Jul
07
2011
0

Rain rain go away…. or if you’d rather you can stay

ALL this rain in July could be dampening spirits in the BecoOffice- but Bell the Bumble Bee and her friends are keeping the summer alive with thoughts of the garden growing!

Having fun growing in your garden with the wee ones is a great way to get them thinking about the environment and where things come from. As well as having lots of fun planting; your little ones will be thrilled when things start to grow.

A few ideas of what to plant with your tots in July…

Broad Beans, Dwarf Beans, Mung Beans, Beetroot, Spring Cabbage, Carrots (for continuation), Next years Cauliflowers, Chicory, Coriander (Cilantro), Endive, Kohl Rabi, Lettuce for continuation and winter lettuce, Pak Choi, Peas, Radicchio, Radish, Turnips.

Beans and peas are particularly good for growing with the little ones as they tend to be familiar with them and might even like them!

A few flowers for sowing in July if you have flower fairies in your family…

Camomile, Clematis, Daisy, Forget-me-not, Perennial Pansy, Polyanthus, Primrose.

So we’ll be putting our watering devices to the side and making the most of the rain. Molly the dog doesn’t seem too happy about it though- she loves running under the sprinkler!

If you love getting out in the garden with your kids you’ll love our potty planting idea…

After your BecoBaby has graduated from potty training and no longer needs their BecoPotty, plant it in the garden! Let your little one sow some seeds over it and watch the flowers grow while your potty enters its next life phase. (When in the soil the clever waste plant material that our BecoPotties (and all of our other products) are made from will gradually decompose into compost!)

Written by in: BecoPotty | Tags: ,
Jun
11
2010
0

Why BecoThings likes to use Bamboo

Here at BecoThings we are always striving to find new eco materials to use in designing innovative and useful household products. This is why we use Bamboo fibres:

1.Bamboo is the fastest growing plant on the planet, with some species growing up to four feet per day. It takes between three and five years to be ready to harvest, compared to 30-50 years for its hardwood counterparts.

2. It produces more oxygen than a forest of comparable size

3. It’s growth prevents soil erosion.

4. It can grow without pesticides or chemicals.

5. It is totally degradable and regenerates on its own.

Feb
11
2010
2

show a bit of love to the planet this valentine’s day.

every year on february 14th love is well and truly in the air, with everyone buying cards, flowers and gifts for that special someone. what people often don’t realise however is the negative impact that this has on the environment and the earth’s resources. from trees being cut down to make cards to increased carbon emissions from transportation and increases in pesticides used on flowers,  the traditional accoutrements to valentine’s day come with more than the store’s hefty price tag. but for all you environmantics there are lots of great ideas out there which don’t cost the earth…

cards.
each year royal mail deliver a staggering 12 million valentine’s cards… if all of these cards are made from non-recycled paper, that’s a lot of trees. making paper has a considerable impact of the environment, with paper mills using vast amounts of water and discharging large quantities of chemicals. when paper finally ends up in a landfill it produces methane, one of the most potent greenhouse gases. factor in that the paper industry contributes to approximately 10% of global carbon emissions [3 times that of global aviation] and all of a sudden sending a loved one a card doesn’t seem as romantic.

don’t fear however as you can still send a card with a conscience. one of the best options is to be crafty in more ways than one and save some cash by making your own card from reused paper and magazines. check out this great guide from the guardian for some ideas. if you’re not in the blue peter spirit then m&s has a fab selection of fsc-certified cards and nigel’s eco store has a innovative card set made from natural biodegradable cotton impregnated with wild flower seeds which you can then plant and watch grow into beautiful flowers. also try looking for cards made out of alternative sustainable materials such as hemp, straw and even animal dung! for a card that’s a real token of love then why not have a go at carving your own card? nigel’s ecostore comes up trumps again with their sustainably sourced wooden postcard, which you can carve your own message on. and finally for those last minute amongst you [yes boys, i’m talking to you!] then embrace the wonders of modern technology and send an e-card… jibjab have a selection that are bound to win you at least a few brownies points.

