Mike Sowden

Mike Sowden is a freelance writer based in the north of England, obsessed with travel, storytelling and terrifyingly strong coffee. He has written for online & offline publications including Mashable, Matador Network and the San Francisco Chronicle, and his work has been linked to by Lonely Planet, World Hum and Lifehacker. If all the world is a stage, he keeps tripping over scenery & getting tangled in the curtain - but he's just fine with that.

Articles by Mike Sowden:

Best Of EcoSalon: The Comment Meltdown Edition

Nearly five years. Thousands of articles. *So many* comments. 

Today the current chapter of EcoSalon’s half-decade history closes – and we don’t know if we’ll be back. So we feel it’s important to say this:

Thank you.

We have always been, and we always shall be, in it for the discussion. We’ve treasured every time you took a moment out of your day to give us your thoughts – and we’ve loved it when you returned, again and again, to keep a discussion going (particularly when you were presenting us with compelling counter-arguments to what we’d published? Contrarianism? Bring it on). In short, we like your minds, and we’re inestimably grateful for all the times you’ve given us a piece of them.

Here, then, are seven posts where at least half the fun is in the comments.

Thanks again.

What Not To Wear: The Pigeon Edition

Pigeons as art? At what price?

Augmented reality” is going to be the next big thing in tech – but here’s an artist with a low-budget version: pigeon-painting.

Pigeons have a credibility problem. As a species, we increasingly hate on them (there’s even a technical term for fear of pigeons: peristerophobia). With nicknames including “sky rats” and “flying ashtrays,” their current-day status belies their importance in world history…and so it’s overdue for a makeover.

Berlin artists Julian Charriere and Julius von Bismarck decided to take this sentiment at face value.

Call To Action: 50 Steps To Deal With A Changing World

Our planet is changing, and the question to ask now is: how much?

From melting Arctic ice to sea level changes, the scientific evidence is piling up that global warming isn’t a distant threat – it’s all around us. We are now at the halfway mark in the 100-month predicted window of action to prevent a rise of 2 degrees Celsius, beyond which a climatic “domino effect” is likely to kick in, an increasing unpredictable reinforcing mechanism that is too complex for climate scientists to predict.

The Friday 5: The World’s Gone Freaking Mad Edition

The best/worst of crazy, this week at EcoSalon.

Vivienne Westwood, oh-so-reserved lady of A-list fashion, is on a mission – and that mission is getting us to buy less clothes. Yep.

Fancy tucking to dinner underwater, or in pitch darkness? Check out our roundup of 10 of the strangest restaurants in the world (as if food isn’t complicated enough on its own).

It’s been another good year for sexism, as this bumper crop of dumb-as-a-stick comments about women demonstrates.

Google Street View is now taking in views of

Chinese Environmentalists Fight Cars With Green Footprints

Walking becomes a form of art.

Let’s say you’re the first environmental protection non-profit operating in a country with the largest market for cars in the whole world. Let’s say your country’s air pollution problems are getting out of control. Let’s say you want to hammer home the pollution-busting value of walking.

Let’s say you have gallons of  non-toxic, washable, quick-drying green paint.

Google Street View Goes Diving – And Here’s Why We Should Care

Panorama views of the sea floor FTW!

This, believe it or not, is an image from Google Street View.

What happened here? Appallingly bad driving? In fact it’s the result of a partnership between Street View and the Catlin Seaview Survey  – you can see the current collection here.

What’s the point of this? It’s designed to do two things – promote Google Maps, which is under pressure from its rivals (although not the beleaguered Apple Maps on iOS 6), and to promote the health of 71% of our planet. This month the Catlin Seaview Survey kicked off with two expeditions to sites along the 2,300km-long Great Barrier Reef & Coral Sea, taking images with specially designed 360-degree-view cameras to be stitched together into gorgeous Street View panoramas.

Vampire Servers: The Energy Cost Of Business As Usual

Your online shopping is costing more than you think.

Every year, more and more companies are shifting their business-critical systems and data online, into what has been nicknamed “the cloud” – and we’re just beginning to understand the real-world cost of doing that.

The Friday 5: From This Into That Edition

The power of transformation, this week at EcoSalon.

This week, we loved seeing how…

  • Kale (described by Organic Authority as “the new beef” because of its rich nutritional value) can be turned into crunchy, tasty kale chips.
  • Heather Ross can turn print design into an entirely new philosophy on DIY creativity.
  • Solar panels don’t have to be ugly, clunky eyesores, as these 5 entirely natural-looking designs demonstrate.
  • A brown paper bag could be transformed into a $290 “fashion statement.
  • The staple elements of your favorite dishes can be creatively