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Grocer lets customers direct its community giving

Add / Remove When corporations donate to charity, it’s often far-flung global causes that benefit. That’s still entirely commendable, of course, but British grocer Waitrose recently launched a locally focused giving program that enlists customers’ help in focusing on issues closer to home. Kicked off last month, Waitrose’s Community Matters program assigns each store GBP […]

A renter’s guide to Portland’s green buildings

Add / Remove We’ve written about a site that makes it easier for architects and designers to create green buildings, but a separate challenge is helping eco-minded consumers find those green apartments, homes and offices, since their sustainable nature is not always obvious from the outside. Enter GreenRenter, a new site that aims to connect […]

Weeknight clubbing for the 9-5 crowd

Add / Remove Nightclubs may operate seven days a week in many cities, but working professionals who partake in their late-night offerings outside of the weekend tend to regret it the next day. With such schedule-bound partiers in mind, Toronto’s Gladstone Hotel recently launched an earlier alternative that still lets revellers get to bed on […]

Crowdsourcing a make-it-yourself restaurant

Add / Remove A new restaurant project has joined the crowdsourcing fray: Arne Hendriks is asking fellow members of Instructables to participate in creating a restaurant in Amsterdam. In his words: “I will open an open-source restaurant that is completely made of, and only serves food based on the original instructables all the members on […]

The milkman returns to Manhattan

Add / Remove All that’s old is new again… Last week, we wrote about a bank that brought back the shoebox as a no-tech organizing system for their time-starved clients. Now, one of our spotters alerted us to the return of the milkman. Delivering organic milk to customers’ doors in glass milk bottles, the Manhattan […]

Publisher launches academy for aspiring writers

Add / Remove Faber & Faber, which describes itself as one of the last of the great independent publishing houses in London, recently launched an academy for aspiring writers. The Faber Academy‘s inaugural creative writing course will take place from October 9-12 at Shakespeare & Company, the fabled English bookstore in Paris. Novelist Tobias Hill […]

Design your own Keds & sell them on Zazzle

Add / Remove Earlier this year we wrote about Ndeur, a Canadian company that offers high-end customized shoes, and now a new partnership with customization portal Zazzle is bringing similar capabilities to the iconic world of Keds. Keds Studio, which just launched a few weeks ago, lets consumers design their own custom Keds Champions classic […]

Miss Refund: helping travellers reclaim taxes on flights not taken

Add / Remove While most affordable air tickets are non-refundable, consumers are entitled to reclaim the tax and (fuel) charges on an air ticket that they didn’t use. Authorities charge airlines based on the number of passengers who fly, not the numbers that book tickets. Unfortunately, airlines don’t make it easy for consumers to claim […]

Bank targets gay Londoners

Add / Remove Nearly one in nine employees in London’s banking, finance and insurance sector is gay, according to an article in the Telegraph, and such consumers typically enjoy significantly higher salaries than their heterosexual counterparts. Little wonder, then, that one of London’s major banks has implemented a new banking service targeted specifically at the […]

Free love for investors

Add / Remove The financial services industry isn’t exactly known for giving things away for free, but a California-based firm is breaking the mould and offering free stock trading for investors. Zecco is an online financial portal and community through which investors can make 10 free stock trades every month when they maintain an asset […]

Using Google maps to calculate homes’ solar potential

Add / Remove As energy prices continue to climb, the idea of tapping the power of the sun may seem like a no-brainer. The process of getting solar panels installed, however, is quite the opposite, fraught with spreadsheets, technical details and terms like “albedo.” Enter RoofRay, a brand-new California startup that aims to give consumers […]

Interactive tables help hotel guests plan their stay

Add / Remove Earlier this year we wrote about the use of interactive surface technology in New York’s Adour wine bar, and now guests at Sheraton Hotels can use similar technology to access local information. Deployed just last week in Sheraton’s Boston, Chicago, New York, San Francisco and Seattle hotels, Microsoft’s Surface technology provides instant […]

Taste lab restaurant lets customers add flavour to their meals

Add / Remove Geschmackslabor, German for Flavour Lab, is a new restaurant located in a former school in Bremerhaven. The ‘lab’ part of the name doesn’t refer to molecular gastronomy or food served in test tubes. Experimentation at the restaurant is all about letting customers add flavour to their meals. Dishes are served ready-to-eat, but […]

Private banking by shoebox

Add / Remove Realizing that many of its wealthy clients lack the time or patience to deal with their personal finances, Amsterdam-based private bank Insinger de Beaufort launched a new service that takes finances back to the basics: a shoebox. After sitting down with their private banker to discuss financial planning, Insinger’s clients are sent […]

Functional food brand for pregnant women

Add / Remove A French company has developed a new line of food products for pregnant women. Dubbed Luna, the range consists of eight products made with organic ingredients, all aimed at ensuring women get the nutrients they need for a healthy pregnancy. Included are honey & sesame biscuits that are rich in iron, calcium, […]

Barcelona Hilton hotel reserves rooms for a siesta

Add / Remove We’ve featured several companies that appeal to a growing appreciation of the benefits of napping, from a New York sleep salon to napping cocoons at airports. So we were intrigued by news that a hotel in Barcelona–the Hilton Diagonal Mar–has set aside 40 of its 433 rooms this summer for anyone who’d […]

Niche delivery biz brings IKEA to Nashville

Add / Remove We’ve featured ‘feeder businesses’ for IKEA before–companies that feed off the behemoth’s business by offering its customers add-on products or services. While Bemz and Parts of Sweden let customers add options to products they’ve already bought from IKEA, ModerNash found a different customer need to fulfil. Nashville residents looking for Swedish design […]