Mr Green makes a zero waste meal

Filed in Blog by on September 4, 2008 15 Comments
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mrs green looking great!We can’t help but notice that Mrs. Green has been pretty busy this week, what with zero waste preparations in the kitchen at home and following all the media activities. Is she looking tired and haggard? is she flagging in a corner, exhausted hungry and dreaming of normality again? Have we as a family ‘bitten off more than we can chew’ and just wishing for it to be all over?

I’m happy to say that Mrs Green, as you can see is as  radiant as ever and enjoying every minute of normal life.  You see for us, this is ‘Normal life’ This is not a media stunt and certainly not a one-week wonder. I’m posting one of my favorite pictures up here as a tribute to all her hard work and tireless efforts over the last weeks.

I’m totally biased, of course, but I think she is a real star and she has my complete respect and admiration for all she is doing. Without her inspiration, I would still be chucking beer cans in the bin and accepting plastic carrier bags for 3 items.
Cover your eyes, lest you blush, sweetheart, but you are my my ‘green goddess!’

Mrs Green is a driving force in our family for zero waste, plus keeping a total account of all the day’s happenings so that you can see a completely transparent view of how things are going for us. But today, I thought, let’s see what a bloke can do…without all those mysterious female skills in the kitchen, can a man really do a zero waste meal without some major catastrophe, treading on the cat’s tail and burning the saucepans? Ok, it’s only a cold Ploughman’s Lunch, but it’s all totally zero waste and as I write this now, ten minutes afterwards, I can say confidently it was totally enjoyable and satisfying.

You may recall we purchased some lovely delicatessen goodies in our own containers from Waitrose last week and I’ve been tucking in to them during our zero waste challenge. Today, however, we had to go to our local Co-Op shop and get a few more items to see us through. I bought some green watercress in a plastic bag with a number 5 recycling symbol on it (PP) which we can recycle locally, or send to GHS. The co-op are especially good at food labelling and we always try to use them before any other supermarket. We also purchased last week a tetrapak carton of wine, that leaked badly from the spout (see another story later) so we retuned this to the Co-op today and got a no hassle refund AND the cost of the wine refunded. I bought another bottle of wine, this time in traditional glass and the new screw metal tops (like whisky bottle) that have no cork or plastic wrap to worry about!

In true gourmet tradition, the meal was simple; watercress, Peppers from our local farm shop, cheese, sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil and herb dressing, humus, home grown fresh tomatoes, pickled egg from a glass jar, fresh home-made bread and butter packed in traditional grease-proof paper.

With a man’s appitite it worked for me, no burned saucepans or piles of washing up, it took all of 5 minutes to prepare and tasted delicious. All totally zero waste and no problems. Does it have to be difficult to do?

If you’ve eaten today, take a look at the pics below, otherwise, make sure you have a drool sheet handy!

Click each thumbnail to see a full image

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  1. Mr Green – you’re an absolute star. Great photos too, especially the one of Mrs G. 😀

  2. Denise says:

    She is a true beauty both inside and out,
    Denise xx

  3. maisie says:

    Well done!!

    And what a lovely compliemt to Mrs Green.

  4. Anna-Lisa says:

    Mrs Green is definetely a Green Goddess!

    Have you got round to making any of your own wine yet?

  5. Mr Green says:

    Thanks for your comments 🙂 This was my way of a ‘thank-you’ to Mrs. G. We have seen that many of you ladies have supported and joined what we are doing and some of you may well be pushing uphill with other family members. It’s a credit to all of you for your strength of character and determination. I would also like to inspire more men to join in this challenge and I’m so pleased when I see People like John Costigane and many others from the pledge list add their contributions and imaginative ideas to further the cause.

