Day 5: Zero Waste Week 2014

My ‘One More Thing’ for Zero Waste Week today is stewing plums.  This is because we’ve had plums in our veg box for the past four weeks and each week they have gone off before we’ve finished them. Sometimes we’ve thrown away several.

Click here for National Zero Waste week 2013

Now, I got pretty good at reducing my food waste a while ago.  I have blogged often about my beloved veg box and my attempts to use it up, and show it who’s boss.  Last year’s Zero Waste Week challenge was all about food waste and I defy anyone to suggest that I shouldn’t get full marks for effort…

So what happened? Other things I suppose… Although I have done well with my food waste in the past, I can’t pretend that it’s been effortless. When I’ve got lots of energy and motivation, I work really hard to keep on top of the food that makes it over our doorstep, and ensure that I use up most of it.  Sometimes I quite enjoy it and I’ve been known to make a night of it with a couple of new recipes, a glass of wine and some music playing. It can be satisfying to work hard and stuff the freezer full of meals for the week ahead.

Often though I’m really busy and have little spare time.  When I get it, I sometimes just want to relax or need an early night.  Until very recently I’ve had full time child care responsibilities, always having at least one of my children with me all day. I feel I’m lucky to have this time with my little ones while they are small – sometimes stewing plums, mashing potatoes or working out what to do with yet another beetroot just isn’t my priority!

Today however I decided those plums were getting stewed!  I had a problem though.  I no unaccounted for time in my day… Part of the reason was because at the start of the week I arranged for the plumber to come and fix a bath tap that has been leaking and wasting water for at least…..a year!  I realised that if I was ever going to get it fixed, it had to be during Zero Waste Week. It meant though that I had to get my kitchen clean, tidy and accessible for him to work safely (and most importantly without judging me!).

This took up my 90 minutes of child-free time. I decided though that having no time just wasn’t good enough! In the name of ‘One More Thing’ those plums were getting stewed, so I washed and chopped them super-fast and let them stew while I attempted to sort the kitchen.

photo (443)

When the plumber arrived, I hadn’t quite finished the dishes – some stuff including last night’s wine glass was sitting by the sink, making it look as if I’d been indulging in some afternoon drinking…  I’d also been rushing about and smashed a bottle of tomato ketchup on the floor – I really hadn’t been drinking, honest! No matter. I’d got my one more thing for the day done, and I’ve even managed to write up this post despite it being late in the day.

Even just changing the pattern of the last four weeks makes me feel more determined to try to keep on top of it. Each night I’m going to try and identify a part of the next day that I could do some food preparation, and I will even consider cancelling my veg box order on the weeks that I am busy. I’m hoping my little bit of effort today can lead to significant change in the future.

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9 thoughts on “Day 5: Zero Waste Week 2014

  1. I made plum jelly with some plums from my Auntie’s garden-the best bit about it was that you didn’t have to stone the plums-so MUCH quicker!!
    Don’t beat yourself up-you are doing an awesome job.
    I’m the same as you in that I have had at least one Small person with me all the time for the last 5 (nearly 6!) years. Now that SmallSmall has started pre-school this week, I am quite fiercely protective of my child-free time!!

    • Snap! Someone asked me for coffee in my child-free time and I was almost confused as to why they would try and sabotage my precious time! Managed to remember that it’s okay to relax and enjoy myself too 🙂

      Like the idea of not having to stone the plums – definitely the worst part.

    • Bottling plums is another method where they can be preserved whole and therefore minimises prep time. I’ve done mine with varying quantities of wine in the syrup and different spice mixes for some variety.

  2. Loving your fly on the wall account. It did make me laugh and you know what blokes are like – he probably didn’t even notice the state of your kitchen! Glad you got those plums sorted – well done you!

  3. Love how you added “so he wouldn’t judge me”. I do this too.
    I’m also protective of my child free time (doesn’t happen often) but well done you on managing to stew those plums. Oops on leaving the wine glass on the side and dropping the ketchup bottle x

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