Weekly weigh in’s year 1, weeks 11 and 12

Filed in Blog by on August 24, 2009 6 Comments
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A lot of landfill waste from the past two weeks

A lot of landfill waste from the past two weeks

Well I can see why I’ve been procrastinating about posting up about our waste for a few days.

There is stacks of stuff in there, but of course I’m behind with logging it all and this is for the past fortnight.

When Mr Green put a cheese wrapper into our landfill box and it slid straight out onto the floor I knew it was time to take action.

For the past fortnight I’ve been really busy and the first place it shows is in the amount of rubbish we create as a household

However, I’ve still been doing really well with my ‘no spend’ food challenge and have got through a fortnight with no purchases except yogurt, fresh fruit and vegetables and finally this weekend I needed to buy cheese.

I may not have been spending money on food, but there are all sorts of nasties in our landfill waste from other purchases and projects such as printer cartridges, decorating we did in Little Miss Green’s bedroom and Mr Green’s ongoing LED lighting projects.

In the landfill bin for the past fortnight we have:

  • lots of assorted offcuts of cables from LEDs
  • 4 dead felt tip pens
  • miscellaneous packaging from LED bulbs
  • 4 plastic corners and cellophane wrapping from a picture bought for LMG’s bedroom
  • 2 printer cartridge packages
  • 2 cheese wrappers
  • 5 lentils bags (I’ve been hungry)
  • 1 cereal bar wrapper
  • 1 foil pack from free sample of cat food
  • miso soup wrapping
  • cellophane wrapping from kitchen scourers
  • 2 large crisp packets
  • 1 dried bananas bag
  • yeast packaging
  • cd spindle and packaging
  • plastic moulding from mp4 player

All in all it weighs a landfill swelling 304 gms, which is far beyond our weekly target of 100gms and points out once again how a couple of DIY projects around the home and topping up on computer consumables can add considerably to household waste.

How have you been getting on for the past two weeks?

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,

    A huge figure in comparison to recent very low totals, over 10oz in 2 weeks. Does this affect the one year’s target?

    There are several factors at play. Food commodities/ingredients are largely still wrapped in plastic eg lentils. These are a prime target for refillable solutions, since bulk purchases are common. There are jars and jars of such items in my home to defer such purchases. Vegetarianism, like many other trends, uses much plastic packed goods.

    Non-recurring, or infrequent, waste items eg pens, cartridges, are also present. Refillable solutions are available for some of these. At the end of the 5 year target all such non-recurring waste will be added to my landfill bin bag, or bags, if required. Maybe the situation will have improved by then with more sustainable choices for home waste.

    Many areas are unaffected so far by our Zero Waste trend. These include the drug industry, home product suppliers and numerous others. Finding, the difficult bit, and promoting better choices is part of the process of change. Those businesses affected by Zero Waste, in a negative way, are powerless to prevent such changes. The wise thing for them is to be part of the process.

    Plastic wrapped stuff in supermarkets tends to be cheaper than unpackaged, another good reason for shopping local, where available.

  2. sandy says:

    in our area we can recycle ink cartridges, or send them to “The Centre of Alternative Technology”
    in Mid Wales.

  3. John Costigane says:

    Hi Mrs Green,

    After 2.5 years of a total coconut deficit, due to Zero Waste principles, I can now announce that we have the coconut, Zero Waste that is. Baking and desserts options have now been restored to pre-trend days. Ian the local source, in Paisley, has restored the old weigh-house system to supply home dried food, and other, commodities. He plans to use the Whole Food type wall-mounted delivery system, much like Beth, from FakePlasticFish, uses in the USA.

    Today 3 container purchases were made for desiccated coconut, coffee granules and sultanas. Also available are lentils, peas, raisins, sweets and washing powder. There are plenty of other items and their range could well expand if the business is successful. This is an add-on to his fruiterer business and there is some free space to utilise.

    Ian seems keen to develop the system and this could benefit both our trend and his business. Local Shopping is a good trend to promote for various reasons and this could prove a fine example.

  4. Mrs Green says:

    @John Costigane: Hi John, the target for the year is looking doubtful now, although I think we’ve had a pretty good week this week; I need to write it up in a moment. I’m not sure we will manage to go a full year without emptying our bin, but I feel certain that if we had a wheelie bin it would have been ok. We’ve still got the old fashioned metal dustbin which is 100 litres; if my memory serves me correctly. Whatever it is, it’s less than a wheelie bin.

    What a brilliant find with Ian and all his unpackaged goods. Does he have a website? It would be good to promote him. Give him a high five from us when you next see him!

    @sandy: Hi Sandy; I have recycled the cartridges; it’s the packaging that ended up in the bin – clamshell packaging no less 🙁

  5. John Costigane says:

    @Mrs Green: Hi Mrs Green, I would not worry about the shortening of your target time since Zero Waste is far from being universal in all aspects of activity. Your coverage of house/garage clearing has value for other householders, even though much waste was generated. A lot of this is one time clearance which should nor recur for a good while.

    A better approach is to set a 3/4 year target and plan to improve the next challenge when things should be easier. As you well know reducing waste is a growing trend with new plastic packaging avoidance measures arising on a regular basis.

    Ian is a keen internet user which was a pleasant surprise. I will ask him to join-in here as a retailer. He is aware of environmental issues, including selling organic produce. We need such people to join the trend.

  6. Mrs Green says:

    Hi John,
    Thanks for your thoughts – you’re right and the most experience we gain, along with reduced packaging on items, the easier it gets.
    It would be great to see Ian here if he gets the time to do so 🙂
    We could feature the things he is doing to inspire others.

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