Sunday, 22 January 2012

My thoughts and hopes for The Rubbish Diet Challenge

It's the eve of the Rubbish Diet Challenge and I realise that part of me feels quite nervous but excited too. Who knows what will happen over the next few weeks as 8 households endeavour to slim their bins in public.

As four of these households are based in Suffolk, I will be officially launching the challenge live on BBC Radio Suffolk just after 10am, quite appropriately in an outside broadcast from our local Household Waste Recycling Centre in Bury St Edmunds. So if you get a chance, do listen into the Mark Murphy show, which is also launching its own Don't be a Tosser anti-litter campaign on the same day.

In the meantime, here's a video I made earlier today about my thoughts on The Rubbish Diet Challenge... warts and all.  See you again tomorrow for the first Monday Meeting, where I will send you away with your first set of mini-challenges.


Liz said...

Thats rubbish.................a plaster lol....... so she didn't finish a packet or jar or bottle of something, no food waste at all!!! no chicken or other meat bones, no cans veg peelings what did she eat for gods sake, did she live on just water for a week. Youy can not put any kitchen peelings, bones, egg shells or anything that has been in the kitchen at anytime in your compost bin as the council no longer accepts anything other than grass cuttings and small prunings, so unless you have a lovely country estate that you can compost your own waste for then you have no choice but to place it in the ordinary rubbish, grrrrr A PLASTER makes me laugh

Almost Mrs Average said...

Hi Liz - thanks for comment. Let me explain. It's probably easier if I list these in points.

1. It was a Zero Waste Week challenge, with the focus on our household creating no 'landfill waste'.

2. We could compost. We live in a small semi, with a modest size garden but we have two compost bins and a small wormery which enabled us to take responsibility for our cooked food waste.

3. We were also testing a Bokashi bin at the time, which helps to process meat and chicken bones into a state that can be safely added to a garden compost bin.

4. As the challenge progressed I was shocked at the amount of food waste we created and worked hard to reduce this so we weren't so heavily dependent on the wormery or Bokashi by the time Zero Waste Week came. We are still not perfect but the Zero Waste Week helped us adjust our thinking towards wasted food. We still take responsibility for that and process it at home if we can, with the exception of beef or lamb bones.

5. Recycling facilities in Suffolk are the some of the most extensive in the country. When I took that challenge 4 years ago, I didn't even realise that much of the country couldn't recycle the amount of plastic that we can (and they still can't). We are lucky to have such facilities

5. Glass jars and cans can be recycled locally so would not have counted as waste, once emptied.

6. The challenge was for 1 week only, and I had 7 weeks to prepare, during which time I switched my shopping habits and ditched many disposable items for reusable alternatives, which I discovered saved us money too.

When I embarked on the challenge I thought it would be impossible, but I was determined to see how low I could go, with the facilities that we have available here. Of course I couldn't keep that up every week. I'm no martyr and we have to balance challenges of everyday family life and work, but since them we try and keep our household waste to about a carrier bag a month. Sometimes it's more, but nowhere near the huge wheelie bin's worth we used to throw out every fortnight.

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