Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival, London

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The 18th London Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival takes place this Sunday June 30th, 2013

Time: 10am – 5pm
Venue: London Regatta Centre E16 2QT

London Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival is the largest of its kind in Europe – a free festival open to all ages. Leading up to the event, visitors to, the official website of the London Chinatown
Lions Club, is offering the opportunity to win a fantastic prize of 2 x return Hong Kong air tickets courtesy of Cathay Pacific.

It will be laying on an unprecedented mix of cultural attractions and family entertainment to make this year’s London Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival a totally unmissable event.

By replicating the vibrant cultural richness of Hong Kong in London, it is going to be a spectacular event, promising a day full of fun, action, thrills and surprises with FOUR FESTIVALS IN ONE. These include the Hong Kong Cultural Festival, East West Music Festival and Hong Kong Food


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Tired of tourist traps and guilt trips, or just want to have a positive impact on the people and places you visit? THE ETHICAL TRAVEL GUIDE lists over 300 places in 60 countries that benefit local people. From simple local-style holidays, treks, construction projects in Tibet, art holidays, and culinary and luxury retreats, there is something to suit every taste and budget. This is the essential resource for responsible global travellers.


• An INTRODUCTION to ethical tourism from Guardian journalist Polly Pattullo: What is Ethical Tourism? / What’s Wrong with Traditional Tourism? / Case Study: The Gambia / New Role of Consumers – Why be an Ethical Consumer? / Globalisation: A New Trip

Sustainable Ballard

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Biofuel is cool

Solar-power panels, brochures about organic gardening, and electric cars that make a Mini Cooper look spacious were all on display in the second annual Sustainable Ballard Fair. The event was the latest project of Sustainable Ballard, a 2-year-old all-volunteer nonprofit seeking to gradually move the Seattle neighborhood of roughly 45,000 off the grid of the global economy.

The group was born out of frustration at trying to mount opposition to the Iraq war, said Vic Opperman, one of the three founders. Sensing that they weren’t making a dent on the international front, and disheartened by the direction of federal policies, the Ballard residents opted instead to try to craft a blueprint for turning Ballard into a sustainable town. There, energy and other resources would be used at levels that can be maintained for generations.

Tour of Colorado solar homes

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90% solar powered

Its the National Solar homes tour October 1st and 2nd. You can get all the lowdown from The Colorado Renewable Energy Societyis typical of what is going on across the land.

The Boulder Area Tour, Saturday, October 1, starts at the Center for ReSource Conservation, 1702 Walnut St.,
Boulder. Call 303-441-3278 for information. Guidebooks are also available at the Nederland Community Center on Highway 72.

Sixteen homes will be featured in Saturday’s Boulder Tour.

Wanted: Green Leader

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The UK Green Party Autumn Conference kicked off today at St Martins College, Lancaster. It runs to 11th Sep and anyone can attend. Simply walk in. See the Green Party web site for more details.

Friday’s main theme is Green Energy Futures, a subject close to our hearts here at Off-Grid. More details on that below. We do hope that the conference makes one vital step — to agree that the Green Party needs a leader in order to be electable.

It has been sad to watch the party marginalise itself throgh idealistic principles about non-hierarchical leadership. The voters want leaders. So Off-Grid says – give them a leader. The Green vote will soar if there is a credible, dynamic leader who can mobilise the massive yearning to vote Green, especially among young people. The obvous choice is Green European Parliament member Caroline Lucas. If you support our position write to her and tell her so:

Building the future

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“From Rhetoric to Reality” is a short series of seminars in the UK, aimed at the growing numbers who are taking Sustainable Building from a quirky minority occupation into a mainstream activity. That process will take years, and these meetings bring together some key players with newbies coming into the fast-growing segment of the building industry.

Sustainable Refurbishment

Thursday 22nd September

CREATE Centre, Bristol

A one-day conference on refurbishment for: housing associations, housing managers, property maintenance contractors, architects and designers, and HECA officers.

Wind Weekend

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The first simultaneous nationwide opening of wind farms takes place this weekend across the UK.

Its part of the Embrace the Revolution Campaign, set up last year to tackle the myths put about by opponents of wind energy, and give a voice to people who support wind energy, three-quarters of the UK population.

This August Bank Holiday (27-29 August), families across the UK will be able to visit a working wind farm and touch a turbine as part of the first ever, simultaneous nationwide opening of wind farms – and for FREE (except the curmudgeons at The Centre for Alternative Energy in Wales, who are attempting to charge).

Green Man Festival

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The Off-Grid team are going off-grid for a while…. to the Green Man Festival in Hay on Wye, and then for a bit of wild camping. So you won’t see many updates in the next few days.

We can’t invite you to join us as at Green Man as it is sold out, but maybe see you there next year? We’re particularly looking forward to Bonnie Prince Billie, aka Will Oldham, and his sad-eyed, poetic ballads.

Come back soon, though, and in case you feel like going to a festival yourselves, here is a list of what else is happening this weekend around the UK – click on “more” for the full list.

I See a DarknessBonnie Prince Billie CD – I See a Darkness – buy it from Amazon US

I See a Darkness CD – UK edition from Amazon

Yee-hah: Wyoming Wind Festival

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Renewable energy conference set

Roping the Wind returns to Douglas, Wyoming. After last year’s success this is another opportunity to learn about renewable energy.

This year’s program will emphasize installed projects, covering everything from large-scale commercial wind farms to off-grid wind and solar energy installations. There will also be presentations on geothermal and biomass applications.

The conference is scheduled for Sept. 11 and 12. For more information, visit the Web site

It has no relationship to the book of the same name – but we thought we’d offer it here anyways.

Roping the Wind“Roping the Wind” – a History of Cowboys and the Land – buy it from Amazon

BBC radio seeks Off-Grid Brits

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We want to interview some of you for a Radio 4 report in July. We are looking for Brits living off-grid anywhere in the world, who are willing to let Radio 4 into your home or camper van, for a chat about why you do it, how you do it, and what you get out of it.

If you live off-grid, especially in the UK, please get in touch. Please send details about your off-grid life and situation, plus contact numbers to Nick Rosen,, or ring 07971 543703. Thanks!

Eton FR200 Wind Up Rechargeable RadioPerfect for off-grid listening, the Eton FR200 Wind Up Rechargeable Radio – buy it from Amazon – 5% of your purchase benefits this site