Mrs Green’s recent zero waste finds

Filed in Blog by on August 13, 2010 15 Comments
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national trust card - a zero waste find!

national trust card - a zero waste find!

Products are changing all the time. Not only are we after the newer, better, brighter and faster, but packaging changes too.

As you’ll be aware it’s what my stuff comes wrapped in that I’m really interested in! If you want to reduce as much landfill waste as possible then you need to be on the look out for packaging and goods that can be composted, reused or recycled easily after use.

Anything else is potential landfill material …

Recently I’ve found a few newbies on the block and I wanted to introduce them to you.

Fairtrade cocoa powder

First up we have Fairtrade cocoa from Morrisons own range. This yummy product comes in a cardboard box with paper liner.

morrisons fairtrade cocoa powder

morrisons fairtrade cocoa powder

FSC greetings card

Next say hello to this FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) greetings card from the National Trust (purchased at my tiny village Post office no less). The packaging states, along with the recognised symbol, that it is fully compostable. Yay!

compostable corn starch bag from national trust greetings card

compostable corn starch bag from national trust greetings card


Finally, I’m getting increasingly enamoured with Amazon. Not so much for the fact that by selling books for a penny, authors and independent book shops get a raw deal, but for their packaging.

It was not long ago that I ordered some books which were individually wrapped in plastic and then heat sealed by more plastic into the box! In getting my purchases free I ripped the box meaing I couldn’t reuse it and was left with composite material which I couldn’t recycle easily.

My most recent order came in a cardboard box with some screwed up paper in there for protection of fragile book corners.

Simple and effective!

What about you – what zero waste finds have you discovered recently?
Don’t forget to share your great discoveries over on our sister site, where you’ll find a trolley load of stuff – zero waste shopping.

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.

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  1. The Quest for Cocoa | plasticisrubbish | January 20, 2014
  1. Just ordered 2 sets of bamboo utensils and a stainless steel coffee mug from . They came in a medium size box ( just perfect size with no extra room) and some brown paper. Only complaint I have is that they use plastic tape. I love ordering things from that company. Amazing products at bargain prices!

  2. polythenepam says:

    Try the plastic free A to Z of products for all my zero waste purchases


  3. Sooz says:

    I love that Morrisons cocoa powder, we always buy it, it’s like my dream product – organic?! fairtraide!?in a cardboard box! in a paper bag!?? yey!!! (is it too picky to wish the bit of tape at the top wan’t plastic though?!)

  4. Sarah says:

    Not exactly a zero waste option but you know when you sit and try to decide whether ebooks (paper free) or paperback books are better? Complex electronics possibly using rare minerals, power to charge them etc vs cutting down trees?

    My printer/publisher doesn’t currently offer a fully recycled paper print option, something I am a bit miffed about. So I set about finding an alternative. I like my publisher and I don’t want to jump ship and take all my books with me.

    I found Eco Libris: Explanation and further links here. And they allow me to offer, for a small additional fee per book, the facility to plant trees and restore destroyed forests to offset the paper used for my paperbacks.

    I have the first set of stickers – recycled paper and non toxic inks, came in a plain paper envelope with minimal packaging. I’m quite impressed. Such a simple idea.

  5. LJayne says:

    I need to find a local morrisons and stock up. We use a lot of cocoa and I tend to buy fairtrade over anything else for chocolate related products. So ๐Ÿ™‚ all round.

  6. Karin says:

    I could almost wish we had a Morrisons. Cocoa in a cardboard box with no plastic sounds like a very good idea, and it’s Fairtrade. What more could one ask for? I was pleased to find some organic porridge oats recently (unbelievably hard to find as organic oats are mostly the large sort) and it is packed simply in a paper bag. The make is Flavahans and I buy it in my local Waitrose.

    I’m not sure about the cornstarch bags. It’s good they are compostable, of course, but I worry that growing maize for this purpose could make it too expensive for the impoverished people for whom it is a staple food. However, I would hope a body like the National Trust would have born this in mind.

  7. John Costigane says:

    @Karin: Cornstarch needs high temperature composting, Karin, so you are right to question its sustainability. What is required for such materials is a full-cycle analysis to remove the resulting waste impact. This involves a rigorous recycling system and industrial composting, both financed by the businesses profiting from its use. This approach has been sadly lacking in biodegradable and cornstarch offerings, resulting in contamination of otherwise useful plastic recycling streams. Zero Waste indicates the avoidance of such material until the problem is sorted.

  8. Alyson says:

    At last ! Cocoa powder in a box. All I have to do now is walk the 10 miles to my nearest Morrisons.Ha Ha Ha.

  9. Ben says:

    Excellent find, I’ll be stopping by to pick up some of their cocoa next time I’m passing. I don’t know why anyone would package it in those big round tubs, which seem to use so much more materials and space.

    If I had to choose some good zero waste products, eneloop batteries would be high on the list. Not so much for their packaging which is much the same as any other, but because the batteries are rechargeable and work so well (unlike others I’ve tried) that I no longer use disposable batteries anywhere in the house now.

    I’ve also been very pleased with shampoo bars from lush as there’s no plastic bottle or cap to throw out. Face wash bars from sebamed have been very good too, because although they come wrapped in a thin plastic film, it’s a huge reduction compared to plastic tubes of face wash, and the bars last a very long time too, easily 2-3 times longer.

  10. Mrs Green says:

    @surviving and thriving on pennies: Sounds like great packaging and I like the sound of your bamboo utensils too ๐Ÿ™‚

    @polythenepam: Thanks for the link – you’re building a great resource ๐Ÿ™‚

    @Sooz: It is a perfect product, I have to admit!

    @Sarah: Great idea from EcoLibris Sarah and good luck with the sale of your new book !

    @LJayne: Glad you like it and hope you manage to find a localish store.

    @Karin: Thanks for the heads up on the oats, Karin; we eat a lot of oats (porrage for breakfast most mornings). I’ll check them out. Yes, I have mixed feelings about cornstarch too… I would much rather cards were not packed at all; it seems to be unnecessary.

    @John Costigane: You’re right John; we need to look into all aspects of any type of packaging. Sans packaging is best in most cases….

    @Alyson: But then you’ll have the perfect excuse to make a lovely chocolate cake to replenish all those burnt calories ๐Ÿ˜‰

    @Ben: Thanks for the news on the batteries; I’d not heard of them and we do use several rechargeables in various gadgets around the home. Some of the LUSH products are lovely and I agree the packaging is excellent

  11. John says:

    please, please. Look at this 5 minute clip to see just what is happening to our wildlife, when they come into contact with plastics. If you can watch this and not weep, you are a stronger person than I am. Oh and please pass it onto anyone you care to.


  12. Mrs Green says:

    @John: John, thank you for this link. I think I know what sort of film it’s going to be and I need to eat – I’m going to watch it after I’ve eaten. (Never mix food and bad emotions and all that ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

  13. Jane says:

    Foil covered cardboard with a metal bottom that has to be cut off is how the cocoa I’ve been buying has been packaged so this looks like a good step forward.

    I noticed today that Sainsbury’s have changed their plastic bag packaging for apples and potatoes. The front is made up of woven plastic net and the back remains the same. Still recyclable in a larger Sainsbury’s and I read recently that they have been working with WRAP on recycling these bread bags and other LDPE bags.

  14. Mrs Green says:

    @Jane: Oh yes, I remember seeing the veggie bags too; the ones that are netted. I guess it’s reducing food waste too because things don’t get sweaty against the plastic…

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