Bells and Rings

The Christmas and New Year period bring many reminders of waste and consumption, so it’s a particularly productive time of year for Waste Stories. For example, I now have enough pictures of Christmas trees abandoned on kerbs and paths to constitute a series (rather like our series of pictures of inappropriately disposed of dog-poo bags). Read More…

The lost – and last – blueberry crop

Peter Thompson is a soft fruit farmer in Blairgowrie.  Approximately 80% of his business is in blueberry production, with the remaining 20% in cherries.  This year Peter did not harvest his blueberry crop.  Spiraling costs and cheaper imports from Peru and South Africa meant that picking the crop would cost Peter far more money than Read More…

Small hands, close to the ground

The story below reflects the way in which two projects I’m currently working on – Waste Stories and a project called Water and Fire – have begun to combine in my mind. Water and Fire is a collaboration between the Universities of Stirling and Glasgow in the UK with the Universities of Cape Town and Read More…

“Vorsprung durch Technik”

I found the detonator at the side of the road to Sandhead, on the Rhinns of Galloway. It had been run over, possibly by one of the big, heavy trucks transporting grass to the farms for silage, but its wires were still attached and some of the inner wadding material was poking out of one Read More…

Sic transit gloria

  I know I will get accused of being a spoilsport, but: can we please ban foiletti – and their cousins, metallic party balloons? Governments in the UK have recently moved to ban “single use” plastics. The Scottish Government has positionined itself as leading the way in this respect. As part of the fanfare surrounding Read More…

Spilt milk

There is no point crying over spilt milk.  A saying, that until last week I would have wholeheartedly agreed, with only one exception: breastmilk.  In my experience there are often several very good reasons to cry if you spill breastmilk. The first being the misery of having spent an hour pumping to get a measly Read More…

Wash or waste? A microplastics dilemma

  Hannah’s recent post about stained clothes is on my mind. It’s Saturday morning and George is out at work, cleaning the pub.  I’m wondering what kind of cleaning cloths he’ll bring home today. I know it doesn’t sound like something worth wondering about, but it has become a source of uncertainty for me, and Read More…