Dawn to Dusk


Fairly traded…. or not?

Posted in Living Ethically by acuthbert on August 30, 2006

I heard someone once claim that Fair Trade coffee is bad as it encourages farmers to stay in an industry which is already massively over supplied. However that block might have had his own agenda. Makes you think I suppose. All the same I reckon if we’ve the choice Fair Trade is the way to go (incidently Tesco sell great Fair Trade biscuits). Not to buy fair trade for the reason above is a bit like saying “I could give you a fair wage, but that would just encourage you to continue making coffee which gives you a crap wage. Much better for you if I pay you peanuts to force you out of your livelihood so that farmers like you can have a better wage…”.

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Soap, marvellous soap

Posted in Living Ethically by acuthbert on August 20, 2006

Replacing shampoo with soap isn’t exactly part of an ethical code I subscribe to, however the general principle of keeping things simple is. Have you ever looked at the back of a shampoo bottle? The list of chemicals is pretty scary. Do we really need sodium-tricloroethane (I made that up chemical fans before anyone tells me so) to keep clean? Hey I thought, if soap was good enough in those olden days why not now.  I got myself some 30p tesco natural soap (vegetable extracts only) and initial reports are good.

My hair does feel thicker and not quite as soft, but it’s clean which is good enough for me.

It’s the long term effects which are unknown as yet. Will my hair fall out, go grey, get dandruff etc. etc. I’ll let you know how it works out.

“Here’s my bright idea”

Posted in Living Ethically by acuthbert on August 20, 2006

Listening to Orson – Bright Idea at the moment and it prompts me to share an idea I had today while in Tesco. Could the supermarkets not provide their staple products in big Vats through which you fill up your own containers. Orange juice, rice, pasta, milk, olive oil, vinegar, detergent, washing up liquid etc. could all be candidates for such a system as it would save an awful lot of wasted plastic and glass. And yes we can recycle these things but a lot of energy is wasted in their production and recycling. Better to reuse than recycle! Here’s how I see it working:

  • You bring your container to the dispenser of the appropriate product
  • You keep the button held until your container is filled.
  • The dispenser prints out a label reflecting the amount of product dispensed (just like the old vegetable and fruit weighing scales)

Hopefully if it caught on even the branded products would be keen to join in.

Of course such as scheme would have its problems:

  • The dispensers would need cleaned and carefully managed so not to mix old and fresh product
  • Advice would need to be given to customers to make sure they clean the containers properly!

But I reckon these would be easy to get around. What do you think?