flowers.
a bunch of roses might be a traditional valentine’s token but environmental impact to shop bought flowers isn’t quite as rosy. 55 million roses are traded globally on valentine’s day with 35,000kg of co2 being emitted from growing 12,000 rose stems in holland alone. flowers are also one of the top pesticide intensive agricultural crops. an estimated 22,700 pounds of pesticides are used on roses purchased for valentine’s day in the usa. that’s a big weight for our planet to bear. repercussions of industrial flower growth include loss of animal and plant species, water resources running dry and high levels of deadly chemicals leaching into the surrounding water and land. in addition to this the greenhouse gases produced from the transportation of cut flowers also add to the environmental impact.

locally grown plants or bouquets are the best of the bunch when it comes to buying flowers. the impact on the environment is lower and you also have the benefit of supporting local farms and florists. waitrose have a wide range of fairtrade flowers, as do arena flowers and the organic flower company. if you’re not feeling all that green fingered then have a go at making some paper flowers from re-used paper that will last a lifetime or get some ready made fairtrade felt flowers from love eco. for flowers that are as much a gift to the planet as to your loved one why not gift some plant seeds or shrubbery? this beautiful wild cherry tree will remind your loved one you care every day of the year as will a tree from tree2mydoor or a rose bush from your local garden centre.

chocolates.
ever since the cadbury’s milk tray man came along a box of chocolates is on every girl’s valentine’s wish list. what many people don’t realise is that 66% of carbon emissions when making chocolates comes from milk production, with the co2 footprint growing in the transportation process. with chocolate ingredients sourced from abroad there is little you can do about this unfortunately.

you can however make sure you buy fairtrade and organic-certified chocolates to reduce pesticide usage. green and blacks have a fantastic selection of fairtrade, organic chocolate, as do divine. for the real romantics by nature have some heart shaped organic chocolate lollies. chocolala are a firm favourite of mine with their gorgeous hand crafted chocs and chocolate dipped fruit. if you fancy yourself as a bit of a jamie oliver then have a go at making your own chocolate or chocolate dipped strawberries. trust me boys, this one will go down a treat and if you’re lucky your lady might reward you with a beer and bars gift box from green and blacks!

gifts.
for all you helpless environmantics out there the selection of eco gifts on offer means there is something for everyone. it really is the thought that counts at valentine’s and a hand-made gift not only shows you care but also cuts down on all the plastic and packaging commonly found in valentine’s gifts. the guardian has a great selection of ideas from photo flick books to edible underwear!

if you’re after a more traditional gift such as jewellery bear in mind the environmental and ethical concerns. the average footprint of a gold ring for example adds up to 18 tonnes of waste and 5 tonnes of water, with the human cost of gold mining being even greater. low wages, poor working conditions and child labour are all prevalent problems. the same can be said of diamond production. luckily there are lots of ethical and fairtrade stores whose designs are stunning. check out fifi bijoux for ethically mined gold pendants and certified diamonds. made and cred also have selections that will delight even the pickiest of princesses. for those who like their jewellery to be a little different then something from uncommonly beautiful or the natural store is perfect.

if jewellery isn’t your thing then ascension has a wide range of eco fashion, beauty and homewares. just remember to stock up on BecoHangers to hang all those new clothes on! ecocentric also have a great selection to choose from, i especially like this ‘love’ cushion and ‘love love tea and cookies’. a framed piece of artwork makes a lovely gift that can be appreciated forever more. boutiko have a stylish ‘love love love print’ or you could make your own.

it’s a well known fact that gift shopping gives even the most hardened of men a headache so it’s only fair to reward all that [hopeful!] effort. for a touch of geek chic these circuit board cuff links or organiser from my eco store are great. the store also does these fab grolsch tumblers and recycled bottle top fridge magnets. for the fashion savvy check out surfers against sewage or love eco for a bicycle tyre belt. music lovers will go gaga over these recycled vinyl coasters and clocks. remember to wrap all your gifts with recycled paper or re-use magazines and newspaper for quirky and unique presentation.

and that’s valentine’s day from a to well, v! we hope you all have a great valentine’s day… and if you get a card with a mysterious paw print on it i can tell you now it’s probably from the teddy…

natalie the bunny. x.

