Environmentally conscious building

Now, before I start talking about how the construction industry is becoming more environmentally friendly, I just wanted to make it clear that I am aware that some politicians have a vested interest in the companies who produce the products. It would therefore be in their own financial interest to make sure that new regulations are passed to ensure that the companies in question receive more business. However, these writings are not politically motivated, therefore that little disclaimer, if you like, is all I will say about that subject.

solar powerSo on a more positive note… Generally speaking the controls being put in place over construction projects are becoming much greener, both in terms of the planning and process of the build itself, even extending to many new “eco-friendly homes” now being built across the country.  In fact from what I’ve been reading in the press for the last few years, the companies providing home insulation, solar panels and such like are the only ones who have lasted through the recession with any degree of success.

The whole planning process for developments has become more stringent of late too, not in respect of where the houses are actually built, which is another argument altogether, but certainly in respect of prior monitoring for endangered species or fauna and their preservation if found. Interestingly the onus of these decisions is now made on a more local level, meaning that local people are more likely to become involved and potentially highlight any plants or species in the area which could need protecting.

In addition, the trend towards timber frames is making a return, to be fair it came about the first time around due to lack of options, i.e. back when windows and doors were first put in wood was the only suitable material available. Since then we have had a trend towards aluminium back in the 70′s, then the UPVC revolution, but more recently people seem to be keen to return to the aesthetic appeal and practical insulation properties of wooden frames, with many companies offering these as their main products. Obviously wood is only an ecologically viable option if it’s suitably sourced and the stocks maintained, but the bigger picture of planting forests (albeit those which will later be cut down and replaced again) can only be a good thing for our planet.going green

Something rarely considered by home owners is water leaks, well, that is until you experience one of course! but something which is being fitted to many commercial buildings and tower blocks is a water monitoring system which can detect a leak and prevent less obvious leaks becoming a big problem. I would imagine this kind of technology was developed by the water utilities companies for tracking how much water is lost through the network every year, although based on the latest statistics of water loss it’s said to be a quater of everything which runs through their pipes, so if indeeed it is monitored that closely they must seldom be taken any notice of and even less frequently acted upon! It seems that leak detecting systems are relatively cheap in comparison to the damage a serious leak can cause, both above or below ground, so perhaps in the future they will become much more commonplace. I do find it somewhat ironic that water bills are steadily rising while 25% of water is lost through leaks, it’s also rather shocking that water conservation is not given a much higher priority in a world where drought is becoming ever more commonplace worldwide, and even here in the UK we suffer from hosepipe bans every couple of years. Perhaps adequate leak detection and maintenance would resolve the problem?

My personal favorite green issue in construction is actually a much broader topic, it being the overall energy performance of buildings, as these are gradually being tightened, so all industries involved in and supplying to the construction industry must improve their offerings. If these regulations could be taken to a high enough level so all new buildings would be more efficient for the homeowners and friendlier to our planet long term.

Posted in eco friendly | Leave a comment

Consider A Wildlife Area

Most businesses, large and small have some degree of land around their premises, is yours wildlife friendly? Often larger companies have well manicured gardens with short mowed grass and well manicured flower beds, these of course, are not really ideal for wildlife, that being said they do often have a large water feature, which can be a haven for frogs, water based insects and the birds who feed on them. It’s the smaller companies who tend to have a smaller scrap of land which is left overgrown who can provide the most benefit to wildlife.

Consider a few examples, firstly the office which is built on a bit of land, the front is kept tidy or even paved for the benefit of visitors, however it’s a rare occurrence that a building fits perfectly within the plot on which it stands. This means there will be a strip of land running around the building, which unless sprayed off, is usually overgrown with weeds, this is a great natural habitat for wildlife with small invertebrates populating it, it probably has some old bricks or wood which has been left there for some time too with small nooks and crannies where frogs, newts and toads can hide or even hibernate provided there is a suitable breeding ground not too far away (perhaps that big corporate companies pond).

Another good example is a builders yard or even a scrap yard, it’s pretty common for them to have areas where things have been left for so long that they are of no use any more and soon become completely abandoned and again are full of wildflowers and insects and can again provide great hibernating spots for amphibians and hedgehogs, or even suitable nesting sites for birds.

