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Zero Waste Week

September 1, 2014

OK, it’s official, not only am I the world’s worst blogger, having not blogged for several weeks, I am also the world’s worst Zero Waste Week Blog Ambassador.

The fabulous Rachelle (of My Zero Waste fame) who is the brains and driving force behind Zero Waste Week, asked me a while ago if I would consider being a Zero Waste Ambassador. I said an enthusiastic “YES!”, and then in a rash of over-ambitousness (not sure that is a word..) I declared that my Zero Waste Week pledge was to actually have a Zero Waste Week. Totally forgetting that SmallSmall is still in nappies at night-time (yes, I know. We used reusables during the day for both Smalls, but couldn’t get on with them at night). So a big fat fail before we’ve even started.
Zero Waste selfie1

What I should have done, is lots of prep, and got a mini series of informative and thought provoking Zero Waste Week posts lined up for you; and put some time and thought before Zero Waste Week started, into where and why our waste happens, and then taken steps to minimise/eradicate that for the week.

I have done none of that.
I have battled to keep my head above water, and maintain both my sanity and a calm exterior (some of the time anyway) during the Summer holidays. I seem to have run out of headspace for blogging and for any kind of forward planning.

Soooo, huge apologies to Rachelle and the rest of the awesome team of Blog Ambassadors. I feel like I am letting the side down in a very big way.
I think the best I can hope for this week, is that I will document what we do end up throwing away, and then try and research alternatives/what I could have done differently, and we can all learn together….

Here is the Sin Bin for today….

1) Our kitchen bin, freshly emptied

ZWW Wk 1012) It was going kind of ok, until the post arrived. My “almost but not quite zero waste solution” to these is to tear out the cellophane window bit, and then recycle the paper. The only flaw to that is that I am obviously left with the window to go in the bin. Anyone got any suggestions?

 ZWW Wk 102

3) Then the Smalls got bored and it was raining. 
On a very looooong car journey without hubby, but with two very loudly bickering Smalls in the back, I pulled over at a service station, and in desperation, and in need of the bickering to stop, I offered to buy them both a magazine each. I never get them magazines, primarily because of the plastic crap that accompanies them on the front cover. BigSmall decided to go for a Mr Maker magazine, which seemed like a pretty good choice in terms of the amount of crap that was on the front. Until we opened the cardboard box, to make some things to fill a rainy afternoon, and found lots of plastic. 

ZWW Wk 106

ZWW Wk 103 ZWW Wk 108Does anyone else have this frustration with kids and crafting? They make stuff, out of non recyclable things, and then you are left with their delightful creation, that has to be consigned to the bin, after the required time period for admiring it. It’s the same when visiting the Scrapstore. I love the Scrapstore, and the work they do to promote re-use and recycling, but at the end of the day, most of the stuff they have there, is there because it can’t be recycled. It still ends up in landfill, just a little more glue-laden, and mangled together with other bits, after Small people have finished ‘creating’.
OK, rant over.

4) Then it was tea-time. And I had grabbed some bacon out of the freezer this morning. And yes, it is wrapped in plastic. I really do need to pluck up the courage to go ‘naked shopping’. Rest assured that this just means taking your own tupperware with you to avoid packaging, not actual naked shopping. That would be truly dreadful.

ZWW Wk 110

5) And I used a chicken stock cube. I try to buy the lo-salt, organic ones, and they come wrapped in this funny pseudo-foil/paper wrapper, which I am guessing is not recyclable.
For veg stock I use the tubs of Bouillon powder, which is better I guess than these (although the tubs are those funny cardboard/metal lined things that again, I don’t think are recyclable.
I know the purists answer would probably be that I should make my own stock and freeze it. And I would love to, but most of the time it’s just not practical.

ZWW Wk 112

OK, so that’s my confession for today.
Any suggestions/ideas/tips would be wonderful 🙂

If I’ve inspired you (?!) and you want to get involved, it’s not too late to sign up. 
You can take the Zero Waste Pledge, and sign up for the newsletter loads of Zero Waste tips.

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23 Comments

  • Reply Kristen August 3, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    Such a nice post! As a mother I understand the “crafting situation” all too well, haha! 🙂 But one thing I’ve learned is being zero-waste is not always perfect, but in a time you get there! Cheers, my website

    • Reply Jen August 5, 2015 at 8:10 pm

      Thanks Kristen!