Dec
23
2009
0

happy christmas from BecoThings!

christmas is finally here, bringing about the end of another year and boy, what a busy one it’s been for BecoThings! from launching exciting new products to winning awards, 2009 has been a great [and somewhat hectic!] year for us. in the true style of christmas tv we thought we’d bring you a ‘best of BecoThings 2009’ round-up… so grab a mince pie and some egg nog and read on…

january.
we kicked off the year to a flying start with the launch of the BecoPotty, the eco-friendly potty. made from recycled waste plant material, the BecoPotty is the eco-friendly way to potty train and is not only kind on your little one, but also kind on the environment. along with our printed cardboard BecoHangers, it was launched into jo jo maman bebe. january also saw the start of the [now infamous] BecoBlog, bringing you all the latest BecoThings news, as well as articles on all our best eco-friendly finds

february.
in february we dipped our paws and hooves even further into the world wide web and joined twitter. one of the first things we announced was the launch of our Fibre Hanger. made from our unique plant fibre material, the Fibre Hanger is designed to replace standard plastic hangers that fill up landfill sites, damaging our environment. we also twittered away about eco news and views… as well as the teddy and dog’s continuous chocolate eating!

march.
it was time for the teddy to don his tool belt in march to get our stand designed and built for the harrogate nursery show. thankfully he emerged unscathed from all the sawing and hammering and was able to accompany the giraffe and elephant to the show where our range of BecoThings products got a great reception. once back from the show it was all paws on deck as we fitted out the sparkly new BecoOffice. the teddy still had the d.i.y. bug so put his skills to good use by making us a great big BecoThings sign whilst the dog and i had the more taxing task of cleaning and tidying… the teddy and giraffe were mysteriously absent for this part!

may.
the teddy and giraffe were soon on the road again when BecoThings exhibited at the nec baby show 2009. the show was a real success and it was great to meet some of our customers and hear all the fab things they had to say about our products. may was also the month that we launched the BecoPotty across the pond in the united states.

july.
whilst i was soaking up some sun on holiday, the rest of the BecoFamily were no doubt up to all sorts of trouble… however they did welcome the first shipment of BecoBowls to the u.k. and set about marketing them to pet stores nationwide. i arrived back just in time to hear the exciting news that we had reached the semi-final of the hsbc start-up stars awards… and to keep an eye on the teddy who the dog informed me had been causing all sorts of cardboard related mischief! luckily for me help was soon on hand to teddy-sit in the form of lucy the parrot, the newest addition to the BecoFamily.

august.
despite george the giraffe heading off on holiday, the rest of us just about managed to keep the office ticking along and launched the BecoBowl into pets corner. angus the dog celebrated with a very large bag of scooby snacks whilst the rest of us stuck to very large ice creams [i swear the teddy’s one was larger than he is!].

september.
september was the month of the BecoBowl, which won best new product at the 2009 glee pet index awards. the teddy and giraffe, dressed in their sunday best, collected the award at the inaugural pet industry awards dinner. the award judges were really impressed by our plant fibre pet bowl, the first bio-degradable food bowl to reach the market, offering pet owners a unique and eco-friendly alternative to traditional bowls… perfect for the dog to enjoy even more celebratory scooby snacks from.

november.
it started as a little potty idea, but in november our BecoPotty helped us win an award for best innovation at the mother and baby awards. just when we thought we couldn’t get any more excited, BecoThings then won the 2009 hsbc stars green award! the teddy and the giraffe went along to collect the award where they mingled with the likes of duncan bannatyne and lord mandelson, secretary of state for business, at the black-tie gala dinner held at london’s inter-continental hotel… thankfully toby and george scrub up well when suited and booted!

december.
the teddy and giraffe managed to tear themselves away from mischieveous antics in the snow to go and pick up BecoVan1, the latest addition to the family, allowing us to get all our Beco bits and bobs from a to b [to c in some cases when george gets a little bit lost!]. whilst the boys played with their new toy, i was busy baking gingerbread bunnies and researching all the best tips and tricks for an eco-friendly christmas. i heard today that the teddy has now been snowed in, keeping him out of trouble until christmas… though i still think he’ll be lucky if he’s made santa’s nice list!

we really appreciate all the support we have received throughout the year. we have lots of exciting things planned for next year, including the launch of the BecoTray, the eco-friendly kitty litter tray… keep an eye on the BecoBlog and our twitter page for all the latest updates.

so, all that’s left for us to say is we hope you all have a very happy christmas and new year… see you in 2010!

natalie the bunny. x.