    We have just watched an exclusive video on marine engineering to repopulate the ocean with diatoms to absorb CO2 on a massive scale. Our take is this is ‘solution engineering’ and what we need is ‘Prevention engineering’ That’s exactly what we are all involved with right here; finding a way to prevent the destruction of the Earth’s delicate eco-system. Everything else is dust and wind…

  6. Mrs Green says:

    **blush** Thank you everyone 🙂

  7. Mr Green says:

    Further to Anna-Lisa’s comment on wine making; I used to make a lot of home made wine and it was very successful, but it never quite reached the mark of a good Chablis. I really like Chablis, or Chardonnay if I can’t get it. Somehow apple and elderflower is not quite the same. Jeesh, this sounds really bad and maybe I should just get the old demi-johns out and give it another go. Come to think of it, that’s exactly what I should do … Thanks for that suggestion!

  8. Hi Mr Green,

    Thanks for the mention. The basis of interest for me was time caring for my late elderly mother where I became totally home domesticated. This is where I learnt about waste! Not the usual male experience, so I expect men generally to lag behind the women in Zero Waste.

    Your family is an excellent example of what every family should do. Mrs Green, in particular, will appeal to other women with shared experience. My view is that she is a very valuable like-mind, as are youself and Mrs A, in our great cause for a better future. I am so pleased that your Zero Waste Week is a success. It could lead to greater things in the time ahead.

  9. Mr Green says:

    Hiya John.

    so I expect men generally to lag behind the women in Zero Waste.

    True … and much of the household waste is generated daily in the kitchen, so that’s not too surprising. However, I have a REAL horrible challenge to deal with one day, and that’s my garage. Oooooergh… it’s really not good, I’m too ashamed to even show you a picture right now. We are talking … tentatively … of doing a garage sale, but really, there’s so much stuff. and it has to go, but not to the landfill. One day, we’ll crack it open and talk about it here.

  10. Hi Mr Green,

    Garages are always a problem. My particular non bin waste waste is paint tins, stored in a kitchen press. They do not take up much space but will need to be emptied, by use, and recycled if possible.

    Changing the subject, I came across a sustainability article, cant remember the link. It stated that plastic for such a system would be biodegradable (PLA). I think that is wrong since any plastic could be used so long as there is minimal production and loss, and requiring full recycling/reuse.

    I was a Sainsbury’s today, Tracey’s campaign, and the same old recycling disconnect cropped up where they blamed councils etc etc. I heard the identical 6 months ago here. It just confirms my opinion that Zero Waste alternatives are the way to go with increasing numbers of Zero Waste enthusiasts joining in. What is your view?

  11. maisie says:

    I rang Sainsburys yesterday asking when/if they were going to put their own label fair trade sugar into reyclable bags. it is in type 7 and marked as not recyclable at the moment.Chap told me it was “in process”; and that within hopefully the next 2 years or so all their own label products would be in recyclable packaging if at all possible.

    Had to nip in there today,lo and behold ordinary granulated fair trade sugar is now in paper bags and it would seem that the other sorts will be following suit as there was not much stock on the shelves which is usually an indication a packaging change if on a staple.

  12. Mrs Green says:

    John, have you come across the community repaint site?

    Maisie, that’s a great update with Sainsburys thank you for that. I get rather impatient though and think 2 years? We’re told we only have 9 years of landfill left; what’s the holdup?! Good to see the fair trade sugar in paper too. Thanks!

  13. Mr Green says:

    John I’m in process of writing an article about some of these issues right now. My take on it is that we, the consumer must drive market forces by our purchase votes. Usually, everyone either blames or waits for someone else. It’s the typical democratic tip-toe approach that takes forever to materialise. I’m in favour of a proactive response at grass roots level and am gearing up for implementing leaving packaging at the retailer, or sending it back to the producer. It’s unpopular, but radical enough to ruffle some feathers into flight…

  14. maisie says:

    I would think they are probably covering their backs with the 2 years as if they quoted an earlier time and then it didn’t happen people would moan, but if it is done earlier they can boast on how quickly they did get it done(cynical or what).

    The lady on the checkout yeaterday also told me that the staff had had briefings on how to split the waste as they were shelf filling and that they had been told as well that own label products would be in recyclable in the future.

  15. Mrs Green says:

    Hi maisie, you make a good point about the timeline. The information you had from the checkout lady yesterday sounds very promising. Thank you for sharing all your information here.

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