Sunday, May 3, 2009

Hot Air Oscars nomination: biodegradable tat from 'I love planet'

I went to Edinburgh botanic garden today. The visitors' shops of such places are often nesting places for the monsters that spawn green tat.
Here I found the "biodegradable ballpoint pen". Pick it up and look at it: apart from the reassuring "planet loving" messages screaming out from its barrel, it looks and feels like a completely normal pen. And I'd be happy to bet that all its biodegradable parts are made from fossil fuels.
Is it really 'loving the planet' if you buy this fossil-fuel-plastic pen and chuck it away, rather than buying a (ten times cheaper) normal fossil-fuel-plastic pen and chuck it away?
I nominate this pen for the Hot Air Oscars consumer feel-good tat award.


Unknown said...

I like the 'Hot Air Oscars' idea, it could be great for public awareness.

I really think you should consider changing the name though, you could cause yourself trouble.

Having a competition to come up with a witty name could help awareness even more.

Unknown said...

Hello, my name is Patty. I have a new blog on power inverters. I think it would be interesting to your readers. Would you like to exchange links? I think that it would help us both get more traffic to our blogs.

My blog is

Let me know what you think.

Annz said...

Would the most planet-loving ballpoint perhaps be the one with replaceable refill?

PS On the 1/10 of the cost issue however, I do seem to remember the entrance charges of the Edinburgh Botanic Gardens entrance charge as considerably less than 1/10that of the Cambridge Botanic Gardens...

Joe said...

How do you know it is fossil fuel plastic? Is it not possible it is made from corn starch?

David MacKay FRS said...

I don't know, but I bet that they would have made a big fuss on the advertising if the pen were made from plastics from a bio source. So I am happy to bet a can full of greenwash-remover that it was not.

Unknown said...

how about these guys for hot air

Unknown said...

I recently encountered the word plasti-crap on another envrionmental blog which I think is wonderfully evocative of this kind of nonsense to the less couth cohort of your readers.