...genetically engineering a giant sheep? Prince Charles, outspoken critic of all things genetically modified, takes a suspicious second look at this woolly example on a visit to Second Nature UK, manufacturer of Thermafleece sheep’s wool insulation.
Given the prince’s 2008 outburst against GM as ‘a gigantic experiment with nature that has gone seriously wrong’, it was brave of Second Nature to put its mascot in the Prince’s path. The visit was part of HRH’s Seeing is Believing initiative, which introduces business leaders to firms tackling environmental issues and rural decline.
...saving the world by specifying kerbstones? When we read about a recycled plastic kerbstone that ‘helps save the world from imminent catastrophic environmental disaster’, it certainly got our interest. Manufactured by i-plas, the Ezikerb is ‘more weatherproof than concrete and has up to double the lifespan’, says the manufacturer. That’s quite impressive, and the product is no doubt a greener alternative, but will it save the world, and just how imminent is this catastrophic environmental disaster? I-plas, you’re scaring us! www.intruplas.com
...installing a Star Trek teleporter in your office? You won’t quite be able to disappear from the office to explore exotic planets, but mvision’s Telepresence system will allow you to appear at meetings remotely in a life-size, high-definition environment. The good news is that you don’t need a NASA-sized budget either. In partnership with Tandberg, mvision offers a package comprising a telepresence network and a host of managed services for a fixed monthly fee. Given the cost of Europe-wide travel these days, it’s worth a look – and it will reduce that all-important carbon footprint too. Beam me up Scotty! www.mvision.co.uk
...preparing for the end of civilisation? Then the Extreme DIY course at the Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales is for you. Running throughout the summer, the course will show you how to build shelters using only materials found around you and make tools from scratch. More Ray Mears than Handy Andy, the courses also teach environmentally-friendly design and construction. ‘This is about more than being eco,’ said co-ordinator Helen Sharma. ‘We’ll show you how to save cash, as well as consider things like using recycled and reclaimed materials, energy efficiency and renewable energy.’ If some of the gloomier predictions on the global recession come true, this could be the best investment you ever make. www.cat.org.uk
...running your site hut on solar power? Boil kettles, charge laptops and let Radio 5 Live’s Nicky Campbell have his say with a new portable Solar Power Station. It consists of a rack of photovoltaic panels linked to a battery box, and can be used independent of the main grid supply. The panels are available in four sizes and can be easily linked to an expansion panel if extra power is needed. The basic kit costs £849.99, including a 10-year panel guarantee and it has a 35-year life expectancy. www.solartechnology.co.uk.