I’ve been thinking a lot about my bin this week, which sounds a bit eccentric now that I’ve written it down…Oh dear. Perhaps I should get out more, as DJ suggests. OK – what I mean to say is that this week’s activities have got me wondering if I can work harder to keep our rubbish bin empty and our recycling bag full.
On Tuesday afternoon I went to my first meeting of Billericay’s Greening Campaign. I was keen to get involved after hearing about it the other week and luckily I was asked to join the working party. The campaign is based on one successfully run by Terena Plowright in Petersfield and she is providing us with advice and support on how to get things moving. The idea is to get the entire local community involved in saving energy, reducing water wastage and cutting emissions, as well as running a green fun day in the summer. Billericay is the first community in Essex to run the campaign, so we feel a bit like trailblazers.
I was really encouraged by how enthusiastic everybody was at the meeting and how keen they were to get things moving. I also met a guy there who is responsible for recycling strategy at our local council. He’s offered to show me around the recycling unit to see what they do and tell me about the challenges they face, so I’ll be looking forward to that.
The meeting and reading about how much food and drink we waste each year has got me thinking about what else DJ and I could be doing to make our household greener and save ourselves some cash in the process. Although we recycle and compost, there’s still plenty of stuff going into our bin each week. You get so used to throwing the things away that you don’t even think about it. Paper tissues are one thing – I have a habit of keeping several in my pocket or by the bed which is a bit disgusting as well as wasteful. These could be composted or recycled if I took the time to separate them from other waste. If I got a compartmented bin I could do this quite easily. But maybe it would be cheaper and greener to buy some old-fashioned material ones – like the ones my Dad uses – and just wash them with the rest of the laundry.
I’ve also noticed how much cat food pouches get thrown away each day. I started buying pouches because Dougal is a fusspot and often won’t eat all the food in a whole tin. But now I’m wondering if I should start buying tinned food again, as at least you can recycle the tins. Plus there’s still lots of packaging that we can’t recycle, like vacuum packs. I need to make more of an effort to think about what I’m buying and avoid bringing home things that we can’t recycle or compost. At least we rarely throw food away now. Years ago we used to buy too much stuff and some of it found its way into the bin each week. We make more of an effort to freeze meat if we’re not eating it straight away.
Cutting household waste requires a new approach, but where do you start? Myzerowaste.com and therubbishdiet are two websites & blogs I’ve come across recently which have inspired me. Both are maintained by women who are making a huge effort to cut their household waste down to zero and I feel that I can learn a lot from them. Karen Cannard who writes therubbishdiet blog was just shortlisted for the coveted CIWM recycling champion of the year award. She includes a handy guide on her site on how to get started as a zero waster. I hope to start putting some of this advice into practice asap.
What are your waste or recycling sins? How do you think you could cut your household waste or is it too difficult or time consuming to do so? Leave a message and let me know.
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