Weekly weigh in; year 1, week 4

Filed in Blog by on June 27, 2009 6 Comments
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Landfill waste for this week - larger than life!

Landfill waste for this week - larger than life!

The landfill bin seems to be overflowing this week. It’s clear that while the cats were in the garage decluttering, Little Mouse Green was helping herself to crisps a-plenty!

There is also some meat packaging that I don’t normally buy. I ended up buying prepacked meat from the supermarket because by the time we had finished for the day and gone to the recycling centre throughout our WRAP recycle week, the butcher was closed.

In addition we bought strawberries as a treat, but now our local orchard is open, so there will be no need for the punnets for the rest of the season. I had planned to reuse the punnet, but by the time I got to the landfill bin Mr Compactor, had had his merry way with it and it was crushed beyond use.

So, weighing heavy in the landfill this week we have:

  • 2 lentils bags
  • 2 oatcakes wrappers
  • 1 sliced chicken wrapper
  • 1 chicken plastic tray
  • 1 sausage plastic tray
  • 1 cheese packet
  • 1 strawberry punnet
  • 1 cress punnet
  • 3 dried fruit bags
  • 10! crisp packets (they were the mini cheddars I’ll grant her) plus the outer
  • 2 cereal bar wrappers
  • 1 ice cream lid
  • huge amount of thick clingfilm type wrap which came from a filing cabinet I bought

All in all it weighs a staggering 236 grams – 120 gms of that was the thick wrap from the filing cabinet. I have to go back to the store next week to buy suspension files (I was unaware that you could get either foolscap or A4 size – doh!) and I’m considering whether to return the packaging to them. The total is way above our weekly target of 100gms per week and it just goes to show what a little convenience shopping can do to the amount of our weekly waste.

How did you get on this 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 (6)

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  1. John Costigane says:

    Hi Mrs Green,

    It is very easy to loosen the Zero Waste attitude, but understandable in unique circumstances like the garage detail.

    There are challenges in everyday activity. I recently started buying herring during the brief summer season. Herring is very oily and handling therefore is difficult. The first purchase ended up as a plastic wrap confrontation where I simply refused to have any in my container. Staff suddenly found the determination Zero Wasters have. The next time I took along with me a tupperware base as a temporary vehicle for the moving of the fish to the container, waiting on the scales: the weighing scales not the fish scales. All was fine as the boss respected my wishes, not needing the tub. I intend to take it in future nevertheless to deal with awkward situations.

    My first quarter is nearly over and 1oz is achievable. This has been a perfect quarter with no major setbacks and even a Sweet Basil bonus where home grown is the only choice. I contacted Entrading and Ecover about a vinegar refillable option but it looks unlikely. Maybe vinegar is too old-fashioned.

  2. Carole says:

    @John Costigane: John, on investigating my tomato plants today, I have some very small green tomatoes! Just a couple of weeks should see them start to redden. They are a cherry variety so I don’t expect huge fruits, but just to see them there today was a big boost. Not bad for someone with no garden as such. I’ve been using my basil for weeks now. Time to sow some more!

  3. John Costigane says:

    @Carole: Great to see your success with tomatoes, Carole. Like for Sweet Basil a suntrap is a fine location for them. I will definitely try some next year. My various basil plants are going great and family and neighbours will all get a pot. Repotting has been a great help with growth improving. The hot/humid conditions today are probably the best environment.

    Gardens are the best locations but need close tending, with slugs and weeds, ever-present. Weather can be a problem as well though I must say the past 8 weeks have been superb. Chances are next year will be less perfect.

  4. Mrs Green says:

    @John Costigane: You’ve done really well John – well done for sticking by your principles; I’m not quite so good at that when confronted by tutting shop staff. Mr G looked at the rubbish this week and said ‘We need to change our habits if we’re going to get through a year with one bin’ and he’s right. So we’ll hold a ‘family meeting’ soon and see what we come up with.

    @Carole: Woohoo! We have some green tomatoes too and tiny pumpkins and courgettes. Well done – keep up the great work!

  5. John Costigane says:

    @Mrs Green: I remember metal bins as being a lot smaller than wheelies which gives us bins-on-wheels luggers the advantage of double? capacity. That in itself makes the challenge more difficult. Maybe a shorter period could be set, with an extension nearer the end point, if space permits. There is no doubt the family situation has a lot more challenges.

  6. Mrs Green says:

    @John Costigane: That’s true, John. The wheelie bins are 240 litres; I would reckon ours is half of that.
    We had a discussion about things again today and LMG came out with a radical statement to be shared later in the week! I also made some changes to my shopping habits today as I must confess I have got lazy lately and there is room for improvement.

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