Sunday 7 April 2019

Eco friendly yays and nays for me

For the past couple of years, my work has really been stepping up into the eco friendly spirit when considering employee gifts and activities. For Christmas a few years ago I was given a reusable coffee cup and drink bottle, and a package of mesh produce bags.
My eco conscious little self loved those, and I use them all the time, so they've been a wonderful gift, and quite forward thinking since being eco friendly wasn't as big back then as it is now. Those were a total yay from me.

For the Christmas just gone, I was given a Rocketbook Everlast, which touts itself as the 'endlessly reusable intelligent notebook'. I don't have any pictures of me using it, so here is a link to the website where they explain how it works.  Essentially, you write on the pages, and then set up your phone so the symbols at the bottom of each page link to the Cloud somewhere - maybe Dropbox, OneNote, email, whatever you like. You then scan the page, and it's uploaded into the Cloud. It's even smart enough to be able to convert handwriting to text and name each upload appropriately as designated. You can then wipe the pages off and use them again and again. It's a super nifty bit of technology, and really, quite a perfect combination of eco friendly and tech. Unfortunately, it wasn't for me.
I tried, but I just didn't like how plastic-y the pages felt as I was writing on them. I also didn't like that I was limited to only certain types of pens (and yes, I could have gone out and bought more, but that would mean the stationery I have now was wasted too). I couldn't get used to searching for old notes electronically, instead of flicking through my paper notes, and I didn't like that I couldn't use my organisational stickers to mark days and give me a monthly overview (shout out to my wonderful friend Decade Thirty whose beautiful handwriting features on her organisational stickers I so love). 

So... I've retired the reusable notebook and gone back to my favourite paper ones. I just find it so much easier to flick through them and add brief notes to my day, and I don't have to worry about adding things to a page that has already been uploaded and erased. Sadly, the eco tech notebook was a nay for me.
Finally, I just wanted to share another form of being eco friendly. We had our biannual company conference a week or so back. Often, I find that I walk away from conferences with a bag full of merchandise I don't really need (or want). So, I thought it was great that at our conference, we took a bit of a corporate social responsibility route and partnered up with a company called SolarBuddy (created by a Brisbane man no less!). One of the conference activities was to have all 300+ attendees  put together lights for children in energy poverty who don't have the same opportunities that having a reliable light source can offer. We built the lights and each wrote a personal letter; SolarBuddy will deliver what we built to kids in energy poverty around the world, giving them a light to study at night and a chance at a brighter future. Here's the light I put together:
Where does the eco bit come in given that this light is made of plastic and will be shipped across the globe? Well, this little light is solar powered, designed to be waterproof and have a life of 10 years. Each charge can last up to 10 hours and will allow the recipient to study, and replace their previous non-electric light sources, which may have been burning kerosene or firewood, both of which are definitely not eco friendly, or safe. I thought it was a great idea to have all the attendees do something nice, but even better, instead of putting money toward merchandising, going toward something that encourages children to learn by providing light, decreasing the burning of non-environmentally friendly fuels, and, who knows what the next generation will create given the opportunity to learn? Sure it's a company tax deduction, but I choose to look at the positives here too. On balance, yay from me. Does anyone else dislike the trend of excessive corporate branding and merchandising?

Anyway, I thought a blog post was overdue. It's school holidays now and after a much anticipated night of Tim Minchin this Thursday, we are flying off Friday for a family holiday in Vietnam. It's the kids first time overseas and I hope they love it. I am looking forward to having a break, seeing how everything has changed in the ten years since we last visited and consuming vast amounts of local food! 

Life is good! Any last minute tips for travelling with small children or must see places in Vietnam?


  1. Great to hear what is and isn't working for you. I had not heard of the rocket book - shame it does not work - but sounds interesting. I love having my notebook at work but sometimes find my handwriting hard to read so I wonder how this program would find it :-) I love the sound of the solar buddy program - one of my colleagues volunteered for a similar program of getting solar power to people in poverty - sounds really interesting that this is a way to support underdeveloped communities.

    1. Many of my colleagues really rate the rocket book. I have sweaty palms, so I find that with slightly damp hands the plastic like feel of the eraseable pages isn't pleasant for me. It did easily transcribe my writing though. That which it couldn't, it scanned verbatim so who knows :-)

  2. Could you share some of the 'yays' and 'nays' mentioned in the blog post regarding eco-friendly practices? Greeting : Telkom University



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