Weekly weigh in twenty two

Filed in Blog by on October 29, 2008 20 Comments
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I haven’t done a weigh in for three weeks now, so here is the past 3 weeks rubbish that will be heading to landfill sometime in the near future.

It’s interesting; I was reading someone else’s blog a few days ago about reducing waste and their question focused on avoiding plastic bin bags. They didn’t think they were ready to forgo a bin liner because of the state their bin got into.I think one of the most rewarding things from doing our own zero waste challenge is the fact that our bin no longer stinks, or have dirty, wet stuff in it.

If you ‘manage’ your rubbish properly there is no need for anything yukky at all. Some people who have fortnightly bin collections really worry about the hygiene side of things, but I’m hoping we can put their minds at rest with some of the things we do.

Ok, so far I haven’t had to go through a long-hot summer dealing with waste in this way and neither do I have a child in nappies or use disposable sanitary items to get rid of (Do try the mooncup or washable pads, ladies). But by washing and drying all our waste there is nothing nasty to have to contend with.

Hence three weeks have passed and I haven’t done a weigh in. The stuff just sits in a box in the kitchen and to be honest, I rarely look at it now. I’m more interested in getting rid of the recyclables – so my whole focus and shift has changed.

For three weeks then we have amassed the following:

large poppadom box
1 unmarked split plastic reusable container – there is some irony in there somewhere
1 cereal bar wrapper
3 crisp bags
1 dried dates bag
1 rice bag
plastic seal from curry
1 sultanas bag
Cling wrap from some broccoli <sigh>
3 salad bags
1 cellophane bread bag, bought on a CBA day
1 Tomato puree tube – I wasn’t sure if I could put it in with the tins – does anyone know?
1 unmarked cream pot.
3 seals from honey / jam pots

The total is 139 grams, which, for 3 weeks brings us well within my personal target of less than 100 grams per week.

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 (20)

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  1. Poppy says:

    That is mega mega good Mrs G!!

    We’re still on about one carrier a week, but I’m doing what I can to reduce that. I feel a little sad about it, but I keep grabbing things out that DH has ditched. Most of which is fine for the worms in out compost bin. I’ve not heard a worm sneeze yet!!

    With regard to the person your refer to not being able to ditch their bags because the bin would get too messy, I too wonder what it is she/he is ditching that is causing the mess.

    I have a pile of butter/spread type tubs that I haven’t yet found a home for 🙁 I was going to send them off to the company you mentioned previously, but I haven’t quite got my head around paying £1.60 to send off a batch of what is essentialy rubbish.

    DH also had some rather interesting yoghurt pots the other day that don’t have an identifying mark on them, so I have emailed the manufacturer to ask. I don’t suppose it will sadly make much difference to their final resting place, but these companies should be getting their heads around making sure people are at least armed with the facts.

  2. Ailbhe Leamy says:

    I’ve been using washable nappies continuously for over four years. And this past week I put two pairs of soiled knickers in the bin. There are things I just can’t face.

    Still, the acid involved should break down the cotton very, very quickly. Looooots of acid.

    (Our landfill bin is fairly full but in general not smelly. Smelly stuff goes to the compost heap or the wormery. Except this week).

  3. If they were pure cotton I’d be inclined to put them in the compost. This is why I’m making cotton dishcloths – so they can be used, abused, washed and used again until they literally fall apart and then – being cotton – can go in the compost.

  4. Di Hickman says:

    The bin bag thing is one I’m working on. DH finds it ridiculous that we have a bag in a bin that is meant for throwing things away, and I see his point. We got our compost area going this month so that should eliminate the soggy stuff.

    You are doing so well with the zero waste challenge!

  5. maisie says:

    I must admit I still use a bag in my kitchen bin but they are bio-degradeable ones bought from Natural Collection.

    We are still avaraging a carrier bag a week.

    We went to the Recycling Facility today and dropped off all the plastic tubs etc(type 5 & 6) which can’t go in the kerbside, I also dropped off a bin liner full of polythene (type 4) which previously I had been posting to Polyprint.

    And I found out that I can take my used chip pan oil there as well and they will recycle that.

    So all in all a good day, as we also went shopping in the local market town which still has a traditional feel to it and allot of the shops are interested in fair trade and recycling.

  6. jen cleanbin says:

    I agree with the “what are they putting in there that’s so messy” sentiment. I’m guessing it’s food. If you don’t compost, you must line your bin. I do find I’ve been flushing a few moldy food scraps that I wouldn’t usually in order to keep them out of the bin, but it’s not on a regular basis. I have heard that you aren’t supposed to flush anything down the toilet, but what do you do if you mismanaged your shopping and end up with a moldy yogurt container? I can’t compost yogurt, and I definitely don’t want it sitting in my bin all year (we’re aiming to take our trash out once a year).

  7. Mrs Green says:

    Thank you Poppy; we’re really pleased and the fact I’m not thinking about it weekly means I know it’s all under control (just gotta do the same with food waste, eh?!)
    Your carrier bag for a family is really excellent – let us know what you do with the butter wrappings and what the yogurt pots are.

    Hi Ailbhe; you made me laugh – I have to admit to have done exactly the same in the past. What a couple of lightweights we are LOL!

    Sarah; you’re **making** cotton dishcloths; is this simply cutting up some old sheets or knitting them or what?

    Thanks Di; it’s good more people are thinking about the craziness of a plastic bag to line the bin. Let me know what you decide to do!

