Monthly Archives:August 2005

Let them eat Coal-Cake

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The village of Durgai in the remote mountainous area of Zardaloo Valley is an unlikely setting for an experiment in off-grid development.

But New Zealand eco-consultancy Empower, in partnership with the Pakistani organisation Anjumae Khidmate Khalq Naujawanane, are in the middle of a $300,000 assignment to develop a community using locally-produced coal cakes for cooking and heating. The aim is to develop a suitable alternative fuel to the endangered juniper wood currently used. The target area is Durgai Village in the remote mountainous area of Zardaloo Valley in Balochistan.

Educate your Barbeque

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The proportion claiming to have adopted an eco-lifestyle has reached 15% according to a poll for ITV’s This Morning, which regularly features issues like disposable nappies and organic cooking.
Over the summer the show has appointed green goddess Joanna Yarrow to present items on greening the home and garden. Her first item included advice on how to Barbeque in an ecologically sound manner.

“Don’t use imported charcoal “she told me in the kitchen of her house in North London. “It’s likely to be from non-renewable rain forest, and it’s been doctored to make it heavier because it is sold by weight.”

She popped some scraps into her elegant Japanese mini-composter as we talked. The additives in imported charcoal also make it more likely to need petrochemical firelighters instead of paper and kindling said Yarrow, an eco-consultant helping businesses go green.

Megabuck downshifter

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Steve Case, founder of AOL has found a new protege living off-grid. Case is investing $20m (£11m) in a producer of yoga and Pilates videos, Jirka Rysavy, a multi-millionaire who is reported to spend part of the year in a cabin outside Boulder, Colorado without running water and with a bath in an outhouse.

Rysavy, founder of Gaiam, and Case, founder of Revolution Living, are both experienced in building new concepts into Fortune 500 companies as Rysavy did with Corporate Express and Case with AOL. Czech-born Rysavy,51, started Gaiam, a “lifestyle media” company, in 1988.

We will be bringing you more info about this enigmatic Corporate Executive in the near future. If anyone has any information or photos of Jirka Rysavy or his off-grid home, please contact publish the Gaiam corporate code of ethics below.Gaiam Essentials Tools for Yoga KitGaiam Essentials Tools for Yoga Kit – buy it from Amazon and 4% goes to Off-Grid