Saturday, 14 November 2009

Recycling is BullSh*t

I couldn't agree more (see this treehugger article for the real deal) - but you want to know what's even more of a load of bull - 'recyclable'. My question always comes to where - and what will it become, and what will the rate of recycling actually be (I believe that its under 9% of plastic is recycled in the UK). There are tons of designers who work with discarded goods - but they certainly have not been recycled in the truest sense, and more importantly are only a small amount of what is actually disposed of. Lets stop fooling ourselves, our green bins are just another version of a garbage can. We need to move past all of this rhetoric in order to actually make a dent on the future solid waste, material sustainability etc.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Book Report - The Omnivore's Dilemma

Now, I thought I would read this, and love it - but to be perfectly honest, it was just okay. Michael Pollan seemingly has a problem with Xanthan Gum - he mentions it several times with a bit of an incredulous tone. I ask to that - what's so wrong with it - it holds all of my gluten-free baking together, is not poisonous and even if derived from corn, is not the root of all food evil. I truly love corn and many of its incarnations (bioplastic anyone?), and certainly there are many substantial political, social and environmental issues in regards to corn, but it is not inherently bad, as is insinuated. He also repeats himself often, as if he had forgotten he had said 'insert fact here' before.

Now with my biggest problem with the book. It is truly a man's view of the world with not a single female voice other than his wife. How on earth can I take a book that neglects half of the population and the primary family cooks very seriously. Really did remind me that no matter how much time passes - that I still have to be a feminist first (how sad). Nowhere in this book did speak to the actual dilemma of how we feed ourselves - time vs. quality vs. nutrition vs. money - and does explore the omnivore's dilemma for anyone other than himself and his foodie friends. I'll stick with Margaret Atwood in the future...

Friday, 6 November 2009

Book Report - Payback

Margaret Atwood does it again - her ability to write witty, insightful, and highly accurate prose amazes me every time.

Her newish book - Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth, delves into the way debt permeates our lives, and looks at the history and cultural aspects of debt. I will read anything by Margaret Atwood, and this one is particularly timely, and it was nice to hear about more about the background of debt, and its direct association with sin, wrong doing and over all the more shadowy side of society.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Vote for me

Hi everyone! I'm not sure if I've posted my thesis project here before - but essentially its a waterproof coating for natural textiles that is biodegradable. The innovation is replacement for traditional oilcloth (PVC coated cotton). I've entered the Challenge Your World for some funding to help this go forward. Please vote for my 'idea' over here (You can vote once a day)