We've only got one planet I get a crisis once every week, on the night when “the rubbish” needs preparing for collection on the following morning. “Rubbish,” of course, mostly means valuable recyclables these days (whose value mostly consist in the fact that the council needs to pay less for the landfill). One of those recyclables is plastic waste, and it drives me mad:

I use my own rucksacks and reusable textile bags for shopping, and almost never take a plastic bag. Not even a reusable one.

I buy milk from the milk man, which comes in reusable glass bottles.

I make my own soda water with a sodastream thingy, using reusable bottles.

I don’t buy ready-made meals, with or without elaborate microwavable plastic packing.

I often buy meat at the local butchers, which avoids a good amount of plastic wrapping.

However, at the end of the week, I still have quite an amount of plastic left over, and ready for recycling. I get the crisis every week, and think of the Pacific Trash Vortex. It’s hard to avoid plastic, given that almost every fresh produce comes protected and boxed in plastic, but it is time to increase that effort.

Too bad that doing the right thing and avoiding plastic means to pay more at the counter. Typical.


Enhanced by Zemanta

Sympathy for the Dustman

security camera People of Ealing (and those further afield): I am pretty sure I said this before, but this week’s events prompt me to publish another plea for common sense, consideration, and a myriad of similar qualities:

It begins with the fact that many people thoughtlessly and inconsiderately dump their collected recyclables, often mixed with household waste, non-recyclables or a good old mess, leaving things to the dustmen to sort out.

Of course, there’s a big moaning if the dustmen leave ill-prepared rubbish behind, if they take too long, if rubbish ends in the street, or if the council tax rises to afford more dustmen.

Worst of all, however, is the fact that a significant portion of those unfortunate people ending up behind a rubbish collection van in a narrow street end up shouting abuse and honking their horn. Of course, these idiots can’t spare a precious minute or to, especially when the dustmen clearly can’t dissolve themselves into thin air and have a job to do on top of it.

You wouldn’t believe the racket outside my house every Tuesday morning, probably by the same people who are first to call the council if their own collection of refuse and recyclables is late or in any other way less than perfect.

Yeah, I remember it now. I mentioned this once or twice before, but so far, my commenting hasn’t helped, so allow me to try this again.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Give Them a Smile, You Fools

Drive Slowly I thought it best to post this on a Monday, ‘coz it is about Tuesdays. Tuesday is our day for collection of rubbish and recyclables. Our 250m one-way street is pretty narrow, so if one tries to be clever, avoid two sets of traffic lights along the main road and instead chose the rat-run through our street, one might find self stuck behind the collection lorry.

There’s no room to pass. One will just have to be patient, let the dustmen do their job, and give them a friendly smile when one finally can pass at the end of our road.

Alternatively, one might learn, and take the official route along the main road on a Tuesday. Or any day, for all I care.

One might. One could. One should.

Too bad this isn’t what one does.

One does give a huge big scolding if the own rubbish and recyclables isn’t been collected promptly, swiftly, cleanly, and in the usual day and time. If, however, one find self stuck behind a collection vehicle, the car’s horn acts as an extension to one’s brain, only capable of one thing: Me! me! me! – even if it is blatantly obvious that the only thing at fault here is one’s own consideration and common sense.

Give them a smile instead, you insufferable, self-obsessed, inconsiderate fools!


Reblog this post [with Zemanta]


animal People in Britain complain, as it emerges that collections of domestic recyclables are currently stockpiled. Prices are down, so companies fill warehouses with recycling paper, plastic, metal and glass rather than selling at a loss.

The complain roots from a sense of being cheated. We do all this separating and recycling, one interviewee said in a tear-stricken voice, and all they do is stockpile it.

Makes sense to me. Doesn’t make sense to moan and complain, not in the way portrayed by the BBC. After all, it’s still better than throwing everything onto the landfill, isn’t it?

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Unfolding Algorithms

eleganceCat I am sure we have all recently practised the wrapping and unwrapping or presents, but did you also notice the unfolding and folding of professional packaging?

When I unpacked a present of six brandy glasses from their manufacturer’s cardboard box, I had to marvel at this astonishing piece of engineering. A multi-layer and multi-folded cardboard box, which came apart and flat (ready for the recycling bin) after some fiddling without any glue, clips or tape at all.

I have no idea how to engineer those industrial Origami wonders, but some are so brilliant, they make unpacking almost more fascinating than the unwrapping.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]