Weekly weigh in ten

Filed in Blog by on August 13, 2008 11 Comments
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weekly weigh in ten
It’s our tenth weekly weigh in. This one seems to have come around so quickly. I can’t believe another week has gone.

I think I’m getting a little edgy because our zero waste week is so close now. Just two more weeks to polish up our ‘no rubbish’ skills a little more so that we can slim our bin for good.

Following some excellent research by Mr Green, I’m now able to store my yogurt pots and send them to a company called GHS in Portsmouth, so that is reducing our landfill waste even more.

Being an optimist, I’m hoping that I’ll soon be able to recycle them somewhere locally. But I was reading a report by WRAP yesterday which indicated the top three reasons councils give for not collecting plastics at the kerbside are:

  • Difficult to add plastics due to use of kerbside ‘Sort It’ vehicles – not enough compartments available
  • Have costed a scheme and it’s too expensive
  • Currently focusing on heavier materials to hit recycling targets.


Anyway, if we lift the lid on our bin this week you’ll see:

1 dvd spindle
Rice cakes bag
cereal bar wrapper
vegetable bag that wasn’t polythene
1 dirty carrier bag (I picked some potatoes from the garden in there and had a couple of rogue ones that contaminated the bag)
2 toothpaste tubes
clingfilm from some mini sweetcorn
Sweetcorn wrapping and plastic tray
yogurt seals.

There were a couple of annoying dustbin demons in there.

I love my computer and all the technology that goes with it; I’m the first to admit it. Gone are the days of clunking and clicking as we download things onto floppy discs. No – now we have dvds and cds for our own home burning.

Do you remember the first time you saw an advert for a computer you could ‘burn cds on’? I thought that was hilarious and a very cool way to get rid of old cds you no longer wanted.

Anyhow, I’m now enlightened and realise, being an avid photographer and writer just how useful burning cds is.

But my goodness; it just means MORE PLASTIC around the place doesn’t it?

You either buy blank dvds in a pack of three or five for an extortionate price that come heat sealed in individual jewel cases. Or, like us, you bulk buy 25 or 50, but they come heat sealed and usually on a plastic spindle with a plastic case.

I remember the first time we received discs on a spindle and thinking what a fab idea it was. But this week we had an empty container to get rid of and I realise just how crazy and unnecessary they are.

Little Miss Green took the lid away, inverted it and it’s now a bowl for the cat’s drinking water LOL! Always the creative one, Little Miss Green tried using the spindle a few times as a dummy, but she looked like a cabbage patch doll and it made her dribble everywhere, so she gave up on that idea.

I was also a bit annoyed with the sweetcorn wrapping. Little Miss Green decided she wanted to try corn on the cob. I haven’t been able to get to my farm shop due to roadworks, so I had a couple of cobs delivered with my supermarket delivery.

OF course I should have thought ahead. I received two denatured, stripped bare cobs delivered in plastic packaging – all that lovely cornsilk had been removed and dumped probably.

Did you know you can infuse cornsilk and drink it for a very soothing cornsilk tea? It’s brilliant for children (or the elderly) who wet the bed and for treating any other urinary tract infections, including kidney stones. It’s useful for the prostrate too.

To add insult to injury, not only did my bare sweetcorn come in plastic, when they could have been left in nature’s packaging, but they were on a moulded plastic tray. All down to aesthetics and ease of stacking shelves no doubt.

You live and learn with this zero waste game, I can tell you!

So the moment you’ve all been waiting for:

Our bin is looking very sprightly this week in her lycra hot pants and has definitely earned herself featherweight status at just 95 grams.

You’ll have to do my famous happy bunny dance for me this week, because I’m being summoned by my beloved daughter for breakfast.

Will our bin achieve bantam weight next week? Well, we’ll have to see, but corn on the cob is off the menu until I can get to the farm!

