November 2006 News
OK, IT'S LATE... BUT AT LEAST IT'S STILL FREE:)
Welcome to our November newsletter! Admittedly almost the end of the month, but we scraped in. Hey, we're flexible. Don't count on the December edition too soon, though.
Still road-testing the new mailing system to keep it all as firewall-friendly, HTML-happy and unblockably wonderful as possible.
And to kick off, this month's deliberate mistake award goes to... us! For not figuring out how to attach our visuals to October's newsletter (not our nice, new mailing house's - dotmailer - fault, we stress).
Speaking of awards...
BRITISH INVENTION SHOW 2006
Well, look who got bronzed!
Plus we got our picture in the paper, too...
Well done Jason B! Read
And in the perfect segue, his work will be with us at
DREAMING OF A GREEN CHRISTMAS
Junkk.com is proud to have been chosen to help in an important, though dead good fun exhibition at the Science Museum in London next week. And there's a competition we can win, so come and show your support!
SKY BIG IDEA
Meanwhile, for every ladder there is a reality TV show. We, um, were not a BIG IDEA. To see what was, check out the website:. The Forum is quite a laugh for all budding inventors (or reality TV aspirants, for that matter). Though as you'll gather from our JUNKK BLOG, we were none too impressed with the way it was handled.
Elsewhere they're still saying (we hope) nice stuff about
us. If you want to check out what take a look Stuff About Us. We really must update it soon!
Coming soon (we think... er... hope):
We've been told of something about us in Resource Magazine's. New Year feature on Inventions, so book your copy now!
And also Ethical Consumer Magazine Visit. No idea when. Buy it anyway. Nice publication.
When they tell us, we'll tell you!
You know what they say about all your Christmases coming at once? Just as we were about to hit 'Send', look (if you're an SME) what popped into our 'in-box' from those nice folks at the FPB
And (if you're a real live consumer - and who isn't?) those equally top chaps at the Green Guide:
Not to mention those go-getting 60+surfers!
And saving the best (well of this section) 'til, er here:
The Forum is ticking along, albeit still slowly (quality vs. quantity!), but it's nice to see people giving positive tips to each other. It looks like Old PCs are a perennial issue, but there are solutions to hand: Read
To take part in any of these discussions click here: Go to Forum
Also we should advise of a few ongoing glitches in the JunkkYard.
We already know that there is no delete function (D'oh!) and are working on a cure. Meantime just email us and we'll do the necessary on your account. But it also seems an edit can send the thing to Ideas. No idea why yet, so we're busy hunting gremlins.
That freezer is still free by the by.
[One seat petition - OK, it's in the wrong place, but as it has the word community in it we thought it could go here.]
A better mousetrap? The Plug:Jug
If only to prove the BIGGEST Ideas can be found, for free, on Junkk.com, we liked this nifty way of helping those with difficulty pulling out jugs, or simply remembering what they're connected to.
And the BIG news is.... (drumroll)... ecover!
Speaking of BIG, we're mighty pleased to tell you that we've been given the BI... er... little 'e', as in ecover.
Seems that one dark night, while we were abed, they sneaked into our site and uploaded their whole range. And we're thrilled!
What's more, they even commissioned two designers to get the ball rolling with a few nice ideas fro second uses. Our favourite is the string dispenser. Can you do better?
For more inspiration or to make new suggestion check out Ideas
ps: Just think dear marketing folk, how much more popular your product could be, with almost no effort on your part, if you added yours to our site in the same way. Just saying is all:)
No, not making Gran even crinklier! A reader asked us recently about paper: "CAN YOU PLEASE TELL ME THE NAME OF THE PAPER YOU WRAP CLOTHES IN TO PROTECT THEM. AND WHERE CAN YOU GET IT FROM?"
We had a stab, but it was a load of crepe: "As a bit of a fashion disaster myself I fired this off to those nice folks at TRAID (or you could try adili). The best we could come up with was crepe, but really anything dry that won't stain (ie: with ink on it) should do."
Eventually TRAID rose to the challenge: Acid free tissue paper is the best.
Can't testify to the eco aspects of the answers, but we aim to please.
Calling the Kettle Green follow up:
A reader felt our October Eco-Kettle RE:view was somewhat lacking and posed some questions. We talked to Peter the inventor, and haven't heard back, so they must now be happy:
Q: bit of a sloppy review;
A: Thank you for taking the time to write.
The degree of slop, or not, is a rather subjective one, with factors ranging from the remit of the publication, the qualifications of the reviewer and the reasonable expectations of the reader.
Junkk.com is not, cannot afford and does not claim to be Which magazine, or indeed highly specialized in any particular area, through by wandering around green groves we perhaps do pick up more than some have the time or inclination to manage. We are the consumer's mates. And when we look at something it is as consumers ourselves, albeit ones with a strong interest in what works best for the planet and the family pocket, recognising that the two can often be exclusive.
For what it's worth I was educated and trained as a scientist in my youth, which qualifies me to ask certain pertinent questions and, thanks to my subsequent career in advertising attempt to share the answers (which can be quite detailed and technical) in ways that are meaningful, editorially entertaining and informative to our public audience, which ranges from kids to senior surfers.
There are certain things I could care less about. Others that Junkk.com is not so concerned with. One is wasting time and doing nothing whilst debating detail at the expense of the big picture.
So now I've had feedback from the guys who know, let me try answer your questions, and it's looking, Miss World-styly, like being in reverse order.
Q. Are eco products just another unacceptable face of consumerism?
A. Some are; some are not. It's an essay in itself. And probably a contentious one as what we publish may go too far or not far enough for some.
