Saturday, 6 September 2008

The girl wants Quavers

You can so tell I'm on the mend.

I'm sat on the sofa with a glass of wine indulging in a chick-flick on Film 4 and I am desperate for a pack of Walkers Quavers, the curly cheese snacks which I have loved since I was a child. For those who are unfamiliar, they're the ones that come in the bright yellow packet, which were once owned by Smiths Crisps.

Nolstagia eh. It's a wonderful thing!

I still remember the walk to Alda's sweet shop on the corner of my mum's street in South Wales. I would part with my pocket money and being unable to wait until I got home, I would pop open the packet and let each curly quaver melt in my mouth.

With thoughts of my childhood, the melt-in-the-mouth experience, the fact that I'm enjoying a glass of wine, I've now got Quavers completely on my mind.

You could go as far as saying I've got a craving worthy of a pregnant woman.

But I can't indulge. They're off limits you see, because in support of Mr & Mrs Green's Zero Waste Week, I pledged to give them up for a week.

And so far I've been doing well.

Some might say that I've had a helping hand because for most of this week I've been struck down with tonsillitis, the worst kind of sore throat ever. It's as if your throat is made of shards of glass. You lose your appetite, your glands swell up and your head feels like it's in a different universe. So as you can imagine, the thought of indulging in any form of crunchy crispy snacks offered as much appeal as swallowing gravel.

Now you might be wondering why I chose to give up this innocent little snack as a pledge for the Zero Waste Week.

Well, you see, they're not as innocent as they may appear. Nutritional content aside, the problem that I have is like most crisps and similar snacks, Quavers are packaged in a film coated with aluminium, which is currently not recycled and doesn't degrade easily in landfill and I have a sneaking suspicion that any empty packets that I leave behind will still be in one piece when I'm dead and buried.

It's not all bad news though. PepsiCo, the company that owns Walkers, have announced in their recent sustainability report that they plan for Walkers packaging to be renewable, recyclable or biodegradable within 10 years.

What was that......TEN YEARS?!

Blinky Blimey! Not only have I had to cope with feeling ill and missing out on my Quavers for a week, but it looks like I might have to wait until I'm 50 before I can indulge guilt-free in my favourite snack again.

The question is...will I stay off the Quavers after Mr & Mrs Green's Zero Waste Week?

Who knows eh? I guess only time will tell.

While we are waiting for time to spill the beans of truth, you may like to indulge in a few flights of fancy, with some lovely stories about recycling crisp packets, which go beyond shrivelling them up in the oven to create disfigured miniatures.

My favourites are:

The Recycled Crisp handbags
from arts & crafts company Via Cornwall.

They look gorgeous and I now feel the urge to splurge on this and many of the other recycled gifts.

Then there's the story about the band ReCoup who distributed their CDs last year by reusing crisp packets, as part of their environmental message.

Here is the video that accompanies their song "Remind You", focusing on the damaging effects that humanity's carbon footprint has on the planet's natural resources.

It's the perfect reminder of why attempting a zero waste lifestyle is so important and a fitting end to the Green's inaugural Zero Waste Week, which comes to a close this Sunday. You could say it's enough to keep me off my favourite snack for a while longer.


Anonymous said...

Oooo (((HUGS))) well done you. I know how difficult it is; Little Miss Green is eyeing up crisps lovingly every time we go into a shop. And I know that you started this BEFORE zero waste week, so you've been over a week now.

So pleased to hear you are feeling better, even if it is bringing with it a craving for the melt-in-the-mouth cheesy things that shall not be named.

Only another day to go - hang on in there!

Anonymous said...

Hi Mrs A,

It is amazing how people can find alternative uses for crisp packs.
That surely is the answer for your Quaver Quandary.

Just find a use for your empties!

Almost Mrs Average said...

Hi Mrs G - you'll be please to know that I've done it. Now there is the risk that when I pop to the shop later something yellow will just jump off the shelves into the shopping basket. We'll see. :-D xx

Hi John - now you're a tease. There I was thinking justifying giving up the crisps a bit longer, ...but damn it...I'm now going to get some and see if I can find out how to make a handbag! ;-D

just Gai said...

Hiya Mrs A
I've just signed up for Bristol's Zero Waste Challenge Week. Details can be found through a link on my blog.
As someone who has gone before me I would be grateful for any words of wisdom you may have for me as I prepare myself for the challenge.

Almost Mrs Average said...

Hi Gai - that's such fabulous news. For anyone who's embarking on a challenge like this, it's important to start at the beginning.

Delve into your bin and have a good look at the kind of stuff you throw away, stuff that you don't normally recycle for whatever reason that might be. Work out why you don't recycle them, is it a case of can't or shan't? Create a hit-list and knock them off one-by-one by finding new opportunities to reuse or recycle.

For those items that can't be easily recycled in your area, then take the bull by the horns and avoid them, looking for alternatives where-ever you can.

Think of something to keep you going, whether it's thinking about what it's might be like to visit landfill, having to bury your rubbish in your own garden or thinking about rubbish as a resource

Most importantly, have fun and enjoy the challenge and when the going gets tough come and visit me or Mrs Green. LOL...

Now that's my 70,000 word book in a nutshell. :-D x

Compostwoman said...

I cut this sort of packaging into wide strips, make a hole in one end and thread them on to string...and lo...a bird scarer for the veg garden. Just like the ones you can buy but for no cost!

It works, as well!

Almost Mrs Average said...

Hi Compostwoman - I love that idea, thank you. Will give it a go next time I've got some spares :-D x

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