Bananas – we love ’em but waste a lot

P1030766Bananas are the UK’s most popular health snack with 80% saying they like them,

We each eat three a week on average or 12kg a year and 20% of us eat one every day.

However we also throw away 160 million of them according to a survey by Sainsbury’s – enough to stretch from the UK to New Zealand.

One in three of us throw a banana away if it has the slightest blemish or black mark.

Someone wrote to the Times bout this saying that they got bruised because supermarkets store them the wrong way. They put them on the shelves “canoe” style rather than like an arch or hanging them which makes them bruise more easily.

Food waste is worse than packaging waste as it produces methane, which is more likely to cause global warning than carbon dioxide.

In total there may be £1 billion of food thrown away each year.

Sainsbury’s is trying out a series of initiatives to reduce food waste including making banana bread in its in-house bakeries using fruit at or past its sell-by date.

And it’s investing £1 million in its Swadlincote store to make it the official test-bed of ideas to cut waste.

Another supermarket, Tesco, which is the only one to publish annual figures on food waste, said its food waste had actually increased last year to the equivalent of one in a hundred food products being wasted.

Several stores have initiatives to reduce food waste including selling mis-shapen vegetables and donating to food banks.


Tesco selling music for good causes

Browsing through the CDs in my local Tesco store I noticed one priced at £1. Which seemed too good a bargain to miss.

It turned out to be a single CD released by Tesco to raise money for its two main charities: The British Heart Foundation, and Diabetes UK.

Both those mean something to me so it had to go in my basket.

The CD is by a family called the Neales who appeared on a TV talent show, obviously a father and his sons.


Is it any good? Well it’s not my cup of tea but that’s because I thought it might be a cover of the fabulous Four Tops song.

But judge for yourself -after you’ve put for your hand in your pocket for a measly £1. It’s for good causes! 


Tesco donating waste food to charities

SCAN0207I’ve posted before about food waste and the efforts made by some supermarkets to do something about it from selling wonky vegetables to donating to food banks.

Here’s Tesco‘s commitment (spotted in my local branch in Burnley, Lancashire) to a worthwhile cause in collaboration with Irish social enterprise FareshareFoodCloud.

Tesco Superheroes raising money for good causes

I’ve criticised Tesco often enough about their business practices and even wondered about their CEO’s comments that selling “wonky vegetables” (as do other supermarkets) isn’t about appealing to people. But fair enough and they are giving any leftover food to a charity.

At my local branch in Burnley they raised £30,000 for charities last year and here they are with Community Champion Billie getting dressed up again (she loves her wigs) with some colleagues raising money for Diabetes UK on this occasion (although they also support the British Hearty Foundation.)


Tesco feeling guilty maybe? And Sainsbury’s being clever

Last week it was reported in the press that Tesco was not donating ALL of the 5p it charges for carrier bags to charity.

They were keeping some of it back to cover expenses- which they are entitled to do for training staff and changing the till system but not the actual cost of the bags. However other supermarkets such as Waitrose, Morrisons, Asda, were passing on all of the 5p (less VAT) to charities.

Obviously not a good PR move for Tesco. So this weekend my local Tesco started giving out tokens at the checkouts which customers can use to vote for the community charity they want the store to support. Asda has been doing this for years by the way.

And today it was reported that Sainsbury’s are getting round the charity donation by replacing their usual thin bags with re-usable bags and using some of the 5p to cover their cost (which is allowed as the law only applies to single use bags).


Burnley, Macmillan Nurses and “Two Shades of Grey”………………..

Kindadukish's Blog - I am not a number, I am a free man (The Prisoner)

So it was off to deepest, darkest Lancashire this morning heading for the illustrious (?) town of Burnley (or West Islamabad as it is known to the locals) for a performance by my friend and colleague who forms one half of the group “Two Shades of Grey.” (

The gig was being held at the “notorious” venue of Costa Coffee within the confines of the giant Tesco store in the town centre and was in aid of the Macmillan Cancer Support Charity (something I know is very dear to my friend).

The concert was in full flow when I arrived to an audience made up of both old and young, many of whom appeared to be regulars, as they all seemed to know each other.

During the three sessions they did a variety of numbers by such artists as Bobby Vee, Ray Charles, Joan Baez, The Drifters and a host…

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Camila Batmanghelidjh……………and the “gravy train”

Kindadukish's Blog - I am not a number, I am a free man (The Prisoner)

There is a growing furore and incredulity at the behaviour of Camila Batmanghelidjh over the closure of Kids Company, which she presided over as Chief Executive until being asked to “step down” recently.

