Food waste Friday and weekly weigh in; year 1, week 3

Filed in Blog by on June 19, 2009 9 Comments
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Weekly weigh in - a lot of stuff for the landfill this week

Weekly weigh in - a lot of stuff for the landfill this week

Things are looking a little tragic on the landfill front this week. I finally took the bull by the horns and sorted out Little Miss green’s bedroom in time for WRAP’s Recycle week. I gave her two weeks notice that she could tidy it herself with the choice that if she didn’t want to, I would go in there and may well throw away assorted ‘treasures’ in the process.

I do remember how essential that old sticker covered in fluff or a torn piece of paper with children’s names on can be at the age of eight, but the lure of getting out of doing the job was greater than salvaging secret messages and broken bits of whatever to her.

To be fair, most of the ‘rubbish’ was shredded, creased and torn bits of paper – I swear Little Miss Green was a hamster in a previous life, but there were the usual offenders too: A splintered plastic cd case, broken lego (how does that happen?), bits of a game that have got bent, broken pens, chewed rubbers (erasers dear American friends before we have a hugely embarrassing conversation), a torn carrier bag that she had worn as a swimsuit and and bits of plastic wire.

Food waste was not bad. All that were left looking for a home were three beetroot. I love beetroot, it’s one of my favourite vegetables, but I’d got out of the habit of eating them once the winter offerings were woody and inedible. This week, our local organic farm shop had fresh, new season beetroot in, so I duly bought them, cooked them up and promptly forgot about them. Four days later I found them tucked in a little parcel in the oven.

They may have been al right, but I need all my strength for next week’s adventures, so wasn’t going to take any chances with my stomach. I chucked them in the compost bin for the resident rats to munch.

The rest of this weeks waste waste consisted of:

  1. 1 lentils bag
  2. 3 dried fruit bags
  3. 1 bread rolls wrapping
  4. 1 oatcakes wrapper
  5. 3 crisp packets
  6. 1 sunflower seeds bag
  7. 1 cucumber portion bag
  8. 1 cheese wrapping
  9. 1 vine tomatoes wrapping and plastic tray
  10. 1 plastic tray from chicken
  11. 1 plastic tray from ham
  12. 1 old shaver foil and packaging
  13. 1 polystyrene tub and lid from a deli counter – found in the bargain bin
  14. Assorted bag of ‘stuff’ found in Little Miss Green’s bedroom
  15. 3 individual plastic packs from tissues

I have to confess; I’ve had a pretty ropey week and this always reflects on the amount of landfill waste we create.

I get hayfever during the month of June and it’s been really bad this year. I have not slept fully for 3 weeks and I am utterly exhausted. At these times, convenience comes into play – hence grabbing vine tomatoes and ready cooked meats from Lidls instead of traipsing to the green grocers and the butchers. Buying bread instead of making it and buying half a packaged cucumber because I couldn’t be arsed to go to the farm shop. Buying pasta salad from the deli counter, because, to be honest, standing in the kitchen to chop vegetables and wait for the water to boil simply feels like too much.

I’ve learned that a zero waste lifestyle is great when you’re feeling well, energised and motivated, but if you’re getting 3 hours or less of sleep per night, then forget it.
Convenience rules.

All in all hayfever and a little decluttering has cost the landfill a staggering 413 gms

I’m not sure our dustbin is going to last us the entire year at this rate; we’ll have to see. And I must admit, I’m getting a bit jittery about our declutter the garage pledge; it’s not exactly the best task to undertake on minimal sleep …

What about you – how have you got on this week?

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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 (9)

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  1. And I thought it was only me who discovered things in the oven LOL. Damn hayfever, hope it gets better soon. And don’t forget the fact that 413gms is much better than the average bin. Hope you get a good rest before next Monday. It’s going to be busy 😀

  2. John Costigane says:

    Hi Mrs Green,

    I share the hayfever misery and just sneeze until the sneezing stops. Eventually it settles down. Avoiding high pollen days can help but sometimes you just have to live with it.

    Your waste total is understandable, especially after your first whole year. If you cannot manage a year settle for 9 months, or less. The point is with a family effort, there are so a many challenges. and situations, to provide setbacks. The answer is to learn from the difficulties.

    Living in the public eye is demanding and I admire your efforts, along with the family’s, to promote better living and to cover every relevant issue that arises. As for the Recycle Week, take your time and deal with 1 type of item/day. The idea is to talk about the issue for the benefit of readers and encourage their participation. It is a real issue which people need help and advice on.

    As Mrs A says, enjoy a break for the weekend. The Week could be massive.

  3. Alea says:

    I am sorry to hear that you were feeling bad!

    While that may be a lot of garbage for you, that is a fraction of the average household! Great job, all around!

  4. Sarah says:

    What Alea said…. That’s still a tiny amount of waste and if everyone reduced waste to that little it’d make a HUGE difference.

  5. Paula says:

    After reading your food waste post last week, I was inspired to notice how much trash I’m actually putting in the can. I actually looked and found the recycle number on several packages I would have automatically thrown away. Why do they make those numbers so hard and small to read? My waste is down to about a 1/2 a bag per week this past week, which is amazing for where we used to be!

  6. Mrs Green says:

    @Almost Mrs Average: Thanks Mrs A – I had another bad night last night. Grrrr; never mind it will be all cleared up soon. Mr G is looking forward to his challenge, so he should be able to motivate me 😉

    @John Costigane: Thank you John – sorry to hear you suffer the effects of hayfever too. We’ve done some good preparation for this week and we each have our role to ensure things run as smoothly as possible. We plan a car trip to the recycling centre at the end of every day to keep build up of items to a minimum. Not exactly great for the environment, but it’s only for a week and it will help our morale to keep short accounts.

    @Alea: Thank you Alea; there are good weeks and bad weeks! I love reading your posts about food waste too.

    @Sarah: Thank you lovely lady – you’re right, it’s the collective effort that counts. And I know heaps of our readers are doing fab things to minimise their waste too – it’s all good.

    @Paula: Hi Paula, welcome to the site; it’s lovely to see you here – I’m going to check out your post in a moment. Well done on reducing your waste so much this week; I hear you on the tiny recycle codes – they should be HUGE so there is no confusion!

  7. Can you not recycle the little paper bits?

    I hope you are feeling better soon!

  8. I don’t know if this will help but DH heard the other day that if you suffer from hayfever that eating some local honey in the run up to hayfever season should/could help eliviate some of the symptoms.

    We are lucky in that none of us suffer, but one of his work colleagues does.

    As for your landfill waste, considering you are not 100% that is good.

  9. Mrs Green says:

    @[email protected] Frugal Girl: Hi Kristen – all paper was recycled; perhaps I didn’t make that clear on the post. In addition, tiny pieces of shredded paper get burnt here if they are too small for recycling.

    @maisie dalziel: Thanks Maisie – I did try this approach one year. It didn’t seem to have any effect on me personally, but it is good for some people. In addition, you need to start it a month or so before the hayfever starts. unfortunately, I had another bad night. Asleep at 11, awake at 1 until 4, then back asleep until 6:30. That’s been a pattern for many days now and I’m completely worn out. I had more sleep with LMG was feeding throughout the night!

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