Eats shoots and leaves

19 Dec

You may remember the old punctuation joke about the hungry (or was it homicidal?) panda: ‘Eats, shoots and leaves’ – or – ‘Eats shoots and leaves’. What with the growing vegetarian and vegan trend, it may be fair to revisit the nose-to-tail trend we looked at here and here and here. What do vegans do for nose-to-tail? Why, root-to-stem, of course!

There is even a cookbook on The Art of Using the Whole Vegetable by Tara Duggan which no doubt ranks with Deborah Madison‘s aptly named book Vegetable Literacy.

Root_to_Stalk_klein Vegetable-Literacy_sm_klein

And a REALrestaurant and Green Restaurant certified catering company that calls itself Root & Stem .

And there’s school memories in the image of plants grouped by the parts we eat, together with 9 plant ‘families’


How do you measure time?

28 Oct

There’s an inflection on the ‘you’ in that question. Is it by the watch on your wrist, your smartphone or a computerclock? Imagine if you would mark your local time by

“the movement of toads and the fluttering of moths, by the scent of oranges and coconut, by bear births, eagle marriages, and salmon deaths”.

That is a breathtaking sensual assault; distilled from the writings of Jay Griffiths on her experiences among peoples native to perhaps wilder and remoter regions of our world – and – described by Lewis H. Lapham in his article Captain Clock in Lapham’s Quarterly current issue TIME (Vol. 7, Nr. 4, fall 2014).


Blue Morpho butterfly (Morpho peleides) Image credit: Ricardo Jimenez


caterpillar of the Blue Morpho – Image credit: Ingmar Gerckens


caterpillar of the Atlas moth – Image credit: John Horstmann


Atlas moth (Attacus atlas) – Image credit: Andrew Cooper

 More fabulous butterflies and moths pre- and post-pupate here

Maybe also take a meander by The Dark Mountain Project here and read the 8 Principles of Uncivilisation here.

Something extraordinary

24 Oct

I used to have a saying stuck up on my wall:

‘Live an ordinary life extraordinarily.’

Graphic designer Jessica Ettridge must have connected with that too for her project Extraordinary. She selected a few products that we use every day: soap, a toothbrush, scourers; products where we perhaps do not give much thought to the way they were made or our use and consumption of them. Jessica explains that her project is about enhancing our appreciation of everyday projects. That’s a sentiment that sits well with sustainability. Imagine if we gave the same appreciation to everything we use, to every object we touch. Imagine if we re-invested them all with the extra-ordinary.



Ahoy! Here’s me contribooty for today, arrr!

19 Sep


More modern mobile tableware

17 Jul

Mobile tableware has been a central subject of this blog for a number of entries. The meal packagings that we looked at included the meal carrier variety: tiffins, rantangs, tingkats, pintos, sage jubakos, gamelles, henkelmänner and something that might be known as a mohinga but also picnic hampers, including travelling tea sets and travelling bars. Last year, in 2013, designer See Yew Siang received Honorable Mention at the Red Dot Design Awards for the pop-up tableware concept. It looks like a folder but opens out into a bowl-plate with a knife and fork that you can use, wash, dry and fold away to be re-used another day.  How’s that for an unusual item to carry with your tablet?


Nudging towards saving water

16 Jul

Heard of KOREFE – Kolle Rebbe Form und Entwicklung? That’s the Hamburg-based Design and Innovation Agency that created the brand Stop The Water While Using Me for which it received the Red Dot 2010 Best of the Best award (and quite a few more too). Where best to grab us and nudge us to stop using so much water? In the bathroom! And that’s where the range of products by this company are typically used, as are yesterday’s soap and the-day-before-yesterday’s soap.



Nudging towards sustainable palm oil

15 Jul

Nutella has it, so do many, many biscuits, snacks, breads, cakes, confectionery fillings, ice cream, processed cheeses, and more. And that’s just the food applications of palm oil. It’s also a typical ingredient in the production of soaps, detergents, pharmaceutical products, cosmetics and more. The Big Ecological Issue is the grand scale of the plantations necessary to produce all this palm oil for global consumption and the concomitant destruction of wild habitats. You can read up more in dossiers and campaigns run by the major NGOs such as WWF, Greenpeace, Rainforest Action Network and also the Orangutan Project and on the Say No To Palm Oil site.


Publicity and pressure around this issue have given rise to a roundtable on more responsible palm oil production, the RSPO, though the issue stays highly controversial. There is now a small supply of alternatively produced palm oil, which is used, for example, by the manufacturer of the soap we are presenting in today’s entry: Sustain. Whereas yesterday’s soap showed you melting glaciers and icebergs, today’s soap shows and tells you about the critically endangered animals you help save by using it – clean hands + cleaner conscience?sustain-06_klein05_01_11_sustain6_klein

Sustain is a soap made with 100% sustainable palm oil. Simon and the Treasure Studio in Harrogate, UK, developed three characters based on redlisted animals (Bornean orangutan, Malayan Tiger, Papuan Monitor Lizard). Copywriter Chris Miller created some lovely copy that gave each animal real personality and also highlighted their plight. More beautiful soaps in more beautiful packaging here.