I fancy going on a rubbish reduction year

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Flo
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Re: I fancy going on a rubbish reduction year

Post: #136108 Flo
Fri Jan 02, 2009 9:18 am

Andy Hamilton wrote:Would be good to formulate some kind of action to reduce packaging. Not sure what it would entail, lobbying governmental bodies - yes of course. Lobbying individual companies, well we can at least ask them why they use so much - perhaps we could have a name and shame system somewhere on the site.

I've been involved in a consultation group - older people and the environment - which is just coming to an end this month. Packaging and waste was a hot topic. We had the packaging buyer from M&S along as a speaker. He had facts and figures from his company as well as others. Food wise, we are not likely to loose the plastic packaging as this extends the shelf life of of food products and reduces wastage (example was the Co-op naked cucumber where they are now throwing away more items which are not sold). So that is the basic answer to the question of food wrapping. Also noted was the fact that more older people are living alone and eating ready meals for convenience so they are producing more waste.

Obviously the main culprit is us the shopper in that we have not supported the small independent retailers who use less packaging so they have now mainly disappeared from the shopping scene. This leaves us with the larger stores who deal in convenience, pile it high and (supposedly) sell it cheap. Be it on our own heads that we now have a problem with our rubbish.

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Re: I fancy going on a rubbish reduction year

Post: #136109 Flo
Fri Jan 02, 2009 9:31 am

I've discovered an enormous stash of tea lights - cheap white ones with no scent - at the back of a cupboard this morning. :roll: Hundreds of them literally. :roll:

Now I quite like using the tea light container (takes 7 at a time) in the darker winter days. It looks as if it will take about 50 bouts of use to get to the bottom of the pile :mrgreen: and they all come in little tinfoil type containers. That's a material we can't recycle around here.

Tea lights are fun and cheerful on dull, dark mornings and the evenings when it gets dark. But they do produce a problem. It's not till you start to look at use that you realise where the rubbish comes from. The tea light situation will reduce though - Woollies have gone out of business and that used to be one of the sources of big bags of tea lights (in plastic bags of course). :wink: :roll:

Mind you I did take a walk with a bag full of items to the tetra pak recycling bins at the other end of the shopping street yesterday morning as well as recycling some glass bottles that I can't reuse due to shape or no lids. So good and bad.

I'm telling you, it's not counting the items of rubbish in your bin that is important. It's looking at the buying that you do before you come home with rubbish that is the answer.

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Re: I fancy going on a rubbish reduction year

Post: #136131 Big Al
Fri Jan 02, 2009 12:43 pm

Clara wrote:Thought I'd have a look this morning at what is the kitchen bin, I reckon we last emptied it on boxing day (so at the risk of sounding like that bloke who used to come on here everyday and tell us what he had in his bin):

Two carrier bags - that we had stored bits of the lamb in, so not keen on recycling.

plastic peanut packet - OH's munchies

a bag for peas and one for squid rings - we normally don't eat processed food, but in the run up to xmas I'd planned and shopped for all our meals as usual, but forgot to do it for the days after xmas and before the next market, so this was OH's solution.

oats packet - haven't yet had a reason to go to the nearest town where I can buy in bulk.

The recycling consists of several glass beer and wine bottles, nothing to do with me!

So I reached the rather awful conclusion that I'd be virtually waste-free if I got rid of OH, though I'd also be loveless, laughterless and lonely :pale:

On a positive note, I go round to making more cloth wipes so now toilet paper will only be used by our less adventurous guests.



Cloth wipes..... surely these need to be washed and as such use chemicasl detergents??...
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Re: I fancy going on a rubbish reduction year

Post: #136135 Clara
Fri Jan 02, 2009 1:12 pm

Yes of course but hardly any, it's not like I have to do an extra wash with them they just get chucked in the machine with everything else (poss TMI but we wash our bums after we caca so they are really just used to dry and there's only me that uses them for pipi, so they don't get soiled), they are the size of regular loo roll, some a little bigger.

We can't flush our loo roll so it either has to be burnt or carried a kilometre to bins, on top of that recycled loo roll isn't readily available here - and when I've seen it in the city it is exhorbitant.