    Maisie, how do you find the biodegradable bin bags? Well done on the one carrier bag per week; that’s really excellent. I keep imagining what it would be like if every household produced that. A swing bin liner even, would make a huge difference. It sounds like you had a lovely day and have some very good facilities near by,

    Jen, Mr Green has flushed a few things too. I’m just not sure how I feel about it. I tell him off, but it can’t be worse than the toxic waste some humans produce ‘naturally’ LOL! I’ll be interested to hear what others think on this. What’s the difference between poo and some food you would have eaten anyway that has gone past its best?


  8. Knitting them Mrs G! As part of your challenge/pledge I taught myself to knit and am making scarves for some Christmas presents and dishcloths are easy – cast on 30, knit til big enough, cast off – of course there are people who make fancy ones with patterns, but you don’t have to.

  9. SR says:

    im really impressed and will keep reading you site to find how to get there. I do have a child in diapers so to me this would be a really smell disaster

  10. Ailbhe Leamy says:

    Sarah: The knickers have elastic waists, and anyway our composting is a major effort – we have a three-layer wormery and a composting tub (the plastic water-barrel kind), but nowhere to use the resultant compost, so when our friends aren’t in the mood to take it off our hands it sits there taking up space. Luckily what little garden waste we have can be taken away with the kerbside collection so it’s almost all food waste.

  11. maisie says:

    The bio bags are good and strong feel like those latex gloves abit. Whether or not this is a good thing they don’t come quite big enough for a normal swing bin so you have to use a smaller bin.

    After all the good efforts we have been doing; DS1 cleaned his room yesterday as he was getting a new to him bed, one bin liner later it was done; “Mum I know I should be splitting it all into piles but that would take far too long and I CBA”, I did delve in and pulled out quite a few magazines and pieces of paper but am afraid to say that a bag weighing in at 570g of carp went into the landfill bin.

    I can’t complain too much as he is usually very good and normally takes the compostable out to the bin each time it needs to go.

    Sarah, I too have some dishcloths being knitted as work in progress, (whist watching tv); I used to do them years ago for my Nan and then thought about the cloths I was buying and found a firm online who sells dishcloth cotton and away I went.

  12. Mrs Green says:

    Ah yes, Sarah; I’m getting the dull thud of a memory coming back to me now. You were going to do some scarves too if I remember correctly. Are you enjoying knitting?

    Hi SR; welcome to the site. Your child won’t be in diapers for ever, so perhaps this is something you could look to when you no longer have to deal with them. Are washable nappies a possibility for you?

    Ailbhe, I’m glad you are able to get your compostable garden stuff taken away; it must be very difficult if you don’t have facility to do that at home.

    Hi maisie, good to hear your experiences of the bio bags. Thank you! Sorry to hear about the decluttering; you’ll know from past posts that you have lots of empathy for that one! It’s only an occasional thing and we just have to live with it. I hope your son likes his new bed 🙂

  13. Knitting is lots of fun, can be a recycling activity – unravel that old jumper and make something new with it – and it makes Christmas gifts too.

  14. Oh and the charity scarf project has grown larger than I’d hoped, it’s brilliant.

  15. Lori S says:

    Mrs. Green, You are really doing great at keeping rubbish out of the landfill! I appreciate your mention of the cloth sanitary items. I am going to hand-sew my own items. I found a website with easy-sounding instructions, although they recommend a sewing machine, which I don’t have. It’s hillbillyhousewife.com, & the patterns & info are free. They recommend using flannel from thrift stores or Freecycle. That sounded a little unsanitary to me at first, but after washing in hot water I think it should be fine. I am considering buying the large biodegradable trash bags for the stuff we really have to throw away, but if just about all the other bags in the landfill are regular ones, will mine make a difference? I know it doesn’t cause much pollution to produce the “bio” bag, so that’s great, but it can’t break down if surrounded by non-bio bags, can it? I have to justify the extra cost to hubby, & I’m interested in others’ opinions. We are on a tight budget. Thanks!

  16. Mrs Green says:

    Sarah, that’s great news about the charity scarf project – well done! I know I mumbled something about taking part, but well, ya know. There is always next year **blush**

    Hi Lori, thank you for your comment. I took a look at the site you mentioned and there are some great things on there. I was looking at some of the food recipes too. Good luck with the sewing project; I bet you’ll feel really good about it when you’ve made some pads 🙂

    I think your thoughts on ‘can I make a difference’ are ones that we ALL have at times, but you know I’ve begun to realise that there is a growing mass of people who are making more conscious day-to-day choices, which means gradually using biodegradable trash bags or taking our own reusable bags to the store, or buying products with less packaging is becoming more popular.
    I do know what you mean about eco friendly choices being more expensive; we have found that too. But then I look at the ‘bigger picture’ and figure that the cost to me as a consumer is a tiny part of the equation. Now I try and look at the cost to the environment, which will then come back, if not to me, then to my daughter in the future.
    but whether you can get your hubby to agree with that, well, you’ll know better than us. It does help if they are sympathetic to the environmental cause……….
    Good luck and let us know what you decide 🙂

  17. You did make volunteering type noises, and there’s still time – get cast on….

  18. Mrs Green says:

    Sorry; can’t hear you; there is some fuzzing on the line……….
    **runs away and hides**

  19. **dusts the line**


  20. Mrs Green says:


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