Weekly weigh in eight
This week the figures are a little high again, but there are two significant reasons for this. Firstly, I found out that I had been contaminating the plastic bottles recycling bank this week. Quelle horreur.
I was told that plastic vegetable oil bottles could go in there, which is what I had been doing. This week I had to call the council about a couple of other items and was told that, even though the oil bottle I had was the same number code as the milk bottles, it couldn’t go in.
The vague explanation I had was that it is different grade or colour to the milk containers.
Geesh; no wonder people are confused about recycling!
Unfortunately, the Co-Op have stopped selling grapeseed oil in glass bottles. So I’m now buying it in Sainsburys in plastic. Little Miss Green can’t tolerate sunflower oil and we find grapeseed oil to be the best for roast potatoes and as a benign oil for things like carrot cake. It also makes for a decent massage oil at a push.
We use olive oil in huge glass bottles if we want ‘raw’ oil for salad, but find grapeseed to be the best for all other cooking uses.
I’ve also switched to bulk buying my basmati rice fix. I mistakenly thought that the larger bags of rice were made from just paper, but they are plastic lined, from what I can see. I’ve sent three emails to Tilda to get the low down from the horse’s mouth, as it were, on how to recycle them, but I’ve not heard anything back.
This would indicate to me that they cannot be recycled.
It’s interesting about the weight issue too. In all my little experiments with bulk packaging; it has been much better for the landfill to buy larger bags or containers. But this 5kg rice bag is really heavy compared to the equivalent weight in 1kg bags. It has a zip and is a few layers of paper (or lightweight board, I’m not sure) with a plastic outer. It makes for a hefty piece of packaging, but then if it has to hold 5 kgs of rice, I guess it needs to be up to the job.
In addition there was a soft cheese container from Mr Green’s Birthday (cheese)cake. This isn’t something we use on a daily basis, but I think in future, I’ll try and get it from a deli counter in my own reusable container.
So, the contents of our bin this week are:
4 yogurt pots and lids
a piece of cling film
5kg rice bag
cream cheese box
cereal bar wrapper
grapeseed oil bottle
sun dried tomatoes packaging
2 crisp packets
2 salad bags
We’ve come in at middleweight status again with 239 grams. I feel pleased with that if I compare it with the majority of people in the UK, but now I’m starting to get a bit anxious about our zero waste week; which is only a month away.
The past two weeks weigh in have not been great and we were decreasing at a steady pace at the beginning of our challenge. Now we’re flipping about all over the place with small increases and mishaps.
Putting our bin on a diet is a bit like putting ourselves on a diet: The first few weeks the pounds come whizzing off almost without effort and the motivation is high. Then when you start to see your target it takes longer and longer to shift the ounces and the novelty wears off. You start fancying a bit of this or a taste of that.
I feel a bit ‘stuck’ with things at the moment and I’m struggling to see what more we can do. I know looking at it on paper it’s obvious – I start making yogurt, we don’t ‘give in’ to crisps, we stop eating curry from a plastic tray and I bake instead of buying cereal bars, but you know, when you have life to get on with as well, sometimes those things feel like huge hurdles.
I’ve been really tired this week and struggling with a lot of things, including my state of mind and enthusiasm; so just reaching for something easy has been an absolute blessing.
We really do live in a culture of consumerism and convenience don’t we? I keep telling myself that if I as born a hundred years ago, I wouldn’t have had these choices. But I wasn’t, I’m here now, with all the lures that the 21st century has to offer me.