New prize fund for environmental and social regeneration

Ethical Consumer has teamed up with Lush Cosmetics to launch a new £200,000 prize fund to help projects around the world that are working towards environmental and social regeneration.

Beyond sustainability

For many years, environmental campaigners have focused on the idea of sustainability – that we should be creating systems which use resources at a sustainable rate. For some campaigners, thinking has now shifted towards the idea of regeneration.

Many of our environments and societies are already damaged, so sustaining these in a damaged state makes no sense! What we need is systems that can regenerate damaged environments – by putting back more than they take out.

Funding inspiring projects

People all over the world are developing ways to live in harmony with nature and each other. They are generating renewable resources, restoring ecosystems, nurturing solidarity and making societies stronger.

Ethical Consumer is hoping to reach a diverse group of applicants that are trying to move beyond the sustainable to create systems and projects that help do this.

In doing so, they hope the prize will highlight inspiring and alternative ways of living, and for it to start creating a supportive network for regenerative projects around the world.

How they will do it

The Lush Spring Prize is here to support this regeneration movement through:

  • an annual £200,000 prize fund open to individuals, communities, and organisations from the earliest ideas stage of a project, through to established organisations, and campaign groups
  • a high-profile annual conference, bringing people together to share their skills and experiences, and raising awareness of regeneration and its potential

How can people nominate themselves for a prize

The project’s website contains more details about the prizes as well as application forms and background information. Nominations will close on February 28th 2017, and applications are welcomed from anywhere in the world.

The awards will be presented in May 2017 where they hope to gather a diverse group of stakeholders for a participatory conference.

Nominate and find out more at the new Spring Prize website.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - January 20, 2017 at 9:07 am

Categories: Eco Friendly   Tags:

Is Bamboo The Timber Of The 21st Century?

With large scale deforestation occurring at an alarming rate along with the associated rise in global climate change, the situation around the world is tense. Increasing concerns over food security, water availability and an ever increasing pressure on the planet for finite resources is pushing entrepreneurs, businesses and governments to develop innovative solutions to address these growing concerns.

Timber forms an essential raw resource for various industries which produce items that as humans we have come to utilise and rely on daily. But our forests cannot sustain the increase in demand for these products driven by exploding populations and the rise of a global middle class with increased spending power.

A postgraduate from Yale University and an expert in forestry and forestry related climate change, Camille Rebelo came up with a unique model of making bamboo the timber of the 21st century. She, along with serial entrepreneur and businessman Troy Wiseman launched EcoPlanet Bamboo in 2010, to industrialise this plant to produce a sustainable, deforestation free fibre that can provide an alternative resource for our daily needs. They urge the population to be aware that the majority of products that we use daily, from toilet paper to packaging to some of our clothing, still come from the unsustainable harvesting of old growth natural forests, and invite the new generation of consumer to switch to sustainability certified bamboo as an alternative fiber, with the simple motive of putting an end to deforestation.

The great thing about bamboo is that it can be harvested sustainably without killing the plant and therefore can potentially provide an endless source of raw material that can be used to make a wide range of products, more than anyone could imagine.

Since Camille Rebelo and Troy Wiseman are trying their best to turn bamboo into the “tree free”, “deforestation free” timber of the 21st century with their initiative EcoPlanet Bamboo, let me brief you on what things can be made from bamboo under this new concept of bamboo fiber as an industrialized and realistic fiber. Here goes the list-

For Manufacturing Paper Products

Every year a large number of trees are cut down to manufacture paper products. Some of these trees that we use for toilet paper take more than 100 years to grow. The right species of bamboo can be used to produce toilet paper, tissues, cleaning paper as well writing paper, cards and different types of packaging.

Disposable Coffee Cups

Although also a paper product this is amazing – the world throws away billions of cups from coffee shops every year. Bamboo fiber can be used to grow all of these, making them a sustainable renewable product.

For Manufacturing Diapers

Disposable diapers can be made with bamboo. And instead of taking years and years to regrow like the current source of trees, the same bamboo plant will keep producing raw fiber each and every year, so long as it is managed correctly!

