Sunday, 17 February 2008


Check out my rubbish!'s only one bag, which is not even completely full.

It can hold 50litres of waste but there is still room for lots more. I guess that's about 45 cubic litres of residual waste that our family has collected over the last two weeks.

"I thought this was about ZERO Waste", I can hear some people say.

Well yes it is and in four weeks time I am hoping to follow in the footsteps of the Brosnan family from Bath, who managed to achieve Zero Waste, with the exception of only a couple of things that had to be thrown away. However, if you look at the results of the last weigh-in, which was two weeks ago, it is really encouraging to see that progress is already being made:

I am pleased to see that the efforts made over the last month have made a real difference, where as a family we had been responsible previously for generating around two to three bags of rubbish every two weeks. Huge thanks go to everyone who has sent in their top tips. They have really worked. Having made some small changes to our choices, we've already managed to reduce our rubbish by at least 50%.

With only three weeks to go until the start of St Edmundsbury Borough Council's Zero Waste Week, the challenge is to reduce things even further.

Following the success of the wormery and having changed some of my shopping, cooking and cleaning habits, it's probably time to get a little more personal.

I think I now need to delve a little into the uncomfortable area of personal hygiene as well as reveal how I intend to become our milkman's favourite customer.

And on that cliff-hanger, I shall leave you poised until the next series of posts.


Anonymous said...

How on earth did you manage one bag? There as only two of us and we can easily fill a whole bin (fortnightly that is.) We must be doing something wrong.

I've just come across this blog on - thought you might be interested in it. There's a section on reducing food waste. Actually you don't need to! Anyway it's:

I'll also pass on your blog details to her. I'm a blog matchmaker!!!

Anonymous said...

Hmm not sure how you plan on becoming the milk man's favorite person but my fiance and I are also dipping into the realm of homemade personal care products. Our first goal was to make our own soap but we had to do some research in order to find lye so now we are waiting for that to come in the mail. Until then we are going to make our own shaving cream. We both purchased stainless steel razor blades ( i got a safety razor and he got a straight razor) and we found that we need a better shaving cream to prevent irritation. We bought the supplies today and hope to make it today or tomorrow. You can check it out on our blog.

Almost Mrs Average said...

Hi Rosie - the key things that I have reduced in the black bin are tetra pack juice cartons, food waste and cleaning waste. I've been amazed at the difference it's made. It has meant that I've had to find different solutions, but although they've made a major impact on our waste, I'm pleased that they've had little impact on our lifestyle, except in a positive way.

Hi N. & J - I'll reveal my plan for my milkman very soon. I'm impressed you're going for homemade soap and shaving cream etc and will come and vist you at your blog. I'm focusing on avoiding needless packaging at the moment.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on the second weigh in! I am continually amazed by the amount of non recyclable plastic that comes into our house. We're quite good at recycling, but I think we're still buying too much stuff with bad packaging. You're an inspiration - keep it up!


Anonymous said...

Looking good Mrs A - very impressive! I have to say though that I am a bit scared about the personal hygiene revelations.....after the mooncup episode I can't imagine what else could be out there .....but I am prepared to consider anything new!

(just in case anyone is wondering, I DID NOT use a mooncup - it was just a shock to find out what it was!)

Almost Mrs Average said...

Hi Rach - I know what you mean about the plastic packaging. Part of the big problem is that not all of it is labelled in a way that consumers understand. At risk of sounding obsessive, I've taken the trouble to ring up a couple of manufacturers over the last few weeks to find out if their packaging is recyclable as it wasn't clear. Fortunately it was. Change is needed on both counts, packaging and effective labelling.

Hi Baba - LOL, don't worry it won't be that scary. I hope you've since got over the shock and are making many changes up there on the Wirral

Anonymous said...

Ooh, it would be interesting to know what unlikely packaging turns out to be recyclable?

Almost Mrs Average said...

Hi Rach - The couple of things that I have come across are the plastic packaging that comes around multipack tins of cat food as well as bread bags. Both manufacturers Mars and Hovis have confirmed verbally that such packaging is recyclable. Consequently I have deviated them away from the black bin. I'm going to do a post soon about the ridiculous number of labels that are used. For your average busy consumer whose focus is on sorting out work and family and countless other things, it would be helpful to have an explicit system in place. Not everyone has the time to search on the internet to research the meaning behind things like Mobius loops. Also, even if something is recyclable, as you know with variations on local authority waste collection across the country, it doesn't necessarily mean that it can be recycled locally.

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