She has conducted interviews with virtually every radio and TV station in the last 48 hours and the simple message she has put out is that the closure of Kids Company is nothing to do with her, she is not to blame and has taken aim at anything and anyone to try and shift the attention from herself.

Camila Batmanghelidjh in her Camila Batmanghelidjh in her “office” in South East London.

Apparently, many of the staff had no idea of the perilous financial position the company was in, and many only heard about the proposed closure of the company on the radio and TV. As one member of staff was quoted as saying “if we knew this was coming we could…

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Women wearing new clothes only once

CNV00018Modern women are adopting a “wear it once” approach to their wardrobes.

A survey found that the majority of garments were worn just 7 times and a third of the 2,000 women surveyed thought heir clothes were old when they’d worn them fewer than 3 times!

This will come as a shock to men some of whom are still wearing clothes from their college days.

Women spend an average of £64 a month on clothes and made purchases avery 89 days on average.

Almost half of the women said they didn’t wear new clothes more often because their weight had changed and a quarter because they had bought the clothes on a whim.

14% blamed Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for allowing their pictures to be tagged and being seen in the same clothes twice was a no-no.

Dresses are the garments most likely to only have one outing, especially if bought for a wedding or a holiday.

The research was carried out for the charity Barnado’s whose spokesperson said “We’re all guilty of wearing an outfit a few times and then forgetting about it but we were surprised to find the average woman’s wardrobe had at least ten items that will never be worn again.

That’s why we’ve launched the #MyBarbadosDonation campaign to encourage women across the UK to donate those unworn items to our stores which we hope will generate over £100,000 of clothing donations.

So this Saturday instead of shopping for another outfit we’re asking people to go through their wardrobe and put those items they no longer wear to good use by donating them to Barnardo’s

And believe me slimming down your wardrobe is good for you!

The most generous towns in the UK

donation_can_hands_1600_wht_5539Bedford has been named as the most generous place in the UK by the donation site JustGiving.

52% of its total population were registered as donors on the JustLiving website i.e. every other person living there

The next most generous place was Cambridge with 38% of the population donating to charities.


Top 10 places for charity donors

  1. Bedford
  2. Cambridge
  3. Reading
  4. Bristol
  5. Brentwood
  6. Cheltenham
  7. Norwich
  8. Woking
  9. Aberdeen
  10. High Wycombe

The average amount pledged per person was highest in Sevenoaks with £42, followed by Harpenden and London (both over £40)

FYI JustGiving compiled its list based on the number of donors and the amount donated in relation to the population and calculated the rankings by adjusting for population size.

When it comes to old-fashioned ways of giving – putting money in church collection plates – it’s the poorer parishioners who contribute more.

Anglicans earning less than £10,000 a year give more than twice as much as those earning £40,000 or more. A survey of church-goers found that those earning between £5-10,000 gave an average of almost £7 a week 0r 4.3% of their income. Professionals on salaries on £40-60,000 gave more – about £16.00 a week – which was less in proportion to their income, about 2%.

The church’s national stewardship officer thought that people who had endured hardship had learnt to be more generous.

Parishioners are now being encouraged to donate a fixed proportion of their income to the church and church charities reminiscent of the old the system when people gave 1/10 of their income.

Looking at the fancy palaces and lifestyles of the top clergy I would have thought they could have given a lot more or taken a lot less and been more generous to the working poor.

All you need is love

to increase charitable donations.

In a fascinating experiment French researchers found that by adding the phrase “donating= loving” to collection boxes contributions increased and they received at least two-thirds more than similar boxes which had either “donating=helping” or no additional text.

The researchers, at the Universite de Bretagne-Sud, think that the word “loving” primes people to behave more generously by activating ideas about compassion and support which in turn leads to behaviour consistent with that.

Another experiment involving asking men for directions to St Valentine’s Street made them subsequently more likely to help a women who had lost her phone compared to men who were asked the way to St Martin’s Street.

Motivation and attitudes can be influenced by words and objects without our realising it. For example, one experiment about age-related words resulted in people leaving the experiment walking more slowly.

Modern svengali Derren Brown has used this idea in some of his famous TV programmes. Posters of eyes have led to more people using honesty boxes in a university canteen, and cardboard cut-out policemen in shops are presumably intended to have the same effect.

The French researchers also thought that perhaps the words “donating=helping” sounded too much like an instruction in French but could also have had less influence because it was redundant. They also don’t know whether more people donated or the same number just gave more.

Nevertheless I’m sure it’s another idea that charities will pick up on to increase their income.

Original Source: The Psychologist Vol 25 No 2 February 2012