For Manufacturing Textiles

Bamboo can not only replace rayon and viscose which come from trees (yes our clothes come from trees!) but also cotton. Bamboo fiber has a unique antibacterial property and it uses way less pesticides, fertilizers and land to produce each ton of raw material. Bamboo can be used for clothes, sheets, towels and more!

For High End Construction Products

Bamboo flooring has been gaining popularity over the past years, but recently technology has become available for bamboo to be made into products that can replace timber. These include structural products, door and window frames, outdoor decking and more! If the bamboo is certified these bamboo products are sustainable, renewable and are beautiful as well.

For BioEnergy

Timber is used on a large scale to produce energy using everything from pellets to charcoal to biofuels. But, did you know bamboo can be used in the same way – its fiber has similar properties and an almost identical calorific value. Plus it’s renewable!

There are hundreds of other uses but just switching out wood for those above and replacing it with bamboo that has been grown only on degraded land, is certified as sustainable AND is renewable, would have a huge impact on the planet!

Positive Economic Impacts

With more research on the potential for bamboo to be used in major markets and for everyday products, the economic impact of the same is rising. This in turn is leading to the emergence of more new and cleaner technologies, innovative solutions and the turning of a full industrial wheel. From the traditional use of bamboo only for handicrafts, baskets and flooring, the last few decades have witnessed the production of pulp for paper and textiles, veneers, plywood, composites and many 2nd and 3rd generation products. The 21st century has resulted in the development of bamboo as an entirely new and high tech industry.

Bamboo can offer a large number of advantages and as more and more research is being conducted, the way to grow and manage the plant, its benefits and the true potential of its products are coming to the forefront. One must admit that EcoPlanet Bamboo is doing a great job in having laid the framework for there to be a global resource of sustainable and certified bamboo resource, and for urging the world to replace timber from natural forests with the environmentally friendly option of their bamboo. If you are still using some wood products, toilet paper from trees or drinking coffee in disposable cups, start thinking of replacing it with products made from EcoPlanet’s Bamboo and help Camille Rebelo and Troy Wiseman in their initiative of turning bamboo as the timber of the 21st century.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - January 19, 2017 at 7:01 am

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‘Lost City of the Monkey God’ Discovered in Central America

Rainforest conservation hits the headlines regularly for the most important global reasons, things like climate change, habitat destruction, oil pipelines and deforestation. Now the ‘Lost City of the Monkey God’ has been uncovered in the rainforests of Honduras, one of the last great unexplored areas on earth.

The city’s original inhabitants fled some time during the 1500s, believing their city to be cursed with disease and bad luck. In fact the natives were suffering from illnesses brought in by invading and settling Europeans, who also enslaved them.

An American author, one Douglas Preston, and a team of explorers set off to explore the dense Honduran and Nicaraguan rainforests and find the ancient city. The journey was exceptionally hazardous, studded with threats from poisonous snakes and involving fighting their way through incredibly thick vegetation.

The secrets of the massive Mosquitia rainforest revealed

The team’s journey kicked off in the stunning Mosquitia rainforest, which covers a massive 20,000 square miles of Central America. The city was thought to be a legend, sometimes called the White City, other times the City of the Monkey God, and rumours have tantalized adventurers since the 1600s. One explorer, Steve Elkins, had been hunting for the city since the 1990s without success when he brought Preston in to document his latest expedition.

They are just two of many adventurers who have entered the jungle in search of the city. People have been looking for the ancient metropolis for hundreds of years, coveting the potentially precious objects left behind by its fleeing citizens.

High tech equipment reveals the lost city

This time around Elkins and Preston used contemporary technology to locate the ruined city, namely clever laser imaging equipment designed to scan hundreds of miles of jungle in just a few days, ‘seeing’ through the trees with ease to map the ground remarkably accurately. On locating the city they soon uncovered a fascinating treasure trove of artefacts, including personal belongings.

