Calling Time On VHS

vhsclocked1Recycling or more accurately reusing old tech is something that always intrigues me. I still have way to many VHS (& Betamax) tapes that have as yet not been digitized. This VHS tape turned clock is one suggestion if you’re reasonably handy with making such things. Typically my own imagination is beyond my practical DIY abilities which has me thinking that the other cassette window could have been utilised for an additional sweeping second hand (I know picky picky picky).

Now could I do this with a huge old U-Matic tape I still have lying around?

Via Instructables

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Throwing The Book At Vinyl

vinylcoverThe recycling of older technology continues with these journals featuring covers made from old LP vinyl records (nothing rare I hope). We’ve already seen compact cassettes remodelled around money purses and belt buckles so this is just another reincarnation for the old ‘liquorice pizzas’. Personally I’d loved to see the same thing with covers made from shiny old silver laser discs. Bit too niche maybe?

UrbanOutfitters via

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We Are Glass

And lo a matter of days after the delivery of a glass recycle box the first collection occurred early today. A lone advance bin man (or garbologist as some may now classify him) moved alone and on foot with a large black bin (or ‘otto’ as they call them in Australia) and proceeded to noisily empty each glass bin contents into the larger black bin which he then wheeled away and out of the close to, I presume, an agreed collection point.Glass mobile

Glass is a very good choice for recycling as its structure does not deteriorate when reprocessed and up to 80% of the original material is suitable for using in new glass which helps reduce the total CO2 footprint for raw glass production. Glass accounts for around 7% of the total household waste composition.

Britain currently recycles around 34% of glass which is poor when compared to Switzerland and Finland achieve rates of around 90%.

Recycling two bottles saves enough energy to boil water for five cups of tea.


Photo by Lady Ema under this creative commons license

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Boxes Bins And Fortnightly Things

A man from the council has thrown a plastic box outside our door that says “Glass Only” on the side. Another recycling bin and this one’s for glass at last. No more clanking down the road to the glass banks at the supermarket whilst sounding like I’m returning a night of heavy drinking empties. Of course there’s no information as to what dates we get to put the glass box out.Every week?

I know that this week past was brown bin week so next week will be green bin week though ours is black when it used to be green. Every week currently is still black bin week though ours is now green. Up the road a bit and over the county line they still have plastic bags. Yes, different coloured ones too.

Glass binSo now we have a black box…for glass. Presumably any colour of glass. Maybe glass apartheid will come soon and more boxes will appear and to make it more challenging the green box would only take clear glass and the brown box will be the exclusive receptacle for green glass.

Modern living is gloriously absurd.

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Green Supermarket Memory

On the thorny subject of recycling and supermarket food packaging I was reminded of a large local supermarket that attempted to pre-empt today’s excess packaging concerns by offering unpackaged food items such as rice, cereals etc in a no-frills, no packaging area of the store where customers bought their own storage receptacles such as Tupperware etc (ahGateway store tupperware) and paid directly at the no-fills area. I’m pretty sure the now defunct supermarket was either Fine Fare or Gateway (anybody remember them?) who each, I believe eventually morphed into Somerfield.

But this was back in the increasingly affluent 80’s and the idea was abandoned I presume due to lack of public interest, insufficient marketing or more likely due to a perception of inconvenience or even hygiene concerns from the shopping public.

Maybe if one of the larger uber supermarkets had tried the idea it might have caught on with the right incentives and marketing.

Would it even work now?
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Tetra Pack Recycling At Last

We’ve just had a slew of paperwork through the door on behalf of the local authority whichUHT milk tells us that we can finally put tetra pack cartons in the recycle bin provided we kick seven bells out of the cartoons prior to doing so. Tetra pack’s are used for fruit juices and long life milk and have previously not been on the recycle list due to the wax coating. We do actually buy long life milk (no it doesn’t taste awful these days) a habit we kept after our time in Australia so it’s going to feel a lot less wasteful to be able to not be putting the cartons in with the general waste bin.

More info on Tetra Pack recycling (UK)

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Healthy Living And Belt Tightening 2008

Research by a retail trends company has shown that healthy living and financial belt tightening will top any British 2008 new year resolutions. The devil is in the detail but it would seem that Brits are more concerned with their own financial status and health than reducing their carbon footprint.

Going Green? 
One in three (33%) will try to increase their recycling levels in 2008, 28% plan to reduce their energy use whilst one in ten (10%) have said they will try to reduce how often they use their car.

Almost three in five (58%) plan to exercise more in the new year together with 56% planning to adopt a regime of eating healthier food.

Money wise 47% identify the desire to live a more frugal existence and 44% wish to save more money.

Of course new year resolutions are rarely stuck to but the research highlights the will if not the means.

Research source Mintel

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