Friday, December 30, 2005
Thursday, December 29, 2005
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
So far; so good.
The family Christmas has proceeded well, with all concerned happy
with what they got and no major disasters to spoil the day, if you
don't count my indigestion.
Our experiment with present wrapping worked well, and if I have my wits about me I'll try and attach a picture of our tree to show the
results. Suffice to say that substituting newspaper for wrapping did
not impede the boys from their task of getting at their presents at
all. In fact I don't think they noticed. And the debris was
immediately used to create the roaring log fire that kept us warm as
we sat around the tree. I have no clue as to the e-consequences of
this, but the central heating wasn't required all day as we ran
around in new wooly jumpers.
Only one aspect of the conspicuous consumption has threatened my e-
smugness, and that is the sheer number of torn and discarded blister
packs. Those semi-rigid pieces of plastic that require welding
torches (I jest... though one that resisted a cutter blade, even when
my index finger did not, did get attacked by a gas lighter to gain
access. The smell was awful).
I'm going to do a piece on these in the new year. As they are
essentially unavoidable, and I am sure like many others I'm not quiet
clear just where they can be recycled. It must be possible. I don't
know if they have more in common with pop bottles or plastic bags,
but most are clear and surely amount to a fair potential.
In true Junkk.com spirit he boys meanwhile have found a fair number
ofreuses for some already. Many domes and whatnot from blister packs
are now adorning the battlescape we are creating for their Warhammer
Now, if we can just find a use, or at worst a way to recycle all the
grey plastic (it rejoices in a lovely word something like 'sprune',
at least to the gamer community) we'll be sorted.
Friday, December 23, 2005
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Monday, December 19, 2005
Friday, December 16, 2005
Thursday, December 15, 2005
As we bear down on the festive break (we're still debating whether or not to go X(mas)-rated), we are rushing to put together a little year-end promo piece to a select group of 'major media influencers' to introduce our site's imminent 'New Year's Evolutions'.
I doubt any of them will be reading this, at least now, so I don't think I'm giving too much away by saying it's going to be a teaser series of re:use ideas (with even the thing they are sent out on being, in Junkk-fashion, itself re:useable - I hope with such a self-imposed requirement we are not setting ourselves a rod for our own backs that will become a bar too high to achieve one future day) sent out in series, based on the theme of the TwelvE:ways of Christmas. Cheap, quick, hopefully impactful, useful, welcome... and doable in the time (fingers crossed).
Thing is, one part of the concept is to get noticed by hitting 'em 12 times with 12 sequential packs that assemble into a whole at the end, thus demo-ing the Junkk advocacy of loyalty-based ideas to reward folk as well the brands they stick with.
Our one concern is whether we're going to cop it from some of the more 'T-huggable' (potential in those first four letters in future I feel) because we're 'wasting' resources with a multiple mailing. And it's true. We are being more wasteful than we could be. But that's the problem when it all gets finger-pointy; there'll always be a reason not to do something. So to do what you need to do, you just have to do what you hope is best, and accept some compromise is inevitable.
This came to mind as I was reading the online version of one of our proposed targets; one that can get a bit finger-pointy on occasion.
They are promoting a very worthy charity-based effort involving an auction. Good on 'em, and best off luck.
It has all sorts of neat stuff those with a few spare bob can bid for to help those less well off.
The usual. Meals, sports events, etc, with the rich and famous. Tasty and tempting one and all.
But I was lured to the actual article by the following on the homepage, replete with swanky picture:
"Drive your peers wild with envy when you cruise past in a new Bentley, driven by a chauffeur with a uniform and an air of superiority. You'll have to hand the car (and driver) back at the end, but you'll be a king for a day."
I know why they did it. It was one of the more visually interesting offers and would probably elicit the best response. But you can see how those of a more literal e-disposition may see fit to wonder if driving around in a multi-litre limo for no good reason is really in keeping with saving the planet.
Hence my seeking to instill a certain acceptance that we need a spirit of compromise in the way we all view the efforts of others.
