Weekly weigh in 37

Filed in Blog by on February 4, 2009 24 Comments
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weigh in 37Today we have the results from two half weeks – Thursday to Sunday before zero waste week and Monday to today; post zero waste week.

There are a few different items in there this time; things we don’t normally have:

  • 2 crisp packets
  • 1 dried banana bag
  • plastic packaging from individual packs of tissues (boo hiss)
  • packaging from yeast
  • torn piece of a swing bin liner

The tissues we’ve had for years and I think we finally got through the last pack. I have to admit, I rather like these tissues. They are oh-so-soft and when you have a cold, softness is what you need. I do now buy tissues in a large cardboard box and have even found a brand which doesn’t have that annoying piece of plastic to hold the tissues neatly in the box. But still. I’m not sure I’m entirely ready to give up my handy, individually wrapped packs yet. I have them in my bag, in the car, I can send LMG out with them. Handy by name and handy by nature.

I know, I know; I should be buying washable handkerchiefs or even recycled tissues, but we all have our vices and nice soft disposable tissues is one of mine.

The torn bin liner is highly irritating. Little Miss Green was given a bag of clothing from a friend and as she raced to take a peek, her excitement got the better of her and she ripped the bag. When warmer weather comes and she ends up wearing these clothes, the rest of the bag will end up in landfill too πŸ™
At the moment the torn bag and its contents are stuffed precariously in the bottom of my wardrobe. I’m waiting for the declutter fairy to visit. Or for some miraculous burst of motivation and energy to wash through me so that I can deal with everything else in there.

Now the yeast packaging has me stumped. I’m trying to be a good Mrs Green and bake bread from scratch, but it produces more packaging than buying a shop bought bread mix. In fact, it can produce more packaging than buying a ready made loaf! Now that really annoys me. Buying a bread mix leaves me with a paper bag which is easy to recycle or reuse. Buying a loaf of bread from the butcher results in no packaging at all. Buying yeast leaves me with these little foil / plastic packages to dump in the landfill.

Don’t even suggest fresh yeast. I’m only just getting to grips with the packet stuff. I’ve looked at the Doves farm brand, but you’re still left with the same kind of packaging.

Any suggestions on that one?

Anyway, our total for this week is 27 gms. Wahee!
Add to that the 9gms from zero waste week and it’s still well below our 100gm weekly target. I’m pleased with that!

Oh, and three doors down the road? I guess they didn’t take part in the challenge!

neighbours rubbish

About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (24)

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  1. Mrs Jackson says:

    My 5 year old’s reaction to your wonderful achievement would have made you laugh – I don’t think he’s quiet old enough to grasp the concept yet and said that it wasn’t enough as you clearly weren’t eating lol. Very well done again. Our bin day is tomorrow and we shall not be going out into the snow and ice to put ours out.

  2. Mr Green says:

    The torn bin liner is highly irritating. Little Miss Green was given a bag of clothing from a friend and as she raced to take a peek, her excitement got the better of her and she ripped the bag. When warmer weather comes and she ends up wearing these clothes, the rest of the bag will end up in landfill too

    I wander if clean swing bin lines can be deposited in carrier bag recycling bins?

  3. maisie says:

    Well Done again.

    I suspect that the swing bin liner might be able to but it would have to be checked out.

  4. Poppy says:

    I know you said you didn’t want to go down the fresh yeast line, but if you change your mind, it used to be possible to get some from bakery depts in supermarkets and from breweries. That may no longer be the case of course, but I guess if you don’t ask, you don’t find out.

  5. Ablissa says:

    Here in the US you can purchase bread yeast in a small glass jar. It’s still a container, but a recyclable one. I have only seen Fleischmann’s (brand) in a jar, however, and they seem to just sell to North America. Perhaps you can go a local bakery and see if they’ll fill a small jar for you?

  6. Kris says:

    That’s another great result. Now you are eating aren’t you? πŸ˜‰

    My bin day is Friday and I’m not wading out there either – of course I’ve not got a realistic amount to take out after last week! I’ve just taken a full box of peelings round to be composted today though.

    I don’t know what the answer is re bread, but am going to store up the excuse that I can get an unwrapped one and help someone else’s livelihood rather than create waste and get very stressed next time my oh ‘suggests’ that I try making some (for some reason he’s everso keen…)

  7. Di Hickman says:

    I second the glass jars, take a look at some health food places and see if they stock yeast in jars. The bag I am sure could be put in with plastic bags as it’s usually the same plastic isn’t it? At least it is here in the US.
    I have to say I too keep a packet of handy tissues in my bag, and in the car. Just ideal for those emergency situations.

  8. Mrs Green says:

    @Mrs Jackson: Oh bless him Mrs J. You can assure him we are eating well πŸ˜‰

    @Mr Green: Good call Mr G. I didn’t think of that. Now, what would I do without you? πŸ˜‰

    @maisie: Thank you Maisie! I will look into the swing bin liner thing; I’m sure it’s acceptable; as Di points out, it’s the same material.

