Push the eco button

If you have a second, take a look at these great pictures in today’s Guardian from satellites of our changing earth… They’re from a new book called Fragile Earth. Scary they may be, but strangely beautiful too.

However, if you prefer looking upwards at the sky instead of looking down at it, how about this piece of machinery. It looks a little like a WWII barrage balloon but it’s actually a lighter-than air wind turbine which you can anchor pretty much anywhere. The advantage is this helium-filled device can go higher than usual fixed wind turbines and therefore catch the winds from low-level jetstreams. The idea’s been around a while, but a company called Magenn are planning on building the first working prototype this year.

Meanwhile, I’d just like to mention a new line at Nigel’s Eco Store which I think is particularly smart. If you’re running a PC the Ecobutton (see the picture above which looks curiously similar to Magenn turbine only much smaller) provides a simple way to switch your computer straight into ecomode. You plug it into your USB port and if you have to leave your desk for ten minutes, or if you’re answering a phone call, just press the button to send your into a special standby mode that should use even less power than conventional standby. You can even download software which shows you how much you’re lessening your carbon footprint as you use the device.