See the documentary, read the book

A documentary about the expedition is currently being produced and there’s a book too, just out, called The Lost City of the Monkey God and published by Grand Central. If you fancy a real, old-fashioned adventure full of thrills, it’s a great read.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - January 16, 2017 at 3:25 pm

Categories: Conservation   Tags:

Ethical Markets grow by 8% finds latest Ethical Consumer Markets report

This week Ethical Consumer launched the latest version of its flagship Ethical Consumer Markets Report, this year sponsored by Triodos Bank.

It was more good news for ethical markets with the value of all ethical spending in the UK growing to a robust £38 billion in 2015 up 8.5% from last year.

More ethical goods available

It was clear from the research that more companies, from small entrepreneurs to large multinationals, are bringing more ethical choices than ever before to modern consumer markets. These range from tiny, one person, operations making organic food products in their own kitchens, to Nissan’s latest range of electric cars.

This is the thirteenth consecutive year of growth for their Ethical Purchases section, reflecting the continued appeal of ethical markets in the UK.

This continued growth in ethical buying is also an encouraging trend at a point in time where global political developments, for those concerned about environmental and human rights issues, are not all that positive.

Key Trends from the report

1. Ethical Food bucking the trend. Strong sales of Organic and Freedom Food (RSPCA)-certified products helped Ethical Food & Drink sales grow by 5.3%, despite a 0.9% decline in the value of the overall UK food & drink market.

2. The Green Car revolution. The Green Car industry (which includes electric and hybrid cars, as well as cars that emit less than 100g of CO2 per km) continued to boom and is now worth £8.4 billion, owing to improvements to infrastructure and increased consumer awareness.

3. Local Shopping for ethical reasons grows significantly in 2015. Consumers increased ethical spending in their community by 11.7%.

The full Ethical Consumer Markets Report is available from their website.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - January 6, 2017 at 3:24 pm

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10 Insane Facts About Tesla Motors and Elon Musk

Tesla Motors first came onto the car scene with the release of the Tesla Roadster, an electric sports car capable of 0-60 mph in between 3.7 and 3.9 seconds (challenging the likes of 2017 Audi R8 V10) and breaking records at every corner.

CEO Elon Musk has long been promising to change the world, creating affordable electric cars for the everyday person, planning trips to Mars and even developing AI in a way that is safe and beneficial to humanity.

Tesla and Musk have pledged to produce 500,000 cars a year by 2020 and have fully autonomous cars capable of doing everything in the near future. But many people know virtually nothing about Tesla or Musk, except that they produce electric cars. Here’s 10 Insane Facts About Tesla Motors and Elon Musk from Stanley R Harris.

Tesla Motors: How Elon Musk and Company Made Electric Cars Cool, and Sparked the Next Tech Revolution

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Posted by Eco Warrior - January 5, 2017 at 7:58 am

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RAND Boats at London Boat Show – Press Release

From the 6th to the 15th of January, RAND Boats welcomes you at the London Boat Show to present the newest version of the Picnic.

The RAND Picnic introduces a brand new approach to leisure time activity at sea. Built on principles of modern Danish design and hydrodynamics, the elegant 18ft open day-cruiser offers a low-key luxury
and user-friendly boating experience with exceptional steering and stability, 10-person seating rows, and an adjustable center-table making it the perfect object for social activity at sea.

The Picnic is sustainably produced in Denmark at RAND’s shipyard with a focus on optimizing hydrodynamic efficiency for pleasurable sailing.

RAND Boats’ goal of constantly pushing the boundaries within design, technology and sustainability is found within the Picnic’s wave-piercing hull that is optimized for electric propulsion to achieve better performance, deliver higher speeds and longer battery life.

The lightweight hydrodynamic construction makes the ride much more efficient resulting in the Picnic consuming less electricity or gas than traditional motorboat designs. The electric engine and solar power option provide a silent and environmental friendly sailing experience.

The Picnic is available with engines up to 60HP in gasoline, or electric propulsion up to 20HP for those who seek the pure nature experience free of noise and fumes.

RAND Boats look forward to welcoming you at stand no. C135 for a talk about the Picnic and the future of electric and user-friendly boating.


