Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Lotta Bottle







We've recently started getting our milk delivered by the milkman again. Milk deliveries are an ethical choice because:








  • Dairies are cooperatives of dairy farmers so the farmers get a fair price. Many supermarkets pay dairy farmers less than the cost of production and one dairy farmer goes out of business every day because of it. That's why the milk from your milkman costs more than in the supermarket. The milk in the supermarket is unsustainably cheap
  • Milk comes in glass bottles which are collected and reused up to 20 times before being recycled. In the supermarket it comes in plastic bottles which will take 50-100 years to degrade
  • Milkmen were using quiet efficient electric milk floats decades before electric cars started becoming available to the eco-conscious public
  • Milkmen are a valuable part of the community. For example, they are usually the first people to notice when someone isn't taking in their milk, and may contact the police to investigate why. It might be that the customer went away on holiday and forgot to cancel. Or it might be that they collapsed and need medical attention. Either way it's good to know that someone would notice.

Other benefits of getting milk delivered:

  • You don't have to make as many trips to the shops because you've run out of milk. When was the last time you did that and only bought a pint of milk? You always buy other stuff too, don't you? So getting milk delivered saves money
  • You can also get other things delivered as well as milk. My milkman will deliver bread, eggs, orange juice, flavoured milk, yogurt and all sorts of things
  • You don't have to ever run out of milk. Black tea - yeuch!
  • You get the cream on top of the full-fat milk to do with as you wish. I like it in my morning coffee, or mixed into my porridge, or even just in a big creamy dollop on my cornflakes. You don't get that with the homogenised stuff from the supermarket
  • At least, you get the cream if the blue tits don't get it first. Still, I like blue tits and I don't begrudge them a few beakfuls of cream

If you'd like to try a milk delivery (you can always cancel it again if it doesn't suit you), you can find a milkman by typing your postcode into the findmeamilkman.net website.

12 comments:

Kirsty said...

thanks for the link - shall check it out. We used to get ours delivered then moved and I always find it a bit hard to work out if there's anything available.

Vashti said...

I wanted to have my milk delivered. Unfortunately I live in the only part of the city that none of the dairies will deliver to. :( So I get my milk from the Co-op, which gets it from its dairy a mile away from my house. I'd still prefer to use a milkman though.

dibnah said...

I've been getting milk from the milkman, again for the past year. Sadly he does not come every day like when I was a kid as not many in our area use the milkman.

Nerd in the Country said...

We got milk from a milkman when I was a kid (back in the '60s). I'm not sure why or when we stopped.

I think that the service is still available in some cities, but I really doubt if it's available out here in the boonies (rural central Michigan, USA).

There are plenty of dairy farms around here, but it's illegal to sell raw milk, so we have to get it at the store or [ahem] illegally purchase it from a friend. It makes me feel like a rum runner.

Anyhow, our goat is due to kid in about a month, so we'll soon have all the raw milk we can handle.

Now, we have tof find out how to make nice, gooey, stringy cheese from the milk.


* Note: "Boonies" is US slang for 'out in the rural areas where nothing is happening.'

Jill said...

I've had the milk delivered by the milkman for the past 15 years, although sadly they only deliver 3 days a week because of a lack of customers. I think if any more people drop out on my street then there may not be a delivery at all.

lilymarlene said...

We use the local mikman too.....but he only comes 4 times a week. And in this road there are only a few who use him....sad!

Stonehead said...

No milkman out here in the boonies. There are dairy farms within five to 10 miles, but they are all locked in to supply the supermarket trade.

And while it's only two miles to the shop (a nice walk or cycle about 50% of the time), they only have plastic bottles and cartons.

Maybe I'll have to get a cow and add to my workload! A dun Dexter would be lovely.

Tractorboy said...

Hi. I've just set up a blog to try to get tips and opinions about trying to live more ethically and sustainably. My first post was on milk (http://www.greenjellybean.org.uk/2007/05/organic-milk-at-any-price.html) We have milk delivered by the Co-op and have done for a few years. Our dilema is that we have a toddler and would like to buy organic milk for the health benefits. Co-op's supplier uses tetra paks for its organic milk. In Norfolk, several of the dumps have started to provide collection bins to recycle tetra paks but I'm not sure of the overall carbon emissions/energy costsinvolved? Apparently the waste is transported to a mill in Fife and then get processed in Norway I think. Is it best to go for health or stick with glass bottles of ordinary milk?

Melanie Rimmer said...

Hi Tractorboy. Full marks for trying to think it all through. It's a sadly familiar story - the organic option isn't recyclable, the recyclable option isn't fair trade, the fair trade option isn't local, so what should you do for the best?

In some ways I think we all need to grow up a bit. We've been seduced by the dumbing-down and soundbites and all the rest of it into thinking there should be one simple answer that can be summed up in a few words. We want to buy a Green Lifestyle Option as one Complete Integrated Package. But life isn't like that. As "greenies" we should lead the way in stepping up and taking responsibility for the tough choices.

I hope you don't think I'm getting at you personally. I don't mean it that way, I'm just as guilty of lazy thinking in this area as anyone else. As green consumers I think we are more conscious and thoughtful than most "herd mentality" consumers. But I still think we have a way to go to assume full responsibility for our own actions.

So I'm not going to give you "the answer". There is no "answer". There are just choices. Decide what's most important to you and then make your own choice based on your own clearly thought-out set of personal priorities. And don't forget to lobby your chosen supplier to do all the other things, e.g. write to Co-Op and suggest they put their organic milk in recyclable bottles, or write to the dairy that delivers bottles of milk and suggest they add an organic option.

Or find an alternative way. Get your own cow or goat and provide your own milk. Or find a local organic dairy farmer who will sell you milk in your own reusable containers (although there could be some crazy law against this). Or go vegan. Consider different possibilities.

Nice blog, by the way.

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