Right, I’m off for a zero waste breakfast…………

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 (11)

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  1. Hi Mrs Green,

    Good to see you and family are maintaining the Zero Waste challenge. As you rightly say, relying on uninformed people will always cause extra waste, it is just so easy to throw it away for others to deal with. I have had the same with purchases where plastic was entered, on the sly, into paper bags. Stick to your guns and spread the good word.


  2. Hi Mrs G – Congratulations on your slimmer bin. That’s brilliant. That damn corn on the cob packaging though…it does make me want to stamp my foot in frustration with you, just in the same way as when you go into a supermarket you see a tray of loose bananas sitting next to a collection wrapped in plastic bags.

    Instead I will do a happy dance around my house in celebration of your efforts. Great news about the Yoghurt Pots. Not long to go now until Zero Waste Week. You needn’t worry, you’ll be fine…you’re already making a huge success of it.

    Big cheers from Suffolk ;-D x

  3. Mrs Green says:

    Thank you for your hearty cheers John (that was you wasn’t it? I’m sure there was a Scottish lilt in there somewhere). I’ve decided this evening, that as I have now written to Tilda three times and not received a response, I’m going to start returning my packaging to them.
    There is no reason why rice cannot come in a cardboard box, polythene bag or even a tetra style pack if they put their minds to it. So I shall leave them to dispose of the waste they are creating.

    Thank you Mrs A; oh that corn on the cob really got me too! But thank you for your happy dance – is that lycra hot pants you’re wearing? 😉
    I’ve just found a company that wraps chocolate in biodegradable packaging, so I’ve written to them to check things further………….

  4. Hi Mrs Green,

    Sometimes Return To Sender is the best way, especially if you are a regular customer. Highland dancing is not my forte except at family weddings. It is quite easy to learn on the go with your partner and quite exhilerating.

  5. Here I can buy brown rice in a cardboard box, which is nice. Most rice does come in plastic bags, though.

  6. Sally says:

    We have plastics collected with our other curbside recycling. As far as I am aware they take most types. Do your council not take any at all?

  7. Mrs Green says:

    Hi John,
    Tilda have now received an email from Mr Green; and a phonecall; so let’s see if they can come up with anything before I do the return to sender on them!

    I think there are one or two types in cardboard here as well, Kristen; but I’m sure they are like cereal and have a plastic inner too.

    Sally, our council does not take any plastic at all from the kerbside. Apparently they are 30% of councils in the UK that don’t 🙂

  8. Hi Mrs Green,

    Councils are avoiding their responsiblities towards recycling. In my area there was no mention on recycling issues in the yearly report. A litter campaign was started, laudable of course, but this hid their poor recycling performance.

    On Chris’s blog after a request, I mentioned your and Mrs A’s blogs alongside Zero Waste activities. This brought an unwanted reply from AJ, a lover of incineration some of which is bad for the environment. Friends of The Earth say waste reduction is better than incineration. I agree 100% with this. He stated that home composting creates methane, which is nonsense. Landfill deposit of veg/fruit causes menthane.

  9. Mrs Green says:

    I’ve just read the thread in its entirety. I shall be keeping out of the ‘incineration’ part, but have hopefully given aspidermonkey some practical and useful suggestions……….
    Thank you for the mention of our blogs; every little helps 🙂
    Mr G has just finished writing his thoughts on incineration; I was going to say it’s a hot topic right now, but that would probably be too sad 😀

  10. Hi Mrs Green,

    Your post will be a great help to aspidermonkey, as it give full coverage to the issue, in practical terms.

    AJ is very scientific statistics and references but has little actual experience. He is saying AD is better than home composting. Only problem, AD is hardly in use just now. What are we supposed to do – Wait for 5 years for the AD? Nonsense!

    Incineration is worth covering in great detail. There will be plenty of contributions!

  11. Mrs Green says:

    Hi John,
    Yes, we will cover the incineration issue at some point as it is a very real issue in some areas that needs to be discussed.

    I really cannot say much about AD, as I know so little about it. I feel that home composting is a great solution though and don’t really understand the need for AD…..I expect I am missing something though 🙂

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