Supermarket Loves Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables

Just because it’s not good looking doesn’t mean it tastes bad. Growers take their odd-looking fruit and usually sell it to juice, soup, or canneries instead of grocery store. One grocery store chain in France decided to take the produce usually rejected by consumers and make something fun out of it. This marketing synopsis covers what they did:

Intermarché launched the Inglorious Fruits&Vegetables, a film, print, poster and radio campaign, celebrating the beauty of the Grotesque Apple, the Ridiculous Potato, the Hideous Orange, the Failed Lemon, the Disfigured Eggplant, the Ugly Carrot, and the Unfortunate Clementine.
Now you can eat five a day inglorious fruits and vegetables.
As good, but 30% cheaper. The inglorious Fruits&Vegetables, a glorious fight against food waste.

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France Pays People to Cycle to Work

France is experimenting with new way to subsidize transportation by getting more people to bicycle to work. Traffic in Paris is particularly awful and with ongoing population growth and car-focused infrastructure the transportation problems are only going to increase. France is hoping that getting people to ride bicycles will stymie the growth of transportation issues.

French Transport Minister Frederic Cuvillier, noting that commuting using public transport and cars is already subsidized, said that if results of the test are promising, a second experiment on a larger scale will be done.

The ministry hopes that the bike-to-work incentive scheme will boost bike use for commuting by 50 percent from 2.4 percent of all work-home journeys, or about 800 million km, with an average distance of 3.5 km per journey.

In Belgium, where a tax-free bike incentive scheme has been in place for more than five years, about 8 percent of all commutes are on bicycles. In the flat and bicycle-friendly Netherlands, it is about 25 percent, cycling organizations say.

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France Bans Child “Beauty” Pageants

The bizarre practice of over-sexualizing prepubescent girls on stages in front of people has now been banned in France. I’ve never understood the reasoning behind these pageants and it’s nice to see that other people see the problematic behaviour behind them. Hopefully other countries will follow France’s example.

The Senate agreed to adopy tough sanctions to anyone flouting the law.

Under the new law, organizers of pageants under the age of 16 may now face up to two years in prison if they fail to comply with the ban and a fine of up to €30,000 ($40,000).

“Let’s not let our daughters think from such a young age that they will be judged according to their appearance. Let’s not let commercial interest impact on social interest,” Jouanno told the Senate.

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France Wants Lights to be Turned Off

France has passed a law that will make it illegal to keep lights turned on over night in non-residental buildings. Starting in July the lights need to be out an hour after the last employee leaves. This is a great way to save energy while reducing light pollution.

The move, announced on Wednesday, is expected to save 250,000 tonnes of CO2 – enough energy to power 750,000 French households for a year.

The French ecology minister, Delphine Batho, said she hoped the law would change attitudes in France and help the country become a pioneer in reducing light pollution.

Read a bit more at The Guardian.

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France to Charge Batteries

It looks like France is getting really serious about curbing emissions and supporting electric cars by building a network of charging stations throughout the country.

Read more at The Wall Street Journal.

The government will make the installation of charging sockets obligatory in office parking lots by 2015, and new apartment blocks with parking lots will have to include charging stations starting in 2012.

A group of public and private fleet operators has already identified a need to purchase 50,000 electric vehicles through 2015, Environment Minister Jean-Louis Borloo told a press conference, and the government reckons that by pooling purchasing there is potential to reach a fleet of 100,000 vehicles by that date.

The plan involves setting up a battery manufacturing factory at a Renault SA facility at Flins, west of Paris, at a cost of €625 million, of which €125 million will be contributed by the French state’s strategic investment fund.

The plant will have an annual production capacity of 100,000 batteries and will supply other French electric vehicle manufacturers, including PSA Peugeot-Citroen.

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