Q. I use a stove top kettle (gas). Should I give my kettle to a charity shop and get one of these?
A. Again, this could be as easy or as hard to answer as you like, depending on the depth of the consequences.
Put simply, a stove top kettle is not a very efficient way to heat water. A lot of energy simply goes around the base and is lost to the atmosphere. Not such a problem in winter, as it heats the room, but that's a tangent. As you say it's gas I can be firmer in saying this. However, if you were running an Aga and the heat is there anyway for heating, then of course it is a pretty good way to do it as there is no extra demand.
If you give it to a charity shop, you are simply moving the ecological consequences from you to some other location. Like selling a Jaguar to buy a Prius (worked for Sir Ming, if not the planet). Which sets up the fiscal against the ecological.
Balancing the two and being, perhaps selfishly, more concerned with self, I'd say yes, get rid of it, and leave the place you do it up to you. At least the person who gets it won't need to have made, or buy, a new one.
An electric kettle is, by my best understanding, the most fuel efficient (which means cost and climate consequences) way of heating water. And until another model is made evident to me, I think this one is the best way of heating electrically, by virtue of its mechanism to only heat what you need, insulation and heat transfer design.
Q. Is it mendable?
It could be. But I don't know to what level, and in finding out we again have to weigh the monetary costs of mending it to you against the environment cost to the planet.
Q. Does the use of resources in its production outweigh the savings made in its lifetime
A. Easy. No. By a country mile.
Q. Is it made from recycled plastic?
A. No. But none exist that would give it the lifespan.
Q. How does it work?
It's an electric kettle. Electricity heats up an element and this heat transfers itself to water in the reservoir.
The additional, ecologically enhanced design features are covered in the review.
Now, aren't you... Local!!!!!?
You don't have to be local to use Junkk.com, but it certainly helps. At least for now... when you are registering. As we have had a few more questions from far and wide (apparently we're on BFBS Radio) about registration problems and UK postcodes, let us explain here:
Q: I can assure you my first attempt at a post code was valid however it seems despite you being all over the world it is still a necessary requirement for a UK residential address to register which to say the least seems a bit odd. Are your ideas exclusively for UK residents? So much for helping the planet!! I will try again bending the rules - just for you.
A: As a free site still funded (as opposed to a few govt/quango efforts that are waaaay less use and a loooooots less fun) by private individuals (hoping for ad revenue soon to see a return on our investment, though helping our kids' future is almost reward enough. Mind you, it would be nice to get some dough soon to help paying for their Xmas prezzies), and doing a bit more than most to saving the planet, I would ask you to cut us a little bit of slack. There are no rules really, just some registration stuff we have to do to protect ourselves, Junkk.com users and brands on the site from those few online little tinkers who try to abuse the opportunity. Spammers. Guys with black helos. Grannies with Mac-coffees and the like.
Our apologies that you felt misled. Understandable, but not odd as we had no clue (Happens a lot. Mostly nice to know we're being featured... eventually... but it can be a problem if things like this happen. We do wish the media would get in touch first to explain what we're trying to do) we were featured.
Sorry you felt inconvenienced, but we did think we'd adequately explained the situation on our sign-up page and the FAQs
We are currently looking into updating the postcode system on Junkk.com, as it does not now recognize even all UK postcodes, thanks to the frequent changes made by the postal service since we obtained the original collection. At the moment we can't afford the fee to upgrade, much less enabling anything international. Any suggestions?
It's not ideal, so for the time being we recommend that you register using a postcode nearest to you that works (mainly UK mainland, so you could get info nearer a relative/mate's area) or HR9 (where we are based, and has the most comprehensive demo of all the features) and we will contact you again, probably via the newsletter once the postcode facility has been updated.
Thank you for your continued patience, rule bending and good humour.
Ideas are by and for all. It's in a good cause.
Have you any questions you need to find an answer to? Then you can post them in our answers section. Alternatively, if you have an answer, or an opinion or something you want to share with our readers, then please do pop us an email here too!
All sorts of nice folk are finding all sorts of good reasons to hook up with our site. Here's this month's, chosen for no better reason than they've been nice to us. We are big on mutual back-scratching:)
So check out doy bags (please tell 'em we sent you - they may take out an ad) on. They make lovely accessories which would make great eco-gifts.
First up, sample a recent Blog Pick (but really, they're all nifty):
Respec' - Junkk Male casts his eye over the 100 top Green Heroes.
Or for less eyebrow-raising fare, how about a bit of an article Read
Car-Ling's Red/Orange/Green Labels!
We find a car dealer with an (eco) difference
Or simply some news :
See what hanging round school gates gets you
Coming soon in future editions:
Damp season; dry cellar - Free for life within a few years
They huffed, they puffed and they dried the cellar out. Junkk Male Peter and Dave of Solarventi get sweaty to dry out a cellar with solar. Read the review after a few months' use.
The Intelliplug - standby for inaction!
It's on order. And once it's here we'll be seeing how well it saves us those standby costs on electrical items.
And Finally (yes, really).
Don't forget, we'll be live and raring to meet you at 'I'm Dreaming of A Green Christmas' Read at the Science Museum next week on Wed, Dec. 6. Love to see you there!
Oct - Online soon!
Mar - Here
We're sending you this because you have either a) signed up to the Junkk.com website and/or (so please forgive any duplicates) b) we've chatted, met, exchanged cards or in some other way expressed an interest in each other's planet-preserving efforts.
We'd be sorry if you didn't want to hear from us any more, but to be removed from our mailing list simply reply with a "please remove" in the subject.
This spiffy new email system does have all the opt-in, opt-out, bounce back bells & whistles, so in theory you can just unsubscribe, but we've decided to keep a bit of belt 'n braces just in case:)
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