Zero Waste Week-Day 4

Not much bin action here today. 
Another stock cube wrapper.
AND, after flower-gate at the start of the week, I compounded matters by not making it to see the friend I had bought the flowers for, so had to unwrap them (and put all the stupid plastic in my bin!) and put them in a vase. Lovely flowers, shame about the rubbish 🙁

I am loving all the comments and suggestions from everyone-really inspiring-thankyou so much!

I would love to know your thoughts on Zero Waste.
In my mind, Zero Waste, Make Do and Mend, and reducing consumption all go hand in hand.
Until I did the Rubbish Diet during My Make Do and Mend Year, I had never really made the connection between what we buy and what we throw away. There I was trying my hardest to Buy Nothing New, without realising that nearly everything we buy ultimately ends up being thrown away. I suddenly realised that there is no ‘away’ and became so much more aware of what I was putting in the bin.
I would like to think that now the only things that go in our black bin are things that can’t be recycled, or re-used. So that begs that question of why I am still buying these things.
My biggest rubbish culprits are packets from pasta and rice, from crisps, and from dried fruit.
I would love to be able to do away with these.
Does anyone know of anywhere I can buy in bulk, or in cardboard/paper packs? The lucky folks in the South East have places like How it Should Be, where they have bulk dispensers for dry goods, but we don’t have anything locally. I think they are pretty much commonplace in the USA-no idea why they aren’t over here too.

The brilliant Mommy Emu has done a blog post today on homemade pasta
I guess that ultimately, to cut out packaging in my waste stream, pretty much everything needs to be homemade. But that is a big ask, especially with a busy family to feed as well. Pasta is my fall back quick tea solution, so having to make it might just mean that we eat it less often! 
BUT the original post that Mommy Emu links back to on Plastic Free Tuesday says that you can dry the pasta overnight and then store it-has anyone tried this? Mommy Emu is trying it as we speak, and has promised to let me know how it goes-I will let you all know!

Apologies for the rambling blog post, and lack of pictures. I’ve been glued to Twitter for #makedoandmendhour, and have bo run out of energy!

Before I go-Day 4 of Zero Waste Week is officially all about Tetrapaks-did you know that 91% of local councils can now recycle them? 
Click on the pic below to find out where you can recycle them near you.

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  • Reply Linda A. September 9, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    Hi jibberjabberuk
    If you have a Waitrose within a sensible distance to you, then you don’t have to shop there – just go in the door and use the recycling service! No probs.

  • Reply jibberjabberuk September 6, 2014 at 10:16 am

    I had a look on the Tetrapak site. Sadly in the whole of Sheffield only one place takes them. This is at Waitrose so it can’t be a council facility. It’s also about 8 miles from where I live. I also checked the neighbouring borough and they are one of the 9% who don’t have any Tetrapak recycling. The 91% sounds really good but in reality there is a long way to go.

    • Reply Jen September 7, 2014 at 1:36 pm

      Booooo! What a shame 🙁 Are you able to store your tetra paks until you have enough to make the trip worthwhile?

      • Reply jibberjabberuk September 9, 2014 at 4:14 pm

        Sadly I don’t have reason to shop at Waitrose even though I would love to be able to afford to do so! For now I just try to keep Tetrapaks to a minimum but it is very frustrating.

  • Reply silverbells2012 September 5, 2014 at 8:37 pm

    I have the same questions as you… dried fruit etc. I was wondering about buying a pasta-making machine, thinking this would be less of a pollutant than packaged pasta?! And it would be much cheaper to have it organic.

  • Reply Linda Ashworth September 5, 2014 at 8:28 pm

    Yes, I also collect a load of tetrapacks and then take to the tip.

  • Reply lesleygcooper September 5, 2014 at 7:51 pm

    I am feeling so lucky, my council recycle all of those. We have 3 bins now, which is a pain, but they collect general rubbish 1 week, then the alternative week, they collect glass and garden rubbish, and in the 3rd bin, tins, cans, paper, cardboard, envelopes, including the plastic bit, tetra packs, thin plastic (like the stuff that wraps magazines) carrier bags, telephone directories, jar tops, aerosols, plastic bottles, plastic food pots, blister packs. Plus half a mile down the road, there is a recycling plant where we can take anything else.
    It makes the whole thing very easy

    • Reply Linda Ashworth September 5, 2014 at 8:06 pm

      Wow! Where do you live? Our council has increased what they collect but we still have to take tetra packs to the tip ourselves ( OK for us as it’s local), they don’t recycle black plastics or carrier bags, pasta bags, thin plastics etc.

      • Reply Jen September 5, 2014 at 8:18 pm

        Hi Linda
        We’re in Wiltshire. We’re the same as you and have to take the paks to the recycling centre ourselves, but the council do recycle them from there. We just save up a load and then do a run with other stuff that can’t go in our black box like hard plastic (they recycle this too at the recycling centre).
        Any stretchy plastic (but it has to be stretchy like a plastic bag) can go in the plastic bag recycling bins outside the supermarkets. It takes a while to poke them all in, and you WILL feel like everyone is staring at you wondering what you are doing, but I am assured it’s ok..!

