Our zero waste celebration Sunday lunch

Filed in Blog by on September 7, 2008 3 Comments
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Sunday lunch zero waste
It’s a bit like Christmas really; zero waste week is nearly at an end after months of planning. We had our Saunday lunch, had a sleep afterwards and now there are a few hours left to enjoy the day.

We had another near miss just before lunch. We thought we had struck gold in the Co-Op this week with some beef. It was in a foil tray, a cardboard sleeve and was sealed with a PP (5) lid, which we knew we could send to GHS for recycling.
We thought we were going to be able to be oh so clever and say ‘Look! Here’s some really easy beef to cook. How hard is it to do a zero waste week?’ and every housewife and manly chef across the land would declare their dustbin a superfluous kitchen object for ever more.

But Little miss Green was hanging around in the kitchen during lunch preparation. She took the beef out of the fridge and said ‘Why does it have a hairband on it?’

A hairband?

Yes, on closer inspection, in true celebrity following of Fern Britton, our joint of beef had received a tummy band. It did indeed have a large ‘hairband’ on it. It wasn’t rolled beef, so why did it have one? It didn’t have particularly long hair that was in danger of getting in its eyes either.sunday lunch zero waste baked red cabbage

No, it had a bay leaf on it and I guess the manufacturers didn’t want it slipping off in transit lest an unhappy customer sans bayleaf should ask for a refund and return.

Oh we live in a world of superficial ‘judge a book by its cover’-ness don’t we?

Now luckily, Mr Green and Little Miss Green didn’t have to eat lentil bake for lunch; I think that would have gone down like a lead balloon into the landfill. We already had some more beef in the fridge from the butcher – phew!

I had images of me knocking on the neighbour’s door Like Oliver, holding up an empty meat tray and asking for more. Or the cat sharing her much loved lunch with them which wouldn’t have pleased her in the least.sunday lunch zero waste roast potatoes

So, we ate a little later than scheduled, but eat we did – roast potatoes, baked red cabbage, broccoli and even very orange carrots, because those, apparently, are Little Miss green’s favourite kind.

Pudding went down a treat – Mr Green actually grabbed my leg as he ate it was so good 😉 It was an almond and apple pie with a pastry crust you could march armies on. Little miss Green slowly slumped down onto the floor defeated by the last crumb and we ate from our best linen tablecloth. Well, we ate from plates, but you get the picture.

apple tart zero waste pudding

I’m delighted to see that we so far have a unanimous vote on the plastic sellotape inner – you are all so kind and it’s great that you want us to succeed. You have until we go to bed this evening to cast your vote. Plus Mrs A has stepped in anyway to relieve us of our pesky friend. Yes, the inner will become a piece of art to be admired by all, made by Mrs A’s artist-friend, Fran Crowe.

Now all I need to do is see whether or not I can get a roll dispenser for large sellotape? Can I? Because Poppy reminded me that the large reels come with a cardboard inner – go figure!
I cannot see me going back to scissors and wrapping everything but the parcel in sellotape. This is likely to create more waste in sellotape that has stuck to itself, than the little inner plastic reels.

Do let me know!


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 (3)

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  1. Kris says:

    I find proper branded sellotape is easy to rip with the fingernails so doesn’t really need a dispenser, it’s also pretty good for finding the end without resorting to a fold-back and waste of tape.

    Scotch Tape is good too, but I don’t know if that is available with a cardboard inner.

    Was the hairband on the beef not something reusable? Since I’ve been reusing little tubs for things like cheese I often find it precautionary to put a band round to make sure the lid is held on tight – so far I’m using my postal supply of red elastic bands, but I wouldn’t mind a washed elastic from a meat joint, especially as it isn’t directly near the food.

  2. I don’t use a dispenser – and besides, aren’t the dispensers plastic too?

    Maybe some nice compostable jute string would be better.

  3. Mrs Green says:

    Hi Kris,
    THanks for that; I’ll check out the branded sellotape and see how I get on with it.
    Not sure about the hairband – we’ll let you know when Mr Green has eaten the beef. My initial reaction was that we wouldn’t be able to get it clean enough for safe reuse – it’s been wrapped around raw meat; but as you say, wrapped around the outside of a pot might be something we could do. I’ll have a think once it’s been used and washed up.

    Sarah; string and brown paper is lovely, but I have lots of use jiffy bags that need sealing in some way and then I have to attach the piece of paper with the recipient’s address on it. I use staples too, but am wary of the postie’s fingers, so cover the backs of them with tape to avoid them nipping their fingers.
    I’m open to ideas though…….

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