Food waste Friday and weekly weigh in Year 1, week 22

Filed in Blog by on October 31, 2009 21 Comments
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Little Miss green with this week's landfill waste

Little Miss green with this week's landfill waste

I’m pleased to say our landfill bin is looking pretty slim this week. She’s on a diet to get her trim in time for Christmas.

If you’ve just joined us, we set ourselves a goal at the beginning of the year to only have our dustbin emptied once. We’ve achieved that so far, but we have a few more weeks, including Christmas before we achieve our target!

As you might imagine things are looking a bit compact in there at the moment, so we need to be careful.

Food waste was another matter. I’m deeply ashamed of this one.

I bought some vegetarian sausages that were in the reduced chiller at Budgens. I thought Little Miss Green might like to try them for a change. The thing is she felt a bit under the weather this week with blocked sinuses and tiredness. Mr Green was ill too; all this resulted in lack of appetite.

I cooked the sausages the day before their ‘use by’ date to make into a casserole the following day. The ‘following day’ arrived and LMG picked at her food like a sparrow and only wanted to eat fresh fruit. Mr Green was craving watercress, so he didn’t want them either.

At the end of the second day, I tossed the sausages into the fire.

To quote Alea from premeditated leftovers “A sale on something that you don’t need and can’t use it not a sale, but a waste. It doesn’t matter if it is a blouse or cabbage.”

So true and I learned it first hand this week. It was nowhere near as triumphant as the feeding of three people with one sausage that I did at the end of last year!

Alas the sausages also came in a non recyclable plastic box with film lid – so it was a doubly bad purchase.

Anyway, now I’ve confessed, here is our landfill waste for this week:

  • sausage packaging
  • 2 dried fruit  bags
  • clingfilm and plastic wrap from cheese on deli counter (we forgot our reusable containers)
  • cereal bar wrapper
  • lentils bag
  • ryvita pack
  • nurofen blister pack

All in all it weighs 32 gms. So despite my grand error of purchase, we are still way below our weekly target of 100 gms per week.


What about you? How did you get on this week? Remember, if you blog about food waste, head over to Kristen’s ‘The Frugal Girl‘ site to share your results!

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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 (21)

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  1. John Costigane says:

    Hi Mrs Green,

    Ill health can affect mealtimes so you were just unlucky that it coincided with use by dates. I hope both are recovered now since I am a poor patient myself and do not like to see others affected.

    The 32g is a fine total yet again. I discussed your 1 year challenge with another poster on SkyNews. Her family of 4, sibling and parents, manage 3 binbags per week and felt the challenge was impossible. After showing her the various unpackaged options, she realised the value of the trend. The Terracycle/Kenco coffee effort also came up and she seemed interested.

  2. Sarah says:

    I think I might have popped the sausages, or the casserole, into the freezer, but then I’ve been caught out with ill health and zero appetites too.
    Hope all are feeling better now!

  3. You guys and your trash output are amazing! Go you!

  4. Alea says:

    I crave fresh fruit when I am under the weather as well. It is best to listen to your body, unless yours tells you that you need massive amounts of chocolate to be civil, which mine occassionally does!

    I hope you are all on the mend.

  5. Ben says:

    Just curious, how big is your garbage?

  6. Mrs Green says:

    @John Costigane: Hi John, thanks again for helping to spread the word. My two are in fine health but now I’m feeling under the weather a little. Grrrrrr.

    @Sarah: You’re right Sarah; that is exactly what I should have done. but ya know, chucking them in the fire was easier – how bad am I?!

    @[email protected] Frugal Girl: Thanks Kristen; the weekly totals are good; now all I need to do is shine in the food waste department on a more regular basis!

    @Alea: Hi Alea, I always let LMG give into her cravings when ill; I trust the body’s intuition far above my rational mind! They are better now, thanks!

    @Ben: Hi Ben; we have one dustbin which is 100ltrs (22 gallons) and we’re aiming to not have it emptied for a year.

  7. Sarah says:

    @Mrs Green: When people are ill then things change and you have to focus on getting yourself, or them, well again. Back on the wagon now though eh?

  8. John Costigane says:

    Hi Mrs Green,

    The blue wheelie bin arrived today and was immediately put to good use. Plastic tubs, flattened, whole Tetra Paks and all plastic lids were put in for their first-ever recycling collection 20/11. I also dug out 0.5oz of lids from the first half of the year, replacing with an old sponge and some labels to restore the 3 oz weight. There were more lids in the first year bag of waste but I decided to leave well alone.

  9. Mrs Green says:

    @Sarah: Back on the wagon and holding the reigns, thanks Sarah 😉

    @John Costigane: Hi John; well how exciting for you – a new adventure in recycling begins! We were supposed to have food collections back in September, but all has been quiet on the Western front 🙁
    It sounds like your stash of goodies will go down no end. and I’m envious of the plastic tubs scenario – that’s wonderful for you!