If you work for a company who have an area like this, why not try to enhance it, most businesses are happy for this to happen with land which is otherwise unused, and in some instances may even give you a small budget for some equipment to enhance wildlife areas, it could even be seen as part of the companies eco policy, give it a try and see what they say.

industrial wasteland

If you need help and advice about how to help nature along in urban environments, you need to decide which species are best suited to the area you have available to you, there are numerous wildlife conservation groups dotted all over the country, many specialists in particular species. They have a wealth of knowledge about how to improve habitats to attract specific species. Budlia is great for butterflies and can be absolutely alive with them when flowering, or consider some bee friendly flowers in the flower beds, or even just chuck a handful of seed over a scrap of waste land, if nothing else it will give a splash of colour come summertime.

Posted in conservation | Leave a comment

Being Eco Friendly can be Cashflow Friendly too

Green living is the new buzzword all across the globe with new initiatives for environmentally friendly living becoming a major trend in homes.  What many small business owners don’t realize is that taking steps to reduce the human impact can be both a profitable and exciting venture with rewards on all levels.

Making your business more eco friendly can also have benefits in terms of your positioning campaigns, offering you a strong selling and starting point.  There is also the issue of your base profit.  This will be positively affected by the reduction in costs that come from using energy wisely.  For those of you who are new to the green initiative, there are simple and effective steps that can help you become comfortable with the idea and eventually make it part of your personal and corporate lifestyle.

1.    Turn it off

When you are not using office or home equipment, make sure that it is turned off at the energy source.  This can have as much as a 75% decrease in energy output if you are thorough and consistent.

2.    Cut out your printing

Try to eliminate the use of paper in your office or at home.  Electronic boards and email are just as useful (if not more so) for communication and help minimize the unnecessary use of paper.  Similarly, you can print on both sides where possible which will cut your paper-use in half as well as instill a culture of reduction.  Use recycled paper to drive the point home.  There are plenty of suppliers who can offer quality recycled paper at affordable rates.  This way you are also helping recycling businesses to perpetuate sustainability.

3.    Don’t let taps drip

While a dripping tap is annoying on its own, it has far more severe consequences for your business or home.  A dripping tap can collectively waste thousands of liters per year depending on how often it happens.

4.    Recycle for money!

One of the best things about recycling is that you are killing two birds with one stone.  On one hand you are helping to reuse man-made resources and on the other you are able to make money out of doing so.  Recycling plants will often pay you to drop off your paper, plastic and glass in an effort to keep the plants running and help save the planet!
Many people are under the misconception that being eco friendly means attaching yourself to a tree and vowing never to come down until it is saved.  While this may be true for some activists, they are ultimately trying to make a point and gain exposure.  What we are talking about, in the modern business sense, is reducing costs and committing to being as efficient and ethical as possible whilst building a strong platform for marketing as well as social and environmental investment.  Small changes can save big money and spread more awareness and exposure as employees begin to change their frame of reference and their habits as a result.  Making these simple changes can yield incredible results for your profit margin as well as the development of your brand.

Posted in eco friendly | Leave a comment

Achieving Good Organic Search Results

An Organic Search Engine Friendly Web Page

Having an online presence is extremely important to your company, because it enables you to reach out to as many people as possible over the internet.  If you have a website, you know the importance of being able to attract visitors.  There are many ways to do this, one being that you can put your company’s website on your business cards in order to get your web address in the hands of the public.  Another way is by utilizing SEO, or search engine optimization within your website in order to be ranked higher in search results for terms that are related to your industry.  SEO is based on a quite complicated algorithm that ranks site pages on their importance in relation to the search engine query.

In other words, you want the search engines to view your site as important.  As far as search engines are concerned, they do not care if your content is well-structured or not.  Graphics can be used, but these will not increase your site’s ranking.   Also, if you are going to use any type of image or animation, you must remember that this slows the loading time for a page, which may make visitors look elsewhere, as everyone wants what they want NOW.

Be Smart About Your Choice in SEO Companies

One of the best SEO methods that you can employ is to balance your graphics with solid quality content.  This ensures the flexibility of your site, and its efficiency.  When people search for certain key phrases on a search engine, it is essential for your site that, if someone lands there, they find quality within the entire site and not just on the home page.

