Consumer Research

World trapped by ‘Toxic Triangle’ that puts profit for the few ahead of a sustainable future for all

People around the world are trapped in a ‘toxic triangle’ made up of short-term financial investors, timid governments and fossil fuel companies, which threatens to push up global temperatures, putting 400 million people at risk of hunger and drought by 2060, Oxfam has warned.

Oxfam’s new report Food, Fossil Fuels and Filthy Finance shows that this ‘toxic triangle’ supported spending of $674 billion on fossil fuels in 2012. Read more »

£1million fund for research into alternatives to peat announced by Defra

A new £1 million pot for research to help the gardening industry end its reliance on peat has been announced by Environment Minister Richard Benyon. The research funding has been made available as part of the Government’s response to a report from an independent Task Force. Read more »

European motorists are turning greener: one in three would spend more to buy an eco car

Ford Focus ECOnetic delivers 83.1 mpg

One in three Europeans would spend more to buy an environmentally friendly car even though 71 per cent say they have reduced overall spending as a result of the economic recession, a Ford-sponsored poll shows.

The survey also shows 53 per cent consider climate change to be the world’s biggest issue and 57 per cent would prefer to lead a more environmentally conscious lifestyle. Read more »

Walking and cycling should become the norm for short journeys

A plan for co-ordinated action to identify and address the barriers that may be discouraging people from walking and cycling more often or at all

More people should be encouraged to keep fit by incorporating walking and cycling into their everyday lives, in an attempt to tackle declining rates of physical activity in England, National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) says. Read more »

New research argues that electricity derived from burning trees is ‘dirtier than coal’

Burning whole trees in power stations can be dirtier than coal, concludes a new report by the RSPB, Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace.

The report uses Government’s own data to show that burning whole trees to generate electricity is worse for the climate than coal: generating power from typical conifer trees results in 49 per cent more emissions than burning coal. Read more »

The National Arboretum celebrates a project to engage new groups with botanic gardens

Members of the Macular Disease Society, Awaz Utaoh and the Forestry Commission looking at photographs of the Hidden Voices workshops. Credit Paul Groom/ Forestry Commission

A celebration has taken place at the Forestry Commission's National Arboretum at Westonbirt to celebrate a project that engaged new audiences with botanic gardens.

The Macular Disease Society, Bristol Drugs Project and Asian women's group Awaz Utaoh took part in the Hidden Voices project led by the Forestry Commission's learning and participation team at Westonbirt Arboretum. Read more »

Survey reveals the Coronation versus Jubilee generation sleep gap

The sixty-year Sleep Gap (pic credit: hultonarchive)

In Jubilee year, sixty years on from the coronation, a new survey shows that our kids go to bed later, eat later and prefer playing in to playing out.

  • 58% of children watch television before bed compared to 25% of grandparents at their age.
  • 31% of children mostly spend their free time playing outside compared to 89% of grandparents at their age.
  • 78% of children sleep on a new bed or mattress compared to 51% of grandparents at their age.
  • 27% of children read a book before bed compared to 54% of grandparents at their age.

Research discovers that half the UK’s population buys into a sharing lifestyle

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Zipcar, the UK’s largest pay-as-you-drive car club, has published a new report into the way we live in the UK today. The report ‘Pay-As-You-Live: The Business of Sharing in the UK’, reveals that the UK’s younger generation (aged 18-54) is fuelling the growth of a Pay-As-You-Live lifestyle (PAYL). Read more »

Wasting billions of sheets of paper every year

Advances in technology led to promises that we would soon be living in a paperless society, with stacks of paperwork and mountains of wasted print-outs a thing of the past.

However far from this, new research has today revealed that the average worker is still printing six thousand sheets a year, two thirds of which goes to waste, and half say they’ve either not reduced how much they print or they’re printing more. Read more »

US consumer-driven organic market surpasses $31 billion in 2011

Organic food sales now represent 4.2 percent of all US food sales, up from 4 percent in 2010

The Organic Trade Association's 2012 Organic Industry Survey of the US market shows continued growth. Read more »

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