    @Ablissa: and @Di Hickman: Hi Ablissa and Di; thank you for sharing with us how it is for you with getting yeast in a glass jar – how brilliant! I guess if I ever DO venture into fresh yeast, this would be a great idea. I could probably get an old baby food jar from someone to use. I’m quite sure it is unavailable to buy like this over here.

    @Poppy: You’re such a bully, Poppy; especially as I was so kind about the cat food bargain πŸ˜‰ I think you can still get fresh yeast from some bakeries. **sigh** I don’t really have to do I?

    @Kris: Good to see the composting is going well Kris – and I might just be joining you with the bread idea. I’m rapidly going off the idea because it’s just so darn hard to make a decent loaf. I don’t mind putting in the time for something good, but to get something inedible is very frustrating…..

  9. Layla says:

    Ooh, yeast in a glass jar – great idea!! πŸ™‚
    /Mom’s been buying the store-bought one in a metallized paper.. and it just seemed wasteful../
    not sure how long it lasts, though? (the store-bought one in a cube lasts quite a while.. the fresh one she used to buy just wrapped in a paper years ago didn’t seem to last so long..)

    I managed to locate eco bananas (god knows how eco they really are!) – but they come as 3 bananas packaged together, according to the lady who sells them in the store!! She was very friendly and we had a nice chat.. I told her about the bananas movie & also reminded her some plastic bags had no code & she said she’d talk to the people supplying them..

    Also, the local paper-and-notebooks-selling-shop had no idea chlorine-free notebooks exist & that they were even selling 1!! πŸ™‚ so, slowly but steadily.. 1 product at a time..(?)

    /PS People kept asking me if I was studying this lol.. πŸ™‚ I said no, but it interests me greatly :)/

    I try to use cloth tissues these days – I find I also need less of them, somehow!! (maybe the paper tissues are sort of irritating and you need to use more?)
    /sometimes if there is none around have opted for packed stuff, but I actually PREFER cloth now!! much softer and nicer! we do have old cloth tissues though, nicely washed and soft..
    I used to snicker at Dad for still using them, in the old days, and thought he was so gross – but actually when going zero waste, a month or so ago I braved out & tried them! I was shocked to see they’re quite nice!!
    And Dad being most healthy of us all, most of the time, kinda encouraged me to use ’em!!:))

    Anyway, just found another Slovenian city is still debating whether to go for ‘compost+sorting for recyclables+incinerator’ or ‘just pyrolisis’ – grr, what a ‘lovely choice’!!
    (Recyclables market being low makes some people think just pyrolizing the unsorted lot might be better, but according to an article I read, there’s still dioxin and heavy metals with those!!)
    And I have reason to suspect the ‘compostable’ material from the capitol goes to a ‘waste-to-energy’ plant-??!! (not sure about that one yet though..)
    I’m trying to get in touch with people who care here.. Luckily there are some, although it’s very scattered.. And yes the officials say minimizing is priority #1. It seems terribly enfuriating still..
    I’m a bit scared for my mental health or doing harm to certain officials if things don’t improve!! (uhm, just kidding here, hope something like this won’t be held against me in a court of law! But really had to let off some steam!! grr!!)

    mucho love to all of you still doing ‘the good fight’!! (against garbage!! :))

    YAY for 27g only!! (& how do 9g feature here? you mean from last week?)

    Gosh, those neighbours of yours seem so-o wasteful!! ours are too.. πŸ™ They’re really nice so I have no idea how to ‘greenize’ them..?!! (I thought of writing articles to local newspaper just so I didn’t have to address them directly lol! maybe you could do something like that? not all people are online…/ How many of them are there?

  10. Linda Ware says:

    @Poppy: Hello, I would just like to say that I buy fresh yeast from a baker by the kilo – it costs me Β£1.50 for a kilo which I cut up immediately into 28 gramme lots and put in the freezer in greaseproof paper. It reconstitues easily and costs are rediculously low compared to dried yeast. I also use it in a bread maker. By the way I write the auntieplastic blog which I have just regurgitated after a year in which my life was turned upside down with moving, downsizing and becoming a councillor. I am now nearly back on track and good to find you still here. Well done all. best wishes, Linda

  11. Michelle says:

    My lovely husband uses fresh yeast when he makes our bread and he doesn’t faff around activating it with water/sugar etc beforehand but rubs it into the flour instead meaning it isn’t any more trouble than using dried yeast. Don’t know if that helps persuade you or not.
    Michelle

  12. Mrs Green says:

    @Layla: Layla, I wasn’t sure about storing fresh yeast either. I wonder if freezing it kills it or just leaves it dormant. The 9gms is from our zero waste week. So our total of 36gms is in fact for a fortnight. Wahee! It would be great to be able to lower our target to less than 50gms per week πŸ™‚

    @Linda Ware: Hello Linda, good to see you. Ah, now you have answered my question about whether yeast can be frozen or not. Thank you! Thanks for telling us about your blog too. I missed it and am glad you are writing it again.

