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A Day without Waste

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As I mentioned in a previous post, I pledged to go one day without waste for Recycle Week. I did a trial run yesterday and found that I only had to throw away some stickers from the fruit, a knot of masking tape from one of my daughter’s craft projects, some dental floss and a net from a punnet of plums. I didn’t go into the city yesterday or today, so I wasn’t out and about much, but it turns out that I don’t throw much away anyway, and here’s why.

  1. I recycle like mad. Everything recyclable goes into the bin, including scouring sponges. I also save my plastic bags to drop off in the recycle bin at grocer, including bags from salad, etc.
  2. I also compost. In fact, this halved the amount of trash we were producing. Our council actually runs a scheme where you can get a wormery or a compost bin quite cheaply, which is how I got ours.
  3. I reuse and repurpose things, like twisty ties and biscuit tins.
  4. We don’t really eat that much meat, so I don’t have to deal with cling film and similar packaging.

There wasn’t a lot I did extra, either. For instance, my daughter had football/soccer practice yesterday, so I brought a snack in Tupperware and water in her water bottle. I would do that anyway, but I made sure not to buy anything for her on the way home. I also evaluated everything I went to put in the trash, to see if I could reuse it somehow. I didn’t actually put off throwing anything away, though it felt like it a bit with some of the things I set aside for reuse, like the popsicle sticks.

What have I learned when I actual think about whether I should throw something away?

  1. Tetra Pak is recyclable, and the nearest bin where I can drop it off is closer than I thought. Clothes and shoes are also recyclable in nearby places.
  2. Baggies are also recyclable, at least if I put them in with my plastic bags that I drop off at the grocer.
  3. I can repurpose the sticky bread tabs to use for closing garbage bags. I can also disassemble my daughter’s craft projects and repurpose what can’t be recycled for other crafts.
  4. Luckily, I didn’t have to blow my nose today, because I’m still a bit grossed out by hankies. Relatedly, I skipped flossing today, since floss isn’t recyclable and I am not going to reuse it.

So today, I managed to go the whole day without throwing anything out!

**Update – My husband, not one to be beaten, rose to the challenge on Friday and went all day without throwing anything away.  Now we hope to make it a family habit.


About Kara

I am what happens when you combine a WWII enthusiast, an environmentalist and a frugal celiac/coeliac.

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