Food waste Friday and dustbin demon

Filed in Blog, Videos by on April 16, 2010 11 Comments
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leftover rice - our food waste for the week

leftover rice - our food waste for the week

We have some food waste this week which proves to me that communication is one of the keys to successful zero waste living.

Last week Little Miss green had a friend over for tea. They asked for vegetable rice which was eagerly eaten, but there was some left in the frying pan. I offered it to Mr Green who accepted my generous offer and I thought no more of it. I was busy that night so he made his own meal.

Fast forward to last Sunday when I was riffling through the ‘fridge to see what was leftover and I spied a plastic container with something yellow in it.

Yes, you’ve guessed it – Mr Green had eaten SOME of the rice; not ALL of it and he’d put the leftovers into the ‘fridge. Great move; except he didn’t tell me what he had done, so I didn’t see it.

As I’m the one who prepares most of the meals I simply didn’t find it and it was left in the ‘fridge for a week. As I’ve written before, one of the number one sources of food poisoning comes from rice. Although it had been properly stored, I wasn’t prepared to take any risks with it. Into the wormery it went.

As far as dustbin demons go, check out our You Tube video below. I sound incredibly feisty; I’m sorry about that, but I was rather annoyed. And keep a look out for Mr Green’s revolutionary wine chiller – it’s amazing what you can create with a cool box ice pack and some string!


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 (11)

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  1. LJayne says:

    I agree with you completely Mrs G. I looked at the lovely packaging of the Nestle eggs but we boycott their products and then at the Cadburys packaging which boasts how much they’ve reduced their easter packaging in recent years hmmmm.

    I did buy their easter chicks for the kids though. Wrapped in recylable foil, the buttons it contained were loose inside the chick. No extra bag or anything. Which totally supports your point about how the small creme eggs could have been loose inside the bigger egg. Why make it work on one product and not on another? The label was thin card and tied on with a bit of string that I’m sure I can find a use for. Especially since it was purple, my favourite colour!

  2. John Costigane says:

    There is still a waste impact in a range of Easter Eggs but nowadays there are plenty of Zero Waste options for consumers to choose from. Compared to 2 years ago much has changed but it is still a work in progress. Nestle and Cadbury, both leaders in the industry, have helped transform the situation, and deserve our full support. All consumer need do is purchase only these alternatives and the plastic will be eliminated.

    Gifts are always a potential source of waste since many of us still are less interested in waste reduction. There are 2 ways to react. Firstly, you can talk to family and friends to inform their gift decisions. Secondly, give them Zero Waste gifts in return to show the value, the non-waste outcome, of such items.

    The reason for the inner pack of 2 small eggs is the packaging process which guarantees 2 such eggs in every Easter Egg in the production run. Individual placement is prone to error with 1s and 3s possible. The number of chocolate buttons inside that egg type is less critical.

    Another aspect of Easter Eggs is the aluminium foil which is still not recycled nationwide despite industry promises. Some patience is required since we enthusiasts are always ahead of developments. This has been a constant factor in the trend.

  3. LJayne says:

    I see where you are going John but I didn’t see a single Cadburys actual egg that didn’t have at least one piece of plastic for the egg to sit in inside the box. Whereas Nestle have done away with that altogether. So I am somewhat sceptical about Cadburys claim. Yes they’ve cut the packaging by 50% by only having one piece of egg shaped plastic instead of 2 but if Nestle can do without it altogether then so can Cadbury. And I wish they would so I can buy proper eggs again!

    I noticed that Kinnerton had also got no plastic in their eggs, just foil and cardboard. But they were very small this year and all entirely character themed which is something else I avoid but that is secondary to Zero Waste I appreciate.

    Not that the children minded! I bought them each a glass jar of mini eggs too. No non-recyclable waste there at all 🙂

  4. Ben says:

    @LJayne: Hi LJayne, I don’t buy Nestle either, but this year I did for the first time manage to avoid buying Easter eggs with lots of non-recyclable plastic. Divine chocolate eggs come in just cardboard, and were widely available in Oxfam shops. I didn’t however see them in supermarkets, although they do stock their bars. In general I’d say the not so big brands are doing best with Easter packaging, as most the eggs in health food stores and the fair trade products were plastic free this year. I also bought some of the lindt rabbits, which have the least packaging of any Easter products I’ve found, being just foil wrapped.

  5. LJayne says:

    You’re right Ben. Our Oxfam shop stopped selling food items before christmas 🙁

  6. Jane says:

    There must be an alternative way of dealing with the little eggs. I hate that sort of plastic.

    Foil wrapped rabbits and a foil wrapped cow this year for us.

    Really agree about the communication. This is one reason why I believe in see-through boxes in the fridge – it helps remind you what you’ve put in yourself let alone know what other people have! We also have a small magnetic whiteboard stuck to the fridge where we can write what needs to be eaten. This gives snacking teenagers and tired parents inspiration without hanging onto an open fridge door. Talking to each other is even better though!

  7. H0gg!t says:

    Mrs Green, I find you and your family so inspirational – you encourage so many people internationally and make my strive to do better, I thank you and wish you all continued success in all you do to spread the word!

    We have a well patronised Farmers Market here in central Cardiff who work hard to encourage eating locally and raise awareness of food miles.

    They added this link of weekly spends on food globally which is sobering viewing which humbles me and spurs me on to do better and be less wasteful and be more content with what we have and to take care of more of the world’s resources.

  8. sandy says:

    In our family, the grandchildren dont have eggs from grandparents, they have (usually an item of clothing) something else, for teeths sake. as well as chocolate makes them hyper.

  9. George Smith says:

    Well done again zero waste family
    In Australia our major supermarket chains have bins designated for plastic bag recycling and this covers all soft plastic. Moulded harder plastic can be placed in kerbside recycling. I decided to write this as I’m not sure if you mentioned the recycling aspect of the plastic bag in the Easter egg or if the UK has plastic bag recycling.
    Keep up the good work!

  10. Mrs Green says:

    @LJayne: Sounds like you found the perfect egg in the end, Lesley. I’ll keep a look out for those next year. I found a bunny, sugar free and just wrapped in foil – it was great! The glass jar sounded good too – with a nice, reusable container..

    @John Costigane: I keep forgetting that foil is not recyclable everywhere, John. You make a good point on ensuring that just 2 mini eggs get into the larger one, so I guess I see why this annoying piece of plastic is vital until they find an innovative way to get around this potential problem…

    @surviving and thriving on pennies: Thank you! Very cool isn’t it LOL!

    @Ben: Great to hear about Divine eggs, Ben as these have the added benefit of being Fairtrade – it’s good to hear of products that tick the packaging AND ethics boxes.

    @Jane: A foil wrapped cow LOL! That sounds like fun. Your idea of a whiteboard is a good one. I think one or two of our readers use one of those.

    @H0gg!t: bless you H0gg!t, thank you for your supportive comment. Your farmers market sounds great and the pictures of weekly food for families across the globe are simply amazing aren’t they. I think I might post them up on this site.

    @sandy: Great solution, Sandy. When I was a child at home we never had eggs either – we had a present instead.

    @George Smith: Thanks George; it’s great to hear of things in Australia. One of the reasons I was ranting was because we cannot recycle either plastic here (well not in our area; there may be some who can recycle the hard plastic at a bring bank). I think AUS are well ahead of us with regards to recycling.
    Did you hear our interviews on ABC Adelaide or ABC Perth earlier in the year?

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