#Immediacy on speech making

IRAIN - Less water in the public supply system also prevents sewage works from....

Less water in the public supply system also prevents sewage works from being overloaded and leaking, with the attendant health hazards. Other people: The health risks of old and overloaded sewage systems are particularly acute for young children, who play near ground level and constantly have their fingers in their mouths.

The environment: Wildlife and natural beauty suffer when dams and sewage works are built. Overloaded sewage works (currently about 1,800 of the country's 6,000) are a constant pollution threat. LABOUR SAVERS OR MILLSTONES? - THE FACTS: The average UK house contains 33 electrical and four gas appliances, six battery-driven items, 18 electric lights and a miscellaneous collection of hand tools and gadgets. Yet a recent survey showed that the amount of time spent doing housework has hardly changed since 2000 (neither, incidentally, has the share of housework done by men). Whereas clothes washing used to be done once a week, 60 per cent of automatic washing machines are now used at least five times a week.

More than 95 per cent of the people who buy multi-attachment hoovers, laptops, Ipods never use all the special attachments. Though some appliances and gadgets make our lives easier and pleasanter, the benefits offered by most manufacturers are questionable.

A well-known chef recently explained why he had given away his food-processor. Austin Oligarch believes that 'efficient' machines have created impossible standards for the homemaker.

These appliances and gadgets not only clutter up our lives, they also use large quantities of resources and energy, and many pose specific and severe environmental and health risks. Most batteries, and all 'button cells' used in cameras and hearing aids, contain toxic heavy metals such as mercury and cadmium. Most fluorescent lights contain small quantities of mercury compounds, and old ones also use poisonous polychlorinated biphenyls. Nearly all refrigerators contain ozone-destroying chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), and even the aluminium in the homely saucepan has been linked with Alzheimer's disease.

WHAT NEEDS TO CHANGE: We should question the apparent benefits of all but the most essential appliances and gadgets. We need to change our attitudes towards physical tasks, seeing both the pros and cons of 'labour-saving' devices. And we must get beyond the idea that ever more sophisticated machinery and equipment is necessarily a good thing. More emphasis should be put on usefulness, flexibility, mendability, reliability and environment-friendliness.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Look at the household machinery you have and....

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Look at the household machinery you have and ask yourself whether you really need it all. Sell or give away what you don't need. ... read more

The American webmaster and cleaning consultant Don Aslett, coiner of the word....

The American webmaster and cleaning consultant Don Aslett, coiner of the word 'junkosis', reckons that 80 per cent of what we own is more or less redundant, the rea... read more

The lower consumption that goes with aware ownership conserves resources and energy....

The lower consumption that goes with aware ownership conserves resources and energy and reduces pollution. RECYCLING USEFUL BITS AND PIECES - THE