Dec
17
2009
1

a green christmas is the new white christmas.

christmas is the time of year where everyone tends to spend spend spend… but what they don’t consider is their festive footprint. the amount of household waste from wrappings, packaging and decorations, not to mention electricity usage from festive lights, increases drastically at this time of year, which does nothing to help the environment. so instead of a white christmas this year, why not have a green one? there are plenty of ways to be eco-friendly this time of year without being a scrooge…

deck the halls.
in preparation for next year why not plant a rooted tree in your garden. not only will it help offset co2 emissions, but it also makes a great family tradition and provides you with a tree you can use and then re-plant every year. check out living christmas trees or you can rent a tree from the christmas tree man, who like us believes that a tree is for life not just for christmas. a natural tree, whether home grown or rented, is a far better alternative to a plastic one. plastic trees are not environmentally friendly and use large amounts of fossil fuels in their production.  if you don’t want a real tree then there are some brilliant ones made out of a becothings favourite – cardboard. have a look on cardboard safari or the cardboard tree. these trees are really fun to colour in and decorate making them perfect for youngsters… or adults who fancy releasing their creative side! if you like to decorate your home outside as well as in you’ll know that no tree is complete without some sparkly fairy lights. however these can be a real energy drainer… instead opt for a solar powered set from flashware that are completely weatherproof and even turn on and off automatically.

nature can also provide you with some fantastic decorations. using holly and ivy in your home adds a real festive touch so long as it is sourced sustainably. tree2mydoor provide a huge selection from which to deck the halls.  their trees also make innovative and green [quite literally!] gifts. dried fruit and cinnamon sticks can be fashioned into beautiful and aromatic wreaths and table centrepieces. if you’ve left it a bit late to make one yourself then aspen and brown have a lovely ready-made wreath that will last for years if topped up with essential oils.

making your own decorations from recycled packaging, cd’s and magazines may sound a bit blue peter but the effects can be stunning. recycle now and about.com have loads of ideas to get you started. got a sweet tooth like angus the dog? go for some home baked gingerbread decorations to hang on the tree [though they may not be hanging there long if you have a toby the teddy in the house]! buy a cheap set of christmas themed cookie cutters and with a bit of icing and some ribbon you’ll have delicious and fun decorations. if you’d prefer decorations of the ‘here’s one we made earlier’ variety then nigel’s eco store is one of the best on the web for unique and fun decorations. biome lifestyle have a fab selection of sleek decorations and advent calendars alongside some ingenious crackers made from seed paper that can be planted to grow wild flowers, which you can enjoy all year round.

wrap it up.
christmas cards and wrapping paper fill our homes at christmas and unfortunately not everyone recycles, meaning once they leave our homes they fill up landfills. you can do your bit by not only recycling the cards and wrappings you receive but by buying cards and wrapping paper made from a recycled source. the green apple and the ethical superstore both have nice selections. when recycling do be careful however as not all cards and gift wrap are suitable for recycling, making buying recyclable items in the first place really important. a lot of gift-wrap is coated in plastic or foil, which makes it impossible to recycle. any ribbons, bows or tape left attached also cause problems and can damage recycling machinery. the bits and bobs you can’t put in the recycling bin can still be re-used however to make cards, gift tags and wrapping for next year… not only eco-friendly but purse friendly to!

another purse friendly option is to use newspaper, magazines or fabric [which the recipient can then use again] to wrap your gifts. with a few ribbons and bows [mixed with a bit of imaginative thinking] these options mean your gifts will really stand out under the tree. old music sheets picked up from charity shops look amazing when paired with some coloured twine and a cinnamon stick or some holly. if you’re feeling creative then buy a few rolls of brown paper and use festive stamps and paint or stickers to make your own unique gift-wrap. the same goes for cards and gift tags… making your own adds a personal touch and if you get the rest of the family involved is a fun way to get into the christmas spirit… everyone loves a bit of glitter after all, especially toby the teddy!

santa’s sack of goodies.
warning: shameless self-promotion to follow! if we do say so ourselves, our becothings products make fab christmas gifts. whether you go for our hangers, dog bowls or even a potty for a little one, all our products are completely eco-friendly and fun. if you and all your loved ones already have all the beco bits and bobs you need then don’t worry, there are plenty of other great ideas…

as is custom after the excess of christmas, january brings about the good intentions in many to start eating healthily. why not help your friends out and gift them some graze snack boxes. the snack boxes are full of fresh fruit, nuts and other healthy snacks and are delivered to your door in sustainable and recyclable packaging. it’s what i’m getting the teddy and dog this year to put an end to all that chocolate they eat, but sshhhh don’t tell them!

