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MAD Blog Awards 2011

Eco-Filament low energy bulb

Energy saving lightbulbs are a lot like marmite, don’t you think, you either love them or loathe them?

We know they are good for the environment and that they save us money on our energy bills (replacing just one traditional light bulb with an energy saving one can save you around £3 a year) but they’re just not, well, as nice looking as the old ones used to be.

Well, not anymore. Thanks to a collaboration between Dutch medical, aerospace and avionic lighting specialist, NDF Special Light Products and Urban Cottage Industries, the leading UK manufacturer behind Factorylux light, the most stunning CFL lamp has been created, the unpretentiously named Eco-Filament.

The Factorylux Eco-Filament, which I was sent to review, combines the delicate beauty of Edison’s classic squirrel cage filament light bulb, with modern day energy and ecodesign standards to produce a lamp that not only looks stunning but is long lasting and low-energy too.

eco-filament bulb, close up

A straight replacement for traditional E27 60W pear shaped lamps, the dimmable Eco-Filament is the same bulb size, same cap and same light output, but lasts 5 times longer and consumes just one eighth of the energy of a 60W bulb. To put that in context for those number-crunching lovers amongst you, an Eco-Filament lamp last 25,000 hours, or 20+ years (3 hours a day) or 11 years (6 hours per day).

Exquisitely designed, the vintage Thomas Edison style lamps look fabulous both off, during the day and on at night.

On their own they would look stunning in bare bulb industrial style light fittings, which are gaining in popularity in many homes, as would they in interiors influenced by the Steampunk movement.


When on, (the dealbreaker for those opting for low-energy bulbs) the lamp gives a warm familiar glow of a traditional bulb, creating a beautiful, cosy ambience.

At £30.60 a bulb they are, of course, more expensive than their Edison Squirrel Cage Filament lamp counterparts (which start at £9.00), but when you calculate how much longer they last AND how much energy you save during use, you don’t have to be too bright to see that the Eco-filament puts the alternatives in the shade.

For more information about the Eco-Filament, head over to Urban Cottage Industries.


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Urinetown The Musical
The ripples of revolution are now reaching the shores of the West End!

URINETOWN, the satirical musical comedy that was a sold out splash hit at the St James Theatre has arrived in London’s West End at the beautifully refurbished Apollo Theatre.

Award-winning director, Jamie Lloyd (Richard III, The Commitments) directs this sharp-witted rampant riot of a show that tells the tale of a town fit to burst; spending a penny can prove problematic in a place where the privilege to pee has become a punishable offence. There is no such thing as rent free relief until our young hero, Bobby Strong, appears – with more than a good set of pipes – and starts a revolution!

Urinetown The Musical

Receiving rave reviews from critics and audiences alike, there will be a special charity performance gala on Monday 20th October to support, Matt Damon’s nonprofit organisation who work on water and sanitation issues internationally.

Through this collaboration, Urinetown hopes to raise awareness about the global water crisis, and raise money for those who are working to improve it.

To find more details about the show and book your ticket, head over to the show’s website

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Pledge4Plastics - limited edition designer phone case made from recycled plastic bottles
Pledge 4 Plastics, a new government backed campaign created to significantly increase the collection of plastic packaging for recycling, has teamed up with internationally renowned designer, stylist and author, Abigail Ahern, for an exciting new collaboration that aims to get recycling back on the household agenda.

Knowing that five billion plastic bottles were sent to UK landfill sites last year, the initiative has joined forces with Abigail Ahern to launch #Pledge4Plastics, a campaign that is urging people to make a promise to recycle just one extra plastic bottle per household each week.

To highlight the many ways plastic can be given a new life if recycled correctly, Abigail Ahern, has channelled her uniquely quirky and recognisable style to design her first ever bespoke phone cover, which is made from 80 percent recycled plastic bottles. Internationally acclaimed for her own retail ranges and unswerving design taste, this is the first time Abigail Ahern has turned her hand to fashion accessories.

One thousand limited edition phone covers, available for iPhone 5C/S and Samsung S5, have been designed exclusively for #Pledge4Plastics, to reward those who register their support online throughout September at or tweet @pledge4plastics.

Pledge4Plastics - limited edition designer phone case made from recycled plastic bottles

Abigail Ahernsaid: “As a designer, I’m always looking for creative ways to produce beautiful things. I find it most inspiring to discover new materials and production methods.

“It’s been amazing to work on creating a design for something that’s going to be made out of recycled plastic bottles. The #Pledge4Plastics campaign is a great way to demonstrate that what people often think of as ‘just’ rubbish can actually be made into a fabulous new object of desire.”

Abigail AhernIt’s important to remember that #Pledge4Plastics is not just about recycling water and drinks bottles, it includes all types of plastic bottles, from every room in the house, ranging from shampoo bottles and shower gels to domestic bleach bottles and cooking oil. Not forgetting to recycle food pots, tubs and trays (like yoghurt pots, margarine tubs and lasagne trays), where Local Authorities collect them for recycling, will help to reduce the amount of plastics that goes to landfill.

Kerbside recycling schemes and dedicated recycling centres run by every local authority in the country, along with plenty of information available online at, mean there are lots of easy ways for people to support the campaign at home.

Led by Recoup, a longstanding plastics recycling charity, the National Plastics Recycling Initiative is supported by partners including, Coca Cola Enterprises, Marks & Spencer, Unilever, Nestle Waters, Nestle UK, RPC, Veolia, Closed Loop Recycling, Valpak, Kent Resource Partnership, Surrey County Council, PlasticsEurope, WRAP and Defra. The steering group has been formed to tackle the serious issue of plastic packaging recycling in the UK and help to meet the challenging targets set by the UK government.