I know a lot of people come up with the disposable vs washable argument in terms of energy and chemicals, but if the same logic were applied to plates, napkins or clothes the answer that washable/reusable is less wasteful would seem "obvious", it's just that cloth TP is far from commonplace in our culture. I'd love to see more people here take on cloth, just because you buy recycled and flush it (rather than bin it) doesn't mean it isn't waste. Add to that in our case all the energy needed to wash comes from the sun and our water from a stream (i.e. not drinking grade), then it's a bit of a no-brainer for us.

Frankly, once you start wiping your butt with cloth, paper seems gross and inadequate :bootyshake:
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Re: I fancy going on a rubbish reduction year

Post: #136258 Big Al
Sat Jan 03, 2009 4:58 pm

Clara wrote:Yes of course but hardly any, it's not like I have to do an extra wash with them they just get chucked in the machine with everything else (poss TMI but we wash our bums after we caca so they are really just used to dry and there's only me that uses them for pipi, so they don't get soiled), they are the size of regular loo roll, some a little bigger.

We can't flush our loo roll so it either has to be burnt or carried a kilometre to bins, on top of that recycled loo roll isn't readily available here - and when I've seen it in the city it is exhorbitant.

I know a lot of people come up with the disposable vs washable argument in terms of energy and chemicals, but if the same logic were applied to plates, napkins or clothes the answer that washable/reusable is less wasteful would seem "obvious", it's just that cloth TP is far from commonplace in our culture. I'd love to see more people here take on cloth, just because you buy recycled and flush it (rather than bin it) doesn't mean it isn't waste. Add to that in our case all the energy needed to wash comes from the sun and our water from a stream (i.e. not drinking grade), then it's a bit of a no-brainer for us.

Frankly, once you start wiping your butt with cloth, paper seems gross and inadequate :bootyshake:


That's so true as in it not being "common place" I queried washing pots in cold water as I have this post but now was pots only in cold water and get a squeaky clean result. My wife refuses to though and uses hot water. I reckon it's a ploy so that i do the dishes instead of her.lol.
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Re: I fancy going on a rubbish reduction year

Post: #136453 starchild
Sun Jan 04, 2009 8:04 pm

Ooo, brilliant thread :cheers: and a big good luck to everyone.

We put our bin out this week for the first time in around 6 months. This year we want to see if we can get through a year!

Once you start to develop some habits, you pick up more and you'll be amazed at what you can achieve.
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Re: I fancy going on a rubbish reduction year

Post: #136533 Flo
Mon Jan 05, 2009 9:01 am

You are right starchild, it takes time to develop the habit of not collecting rubbish. It's going to take a little time to clear the backlog of badly thought out buying in the food cupboard. But this gives me time to consider the best way of reducing it without having to spend an arm and a leg and money that I don't have.

I've only had to pick up a loaf of bread and some soda crystals this week as the stores are so well stacked up and the result has been that there is considerably less (down to very little) in the little Habitat dustbin that collects general rubbish. Some of it is stuff dropped by passing pedestrians that has blown into the front yard. So it isn't even all mine!

It's nice to get other people's suggestions about avoiding bring rubbish home from the shops - especially on the food shopping.

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Re: I fancy going on a rubbish reduction year

Post: #136550 starchild
Mon Jan 05, 2009 11:34 am

That's great flo - I've just been looking at your website; it's really good!

I think it is so important to do things one step at a time. This avoids overwhelm and ensures more LONG TERM success; which is the key.
Six months on, I'm still finding things in the cupboards bought 'pre awareness' of this issue. So non-recyclable plastic is still very much a part of our life.
Follow our family's progress as we work through our zero waste challenge:
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Re: I fancy going on a rubbish reduction year

Post: #136571 Big Al
Mon Jan 05, 2009 1:27 pm

Flo wrote:You are right starchild, it takes time to develop the habit of not collecting rubbish. It's going to take a little time to clear the backlog of badly thought out buying in the food cupboard. But this gives me time to consider the best way of reducing it without having to spend an arm and a leg and money that I don't have.

I've only had to pick up a loaf of bread and some soda crystals this week as the stores are so well stacked up and the result has been that there is considerably less (down to very little) in the little Habitat dustbin that collects general rubbish. Some of it is stuff dropped by passing pedestrians that has blown into the front yard. So it isn't even all mine!

It's nice to get other people's suggestions about avoiding bring rubbish home from the shops - especially on the food shopping.