  • Reply Zero Waste Week-Day 2 | My Make Do and Mend Year September 2, 2014 at 7:32 pm

    […] re-usable nappies with the Smalls for the majority of the time (except at night time as I ‘fessed up to yesterday); I went cold turkey on baby wipes during My Make Do and Mend Year; we use very little kitchen […]

  • Reply jibberjabberuk September 2, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    I’ve always put usef envelopes with windows straight into the recycling bin. Any that haven’t been used that comes with the post I keep for sending all the reply slips/money demands to school.

    • Reply Jen September 3, 2014 at 12:31 pm

      Great, thankyou!

  • Reply lindaswildlifegarden September 2, 2014 at 7:29 am

    Reblogged this on Linda's wildlife garden and commented:
    thanks for sharing have a blessed day

  • Reply ginacaro September 1, 2014 at 11:18 pm

    It’s so hard isn’t it! You we’re very ambitious to go completely zero waste, i’ve just gone for zero food waste and struggling with that 🙂 it’s not until you actually stop and think about it that you realise how much we throw away.

    • Reply Jen September 3, 2014 at 12:32 pm

      You are totally right-it’s one of those things that you sometimes need to stop and actually become aware of.

  • Reply SusiB348 September 1, 2014 at 9:36 pm

    Sincere and honest attempts, and raising awareness of your household (and so many others up and down the country), are totally OK! Don’t think anyone else in your situation could do better. So please don’t beat yourself up!

  • Reply Mary Dawson September 1, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    Regardless of your success/failure it’s lovely to see you blogging again. And even your failures are inspiring.

    • Reply Jen September 1, 2014 at 8:48 pm

      Aww, thankyou so much Mary!

  • Reply Hilary September 1, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    Really do think you should stop berating yourself and just remember how much you do do more than most other people/families. Afraid have no answer to the window bits in envelopes, I do same as you and have to put them in the bin. Never thought of the naked shopping but will try and remember to do so in future. Night nappies… Not sure how old small small is but we discovered that our son had probably been dry at night for quite sometime, before we realised. He was actually only weeing after he woke in the morning, so if I got there as soon as he was waking we didn’t need nappies any more. Think he was about 2yrs 9 months at the time. Without the nappy he was able to go to the toilet/use potty with no relapses. I try to make stock whenever we have a roast chicken but it would never be enough to never use a cube of some kind.
    My biggest trouble with recycling is my hubby not agreeing to put wet paper towels in the compost bin, he uses them like there’s no tomorrow and then puts them into the bin, and yes I’ve shown him the compost book where it tells you you can. He’s just set in his ways! grrrrrr!

    • Reply Jen September 1, 2014 at 8:50 pm

      Thanks Hilary. I think SmallSmall is probably just about there-just scary making that final leap, and worrying about being woken up with wet beds-very selfish!
      For hubby-Can you try ‘forgetting’ to buy any more paper towels….?!

      • Reply Hilary September 1, 2014 at 9:02 pm

        Sorry can’t forget to buy them as he’s the one who gets them!!

  • Reply Anna September 1, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    we always carefully removed the plastic film from envelope windows before putting them in recycling bin until recently a set of instructions from the council said it isn’t necessary, or even to remove staples. (And don’t be too hard on yourself! Being a mum of smalls is quite challenging enough. You do wonderful things and are an inspiration)

    • Reply Linda Ashworth September 1, 2014 at 7:35 pm

      Yes, I had always religiously torn off the cellophane windows until a friend told me this was not necessary. Great! So straight into the recycling with those pesky junk mail envelopes.

      • Reply Jen September 1, 2014 at 8:48 pm

        That’s great news-thankyou!

      • Reply Donna Scott September 1, 2014 at 10:10 pm

        I am also very happy to hear this – thanks!

    • Reply Jen September 1, 2014 at 8:50 pm

      That’s great news Anna, thankyou! And thankyou for your lovely comments 🙂

  • Reply mommyemu September 1, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    I don’t think we could go completely zero waste, unless I lived on my own. Could you not donate the Bouillon powder pots to your children’s school to be used as pencil pots.

    • Reply Jen September 1, 2014 at 8:50 pm

      Good idea Emma, I will ask, but they seem pretty stocked up (excuse the pun) on pencil pots

  • Reply vicky myers September 1, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    After my naked vegetable shopping yesterday I am ashamed I never thought about taking Tupperware re cheese and meat, DOH!!!

    • Reply Jen September 1, 2014 at 8:51 pm

      Oooooh, you naked shopped-go you! How was it?

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