Sunday, 21 November 2010

Aluminium Foil

The production of aluminium foil is an extremely wasteful process.

Bauxite, from which aluminium is smelted, is mined in open cast pits in countries such as China, India, Guinea and Kazakhstan. Thousands of tons of waste rock are produced, villagers are often displaced and rivers and soil are polluted. Large amounts of energy are expended, almost half of which is generated from fossil fuels, contributing to the greenhouse effect.

So reducing, reusing and recycling are all the more essential. I try not to use too much foil and never throw it away until it's too torn or holey for anything but the recycling bin.

Today I spotted this 100% recycled kitchen foil. It may have been around for some time but this is the first time I've seen it. It's made from car components, guttering, railway sidings, cookware, stadium seating and scraps of industrial cables! The aluminium is heated to over 650 C . The impurities are burned off and the molten metal is filtered, poured and rolled to produce thin sheets. Recycled aluminium uses 80% less energy to produce than from new.

This roll should last me for a while but I know where to look when I eventually need some more.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

SOS Fruit

It wasn't until my elder daughter left to go to university that I realised exactly how much fruit she ate. Now that she's gone the rest of us are struggling to get through our weekly organic fruit box. This afternoon as I was carrying out one of my irregular inspections of the contents of our fridge I came across not just one, but two punnets of red grapes. If they'd been seedless they would have been devoured by my younger daughter, but she doesn't like having to spit out the pips and, to be perfectly frank, neither do I. So they'd been left to grow slightly soft and wrinkly.

Not wanting to waste them I pressed them through a metal sieve to extract the juice. It was a bit strong on its own but was perfect when diluted half and half with tonic water.

My husband then fried some tired looking apples to go with our pork chops for dinner.

Tomorrow I must remember to look out a recipe for a cake involving pears.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Blog Action Day 2010 - Water

Do you keep the tap running when you brush your teeth?

If the entire population of England and Wales kept their taps off we could save 180 megalitres of water every day! This would be enough to supply nearly 500,00 houses.
I am constantly amazed by how even the most insignificant individual action can have such a tremendous effect when replicated across the population.
Don't let anyone tell you that what you do, or fail to do, doesn't matter.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

REDUCE, REUSE, ... recycle!

So the coalition government is going to scrap Labour's proposed tax on landfill rubbish in favour of credits for recycling.

Apart from my regret that people should need to be bribed to recycle, as opposed to considering it their civic duty to do so, I am not persuaded that encouraging the purchase of (over)packaged goods, in the anticipation of being rewarded for throwing most of it away, is a step in the right direction. They obviously haven't realised that we should be 'reducing' and 'reusing' first.

Perhaps I should write to Mr Pickles and remind him of this?

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Buttering us up?

I've been drawn to the latest Lurpak ads, which advocate a return to an 'old fashioned' way of life - homecooked food, quality over presentation, the celebration of simple pleasures, the virtue of patience and zero waste. I love them!

Unfortunately for Lurpak they have not persuaded me to switch to their brand. I'll stick to my local butcher who sells a very acceptable variety wrapped in environmentally friendly paper.

Surprisingly, although Lurpak's website features a tempting selection of recipes, it says nothing about the recyclability of their packaging.