22 May 2009
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Two Small Saves for the Environment

I'm not the environmentalist that is implied by my Prius harping on this web site.  I am not keen on "causes" in general and I don't swoon over the variety of Earth Day displays.  The solution to essentially all anthropogenic climate and environmental issues is inherent in the term anthropogenic, and I guess I needn't belabor it.  We're very selective in our "solutions" and belaboring that will get me nowhere, either.  But I am an environmentalist in at least one very useful way:  I hate waste.  My eagerness to repurpose and save things makes me both a better consumer and a bit of a packrat.  Today I'll focus on the first.  It will be a fuzzy and brief focus.

Packing Material, Part 1

"Go ballistic" is a wonderful idiom that needs careful, RIKLblog examination.  But not right now, since this item is worth but a tiny twitch.  My daily newspaper is delivered in a plastic bag, or two bags when moisture promises to otherwise ruin its contents.  It had always been my practice to remove the paper and discard the bag(s).  I was discussing the plastic bag demonstration of last weekend with my friend and "friend" Nick, and we pretty much simultaneously realized we could together resolve the issue.  It works like this:

I give the bag to Nick.  Nick has a dog.

Packing Material, Part 2

Typical padded shipping envelope.  "Pull Tab to Open" remains unpulled. You've no doubt seen and received packages in small, padded envelopes such as the one at the left.  I have come to believe that "Pull Tab To Open" is one of most pernicious phrases in the packaging lexicon.  Following that instruction destroys the bag, which normally otherwise survives its postal peregrination intact and reusable. 

I NEVER "Pull Tab to Open."  I carefully separate the closure despite its gorilla glue, and peel off the label and postage or franking.  Voila, the package is better-than-recycled.

Which brings me to the label.  The pictured envelope arrived yesterday from Dell and contained a CD.  The label came off in a couple of seconds.  Microsoft also sends me disks from time to time.  But their labels, for whatever reason, require concentrated peeling.  Do you suppose that Dell, being mostly a hardware business, has given this greater consideration and is expanding their "green" efforts to such mundane bits of "hardware"?  Or is Microsoft secretly in bed with the padded envelope manufacturers?

Or is it, unentertainingly, just accident?

The Wall Street Journal Gets With the Anti-Waste Program

Fashion reporter Teri Agins in yesterday's Journal berates a questioner whose "brightly striped cotton dress shirts have languished in [her] closet."

Don't you dare toss out those striped shirts from your corporate past!  Just because your woven shirts aren't trendy knitwear doesn't mean that they can't be worn in a hip manner.

I would go on to tell you what Ms. Agins prescribes, but that very same issue of the Journal, indeed the very same section, has a cautionary tale about bloggers getting sued for copyright infringement.  If you want to know how and why she suggests the owner "flash a bit of skin" you'll just have to buy yesterday's paper.

Crossing of the Biological Components

Even as I write this my friend and colleague Paul is being disassembled and modified in a premeditated act of Medicine.  It's serious, but, in these days, routine.  My various digits, limbs, and pseudopodia are Xed in a superstitious yet somehow satisfying act of well-wishing.  If you know or don't know Paul, feel free to well-wish in your own fashion.

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"Straight Arrow"




Sea World. 

Nice Shirt.

Richard Factor

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