  10. John Costigane says:

    Hi Mrs Green,

    The simplicity of commingled is a big plus which can help those who have previously avoided recycling (~50% locally). There are downsides in that the further processing may no be as efficient as it should be with less concern for waste minimisation, which we enthusiasts promote. It is still a work in progress. I would be happy to recycle your tubs, caps, yoghurt pots etc, if that would reduce your waste in the run-up to January.

    Sorry to see the food waste collection has been delayed. Maisie’s experience of joint green/food waste collections suspended until Spring was an unwelcome development. The mixing of such waste streams may have other disadvantages since the open composting process might attract flies etc, a common landfill scenario.

  11. Mrs Green says:

    @John Costigane: Hi John, we are currently sending our yogurt pots to GHS direct, but thanks for your offer; until we heard about them I would have jumped at the chance. I didn’t realise you only had a 50% uptake on recycling; it will be interesting to see how this increases figure; it should be dramatic.

  12. John Costigane says:

    Hi Mrs Green,

    I am glad you have GHS to send to, but since I managed to unload a stack of caps last year to Kristen I felt obliged to return the offer. One thing I am doubtful about is the mixing of different type of cap at mrfs, since it is likely that they are less motivated to avoid waste, like enthusiasts. GHS may therefore be the better choice for milk and others tops with the standard recycling labels.

  13. Mrs Green says:

    @John Costigane: John, we’re covering a story about milk bottle tops in the new year; a bankrupcy charity will be able to benefit which is good news …

  14. John Costigane says:

    @Mrs Green: Mrs Green, I will definitely show the link on SkyNews forum as part of my commingled topic. Do they also collect other lids eg 04 PE?

  15. Mrs Green says:

    I’m not sure at this stage, John; I’ll have to find out 😉

  16. John Costigane says:

    Hi Mrs Green,

    Thanks for that. We need to find such companies since the recycling of useful plastic lids is not guaranteed at MRFs, until they come clean on practices.

    On a personal note, my cousin May died recently after a long, age-related illness. The late Anna was concerned for May’s health over many years. My interest in tripe cooking came from May’s bad experience as a youngster, as well as the cheap cuts investigation. After 4 such meals, I can see her point since cooking it has to be precise to make it edible.

    On a happier note, a butcher, on TV News, was selling stacks of pig’s trotters to consumers, another reason to shop locally . I have yet to try them but this gives me confidence in taking the first step!

  17. Mrs Green says:

    @John Costigane: Hi John, sorry to hear about your cousin; I hope everything is working out ok. I saw trotters in the butcher the other day; I wasn’t personally tempted, but I’m confident you will find a way to make them palatable – enjoy!

  18. John Costigane says:

    Hi Mrs Green,

    Thanks for that. At such times our large family meets up after the funeral and burial, or cremation. Weather forecast for tomorrow’s event is sunny periods, despite the previous 2 days continuous downpour. I do not know which weather is better for burials: a bright day or a dull wet day, since both are fitting.

    On a ‘grow your own’ theme, the lettuce plant has lasted well but today’s the day for testing the taste compared to bought. plastic-wrapped choices. I have had a leaf or two previously, but the whole lot will be scoffed with the dinner, and the plant pot contents placed in the compost bin.

    The Sweet Basil plants continue to grow, the younger plant far better having 8, or more, growing branches. There are signs of blanching, light brown shade, which might be down to the chill recently. Ideally, if all 8 growing parts provide sizeable leaves, eg 1″ long, to give ~30 in total, that would be a good point to finish both plants.

    My 9 contacts have mostly exhausted their plants but next year the aim is to provide bigger plants which will last longer. Tomatoes are a likely addition as well.

  19. Mrs Green says:

    @John Costigane: Hi John, well done for keeping the basil going for this long – that’s great! Mine is long gone.

    I hope the funeral is ok, whatever the weather 🙂 We’ll be thinking of you.

  20. John Costigane says:

    Hi Mrs Green,

    A bright, but windy, day was appropriate for the service and burial ceremony. Numbers attending were way down compared to a few years ago with the bulk of the parent’s generation long gone. May joined her younger son, who sadly died years ago, both sharing the sample plot.

    In the church hall, set aside for family and friends, I spoke to a butcher’s wife who confirmed that ox-liver, pig’s trotters and tripe all had increased sales, which shows the interest in old-fashioned cuts.

    Today was also the start of our local commingled bin recycling service, somewhat overshadowed by family matters. Nevertheless, it is noteworthy. There were far more blue bins on show compared to the previous box system which backs the view that commingled is better, being easier for householders. As always, new activities throw up some humour. I saw at least 2 bins with their lids raised, which is against instructions. Looks like clear-outs from collected material, but I just hope that nobody has put their ordinary bin waste there. The 2-weekly bin waste collection is a big change from previous practice so some may be caught out though there is bound to be a less strict attitude from the local council, initially.

  21. Mrs Green says:

    @John Costigane: Hi John, glad to hear the day went as well as can be expected.
    Interesting to hear about the cheaper cuts of meat coming back into vogue from the butcher and I love your observations of the first co-mingled collection. Let’s hope the council are supportive and helpful to iron out any confusion for householders.

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