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The green top ten

Green products and gadgets are becoming increasingly popular. Here we reveal Rob Holdway’s favourite picks for the home and office

1) Ecover

Product: Non Biological Ecological Washing Powder

Green claims: Ecover strives to provide effective, sustainable solutions for people’s hygienic needs, Tough on dirt, easy on your clothes, Fast and complete biodegradability, Plant- and mineral-based ingredients, No enzymes, no optical brighteners, Minimum impact on aquatic life, Against animal testing, Carries the United Nations Global 500 Roll of Honour logo, which recognises the environmental achievements and organisations around the world

Rob’s view: Unlike many laundry products, Ecover has always favoured plant-based over petrochemical surfactants, which are derived from
finite oil supplies, often poorly degradable and toxic to aquatic life. Plant-based surfactants are renewable, have minimal aquatic toxicity and biodegrade quickly and completely. Ecover products also use much less water to neutralise the toxicity of the ingredients in the natural environment. Plus, its new pioneering surfactant based on rapeseed oil (non GM) is grown in continental Europe reducing the overall distance ingredients are transported.

Where to Buy: Major supermarkets and health food stores.
Price: £3.97 for 1.2L.

2) Tefal

Product: Quick Cup – gives filtered hot and cold water at the touch of a button

Green Claims: Heats water in three seconds, using a third of the energy of a standard kettle, a 65% energy saving, Carries the Energy Saving Recommended logo awarded to the most energy efficient products on the market

Rob’s View: As a nation that apparently guzzles 125 million cups of tea a day, the savings from Quick Cup could be significant if ownership caught on. As it heats only the amount of water required the Quick Cup saves both water and energy. If everyone in the UK used the Quick Cup we could save, in a year, enough water to fill 12 Olympic-size swimming pools and the energy equivalent of taking 550,000 petrol cars off our roads.

Where to Buy: Department stores and electrical retailers including Currys, and Argos.
Price: RRP £59.99

3) Warmroof system

Product: Solar Energy’s Warmroof System insulation is sprayed directly onto the underside of the slates and tiles in your loft, locking them in place. It guarantees to keep your loft warm, dry, wind and water-tight for 25 years

Green Claims: Reduces fuel bills, and emissions of harmful pollutants, Applied by a CFC-free spray, The most efficient form of insulation available today, reducing heat-loss through the roof by up to 80%

Rob’s View: Buildings account for 50% of the UK’s energy consumption and a large amount of this energy is wasted due to heat loss through our roof. The Warmroof System offers a cost effective and energy saving alternative to re-roofing. It has high insulative properties and retains the heat in your home better, saving money on your energy bills. Something everyone will welcome warmly considering 6% of the average family income is spent on heating.

Where to Buy: For a free no- obligation survey call 0800 902 0100 or apply online at
Price: varies according to roof size, condition and construction. When used in domestic properties, it qualifies for a Government concession so you pay 5% VAT rather than17.5%.

4) Spiezia Organics

Products: Organic and ethical skincare

Green Claims: The products are 100% organic and carry the Soil Association logo, No chemicals, parabens or additives are added to any products

Rob’s View: Handmade on an organic farm in Cornwall and packaged in recycled glass jars, these luxurious products contain 100% organic ingredients and no artificial chemicals. Speizia also ensure that no damaging chemical by-products, only natural organic materials, are returned to the land.

Where to Buy: Harvey Nichols, independent health and beauty stores and some beauty therapists. For stockists visit
Price: Organic Facial Cleanser, £24 for 60ml; Organic Aftershave Oil, £18.

5) Very PC

Product: Environmentally friendly PCs

Green Claims: Reduces average power consumption, decreases the quantity of raw materials consumed and increases recyclability, For every GreenPC Treeton sold, a tree is planted in the Very PC grove of the Caledonian Forest in association with Trees for Life

Rob’s View: A PC that promotes energy efficiency is a great option. If the PC also looks good and is designed to minimise the raw material used then even better. Very PC is a market leader. The Treeton PC has one of the lowest energy consumptions on the market making it a viable IT solution for home or office. An energy efficiency computer such as Very PC’s could save as much as £250 in electricity bills over five years.

Where to Buy:
Price: The bestselling Green PC BE is available alone or as a package from £547.

6) eco pro torch

Product: The Eco Pro Torch – new from the legendary Trevor Baylis Brands, the man who invented the wind-up radio. It has five super-bright LED lamps and an emergency mobile phone charging capability

Green Claims: Eight hours of light on a full charge, One minute of winding will power the lantern for 25 minutes

Rob’s View: We used wind up torches on Dumped the Channel 4 series I presented, and I’ve been converted ever since. Why on anyone would buy a torch that required expensive batteries beats me. Every home should have this product.

Where to Buy:
Price: £21.95.

7) USBCell

Product: AA rechargable batteries

Green Claims: Save money and the environment by reducing wasteful alkaline disposal

Rob’s View: We throw away more than 15 billion alkaline batteries a year wasting resources, CO2 and creating toxic landfill. USBCell is an eco-friendly alternative as it can be reused hundreds of times saving you money, hassle and waste. It can be charged through any USB port, such as on your laptop, removing the need for a charging unit. A winner.

Where to Buy: Online at www.ethical
Price: £1.99 for 25.

8) Bye Bye Standby

Product: Bye Bye Standby’s Office

Green Claims: Office appliances consume 15% of all electrical energy in the UK. Bye Bye Standby’s Office works by cutting power to electrical devices left in standby. It’s suitable for businesses of any size who want to start saving energy and money almost straight away. The initial cost of the kit is returned many times over with savings on energy bills

  • Saves energy: Completely cuts power to your DVD player, television, stereo, PC etc at the simple flick of a switch.
  • Saves you money by reducing your electricity bill
  • No unnecessary carbon emissions

Rob’s View: A survey by the Energy Saving Trust found that the average household has up to 12 gadgets left on standby or charging at any one time, and that more than £740 million of electricity is being wasted by things being left ticking over. By cutting the power to any devices not in use it can save around £37 a year on your home electricity bill, and help reduce CO2 emissions.

Where to buy: Waitrose, Currys, Comet, or online at
Price: Starter Kit £19.99.

9) Fresh & Green

Product: Bathroom Cleaner and Limescale Remover

Green Claims: Tough on dirt. Gentle on the planet Environmentally friendly household cleaning products that are non toxic and safe for use around the home. The Bathroom Cleaner is suitable for use on toilets, baths, taps and tiles

Rob’s View: Fresh & Green use biodegradable ingredients derived from plants as opposed to using non-renewable petrochemicals. They’re not tested on animals and WWF (the world’s leading conservation organisation) approved, verifying that they contain no hazardous chemicals. This product worked well in my bathroom.

Where to Buy: Asda, Waitrose, Co-op, Budgens, Robert Dyas, or at
Price: £1.99 for 500ml.

10) Pravera Ltd Alma Win dishwashing tablets

Green Claims: Natural cleaning, Successfully dermatologically tested, Completely biodegradable, Not tested on animals, Suitable for vegans; certified organic, Carries the ecogarantie, the Belgian trademark for mineral-based, environmentally friendly products

Rob’s View: Alma Win use naturally derived renewable ingredients to produce these excellent cleaning products. They’re specially formulated to suit those with allergies and sensitive skin. They don’t contain phosphates, optical brighteners, chlorine or petrochemicals, which can pollute waterways, and are easily biodegradable so don’t have long lasting environmental effects.

Where to Buy: Online at
Price: £5.95 for 25.

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