The occasional ramblings of a freelance lexicographer

Friday, February 12, 2010

A guilty pleasure

I've always been interested in design and presentation. One of my favourite subjects at school was graphic design and had I not gone down the language route, it might have been my alternative career. But it's a love that frequently conflicts with my strongly-held beliefs around waste, packaging and consumerism generally. As much as I'll argue passionately against rampant consumerism, over-consumption and wasteful packaging - I'm also a complete sucker for a bit of well-designed presentation. I can get quite stupidly excited about piles of coloured t-shirts in Gap, I hold my hands up to buying stuff I know I don't need from some of my favourite Scandinavian design brands (Ordning & Reda, Bookbinders, Marimekko, Iittala) and I can't walk past a Muji without buying something!

Today I got a bit of guilty pleasure from a rather unexpected source. I get an organic vegbox delivered once a fortnight. Usually the (recycled and reusable) box is full of mostly loose vegetables, still covered in mud - which in itself looks great. Today though, I had a "choose your own contents" box which not only didn't contain any broccoli or carrots (my recent pet hates!) but also had some rather lovely extra packaging. (For those not au fait with veg boxes, you usually get a selection of veg that's in season and no choice in the matter, but my supplier, Riverford, also give the option of making up your own box if you spend over a certain amount). I'm guessing that because it was put together in a slightly different way, almost all the individual vegetables came in their own beautifully-illustrated, brown paper bags (recycled I'm sure!).

At first, I felt torn between enjoying the presentation but feeling slightly let down by the extra packaging. Thankfully though, the brown bags make excellent liners for my organic waste box - much better than pages from the Guardian that don't really fit properly, get folded up and soggy! Little pleasures ...

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