Stuart Foster, CEO of Recoup, said: “The #Pledge4Plastics campaign aims to encourage people to think and act differently and rewards them for doing so. We want to highlight how great things can come from recycling unwanted plastic. The fantastic phone cover that Abigail Ahern has designed for the campaign is made with recycled plastic and provides just one example of what can become of recycled bottles.”

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Heatkeeper pack and panels - save energy, reduce heat loss

Despite late September bringing us cooler evenings and chiller mornings, many households faced with ever-rising fuel bills remain resolute that 1st October, or Central Heating Day as it has also been coined, is the earliest their central heating will go back on.

There are, of course, lots of simple ways we can reduce our household energy consumption including lowering our thermostats, switching off radiators in rooms which are not used often and fitting draught excluders and chimney balloons to reduce heating from escaping out of our homes.

We can also invest in heat-saving devices to ensure we get the most from the heat we are paying for. One company who can help us with just this is Lake Renewable Energy and their latest product, Heatkeeper Radiator Reflectors.

To tell us more about their company and latest product, here’s my interview with Lake Renewable Energy’s, Lee Wiper.

Firstly, tell me about your business and it’s background

Lake Renewable Energy is a UK based company established in 2007 specialising in the retail of leisure batteries, energy saving and eco-friendly products designed to save you money and energy. Since June 2014 as Lake Manufacturing Ltd. we are now the proud owners and manufacturers of Heatkeeper Radiator Reflectors Panels.

Can you explain what your product is and how it saves energy?

Heatkeeper Radiator Reflectors are an energy saving reflector panel designed to be placed behind household radiators. HEATKEEPER Radiator Reflector Panels can save as much as 20% on heating costs where the panels are fitted to all radiators throughout the home. The panels work in three ways to save energy, money and improve the comfort and feel of your rooms.

• Insulating the Wall

how a radiator reflector panel worksThe moulded shape of the Heatkeeper Radiator Reflectors creates an air space between the radiator and the wall surface creating a thermal barrier.

• Reflective Surface

The highly reflective surface of the panel acts as a radiant agent and reflects heat back into the radiator, which returns the water to the boiler at a higher temperature, therefore the heating system requires less energy to reheat the water in the boiler.

• Saw Tooth Profile

The saw- tooth profiles of the Heatkeeper panels are designed to stimulate convection currents which improve heat circulation, helping to eliminate cold spots in the room.

What else have you introduced in 2014?

2014 saw the introduction of a new hanging NEW alternative “Easy-Fit” method for HEATKEEPER Panels. Simply hang HEATKEEPER Panels from your radiator brackets ideal for radiators where the traditional fitting method may be difficult.

Fitting Heatkeeper radiator reflector panel

What has been your biggest success to date?

Heatkeeper Radiator Panels have been independently tested by world-renowned industry experts such as the Building Research & Industry Association, the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, the Scottish Energy Centre and Queen’s University Belfast and are endorsed by the Energy Saving Trust.

Manufactured in the UK, Heatkeepers are a permanent energy saving solution to improve the heating efficiency of your household radiators. They are easily adhered to the wall behind the radiator and now with the alternative hanging method for those hard to reach areas under sills or behind radiators with small gaps.

Where can people buy/ find out more about your product?

Customers can purchase Heatkeeper Radiator Reflector Panels online at our website or in our showroom at 27 Phoenix Road, Crowther, Washington, Tyne & Wear, NE38 0AD.


I am pleased to announce  I have teamed up with Lake Renewable Energy to give

5 lucky Queen of Easy Green readers the chance to win a 10 pack of Heatkeeper radiator reflector panels worth £32 each.

For your chance to win, simply complete the Rafflecopter box below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Gift Your Gear - donate your unwanted outdoor gear

As Ranulph Fiennes famously said, ‘There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing,’ and that is never truer than when it comes to partaking in outdoor activities.

So, why not help the next generation get outdoors, whatever the weather, by donating your unwanted outdoor gear.

Donate your unwanted outdoor gear

Gift Your Gear, the award-winning nationwide initiative that provides outdoor clothing and equipment to UK community organisations, youth groups and charities working with young people in the outdoors has again joined forces with Rohan, the travel and outdoor clothing company, to take your unwanted outdoor gear in return for a handsome discount.

Gift Your Gear helping the next generation get outdoorsTo join in, simply take your unwanted outdoor clothing to any Rohan shop during the month of September, that’s all outdoor clothing, rucksacks and includes children’s clothing regardless of brand and receive 15% off any full price purchase made on the same day. Offer ends 30th September 2014.

Founded by Sarah Howcroft, Gift Your Gear was set up to encourage people to donate unwanted outdoor gear they no longer want or need and to build on the success of last year, Sarah is keen to increase the number of groups Gift Your Gear can help again.

“To date Gift Your Gear has supported over 250 community organisations, youth groups and charities who work with young people in the outdoors. I hope that we can increase this number to 350 by the end of the Gift Your Gear – Rohan event”.

The outdoor gear you donate will make a real difference to the community organisations, youth groups and charities who receive it. Enabling others to benefit from life changing experiences in the great outdoors regardless of their circumstances.

So go on, dig out those unwanted clothes, help more young people enjoy the great outdoors and treat yourself into the bargain.

To find out more about Gift Your Gear and who they support head over to and for the latest updates you can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter

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