about drought and flooding. It was also cause disruptions to agriculture and possibly trigger a massive migration of people. It’ll lower the pH of the oceans, destroy coral reefs, collapse global fisheries, wipe out entire species and spread diseases like malaria and dengue fever into temperate areas.

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Filed Under G Living

Rise in Sea Levels Could Lead to Potential Humanitarian Crisis

bangladesh rising sea levels humanitarian crisis Rise in Sea Levels Could Lead to Potential Humanitarian Crisis

Picture a world map. Now picture it without Bangladesh. Less than 100 years from now, this may become our new world order. A new scientific study has confirmed that sea levels are rising faster than expected and could go as high as 1.5 meters by 2100. This figure is far greater than the one forecast by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), whose conservative estimate was for an average rise of 28-45 centimeters.

This new data comes from a British/Finnish team who used a computer model to look at the relationship between sea levels and temperature. “For the past 2,000 years, the [global average] sea level was very stable, it only varied by about 20cm,” said Svetlana Jevrejeva from the Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory (POL), as quoted by the BBC. “But by the end of the century, we predict it will rise by between 0.8m and 1.5m. The rapid rise in the coming years is associated with the rapid melting of ice sheets.”

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Kickass Green Prom Dresses to Make Your Friends See Red

organic green prom dresses 03 Kickass Green Prom Dresses to Make Your Friends See Red

Where I’m from, we didn’t have prom. We had “formals” — which don’t sound nearly as cool as proms, despite their similar enough principles: first, you maneuver yourself into getting a hot date (sorry lads, the girls are really the ones calling the shots); you make sure your date has a car (there’s nothing like the cringe-worthy horror of the parental drop off); you get slightly intoxicated (by the excitement of the night, obviously); and you make sure you have a kickass dress.

These are not in order of occurrence. Obviously, you need to get the dress before you become intoxicated. (So that once you’re intoxicated, you have something to take off. Kidding!) Take it from me: it’s all about the dress. Maybe it’s because I’ve got prom envy that I’m living it vicariously by showcasing four kickass green prom frocks that are guaranteed to cause Bianca (replace with the name of your school diva) to see red. Ideal Bite was kind enough to compile a short list of four finalists:

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Algae May Be Happier in Acidic Water says Study

algae species acidic oceans water study1 Algae May Be Happier in Acidic Water says Study

When I first heard about ocean acidification wiping out most of the coral reefs by the end of the century, I was skeptical. For you novices, that’s the process whereby carbon dioxide from the air becomes carbonic acid, which in turn dissolves the calcium carbonate in coral. You keeping up? Then there were the supposed detrimental effects on coccolithophores (that’s a single-cell, carbonate-encased algae) in particular, the Emiliania huxleyi. Higher levels of acidity were thought to hinder “the algae’s ability to build the disks of carbonate that form its shell”. As if. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos

Filed Under Green Report / Media Tags

Lightweight Emergency Shelter | No Dreaded IKEA Moments

shelter me competition lightweight emergency shelter Lightweight Emergency Shelter | No Dreaded IKEA Moments

Design 21 celebrates design of the most important kind: social design. Or design for the greater good. The organization believes that design’s true beauty rests in its ability to improve lives. This Social Design Network acts as a resource that supports collaborative efforts from creatives worldwide, united in their common desire to do good.

A recent Design 21 competition entitled Shelter Me, asked participants to “design a temporary emergency shelter for deployment in a natural disaster”. First prize went to the Lightweight Emergency Shelter, which was built for easy transportation and speedy deployment. The shelter is made from recycled polyester mesh and aluminum. Best of all you’ll never have that dreaded IKEA moment of missing a vital bolt or screw, as the structure comes as a single component. The foldable framework and polyester material are sewn as one piece to ensure set up is cinch. Simply lock the joints for a sturdy shelter experience.

Dismantling is simple too, just pop the joints and it folds up like origami for dummies. Given that the most of the shelter’s fabric is recycled, there’s minimal impact on the environment. You know, I think this shelter has applications other than just emergency situations. Wouldn’t it be perfect to take on beach picnics to shelter the little ‘uns from getting a sunburn? Or what about a Boy Scout camping trips? It would sure beat banging pegs into the ground. Although in this instance, it would probably mean no more badge for tent erection, if you know what I mean.

Taking A Walk on the Green Side, Saks-Style

saks fifth avenue green house organic 03 Taking A Walk on the Green Side, Saks Style

One often hears horror stories of green fashion in the bad old days. Tie dyes and hemp tunics, more Haight Ashbury than even Mary-Kate and Ashley. But then came talented, ethically-driven designers who cared about environment, their customer’s health and the working conditions of the people making their clothes. Socially conscious consumers heard the call (and saw the fashions), and here we are today with high-end department stores like Barneys and Saks Fifth Avenue carrying green lines. In the case of the latter, you can find them online at the “Green House — Home of Eco-Smart Style”. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos

Oceania | The Grass is Always Cooler in the Other Fridge

tez patel oceana green fridge Oceania | The Grass is Always Cooler in the Other Fridge

I never thought it possible, but it seems I’ve reached cringe factor stage with my refrigerator. You know cringe factor with people, right? After a loving two week / two month or two year relationship, you one day wake up and find you either can’t bear the way they eat a sandwich or the guitar serenades are totally grossing you out — and then it’s just, well, over.

The same thing is happening with my fridge. That low hum, the unimaginative off-white hue, the koala magnet. I’m over it. So, what happened, you ask? I’ll tell you what happened — the Oceania by Tez Patel Design.

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Filed Under G Living
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