Friday 15 February 2008

Making Progress #2

I know there are a few days to go until the bin is put out for collection, but I am feeling pretty confident that by Sunday evening the black bin waste will be limited to just one bag, which includes some rubbish that was still hanging around in our kitchen bin the weekend before the last collection.

We've made a few changes, which have had a great impact on working towards Zero Waste.

Firstly, I have turned to baking bread (or rather, bunging ingredients into my faithful breadmaker) and have been enjoying waking up to the smell of fresh bread each morning. This has already made a difference because it has reduced the number of bread bags that we put in the black bin. If we've gone a day without bread-making, I now supplement with a fresh loaf sourced on my travels.

The arrival of the wormery has made a huge impact as we've been able to easily discard spare rice, pasta and bread, which would have otherwise gone into the black bin. The worms have now settled in and when I looked in on them yesterday they seemed to be quite busy working through the layer of food that we've added this week. We have had to be quite careful with the amount of food that we've put in and for the moment we can't add more than one layer. So it is a good job I am still being conscious of portion sizes and trying to reduce the amount of food cooked.

With a full wormery, we have been making continued use of our compost bin, However, it looks like next week might present a challenge, as even the compost bin is looking a bit overwhelmed at the moment.

I have also been busy cancelling junk mail that comes through the door. Even though it doesn't have an immediate impact on the black bin, it will help the overall reduction in waste. As well as cancelling the catalogues that have been sent by a couple of companies (in the hope of getting another order) I have also contacted Royal Mail to request that they stop delivering the leaflets and other unsolicited marketing bumph that normally gets pushed through the door.

Martin Lewis of Money Saving Expert, provides some excellent advice on cancelling junk mail, including ways of reducing unsolicited calls and emails etc.

Things are still going well on the shopping front. However, having placed an online order from Waitrose, requesting produce to be placed in PAPER bags, I was a bit gutted when my shopping turned up with all the fruit and vegetables packaged in the flimsy plastic kind (including the grapefruit).

However, since then I've been picking fruit and vegetables while I have been out-and-about. My favourite shop so far is definitely the Aldeburgh Market shop, which is located on the high street of the lovely coastal town in Suffolk. It's the first high-street greengrocers that I have seen for a long time and is a real treat.

By the way, for anyone who still might be thinking that this is an impossible challenge, you may (like me) be encouraged by the progress of other families. Check out this link, which features the Brosnan family from Bath, who attempted the very same challenge back in 2006 and during their Zero Waste Week managed to limit their refuse to just a yoghurt pot, toothbrush and some plastic wrapping.



Simon Sherlock said...

dd a layer of soil to the compost bin and the weight will help push the waste down a bit. Soil also contains good bacteria that can help with the composting process as well.

Cybèle said...

If you travel as far as Aldeburgh, you might like Harleston on the Norfolk/Suffolk border too. It's a tiny town but has lots of independent shops, including 3 or 4 very good butchers and 2 greengrocers. Well worth a visit. O and the Goodies farmshop nearby (Long Stratton) is very good too, although not everything is particularly local anymore - they're slowly turning into more of a delicatessen, but still have very good local produce too (I use their flour in my breadmaker with great success).

Almost Mrs Average said...

Thanks Simon - will do that. Sounds just what we need.

Hi Cybele - Thanks for the top tip about Harleston. We've driven through but never stopped. Looks like Long Stratton is worth it too.

Bury Boy said...

Bury St Edmunds has a good market too!

Almost Mrs Average said...

Hi Bury Boy - You're quite right. I haven't covered the market yet as I have only recently started to use it on a regular basis. However, I am intending to do a full post very soon. So keep popping by.

Rosie said...

I've just noticed your link to Martin Lewis' site, I'll definately check that out - I receive a ridiculous amount of junk mail.

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