Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Eco opportunity #2

My Eco Self walks past the milkman every day and contemplates placing an order. He can’t be doing a lot of trade, with the corner shop and supermarket express five minutes away. My Eco Self struggles to get to work on time during the dark winter hours. I contemplate asking if being at home to receive the milk delivery is a reason enough to ask for later working hours, but wonders if the recently granted three-day week might have ruled out any further employment negotiations for the foreseeable future. MES wants the glass milk bottles to display flowers, Fair Trade only and grown in the UK if possible.
“Is your milk organic?” I ask the milkman.
“No” he replies. There’s an eco crisis. Organic milk in non-degrading plastic bottles from supermarket conglomerate, five minutes walk away, or local dairy milk in glass bottles delivered to the door from the milkman and left out for recycling? Before I question the milkman about whether his cart is run on bio-diesel, and suggest that his cart has a makeover, I ask Food Neurotic Friend what he thinks about a milkman service which delivers organic bread, yogurt and ice-cream.
“He could make it over with a 1950s retro look, all pastel colours etc.”
“How much of what you tell me do you think I’m interested in?”
“Goodbye,” I say.
I phone my mother. “Would you like a pastel coloured milk cart to deliver your milk?” “My milkman is out of service” she says.
I’m disappointed. My Eco Self holds her mother partly responsible for putting her local milkman out of business, by buying most of her milk from the supermarket, instead of predicting her consumption accurately and increasing her order when required. I consider phoning up the dairy and asking them if I can buy their unused glass bottles to sell marked up as architectural salvage. I phone FNF again.
“What about the milkman as a distribution channel for my cupcakes?”
“I think it’s about 10%.”
“10% of what?”
“10% of what you tell me that I’m interested in.”

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