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December 26, 2016 / Catch-A-Ride

The Green Providers Directory

By Dr Gary Robertshaw


There remains fierce debate surrounding the question of whether consumerism can ever be accommodated within a sustainable framework. In other words, is it possible to produce goods and services in a fair and ethical way, without damaging the environment? The question is not quite so straightforward. For example some fair trade products such as coffee can be ethically produced, but can also have an adverse impact on the environment. It would appear, therefore, that there is no universally accepted definition of what actually constitutes green consumerism.

This lack of consensus does not mean, however, that we cannot live greener and more sustainable lifestyles – far from it. There is a growing realisation today that our actions are having a detrimental effect on the planet, pushing more people to consider how they can make a difference. The increase in demand for fair trade products and surge in clean energy are two areas that are testament to this. Other people see sustainable living as an effective way of reducing costs and saving money. For example, insulating the house or car sharing.

Having decided to adopt a greener lifestyle, reduce our carbon footprint and save money into the bargain, the question then arises of how we go about finding green products and services amongst the myriad of confusing claims, greenwashing and different alternatives! There are suppliers of everything from fair trade clothing to green insurance policies, but these have tended to be fairly disparate and involved lots of internet searches and shopping around niche websites.

A genuine desire to help protect the planet, encourage sustainable living and make it easier for eco-conscious shoppers to find greener products and services led to my decision in 2005 to launch the Green Providers Directory.

The idea was that the directory would provide a one-stop shop for all things green, eco-friendly and sustainable – all under one roof. Suppliers are listed in easy-to-use sections, with a description of what they provide and contact details. The directory is free and easy to use, providing links to a range of renewable energy suppliers, fair trade clothing, health and beauty products, energy saving devices, ethical gifts and organic wines, as well as news and updates on environmental issues and related topics.

The directory has since been listed in The Guardian and Channel 4’s environmental sections and on, a United Nations Environmental Programme. It also has a number of links with schools and universities, including Cambridge University, Bradford University and the University of Huddersfield, providing articles and information on green issues and sustainable living.

The directory is also involved in areas such as helping to protect the world’s rainforests and endangered species, writing articles for green blogs and publications, and providing support for a number of environmental causes and campaigns.

In the 11 years since the launch of the Green Providers Directory we have seen progress in many areas such as growth in clean energy production, fair trade products being stocked in major supermarkets, electric cars, charges for plastic bags, climate change agreements and banning of bee-harming pesticides. But we’ve also witnessed fracking, continued population growth, species extinction, rainforests being destroyed for palm oil plantations and other severe ecological threats.

I would like to think that the directory has made a useful contribution to protecting the environment, and that it can play an ongoing role in helping to build a sustainable future for our children and the planet’s rich and diverse wildlife.


Dr. Gary Robertshaw

The Green Providers Directory



October 8, 2014 / Catch-A-Ride

Fuel efficient driving tips


Fuel efficient driving techniques cut fuel costs and reduce the wear and tear on your car.  Here are some useful tips from the Energy Saving Trust

Techniques to try when you’re driving

Switch it off – If it is safe to do so, turn off your engine when stationary for more than a minute or two. Modern cars use virtually no extra fuel when they’re re-started without pressing the accelerator so you won’t waste lots of fuel turning the car back on.

Shift to a higher gear as soon as possible – Driving at lower engine speeds reduces fuel consumption. Change up a gear between 2000 and 2500 revolutions per minute (rpm).

Drive smoothly – Anticipate the road as far ahead as possible to avoid unnecessary braking and acceleration. Decelerate early when slowing down.

Slow down – Avoid excessive speeds when possible. Driving at 85mph uses approximately 25% more fuel than 70mph.

Close your windows if travelling at 60mph or more – The aerodynamic drag on your car of an open window at speeds of 60mph or more adds to your fuel usage. Keep your windows closed at high speeds.

Get your car in shape

Check tyre pressure frequently – at least once a month and before long journeys. Under-inflated tyres are not only dangerous and but also increase your fuel consumption. While checking tyre pressure, it is also advisable to check the depth of the tyre tread to ensure they are legally compliant.

Lighten your load – Carrying excess weight in a vehicle increases fuel consumption as your car has to work harder to accelerate. Remove heavy objects and clear your boot of unnecessary items so that you can travel as lightly as possible.

Air conditioning – use air conditioning sparingly as your engine has to work harder to power the air conditioning machinery. If driving at low speed, open the window instead.

Remove roof boxes and racks if not being used – Car designers strive to make their vehicles as aerodynamic as possible. Adding a roof box or rack spoils this by increasing drag on your car, making your engine work harder and increasing fuel usage, particularly at high speeds.

Don’t warm the engine – modern engines don’t need to be warmed up, so idling before you start a journey simply wastes precious fuel.

For more ways to save energy around the home, visit












































December 20, 2013 / Catch-A-Ride

Money-saving ideas with



The team at Catch-A-Ride has discovered a nifty website at that gives people in the UK useful ideas for saving money.

According to research carried out by Aviva, the typical UK family owes nearly £8,000 in unsecured borrowing on credit cards, loans, overdrafts and other forms of credit, compared with £5,360 last year. The figure represents a third of a typical net annual income, which suggests that families are feeling the pinch as higher inflation and living costs continue to bite.

Juliet Greig at Catch-A-Ride interviewed Dr Gary Robertshaw from to find out more.

