It's been roughly 1 year, 10 months, 29 days, 16 hours, 27 minutes and 11 seconds since I discovered that I don't need cling film. Well that's what the man who took that photo of me with the bin bags told me almost two years ago.
You might think I'm smiling, but that facial expression is actually a grimace. In that brain beneath what was an exceedingly long mop of hair, the cogs were cranking away, pondering every single convenience I was going to have to give up for the zero waste challenge.
And I couldn't believe my ears when the photographer who was taking the publicity shots for the council suggested I could give up cling film. What! For-go something that was so bloody useful, just for the sake of a waste project. He had to be joking! I'm sure he even said something about ditching the bin bags too! It was like having my photo taken by a stand-up comedian.
But he was right. I didn't buy cling film ever again. Instead I've managed to store our prepared food and leftovers in reusable containers or glass jars, as well as using the odd piece of aluminium foil - of which, the original roll is still in my cupboard today. As well as contributing to the waste reduction plan, I estimate that by ditching the cling film, we've also saved about twenty-five quid during that time.
When you add other considered essentials such as foil, washing-up sponges, paper kitchen towel, laundry detergent, bin bags and sanitary products, the total saving from avoiding all those disposables comes to a figure somewhere in the region of £400 (£130 of which has been saved just from avoiding kitchen towel - can you believe it - you will when you discover I used to get through at least eight rolls per month).
I appreciate I've spent some of those savings on alternative products such as reusable sponges, washing balls, e-cloths, plastic containers and washable pads. However the cost hasn't exceeded £100, which means that we're still a whopping £300 in pocket and just goes to show how worthwhile an exercise this bin slimming lark actually is - particularly useful when it comes to Christmas.
However, I never started the Rubbish Diet with frugality in mind. The cash savings are simply a bonus that I hadn't even anticipated.
It was reducing waste that mattered and since I started this blog post it's now been 1 year, 10 months, 29 days, 17 hours, 10 minutes, 20 seconds since I realised I didn't need cling film.
Well that was until yesterday, when Mr A prepared his shopping list for the Beef Wellington recipe that he's cooking today!
When he told me what he needed, I almost fell off my chair in shock.
"Cling film!" I shrieked, in an incredulous tone reminiscent of Lady Bracknell's exclamation of "A handbag" in the Importance of being Earnest.
I scanned the recipe, trying to consider a suitable alternative that might include tea-towels, food containers and a mallet, but found there was only one option!
"Cling film!" I hollered once more; my last opportunity to resist defeat before surrendering and falling off the wagon, reluctantly placing it in my trolley at the supermarket.
Oh well. With all things considered, having gone without the stretchy stuff for almost two years is quite remarkable. I haven't missed it one little bit and at this rate, I reckon the roll that I bought yesterday will see me through to 2050 at least.
I might even leave it in my will, eh!
Well you never know, it might be more valuable than the figure of £1.16 that it is today. Then there's the provenance to consider. It could even be a rarity of an age gone by.
I thought not. But at least it was worth a try. I suppose I could always give it to my mother for Christmas. Well, she always likes to have something practical.