One final smile: the last (saving the best?) bid on offer is a green makeover from their very own e-lady: She'll visit your home and suggest how to make it more environmentally friendly: how to eat better, lessen electricity bills, buy pollution-gobbling plants... (Not previously offered)
I especially liked the fact that it closes with the disclaimer that it requires her 'agreement in relation to location'.
You could always do a combo with the Bentley!
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Let me get Jeremy Clarkson out of the way right now (and I don't mean
in the Colin Challen sense - see previous blog).
In a piece in the same paper, that was nothing to do with anything
ENV/Rec, I had a bit of an eye opener. Seems about 20-odd years ago,
just outside Cannes, the man-boy himself had an adventure in his
Dad's 6-berth gin palace. The era and the location and the hardware
therefore leads me to suspect that Jezza's origins are not quite like
other folk. As they say, the rich are different to you and me: they
have more money.
And not worrying too much about many day-to-day concerns can often
shape the way 'one' views life, and how it gets lived.
But at least he's not telling me from on high how to live mine, and
good job too; as I suspect if he did he'd have little appreciation of
what I am juggling at the mo', just trying to keep things real.
It did set off a notion, though. And casting my twitching eyebrow
about several other, more 'e-focussed' samples from the media, I get
the feeling that there some writing on our behalves who do move in
more 'elevated' circles than the norm. What I once assumed to be the
empoverished writing arm of the urban glitterati's chattering classes
seems to have been hijacked: by those who operate on a slightly more
upwardly mobile fiscal basis in plotting the courses set by their new
So we have ladies who take taxis to visit their eco-coordinators.
Stories about the new breed of e-yuppies who are eschewing big cars
in favour of Priusses (though usually by buying one as well as the
fast one and the off-roader) and cutting back to one or two overseas
flights a year only (I read a great piece by some double-barrelled
lovely who 'could have gone anywhere for the weekend' but plumped for
Lisbon. Nice. We were torn between a walk in the local park, doing
the garden or an Xbox evening in... and even for those options we are
indeed luckier than most). Or the odd poacher-turned-gamekeeper
(more estate owner turned, well, still estate owner, but not driving
about it as much, one presumes) feature writer who used to
hunt'nshoot'nfish dad's estate, but now finds reading about 4x4's
selfish as he visits the planet's other side.
Now, you are who you are and you've got what you've got. But by golly
I'd love a bit more input and advice that I can identify with as I
try to marry good e-practice with the fiscal realities of balancing a
normal household lifestyle and budget. And no, not from the other
extreme of some cave-dweller skinning their own vole to toast in the
Something that helps me make a difference that I can actually afford,
fit in with my work, kid and other obligations, reasonably get on
board with without starving, dying of boredom or killing myself, and
then share with the rest of you as doable. OK... yah?
Monday, December 12, 2005
And in case the URL drops here's the salient bit:
Now I'm all for innovative solutions, but I have watched Total Recall. So there's something about vast reservoirs of a totally different gas in solid state lying latent in the earth, ready to swap itself with the current atmosphere, which makes me a tad anxious.
The energy industry has found a new way to dispose of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide: pump it back into the underground oil reservoirs from whence much of it came.
And a bit of pragmatic caution as well:
However, not all oil fields can be used for CO2 injection and storage, so there is a need for other gas-storage sites. CO2 storage has been tried only in sedimentary rock, but the Northwestern and Southeastern United States are made mainly of basalt rock
However, the technology is no "silver bullet" in the fight to dramatically reduce greenhouse gases, says Matthew Bramley of The Pembina Institute, a Canadian environmental organization: "Energy conservation and efficiency and investments in renewable energy should come before expensive carbon-capture and storage technologies," Bramley said.
Sunday, December 11, 2005
In case the link above drops soon, it's about popular reference site Wikipedia, which lets anyone create and edit entries. They have tightened the editorial rules in an effort to stamp out vandalism and the posting of deliberate misinformation. The site will now require visitors to register before creating new entries.
Saturday, December 10, 2005
In a nutshell, Mazda is recommending its employees walk to the office, rather than commute by car, as part of an effort to improve their health and protect the environment.
I have to say I admire the intention and courage of conviction being shown here.
Now, all we need to do is get everyone driver who was thinking of buying a Mazda to follow the same practice and we're tickedy-boo.
