Here are three things I'd like to tell you about.
1. As I've mentioned before (in graphic detail) we compost in our house. It's very good fun. But it's a little inconvenient to take potato peelings or banana skins or Tesco's compostible packaging out into the garden as and when. It's nicer to store them up and then take them all out at once. That's a better use of time. So I looked everywhere for a kitchen compost pot, or a compost-before-it-goes-to-the-garden holder thing, but I couldn't find one. So I made do with this little tupperware box instead.
It does the job perfectly. It has a little flap for slipping in a tea bag and a big lid for emptying the thing. But still, you would have thought that someone would have designed such a thing, wouldn't you? You know, to encourage people to compost.
2. We drink a lot of milk in my house. So much milk that I ended up having to pick up an extra pint almost every night on the way home. This combination of bad household management and post Tube forgetfulness anger led to me stopping a milkman and asking if he delivered to our street. He did and now we have lovely milk delivered straight to the door. And of course it's absolutely brilliant.
I suspect millions have people have said this before but it's reminded me what a brilliant system a milkman is. Those glass bottles are wonderful things, much more sustainable than all that plastic and we're reusing them too! On the Refuse, Reuse, Recycle scale a milkman is firmly in the Reuse bit.
Which reminds me that new isn't always better, and this tugs at a thought I've got that we've probably already got a lot of the climate change/ sustainability / design solutions it's just that we threw them out in the name of 'progress' or more likely 'revenue' and 'sales targets'. But it's not just that, you instantly trust your milkman more than Tescos and you've very quickly got a decent relationship with him. I don't want to be the billionth person to bore you with the suggestion that milkman should deliver post and parcels and so on, but this reminded me of the Yakult Ladies. Yakult Ladies deliver Yakult in Japan in a similar way to how we deliver milk in the UK. Except they do much more than that, in some instances they have the keys to your house and they pop in and put the Yakult in the fridge. They also do something Yakult calls 'Social Activity Born of Delivery Work' [scroll down]. Brands, you could learn a lot from that.
3. Lastly, I've started a DVD rental website.
It's called eBay. Here's how it works; say you were reminded by Wil's illustration that you'd always meant to watch Any Given Sunday. Log on to eBay and buy it. It's gets delivered direct to your door in a few days, total cost - a couple of quid. When you've watched the film, sell it again. You could even use the same envelope if you wanted. You'll sell it for, ooh, a couple of quid, making the whole transaction fiscally neutral to you. Obviously newer DVD's cost a bit more, older ones a bit less, but repeat forever and you're effectively getting DVD rental for, err, nothing.
I've been doing this for a few months now and it works like a dream. I know you have to wait a few days for the film to be delivered and I know (shock horror) that the DVDs are second hand, but when I hear friends' tales of woe regarding Lovefilm or Amazon DVD Rental I can't resist a little chuckle to myself.
This is a brilliant unproduct idea. No more stuff is being created and yet money is still being passed through the system fulfilling the urge humans have to spend and greasing the wheel of capitalism at the same time. More money, no more stuff. Surely the Holy Grail?
Welcome to 2008.