Wednesday 12 March 2008

Zero Waste Week: Worms worms everywhere

"Worms worms everywhere,
under the flowers
and under the chairs.
Slipping and sliding
around on the ground,
just how many worms
can you see and count?"

I love this poem . It's called Counting Worms. This is only a snippet, but you can read the rest at the Reading is Fundamental site, where you will see that it has been penned by Sophie who is just 6 years old (yes only 6). My favourite part is :

"There's one in the soil
where he spends the day
munching a big leaf
someone threw his way."

Cheers Sophie, I couldn't have said it better myself. In fact if you look more closely at the photo above, you can see lots of the wriggly creatures nestled in the matting of their cosy wormery, where they had been busy munching on our kitchen waste until I disturbed them to throw in some eggshells. How rude of me!

They have been pretty easy to keep and when I looked in on them yesterday I noticed that some of them are growing nice and fat.

The wormery has been brilliant in helping us to avoid putting food waste into landfill. However, they can be as fussy as the kids when it comes to their diet. They don't like citrus fruit and adding meat products is also out of the question, which is where the Bokashi comes in, which takes most forms of cooked food including meat and fish.

After two weeks of use, we have now managed to fill the first Bokashi bin. As well as the odd piece of cooked chicken, we have also added vegetable peelings, loads of banana skins, apple cores, sandwich crusts and some cooked pasta and rice. I've even thrown in some cat food, although I should really check whether that's actually allowed. I don't see why not! All I need to do now is just leave it sealed and unopened for a couple of weeks and then I can add it to the wormery or composter. In the meantime, the liquid can be extracted and used as plant food or poured down the sink to clean the drains. You can read more about the Bokashi system in a previous blog post here.

It's thanks to the Bokashi and the Wormery that Day 2 of Zero Waste Week has proven to be a complete success.

You see, I made one of my infamous Dragon Stews yesterday, using the remnants of meat from Sunday's roast dinner and if I hadn't had the Bokashi to hand, it would have meant quite a few slops going in the bin.

Even though it was delicious, there were a couple of teething problems, which didn't meet with Mr A's approval or indeed that of the Junior Posse. I think it was my flirtation with Celeriac that did it, an ugly vegetable, which I'd never used before but on a whim decided to experiment. In fact, it's been sat in the fridge for a couple of weeks, awaiting its fate. So Judgment Day arrived yesterday in the form of Dragon Stew. Adding some fresh ginger made it very flavoursome, but it didn't appeal to the kids (and I thought I was being kind, having left out the chillis)!

Anyway, Day 2 was a success all round, with no rubbish created, which is brilliant.

What's been amazing is that so many people are keen to share stories about their own rubbish. As well as the lovely comments that are coming in on the blog, a lady in the playground told me how she has been encouraged to reduce her waste this week thanks to a letter I'd put together for my son's school to send out to parents. She is tackling packaging and food waste in particular, which is great news.

A friend also told me how she played the recording of Monday's Woman's Hour broadcast to her 10 year old daughter and when they went out shopping that afternoon, her little girl refused the carrier bags offered to her in the shops. How inspirational is that!

I also had a great time on Newstalk's Moncrieff Show yesterday. It was a giggle, especially when one listener suggested I should get a pig for our garden. I mentioned that I had worms instead!

When asked by Sean Moncrieff to suggest a specific item that we should stop putting into our bins, I suddenly got nervous, scrambled around for an answer and blurted out "Sanitary Pads", yes indeedy, a topic which had previously left me feeling so awkward, it took me a whole month to even find the courage to blog about it! Yet it was the first thing that came to mind during a live interview for the Emerald Isle.

That's live radio for you and I guess now that I've tackled that topic in such a public fashion, I should be able to handle almost anything!

The unoffical "Rubbish Diet Radio Tour" continues today, but this time closer to home with a live interview on Radio Suffolk. If you tune in sometime around 11.15am, you should be able to catch me talking Rubbish to James Hazell. I hope James knows what he's letting himself in for!



Cybèle said...

Well it's thanks to your blog entry about sanitary pads that I finally decided that enough was enough and I ordered some yesterday. So it may have taken you a month to get your courage, but I'm glad you did!

Christina S said...

Well done Almost Mrs A, I loved your Radio Suffolk interview - I think James Hazell seemed most impressed and I bet he'll be reducing his own rubbish now. And I bet loads of other people will as well. You're an inspiration!

Anonymous said...

Its a chemical thing and about changing the habbits of our lives. Its about working around the consumer throw away society within which we live and making choices which respect the planet.

Almost Mrs Average said...

Hi Cybele - that's great to hear. Thanks for letting me know. xx

Cheers Ruby - glad you listened in. I'm really enjoyed the interview. I think I might have to check in on his rubbish again in a few weeks time.

Hi Anonymous - yep. You're right.

Anonymous said...

So can you really put sanitary pads in a bokashi bin?

Almost Mrs Average said...

Hi anonymous - I don't think so and it doesn't sound an appealing prospect...unless other readers know more.

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