But as I doubt that was the reason for a consumer PR I'm flummoxed. But in a nice way. Hey, what ever floats their boat.
Friday, December 09, 2005
How America plotted to stop Kyoto deal
Thursday, December 08, 2005
This was not really meant for the consumer, and boy does it read that way. They make a good point that the public needs to be reassured by audit trails. I just wonder how that will get into the average householder's mindset to grasp well enough and hence demand. Smoke. Mirrors.
"Green Party members of the London Assembly will be asking the London Mayor to take action over the allegations that Grosvenor Waste Management sent the rubbish to be landfilled in Indonesia.
Green Party member of the London Assembly Darren Johnson said: “It is completely unacceptable to export household recycling halfway around the world. This scandal highlights the urgent need to get waste recycling plants up and running in London which would create jobs and help the environment.”
Which is one way of reacting. No sense of self-interest here at all. I have my tar and feathers waiting.
And this from WRAP's CEO:
“Recycling is one simple way in which we can all make a difference, and more and more people are doing it regularly. Local councils and the Environment Agency (EA) need to play their part by making sure that what is put out for recycling genuinely gets recycled. In this way, we can all use the growing number of recycling services available to us with confidence.”
Which is a wonderful endorsement for saying... recycling is a good thing to do.
The Community Recycling Network (CRN) UK has apparently slammed (how very red-top... bet they just offered an opinion) private sector waste companies and suggesting that co-mingled wheelie bins are the “lazy way” to recycle.
It also seems householders are able to ask for full audit trails to find out where their recyclables are going. No mention of how. Anyone know?
Apparently Grosvenor is now considering what legal action to take against the BBC for a "singular, unsubstantiated attack on the company.”
We await the outcome of such considerations with interest. I'm taking bets now. Who's up for it being in the 'old news' bin before Christmas, and quietly shelved by all parties who have got what they needed out of it. Mainly their jobs' worth.
I think I'll revisit a few of them to check every so often. If I forget too... remind me.
With the rather less than spectacular results of my recent 'pitch' still smarting, I was pleased to read this very interesting article by Martin Webb in the Telegraph Online (of whom all hail for making it free and unlimited to access... I hope. If the link drops ask me and I can send a copy).
And as I cannot always presume to elicit a reply at all from such busy folk, let alone in print, I can at least turn to the trusty blog to preserve what I wrote just now here:
"I truly hope to have the good fortune of meeting Mr. Webb one day.
When some of such pitching concepts were first touted around, seeking participants, we applied and often got as far as a telephone interview.
I remember chatting with a BBC researcher, and amongst a few other concerns broached the subject of it not being intended as yet more car crash TV designed only to boost the channel's ratings at the expense of those featured. I was assured not; it being the BBC and hosted by a major money editor getting cited in reassurance.
Thank god we didn't get chosen!
As non-business-trained folk with a creative idea based on a well-considered but still sincere and ethical plan, I can only imagine how we would have got savaged to the delight of the nation's viewers.
Or if our main aim (nothing but publicity - who in their right mind gives over a massive %age of their precious baby just for an injection of cash that can be blown in a fortnight without highly structured mentoring? Not to mention taking time to ensure well scrutinised partner relationships in any deal) was too easily identified, we may have been just get edited out. We have talked to and met some actual 'victims' to know what really takes place. (see below for more).
I'd love to think that out there is a genuine effort on the part of all relevant parties (entrepreneurship grants/funds/mentoring, business chambers and other such groups (CBI, FSB, FPB, etc) and, yes, media companies) to try and put together what Martin describes.
I for one am fed up with the spectacle of the coliseum being served up to appeal only to the masses, and would delight in getting a true sense of what it takes (warts and all) to innovate and build a business on a good idea, but with a genuine desire to make things work - from all parties involved - at the core of such a program/me."
Frankly, I'd really wish that we could score as slot with Mr. Webb. Santa... are you listening!???
More than coincidentally, this very topic was at the same time being discussed in the more than fine 'bricks' newsletter we subscribe to http://www.businessbricks.co.uk/writing (scroll down), which adds some real personal stories to the pot.