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Top ten articles in 2012 Q2

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Blue & Green Tomorrow has experienced exponential growth over the last three months. As always, we thank you for your continued support.

In celebration of our progress, here’s a rundown of the most-read articles from the second quarter of 2012: April through to June.

1. The Guide to Sustainable Investment 2012

The Guide to Sustainable Investment was released in April this year, and marks the beginning of our new, updated set of monthly in-depth reports. It endeavours to take you on a journey of discovery— embarking at ethical origins, travelling through the green and growing fields of sustainable and socially responsible investment and disembarking at a new, enlightened destination.

The feedback we’ve had about The Guide has been excellent, and its success has paved the way for two more similar reports: The Guide to Sustainable Tourism and The Guide to Limitless Clean Energy, with many more scheduled for the coming months.

2. “World’s largest solar project” begins major construction

This piece, from May, detailed how a pair of American companies — MidAmerican Solar and First Solar — had begun significant work on a 550 megawatt (MW) solar project that was planned to power some 160,000 Californian homes. The announcement was the first in a long (and continuing) line of impressive solar developments worldwide.

3. Chelsea Flower Show to combat climate change

One our more unlikely most-read articles, but deservedly in the top ten given the potential impact of the news. We reported that this year’s Chelsea Flower Show will actively aim to showcase urban gardens that can counter the effects of climate change.

4. Scotland surges on in renewable energy investment

Every time we write a piece about Scotland, it seems to be an overwhelmingly positive one, and this one is no different. We reported how the country is set to become the UK’s leading location for attracting renewable energy investment, with an £8 billion injection into the sector expected within the next five to six years. Fantastic news all around.

5. Green Investment Bank top directors announced

This piece was about how the much-anticipated Green Investment Bank (GIB) had inched closer to its fully-fledged form with the appointment of two top directors – Lord Smith of Kelvin and Sir Adrian Montague. We’ve covered the GIB in some detail since the beginning of 2012, and whilst we might not have been overly enthusiastic about the location of its headquarters, we completely recognise its importance in pushing the UK towards a sustainable, green economy.

6. FT/IFC Sustainable Finance Awards: the nominees at a glance

Blue & Green Tomorrow recently attended the Financial Times and the International Finance Corporation’s Sustainable Finance Awards & Conference at the Landmark Hotel in London.

We rounded up the excellently informative conference (which incidentally narrowly missed out on a place in this top ten) and also laid out the organisations that took home gongs from the evening awards ceremony. But it was our piece that looked into a number of the nominees, including The Co-operative Bank and Standard Chartered, that appears in this rundown.

7. The Guide to Sustainable Tourism 2012

The second instalment in our new series of in-depth reports focused on sustainable tourism. Our aim was to open your eyes to a new way of experiencing the many wonders of the world, and through the inspiring stories from some of the industry’s leading lights, we believe we have captured this feeling perfectly.

8. The Rise of Renewable Energy 2012

In The Rise of Renewable Energy, we examined the past, present and future of renewably-sourced power, listening to a number of leading voices within the sector to ascertain why the government, and a percentage of the public, don’t fully understand the potential of an essentially limitless supply of clean energy. Whereas the ‘Guide to…’ reports are meaty, in-depth manuals into a subject, the ‘Rise of…’ series are lighter, introductory, literature review-style features.

9. South Africa looks to ocean currents for nonstop energy

This piece, from May, explained how Durban, the fourth largest city in South Africa, had made plans to become a world leader in ocean current energy, as it endeavoured to put an end to recent power outages. A native renewable energy company, Hydro Alternative Energy, has developed a technology called Oceanus, which is an innovative marine hydrokinetic power generation system that uses ocean currents to produce electricity.

10. Gucci and Puma group releases sustainability plan

The final story in our rundown is for the fashionistas in our readership. We reported that Pinault-Printemps-Redoute, the group behind leading luxury and sports brands such as Gucci,  Yves Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen and Puma, has introduced five-year environmental and social targets across its brands as part of the next phase of its sustainability program.

We hope you enjoyed looking back over the last three months with us, and look forward to providing you with a similar rundown at the  end of September. See you then!

Features

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

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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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Features

Ways Green Preppers Are Trying to Protect their Privacy

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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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