RAND Boats is a newly founded Danish producer of luxurious motorboats hand-built with exception detail, and offered with the newest within electric propulsion. For more information please visit our website on www.randboats.com

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Posted by Eco Warrior - December 23, 2016 at 12:57 pm

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The Case for Permeable Paving

Over the years, paving, decking, patios and outside garden improvements of this ilk have become a more and more common component of the home. As driveways have become a must for many around the world, a notable decline of front gardens has been observed. This trend shows no signs of abating and everybody seems to be trying to find a balance between greenery and paving. So, why?

Paving is indisputably a practical and efficient home improvement. The popularity of paving, decking and installing patios should not come as a surprise as it benefits a property in several ways. They’re cleaner looking, require less all-round maintenance, provide easy access to and from the house and can look stunning in the process. But paving isn’t always the right decision and what is in the best interest for your home and the surrounding areas needs to be considered beforehand. There is, however, one outstanding paving system that comes with only positives. Permeable paving is the future and here is why.

Permeable Paving – What is it?

Permeable paving is a paving system designed to enable the passage of water through the surface and out below. It has larger gaps between blocks than traditional block paving so that water does not get clogged and instead finds its way into the soil or a specially constructed sub-base underneath where it is then slowly released.

Permeable paving is otherwise like all other driveway or garden paving systems, it doesn’t sacrifice stability or durability but additionally provides natural drainage which some paving systems do not have. It comes in a range of paving options for whether you want the appearance of traditional paved stone driveway but the pros of permeable paving. Alternatively, you may prefer to keep the green aesthetics of a garden but require the stability of a driveway. Either way, permeable paving is the solution.

A Safe Paving Option – Reducing the Risks of Flooding

10m² Car Park Driveway Plastic Grids Grass and Gravel Porous Paving

Whilst paving can be a wonderful feature, some paving systems prohibit water from soaking up naturally like a traditional lawn. Solid, watertight surfaces are fantastically secure and durable but they instigate water build up due to their impenetrability. This means that water doesn’t drain but instead builds up in surrounding roads and gorges and thereby provoking flash flooding. Existing drainage systems are unable to cope and excess water either builds up around your home or is directed elsewhere potentially damaging a neighbor’s home.

Of course, with cars and parking spaces a necessity for many, driveways are an inevitable requirement. A front lawn just sometimes isn’t the most practical option for homeowners around the world. But this isn’t a one or the other situation. Permeable paving offers a paving system that has the benefit of both a driveway and the sustainable permeability of a front lawn.

A Sustainable Paving Option – Environmentally Friendly

Letting excess water drain away naturally to be soaked up by the soil in a controlled manner makes permeable paving by far the most environmentally friendly and sustainable paving choice to the extent that some flood-prone countries now insist on this home improvement.

Homes and areas that are unprepared can be bad for the environment. Rain that gathers doesn’t just present a problem for drainage but it is often being directed back to rivers and streams that are unable to cope with such an excess. Consequently, these streams are damaged and river banks collapse. Even if drains look to be doing a good job, often your drainage system is carrying rainwater towards the sewers which then sometimes overflow into rivers and have the same negative impact.

Urban heat island effect is another problem caused by ill-equipped houses. Local temperatures rise because less water evaporates. All of these problems find their solution in permeable paving. It is environmentally friendly, safer for urban areas and as practical and efficient.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - December 23, 2016 at 10:41 am

Categories: Eco Friendly, Eco Home   Tags:

How Does Green Boiler Technology Affect The Environment?

The massive impact of fossil fuel heating systems on the environment continually draws a lot of worldwide attention. Considering that heating is one of the world’s highest energy consumption sources, there is more focus on making positive, sustainable changes to how it is produced. Green boiler technology is fast becoming a great solution for those seeking to reduce their carbon footprint.

With the options for green boilers increasing daily, questions are also being raised about their environmental impact. While green boilers are more energy efficient and acceptable as an alternative option for heating, they still contribute to global warming.

Different Types of Green Boilers

Today, there are two main types of green boilers used in homes and businesses: biomass boilers and condensing boilers. Each of these operates in completely different ways to reduce your carbon footprint.

