Wednesday, August 05, 2009


There comes a time when you knowing it is great is not enough.

And your Mum agreeing ain't always the best way forward either.


via RE:tie -


Charity is good. Charities are... mostly. But some are more than others.

Stay informed. -


Telegraph - Charities want a bail-out: they shouldn't get a penny - brutal, but does raise issues about what constitutes a 'charity'. A lot do seem almost like quangos, being little more than funded mouthpieces for government policy. And, like 'not for profits', I do often look at the calibre of the senior 'management' and wonder at the remuneration.

greenusesforwaste - NEW - Interview With a Charity Shop Worker - when you do engage, it's worth knowing, from the horse's mouth, what works best.


There are good ones. I'll need to start listing those I rate... or get told of.

CATEGORY - Composting

It is important to note that this cannot be divorced from other options, such as Food Waste Disposal which, as you'll gather can be a rather heated debate.

However, as one currently on his 3rd council composter (big rural garden), wherever I lay my scraps, that's my loam.


Guardian - Bin it! - A view. This, however, is not the best motivational kick off, IMHO: 'Do you still chuck out your kitchen scraps? Shame on you.'

Guardian - Emptying organic rubbish can damage health, say doctors - I share because it is relevant and a new part of the topic debate, but it is littered with a load of 'coulds' and 'some says', and had no real conclusions or counter explanations, so read in that context. It all comes across a tad 'scare story' to me.

Guardian - Compost organic waste - No mention of the piece above, oddly. Must be another department.

Beverage Daily - Green packaging still facing barriers to growth - Interesting to note the realities of some eco-alternatives being touted

Indy - Man died after inhaling spores of garden fungus - OK, I have noted and rather cranked an eyebrow at this before. Now it seems worth taking a bit more seriously.

Guardian - Man dies after inhaling fungal spores from garden compost

My Zero Waste - Is cornstarch plastic packaging (PLA) compostable or recyclable? - A worthwhile investigative journey by a fellow blogger. I have added a few comments of my own, resisting the temptation to opine that M&S's mighty PR/CSR team seems less than savvy and good mainly for trotting out soundbites.

I still concern myself with what these things end up as. Dredging up my old science, ‘matter cannot be created or destroyed’, so you have to end up with something. The question is what… and where.

In a worst case (IMHO) you end up with a plastic soup, that may not choke a turtle but still doesn’t sound great in the water table. And I have to ponder what gasses are given off during the process too; I doubt they are always benign, GHG-wise.
I’ll have to revisit my little investigation a few years back at the time of the plastic bag bans.
Frankly reuse is optimal, but I would say that, and concede it is not always practical (though I am pondering how bulk schemes may work for certain products, and indeed one is being trialled by ASDA).

Which brings us back to effective recycling. Trouble is, that means sensible coordination and cooperation between manufacturers, retailers, LGAs and… the public. Not working out so well so far.

If we are to have these breakdown-style products ‘in the mix’ they do need to be separated and delivered to appropriate processing facilities… just as one should any other recyclate. However, the plethora of options countrywide, from pack types to disposal systems, coupled with all the competing label systems, does not seem designed to encourage an already less than motivated public to act in complement.

I am having a rather unique ‘problem’ with my waste plastics, which I retain to find uses for, in that some I have stored are indeed breaking down, which makes them useless to me. Hence I am having to train up on the various labelling options to split them out. Frankly, embossed black on black doesn’t help this much, especially as at my age my eyesight is no longer what it used to be.

Also worth noting this one in complement to my own : Biodegradable plastic bags carry more ecological harm than good

plasticsnews - European Bioplastics distances itself from oxo-degradables

planetgreen - 75 Things You Can Compost, But Thought You Couldn't - Well if this doesn't deserve a slot here, I don't know what does. Just... verify first!


The European Bioplastics position paper on oxo-biogradable plastics

Greenusesforwaste - NEW - Can Used Cooking Oil be Put into Garden Compost?


