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This week in comments – cycling, showers and wonky veg

Should cyclists pay some sort of ‘road tax’? How much water do you waste when showering? And will you take up the ‘wonky’ veg challenge? It’s been a busy week and your comments have left no stone unturned.

The ‘wonky’ veg challenge

Hannah Jolliffe wants supermarkets to stock misshapen fruit ‘n’ veg and you to eat it. Rose Hammett will take up her challenge:

‘I don’t have a problem with misshapen produce – I have always been appalled by the amount of food supermarkets throw away because it is not ‘perfect’. Bring it on – let common sense prevail,’

But David needs a bit of temptation from lower prices:

‘If it were to be sold cheaper, I would happily turn those misshapen vegetables into a tasty meal with my pressure cooker!’

Can you afford to give to charity this Christmas?

Sophie Gilbert goes all out to give to charity, but not necessarily just at Christmas:

‘I have direct debits that go out monthly to four carefully chosen charities and I buy all my Christmas cards directly from two of them. I also put together a shoebox full of little gifts for a child through a fifth charity every year just before Christmas. I sometimes get caught and I buy a raffle ticket or two here and there throughout the year, but that’s enough. My budget won’t stretch any further.’

Are you prepared to cut your shower time in half?

I’m impressed by the lengths some go to to save water when showering, like Terfar:

‘My power shower has a pause button. So after wetting, I pause it to shampoo my hair, rinse off and then pause it again whilst soaping the remainder, then rinse off again.’

John Ward makes a confession about his extreme showering routine:

‘First I run a basin of hot water to get the hot water into the pipes that feed the shower so that as soon I get in it runs at the right temperature. I run the shower for about one minute to ensure my whole body is soaked then turn off the shower while I lather-up.

‘Rinsing-off takes about another minute under the shower then I do my hair in the same way with a short shower burst to wet the hair, a pause while I work in the shampoo (the merest drop is sufficient if done every day) and then a rinse under the shower.’

Why is elderly care failing? Older people have human rights too

Care in Britain is failing our elderly relatives and Karsam is disgusted:

‘I think it is a disgrace and an abuse of human rights of the way the elderly are treated. Once you reach 50+ you seem to disappear and are largely ignored by the government, councils, management, and in particular by the so called “caring NHS/social services”.

‘I was always taught to respect my elders and a civilisation is judged on how they care for the old and vulnerable. I think the UK government and society in general has failed miserably.’

Should cyclists have to pay ‘road tax’?

Would making cyclists pay ‘road tax’ improve their road safety? Andy thinks it’s about respect:

‘As a very keen cyclist who not only commutes 12 miles to work but also takes part in regular sportives I have to say I’m ashamed when I see other cyclists breaking the highway code.

‘Unfortunately I don’t think there is an enforceable answer to this as I’ve also seen police cars driving past errant cyclists who are on the pavement, or riding at night with no lights – it just seems to me like the police can’t be bothered.

‘And it’s not just the cyclist causing the issues either as many have pointed out. If I had a £1 for every near miss I’ve had on my bike I would be a rich man. I think this comes down to respect between road users. Cyclists should obey the highway code – period – just the same as motorists, and motorists should give cyclists more respect – we are all just trying to use the same piece of tarmac.’

Littlewoods ad puts crass into Christmas

Many of you were disgusted by Littlewoods’ Christmas advert. Sue thinks it proves that we need to return to a more humble holiday:

‘It’s time we went back to having a satsuma and a handful of nuts in stockings and nothing else – and that includes the kids. All this stuff doesn’t make people happy, it just makes them greedy, spoilt and discontented.

‘Let’s all give vouchers for a walk in the countryside or a game of Scrabble with family and friends.’

And our comment of the week goes to Wavechange. Not only does he have wise words about our consumerist habits, he’s our first Which? Conversation commenter to contribute over 1,000 comments. Congratulations Wavechange!

‘Consumerism is alive and well among contributors to Which? Conversation and any suggestion that we should be more responsible is likely to be met with criticism by those who demand their right to personal freedom in all matters.

‘The best chance we have of breaking out of consumerism is if consumerism becomes unfashionable and those who behave irresponsibly are subject to ridicule. Have a good Christmas!’

Comments have been edited due to length, so make sure to read them in full on their relevant Convos (by clicking on the red title link).


I love the ‘unhappy green pepper’ at the top of the page. Kids and adults who are kids at heart could get a lot of fun out of wonky fruit & veg, and as long as it gets eaten then waste is avoided.

Agree with the cycling point however if they would stop by putting these stupid cycle lanes in which always stop at a crucial point it would help. Why not build proper cycle lane so car and cycle do not annoy each other.