Biomass Boilers

Biomass boilers operate by burning wood and other renewable organic materials to produce heat. Unlike old wood burning stoves and fireplaces, modern biomass burning stoves are more efficient for water heating needs. There are automatic biomass boilers that control the amount of air and fuel that is used, making them even more efficient. To keep this boiler running, owners will need ample space to store the boiler, along with wood or logs for heating purposes.

Condensing Boilers

Condensing boilers are fuelled by gas or oil. What makes these boilers different, is that they reuse heat from the initial burning process to preheat the water entering the boiler. Heat is recovered from the combustion process as water vapor is condensed into liquid, making the process more efficient. Unlike standard boilers, they come in various sizes that can fit into different locales and only require regular maintenance. Many buildings are switching from old gas boilers to condensing boilers due to their practicality.

Environmental Impact of Biomass Boilers

The burning of wood and other biomass fuels produces carbon dioxide and nitrogen dioxide emissions (CO2 and NO2). The carbon produced is usually the same amount as what is absorbed by a plant during its entire lifetime. While these emissions may be negligible, a faulty burning process in your boiler or a wrong setup may result in more emissions of carbon monoxide (CO), volatile organic gases, benzene, and other toxic substances.

Dimplex Cadiz Eco 3 KW Electric Oil Free Radiator with Electronic Climate Control

With proper use of biomass boilers, the ash waste is usually harmless and can be used as compost. Ensuring that green boilers are serviced regularly and operate under the manufacturer’s guidelines is crucial, so that emissions remain harmless and the boiler operates at optimal capacity.

Environmental Impact of Condensing Boilers

Considering that heating oil and natural gas from condensing boilers are fossil fuels, they still contribute to environmental pollution. Although the CO2 emissions are most common with gas boilers, a faulty heating system may further produce carbon monoxide and present a major health hazard. For oil boilers, there is potential water contamination with leakages as well as gas emissions. In recent years, heating oil used in green boilers has been blended with other biofuels, like biodiesel, to create a cleaner energy source.

Making the Switch to Green Boiler Technology

There is a lot that goes into deciding what type of boiler is needed in a building. When making a switch, different factors have to be considered, like the size of the boiler, its cost, energy efficiency rating, availability of heating fuel, and its impact on the environment. There is no doubt that green boiler technology saves energy and leaves a smaller environmental footprint than older boilers.

Why Is Green Boiler Technology Better?

Experts in the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning industry (HVAC) have to deal with constantly changing technology. With green technology popularity higher than ever, it’s important to understand how new options are changing the industry and why this technology is the better option for heating.

  • Reduced emissions—Green boilers make it easier for HVAC experts to abide by emission guidelines. These boilers are engineered under strict energy efficiency measures to protect both the end user and the environment.
  • Highly efficient—Modern technology used for manufacturing green boilers helps minimize heat loss and improve heat transfer. That ensures that businesses get the most out of their boiler systems.
  • Maximum fuel-cost savings—Green boilers use less fuel to do the same amount of work as old boilers; this is of huge benefit to many businesses. Eco-friendly boilers produce the same power while reducing spending on fuel over the long term.
  • Smart design and innovation—With great improvements in design and engineering, modern boilers are produced smaller in size and developed with green technology in mind. That means less installation space in facilities and streamlined operation.

Is Green Boiler Technology Sustainable?

Just like other sustainable technologies, green boilers will remain a sustainable heating option. As more businesses opt for this technology, ensuring the reliability and efficiency of installed systems is a major priority for HVAC professionals. The boilers have to be regularly inspected and checked at least annually to ensure optimal efficiency.

The HVAC industry has quickly adapted to green technology, leading to the production of more efficient equipment that uses less energy. This is a major step for sustainable energy that helps protect the environment.


Kathleen Williams is an HVAC repair and installation expert and freelance writer from Orange County, CA. She has gained extensive experience and skills offering sustainable heating solutions to households and businesses in the area, working with one of the premier industrial boiler repair companies around.

