Cradle to the grave: Why bio-degradable cups are a waste of money and time.

landfill picture

(Landfill in Dryden, Ontario: – This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License.)

This article originally appeared here.

At the moment there is a huge push for being green and helping out the environment, and one of the biggest things spearheading this push is the bio-degradable market. But why?

The general consensus at the moment is this: A company markets their new bio-degradable line of products to a café, the café is a green café, very aware of the environment, serves only the finest responsibly sourced products, recycles the products they use in the store and laments over the paper cups they sell not being very “green” so they pay the high cost for bio-degradable cups and then feel better about themselves.

Now let’s shift focus to the end-user, the consumer. A customer will go into a café, “a hazelnut latte to go please”, they then receive their nice warm beverage in a bio-degradable paper cup. “Thanks, keep the change.”
The customer heads off on their merry way thinking they’ve done something excellent for the environment. But this is where it all comes crashing down.Waste Triangle

As the last drops of coffee drip onto the customers tongue they then become burdened with something…an empty paper cup, aka, litter.

Looking around they see black bins all over the place, maybe the blue outline of paper recycling (the cup can’t go in there either, it’s contaminated with food and also lined with plastic, bio-degradable plastic sure, but plastic all the same). The only place this cup is useful is in an industrial composter and there certainly aren’t collection points lining the streets so where does the cup go? In the black bin.

Where does the black bin go? The landfill.

Ultimately then the café has paid premium price for a product that was supposed to be green but has actually ended up in a landfill, where it is useless as a bio-degradable cup.

“But wait!” I hear you cry. “Even if it is in a landfill, it will still degrade faster than everything else.”

Except it won’t.

When refuse is taken to a landfill it is essentially vacuum packed as it is crushed down. Without air the bacteria will not grow, thus there is nothing there to actually breakdown the products. 50 year old newspapers have been dug up from old sites and are still readable.
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POLL: Handwritten or Typed?

How do you guys prefer to write? Do you like to sit down with a pen and paper and write, or sit at your desk and type away? I usually write straight into my PC but since starting work at my new job I am on a computer all the time so my eyes have been starting to hurt, so I’m trying to take it away from the screen and hand write stuff.

The bonus of this is you can edit as you type it up getting a second draft in the process. The cons is you could lose your work, which would not be very good.

Christmas Day in Paris

Last night I booked something very exciting happened.

I booked my Christmas dinner! …now bear with me, why is this so exciting?

Well to quote a famous supermarket “this isn’t just a normal Christmas dinner, this is Christmas dinner on a cruise boat sailing down the River Seine on a two hour journey with live music playing in the background, whilst you sit down on the bow of the boat to a four course meal including wine and champagne.” Continue reading

The Maze Runner – Five Changes From The Book To Movie!

A shot of all the Gladers – via Hypable.

I’m not sure if my experience with The Maze Runner series is the same as everyone else’s. I had never heard of it before seeing the trailer but the trailer really piqued my curiosity so I downloaded the book onto my Kindle after reading the blurb.

I then powered through the first book loving every minute of it, absorbing it all and feeling along for the ride. I then immediately bought the next two and I am now nearly through the final book.

So it was with much anticipation I sat down in the cinema the other day whilst the lights were turned down and the film started. Needless to say I was very excited.

As the credits rolled I felt a mixed variety of emotions. On one extreme I really enjoyed the film, it was very fast paced and kept my attention throughout (which was a feat in and of itself as I was very worse for wear after a lot of wine was consumed the night before).

But then as I drove home and spoke about it with my girlfriend who has read the book (on my recommendation I may add…commission James Dashner?) I began to really feel negative feelings towards the film. Our main concern was how much was changed!

The topic of things being changed in book-to-film adaptations is a very broad one but it’s also a conflicting one, to me at least. My main thought on the topic is this: I’ve already read the book, I know what happens, so when watching an adaptation why not change stuff so I can experience the story in a whole new way? That sounds good on the surface. But when you get so attached to a book and the way you have pictured things in your head the changes in a film can seem very jarring! (One of the best book-to-film adaptations I’ve seen in recent years is The Fault In Our Stars, this stuck very close to the source material).


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How do you track your marketing activity?

Tracking your marketing activity

Tracking your marketing activity can be quite a colossal task when first thinking about doing so but if you break it down to 6 areas (split into two groups) it seems a lot more manageable. It is also necessary to stop yourself wasting money on things that don’t work, and allows you to improve the things that don’t work to make you able to market effectively. Continue reading