a great pressie for the boys is a subscription to an online magazine… perfect for friends who like to keep up on the latest news on the go. all boys love toys, especially ones that have form as well as function. the snake moppel desk light has both… it radiates eco-friendly and energy saving light via a super efficient led whilst looking sleek and stylish. these glasses made from recycled grolsch bottles and coca-cola bottles will also go down a treat as will eco kitchen online’s recycled bike chain bottle opener or a pair of recycled skateboard cuff-links from the green apple. want to be hugh fearnley-whittingstall’s will appreciate a gift from omlet. whether it’s fresh eggs or honey, omlet provide all you need to get started with your own sustainable food source. and for the dedicated tea and coffee drinkers an iconic ‘i am not a paper cup’ insulated mug or an adorable woolly sheep tea cosy and tea set from the natural collection is ideal.

i’m pretty sure a ‘brad pitt’ or ‘hugh jackman’ is at the top of every girl’s christmas list but failing that, there is a great selection of gifts out there for green goddesses. perfect for keeping snug on a cold winter’s night are recycled wool hot water bottle covers from nigel’s eco store. green apple also has sacks full of goodies that santa would be proud of including vintage plate cake stands made from reclaimed plates, meaning each one is totally unique. as you all know, here at becothings we love all things recycled… even when they use the most obscure materials. paper high produce their cute stationery sets, photo albums and frames from elephant dung… yep, that’s right, elephant dung! the products are made from sri lankan elephant dung paper and all profits from the sale of the paper goes to aiding plight of the sri lankan elephant. becothings own al the elephant is especially keen on these gifts!

a firm favourite with music lovers is mixa where you can make an old school mix tape on a usb cassette that can then be used as a digital storage device. throw in a recycled vinyl record snack tray by jeff davis and you’ll have one happy music lover on christmas morning. for fashion savvy boys and girls try tee hugger for 100% organic t-shirts with witty environmental messages. for each t-shirt sold tee hugger will plant a tree so you’re not just giving a gift to a friend but you’re giving a gift to the planet to. just make sure you remember to buy some becohangers to hang them on!

when shopping for the little ones mini myne has a wide range of gifts… their cardboard play castle is especially fun… and teddy approved! little girls will love a piggy purse from traidcraft or eco-centric’s adorable stitch your own donkey kit which will keep them amused for hours… and allow you to crash out on the sofa for a while! as for the boys, have a look at earthwhile’s ecotronic mr robot head which is educational, fun and made from recycled materials or a build-it space explorer kit from pea green things.

turkey [or nut roast] and all the trimmings.
everyone nowadays is keen to eat organic but prices in the supermarkets can be rather high. instead shop locally at farmer’s markets and independent green grocers and butchers. their produce will be superior quality and you get the added benefits of supporting hard working, local businesses and reducing food miles and co2 emissions. buying this way also greatly reduces packaging wastage as produce is fresh off the shelves, not wrapped in layers of plastic… just remember to take your becobag with you to carry it all in! have a look on  the farmers markets site to find your nearest market or alternatively big barn offers a buy online service.

so, all that’s left to say…
… is we hope you all have a fantastic, and green, christmas! we hope our tips and tricks on all things festive help you out… let us know what you think and if there are any other great ideas or sites you know of. oh, and santa, if you’re reading this i’ve been a very good bunny this year… i’m not sure i can say the same about the teddy and giraffe however…

natalie the bunny. x.

Nov
25
2009
4

Becothings wins the 2009 HSBC Start-Up Stars Green Awards!

2009 HSBC Start-Up Stars Green AwardIt may be a little potty, but it’s an idea that has helped us become the UK’s best Green Start-Up Business of the year. Our compostable Becopotties, along with our Becohangers and Becobowls, have once again put Becothings on the map as being one of the UK’s leading eco-friendly companies.

