Archive | February, 2013

Meal Packaging: Tiffin

28 Feb

You can find lovely sites on food (& other consumer goods) packaging and as a packaging fetishist I do enjoy swooning over their entries very much; I’m thinking of The Dieline or Lovely Package, for example. What I haven’t found is a site on attractive and dare I say it sustainable meal packaging, especially excluding usual commercial varieties of packaging, whether green or not (think styrofoam that we mentioned here). I think its time these alternatives were paraded, so I’m going to start today with the TIFFIN.


The tiffin originates in the Anglo-Indian cultural context. The word describes the container used to transport and serve lunchtime meals, such as in Mumbai, India, above, or Dhaka, Bangladesh, pictured below. The lunches are home-made or bought from restaurants/caterers.

tiffin-delivery-banglaThese typically steel lunchboxes are delivered by so-called tiffinwallahs (or: dabbawallahs – more wallahs here) in a self-described ‘low-tech & lean’ fashion. Their astounding system has been the subject of much business management research in the areas of Quality, Logistics and Teamwork. The excellent website of the official Dabbawala Foundation can be found here.


This is a simple (yay, simple!) hammered steel two-tier tiffin

Tiffin and Oranges_klein

This is a three-tier version with a green tiffin carrier bag


hand-painted, 3-tiered, tapered Kashmiri tiffin


4-tiered, hand-painted versions


Next time you go dining bring your own packaging

23 Feb

My friend Divium tackled me about the immense use of unsustainable take-away packaging used by food chains in South Africa (it’s almost all styrofoam!). This one is especially for you, Divium!


Hunter Moyes, chef at the Waldorf Hotel in Vancouver BC started off The Tiffin Project about 5 months ago. You buy a stainless steel lidded food container, you use it in participating restaurants for your take-away (earning yourself a discount), you enjoy your take-away without contributing to landfill & resource depletion. A portion of the tiffin-proceeds goes to improving sourcing at the participating restaurants. Simple?


Chicken Maaaaan, he’s everywhere, he’s everywhere!

22 Feb

In the days of Springbok Radio in South Africa we would hear episodes of Chicken Man, with the catchphrase “He’s everywhere! He’s everywhere!” (along with The Men from the Ministry, Jet Jungle, Squad Cars and many more). Here’s a modern-day take on an efficient Chicken Man from Vietnam.


Next time you go shopping bring your own packaging

21 Feb

Thats what you will have to do at in.gredients in Austin, Texas, a package-free food and household shop launched by the Brothers Lane, who say of themselves that they “actually do have retail and grocery store experience”. Good consumer re-education potential.


Make your life a picnic

20 Feb

Trust the Dutch to come up with a picnic concept that goes oh-so-well with a bicycle. I give you Springtime, bloondesign’s upcoming contribution to Spring 2013. Jeriel Bobbe has taken simple lines and materials, formed them elegantly and with some fresh colours into a fold-away table-cum-chairs-cum-cutlery. First saw this on a Springwise entrepreneurial newsletter sent to me by good friend Truida of SynNovation (thanks for passing on all the new business ideas!).


Invite someone dangerous to tea

19 Feb


Translation into English can be found here. Teas can be found here. Doesn’t Pu-Erh sound like something Winnie-the-Pooh would contemplate, after too much honey maybe?

Learn to watch snails

19 Feb

Everyone is an artist

Let yourself fall.
Learn to observe snails.
Plant impossible gardens.
Invite someone dangerous to tea.
Make little signs, that say “Yes” and distribute them around your house.
Be a friend of Freedom and Uncertainty.
Look forward to dreams.
Cry during movies.
Swing yourself as high as you can, on a Swing by Moonlight.
Cultivate various moods.
Refuse to be “responsible”. Do it out of love.
Take lots of naps.
Give away money. Do it now. The Money will follow.
Believe in magic.
Laugh often.
Bathe in moonlight.
Dream wild, imaginative dreams.
Draw on the walls.
Read every day.
Imagine, you were enchanted.
Giggle with children.
Listen to the old.
Open up, dive in, be free.
Bless yourself.
Relinquish fear.
Play with everything.
Entertain the child within.
You are innocent.
Build a castle from blankets.
Get wet.
Hug a tree.
Write love letters.

Loose translation from German of Jeder Mensch ist ein Künstler by Joseph Beuys found here.