Why falling in love can create waste

Filed in Blog by on March 12, 2010 9 Comments
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Little Miss Green with the offending dustbin demon for this week

Little Miss Green with the offending dustbin demon for this week

I mentioned at the beginning of the week, how little Sunrise, the newest addition to our family had already created a dustbin demon.

We only popped into the pet shop ‘to have a look’ but no sooner had we hot footed it to the bunny section when Sunrise bounced her way into our hearts in a second. We’d already got most provisions – a hutch, bowls and hay but we didn’t have any food. Sunrise was packed up in her box ready to come to her new family, so I had to grab something off the shelf to feed her as we were advised to keep her on exactly the same diet as she was used to for a couple of weeks.

What was I to do?

I picked up the bag of rabbit food and had no choice about the packaging – every type was packed in the same way in a number 7 shiny bag – boo!

Number 7 is the worst possible plastic out there as it’s virtually impossible to recycle and it’s the lowest grade available. It’s simply ‘other’ plastics, often polycarbonate or ABS (And I thought ABS was something on the braking system of my car) or some kind of mixed stuff which can’t be separated.plastic

So here is a situation where a certain pet shop chain will most certainly be getting a return to sender with a letter as to why their packaging is unacceptable. We are taking the stance this year that if a company makes something that is non recyclable, they shouldn’t be making it – it’s irresponsible in today’s climate. The other option is to boycott brands, which we do as well, but I wasn’t about to put Sunrise’s happiness and health in jeopardy.

This week, after my mountain of rubbish, I’m pleased to report we have no food waste! The other day I made Little Miss Green fruit salad for breakfast and she left a piece of banana ‘with a black bit’ on it, a piece of apple ‘with a mark’ on it and a piece of pear that was ‘brown and soft in the corner’ Sigh. But guess what? Sunrise wasn’t nearly as fussy – so we now have a bokashi bunny as well as a rather attractive lawn mower.

I have a head of broccoli to use up by tomorrow; so we’ll be having broccoli and boursin soup. And there is half a lettuce which needs a friendly stomach to house it soon; that shouldn’t be a problem. Oh and I learned this week that rabbits shouldn’t eat too much  lettuce – who knew?!

How about you – any dustbin demons or food waste to report?

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. Alea says:

    We have the same problem with our guinea pig food. You might be able to find rabbit food in paper bags at a feed store. One of our feed stores actually has different feeds in bins (like at the grocery store) which allows you to buy feed without any waste, (but they don’t sell gp food there).

  2. Jane says:

    The Flopsy Bunnies found out that eating too much lettuce could be dangerous! Broccoli is great covered in cheese sauce where any yellowing florets are unnoticeable (or mixed in with cauliflower for a broccoli/cauliflower cheese).

  3. Grandma Green says:

    Yes, too much lettuce will give bunnies diarrhoea and you DON’T want that!

    Maybe I ‘ve missed a vital point here but wouldn’t that giant food bag provide someome in Manilla with sufficient material to make an entire apron? Just a thought.

  4. LJayne says:

    I keep forgetting about sending packaging back. I try and find uses for it in the house – although maybe not a rabbit food bag! For instance the plastic bag that my teabags come in from Traidcraft – we buy bulk, I use for storing bread.

    But you are right, making packaging that isn’t recyclable isn’t right in today’s climate.

  5. Eunice says:

    Our local independant pet food shop lets us buy as much food as we want for our hamster and rabbit and puts it in our own container for us. They measure it out from massive paper sacks which they assure me they recycle. Maybe you’ll have one as friendly near you, maybe we’re just very lucky.

  6. Poppy says:

    I thought that most of the major pet stores sold loose bunny food these days Mrs G. You’re probably supposed to put it into a plastic bag to be weighed etc, but I’m sure you talk them round that one 🙂

  7. Mrs Green says:

    @Alea: Thanks Alea, we have a few equestrian centres around here where we might be able to buy in bulk for a better price and in better packaging.

    @Jane: Lovely idea for broccoli / cauliflower cheese – thank you!

    @Grandma Green: I will ask them. So far the bags we send are made from a different material, but a bunny lover might love an apron made from that!

    @LJayne: Reuse is great, Lesley and better than sending it back as it extends the life. But as you say, I don’t think we’ll be packing our sandwiches in an old rabbit food bag 😀

    @Eunice: Sounds fantastic, Eunice. We can buy bird seed like that, so I’ll ask them

    @Poppy: Thanks Poppy; I’m probably very behind the times – time for some research methinks

  8. Debbie says:

    Hi, having kept rabbits for many years I have been following this story with interest. I just wondered – did you get your bunny from the RSPCA (or similar) – I always encourage people to get animals from somewhere like this as opposed to lining the pockets of pet shops which encourage unecessary breeding in some cases. Also, if your bunny is allowed to roam ‘freely’ as they love to do (and are quite easy to train to get to bed at night to keep safely away from foxes) then they won’t need to eat much dry food at all. Unlimited grass, hay and a veg diet will more than suffice. Maybe a tablespoon or so of pellets will be all that’s required. Also I hate to break this to you but rabbits are social animals who like to be in pairs. Responsible outlets only re-home in pairs now (so I understand, unless you already have another rabbit of course). They can get quite lonely if living on their own. Anyhow I love your site and the things that you do in the name of zero waste are truy an inspiration to us all.

  9. Mrs Green says:

    @Debbie: Hi Debbie, we looked at several options before making a decision and something really weird happened – just as we were wondering what to do, we heard an interview on the local radio with a lady who ran a rescue centre! I love it when these things happen.
    Unfortunately, we cannot let Sunrise free in the garden, she needs a run – our garden is open to fields and we get foxes during the day, but she does get access to lots of grass, hay and veg. I have to say though, she LOVES her nuggets too! I think she’s on a growth spurt!

    Thanks for the advice re rehoming in pairs. We had lots of conflicting advise about this. Currently we have just Sunrise and we’re giving her lots of attention – she has changed enormously in two weeks; she is very sociable, loves her cuddles and comes to see us. She’s non stop in her energy levels and excitement about life – really delightful. She’s housetrained too, which is rather neat. We are looking out for signs of loneliness, however, and you can be assured that if she seems unhappy we will get her a bunny friend for company 🙂

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