What was your inspiration for setting up Piggy Bank?

Gary: The cost of everyday living is constantly rising. Everything from energy bills to motoring, council tax, groceries and even water. At the same time, wages have been mostly stagnant or have failed to keep pace with inflation. As a result, more people are looking for ways to reduce household bills and cut down on costs.

Isn’t trying to save money in December a bit like being a scrooge?

Gary: We mustn’t forget that saving money isn’t just about living more frugally and adopting a more austere lifestyle – it can also be fun! Take the challenge! If you set your mind to it and use all the tips on the site then you can really make big savings and also benefit from the latest discounts and freebies. We hope that Piggy Bank’s free money saving tips and ideas will enable more people to reduce their outgoings and make their money last longer. Remember, every penny saved is a penny earned.

 Is just about saving money?

 Gary: Finding ways of reducing bills isn’t just about saving money – it’s also great for the environment and living more sustainably. For example, cutting energy costs and sharing the journey to work help to reduce our carbon footprints. That was largely the inspiration behind Piggy Bank, a site that is free and fun to use, saves money and helps the planet.

So, here are a few tips from the site:

Pause for thought!

The four-day rule works. If you are about to buy something which is not a necessity, and you have a niggling voice somewhere whispering to you, listen to it. Wait four days before you make the purchase. That gives you enough time to compare prices elsewhere, or to come up with an alternative, or even to decide that you did not need it after all.

Did you know?

There are many ways to obtain free stuff.
For example, many of the large washing and shampoo manufacturers offer freebies from time to time. Go to Google and type [name] and free sample. Some companies also offer cash or free gifts just for joining!

Sell your clutter on eBay

We all have clothes and jewellery not worn for years, bits and pieces that were a good idea at the time and all kinds of general clutter. Why not have a clean-up and earn some money by selling them on eBay?

Go to for more handy tips and ideas for saving money

Happy travels!

from the Catch-A-Ride team

































August 30, 2013 / Catch-A-Ride

The Armchair Activist’s Handbook

Greenhouse-PR-Ruth-Stokes-The-Armchair-Activist-s-Handbook-reducedFreelance writer and editor Ruth Stokes has just published her first book The Armchair Activist’s Handbook, and the team here at Catch-A-Ride are excited to be part of it!

Here’s more about the book:

THE ARMCHAIR ACTIVIST’S HANDBOOK will help you find easy and fun ways to make the world a better place. Funny, honest and above all inspirational, this book will show how even the tiniest changes to your habits can have a positive impact, whether it’s to do with what you eat, how you dress, how you travel or even how you bank. Because if you stick with those changes for the long term, then you can help make great things happen.

Ruth Stokes felt the same anger as people who went to extreme lengths for their causes but she did not have the time or the inclination to go as far as they did. And so she set out on a quest to find ways to make a difference which would fit into her life rather than taking it over. The result of her journey is THE ARMCHAIR ACTIVIST’S HANDBOOK, Ruth’s account of discovering how she could change the world without getting dirty and cold, without getting a criminal record and without hurting herself or anyone else. In the process, she got involved with a web of hidden organisations, projects and people making a genuine difference in ways she never knew existed.

If you want to do a bit of good for the world and put a smile on your face, then you need to become an armchair activist too.

The book is available here from Amazon

Follow Ruth:  @armchairaction or @ruth_stokes




















February 26, 2012 / Catch-A-Ride

Sussex Eco Awards

Catch-A-Ride was one of the 125  businesses nominated in the Sussex Eco Awards. Here is what reporter Sarah Lewis-Hammond from the Brighton Argus newspaper has to say about the website:

Like many of the greatest ideas, Catch-A-Ride is so fundamentally simple it makes you wonder why you never thought of it yourself. This cunning little website performs a brilliant function: putting people with empty cars together with car-less travellers, like a transport dating site for the ecologically sound. Catch-A-Ride allows drivers going in a certain direction to advertise for passengers. That way the only of the car saves on petrol costs, the traveller saves on transport costs, and we all save on the fact that the same amount of fuel has been used to transport more than one person.

Website manager Juliet Greig got the idea while in Germany – lift-sharing is popular in western Europe- so her plan was to create a site where like-minded people could interact with each other and benefit from this fuel-saving method.

Catch-A-Ride caught the eye of several high profile websites like Ethical Junction and Act on CO2, as well as being featured in the Brighton Green Pages, and that exposure really helped get things off the ground. Juliet says, “Catch-A-Ride has gained a lot of members in just a few years. People these days are looking for ways to save money and be kinder to the environment, and that’s where websites like this are very useful.”




February 12, 2010 / Catch-A-Ride

Welcome to Catch-A-Ride Car Share

Catch-A-Ride is a car share website run by Juliet Greig and Andrew Jarmin.

The site enables people to save money by sharing car journeys, and has been running successfully since 2004.

Catch-A-Ride has been featured in the Brighton Argus and the Latest 7 Magazine. It is listed on top UK car-share information websites such as and the government website for Action on CO2 . It has been featured in the Brighton Green Pages for two years, and in the national eco-directory Book of Green. It is a member of the Eco-Directory Ethical Junction.

In June 2010 Catch-A-Ride was a nominee in the Sussex Eco Awards.

The site is free to join, so you can start sharing your car  journeys today!

Happy travels

The Catch-A-Ride Team


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