      • Reply lesleygcooper September 5, 2014 at 8:55 pm

        We’re in Heathfield Linda, Wealden council, East Sussex. Good aren’t they!

    • Reply Jen September 5, 2014 at 8:19 pm

      Wowzers-lucky you Lesley!

  • Reply Linda Ashworth September 5, 2014 at 7:37 pm

    I find there are so many plastics that creep up on you. For instance: the thin plastic wrappers on weekend newspaper magazines and their adverts, the plastic covers used instead of envelopes for sending magazines through the post, the little packets washing powder tablets are packaged in, the plastic over wraps for boxes of tea bags etc etc. We love our newspapers and magazines and recycle all the papers, I prefer this brand of washing powder, ditto the tea bags so a lot of my general dustbin waste comes from these sort of sources. If the posted magazines went back to paper envelopes and all the other products stopped over wrapping with plastic my bin would be almost empty!

    • Reply Jen September 5, 2014 at 8:21 pm

      That is I think the thing that I am realising from Zero Waste Week-rubbish just kind of happens. As hard as you try not to let it in, it’s there, kid of ingrained into our modern society. Things need to change on lots of levels before things can improve, but as I see it, the only level I can have any direct impact on is the individual level, so I will keep plugging away!

    • Reply sooz September 6, 2014 at 10:17 pm

      The plastic wrappers on newspapers and magazines can be recycled in the plastic bag recycling receptacles in supermarkets 🙂

      • Reply Linda A. September 7, 2014 at 6:20 am

        Thank you! I shall now start another collection bag in my garage for magazine wrappers and take them to the supermarket in future! I have seen the containers in supermarkets but assumed they were just for carrier bags.

        • Reply Jen September 7, 2014 at 1:35 pm

          No problem Linda!

      • Reply Jen September 7, 2014 at 1:35 pm


      • Reply sooz - September 7, 2014 at 7:26 pm

        You can put lots of things in the plastic bag recycling containers at the supermarket actually (My Zero Waste Week challenge to myself was to collect and recycle all my stretchy, plastic bag plastic and film, so I’ve been doing some research!) There’s a useful list here

        • Reply Jen September 8, 2014 at 1:52 pm

          Fabbo-thanks for the link Susie 🙂

  • Reply Meg and Gosia September 5, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    Yes, you can dry your own pasta. It keeps for up to six weeks in an air tight container! Just make sure it is thoroughly dried out before you store it. There are some more tips in this post:

    • Reply Jen September 5, 2014 at 7:12 pm

      Great post-thankyou so much! Definitely going to have a go now 🙂

  • Reply Rachelle Strauss September 5, 2014 at 9:51 am

    I agree pasta feels hard to do (although Emma’s post was really inspirational). Dried fruit it ok either with or without a dehydrator. Is that something you could try? Even if you could buy pasta in bulk from a food co-op like suma you’d probably end up with a large thick polythene bag which could be recycled with carrier bags in some supermarkets or reused (I use mine to stick over the bowl when waiting for bread to rise) so you’re reducing waste but still enjoying the convenience.

    • Reply Jen September 5, 2014 at 7:13 pm

      I keep meaning to try Suma Rachelle-do you use them? How are they in terms of packaging?

  • Reply Anna September 5, 2014 at 5:33 am

    re dried fruit, Harvest in Bath has theirs in serve yourself dispensers. I’m sure one could negotiate to use a bag other than the plastic ones they provide. worth a shot. I truly admire what you are doing….a shining example to us all

    • Reply Jen September 5, 2014 at 7:14 pm

      Awww, thankyou Anna! That’s really useful re Harvest in Bath-I’m off to Google them now!

  • Reply lindaswildlifegarden September 5, 2014 at 4:57 am

    Reblogged this on Linda's wildlife garden and commented:
    Awesome and have a blessed day

  • Reply Plastic-Free Tuesday - Annemieke September 5, 2014 at 2:05 am

    Reading that you are quite a busy lady, perhaps a pasta machine would be a great solution for you. If you don’t have one, maybe you can borrow one to test it. I can imagine that making pasta goes a lot quicker with such a machine so that you maybe don’t have to store it in the first place. Otherwise, our guest blogger Chiara has stored the pasta, which apparently works fine. The key is to make sure it is really dry before you store it. I have also seen some people using zucchini to make pasta. I am sure you could make that by using a pasta machine too. Should be easy and quick. Let’s see how the pasta of Mommy Emu turns out.

    • Reply Jen September 5, 2014 at 7:14 pm

      That’s great-I might see if anyone is getting rid of a pasta machine…!

      • Reply silverbells2012 September 5, 2014 at 8:40 pm

        Ebay might be an option for a purchase – ie second hand.

        P.S. Should have read the comments before posting mine below.

        • Reply Jen September 7, 2014 at 1:38 pm

          I was going to try and WANTED on my local Freelge/Freecycle site for a pasta maker-strikes me as the sort of thing people might have lying around accumulating dust!

          • silverbells2012 September 7, 2014 at 5:00 pm

            Yes, there is always a chance!

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