Brain-washing DOES work

Last night, a friend brought us dinner from a local Thai restaurant. The food was delicious, but what ruined the enjoyment for us was the fact that it was packaged in plastic bags AND then put into polystyrene foam boxes (wholly unnecessary).  The polystyrene boxes were clean – I mean, like completely clean! – because the food was in plastic bags, but what should we do with those boxes? Donate them to the other food stalls?

The friend who had brought the food laughed at us. “Just throw the boxes away,” she said, looking at us as if we were barking mad to be stressing over eight polystyrene boxes. “Nobody wants them secondhand, they’re cheap-cheap!”

A few short years ago, the pile of needless food packaging sitting in my dustbin would not have caused me such consternation, but now it does. That eight polystyrene boxes did bother me a great deal. And that is a good thing.

Because they are so bad that New York City is joining a growing group of cities in banning them: single-use expandable polystyrene products (including cups, bowls, plates, takeout containers and trays and packing peanuts) are not allowed to be possessed, sold, or offered in New York City. They are almost impossible to recycle and causes havoc when leaked into environments and contaminate drinking water….imagine eating a ball of styrofoam. That’s what some animals are doing, blocking up their intestines.

Look, this bird is eating discarded foam!


Photograph from Midtown Miami Magazine. Please click on the read a very good article.

So when people tell me to stop proselytising about environmental issues, I tell them this: brainwashing does work. I absolutely loathe these awful packaging now instead of shrugging them off, ignoring the problem.

I hope more governments will join NYC and other cities in banning single-use EPS or levy high taxes on them to make them unattractive.


Quick Burger PHUKET


One of my favourite lunch and after-school early dinner places is Quick Burger in Kathu, which is conveniently located 12 minutes from the school. The proprietors, Tai Fuun and Gilles are charming hosts and they do not mind you sitting in their sweet little space watching life go by (free wifi, too).




And here’s the thing: the prices here are jaw-droppingly cheap!

The bacon salad (seen in the main photo) is THB110, and is served in a wooden salad bowl like the ones you would use to make up salad for the whole family. The homemade burgers (with crispy skinny chips) start at THB79, and Gilles would throw in a surprise drink with your burger.

And being a burger aficionado myself, I know a good burger when I taste one. They are all homemade too – one afternoon, I chanced upon poor Tai Fuun chopping 20kgs of onions for the burgers. I just love the personal, homely feel of this place.

The spaghetti is pretty good as well!

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But what are this restaurant’s green credentials, I hear you ask.

Off chance, I complimented Gilles on not giving out plastic straws automatically with the drinks and he burst into an impassioned speech about how much he dislikes mindless waste. “But some customers complain because I don’t give them straws!” He says. Because they don’t want to get their lipstick on the glass, or ice cubes in their mouths!

The menu is written on a piece of wood:


I asked for permission to have a quick nose around the tiny kitchen. Apart from being spankingly clean and orderly (Gilles is Belgian), I was pleasantly surprised to note that they use environmentally-friendly packaging for their take-away orders.  These paper are made from banana leaves and brown paper. And instead of dreadful polystyrene lunch boxes that are endemic in Phuket, Quick Burger uses the environmentally-friendly cardboard version, though they add a THB5 to the price to cover the costs.


Photo: waxy paper from banana leaves (note the wooden plates and brown paper bags).

Your food will be delivered by one of the guys. They have a small motorbike and they cater for parties too. Please contact Tai Fuun on 0994073746 or Gilles on 0943178111 for deliveries. You can find them easily on the main road to Kathu. This is their listing where you can get the address from. This is Quick Burger’s Facebook page.

Customer Review


A small, pleasant place to eat in the centre of Kathu. Good food, freshly prepared by friendly owners who make you feel welcome. Not only burgers on offer but other dishes as well. Their chicken burger is delicious and the best value in the whole area.

~ Alan Thatcher, Phuket resident

Kinsook Happy Eating PHUKET


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The first place the Simple Green Planet duo visited was Kinsook Happy Eating at the foot of Rong Hill.

Tucked away in a row of shop houses, this sweet little cafe is owned and run by a young Taiwanese lady by the name of Kinsook.  The food is slightly different from the standard Thai fare and the dish of the day is charmingly written on the blackboard.


The cafe also carries a small range of environmentally friendly products.

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This is Kinsook’s Facebook page.