Sunday, March 16, 2008

Off his trolley

Experiment time!

We're very lucky to live in the centre of town, certainly within walking distance of most things one might need to visit.

And despite the boys now walking to school most definitely without me in tow, I can still 'pop' out daily to get a bit of this and that whilst grabbing some exercise. So a lot of fresh shopping is possible, and I usually remember a couple of hemp bags to do it with.

However, Sunday is usually when I do a dump run, and en route back pop into the supermarket for the weekly 'big' shop. Things like 24-packs of Coke, 5 kg washing powders and a few dozen juices. These, frankly, are rather beyond my shoulder to bear.

So I decided on an experiment. And you see the main feature of this pictured.

Combining a full-size dustbin and golf trolley, I cobbled together about the biggest person-powered device possible to carry out the task in one shot. And off I went.

Now there were only a few minor issues en route. One was the fact that our pavements are woeful, so it was almost impossible to get over some hazards and though others. The other was that all out and about looked at me like I was barking. Fortunately I am long past worrying about my reputation.

The shopping was also not too bad, especially as I did not get turfed out by the staff. But a few more serious issues did become clear. Firstly, whilst loading it up as I went around made sense to ensure that what I bought would fit, it was hard not to crush things as I piled stuff in. And, most of all, I fear this still ended up only about 1/4 of my normal shopping at best. A car boot can hold a fair bit.

The trip back was OK, but I am glad I had the lid on as it started raining. Also that I was strong enough to manage the load.

Yes, it was worth it, and worthy to be sure. But I have to say that one must have sympathy with those (and I am sure there are many) who through salary or circumstance don't have the time or money to contemplate much beyond grabbing a quick weekly stop at the local supermarket in their cars to get all they can in one bulk, BOGOF shot.

Something those spouting off from under their green halos would do well to bear in mind before they come out with their next smug pronouncement on what 'we' 'should' or 'should not' need to do by way of conducting our lives.

Few enjoy the idyllic lifestyle espoused by a few, who pedal gaily in the sunshine past Jethro milking his cow en route to mid-morning Pilates prior to jetting off for a weekend's diving in Dubai, able to request a quick pint squeezed fresh into the jug in the wicker pannier to sip whilst lathering up the next big eco-issue.

But it's nice to know our family at least can lug a bit more than some home on Shank's Pony for when 'they' get round to banning cars to all but those who get their travel paid for on expenses (MPs, BBC journalists, NGO directors' wives, etc).

ps: D'Uh! Spellcheck is back and I hadn't twigged 'til now.


Daily Telegraph - Rehabilitate the shopping trolley! - Saw it on the BBC news, and now here. Nice to see I am ahead of the curve. I think mine is more 'cool'. The downsides remain, sadly.

Budge it?

Hasn't been a green (or any) winner, really. Here's a pretty good set of views: Talk is cheap: Round-up of Budget comments

Observer - Green budget? Don't get me started

Indy - Attack on gas-guzzling cars and plastic bags fails to satisfy environmentalists

Well, fancy that. Few do.

Public finds green warnings a bore

Hard to blame 'em, really. Note the key qualifier: '..endless green talk that is never translated into action'. Quite.

I'd love to figure out what the TV area is of the 4% who live in caves and have heard nothing.

IDEA - Clad all over

One doesn't really expect to find reuse ideas on a literary site, but hey: Robin Hood was Clad in Green

I have of course, gone hunting, successfully, I am glad to say... and show... and share.

I have a very deep green car

One of the greenest you can imagine.

However, that refers mainly to its colour. Though, by being a Volvo, when I bought it over a decade ago I do recall it having soem eco-bits even then.

Sadly, being petrol, its 1.9L engine is no longer that great on any front, but I can't afford a new one and will just have to soldier on keeping it as tippy-top with servicing as I can for safety, reliability and efficiency.

Ditto my wife's 1.4L Volks, which we inherited from my Mum.

So, come the budget, I was expecting some bad news and some good news. The Volvo would get upped for its 32mpg, but the Golf would go down for its 45+.

Er, no. Both go up. The Golf by a lot.

I am trying to get to grips with the logic of this on any basis, but especially environmental. It's all academic as we need (well, I guess she could get to work other ways, but there would be consequences we cannot afford. And I need an estate to shunt around the stand, for instance. No excuses, but fair explanations) them. So all stays the same, but a load more money from us goes... where? This is futher screwed up governemnt par excellence.

Especially as, to quote the Taxpayer's Alliance: 'The notoriously un-green Hummer incurs a rise of 14%, whereas the humble Nissan Micra will rise up to 24%. That's hardly a downsizing message.' Quite.

You've got to hand it to him

This is from the Dilbert Blog, by Scott Adams : On the Other Hand

Worth a read, whether you agree or not, to get a worthwhile set of extra views upon which to make a decsion. Which is kinda his point.

And at least I now know what 'cognitive dissonance' is.

And just look at the feedback!