I’ll start with an apology for my absence. We had some unexpected work carried out at home which meant that we moved out for a fortnight and life got in the way of the blogging. I missed it though and felt especially sorry that I wasn’t able to continue with my Plastic Free July posts while it was actually July. However, I will do another Plastic Free Post to update on how life has changed since I started considering the amount of plastic in my life. Today’s post is about the reduction of our household rubbish inspired by a day about a month ago when we put out one bag of rubbish for the weekly refuse collection. Usually we average three. It was a complete surprise. Because we haven’t been at home for a few weeks, I have been unable to monitor if this was a one-off.
It has made me take stock of the changes that I’ve implemented and ponder over what has caused this dramatic (and sudden) reduction in waste. Obviously this blog is specifically helping me to work towards responsible waste disposal but what actually happened?
A factor has to be that a couple of months ago, we breathed new life into our compost bin. Before Meaner Greener Me, composting wasn’t something I thought about. My other half had set up a compost bin years ago in our garden. He was the one who tended to it and then stopped because…well…he couldn’t be bothered any more! The fact that it existed in the first place barely touched my consciousness…
However when I started this blog I looked at the huge piles of vegetable peelings that amassed most nights and realised it would be responsible to dispose of them somewhere other than the kitchen bin. Finally I showed a bit of interest in our poor neglected composter and my surprised, but obliging, other half helped me to revive the old thing.
Do you know what? It was pretty darned easy!
Here’s the bin (we inherited it from a family member who had a spare – much environmental family friendliness!).
We checked the internet, which advised watering it and stirring up the contents with a garden fork, washed out our old food caddy which had been relegated to the shed…
…and started filling it with scraps!
Some days we have to empty it more than once, so logic dictates that the composter can be credited for us putting less in the rubbish bin.
Another factor has to be that I am cooking and baking more than I did when I started the Meaner Greener Me Blog. I will speculate and say that this is cutting down our rubbish, For example, when I make bread in the bread maker I use ingredients from the kitchen cupboard. Only if a packet is finished do I produce any waste and most of the ingredients come in recyclable packaging.
I bake most of our treats now so we no longer have biscuit wrappers to throw away – the biscuits we ate were often double wrapped in plastic packaging plus and cardboard box (think Jaffa cakes).
Finally another obvious factor in the reduction in our rubbish is that we are potty training our toddler and so the use of disposable nappies has dropped by about 5 per day.
I have to confess that before I was Meaner & Greener, I made the decision to use disposable nappies. At the time I chose to prioritise convenience over….well…faffing about with horrible cloth nappies and doing extra washing! I knew that parenthood would bring with it challenges that I couldn’t avoid so I opted to avoid the ones I could.
I have now become ‘acclimatised’ to parenthood and if I were to have another baby I’d almost certainly go for reusable nappies. I know it’s cheeky of me to say that when I’m almost certainly not going to have another baby, but I know it wouldn’t bother me to be dealing with, shall we say, the messy side of cloth nappies the way it would have REALLY affected me with my first child!
So there we go, I reduced my rubbish without even trying to do it – a bit of effort in some areas seems to pay off in others. Let’s see if those bin bags stay in the cupboard over the next few weeks instead of ending up in landfill each week!