Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Overpackaging #2 in a series

Look at my fine row of bins! But that's not why I've posted this picture. It's actually on here for the bike and my rucksack. Yes, I went shopping by bike today, to Waitrose, to stock up on a few bits and pieces of fruit and veg.

And guess what? When I'd got everything I needed and paid for it at the till, it would only just all fit in the rucksack - but the rucksack would not zip up - at all! Not good for cycling home with it on my back.

So I did what seemed to be the only reasonable thing to do, and started to remove things from their bulky plastic boxes so that they'd fit in my bag more easily (none of the stuff I bought in a plastic box& wrapper was available in the store loose, on this occasion). Sadly I didn't have my camera with me, but would have liked to have taken a photo of the neat row of boxes left on a seat in Waitrose - I bet the staff must have thought it was an anti-packaging protest! Good! In a way, it was.

Tomatoes in the cellophane wrapping, but without the silly plastic box. Why is that box even necessary?? Well, Waitrose got to keep it this time, hee hee!

Here's one that I didn't notice in the store: sweet corn in a wrapper and also on a plastic tray. Grr!

Useless item that need not exist - a sweetcorn tray.


A month since I last posted on here!!

So how are we getting on?
Well, last but one bin collection saw a huge breakthrough in that the recylables bin wasn't even full - as a direct result of me buying less packaged stuff. I would say our recyclable rubbish was reduced by 50% - so there was no overflow going into the black bin and to landfill.

Buying less packaged stuff meant more home cooking - which I have been enjoying, and getting the kids to help! Landfill bin waste was also significantly down - and I don't even feel like I've made loads of changes in what a buy yet - not as many as I could anyway.

But how about NOW - and this bin collection. Well ... this is what we have at the moment:

Black Bin (Landfill):
Just over three quarters full in two weeks - will be collected tomorrow.
This, frankly, is a bit more than last time, but still LOADS LESS than before we started on the Rubbish Diet. Before, my bin was always overflowing and had to be compacted. NB - there is a big slab of manky wood in here that Mr Ruby must have put in, and it's taking up loads of room. If that wasn't in, it would look less (honest!).

Brown Bin (Compostable Waste):
LOOK! I have a brown bin! It arrived on Monday and is already in use!

I was very excited when this arrived. I've had to wait a bit because the council didn't have any spare, but at last it's here. This bin is really going to help reduce what we send to landfill.

I clean out our guinea pigs' cage either once or twice a week, and as it's quite a big cage, the old newspapers, hay, sawdust etc does fill up the bin quite a bit. So now they can go straight in here - and will make good compost. Our veg peelings go in too, and you can see some screwed up greaseproof paper, which I've been using to wrap the kids sandwiches in, instead of dastardly clingfilm.

Blue Bin (Recyclable Waste)
About a quarter full after one week. One week to go before collection.

Do you know, I thought this was going to be up, but it isn't particularly. I've been quite busy this week, hence the quiche and pizza boxes. But on the whole, not a lot of recyclable stuff. If you wonder why I'm worried about this when it isn't even going to landfill, it's just that I am conscious about excess packaging and am trying to avoid it.

What do I do next?
One thing I need to do over the next couple of weeks is get my hands dirty - and analyse what's still going into our black bin. I know there's stuff going in there that could be recycled at our local tip where there are special facilities (e.g. for plastic wrappers, plastic bags, tetra packs etc, none of which can be put in the ordinary blue recylables bin). But what's the other stuff? I'm not really sure.

Almost Mrs Average mentioned recycling routines - and I am going to have to work on this. What I really don't want to do is collect loads of junk for recycling and having it lie around for weeks, waiting to be taken to the recyling centre. But I need to get my butt into gear because I am feeling more than a bit guilty about some of the stuff still going to landfill. Mr Ruby would be the obvious person to take all the stuff once a week or so as the tip's a way off, and I don't drive but he does.

I'll tell you what though - rather than have to faff about with all this stuff like this, I really do wish it didn't exist. Most of this RUBBISH (and I mean that in the derrogatory sense of the word) actually didn't exist a few years ago, and I really wish it still didn't. Most of it is just useless stuff that wasn't ever needed in the first place.