How eco are you? First up, Lisa Faulkner

Lisa Faulkner says she's definitely a cook and not a chef, and she's the first to admit that she's not re-inventing the cookery wheel with her books and recipes. Rather she wants to share her love of cooking and if that gets more of us putting a bit more time and effort into the food we eat, well, so much the better.

Abundance? no, strive to use the minimum

Cup of tea anyone?

Consider the simple example of boiling water to make a single cup of tea. There is a minimum amount of energy required to raise the temperature of a fixed volume of water from ambient to 100°C at atmospheric pressure, but how close are we to achieving the minimum?

What are the main types of blinds and where to use them?

Blinds are a classic way to shade your windows, they are simple to use, easy to install and most importantly, they look amazingly stylish. Unlike curtains where you have one variation of the shading, choose from multiple different types of blinds ranging from rolling fabric blinds to metal slat blinds. And to help you navigate the world of blinds we’ve teamed up with DotcomBlinds to explain the various types available.

Roller Blinds

Wood by the sea: Coastal house in Devon

Architect: 6a architects

Structural Engineer: Price & Myers

Main Contractor/Builder: JE Stacey

Joinery Company: Touch Design Group

Wood Supplier: Traditional Oak and Timber Co.

Wood Species: French Oak, British Douglas Fir, British Pine

Architect Robert Kraus' spectacular Vienna new build

At Deco we're generally not in favour of gawping at pictures of wealthy people's houses. But this house - while far beyond most self-builders wildest dreams - is rather lovely; and on the grounds that it uses lots of sustainable European oak, has ground source heat pumps to keep it warm in winter and uses fabric from Essex-based MissPrint, well, we thought you might find it inspiring.

Hedging to combat traffic emissions

We know trees are good at absorbing CO2 but our town planners should plant hedges near roads too, say scientists. Researchers from Surrey University's Global Centre for Clean Air Research (GCARE) looked at how three types of road-side planting – trees, hedges, and a combination of trees with hedges and shrubs – affected concentration levels of air pollution. The study used six roadside locations in Guildford as test sites, where the green infrastructure was between 1-2 metres away from the road.

Making good use of waste paint

Paint manufacturers are working to reduce the environmental impact of waste paint. It should re-used in paint manufacture, or given to community projects so it can stay out of landfill sites.

Meet auctioneer Catherine Southon

Antiques. The word may inspire you or turn you off, and your age is likely to have something to do with your response. Older people may think of beautiful Georgian furniture, rich mahogany pieces with intricate marquetry, while younger people may well think antiques are big ugly pieces of brown wood that their great grandparents lived with.

Prefab sprout: EGOIN makes building with wood easy

Egoin makes cross-laminated timber panels which are used to construct sustainable, eco-friendly buildings, whether private houses, offices, schools or nurseries. Egoin uses FSC wood and has Passiv Haus accreditation. It has an office in Scotland to serve the UK market.

New Scandi modern: Bolia

If Scandinavian design to you means all those mid-century greats such Arne Jacobsen, Poul Henningsen and Hans Wegner, it’s time to get with the 21st century and feast  your eyes on the work of companies such as Bolia which continue in the spirit of their not so distant forefathers.