Recycle or reuse?

One of the problems I face as a single person living alone – apart from the sympathetic stares when I tell people I’m single and life alone – is in buying food.

For example: I drink milk but not that much. This means that every four days or so I go out and buy a new single pint of milk to put in my fridge. The old carton gets washed out and thrown in to be recycled (or would, if we had a recycling point at Whitehall Quay. Let’s not split hairs).

All that recycling then gets taken away and, well, recycled into new products… including cartons to hold single pints of milk.

Scientifically-speaking, this requires ‘work’. Work requires ‘energy’. Energy requires power stations. Power stations generate heat and pollution as well as the electrical energy required to power the National Grid.

You see my problem.

Every time I buy one of those single pints I’m contributing to a process that uses more power, when all I want is a bit more milk.

Compare and contrast with water. We’re encouraged to refill plastic bottles of water rather than throw away (recycle) the ones we’ve drained.

So why can’t we do that with milk?

If we can create public water fountains, why not milk bowsers in supermarkets? They don’t have to be huge things, just the equivalent of, say 32 or 64 pints or whatever the average daily sales are for a particular store that we can then top up our existing cartons from.

That way, we cut down on plastic waste and reduce our energy consumption by reducing recycling as well.

And another thing

Something else crossed my mind about power generation the last few weeks.

It was a bit warm in the office recently, and the comfort cooling wasn’t working as well as it should. So we pugged in a portable fan. It was warm so we plugged in a device, the powering of which generated heat somewhere in the world, adding to global warming, etc.

Why aren’t there small batteries that charge up using sunlight and/or heat and then discharge to power the portable fan? Come to think of it, why aren’t shops full of solar-powered portable fans?

Possibly because the great inventor of our time is busy picking fights with cave rescuers instead…?

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