Kapiti Observer : January 5th 2012
4 THURSDAY, JANUARY 5, 2012 NEWS FEATURE Resources: www.thenappynetwork.org.nz for informa on about using and making cloth nappies www.rubbishfree.co.nz for waste reduc on ideas and useful items. Direct your waste minimiza on ques ons to simon.calcinai@kapi coast.govt.nz. www.kapi coast.govt.nz/greenest-street has a resources directory and the latest on the compe on. 4229958AB The rubbish that resists recycling Last tme we looked at the organic waste generated by the Greenest Street partcipants. The sample households are recycling or compostng 75% of their waste. For these guys the areas to address are disposable nappies, averaging (by weight) 16.5% of waste to landfll, and non-recyclable packaging at 5%. The reusable versus disposable nappy debate is ongoing. While its agreed cloth is cheaper, its also argued that laundering puts them on par environmentally with disposables. That, however, depends on how you launder them. A UK study found For more informa on, contact the Sustainable Communi es Coordinator on 04 296 4700 or visit the council website cloth has a smaller impact if you wash fuller loads, in cold water, line-dry and use them for subsequent children. Cloth nappies have come a long way in the past few years and there are many diﬀerent models available (including second-hand). Porirua City Council has a nappy trial hire service which is a great way to try out various styles. Porirua residents have priority and you would need to pick them up. Email Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org If cloth just isnt your thing, try to fnd an eco-friendly brand as its their manufacture that has the biggest environmental impact! And/or you could get innovatve like Carolyn, a Grange Park Ave Greenest Street partcipant and experiment with compostng wet, unsoiled nappies. Envirocomp have proven it can be done on a commercial scale, establishing New Zealands frst nappy-compostng scheme. Theyre aiming to open their second plant in the Hut Valley in early 2012. So what about packaging? Kapit recycles all clean plastc packaging numbered 1 to 7, and plastc bread and shopping bags (but not polystyrene, or other plastc bags/wrap). Recycling uses energy however, so www.unpackit.org.nz has some other suggestons for making good packaging choices: Dont use packaging if its not needed. Choose the least amount of packaging to do the job. Look for innovatve packaging which can be reused and recycled. Refll - reuse the same container. Lets not forget getng proactve and asking for change: Diane from Alexander Rd is talking with local supermarkets about replacing Styrofoam meat trays with eco-friendly alternatves. Comics? Not kids' stuff! From alleged cause of juvenile delinquency to applauded literacy tool, to source material for every second Hollywood movie, comic books have enjoyed a considerable change in reputation during the past 50 years. But are there any funny pages still aimed at, you know, kids? MATTHEW DALLAS goes shopping. WIN COMICS Courtesy of Graphic, the Kapiti Observer and Horowhenua Mail has two comic book prize packs to give away. To enter, email email@example.com with Comics Giveaway in the subject line, or write on the back of an envelope and post to P O Box 110, Paraparaumu. Include full name and contact details. All ages: Graphic comic book shop manager Shane Roberts by their children's section. He would like to see publishers reprinting more classic titles for kids. For a child growing up in the 1980s, comic books were as an essential part of the weekly diet as BMXs, Weird Wheels bubblegum cards and Saturday morning cartoons. Every book shop or dairy had a well-thumbed rack of American superhero comics and tabloid-size English titles. These days comic books are largely a niche market hobby, available from a few speciality shops, and the tone of the stories has grown up alongside the readers -- who are now mainly in their 30s and 40s. As I anticipate the watershed parenting moment when I can kick-start my son's comic collec- tion I would like to think we will do better than a Ben 10 book that's more about selling the next wave of toys than telling fun tales. The bastion for comic books in the Wellington region is Graphic in Cuba St. Displays of comic books and graphic novels run the length of the store and reflect the enduring dominance the superhero genre has had on the medium since the 1960s. Almost all carry reader rec- ommendations of teen-plus'', and a few warn of explicit content. So what about the kids who came running in after devouring the Captain America or Thor movies? Graphic never saw them, manager Shane Roberts says. While the more gritty, adult- orientated comic book movies -- Watchmen, Sin City and 300 -- brought in new customers, he says the cinematic incarnations of Spider-Man, Iron Man and Bat- man, only stimulated greater interest in already keen readers -- the adult fanboys''. We don't see the young kids, the spin-off from the films for them are video games and TV cartoons. Because libra- ries and school libraries now have more comic stuff [collected series known as trade paperbacks''], we're not the one- stop-shop -- it's hard to gauge whether kids are reading comics and getting them elsewhere, or not reading comics.'' If the latter is the case, the publishers have only themselves to blame. They pitch few monthly series at younger readers and their penchant for event'' story arcs, that run for months and cross over several titles, can be impenetrable for new eyes. Today Marvel offers kids Marvel Adventures, which packages superheroes in the same tone and art style as the tele- vision cartoons, likewise with DC's Batman: The Brave and The Bold. Both can be found in Graphic's small children's sec- tion, which also features spinoffs from the Pixar movies Cars and The Incredibles, and Archie, Casper and Hot Stuff. There are some handsomely presented Classics Illustrated titles that retell such classics as Tom Sawyer, The Scarlet Letter and even Hamlet. We got them in thinking they looked really good. They're not selling,'' Mr Roberts says. It's hard to get kids to read Shakespeare -- even when it's a comic book.'' Serialised, monthly titles for younger readers are thin on the ground. There are teen-plus'' books by Marvel and DC that woud be suit- able for 8 or 9-year-olds, but it's a case of parents testing the water. Mr Roberts refuses sale of adult- themed comics to children. And the industry is now acutely aware it needs new readers. Mar- vel is making more effort to promote jump in'' issues -- often the start of a new story arc -- while DC has launched The New 52. All of its monthly superhero titles were cancelled, and relaunched in September with 52 new series, wiping the slate clean on up to 80 years of continuity. Graphic received between 180 to 200 new orders and a lot since then''. HOT PICKS Five to 10-year-olds: Owly -- Sweet, wordless stories about a little owl and his friends by Andy Runton. A great teaching tool, it stimulates reluc- tant writers by having them pro- vide the text to accompany the panels or use the panels to work on sequencing with pre-readers. Marvel Adventures digests -- these small collections are kid- friendly in terms of wear and tear, and often have a mix of modern tales and classics from yesteryear. Geronimo Stilton -- Graphic novel adaptations of the popular Italian children's series about a wordsmith mouse who has adventures all over the world. 10 to14-year-olds: Archie comics -- Teenage life in Riverdale is as wholesome as apple pie, and are great comics for boys and girls to cut their teeth on. However, some of the older collections may irk in their representation of boy-obsessed females. No worse than Twilight though. Essential Marvel / Show- case Presents -- Black-and- white collections of Marvel and DC stories from the 1950s to 1970s. Some of the storytelling has dated, but a rich, affordable history lesson. Blake and Mortimer -- Belgian spy series by Edgar P Jacobs that spun out of the Tintin magazine. Useful resources: kidscomics.com, marvelkids.com, comicsintheclassroom.com.
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