It's alive, I tell you... ALIVE!

Just opened the post and... ta-da!... fresh from the Junkk studio the latest RE:tie prototype from those lovely folk at JIIC. No, it's not quite a work of art ready to grace your love's finger, but they do lots of other nifty stuff too!

I have a good feeling about this one. Thanks to British Library Inventor in Residence & mentor Mark Sheahan of Squeezeopen it addresses some moulding issues at manufacture, and I think there is definite potential for getting support from the greater accessibility support market.

Seeing it 'in the flesh' and using it with my big paws, I now realise it could be even smaller and still work, hence saving plastic. And the slot could be narrower for a tighter sideways fit on the tie as it pulls through, but then again we could use some 'give' and more hole means less plastic.

Certainly some shavings for savings yet. But now it is time to look at a short run in the actual material. Anyone know of a moulder who does not demand first born but might accept pints of blood?

CATEGORY - Green Q&A sites/sources

Another day, another ever-evolving list 9as found, or told about), kicking off with:

GENERAL (with specific categories often) - Answers - actually a bit optimistically definitive that heading. But we'll give it a heck of a stab, mind. And if we're stumped, we might know a green-whizz who knows. Failing which, we have the whole Junkketeer community. And then... Google?

Grist - Ask Umbra

The Guardian - Ask Leo & Lucy -

The Times - Environment/Green and confused - Send you [sorry, I just had to leave that in] eco-dilemmas to



Greenusesforwaste - does what they say on the URL

'Could' news

Green failures 'may hit taxpayer'

Now, there's a thing.

I am always intrigued, in matters fiscal, who constitutes the benefactor and beneficiary when it comes to 'government' largesse vs. taxpayer funding/penalty.

Nothing like a target to obscure real, tangible, and probably actually worthy aims.

Anticipate a flurry of half-baked box-ticking initiatives to extricate bonus-addicts from holes soon.

Addendum - Asian giants put the West’s targets for solar energy in the shade - 'East is East and West is West, stick it where the sun don't shine, 'cos we have the best'. Next... NZ challenges Saudi on Hydro, Chicago challenges my back yard on wind. I think this is how international 'negotiations' go, right. I feel a bit sorry for Lapland if they are in the 'West' (it's a biggish expanse), at least for half the year.

PING, and, with luck, no pong

Taking e-life into hands here. 3rd (and last) test of social posting networking service Now my blog, having tried character limited outlets such as twitter and LinkedIn. Let's also see what it does with a long URL:

If this all works, I am impressed!

Currently, twitter has worked; LinkedIN MIA, though I may be looking in the wrong places.

There is also a danger of overlaps, so sorry for any duplicates until I suss out the default settings.


Looks promising, and a definite time saver.

I do not that, of course, you do not get a Title added ( I have now done so, manually), or any Labels (ditto). Easy to follow up.

I think I'll let it simmer awhile on the few tests (Blog, twitter & LinkedIn) to see what happens over the net 24hrs by way of duplicates as the automated aggregators do their thing.

Newsnight - Send your questions for the Twitter CEO -

How on earth do I manage all the deluge of tweets I get now I am, often as a courtesy, following those who follow me in addition to he just plain worthwhile? I see Yoko Ono manages. Do she have a horde of 'people', cloning tech, a time machine... or is just a very polite, awesomely multitasking lady who needs no sleep?

At the very least how can you go through and zap all the 'Good morning's, just brushed my teeth..' to retain in archive just he nifty ones with useful info/links?

Those latter I am finding very useful.


I have a feeling I have duplicated, but will doubtless one day amalgamate if so.


Telegraph - NEW - Cities at night from space - A picture paints 1,000 words. Here's 21,000. Hard to see how these lights will be removed, or dimmed. The only chance is to make them more efficient and powered in a less polluting manner. Oh, and maybe try and avoid installing more. Fat chance. Pretty, mind.


Indy - The Home Ecologist


Carbon Trust publishes views on Green Tariffs