Nespresso pods with the coffee grounds removed using the Outpresso.


Last year I bought Jenny a Nespresso machine for her birthday. Whatever you may think of the brand, they do turn out a quality coffee quickly and easily. However, as a conscientious consumer I did take some issue with the pods: you use them once, and then you throw them away. I’ve tried reusing them, and unfortunately they are only good for one cup. Nespresso offers a return-to-base recycling program, but with stores few and far between, it was an inconvenience at best. Looking into the matter, I discovered that some folks in Switzerland (the home of the Nespresso and […]


Growing greener

One thing that irked me when I was single, and is only marginally improved now as part of a married couple, was the amount of food I threw away because the portions sold in shops is more than what I need. Herbs in particular – a recipe calls for a few leaves of basil, but they’re only sold in bunches. Sure, there are plenty of things I can do – freeze them, dry them, or even feed them to my worms – but you can’t argue with fresh ingredients. I decided to combat this problem, and chalk up another notch […]

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Worm farming

A few months ago a friend called me in the evening: “Hey, you at home?” “Yeah, what’s up?” “Mind if I bring some garbage around?” It wasn’t code for a drug deal nor a twisted new hobby where I collect people’s trash; I live in an apartment block with a generous waste disposal facility consisting of several skip bins, and he needed somewhere to put a few extra bags after a house party. Leaving aside the ethics of this arrangement, the problem he had was that his household generates far more waste than the council was allowing him to get […]

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Pumpin’ with rage

Pump packs are the work of the devil. Not only are they a waste of metal and plastic, when it’s finished there’s always a load of product at the bottom that gets chucked out along with the bottle ‘coz it’s just too much hassle to try and tap it through the (often skinny) bottleneck. Don’t you hate that spluttering noise when the stuff runs out, the deliberately* short straw is no longer immersed in liquid, and it’s just sucking up air like some kind of demented fish gasping for breath? The companies that make these products flog “refill packs” supposedly […]

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A rant on toilet paper

“Single roll” toilet paper dispensers are the work of the devil. At home it’s not so much of a problem because you can always just go and get another roll (or yell for your wife to bring it :P) but I’m talking about commercial or public toilets with those massive rolls. At the church where I used to volunteer, we always had to throw out “nearly finished” rolls – imagine you found yourself in a public loo running out of toilet paper because some stingy accountant was trying to save money by ordering the cleaners not to change the roll […]