#Immediacy on speech making

IRAIN - We should demand products which are well made and reliable, since although....

We should demand products which are well made and reliable, since although the situation is improving, built-in obsolescence is still the rule rather than the exception. We ought to pass on the things we don't need, and be willing to repair broken items and buy second-hand whenever possible. WHAT YOU CAN DO: When you buy things which you hope will last a long time (from toys and tools to furniture and machinery) choose items which are well made and can be repaired - preferably by you. Make things last; don't buy new just for the sake of it.

Have things repaired, even if it means taking a little trouble to find somebody to mend them for you. Shop windows, adverts in local papers and friends' recommendations can be helpful. If you ask them, the manufacturers may be willing to send you a service manual.

Pass on the things you don't need any more to a jumble sale or recycling workshop. The Bristol-based organisation Resource will be able to tell you where your nearest one is. Try buying things second-hand from sale-rooms and auctions; you might be surprised at the bargains available. Tools for Self-Reliance is a nationwide network of people who refurbish hand tools and sewing machines for use in Third World countries.

See what you have in your shed or cupboards which might be of use to them, and let them know. RECYCLING USEFUL BITS AND PIECES WHO BENEFITS? You: Recycling things keeps your house free from unwanted clutter, and gives it an individuality which is hard to achieve if everything in it is new. Long-lasting and reliable products save you a lot of bother and frustration, and also save you money in the long run.

Other people There is a great deal of potential employment in the repair and refurbishing fields. Passing on unwanted items makes it easier for other people to find what they need cheaply.

The environment: The more things that are recycled, the less new raw materials and energy have to be used. In addition, reducing the amount of rubbish we throw away lessens waste and pollution problems at disposal sites. SQUEAKY CLEAN OR ECOCLEAN? - THE FACTS: Where cleaning products are concerned the market is hogged by a couple of companies: to all intents and purposes the detergent business is Unilever and Procter and Gamble.

Persil, Surf, Drive, Lux, Comfort, Squeezy, Vim, Sunlight, Lifebuoy, Shield and Domestos....

Persil, Surf, Drive, Lux, Comfort, Squeezy, Vim, Sunlight, Lifebuoy, Shield and Domestos are among the two dozen household brands made by the giant Unilever group (who also own B... read more

Avoid detergents as much as you can. A weak vinegar solution makes....

Avoid detergents as much as you can. A weak vinegar solution makes a good window and ceramic cleaner, and ordinary hot water will deal... read more

Almost any animals that share our homes tend to be seen as....

Almost any animals that share our homes tend to be seen as pests, to be attacked by any means possible, which these days tends to be poison rather than traps. Many of the... read more