Saturday, 13 December 2008

A right rubbish matchmaker

Oh...I'm feeling like Cilla Black on Blind Date...

I've been matchmaking...and it's so exciting...but not how you'd think!

This particular story begins with an evening out with friends at an Indian Restaurant last night. An evening of hilarity and good humour, full of all sorts of innuendos...the fun, the laughter...well you know how it is!

One minute you're having a regular night out innocently enjoying your meal. Then before you know it time's whizzed by and the hot towels arrive, a refreshing treat at the end of the evening.

Of course I couldn't wash my hands without asking THE question about what happened to the towels once they were used.

"Madam, I'm afraid we throw them away" came the answer.


"Er yes madam."

Well I wasn't having that. Looking at the towels again, there was no logical reason why they couldn't be put to good use as reusable wipes for the kids or as cleaning cloths I popped them in my bag and brought them home to wash.

Yes I know it might appear to be eccentric behaviour, others might say my rescue mission was fuelled by wine.

But when you wake up to waste, I'm afraid you can't close your eyes to it even after a few glasses of the white stuff.

So yes, I rescued 7 hand towels. But thinking about it, they are just a drop in the ocean when you consider the numbers that must be used in a whole day, a week, or indeed a year, not by one restaurant but the thousands of establishments across the country.

But guess what...for this particular restaurant, there is indeed a happy outcome.

In idle gossip today, I mentioned the story to a friend.

We both frowned, seethed and tutted.

Then came the spark of ingenuity.

"I always need cleaning cloths" she remarked

"I can give 'em a wash and use them in my cafe".

Well, what can you say to that!

The only thing to do was to skip home, get on the blower to the restaurant manager and make a date!

And that's where this story ends...well for the moment.

I've got his mobile so she can give him a call and arrange a regular pick-up.

A neat solution to a wasteful issue.

I think my work is done!

So next time you're out for a curry and are freshening up at the end of your meal, please do be inquisitive. Who knows what could happen!



Anonymous said...

I love the way your mind works you old bat...

Now how about all those hot towels on airplanes?

Almost Mrs Average said...

LOL Susanna...I'm glad someone does. I must say I drive my husband bonkers:-D

Planes that sounds like a challenge I can't resist! Plane travellers, please divulge your stories here...I am beginning to feel like the Mary Whitehouse of rubbish LOL :-D x

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

I find it incredible that they are thrown away. I will be asking the relevant questions when next in our local Indian restaurant. (we have 3 in the town where I live)!!
Have always assumed that they were laundered and re-used.

A x

Anonymous said...

I am stunned that these are thrown away. Mrs A, I'm so glad you asked and have come up with a solution. You're my hero. :D And thank you for raising such an important and interesting point. We don't know the half of it do we?

Anonymous said...

Well done, Mrs A. that is exactly what occurs in spreading the message. It is a problem of communication, with most people oblivious to current wasteful practice.

Where we shop, eat-out, work etc, Zero Waste should be a factor. Making others feel part of the change is crucial.

Anonymous said...

Oh well done, is something I would do is take them home, always some use for them. But I must admit, it never accord to me what they do with them, always thought they reused them. Think of how many the airlines throw away daily.

Anonymous said...

Hi there! I hve to say this is one idea I'm very sceptical strawberry jam anne I would assume that indian restauranteurs do not spend innordinate amounts of cash buying stacks of towels and throwing them away...I'd put money on them being re-used and repackaged behind the scenes!! You've probably dented their profits last night! Good for you taking them home though! Hope you didn't have your good Radley bag with you tho - they wouldn't have got near mine - waste or no waste!!

Almost Mrs Average said...

Hi Anne - Please ask, because that's what I assumed too. I did a quick phone poll over the weekend to find 2 restaurants didn't use them at all, 1 used thin disposable wipes, another used the cheap one-time fabric wipes that are the subject of this post - just bunging them in the bin. The last restaurant I spoke to normally uses a handwipe laundry service, but due to a fire at their warehouse, has been sent the throw-away fabric wipes and are using those in the meantime as a temporary - and are throwing them away. It's amazing what you find out just by asking.

Hi Mrs G - it really is incredible isn't it. I wonder what else happens in the world of waste. Of course we're still in a world where it doesn't even enter the business process, but things are changing...slowly.

Hi John - isn't this the great thing about blogging. Blogs are about real lives, what people do and how they think. I hope to encourage more people to blog, so people can keep diaries of the things that they spot too.

Hi Pot...You're right airlines must get through thousands in a day. I haven't been on a plane for ages and the last time I did was an Easy Jet one where I can't even remember being given a paper napkin. I've got a great use for the ones I've brought home...some I'm using as cleaning cloths, the others I'll use as wipes when we're out in the car with the kids...just add water, wipe hands and then put in a bag...sorted!

Hi Baba - like you, I couldn't believe it, but a phone call to the manager revealed it was true. And even then, when I was typing up the post I still't be right, just can't. But as we've seen, different restaurants have different practices, some don't use any and those that do choose from thin disposables, single-use cloth ones that in some cases are thrown away and others use more expensive cloths that are laundered. Bizarre, bizarre, bizarre. I'd love to know what others do.

Alexandra Bone said...

What a brilliant tale! And quite incredible indeed that they are thrown away. I should have thought about it more really, as they come in sealed little bags. You should check out my latest recycled purchase! Its epic. Loved the last few blogs too by the way!

Rev. Peter Doodes said...


Almost Mrs Average said...

Hi Alex - hellooooo...and how are you. I'll be popping over to see you in a bit...sounds intriguing. Do ask your friends to ask around next time they're having a curry. Cheers for the thumbs up too :-D

Hi Peter - It's all reciprocated :-D :-D

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Anonymous said...

Yeah, That's Great! It would seem like the Matchmaker would be diligent in weeding out those who aren't serious about getting into relationships. I think that's the hard thing about online dating as well as the traditional way. Not too many folks would spend that kind of money and not be serious. Great post i look forward to reading more.
Online Dating

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