    @Michelle: Hi Michelle! Thank you for sharing that with us. I’m kind of coming around to the idea, slowly! I’ll do a little googling and see what I come up with.

  13. Yay – that’s great going folks. In answer to Mr G’s question – I think it would be a yes. I’m going to ask our local health store about the yeast πŸ˜€ xxx

  14. Regarding the yeast…here in the U.S. the dry stuff is sold in a jar. However, I buy a two pound bag of it at Costco, and that lasts even me a long time. lol The bag is not recyclable, but I’m only producing one small bit of trash and I’m producing hundreds of batches of bread with that yeast.

    I’ve never even seen fresh yeast for sale in any of my grocery stores.

  15. I should add that all the rest of my bread ingredients are no waste. Flour comes in a paper package, and so do sugar and salt. Milk comes in a recyclable container, or in a glass jar. And oil comes in a recyclable plastic bottle.

  16. Kris says:

    I’m leaving it open, whether today is recycling truck and refuse truck day, since the articles say some may not happen, but imply some will…

    So I’ve put my stuff out – in case they trek through I don’t want it to seem a wasted journey!

    This weeks bin waste was a rather high 364g with a couple of small bags, a coffee jar lid and hot chocolate sachets included, but the heaviest and most prevalent bit of it was sadly some food I dropped, I’ve had a bit of a week for that – definitely something I’ll be looking *not* to repeat!!

  17. Mrs Jackson says:

    @Kris: what food did you drop? Am finding that the birds eat alsorts and really are appreciating it in this weather.

    We’ve created half a carrier bag of waste since Monday without really trying so we’re very happy with that.

  18. Deb from Boston says:

    For the yeast – Here in Boston we (or really my dear wife) uses Fleischmann’s from the glass jar as well. She’s even found a Rapid Rise yeast for the breadmachine that cuts down the total time to 1 hour. I’ve noticed that the jars are all a dark brown – so I don’t know if that is helpful in keeping it fresh – may want to find out before using babyfood jars.

    Now a question Mrs G on the the tissues: what do you do w/ the used ones? compost? I’m slowly sewing up some more hankerchiefs from some old fabric (love the flannel ones), but w/ 6 noses to keep happy in winter, we too use the paper ones.

  19. Kris says:

    Very messy ravioli unfortunately!

  20. Mrs Green says:

    @Almost Mrs Average: Let us know what you find in the health food store, Mrs A. And fingers crossed, we have a supermarket delivery today so I’ll ask about the torn swing bin liner.

    @[email protected] Frugal Girl: Hi Kristen, yeast packaging is the only waste from creating the bread. It’s great that you can get dry yeast in glass jars. I’m envious!

    @Kris: OH Kris! How annoying about the food, Ravioli too – so yummy πŸ™ I think your waste for a week is still fabulous. Compared to most households, that’s nothing. Well done πŸ™‚

    @Mrs Jackson: Well done Mrs J – half a carrier bag in half a week is great going!

    @Deb from Boston: Thanks Deb – I have a few amber jars, the kind you use for hand cream, so one of these would be a better idea I should think. I either compost the tissues or burn them. Depends on the time of year! If we have a cold and lots of germs then there is something ritualistic in putting them on the fire and watching the flames engulf the germs! In the summer they go onto the compost heap – they are useful for covering up kitchen scraps to keep the wasps and fruit flies to a minimum.

  21. Jen CleanBin says:

    We get yeast in a glass jar as well. There are at least 3 varieties out there, but I don’t know about England. My mother in-law is heading over there in a few months. Perhaps I should send some with her πŸ™‚

  22. Kris says:

    We didn’t have any collections in the end, but no matter πŸ™‚ I went and got our box in on Sunday night when it had stopped raining long enough to start snow laying on it again.

    Looks like last week was still pretty much in the zero waste groove, this week I seem to keep getting to the end of packets and there are various plastic fillers turning up. I also tried buying small tarts and was dismayed to find a plastic nest *and* a plastic sleeve round them and their foil trays.

    I’ve been catching up on county news sites with comments on the weather (and a lot of bickering and moaning to be honest) and I smiled and thought of the discussion here about bread making when a lot of people were commenting on bread running low in the supermarkets!

    And I’ve finally got leftovers! Yay! Trying to think what I want to do with three sausages – DH is not confident that they can be called a meal but I think he’s on a linear ‘put them with mash’ kind of track, whereas I’m thinking casserole or pasta or something where chunks of sausage will be plentiful enough.

  23. Kris says:

    …three sausages is plenty with 200g of pulses, plus plenty of veg (celery, sweet pepper, spring onion, carrots) and I bunged it all together with a bourgignon sauce (and some new potatoes). I’m very full!

  24. Mrs Green says:

    @Jen CleanBin: Hi Jen, sending your MIL with yeast to the UK; I wonder what customs would think LOL!

    @Kris: Ooooo Kris – your sausage dish sounded wonderful – how creative! And I love your thoughts about dustbin collections and home made bread – it’s quite refreshing when you realise you don’t have to worry about a late bin collection; it used to be quite stressful here on a Tuesday night…….

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