Archive for June, 2007

tableware: reuse over recycle

Friday, June 29th, 2007

So we are all tired of both non-recyclable and recyclable table ware. Why oh why is it so difficult to provide proper reusable table ware? So what are the current options?

I would love to read some well-researched papers on energy-intensity, raw material waste, etc.

1. reusable
I would assume porcelain and metal cutlery is best due to durability but I am certain there are other materials that could be more innovative and possibly less energy intensive.

However, there is a big variable that is often beyond our control : dish washing. If done by hand it’s bound to be more wasteful in terms of water. Modern dishwashers are quite water and energy efficient and don’t need much detergent. Speaking of which, this is another real unknown: how much is used/wasted and is it environmentally friendly?

2. disposable recyclable
This isn’t particularly common but some food stores in the UK such as Marks&Spencer, Planet Organic and similar are offering biodegradable (wood/sugar pulp/Corn/potato/tapioca) or recyclable (certain plastics) table ware/cutlery. It is questionable whether it is intelligent to use wood — we may end up like China with bamboo chop-sticks where I think they now carry a tax to curb waste.

In terms of plastic cups I have never understood why companies don’t subscribe to  schemes such as save-a-cup which at the very least recycle the cups. Mind you, if you can have a coffee/tea in mug i don’t understand why you’d go for a cup… As for juices/water — I’d love to see glasses.

3. disposable non-recyclable
well, these are obvious offenders. It is questionable whether paper plates are recyclable — especially the ones that are have a glossy top layer.

As usual: no answers just questions. For the moment I’ll stick to my mug, glass, and porcelain.

Mrs Henderson Presents…

Monday, June 4th, 2007

oh what a fun film! Mrs Henderson Presents (wikipedia, imdb) was a perfect choice after a chilled-out day in Hyde Park spent with friends and a light Thai rice dish: Judi Dench, playing the terribly intrepid Mrs Henderson who recently lost her husband is superb. Mrs Henderson’s new hobby: a theatre that promises to be unique!

I laughed quite a bit and the harsh cuts between original World War II footage showing London going up in flames next to 40s all singing and dancing showbiz was very effective. There are a plenty of quotes worth noting. Two of my favourites are:

Laura Henderson: Are you American?
Soldier: Yes.
Laura Henderson: Strange people, lovely manners.



Laura Henderson: I can’t bear feeling helpless
I always think there’s something I can do.
But sometimes, of course… there’s nothing.


The latter quote expresses very much what I feel quite often: the knowledge that one cannot intervene to alleviate suffering must be among the most distressing feelings I have come across. I guess that’s when rationalisation comes in handy though of course that doesn’t solve the problem but may make it easier to deal with (for some people).

Interestingly, the latter quote doesn’t seem to be documented on the internet (at least google didn’t find it) though there are plenty of quotes available from the film on sites linked to above).

The soundtrack was of course matched to the 40s settings — classic in the true sense! I should stop searching for K&D second hand albums and start collecting some old gems…  Of course 40s seem to be en vogue again e.g., Christina Aguilera’s Back to Basics Album with Candyman.

Live Music in Hyde Park featuring The Cat Empire

Sunday, June 3rd, 2007

My pretty much favourite band The Cat Empire is back in London — well not quite yet! However, they will be in June and this time on a bigger scale than ever:

Watch The Cat Empire at the O2 Music Festival in Hyde Park, London on Fri, 15th of June!

As an aside, it’s fun to see people’s reaction on the forum of the O2 Festival site. (shame the forum wasn’t well designed and I “see” black text on black background — at least on Firefox)

Other artists I am looking forward to include Badly Drawn Boy, the Gotan Project (both 15th June) and Melee (who were supporting The Cat Empire in London last time). I guess Fri 15th will be booked as holiday :-)