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Jan 08, 2008



actually, somebody already does. you just have to live in hackney. or islington.



We have a similar little blue bin to put our waste in as well. It even has a sticker on either side illustrating what to put in and what to keep out. I think we got it from here:



I seem to remember that Infinity Foods in Brighton either sold a kitchen composter or had leaflets for one. And while I remember, I'm sure Brighton and Hove Council sold them...


You weren't the comic genius behind the 'aren't taxis just brilliant?!' Fast Show sketch by any chance?

Waiting with bated breath for the 'aren't coats warm?!' post...

Steve O

We get a small, green, lidded bucket to put compostable waste in here in South Cambs, but I like yours better. Keeps the smells at bay.
Love the idea of rental through ebay, but that level of trust is hard for a lot of people I imagine.


great [com]post ben! and i'm actually looking forward to the 'aren't coats warm?!' post.

i had an 'oh damn, we progressed ourselves out of a sustainable solution' moment the other day, watering the garden with grey water from a watering can (thanks to water restrictions).

and i'm jealous that living in london (or some other high-density city) means that milkmen are, indeed, part of a sustainable solution. out here, where it can be several kms and litres of fuel between houses, milkmen are, sadly, no longer a sustainable option.

David Airey

I feel bad for those childhood pranks I played on the local milkman.

Refreshing post Ben. Here's to a great 2008 for you.


Thanks Ben. The kitchen pre-composter is just what I've been looking and it's been right under my nose.

We do the ebay thing, although hadn't really thought about it in quite the same way but really like your angle on it. We also buy a lot of stuff from car boot sales during the summer. Not just the stuff I post on Ace Jet. Our boys get lots of toys. It took my a wife a little time to get over the secondhand stigma and she sometimes feels the need to sterilise stuff but it's good because, as you suggest, a) we're re-using, b) stuff's cheap, c) we re-sell it but also d) we get stuff not currently commercially available. After your post I'll do it with greater verve and a clearer conscience.

And, milkmen over here deliver at night! Isn't that weird?

Oh and, this is nothing to do with sustainability, just about a great service: Jim the Fish comes to our door every Tuesday morning to sell us kippers and salmon. We love Jim the Fish, he rules!

ben hanbury

what does "unproduct" mean? I'm intrigued!


We just use a stainless steel bowl. it takes about a days worth of fruit, tea leaves and veg choppings so the smell never gets too bad.

And it matches our ikea cutlery holders! :)

Prof. Prague

What a brilliant post. In the U.S. mail DVD rental giant is developing a technology that would allow you to download dvds directly from the internet through a little box on the top of your television. Even less hassle than normal netflix and way less risk/hassle of the Ebay method.


Except for the fuel used up by the vans transporting DVDs all around the country. But I'm nitpicking.


I know of a little green composter box, no - i've just checked the link - they call it a kitchen caddy, which i got from the Natural Collection for my dad who used to collect his kitchen waste in a plastic bag hooked on the end of the counter which i found particularly gross.
This one has a carbon filter which is meant to eliminate odour.
If you're looking for something prettier than plastic then check out these ceramic compost crocks:

...i live in Hackney and use the little blue kitchen waste box provided me by the Council which I fill twice a week (and decant into the big one outside) and which am very happy with. Go Hackney!


Another place you can get the ceramic crock is here:

I have one and it's a good size and easy to clean (although a little fragile).


Looks like I didn't look hard enough!


I've seen a kitchen composter that was made of ceramic, and was in the shape of a traditional metal dustbin - only mini. It was really cute, but I can't remember where I saw it. I'll have a look...



Found it: http://www.cleanairgardening.com/ceramic-compost-crock.html

and they do a metally one:

Lovely, I think.

James Greig

Just reading your bit about Milk Bottles Ben. I too love the idea of milk bottles, firstly they look better on the breakfast table, you open them by pushing your thumb through the lovely foil, which then make great collage material as a kid. An of course, the bottles are re-used, about 20 times according to Brighton council.

But I do wonder about glass milk bottles, stemmed mainly from my Dad talking about working in the dairy industry. When we're done with the milk, the bottle goes back to base, of which there are now fewer in the country due to 'streamlining' so they're transported further than before. Then they're washed and refilled, and as we know more about bugs in milk, the bottles are washed for longer, hotter and with more chemicals to remove the nasties, using quite some energy.

I don't know how much a glass bottle weighs, but it's more than a plastic one. So transport emissions would also be higher per pint of milk I'm assuming.

Breaking it down like this, milk bottles don't sound that great, I don't know if they are still better than plastic (if recycled). I would like to know though. I've spent 20 minutes Googling lifecycle analysis of glass verses plastic but haven't found anything of worth. Anyone with any ideas?

As a really nice solution to milk packaging I like this, http://www.calonwen-cymru.com/eco-pak/ from a dairy near my home in Wales.

Be good to know more about this, I'll have a think...

James Greig

Oh, I don't have a vendetta against milk men, they provide a very green service and were the first to run electric vehicles.

One day milk float, next a Prius.


About the DVD thing, no more product is good, but no more money is quite good too.
Let me explain: when you've seen a movie and you don't want to keep the object, just trade it with someone.
And instead of sending it with the big unuseful plastic box, send it naked in a small square piece of paper, and it won't cost you more than a simple letter.
You could have a system of points you earn when you send a DVD, and these points would allow you to order new films.
Well, as a matter of fact it's not my idea, it already exists here:
and I've been using it for more than a year, while I've received 108 plastic discs, and sent 125.

Of course you pay a small 6 € from time to time, but it's apretty good business in many ways I think.


A whole host of kitchen caddy, composting type thingies.


I live in Bristol and our council provide us with a brown compost bin for the kitchen and a larger matching version to go outside for the recyclers. I prefer the sound of the blue Hackney one though, I'm not big on brown.
I'm afraid I wouldn't have the patience to wait for my films to arrive through ebay -great idea though.

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