Wednesday, November 26

Shonky winners

Consumer lobby group Choice has unveiled its annual Shonky Awards for what it terms dodgy and deceitful goods and services. 3 personal standouts for the Shonky awards this year ...

The Australian Egg Corporation won its Shonky for its definition of free-range eggs.

"We've got some fantastic egg cartons here with happy looking chooks, it looks like they've got designer-built coops to live in," Mr Zinn said. "The fact of the matter is according to the Egg Corporation's standard for free-range, they're packed in at 14 to the square metre. Well battery hens are 18 to the square metre so there really isn't much difference.
"We believe there needs to be a much clearer, stricter definition of free-range and really people are buying free-range eggs under the misapprehension that the chooks live in anything like the conditions shown on the cartons."
Planet hurricane Green cleaner got shonkied for being a 'storm in a tea cup' and failing dismally at living up to its own hype.
Planet Hurricane Green Cleaner, it makes so many green claims about being biodegradable and recyclable and all the rest of it, those really don't add up, so we love people who blow their trumpets loud and clear in a way that is really very hollow." He says the cleaner is an example of a relatively new trend known as 'greenwashing'. It's really important that those companies that make genuine environmental advances are rewarded in the market and those who are really just pulling a fast one are really held up to shame and ridicule," he said.

And my favourite, the Airobe luxury body dryer.
Imagine a device that lets you dry yourself “in minutes” after a shower. But wait – you’re saying you already have one? No, we don’t mean a towel. We’re talking about the Airobe Luxury Body Dryer – a 9kW heater and fan installed in the bathroom ceiling (think really big hair dryer) that creates an “envelope of rapidly moving warm air” in which you can immerse your wet body. And don’t forget to take the remote control with you, so you can switch between full and half-blast.

This is no April Fool’s Day gag; it’s real, and it can be yours for $995, plus about $350 installation. But it gets better; according to the marketing material the Airobe is in fact a money-saving green product, because you won’t have to wash any more towels. The creative calculations used to prove this assume two washes of towels only per week (none if you have an Airobe), the use of a tumble dryer and include fixed water supply fees.

Even using those figures, the break-even time for an Airobe is about 10 years. Without deducting the water supply fee (after all, you may still want to use water for other purposes), it will take 20 years. And if you use a clothesline instead of a dryer, the Airobe uses a lot more energy than you do washing towels – part of which is about 10W of standby energy it draws all day, every day.

And the moral of the story is...educate yourself, as for all things in life! Be a disbeliever first and use your brain!. Know the definitions, know the standards ( or lack thereof) and read the labels.

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