Jan 8, 2008

One week of Zero Waste-wards

This is our waste that is going out for collection in the morning. The plastic tub is for the Recycling collection, the white supermarket bag is our mixed paper, sitting in front of our one cardboard box. The black bag is a 45L Council Rubbish Bag. Tying it up tonight was a breeze - it's already much less full than even a week ago. Perhaps those occasional day-time disposables were more frequent than I thought. I also find that I'm more careful about putting the paper into the paper recycling bag rather than the rubbish bin.

I'll probably find that I'm subconsciously hoarding rubbish in an effort to keep the bag empty - perhaps I'll stumble upon a huge pile of non-recyclable margarine containers behind the bed, or just discover that I can't find the desk anymore because it's hiding under a pile of plastic wrapping papers or something. No doubt the rubbish bag volume will stabilize somewhere above this first 'bag of consciousness', as all the things that should have been discarded this week eventually do find there way out of the house. I am determined that, in the process of trying to keep stuff out of the landfill, that this house will not become the landfill.

Tonight I'm trying the baby in a cloth nappy. Eventually I will probably do this every night, but for now I'm just trying it out. Today I realised that I'd been wanting to use up the disposables we'd already bought before going to cloth at nights, but that's just silly. They will probably get used every so often anyway - it's handy to have one in the car in case of emergencies, and tummy bugs are simply not to be contemplated with cloth (not for this mummy, anyway). If she grows out of the ones that we have, then I can always pass them on to someone else!

I think that just getting rid of disposables will drop us down to one bag every two weeks. The problem will be the smell. Our rubbish tonight is only one week old and it stinks. I forgot to rinse out the meat wrappers, but even then - what will I do about bones? I shall investigate what to do about bones and meat scraps - cos even if I boil them up for stock, I still have the bones, and lots of things I've read have said not to put meat into the compost heap.

Perhaps in the mean time I can have a 'meat waste' bag in the freezer and try to remember to put it in the rubbish bag before putting it out to be collected.

Oh, and one more thing - we're now collecting beer bottle-tops, to make one of those rattly beer-bottle stick things that folk musicians use. I think Miss3 would really like it, and it's one less thing int he rubbish bag. (so far, I've collected 1. We're not big beer drinkers - it could well take us several years to collect enough for a rattly stick thing).

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