Saturday, 25 May 2013

In praise of the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker

‘Buy something from the baker, and he'll buy something from the butcher and the candlestick-maker with his profits, and they in turn will do the same. Buy something from Tesco and they'll spend their profits on opening another Tesco.’

What a wonderful nutshell summary of all that is wrong with big chain supermarkets by a Guardian columnist. See the full article at:

The Local Works campaign has gathered the evidence and blown apart the arguments supermarkets tend to put forward in support of their planning applications. Supermarkets do not create jobs, they lead to net job losses in the local area. They harm the environment and don’t even give you a good deal on food prices. See the details at:

The pressure supermarkets put on suppliers for ever lower prices led to the horsemeat in your beef burgers scandal.

Consumer watchdog Which has been campaigning on misleading pricing practices in supermarkets for several years now:

In the meantime, however, our local high street shops are struggling: against underhand supermarket strategies and over priced high street rents. Support the Local Works campaign to save the High Street by proposing a local levy to be spent in the local economy details from

And use your High Street shops before we lose them!

Sunday, 19 May 2013

What’s greener – dishwashers or washing by hand?

Instinctively greens tend to believe that hand washing their dirty crocks must use less energy than a dishwasher. Think again. At least two scientific studies have found  that a dishwasher will use less water than washing by hand thus saving the energy of heating up so much water.

Greens tend to only replace white goods once they are broken – I know I do. Again, this is not necessarily the right thing to do. The Life Cycle Engineering and Management Research Group at the University of New South Wales says that buying a new dishwasher which uses less water and energy than an older versions can be better. The improvement in performance more than eliminates the embedded energy of the new machine.

So what we feel instinctively should be green isn’t always the greenest thing to do.