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Showing posts from November, 2020

Conflicted emotions

Many years ago a lawyer said to me that the most tiring thing about being a lawyer in his line of work, which was the family court, was permanently being in a state of conflict.  It's a bit like that today for those of us who endeavour to make ethical choices, ensure that our Ps and Qs are sufficiently PC, and just generally be good citizens of the global village. Ride the bike or drive the car? Take an extra few minutes in the shower after a hard day at work? Buy that thing you want even though you know it has an environmentally irresponsible amount of packaging? Choose pork belly from the menu when you know there's a better than even chance that the pig never saw the light of day? How to react to a joke, told by a friend, which was mainstream twenty years ago but definitely dodgy by today's ever-evolving standards. We met some friends for a drink last weekend, and afterwards went back to their house in the country for another - no I wasn't driving.  So there I was, si

Blind to the specs ...

  I think I lost an argument with the wife last night. She was telling someone about a pair of glasses; where she bought them and how much they cost. She obviously noticed my thinly disguised 'harrumph' and guessed correctly that I was reacting to my discovery of the amount of money she is prepared to spend on a pair of glasses. "Well it's better than what you do - you and your +2.5s for $9 from the supermarket. Exactly how many pairs have you bought in the past couple of years?" My reply is what got me into trouble " I buy them because they are always breaking or getting scratched and it's cheap and easy to get a new pair". That was it really - I had walked blindly into the cactus. " "That's not very green is it? Why don't you buy a decent pair of gasses which isn't going to fall apart in five minutes?" Why indeed? And so it is across a huge range of products. If something stops working it is often more cost effective

Plastic - How fantastic?

  Great news: Plant-based milk bottles. Fonterra have announced new fully recyclable milk bottles made from sugarcane. The press release shows the bottle nestled on a bed of green leaves, with the text on the label proclaiming "I'm a plant-based bottle". When I saw the ad on TV last night I was properly impressed; this is great progress, and a fitting subject for my column this week.  Although the irony of the claim is conspicuous: milk not being a particularly environmentally friendly product, let's not dwell on that today.  The bio-HDPE is made in Brazil from sugarcane. Some might question, somewhat cynically, how long ago the farm on which the sugarcane grows was cleared of indigenous vegetation. But then surely all farms, everywhere, were once cleared of the naturally occurring plantscape to make way for cultivation of crops? So we can't have a go at them for that.  The bio-HDPE is then shipped to New Zealand where it is made into milk bottles. Mmm - I don