Sometimes only a plastic carrier bag will do

Filed in Blog by on October 2, 2008 13 Comments
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You remember the ten jars of chutney I made the other week? The ones I felt very proud of? The ones that made me feel like a true zero wasting earth mama extrodinaire?

Well now there are nine.

Was it so delicious that we have scoffed a jar already (despite knowing that we should wait 2 months before opening)? Did the neighbours bash down the door and beg for a jar? Were we burgled?

No, this happened:

smashed jar of chutney
Yes that’s right. Mr Green had lined up the jars on top of the fridge. I reached behind the jars to get a carton of milk and I knocked a jar off.

Much to my surprise it shattered.

Oh the weeping and wailing.

Not only shed tears over spoiled food and wasted time and effort, but the shame of the burden on the landfill.

I have my zero waste limits and picking shards of glass out from chutney is one of them. Yes I COULD have done it. I could have put the chutney in the compost perhaps and cleaned the glass and put it in the right receptacle at the recycling centre.

But convenience won over (as convenient as it can be to scoop up glass and food mixed together on a carpet) and I ended up with this instead:
carrier bag of rubbish for the landfill

Interestingly, a few weeks ago, Mr Green and I had an argument adult discussion about carrier bags. As we no longer ever take them from the supermarkets, Mr Green wanted to get rid of them all from the house.

I don’t mind admitting that this left me feeling a bit jittery. There are certain circumstances in life where a carrier bag is very handy – clearing up cat shit and sick are two note worthy examples.

Well today as I was procrastinating wildly as the waft of not-yet-ready chutney filled the air, my dearly beloved got down on his knees and started attacking the mess with newspaper and yes, you’ve got it, an old carrier bag.

I didn’t dare gloat, as he was good enough not to mention my stupidity at knocking the jar onto the floor. Let sleeping dogs lie and all that……..

Alas I shall be dumping 614gms of shame into the landfill tomorrow as we drive past the recycling centre. Yes, I weighed it; how sad am I?


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 (13)

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  1. esther says:

    hihihi, loved this post, really funny!

  2. Hi Mrs G – oh my, and look at the mess on the carpet too! I just love the photo of you with carrier bag…it reminds me of the kind you get in local newspapers. I don’t know how you managed to keep a straight face, especially as you knew you were right about the carrier bag ;-D

  3. Poppy says:

    If it had been one of the bio-degradable carriers, would that have taken the sting out a little?
    I was talking to a lady in The Pier, which is a seperate retail outlet within Homebase. I bought 2 small candles from her and she wrapped them in paper (good brownie point) and then went to put them in a carrier as well (bad brownie point!). I asked if I needed to have the carrier (may have been a security issue), but she said no, so I declined. She then went on to tell me that they are biodegradable and soon they will be even more so. The new bags will have more little pockets of air in them to make degrade much faster.

    I’m not sure how real these objectives are, perhaps someone could enlighten me. However, she also claimed that many other outlets will also be taking on these new bags. She realed off a number of names, but the only one I can remember is Next.

    I did say that I believe re-usable bags were an even better idea and she did agree.

  4. louise larder says:

    Sorry to hear you lost 1 jar of chutney,:(
    I just made some the other day having been inspired by your chutney making post, what is amazing is that it tastes good!! ( apples, tomatoes onions )

  5. Denise says:

    oh your sad little face honey
    big love

  6. Mrs Green says:

    Hi Esther – glad it bought a smile to your face. Being able to laugh at such situations is vital!

    Almost Mrs A – it **is** like one of those doom and gloom photos from the front of the local paper (the ones I always take the mickey out of, I have to admit) 😀

    Hi Poppy; that’s interesting news on the carrier bag front. I’m not yet sure how I feel about biodegradable bags. I’m not sure that they disappear into nothing you see; I think they just break down into tiny pieces faster. But don’t quote me on that; I intend to research it.

    Louise – well done on the chutney making – you’re not supposed to taste it for 2 months LOL! But glad it’s good.

    Denise – lovely to see you. How are you?

  7. Oh, I HATE it when I do that. I once dropped an entire gallon of milk(in a glass jar from the farm) onto my kitchen floor. Not only did I waste the whole gallon of milk, the resusable jar was broken to bits too. I was very distressed, and nearly cried over the spilled milk! lol

  8. Mrs Green says:

    Hi Kristen, it’s one of those things that really gets to you, doesn’t it?
    I was just thankful that Mr Green cleared it up for me; I’d still be standing there now procrastinating about the best way to clean it up. It’s one of those situations where I just freeze and act like a rabbit caught in headlights……….

  9. Wild Cherry says:

    I’ve had a few carrier bags made from potatoes and they say 100% biodegradable on them so I hope its not a lie! They certainly don’t last as long as normal plastic carrier but they did have a relatively good life so I’m not complaining 🙂

  10. Wild Cherry says:

    I’ve had a few carrier bags made from potatoes and they say 100% biodegradable on them so I hope its not a lie! They certainly don’t last as long as normal plastic carrier (thank heavens – who needs a bag to last millions of years?) but they did have a relatively good life so I’m not complaining 🙂

  11. Mrs Green says:

    Hi Wild Cherry; I’m still keeping an open mind on biodegradable carrier bags and I will let you know if I find anything out.

  12. Allison says:

    Brilliant! I just love this! I too have my own stock of reusable bags which go everywhere with me. My favourite ones are from Clares Accessories,they cost about £2.50 and come in their own little carrier which clips onto your handbag – brill! However, having a few carrier bags around the house is a necessity when you have mishaps like your one, poor thing! I really feel for you!

  13. Mrs Green says:

    Hi Allison, welcome to the site. I’ve never heard of Clare’s Accessories, so thank you for that; I’ll check them out.

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