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Are we investing in the future we want for our children and grandchildren?

As we reach the end of 2011, Simon Leadbetter asks whether our investments are building the future we want for the following generations.

When you invest or save money, it’s more than just an investment or saving.



As we reach the end of 2011, Simon Leadbetter asks whether our investments are building the future we want for the following generations.

When you invest or save money, it’s more than just an investment or saving.

Your money is working round the clock and round the globe investing in the markets and companies that make and sell things.

Your money could be manufacturing battleships, bombers, bombs or bullets – many destined for wars of aggression and domestic oppression.

Your money could be producing and marketing alcohol, gambling, smoking and pornography, much of it marketed to children.

Your money could be building nuclear power stations on fault lines, or dislodging poverty-stricken indigenous people to mine the precious minerals beneath their villages.

Your money could be building new coal, oil and gas fired power stations to spew millions of tonnes of particles and pollution into the air we all breathe.

Your money could be pumping toxic chemicals into the earth to release shale gas or destroying areas of outstanding natural beauty to remove oil from tar sands.

Your money could be clearing the seas of fish, pushing whole species to extinction.

Your money could be backing companies that pump billions of tonnes of toxic waste into the rivers and seas, entering the food chain and ending up on your kitchen table.

Your money could be tearing down rainforests, literally starving the earth of oxygen and the soil that literally holds our hills and mountains together while eradicating thousands of species and plant life that may hold the as yet undiscovered cure to so many diseases.

Your money could be marketing products to children that make them harder to teach through ADD, more materialistic, obese and living tragically shorter lives than their parents.

Your money could be supporting regimes and companies that abuse or kill women and men, harm and kill children and let thousands of men, women and children die from unnecessary accidents at work.

It’s not just a pension, a bond, an ISA, an annuity, a fund, an OEIC, a unit trust or simply a nice tax-efficient return on investment. It is so much more than that.

Your money could be so much more.

Your money could be developing clean energy; powering a sustainable pollution-free economic renaissance globally; providing plentiful fresh water for millions who have none; improving quality of life for the elderly, weak and sick; eradicating diseases that kill millions needlessly; employing the planet’s poorest; educating the world’s children; producing technology to mitigate or adapt our lives to a changing climate whatever the cause. And delivering a nice rate of return.

Where do we think the growth will come from as our manmade problems become more acute? More companies producing more bombs, more mining, more pollution and more waste?

29.5 million people gave £11 billion to charity in the UK last year. 15 million people invested £45 billion in individual savings accounts (ISAs) alone in the UK in 2009/2010 – a tiny fraction of all investments and savings. Both made a big difference … one way or another, and many good deeds were cancelled out by many ‘bad’ investments.

There are two versions of the future we will build for our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, one bright and one bleak. Moreover, it is being built now, every minute of every day and night with every dollar, pound and euro that is spent, saved or, more significantly, invested. Will it be a future our kids will thank us for?

Henrik Tikkanen, a Finnish author, said “Because we don’t think about future generations, they will never forget us“. It takes one phone call or one email to your financial adviser, if you have one, to ask a simple question, “What is my money invested in?” and then ask yourself this, “Are these the companies that are building the future I want for my kids?

It really is as simple as asking your IFA, if you have one, or complete our form and we’ll connect you with a specialist ethical adviser to make your money do so much more for you and all of our futures.

Simon Leadbetter is the founder and publisher of Blue & Green Tomorrow. He has held senior roles at Northcliffe, The Daily Telegraph, Santander, Barclaycard, AXA, Prudential and Fidelity. In 2004, he founded a marketing agency that worked amongst others with The Guardian, Vodafone, E.On and Liverpool Victoria. He sold this agency in 2006 and as Chief Marketing Officer for two VC-backed start-ups launched the online platform Cleantech Intelligence (which underpinned the The Guardian’s Cleantech 100) and StrategyEye Cleantech. Most recently, he was Marketing Director of Emap, the UK’s largest B2B publisher, and the founder of Blue & Green Communications Limited.


What Kitchen Suits Your Style? Modern, Classic or Shaker?




shaker kitchen designs

A kitchen is the centre of the home. Your kitchen ranges between where friends and family gather, talk about their day, cook meals, have drinks, to somewhere you can just enjoy each other’s company. The kitchen is the heart of the home. But, everyone’s lifestyle is different. Everyone’s taste is different. So, you need a kitchen that not only mirrors your lifestyle but matches your taste too. Whilst some prefer a more traditional design, others want a modern feel or flair – and it’s all down to personal taste.

When it comes to redesigning your kitchen, what style would you go for? It’s a difficult one isn’t it. With so many different styles to go for, how can you know exactly what you want until you’ve seen it in action? Leading kitchen designer, Roman Kitchens, based in Essex, have provided three examples of bespoke kitchens and styles they specialise in, accompanied with beautiful images. This design guide will get you one step closer to picking your dream kitchen for your home.

