Thursday, March 16, 2006

And so the IDEAL journal continues...

Saturday 11th March

Not a bad day. A very different crowd, but still the main aim has been to buy ‘stuff’ at a show discount and not get one’s head too much around the concept of saving via a free site. So it has been more case of quality than quantity, which is really not what was planned, as the whole aim was to get the numbers. But the quality has been very high, and potentially useful. A lot of teachers who see as a great resource to bring to the attention of their schools and classes. Ditto some local authority employees who have said they’ll mention us to their colleagues in the environment sections. Plus a very nice chap from a media company who liked our idea so much he was going to see how he could help.

Could have been a lot worse. But by heavens I don’t know how I’m going to stay on my feet 10-12 hrs a day for another 3 weeks!


Nothing like a family affair! The kids came with First Lady PJ and helped all day handing out our unique flyers, which ‘turn’ into picture frames. Bless ‘em, no one could resist. And in their rest periods they happily played in the kids’ zone with all the ‘junk’ items from the bins, making all sorts of robots and tanks, etc. Not exactly ideas, but certainly enough to make the show visitors stop and walk through our gallery having seen what kids can be inspired to do when their imaginations are fed with the right resources.


Surprisingly busy, but again we were visited more by quality guests than quantity (both would be nice, really:0). Of course we need to drive up the numbers, but I’m hopeful that the many teachers passing through on an off-day break will be true to their enthusiasm for the concept and inspire their charges when they return to the class.

What was a bit frustrating was the Daily Mail (show sponsors and whose reporter had come by to interview us and take pictures on Press Day) had a major article in today’s edition entitled ‘What a load of rubbish’, which basically was pointing out the sheer volume of ‘waste’ packaging we produce as households. Was there any mention of us? Nope. I know there are going to be a lot of different journos covering differing beats, but this did smack a tad of ‘left hand, right hand’. Anyway, we are on the hunt of the journalist who wrote this to point out that there is already something in place to at least mitigate, if not solve this issue…!


Not such a busy day. But again those that did turn up were well worth it. Had a morning visit from a radio station based in Huddersfield, and was interviewed by their enthusiastic host live. I wish I’d known that at the time! I think our Northern user base may have had a few frank comments too many on the state of reuse/cycling in this country.

Also had a few of the young designers being featured at the show pass by, and all were truly inspired by what we are trying to do. We’ll be happy to put their works on the site, as I think people will enjoy a ‘Tomorrow’s World’-style insight into what ‘can’ be done, and this will serve everyone’s interests well. How is that?

Now desperately searching for some kind of foot insert as standing from 10am-8pm is really starting to hurt. Now, what in the repertoire could do the job???

Going home on the tube I picked up a copy of the Evening Standard, and happened across a commentary piece by one Nirpal Dhaliwal, entitled ‘What’s green, white and caring and makes me sick?’. It was interesting in as much as this was another extreme, and a sad one, that can be added to the ‘mentalists vs. Clarksons that I already see as an unfortunate diversion. This time it’s those who are either a) genuinely put off or b) see column inches in claiming to be put off by ‘reacting’ against, as the title suggests, ‘green, white caring’ bastions of how we should conduct our futures, though without silly things like mortgages and non-nanny families to get to & from the local Tesco Metro in Notting Hill. There were some fairish points in there, but it is not fair to hold someone accountable for their birth and circumstances, and in most cases these guys are trying to do something when their personal situations really don’t require them to be too concerned. However, I see a clash coming if the average Joe (or Nirpal) sees themselves being patronised with impractical or selective assaults in the media by such elites, who do tend to hog the column inches. And it’s a shame that the only other message that will be featured is a counter-tirade like this. Again, I have to hope (vainly, if you look at what happened or rather didn’t, to us on Monday) that there is a voice for those more concerned with positive action than negative hot air.


Joined again by Emma, who made it in from Great Malvern by train by 10am, which is proof that public transport is a great option (when it works) because driving back last week took her 6 hrs!

Getting into my eye-twitching stride again, I picked up my free Metro paper for my tube ride, and the front page was ‘CO2 levels ‘hit 30m year high’’, and, um.. that was about it. Yet another ‘doom & gloom’ with no solution. And yet again our Tone (Jupiter) from FoE saying how the Gov wasn’t doing enough and Sir Dave of the Gov helpfully providing some stats that support the headline. More soddin’ hot air from all concerned, though I have to wonder if the media decided to forget the useful stuff the might have added in favour of a ratings-grabber.

Because… interesting, last night I watch a programme about climate change on the BBC, and amongst more useless guff debating global warming, with no actual ‘dos’, the self-same Metro was singled out for a front page that took a report out of context for a cheap headline. I so need the media to get into the mass public domain, but am beginning to despair that any practitioner of the journalistic art actually cares about genuine, accurate, campaigning stories any more.

Which brings me to a snippet from the Mail on Sunday which I only just got around to, which shows our Environment Secretary, Ms. M. Beckett, and her new biodiesel Jag. Biodiesel: good. Jag… Hmn. Apparently it is favoured over a Prius for escaping from terrorists. An interesting dilemma on all sides should Greenpeace decide to chase her around, I guess.

On a very positive side, I today met Matt & Rat (don’t ask), who are working at other stands, but are now committed Junketeers. Matt has many connections in the green world, so hopefully some useful, mutually-beneficial synergies can be developed.


Speaking of campaigns, The Evening Standard is running one currently to save local shops in London. It wil remain to be seen how genuine they are in this, or whether it’s just a quick dabble to shift a few copies over a month. But it is valid, and speaking personally throws up some points of debate. I get out of the show at 8pm. The tube gets me to Richmond at 8.45pm. The only place I can buy anything is the Tesco Metro. And yes, it probably did kill off the local shop to get the slot. But would that shop have been open to 11pm, and offer me a couscous salad, Innocent smoothie and organic apple? Hmn. Dilemmas abound.