Navigation is another key to having a search engine-friendly website.  There should be enough navigation tabs that your visitors will not get lost and will always know where they are at any given time while visiting.  It is also a good idea to have a no-cookies option, as requesting cookies from visitors can turn the search engines against your site and possibly rank you lower than you deserve to be for your specific niche.

Therefore, be sure that you turn away from a cookies requirement when handling your search engine optimization activities.  Obtaining assistance from professionals to be sure your website is internet search engine friendly will help you to run your company website in the perfect manner. It may look pricey initially; however, the results obtained can help in search engine marketing activities of the business in a big way.

Professionals in SEO will be able to diagnose what is hampering your site, along with giving you ideas for what can essentially help it to function better.  SEO professionals are kind of like doctors for your website.  They will know what is wrong and be able to prescribe what it needs to make it better.

Having an online presence is extremely important to your company, because it enables you to reach out to as many people as possible over the internet.  If you have a website, you know the importance of being able to attract visitors.  There are many ways to do this, one being that you can put your company’s website on your business cards in order to get your web address in the hands of the public.

Posted in eco friendly, seo, wiltshire | Leave a comment

Eco Friendly Companies

I have a good friend who runs an eco friendly business, we were discussing the wide range of businesses who now claim to have a green credential in some way or another and how realistic those claims are for various companies. For example, is it really possible to be green in any way if you are a transportation company? Many local councils have their green bus services now, these often run busses on palm oil, now as most people are aware, there is a completely different environmental impact from running busses on palm oil. Instead of the pollution argument there is the whole issue of destroying the rainforests and devastating the natural environment to clear land for the growing of the palm nuts which the oil is extracted from.

Whilst these are all issues there has to be something said for businesses who make a step in the right direction, rather than simply complying with the minimum levels of legislation which affects their particular industry sector.

My friends company is an eco business and the first thing which he said makes a huge difference is having a home office. It doesn’t matter how you get to work (unless you walk or cycle), this is usually the largest part of your daily carbon footprint, he has therefore eliminated this completely. He also does 90% plus of his meetings online now too, not only saving himself a huge amount of time traveling but also the fuel impact. He recycles and offsets the cost of electric and website hosting by funding tree planting.

His company, he explained, is easier to make green than most, he works in technology and internet services.  I’m not going to claim to understand exactly what he does but I know hes a web designer, but then optimises them to appear in the search engines. Did you know when you do a search on Google for example, did you know it’s not just coincidence who appears near the top? There is a complex algorithm behind it, based on lots of different factors on the page of every single website, and who they link to and who links to them. It really is a minefield, but that’s what he does, basically he is an seo boffin and provides services to companies from lots of different industries, including otherseo companies in some cases.

He combines seo and keeping it eco friendly very well, but it does make you think about how difficult it must be for many other industries, particularly those involved in transportation, chemicals or tourism.

Posted in eco friendly, seo, wiltshire | Leave a comment

What is it?

We are a group of friends who came together to share our skills & knowledge.  We recognised that we were also in need of a work environment which addressed our individual needs, & felt that forming our own co-op would meet these needs.  By working co-operatively we are able to achieve much more than if we remained individuals.   We are all passionate about growing organic food, low-impact living & sustainable environments & wish to ensure that everyone has access to learning how to live more sustainably & grow some of their own foods.

We work closely with local community groups & neighbourhoods, trying to bring positive change in attitudes by sharing the gifts of permaculture.

Although we have a ‘home team’ of members, our membership is OPEN TO ALL who wish to help & support our aims & ethics, (see membership section on last page for details) & if you have skills & knowledge you would like to share we would love to hear from you!

We would also like to listen to any advice or ideas you have for helping develop the co-op’s services – we aim to help build communities by addressing the needs of those communities in regards sustainability, supplying fresh organic produce, encouraging them to grow their own food, advising on renewable forms of energy etc…we are linking in with other local groups & Northants County Council to build better relationships between us all, so our real needs are addressed!

Posted in agriculture, conservation | Comments Off

Tourism in Wiltshire

Wiltshire is a county surrounded by many other great counties of the realm of England. Wiltshire has a gorgeous and enthralling history, culture, landscape and sightseeing like any other county England has to offer but in its own unique way. It is a ceremonial county located in the South West of England, land sealed and neighboured by the counties Hampshire, Berkshire, Somerset, Oxfordshire and others. With an area of about 3485 km square, Wiltshire has about twenty one towns and the only city.