1. Modern

New home in the city centre? Or even a sleek new modern build? You want a trendy and modern kitchen to reflect your city lifestyle. In modern kitchen design, colours are bolder and fresher, with sleek design and utilities that are distinctive and vibrant.

modern kitchen designs

This modern kitchen is sleek and smooth with flawless design and beauty. Minimalism doesn’t stop this kitchen standing out. Featured walls of wood and vibrant mint green draw the eye, whilst the white surfaces reflect the light, illuminating every nook and cranny of this kitchen. This kitchen features products from Rotpunkt, innovators of modern kitchen design. Made with German engineering, a Rotpunkt Kitchen is the ultimate modern addition to your home. Rotpunkt Kitchens have timeless design and amazing functionality, they work for every purpose and are eco-friendly. Sourced from natural materials, a Rotpunkt kitchen uses 37% less timber, conserving natural forests and being more environmentally conscious.

2. Classic

Prefer a homely and traditional feel? Classic kitchens are warm, welcoming and filled with wood. Wood flooring, wood fixtures, wood furniture – you name it! You can bring a rustic feel to your urban home with a classic kitchen. Subtle colours and beautiful finishes, Classic kitchens are for taking it back to the basics with a definitive look and feel.

classic kitchen designs

With stated handles for cupboards, Classic kitchens are effortlessly timeless. They convey an elegant but relaxing nature. Giving off countryside vibes, natural elements convey a British countryside feel. The wood featured in a classic kitchen can range between oaks and walnut, creating a warmth and original feel to your home. Soft English heritage colours add a certain mood to your home, softening the light making it cosier.

3. Shaker

Any kitchen planner will tell you that the meeting point between traditional and modern design, is a Shaker kitchen. They have a distinctive style and innovative feel. Shakers are fresh, mixing different colour tones with stylish wood and vinyl. The most important feature of a Shaker kitchen is functionality – every feature needs to serve a purpose in the kitchen. Paired with stylish and unique furniture, a Shaker kitchen is an ideal addition to any home.

shaker kitchen designs

The ultimate marriage between Classic and Modern kitchens, this Shaker kitchen has deep colour tones with copper emphasis features. All the fittings and fixtures blur the line of modern and tradition, with a Classic look but modern colour vibe. Unique furniture and design make Shaker Kitchens perfect for the middle ground in kitchen design. Minimal but beautifully dressed. Traditional but bold and modern at the same time. Storage solutions are part of the functionality of Shaker kitchens, but don’t detour from conveying yours as a luxury kitchen.

Whatever you choose for your new kitchen, be it Modern, Classic or Shaker – pick whatever suits you. Taste is, and always will be, subjective – it’s down to you.

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Ways Green Preppers Are Trying to Protect their Privacy



Environmental activists are not given the admiration that they deserve. A recent poll by Gallup found that a whopping 32% of Americans still doubt the existence of global warming. The government’s attitude is even worse.

Many global warming activists and green preppers have raised the alarm bell on climate change over the past few years. Government officials have taken notice and begun tracking their activity online. Even former National Guard officers have admitted that green preppers and climate activists are being targeted for terrorist watchlists.

Of course, the extent of their surveillance depends on the context of activism. People that make benign claims about climate change are unlikely to end up on a watchlist, although it is possible if they make allusions to their disdain of the government. However, even the most pacifistic and well intentioned environmental activists may unwittingly trigger some algorithm and be on the wrong side of a criminal investigation.

How could something like this happen? Here are some possibilities:

  • They could share a post on social media from a climate extremist group or another individual on the climate watchlist.
  • They could overly politicize their social media content, such as being highly critical of the president.
  • They could use figures of speech that may be misinterpreted as threats.
  • They might praise the goals of a climate change extremist organization that as previously resorted to violence, even if they don’t condone the actual means.

Preppers and environmental activists must do everything in their power to protect their privacy. Failing to do so could cost them their reputation, future career opportunities or even their freedom. Here are some ways that they are contacting themselves.

Living Off the Grid and Only Venturing to Civilization for Online Use

The more digital footprints you leave behind, the greater attention you draw. People that hold controversial views on environmentalism or doomsday prepping must minimize their digital paper trail.

Living off the grid is probably the best way to protect your privacy. You can make occasional trips to town to use the Wi-Fi and stock up on supplies.

Know the Surveillance Policies of Public Wi-Fi Providers

Using Wi-Fi away from your home can be a good way to protect your privacy.However, choosing the right public Wi-Fi providers is going to be very important.

Keep in mind that some corporate coffee shops such a Starbucks can store tapes for up to 60 days. Mom and pop businesses don’t have the technology nor the interest to store them that long. They generally store tips for only 24 hours and delete them afterwards. This gives you a good window of opportunity to post your thoughts on climate change without being detected.

Always use a VPN with a No Logging Policy

Using a VPN is one of the best ways to protect your online privacy. However, some of these providers do a much better job than others. What is a VPN and what should you look for when choosing one? Here are some things to look for when making a selection:

  • Make sure they are based in a country that has strict laws on protecting user privacy. VPNs that are based out of Switzerland, Panama for the British Virgin Islands are always good bets.
  • Look for VPN that has a strict no logging policy. Some VPNs will actually track the websites that you visit, which almost entirely defeats the purpose. Most obviously much better than this, but many also track Your connections and logging data. You want to use a VPN that doesn’t keep any logs at all.
  • Try to choose a VPN that has an Internet kill switch. This means that all content will stop serving if your VPN connection drops, which prevents your personal data from leaking out of the VPN tunnel.

You will be much safer if you use a high-quality VPN consistently, especially if you have controversial views on climate related issues or doomsday prepping.

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