That, my friends, is the sound of major frustration!
It might sound petty, but yesterday's bin was empty, yes EMPTY... until a plaster fell off my finger during the afternoon. Its only fate was the bin, bringing a very short conclusion to my Zero Waste attempt...
... and all by 4PM on Day 1.
Something so simple eh! A small first aid plaster!
Hmmm - Lets rewind back to yesterday morning.
We were running late for school. It was blowing a gale and there was a heavy downpour of icy cold rain to contend with during the short walk to school. With freezing cold hands, I hadn't noticed a cut on my finger until I took my eldest into the classroom and saw the blood oozing from my knuckle...
...and then the pain started!
"Would you like a plaster for that?" asked the Learning Assistant.
My automatic reaction was "Yes please" and I returned home with no afterthought, well not until later in the afternoon, when the plaster fell off my finger and I felt thwarted!
It can't be recycled....or composted...and it certainly can't be reused (eurgh)...It has to go in the bin.
So, unless there are any other suggestions, I'm afraid I've created a bit of an anti-climax. In fairness I do feel the innocent party though. Maybe it won't count because after all I didn't buy the plaster and by the look of my cut, I didn't have a choice.
However, the good news is that the only item to have been thrown in the bin on day 1 is just one plaster. Hooray!
After such a minor incident, the day finished off on a real positive note with a LETS meeting at one of our local pubs. For anyone who hasn't heard of a LETS group, it is a Local Exchange Trading System, which enables people to swap favours or unwanted items for points. This means that it is excellent for recycling things. It's a bit like Freecycle, except people actually meet up at a social gathering and you get points for anything that is traded.
Our local Bury LETS group has been going for donkeys years and meets on the 10th of every month. At the moment the group's membership is small and compact, so we can meet in places that are small and bijoux. Despite its size it is a very effective.
Take last night, I took along a few glass yoghurt jars and one of the members thought they would be great for storing her spices that she gets from a local health food shop. Result! You can see Val happily modelling them! I think they've gone to a good home, don't you?
After sorting out the jars, the discussion got on to websites and before too long she had also managed to sort out Web Hosting with one of our members who is a developer and knows about all things techy. As for me, I picked up some very interesting books, including a copy of Semi-Detached by Griff Rhys Jones.
Of course, the evening wouldn't have passed properly without any talk of rubbish, especially as another member is also participating in Zero Waste Week.
Remembering that we had to create minimum waste while we are out and about, we were extremely proud of the questions that we fired off to the staff, including my fellow rubbish dieter's request for loose sugar instead of the pre-packed sugar portions that are normally provided with teas and coffees. The evidence can be seen in the photo, after the member of staff attentively returned with a small cup of sugar, which was used instead of the packets.
Why is the country obsessed by small packets? Is it for the look, the convenience or health and safety? If it's not the latter, surely it is time to go back to loose products in favour of reduced packaging. Sugar's not the worst offender. I've got my eye on those little packets of sauces, which you squeeze and squeeze until the cows come home but so little comes out of them that a second packet needs to be opened. What's wrong with ketchup bottles. I ask?!
So if the council are looking in, please can we overlook the plaster in favour of the tremendous efforts made at the pub last night? We really did our bit you know!
On a final note, I'd just like to thank everyone for popping by yesterday and to all those who left comments. Thank you so much for your support and for your enthusiasm. I've had some fabulous feedback following the Woman's Hour column and I hope you enjoy the rest of the broadcast, which is being aired throughout the week.
Also, I'd like to extend a very warm welcome to listeners of the Moncrieff programme on Ireland's Newstalk channel. I'm scheduled to take part in a live interview this afternoon at around 2.45pm, which means The Rubbish Diet is going International! I know it's just over the water, but it is still overseas!
How did this happen? I only meant to sign up for a Zero Waste challenge and write a blog!
Anyway, if you get a chance, you can listen live on the Internet at http://newstalk.ie/newstalk/index.html.