These Asics trainers standing on the platform in Zurich have a story behind them. For seven years, since a trip to Paris, they’ve been worn by a pretty, dance-loving Swiss girl called Stephanie.
Walking along a Parisian street with her ex-boyfriend, she heard a fully fledged lovers’ argument from a window high up above. The trainers flew out of the window and landed on the street. She took them.
Now it is seven years later. Even if they’re kind of stolen, they’re still comfortable, they still work, they’re still trainers. Perhaps otherwise they would have already reached the dump many years ago. Heartening to see a reason to wear something that is not simply about appearance or fashion.
I suggested, when she finally decides to part with them, that she go back to Paris, find the street, the window and the owner and return them. Would be interesting to close the loop.
The picture at the top of the page is a cereal packet, shipped to Kathmandu from somewhere in India. Open the box and the first thing you find is 1/3 air. This means that for every 3 chocolatey truck-loads, a fourth journey could have been made unnecessary. It is, in theory, a pretty huge saving.
What’s at stake is the box real-estate, the in-store advertising to the thirty-something kiddies walking buy. Its hidden waste, not like a dripping tap, a light left on or the heating on with the windows open.
For me, reading the press frequently, it seems like we (who are we) have come a long way in terms of awareness, things are changing but dreadfully slowly. Habits change particularly slowly, few want to downgrade their choices or put effort into changing behaviour: doing the right thing is often trumped by the easy thing.
Having said that, there are opportunities to improve scattered around all over the place. You just have to look carefully to see them, and then do something about them.
If you want to do something now, you could email Kellogg in India and ask them briefly why they are transporting so much air? Let me know if you get a reply.