Lets go Zero Waste

I’ve spoken before about my horror about our household waste since having Pippin, and post renovation I feel a little bit sick at the amount of things sent to landfill.

We did our best to keep things to a minimum by making sure we recycled what we could, but having contractors and less eco-aware family members involved, and frankly the shear volume of work we had done meant that we produced a lot of rubbish.

In addition to that whilst we were at my in-laws we were using disposable nappies, microwavable vegetables, weren’t recycling green waste: the list goes on. This isn’t a criticism by the way, people do things differently and I would always respect that. You can’t expect someone to feel happy about your daughter’s shitty nappies being washed in their machine basically!

It is important though to recognise that all this additional waste we produced has gone to landfill, and will sit there until it rots, which will probably not be in my lifetime. We threw it away, but really I don’t like to say that. There is no ‘away’, it isn’t some magical place where things just disappear to, its a pile of crap that gets bigger and bigger everyday.

But we are home now, and my intention is to make some big changes. During Zero Waste Week I made some pledges:

  1. To bring less packaging into the house.
  2. To make sure we recycled everything that can be recycled.
  3. To waste as little food as possible.
  4. To make use of the green bin for any unavoidable food waste.

I’m going to add to that now: bit by bit, over the course of the next twelve months, I’m going to address different areas of our lives and see how we can reduced our waste and our impact on the environment. I’m not saying we will go Zero Waste, and I’m not saying I will stick to this rigidly because life can sometimes get in the way, but I think we can make a significant improvement to our lifestyle.

The way I see it is that there are a number of areas I can look at to reduced our consumption and waste production (Is this starting to sound like toilet-humour to anyone else? Just me?). I’ve decided to work on this room by room, just to give me a way to group it easily.

So over the next twelve months I’m going to look at ways to reduced the waste in our Hallway, Dining Room, Living Room, Kitchen, Laundry Room, Nursery, Office, Bedroom, Bathroom, Garden and just generally.

Handy, that’s eleven topics for the eleven months that are left. It is almost as though I planned it that way.

I was reading a few blogs, as you do, and came accross the concept of Zero Waste.

So, I want to be a bit more commited to looking at the stuff we throw away.

We used to be quite good, but then we had a baby. A baby who never sleeps and, quite frankly, somewhere around the fifth day my brain stopped functioning correctly. I’m never quite sure if I’ve remembered to brush my teeth, so actually getting my head around dealing with our waste output felt a bit too much to handle. Then my dad came round, and he took five bags of rubbish from around my house to the bin, and I was horrified. We’d gone from meticulously sorting rubbish to throwing away colossal amounts of rubbish and it felt grim.

Yet another thing that fell of the wagon when the baby arrived, and yet it was probably one of the more important things we could do for our daughter. Not only to help safeguard the planet that she will be living on, but also to teach her (and through her future generations) about the importance of minimising our impact on the planet (and how nasty landfill is, obv. We live near a skip company, if the wind is against us we can smell how nasty it is.)

Zero Waste Week was launched in 2008, to raise awareness of the impact on the environment of the things we throw away. It runs for one week in September, and this year it starts this coming Monday.

So we’ve made a pledge at No. 1: this week we’re going to attempt to cut down on the rubbish we put in our general waste bin, and hopefully go into our next collection without an overflowing bin.

We’re hopefully going to achieve this by:

  1. Bringing less packaging into the house.
  2. Making sure we recycle everything that can be recycled.
  3. Wasting as little food as possible.
  4. Making use of our green bin for what food waste we do have.