Thursday, 5 February 2009

Cycling map

First you could recycle, then you could freecycle, then upcycle and now there's Precycle! Paul Peacock's new book argues:
"Recycling is costly in energy terms. The waste is transported somewhere using petrol. It is washed and sorted and, taking glass for example, heated to over 1100°C to melt it. When you wash out the bottles at home and sterilise them for bottling wine, you are actually contributing to saving the planet."
Paul is all about making things yourself, and he is very fond of an exclamation point or two to get the message across (just see the book's title). He has recipes for everything from carpet cleaner to elderflower champagne to soap. "Soap is basically treated fat!" he observes. Transport, marketing and packaging go into the price you pay for soap, but the soap itself costs about 2p. "Imagine all the savings the planet gets when you cut out a whole industry to make your own. There might be cost implications in the financial world, but there are savings everywhere else." Now if you excuse me I'm off to make my own soda bread (page 92).

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