Friday, 27 November 2015

Pop up Christmas trees

Who hasn't admired a very tall Christmas tree bedecked with tiny white lights outside an office, in a retail park or even outside someone's home.  It can take at least a couple of months planning to arrange such a display.   One Christmas tree grower I knew wouldn't even pick up the phone come December.  

Securing large Christmas trees can be a chore.  It may look great on the chilly, still day that you install it but if the weather changes and north winds doth blow then you doth have to go out and fix that tree that doth blow over.   Arranging the lights on the tree so they appear neat and crisp and even is time consuming.  There is always a gap where a branch to hang the lights on should be.   Don't get me started on the subject of the old strings of tungsten lamps!   One lamp doth blow and the whole of that string wouldn't light up.   Fortunately the old style lamps have been superseded by leds.   The first led strings had too much of a blue tint to my liking but other colours including warm white were soon added.

Some fortunate householders will have a lovely tall pointy shaped conifer in their garden and these are ideal for turning in to a Christmas display by covering it with lights.   Cover it you must as it looks a little sad when you try to stretch a 40 string set around an 8ft tall evergreen.   One neighbour covers their tree with plenty of lights but uses the same old extension wire that is around 3ft too short.  Four or five led lights are always draped along the ground as the cable is stretched to the nearest power outlet.

Thanks to the wonders of modern technology it is now possible to have a Christmas tree display up to 30ft tall without an actual tree.   Fairy bells pop up Christmas trees are here to save the day!   These are simply strings of leds held in position with securing straps and attached to a fibreglass stem.   Fairy bells are quick to install and take up little room when stored.   See the video here:

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Any colour you like, as long as it's green.

As fibreglass is such a versatile product when it comes to manufacturing interesting shapes, it lends itself nicely to the manufacture of plant containers.   A large range of shapes, sizes and colours added to watertight construction and ease of handling make fibreglass an easy choice for home and office planters.   Glass reinforced plastic or GRP as it's commonly known has a long life span and it's quite rare for planters to be thrown away.   If a plant container is no longer needed in an office there are always members of staff willing to rehouse it.   If a large number of planters in a building have become chipped and marked then it is very easy to have these refurbished.

The manufacture of glass fibre resins and glass strands has a low environmental impact when compared to other products such as steel and some plastics. There are times, however, when a GRP product comes to the end of its useful life and needs to be disposed of. Recycling by breaking down the product in to component parts can be very costly.  A simple plant container doesn't have any additional materials added but a boat or a wind turbine will have timber, screws, metals and possibly glass components and these will need to be removed manually before the basic fibreglass parts are left.

It is now possible to use the fibreglass waste components in the production of cement.   The resin in the fibreglass is used as part of the fuel for the very high temperatures needed for cement production and the glass in fibreglass is utilised as a proportion of the silica or sand required.  Developed by two German companies, Zajons and Holcim (now Largfargeholcim), CompoCycle uses a patented process to convert fibreglass waste into a raw material and with the addition of other products to produce cement, there is no waste left over.

The University Of Strathclyde is currently developing another method of glassfibre recycling: and there is a New Zealand company that recycles: 

Discovering new methods to recycle difficult materials is admirable but it's much more desirable to make the materials more recyclable in the first place.   Bio-resins have been developed using natural, sustainable sources that use less energy in production and produce less harmful waste on disposal and Eco-resins are products made in an environmentally friendly way with recycled materials.   A Netherlands based company uses eco-resins for the production of beautifully shaped planters a few of which can be seen below.   Call us at for further details.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

I want one of those...

At the time of writing "It's only seven weeks until Christmas!" still has the power to surprise.  We've only just had summer.   It may be a little too late to order for this Christmas but how about one of these in your stocking next year....

...a full sized remote controlled digger!  Laing Plc recently asked about hiring some rocks for an event in London where their remote control technology was being demonstrated.  With all the basements being excavated in London, wirelessly controlled equipment is the ideal solution for a hazardous environment.

We had the perfect artificial rock for hire for this event: boulder G.  Made from tough and durable polyethylene it was the perfect size for scooping and shovelling without leaving a mess to clear up afterwards.   Weighing only 9Kg there was no risk that someone would be crushed by a falling rock.

With regard to the digger and remote control I'm sure with this purchase batteries will be included.