The Biomass Revolution

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Posted by Eco Warrior - December 23, 2016 at 10:18 am

Categories: Eco Home, Energy   Tags:

Green home building

Green home building is no longer just a trend. More than half of all U.S. builders report implementing green construction in a significant percentage of their new homes. It is projected that by 2020 more than 51 percent of builders expect at least 60 percent of their new homes to qualify as green. Eco-friendly home building is rapidly approaching the tipping point toward being mainstream. The following infographic shows eco-friendly building features.

Eco Homes Of The World

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Posted by Eco Warrior - December 17, 2016 at 7:57 am

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Environmentally Friendly Sauna Bathing

The many benefits of a sauna provide great motivation for having one built into your home. Saunas relieve stress, relax muscles, flush toxins, and cleanse the skin. Additionally, they can be a great way to start or end your day. What is even better is that there are steps that can be taken to build an environmentally friendly sauna bath. The key to building such a sauna is to maximize energy efficiency. This will minimize the eco-print left by your sauna. The foundation will be laid by how the sauna is built. Which heater is selected and proper maintenance will also ensure that your sauna is environmentally friendly for years to come!

Building The Sauna

How the sauna is built is the first key to an environmentally friendly sauna bath. This includes insulation, ventilation, materials, and the size of the sauna. The higher quality of insulation used, the less energy output that will be required to heat the sauna. This will also keep your home in good condition. Good ventilation will keep the sauna itself, especially any wood work, in better condition. The ventilation will also provide sauna bathers with fresh air that breathes easy. Done correctly, a good ventilation system will maximize energy efficiency.

It is worth taking a little time to discuss the materials used to build the sauna. There are different wood species and other materials that can be used in your sauna. Stones have the tendency to hold more heat so they can be a great way to maximize energy efficiency. Not only should you pay attention to moisture resistance, heating properties, and other qualities, but the materials also play a significant role in how your sauna looks. Enjoy the process of selecting great looking materials for your new sauna!

Lastly, consider the size of the sauna. The more people that may use the sauna at once will require a larger sauna. The larger the sauna the more space that will be required and the larger the space the more energy that will be required to heat the sauna. All these factors should be considered while building an environmentally friendly sauna.

The Heater

The next key to an eco-friendly sauna is the heater. First, the decision must be made between an electric heater or fire. Which one will fit your sauna needs better and which one would you enjoy more? Next, the size of your heater will be crucial to heating your space and meeting the necessary energy output. Also, depending on what materials you chose to build your sauna could influence how much energy the heater needs to put out. Lastly, be sure that the heater will be able to handle its workload well. For example, if you intend to use the sauna often be sure the heater can always be ready to be used for bathing.

Sauna Bathing

Sauna Relax (Wellness Music)

When actually taking a sauna bath it will be more efficient if more than one person baths at the same time. This way the heater is not left on as people cycle through the sauna. Be sure to keep the heat at a reasonable level not only for health and safety reasons but also to keep energy use in check. If you build a sauna with a window be sure to keep it closed while the sauna is running, otherwise the heat will escape requiring more energy to heat the sauna. Finally, if you use wood in your sauna be sure that the wood dries properly after each bath. This will extend the life of the wood. It is usually not necessary to keep the heater on after the bath. The after-heat from the bath is usually enough to dry the wood and the room.

Maintenance

Keep in mind what it will take maintain your sauna to maximize energy efficiency. If wood is used in the sauna, oils will be needed to take care of the wood. If stones were placed in the sauna, the stones may need to be rearranged periodically as they tend to settle over time. Also, be sure to read about how to take care of your heater. Does anything need replaced periodically? When does the heater need to be replaced? These tasks and questions should be taken care of to ensure a long life for your sauna and continued energy efficiency to maximize your enjoyment with the sauna while minimizing its impact on the environment.

A Green Sauna

Saunas can be great ways to relax and take care of your body. There are even ways to minimize its effect on the wonderful world we live in. By building the sauna efficiently, selecting an appropriate heater, and with good maintenance, you can make sure that your sauna will last and provide a great accessory to your home!


This article was written by Sam Socorro from Steam And Shower UK. She has over 10 years’ experience in writing health related topics and specializes in the health benefits of saunas and hydrotherapy.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - December 17, 2016 at 7:09 am

Categories: Eco Home   Tags:

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