Wiltshire is a historic county in the South West of England. Alfred’s defeat Of the Danes and battle of Round way hill Devizes are some of the illustrious battles fought in this county. It’s not only known for battles but was also used to be exclusive for its amazing class of wool stocks. But now those wool mills are located at the museums and galleries but still charm the holidaymakers.

Wiltshire County gives breath delightful setting and amazing landscape that fascinates the whole world to this place. With only one city and so many townships and villages, the shire has a more pastoral beholding and has vast meadows covered with greenery flora and mounts. The weather of Wiltshire is moderate with tons of rains like most of the country but is slighter than most of the other places in the country.  January is the coldest with 1 to 2 degree C and July August have the fieriest temperature of around 21 degree C. It glows in the summertime more brightly than winter when it rains and snows mostly, with little or no sunshine at all.

Wiltshire appeals to its invitees with its rich cultural exquisiteness and rich tourism spots. The top magnetism of the shire of Wiltshire is the world heritage place of Stonehenge and Avebury. Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument of stones circles in the mid of fields. Similar to Stonehenge is the sight of Avebury with its outstanding stone circles. These cryptic circled stones were elevated in the prehistoric times and captivate the researchers and visitors likewise. Wiltshire entices historians, researchers and other visitors to its vast museums and galleries. Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum is the one popular museum of many this city has. Reasonably few country parks, garden, hills and country houses are scattered all over that attract the holiday makers and tourists locally and from overseas both to spend the summers peacefully. The abundant villages and towns of Wiltshire County have their own diversity and invite people to the market towns to manifest the great values and arts.

Wiltshire has folks with unique taste and different culture and wonders that show the equal. Most renowned amongst these is the Salisbury Cathedral in the city of Salisbury. This cathedral with its huge structure was constructed in the medieval times and has an eccentric structural design that captivates the spiritual people most. Wiltshire is usually gorgeous and pulls travellers to a number of festivals and playhouses as well every time that reveals the rich culture and people of Wiltshire. Prominent among these are the festivals of Larmer Tree and the Wootton Bassett Arts Festival. Wiltshire is a must holiday tourist spot for all visitors.

For more information about the towns in Wiltshire such as Marlborough and Bradford on Avon see the visit Wiltshire site, they provide detailed tourist information on Marlborough and other towns in the area.

Posted in wiltshire | Comments Off


In this garden there will be many fruit and nut trees, underplanted with berry fruits and perennial plants. In the centre of this garden there is a sacred grove, a place for quiet contemplation.

This forest garden will attract wildlife and provide pollen for the farms bees, who will give us wonderful honey. The garden will produce abundant harvests for generations to come.

To help in the creation of this garden, we are offering a Tree Sponsorship Scheme.

If you are seeking an unusual gift for yourself or someone special, would like to have a tree marking the passing of a loved one, or would simply like to have your own tree you are able to buy a tree for the Forest Garden.

In return for sponsoring a tree, you will receive part of the harvest for years to come. You may visit your tree as often as you wish, and may even scatter the ashes of departed loved ones around its base.

Posted in agriculture, conservation | Comments Off

Organic Agriculture

We are a not-for-profit social enterprise with open membership. Based in Northampton area, close to town. Through our ‘Community Supported Agriculture’ Scheme we provide seasonal organic produce, either direct from our Farm Shop, or from our Veg Box Delivery, most produce is grown on site and supplemented when needed from an Organic Wholesaler.

We also work with communities to help them build more sustainable neighbourhoods using permaculture principles & ethics, we are working with groups, schools & colleges on their organic garden projects & other land based areas. We are available to work in the business sector to advise on how to reduce waste, save energy, and become more aware of the impact their business has on the local/global environment, leading to positive change for all.

We provide access to information, practical workshops and our land base, helping others learn ‘life skills’ that will prepare them for long term change. We travel the county festival circuit with a Permaculture Roadshow, complete with ‘dwelling’ & garden display, plants & books for sale & loads of info on sustainability

Posted in agriculture, eco friendly | Comments Off