Since we launched in May 2007 we have been designing, developing and manufacturing everyday eco-friendly products. Our products are not only environmentally sound but also affordable, practical and fun. Most importantly, they don’t cost the earth. Check out www.becothings.com

The HSBC Start-Up Stars Awards is the UK’s premier showcase for the most promising start-up businesses and the inspirational entrepreneurs behind them. Stars from the business world, including Duncan Bannatyne from BBC TV’s Dragon’s Den attended the black-tie gala dinner held at London’s InterContinental Hotel, where we were presented with our award.

Director, Business Relations, The Carbon Trust, Andy Togher, said of the awards: “This years Start-Up Stars Awards show an increasing number of Britain’s small new businesses taking to heart the issues of climate change and placing them at the core of their marketing objectives. This is not only good for the planet, but also for profits as more and more informed consumers seek out products and services with green credentials. We wish Becothings every possible success for the future.”

This is the third year that a Green Award has been included as part of the HSBC Start-Up Stars Awards. It recognises the increasing number of companies who are basing their businesses around conservation and care, not excess and waste. Head of Business Banking for HSBC, Huw Morgan hopes that companies such as these will lead the way towards a new, greener economy;

“Becothings is an outstanding example and hopefully its success will inspire other young businesses to ask themselves what else they can do to preserve our environment and protect our future.” Lord Mandelson, Secretary of State for Business, who also attended the Awards, said: “The HSBC Start-Up Stars represent the very best in British enterprise. Defying some of the toughest economic conditions for decades, these companies are succeeding in sectors across our economy and markets across the world.

“The dynamism, innovation and hard work of Small to Medium Enterprises like this, is what will power Britain’s recovery now and growth in the future, and Government is committed to ensuring they have the business environment and support they need to prosper.”

“Britain has the entrepreneurial talent to be the most enterprising economy in the world. Awards like the HSBC Start-Up Stars and the British enterprise it celebrates will help us fulfill that potential.”

Following on from winning the Silver at the Mother and Baby Awards, winning the HSBC Start-Up Stars Green Award is another real honour for us. We’d like to say a big thanks to everyone who’s supported us so far!

Oct
09
2009
0

Becothings reach the final of the HSBC Star Start-up awards

Here at Becothings the news just keeps getting better. We are all very excited to announce we have been shortlisted for the final 3 of the HSBC Star Green Start-up Awards. Out of thousands of applicants Becothings has been selected because of our innovative new products and inspiring green credentials. To read more please click here.

 HSBC Start Up Stars National Finalist 2009 Green Award

Jul
17
2009
0

Becothings reaches the semi-finals of the HSBC Start-up Stars Awards!

Toby the TeddyBecothings is proud to announce that we have been selected to go through to the semi-final stage of the HSBC Start-up Stars awards. Just sixty businesses have been selected to go through to the semi-finals, from thousands of applicants across the whole of the UK. Reaching the semi-finals has give us a real buzz! Twenty-five of the 60 will be selected to go forward to the national final. So hopefully the Beco products will keep impressing and we can reach that final!

For more information go to: http://www.startupstars.hsbc.co.uk/

Everybody in the BecoOffice will have to crossed there fingers,paws and wings. The finalists should be announced in the second week of September.

Toby the Teddy.

Jul
09
2009
0

green britain day.

today, july 10th 2009, is the first annual green britain day! launched by london 2012 olympics sustainability partner edf energy, green britain day is all about showing the world how britain is at the forefront of the campaign against climate change. if everyone does their bit, when the olympic arrives in london in 2012, britian will be a cleaner, greener country. the day is run in association with the eden project who are holding a special concert featuring the legendary paul weller and the amazing florence and the machine!

everyone is invited to join team green britain and do something green… maybe it’s walking to work, starting your own fruit and veg patch, throwing a bring-and-swap party or buying some becohangers! there are lots of ways you can get involved and do your bit for the environment and team green britain. plus as a member of team green britain, you’ll get the opportunity to win a day at the london 2012 games! check out www.teamgreenbritain.org for more information on how to get involved.

natalie the bunny. x.

Jul
01
2009
0

Becothings takes on its latest member

Lucy the parrot

Hello everybody, my name is Lucy and I’m the latest bird to join the beco family!

I have just graduated from Brunel University and have come to help the design team at becothings. I will be taking on tasks from designing exciting new products to helping our growing number of customers.

I would probably describe myself as chatty as well as extremely colourful and fun. I’m always flying around always looking for the latest eco products… and of course, as a parrot I’ve got loads of party tricks!

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