For Day 2 of Zero Waste Week, we’re challenging you to be entirely waste free for the whole day! You might need to keep a bag in your pocket or a small container in your bag to keep any bits of rubbish you do end up accumulating. Trying to be waste free just for one day will probably raise your consciousness of every consumer decision you make over the course of the day. Did you finish a packet of cereal this morning? What will you do with the bag and box? Did you grab a coffee on your way to work or college this morning? What will happen to the cup?
I find that preparation is the key. It’s when I’m tired, busy and overstretched that my planning falls down and I opt for convenience. I don’t beat myself up over this (or I try not to!). Rather I just accept it as a necessary blip for my own sanity and move on when I’m feeling re-energised. Anyway, back to the preparation…
Meal planning, even just for the day ahead, avoids that tea time panic that so often leads to convenience food and food waste. Checking the cupboards and fridge before you leave the house each morning is a great idea. Firstly, you’ll spot if you’re missing any ingredients so you can pick them up during the day. And secondly, you’ll spot if there are things that need using up, thereby avoiding food waste. Could you incorporate them into your evening meal or pack them up for your lunch somehow?
Getting into the habit of remembering a water bottle, reusable cup and/or cloth shopping bag preempts those moments when disposables sneak up on you. You could leave them by the door, in the boot of your car or keep them in your bag if you have room.
We’re hoping to get through the day with no waste today. We’ve had a good start so far. The children and I all had cereal for breakfast. We didn’t empty any boxes today, but if we had I’d have recycled the boxes and saved the cereal bags to line our kitchen bin or I could recycle them with plastic bags at Morrison’s next time I shop. I’d started off some bread dough last night, which I knocked back and turned into bread buns first thing. My husband took one in a reusable sandwich bag for work and this is what the children’s packed lunches looked like:
The cake is a banana and coconut bread that I baked yesterday to use up overripe bananas. I greased and floured the tin to avoid using greaseproof paper and luckily it came out! My lunch today will be some leftover pasta in tomato sauce.
It’s their first day back at school today, so we’re having a family favourite: pasta in cheese sauce or cheesy mash (I haven’t decided yet!) with fish fingers and broccoli. I’ll recycle the cardboard from the fish fingers and the broccoli was bought loose. If we have potatoes, they’ve come from a friend’s allotment in a reused carrier bag. If we have pasta, it was bought in the biggest bag we could buy it in. I’ll recycle the cheese packaging with plastic bags and we get our milk in returnable glass bottles from a local dairy.
We’re keeping our landfill rubbish in a glass jar this week, for a clearer visual representation of what we’re sending to landfill. This was Day 1’s rubbish:
It consisted of a wine foil, an empty mini marshmallow bag, a clothes tag, a couple of sweet wrappers and the packaging from the cat’s flea meds. Fingers crossed we won’t add to the jar today!
How is your Zero Waste Week going? Are you joining in with Trashless Tuesday? Let us know how you’re getting on in the comments, on Twitter or on Facebook. Don’t forget to add #zerowasteweek, so we can find you!