Thursday 25 October 2018

My Journey to Less Waste #2 - Another Rubbish Day!

Hi there everyone πŸ˜€

Following on from my post last week I thought Friday would be a good day to have another look at the waste that we produce over the course of a normal day.

In our house Friday tends to be shopping day, so it was going to be interesting.

The postie delivered our first lot of waste. Two letters from Nationwide ... about the same account, generating two envelopes and two A4 sheets of paper for recycling. 
The Gardeners World magazine was also delivered, wrapped in a plastic cover, clearly marked as being recyclable at the plastic bag recycling point in the supermarket, so that will be saved for dropping off.

The magazine itself though, was stuffed with 8 flyers and 4 envelopes from charities, filled with more paper, that are heading straight for the recycle bin.
It was grass cutting day ... yes, though I love gardening, grass cutting does not bring me joy, so we support a small local business and have someone in to cut the grass every other week. We did a quick pick up of the windfall quince, which we are sadly unable to use this year and these are destined for the garden waste bin, along with a couple of boxes of grass cuttings.
According to the local council all of this waste is turned into soil improver so, assuming they are doing what they say they will, none of this waste should end up in landfill. I am happy to pay the £36 a year that they are now charging for this service.

It was then time to prepare a fish pie for tea. As usual, we were cooking from scratch so there was a pile of waste generated.

Veg peelings, fish skins, plastic bags and cartons. I was quite excited that some of the plastic bags will now be destined for the supermarket bag recycling box, as these previously would have gone in my general waste and onto landfill. They do need washing out first though. And ... some of the other plastic bits are destined for an ‘Ecobrick’, but I will tell you more about that in another post.

I was chuffed to bits to find that, from just this one meal, the waste destined for the kitchen bin was pretty much halved and consisted purely of food. Massive win and pretty motivating I can tell you (though I am still mourning the loss of my compost bin). And tea's ready ... bonus!!

I was hoping to be able to include the raw peelings in my green waste bin but I had a bit of disappointment this week to find that the council will not allow raw fruit and veg waste to be included in the green bin. Apparently it’s something to do with the possibility of the food having been contaminated somehow once it’s entered the production chain.

We then had a few tablet blister packs which I removed the foil from the back of to add to my little bits of foil pile, which will be scrunched into a ball when there is enough, and the plastic packaging, again, is destined for the Ecobrick.

Time for the supermarket shop ... this was going to be interesting. Though we are finding lots and lots more things we can recycle, with just a little bit of effort, the real answer is to refuse the packing in the first place. This was the first shop we’d done since really starting to think about reducing our waste .. would it be any different?

But first ... as it’s such a lovely day ... peg out the washing.

Before we hit the supermarket we had a stop off at one of our favourite spots for lunch and after we’d finished I thought it would be interesting to have a look at our shopping list and see where we thought plastic would be involved.

Oh my goodness ... this really brought about a feeling of total failure and helplessness. 

On the right hand side of our list is fresh fruit and veg, everything else is on the left. 

Straight away we could see that everything on the left hand side came in some form of packaging, the majority of it plastic. 

We knew that the majority of the fruit and veg would also come on plastic packaging ... it did not feel good at all.

Our initial feelings were that, without completely changing all of our shopping habits, it was a lost cause.

Feeling a bit deflated we headed in total silence for Aldi where, yes, pretty much everything we bought came in some form of plastic packaging.

We managed to make a few small changes though. We didn’t put the stuff we bought loose, bananas and peppers, into single use poly bags and we switched our normal double plastic wrapped apples and netted onions and plastic carton of pears for alternatives supplied in poly bags which looked like they would be recyclable in the supermarket plastic bag recycling scheme. We also decided against the plastic tub of pomegranate seeds and opted for a loose pomegranate from Asda ... more effort I know, but one less piece of plastic.
Whilst the pears were slightly more expensive than the netted plastic carton of pears, the apples were about £1.50 cheaper, so ... win win.

As usual we headed from Aldi to Asda, and I was on the lookout for the bag recycling box, which I am sure used to be in the entrance lobby. There was no sign of it today and when I asked about it was told they no longer have it. It was another downer. I will have to see if our local Sainsbury's or Morrison’s have one, but I will be emailing Asda to see why they no longer offer this facility.

Back home I checked the Asda’s website, it clearly states that all of their stores offer this recycling facility ... time to hit Twitter to see what they say.

The shopping was unpacked and, along with all of its plastic packaging, stored away. This is the waste that was generated ... for now ... all of which can be recycled in one way or another.

Unusually for us there were also a few mouldy carrots and the squishy end of an old cucumber which made its way into the general waste.

I have to say that by this point I was feeling a bit deflated. I really want to make changes. I really want to do my bit ... but it’s hard. To cut the plastic packaging out of my weekly shop I would have to visit lots more shops and I know it would end up costing us considerably more.

Time for showers ... resulting in one loo roll middle, a couple of cotton buds and a cotton wool pad.

The rest of the day saw the production of an empty wine box with all of its associated plastic innards and a few pieces of kitchen roll used as hand wipes and a small amount of food leftovers.

Really not wanting to give up at the first hurdle I had a bit of a word with myself. After all, in just this first week of trying I have learned so much just by asking the question ... can this be recycled? l know I can considerably reduce the amount of plastic that gets thrown in my general waste. That has to be a good start ... doesn’t it?

And ... I reckon we are definitely going to get a wormery πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›

Now ... I need to head off and fetch in my washing πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚


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