Reducing daily household trash – day four

Filed in Blog by on March 5, 2009 7 Comments
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household rubbish - day fourHere we are again; happy as can be …

This is day four of our how to reduce daily rubbish series. Only a couple more days I promise you! (go on, admit it; you’re loving this πŸ˜€ ) And then you’ll be able to find out exactly why we have done this. On to today then:

paper – 94g

outer from a bar of chocolate
scraps of paper from schoolwork
daily newspaper, given to us by our neighbour

metal – 70g

tin form curry
beer can

Foil – 6g

inner from chocolate wrapping
lids and containers from fruit puree

Food – 350g

Fruit and vegetable peelings

plastic – 47g

chocolate raisins bag
lentils bag
salad bag
2 yogurt pots and lids
polythene bread bag

Misc / mixed non recylable – 1g

1 crisp bag


What happens to all the stuff?

  • Paper and metal can be put out for kerbside collection. Find out what your council collect by contacting your local office
  • Foil will be stored for taking to our local recycling centre next time we are passing by. Find out where your nearest recycling centre is with Recycle Now.
  • Food is all raw food scraps such as fruit and vegetable peelings and eggs shells. These will be composted.
  • The polythene bread bag will be reused for storing home made bread and eventually put in with supermarket carrier bags in SOME stores. Alternatively, it can be stored up and sent off to Polyprint for recycling. I’m either donating yogurt pots to schools / playgroups or will send to GHS for recycling.
  • The non recyclable items (chocolate raisins bag (unmarked) lentils bag, salad bag (says non-recyclable film on the pack) and crisp packet will end up in the landfill.

All in all it weighed 570 gms of which 12g (the non recyclable items) will end up in landfill waste.

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 (7)

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  1. John Costigane says:

    Hi Mrs Green,

    It is a shame the way “plastic waste” food commodity bags are unavoidable, unless you choose to do without (I do this with coconut, dried fruit etc). With all the recent positive changes, there must be a chance of movement here.

    Home container based systems, for bulk items, are available to some extent. What I will be doing is to engage with supermarket staff to see if they can supply such items. There is still the paranoia about plastic necessity but that needs to be challenged.

  2. Katy says:

    When we were on holiday (Exeter I think) there was a shop selling scoop-your-own dry goods. There used to be more of them – where are they?

    I have been trying to buy fruit, nuts etc. in bags of 1kg or more. Suma’s minimum order was too high and the local wholefood wholesaler sells pre-packs (so you can buy 12 x 250g but not 1 x 3kg!). The search continues…

  3. Layla says:

    chocolate raisins – yum! (or nuts or such..mmm) I do wonder how easy/difficult it would be to make them oneself?

    Also, my Dad has bought raisins or such on a marketplace, in a paper bag (could be with own bag too..) – maybe that’s an option for some of you over there too? (if it’s not an eco market the stuff may probably be non-eco though.. so an organic marketplace/buying directly from farmer would be ideal.. maybe on holidays? combine two good things? πŸ™‚ )

    I’ve written to a radio show that was doing a show on food quality and such with a representative from a consumer association, and asked about the excessive packaging in supermarkets – haven’t been able to listen to the podcast yet though!!
    (the show itself was at 8am, so forgive me for not listening to it then!!) will report what they say if it was answered there (if I manage to listen to it!)

  4. okay, you knew that i would chime in to bring folks down to ground level. let’s start a diy day. do it yourself day.
    if you are serious with the redux, make it all yourself.
    alright now, i don’t mean grow your own lentils, the little buggers take much too much time and space to collect a handful from the garden out back.

    make yogurt, buy raisins and lentils etc in bulk, save by buying enough to store through the seasons and sales. make puddings and desserts can be made ahead and kept in re-usable packaging formerly known as recyclable. as long as it is not ladden with BPA plastifiers.
    and for goodness sake’s grow your own lettuce mini bar right on the kitchen shelf, a veritable plethora of delight awaits, mesclun in a bowl, parsley and sage, tomato on the porch, and why not rosemary in the bedroom for mood enhancing. and why not pollution control in a plant smiling at the livingroom window, edibles are fun to watch and eat.
    really folks tell me that i need a blog of me own? but i love to read you so.

  5. Mrs Green says:

    @John Costigane: Hi John, I agree about the commodity bags. The only choice at the moment is to go without; and although I might be willing to do this, I can’t make decisions for the other people in my family. We are able to buy some things in bulk from those huge containers; such as dried fruit, ground almonds and other baking essentials, but mostly, things come in plastic now.

    @Katy: Hi Katy; that’s the sort of shop i’m talking about. I’m sure there used to be many more than there are now. Now we are litigation mad, so probably won’t take the ‘contamination’ risks…
    let us know if you find anything exciting on your travels!

    @Layla: Hi layla, technically we COULD make our own chocolate raisins from fruit bought loose from a big bin and a bar of chocolate in foil / paper. I doubt for one minute Mr green will be up for that though; it will down to me to supervise the kitchen …

    I hope the radio show was good.

    @nadine sellers: Hey nadine; wise words as usual. You describe my utopian life; it’s just the one I lead also has ‘and do this, and this, and when you’ve finished that, there will be this to do …’ and before I know it, I’ve dashed to the shops to buy something wrapped in plastic.
    Ho hum πŸ˜‰

  6. Layla says:

    Ha ha, Nadine, I would love to read your blog – and watch the pictures!! πŸ™‚

    The yogurt production in our family is started again (Dad’s a big proponent on this, but Sis still kinda insists on store-bought, ugh – I’ve even found 2 tetrapaks in the trash!! she’s horrible!! πŸ™‚

    Mrs Green, you’ll be happy to know they I took heart to your mixed-seeds recommendations and used up the lot that’s been sitting in the fridge forever! (they were unsalted and slightly yucky. I’m happy to report I don’t even need to ‘bake’ them, salted are yummy enough!!:)
    am now on to sunflower kernels someone’s been hiding in the fridge as a healthy midnight snack! (nobody’s perfect!:))

    will hopefully manage to source package-free ones (if possible) – those were still in cellophane which is listed under ‘other/mixed garbage’ here.. πŸ™ why are health stores obsessed with it then?
    I’ve read some things online on cellophane and there seem to be mixed reports – some say it’s compostable, depending on which kind it is, others say it may be layered with other stuff and throwawayable.. (?)

    am planning something special for LMG’s birthday (in retrospect!) but will not reveal it yet! πŸ™‚ /not sure if it’ll ‘work’ anyway lol)

    Oh, and maybe when Mr Green’s away…? πŸ˜‰

  7. Mrs Green says:

    @Layla: Layla, Nadine is a wonderful writer who can transport you with her words. Do yourself a treat and keep checking her site for new additions; you won’t be disappointed πŸ˜‰

    Well done with the seeds. I keep promising myself to grow sunflowers and pumpkins in order to source my own zero waste version of seeds, but have never managed it yet. I look forward to hearing about LMG’s Birthday surprise!
    Ahhh, the Mr Green thing may have given me a clue – I’m guessing it has something to do with the greenest dollar?

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