The biggest tips I can give is to have cash (or in the case of asda a savings card) a calculator and eat before you go shopping. The difference in my shopping habbits are transformed if I remember to do these things.... now what was it I had to remember ??
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Re: I fancy going on a rubbish reduction year

Post: #136607 Flo
Mon Jan 05, 2009 5:11 pm

I try to do large grocery shops on-line if I can with a list to hand. I find that this saves a lot of temptation. :mrgreen:

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Re: I fancy going on a rubbish reduction year

Post: #136686 Big Al
Tue Jan 06, 2009 9:59 am

Flo wrote:I try to do large grocery shops on-line if I can with a list to hand. I find that this saves a lot of temptation. :mrgreen:


The only trouble with that Flo is that i love going to the shops.... Don't know why just do. I used to go to parent and toddlers when the bairn was young and at the end I'd say something like come on son we will go and get your mams tea from T***o etc and other mothers would look on in horror at the thought of taking a toddler into a supermarket but we loved it. Now the "bairn" is 19 and knows more about bargain humnting and special offer deals than anyone.... there again he is a poor student, lol.

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Re: I fancy going on a rubbish reduction year

Post: #136852 Flo
Wed Jan 07, 2009 10:26 am

I love shopping too Alan but I've just looked at the money situation. There have been a lot of demands on the pocket recently (mostly things which have been put off till the last moment and needs must do something) which means that there will be a lot less of it happening.

On my travels this week, I did take some knackered plastic bags to a bin for recycling (they had been used so often that they had fallen apart from sheer use). So that's a help for the bin. I looked at the market stall when passing in town yesterday and everything was prepacked just like in the supermarket (bit cold to weigh I suppose). Didn't buy as didn't need - was just looking and planning for the future.

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Re: I fancy going on a rubbish reduction year

Post: #136931 Big Al
Wed Jan 07, 2009 3:14 pm

Flo wrote:I love shopping too Alan but I've just looked at the money situation. There have been a lot of demands on the pocket recently (mostly things which have been put off till the last moment and needs must do something) which means that there will be a lot less of it happening.

On my travels this week, I did take some knackered plastic bags to a bin for recycling (they had been used so often that they had fallen apart from sheer use). So that's a help for the bin. I looked at the market stall when passing in town yesterday and everything was prepacked just like in the supermarket (bit cold to weigh I suppose). Didn't buy as didn't need - was just looking and planning for the future.


I went to a farmers market in town about a year ago and was appalled to see it all shrunk wrapped in poly stuff as I expected to see it "fresh" and cut off the joint so to speak. I told one butcher of my dissapointment and he laughed and said blame brussels..... I mean what has that humble veg got to do with the wrapping of meat??

I then got a 30 minute lecture on why we should keep the pound, get out of europe send the immigrants back home and even declare war on Russia..... At the end I asked about the plastic and he said it was european rules on slaughtering and hygene after the BSE "conspiricy" !!

I went to my local butchers that day if I recall...
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Re: I fancy going on a rubbish reduction year

Post: #137719 Flo
Sun Jan 11, 2009 7:38 pm

:angryfire:

There's been this hooligan of a wind blowing today and it has of course blown a whole load of rubbish into the front yard. All of it was for the recycling bin but that's not the point. It's extra rubbish. Trouble is that the wind has been blowing wheelie bin lids open so I suppose this could well have just been escapee rubbish.

On Friday the postman was on the delivery of fliers rather than post and I got an armful through the door just like everyone else. And the rubbish freebie newspaper came later with another armful of fliers. Both the postman and the paperboy get paid for delivering the rubbish. I could ask for the postman not to deliver the fliers to me (there is a system somewhere) but every time there was a change of postie this would go by the board.

:angryfire:

Here I am with nothing to go in the wheelie bin for collection tomorrow morning because I haven't even filled a plastic carrier bag in two weeks so it's not worth putting out. But I have an armful of other people's rubbish for the recycling bin next week.

:angryfire:

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Re: I fancy going on a rubbish reduction year

Post: #137724 LBR
Sun Jan 11, 2009 8:27 pm

I've been at this for awhile, but to give it a place as a goal for the year, is a good idea.

When I look around the neighborhood on trash/rubbish pick-up days, I'm almost always one of those with the smallest amount. But, there is a neighborhood dumpster/skip. Folks take things there when they don't get things put outside for the pick-up.

I'll join in on making a deliberate effort to have less rubbish!

Mostly it means staying away from prepared foods and unnecessary purchases.

I use glass jars, so those don't even go to recycling. It's amazing all the things I find to put in them.


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